At 09:16 PM 2/5/99 -0500, Steven R Schultz wrote:
>I just purchased the Door Rail Cover Kit from Victoria and there are no
instructions. Can anyone tell me any tips & tricks to get them installed
Hummm. This sounds like another web site project.
Start with this picture.
This is in the midst of a series explaining the installation of the
convertible top, but it shows the door rail and other cockpit trim fairly
Just as a side note, if your trim kit is like the original trim from the
factory, it should have vinyl material for the front and rear cockpit
rails, and leather coverings for the door rails where you expect the most
abuse and wear in daily use. The piping would all be vinyl covered.
> Should it be glued on with spray contact glue?
No need to glue it. The trim rails all have provision for stapling the
material to the bottom sides. The four curved corner pieces are cast
aluminum, and they have a heavy piece of leather screwed on the bottom to
accept the staples. The long door rails and the rear rail are solid wood.
The front rail may be solid wood or a rubber pad piece with a thin plywood
backing piece to accept the staples. You need a staple gun, and the
electric model is far superior to the hand squeeze one for this job.
> Is there a seam between the door wood and the aluminum forward corner?
This is a lap joint, where the aluminum corner piece extends under the
front of the wood rail and the pieces are held together with wood screws.
The surface at the point of transition should be level and smooth. If the
parts do not come out flush you can file or sand the edge of one or the
other to make the transition flat so the seam doesn't show through the
material when it's finished. Treat this as all one piece, and use one
continuous piece of material to cover the whole thing at once.
> Any particular order to installing the pieces?
The rear rail is in three separate pieces. After covering these pieces,
when installing them on the body you should leave the fasteners a little
loose until final alignment. Then push the ends of the pieces together to
eliminate most of the gap and tighten the nuts in back. Also the front
rail may be left a little loose until the side rails are secure, then float
the front rail for best alignment before tightening it in place.
Otherwise, you should be able to R&R any piece of trim in any order without
disturbing the others.
> Where does the two large piping go? Outside the wooden rail?
Yes. Piping goes all around the outside of the trim rail(s), but not on
the cockpit side. The piping is put on last, after the covering material
is installed. When you come to the end of the piping, leave 1/2" extra
length. Cut the soft plastic rod back inside to the correct length, and
then fold the fabric back over the end for a closed finish. Tuck the 1/2"
tab under the end before final stapling.
If you have a side curtain bag to go behind the seats, that part fastens to
the back of the rear cockpit rail after the covering is in place, and
either before or after the piping. Get the rear rail covered and mounted
in place first. Then remove the rail and hold the curtain bag up to the
body for positioning. Locate the bag so that it is level and with the
bottom edge just sitting on the top of the tunnel. Poke holes through the
material where the rail screws to the body, and then put the rail back in
place loosely over the bag material. Tug on the top flange of the bag
material as necessary to get it hanging smoothly, and mark the bag material
along the top of the rail for position reference. Then remove the rail and
staple the bag to the back. Finish by trimming the bag material below the
top of the rail so it doesn't show on top, and reinstall the rail. If you
don't have the side curtain bag yet, don't worry. It can be installed any
time later after the rails are done.
Now there is a more delicate question about how you get the covering
material onto the rails before stapling. The rails are contoured,
especially at the four curved corner pieces, so there's a lot of stretching
of the material involved to get it to lay down smoothly without wrinkles.
Put in a few staples first, then do as much of the tugging and stretching
as possible before the rest of the stapling. Don't be discouraged if you
need to remove a few staples from timt to time and do them over. I found
it works well to start in the middle of the part and work towards the ends.
When it comes to the curved corners you should start by fastening the
fabric around the inner radius of the curve first, then trim off the tail,
and then proceed to pull and stretch the fabric over the outside curves of
the part. That way you will be stretching the fabric over the larger
radius rather than compressing it and causing wrinkles.
When you come to the ends of the rails you fold the fabric over itself with
triangular tabs tucked in like wrapping a sandwich, so you don't have to
cut the corners and leave frayed edges. Which edge you end up with lying
on top of the others is your choice when you get there, depending on how
the rest is coming out at the time. I pretty much did all of the tubular
part of the wrapping first, then folded the flaps in and finished by
pulling the end tab down over the end of the rail and stapling it
Be prepared for a little frustration with this stretching and stapling
stuff. Allow plenty of time and don't rush it. You may get a few finger
cramps along the way, but with enough patience you can get the material to
stretch enough to lie down flat with little or no wrinkling.
Best regards and good luck,
1958 MGA with an attitude