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Re: Attaching Folding Frame to car

Subject: Re: Attaching Folding Frame to car
From: (Denise Thorpe)
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 96 15:28:33 PST

> Since people are talking about tops, I thought I would throw this question
> out again in hopes of fixing my 'rough' job connecting the frame for the top
> to the car.
> Right now it is connected via one threadless bolt on each side with a cotter
> (sp) pin holding that in place.  The problem with this is that I have to
> fill the extra spaces with washers and the cotter pins have ripped my shirt
> on occasion.  Is there an 'official' way to mount the frame to the car??

Early B's (I don't know when it changed over but this includes '66's) came 
stock with the stow away top and frame, but the fold down top could be 
special ordered.  Later cars came stock with the fold down top, but could 
be special ordered with the stow away top.  From your original picture, it 
looked like you have the fold down frame.  The reason it's installed in such 
a bizarre manner may be that your car originally had the stow away top and 
some PO converted it badly.  Here's the scoop on the two kinds of top.

Stow away:  The frame comes off and comes apart in the middle and gets  
stashed in the trunk in a bag made of some bizarre rough felt material 
that's about 1/2 inch thick.  The top is not attached to the frame anywhere 
and folds up by itself and gets stashed in the trunk, too.  Hence the name 
"stow away."  The assembled and installed frame is about an inch taller 
than the frame for the fold down top and the tops are not really 
interchangeable without modification.  The frame slips into the brackets 
that also hold the tonneau bars and each of these chromed brackets is held 
on with three #3 Posidrive round head screws.

Fold down:  The frame folds down behind the seats, hence the name.  The top 
is permanently affixed to the frame both at the back bar to the frame just 
above the rear window and at the front bow.  There are two big arms that 
come forward from the frame on each side and are held to the front top bow 
by three screws on each side. (The early front bows have these tapped holes 
but they're plugged by blanks.)  The frame is mounted to the car inside of 
(interior to) the brackets that the tonneau bar fits into so that a tonneau 
bar can be in place with the top frame still on.  The frame is held in place 
by three really long #3 Posidrive countersunk screws that go through the 
frame (which has some pretty big spacers where the screws go through) and 
then through the tonneau bar brackets (black on later cars?) into the body.
The big drawback to the fold down top is that the space behind the seats is 

It's possible use a later top with the zip out rear window with a stow away 
top frame.  The trick is to cut an inch or two off of the bigger half of the 
center top frame rod of the stow away frame and then bend it down slightly 
to make up for the fact that the later tops are slightly shorter.

If you, Ross, want to keep the fold down top (assuming that's what you have)
you need to find a set of the longer screws that go all the way through 

> Also, on my 66 MGB should the frame really be grey??  Mine is painted black
> (by the PO) and I like it that way :-)

I vaguely remember the fold down frames on later cars being black.  Anybody 

Denise Thorpe

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