Friday, May 28, 2010

Dropping the Top Part III

I still had one more step on this top frame blog.  I really needed to get the convertible top frame out of the car since I reassembled it on the car so when I paint the whole car, I don't have any errors.

My friend Justin came over to work on his car and give me a hand with mine.  He took these pics.

Thanks to Justin for helping get the frame out of the car, prep for final paint, and helping me store it in my basement.  Thanks Bro!  Sorry we couldn't fix that O2 sensor.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dropping the Top! part II

This is the stage where I am cleaning up the convertible top frame for paint.

Bow #1.  Cleaning it up with a wire wheel on a drill.  First I have to remove the tack strip.  It is riveted in place.  Cut the rivets with the Dremel tool.

Bow #2.  Not bad. You can see the felt.

Inside the media blaster.  I took the inlet ballast off to allow for the extra size of the part to blast.

Parts from Bow #2 side mount.  I'll blast these also.

Bow #3 was a pain.  These screws would not budge.  I will have to cut them out, drill, and tap.

The inside damage from rust.  The thick felt I mentioned before rested in this area.  Thus, moisture took it's toll.  I'm sure it is not as bad as some.  But this part was never re-manufactured.  So you have to either make a new one or use what you got.

Drill out the screws.  Start with the smallest drill bit first the move up in size.  Run the drill slow.  Fast speed will just kill the drill bit at this point.  It cuts much better at slow speeds and with oil as a cutting agent.  I use WD40. Not the best for cutting, but it's all I had at the time.  When the bit stops cutting, you ruined it.  You have to go easy on the small bits.

After drilling, I cut in from the side with a Dremel cutoff wheel and then a wedge punch to get under the edge.  Pop it!

Tap all the screw holes.  Then blast it and paint it.

Blasted.  Paint next.

Bow #4

Cleaned it up with a wire wheel.

Putting the frame back together.

Bows 2, 3, and 4 installed.

Bow 1 installed.

Rivet a new tack strip onto bow #1.

Done. Need to tweak a few bolts and I will remove the frame and store it and get the body work finished for paint.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dropping the Top! Part I

Dropping the Top!  Literally!

I will remove the cloth top, the frame, the power top hydraulics, paint the frame.  Reassemble and then remove the whole frame as one.  Store it away in the basement and continue to prep the car for painting.  I had already removed the back part of the top (back glass/clear vinyl) when I worked in the  top well.  In my last blog I talked about how I should have removed the top before working in the top well.  These are the stages I took to remove the top and frame.

First I removed the weather stripping and then started to work on bow # 1.  There is 4 bows total.  The front, two in the middle and one on the back.  Bows 1 and 4 have tack strips.  Bow 1 is made up of alloy and the rest are steel.  
Bows 2 and 3 look just alike except they fit differently and they are marked on the inside JIC.  They also had a felt padding inside the ends of the top of the bows.  I guess to keep lines from showing up in the curve of the sides in the top.  This area showed a lot of rust issues because the felt was so thick, it held moisture for a long time.  You will see this in part II.

These next few pics are the break down in stages.  It helped a lot to still have the power top working.

Bow #4 tack trim being removed.

The locking truss and handle.  The driver side handle was broken and I replaced it years ago with this aftermarket handle.  Notice the shinny bolt and no ford part number.  And the spring is missing.  I will make this part look much better when finished.  It is a lot easier to work in the area without the top on. 

Just about finished with removing the cloth.  It has a lot of staples to remove.  Pulling and prying and it will come off.  Like I mentioned before, keep the old top for a template for the new top.

Next is breaking down the frame.  Media blasting it, paint and reassemble.