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Projects Building a foldable, stowable Roadster top

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wstory, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    There were a whole buncha secondary mechanical designs in this project. And if it were not for the help, observations and critiques of many others, this would not have turned out as elegantly as I expect it to be. It's been like "eating as elephant". ..one bite at a time.

    Also there has been several false starts where stuff didn't ,...or wouldn't work out.
    IMG_7728.JPG
    I wanted the header to "embrace" the top windshield frame in order that the crown did not add too much visual bulk. The section drawing indicates that goal. Further, after imagining the hinge on the bottom surface and finding there was no hardware, a friend sent me this "sewing machine hinge" which lead to the idea of hinging on the vertical surface.


    61IQ2NIyIYL._SX425_.jpg Img_8765.jpg
    The hinges were brazed/soldered together and beat upon for an antique look. Note the coloring on the wood and other hardware parts to augment the car's color statement.
    The header is upside-down in this view and had some modeling done to make it look less like a big slab of wood.
    Top frame sktch 3rev.jpg It took a fair amount of doodling to get the mechanism concept down to minimum number of parts. Especially to soft or attached parts that could be efficiently packaged. Refined from this cartoon, the strap that goes front to back, is now attached to the header and the Velcro loop is reversed at #1 bow and upon tensioning drives "stretcher #1a into the header receptacle.
     
    Joemama, wicarnut, Hnstray and 6 others like this.
  2. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    Perhaps you noticed the strap material shown in one pic above. How cool is this stuff. Great color combo, IMG_7875.JPG
    it's two inches wide and could lift a house. Very inexpensive too.
    Img_8706.jpg IMG_8707.JPG
     
  3. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,629

    Andy
    Member

    I have a thick header bar on my top. I made it thick so I could attach the wiper motor to it instead of the windshield. That way it is not there in front of you with the top off.
    I took a trip in a friends roadster. The top drummed. I found that if you made the flow seperate anywhere on the top, high pressure would build and force the top down. I assume you are going to use snaps to hold the fabric to the header so it can be folded. Consider a spoiler that attaches under the header if you get drumming. It would be just for long trips and removable. It looks unlikely with the shape and webbing. Just trying to help.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  4. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,882

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Watching! I'm not a roadster owner, but the cleverness and the build quality have me hooked, I need to see this finished. Great job so far!
     
  5. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    I appreciate any thoughtful input.
    Keeping my fingers crossed on the drumming/flapping. Anticipating that, I can adjust "air in" via the cowl vent. Also the top sets slightly above the body at the corner where it wraps around to the trunk. You'll see that in following pics. And the mesh of he center panel allows for some normalization of pressure diff.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  6. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,128

    Automotive Stud
    Member

    I'm curious, the last bow that hovers over the body, are you going to add stiff legs to keep it down where you want it or will it just be held with that strap? Seems like it would ride up without something more rigid holding it.
     
  7. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    You geyser are gettin aheada me. o_O That's an item in my next post,.....later today.
     
  8. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    Sooooo,.....the idea was to make an attachment to secure the bottom hoop to the deck. Had to be easily removable without tools. This is what I came up with. Works pretty well and serves several more purposes.
    Top frame sktch 3_0001.jpg
    the little cleat which you will see in following pics is not done yet. Ultimately will have some hand work and polishing. Still gotta figger a gaceful way to attach to the design line on the body.
    Img_8150.jpg
    Img_8103.jpg Img_8112.jpg Img_8113.jpg
    I get a loop to hook the tensioning strap to and the tube portion slips over that trick hinge, rigidizing the hoop as per the other folding bows. The added flange is for mounting the snaps for the fabric top.
    IMG_8894.JPG
     
  9. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    Earlier on, like a coupla years ago, a tonneau cover allowed protection of contents in the passenger seat, closure for overnight security and,....it looked cool in my opinion.
    I couldn't bring myself to drill holes in the body for snaps so a hoop was bent up to carry the snaps. The hoop plugged into a little slot in the center of the cockpit surround and attached via two bolts and a bracket by my elbow. Img_7629a.jpg IMG_7622.JPG
    That mounting point became the structural point for mounting the top as well.
    A second bracket was fabricated for each side for attaching the top bows. Couldn't find any suitable clevises for attaching the bows so I had to make them.
    The bows open from the folded configuration, the slip tubes moved over the hinges and then the bows are plugged into their respective clevises. Img_8093.jpg Img_8128.jpg Img_8199.jpg Img_8094.jpg
    And here's the whole pile of components, sans top fabric.
    IMG_9063.JPG
     
  10. Bill, absolutely brilliant.
    I can hardly wait to see it all with fabric on it.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  11. 3banjos
    Joined: May 24, 2008
    Posts: 471

    3banjos
    Member
    from NZ

    That shows a really good eye. Nice style and design. We see may failures and just bite the tongue, but you've nailed it.
    Looks great.
     
    Hnstray and INVISIBLEKID like this.
  12. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    Keith, you'll see the whole thing, in the flesh, next July. :cool:
     
    HemiDeuce likes this.
  13. louisb
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 996

    louisb
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You should sell these.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. modelAsteve
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 354

    modelAsteve
    Member

    Great job! There's more engineering and work in your top than I got in my entire roadster!
     
  15. Your illustrations are also top-notch.
     
  16. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    Thanks all for the "atta boys"! Yeah, it's been a sometimes tedious journey but it's all self inflicted. I could be playing golf or some other stoopid frustrating endeavor.
    One of the original parameters was to incorporate a mesh center section, allowing some overhead visibility,...think Bryce or The Redwoods, will providing some sun protection. Turns out there are many products out there that can do the job. I opted for 70% UV protection. I'm not worried too much about rain 'tho I have been thoroughly soaked a number of times. Sooo,....while at it, why not a storm cover for those really shitty days on the Oregon Coast. The concept really freaked many of the trim guys, "I dunno, never done or hearda dat before. I don't get it. You really wanna do that?", which got them immediately crossed off the list.
    Shit!!! Seemed simple enough to me,....like a zip out lining in a jacket.
    Roadster top with sun filter panel.
    rendered with half zipper.jpg
    Roadster top with zip on storm cover. rendered with Hartz cover.jpg
    These are PhotoShopped images. The orange line is where the zipper is for attaching the storm cover which will also include a clear vinyl window for some additional weather protection. The concept is working! IMG_9420.JPG
    I'd always imagined the top to be tan Haartz cloth with a compatible color mesh,...like shown in earlier illustrations. Being a semi "anal" type, I could not find a mesh whose color suited my eye and that bummed me out, for awhile, 'cause I'd always pictured it in tan, like the tonneau cover.
    IMG_8814.JPG
    Sooo, I threw in the towel and went safe, black!!!!!, and sure glad I did. Looks nasty. I likey! IMG_9414.JPG Img_9415a.jpg
    This is as of about June 20, 2018
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  17. Funny I was just thinking about suggesting the very same thing only about an hour ago.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  18. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,868

    Harms Way
    Member

    Huh,....... Pretty dadgum interesting !
     
    loudbang likes this.
  19. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    The previous two images were mockups with black construction paper. That's when I felt good about changing the top color. I bought several colors of mesh because it was so inexpensive and I already had options in hand..
    I'm thrilled with the trim guy, Rex Copemen. He has enthusiastically embraced the project and gracefully accepted my input. This is a great partnership and I'm certain the results will bear that out.
    Also Rex's choice of transportation was a plus.
    Img_9510.jpg IMG_9469.JPG IMG_9478.JPG IMG_9486.JPG Rex Blue 1.jpg
    Rex used much of my old tonneau cover to mockup the panels. A lot of effort went into preventing the fabric from caving between the bows which was a priority. A whole lot of fussin was required to figger relationships and how to assemble the panels of canvas and mesh complicated by edge bindings, padding, snaps and Velcro. Rex mockup 1.jpg Rex mockup 2a.jpg Img_9442a.jpg IMG_9444.JPG
    Last pic shows the void for venting air above 100 mph [​IMG]
     
  20. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    A coupla days ago, someone asked if my car was steel or glass. Sorry for the tardy response but I'll be damned if I can fine that question again. My car happens to be a Brookville,...but I see no reason why the same mod would not work on a glass car. I cut the blue out. IMG_6003.JPG
    IMG_6082.JPG
    This all has to do with getting more leg room. I also sectioned the seat back so that it would slide beneath the rear of the cockpit opening.
     
    Hnstray, AHotRod, tb33anda3rd and 2 others like this.
  21. DAM! This is some great......Can't wait to see photos of it all finished. You are very talented my friend..
     
    pprather likes this.
  22. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    Doah!!!!!!!!! ran into a bit of a snag, shit!!!!
    We're buttoning the thing up and an issue that drives me nuts pops up. When pulling the canvas tight to attach to the Velcro at the top of the window opening, the fabric caves-in between the header and the first bow. Something we worked on between the other bows. This was a surprise.
    Sooo,....we're going to take a few days off and do some head scratching. We're close and don't want to screw up what we've done.
    Gimme a coupla days.
     
  23. wstory
    Joined: Jul 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,214

    wstory
    Member
    from So Calif

    First phase done. Top survived 80 mph on North bound I-5. It's noisy like a coupe with the windows rolled down 'tho the top seems really solid. Major goals met. Love the stealthy look! Profile worked out perfect in my opinion. new top 2.jpg new top 3.jpg
    The center, "storm cover" will be finished next week along with attending to a few bumps and warts that became apparent as all the fabric was tensioned.
    I will be taking a chisel to the knuckle on the header that pushes on the canvas above the windshield post. Passenger side shown.
    thumbnail (1).jpg thumbnail (2).jpg

     
  24. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,632

    Malcolm
    Member
    from Nebraska

    A lot of time, thought and work into this project... And it turned out great! Very nice work.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  25. gdaddy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 172

    gdaddy
    Member
    from nw fl.

    very nice job , thanks for sharing . I kinda like the little revile .
     
    loudbang likes this.
  26. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,387

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like what you are doing. I threw out all the stops and bought a Bop Top from Sid Chavers in '11. The one big mistake I made was not making sure the wooden header was narrow enough to slip into the trunk diagonally. It is a bit over an inch too long so I can't store the top when I am out and about and want to go topless. I boxed in the trunk area and failed to measure before stretching the canvas over the header, and it is a pain in the ass not to be able to run open. I hope to see your work, maybe at El Mirage this year ? Good luck.
     
    340HilbornDuster likes this.
  27. woodhawg
    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 1,019

    woodhawg
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    WOW! Late to the thread but great work. I just bought a frame off eBay and modified it to fit Model A body and it works fine. Works good to have zippered rear window to let air out on hot days.
     
  28. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,979

    sunbeam
    Member

    There is always the option of a roll bar and a bikini top like jeeps use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  29. painkiller
    Joined: Feb 10, 2005
    Posts: 135

    painkiller
    Member

    Is it easy to remove and install by yourself , or is it a two person job ?
     
  30. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 623

    patterg2003

    I admit that I was a skeptic when you started but no more. The sunscreen/storm top is a brilliant, well thought out and adds character. Definitely very well done.
     

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