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Re: Folding Tops

To: "MG List" <>
Subject: Re: Folding Tops
From: Max Heim <>
Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 18:40:31 -0700
Scott, that was a great description... You've just convinced me that my 
packaway hood is no more trouble than the folding kind.


Scott Fisher had this to say:

>Eric Erickson says:
>>  I stop further down the road to make sure it is
>> sitting down neatly behind the seats... but that is purely a cosmetic
>> thing).
>Er, not entirely, at least not eventually.  Folding the top correctly is
>key to the longevity of the vinyl and in particular of the rear window;
>it's best if you can put a towel on the top so that when you roll the
>rear window forward, the towel keeps the clear plastic from scratching
>on the rest of the top.
>It's always best to remember that the folding tops on British sports
>cars aren't really amenities, nor even are they weather protection: they
>are exercises in moral virtue, not unlike the Japanese tea ceremony in
>their subtlety.  In both cases, the object is not merely to get the
>thing done, but to follow all the prescribed steps in the traditional
>sequence as a kind of purification ritual.
>Seriously... leaving all those lift-the-dot connectors fastened will
>hasten the appearance of tears in the corners of the top, because it
>stretches and gets folded in ways that weren't intended.  The correct
>way to fold the top is:
>1.  While inside the car, undo the clips at the windscreen and the snaps
>just above the vent windows, then undo the snaps at the rear corners of
>the side windows.
>2.  Exit the car and undo all the Lift-the-Dot fasteners on the driver's
>side, then the passenger's side.  The breaking of at least one
>fingernail, while compulsory, may be accomplished on any of the
>fasteners and on either side of the car.
>3.  Lift the rear edge of the window out of the chrome clips in front of
>the rear deck, then slide the rear edge of the top to the back as you
>fold the top frame back.  Be careful not to pinch or scissor the vinyl
>in the folding frame mechanism as it retracts.  When finished, the top
>should be folded flat on the rear deck lid, its leading edge just below
>the trim piece that goes around the rear of the passenger's compartment.
>4.  Carefully fold the corners with the rear 3/4 windows inward.  If you
>have a towel to place over the clear plastic, this is the time to do
>it.  Now bring the whole top forward (rolling the towel up the way a
>sushi chef rolls the rice inside a wrapper of seaweed) and bring it in
>as snugly as possible against the top frame.
>5.  There should be a pair of vinyl straps, with snaps, that you can now
>use to keep the rolled-up top looking shipshape and Bristol fashion --
>somewhat literally, as I always thought the rolled top looked like a
>furled sail.  (Singing "We Sail The Ocean Blue" from "HMS Pinafore" at
>this point, while recommended, is optional.)  It should look so good you
>almost don't want to bother with the half-tonneau, but if you do put it
>in place, you'll notice how smooth and tailored it looks with the top
>stowed properly out of the way.
>I got to the point where I could complete this procedure in only two or
>three minutes, though it took longer to put the top up.  Part of that,
>of course, is that I only put the top up when it was cold enough that
>the vinyl was stiff and shrunken, and it took forever (and usually three
>broken nails at least) to get all the fasteners to do their thing. 
>Which is why I finally just took out the three big screws that held the
>top frame to the body, left the whole thing in the garage where it
>belonged, and kept a waterproof jacket, a car cover, and a couple of
>towels in the trunk.  
> --Scott Fisher
>   Sunnyvale, CA


Max Heim
'66 MGB GHN3L76149
Runs great, 
looks particularly bad since some SUV clown backed into it.
If you're near Mountain View, CA,
it's the red one with the silver bootlid.

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