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To roof (or not to) roof 13/60


Jughead
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This topic may have been covered numerous times, but just wanting to hear the technical insights.

Although it is very technically possible to take the roof off a 1360 sedan will the tub / rest of the panels collapse in or something sinister as such overtime?

I know it's another age-old debate as to weather one should be "allowed" to remove it or not etc.. 😅

Many thanks

Jug

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On the herald convertibles there are a few "extra" bits to make up for the loss of roof.

Of note is the larger B post area, and perhaps more importantly, the extra door catches. Essential if you do not want the doors to open at "inconvenient" moments.

 

There was a "conversion" made in teh 1990's by "Tristan" that turned a saloon (sedan!) into a convertible. It used a T bar arrangement:

1797600.jpg

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I have never tried it. 

However, there are plenty of people who have just unbolted the roof and used the car for extended periods of time. Less so in the UK where it would be silly as the weather is "changeable" even in the summer. But where warm dry weather is almost guaranteed it was something many did.

But the door catch issue would worry me. The doorgaps on a convertible tend to open/close during driving, and that is with the extra catches. Without them? wouldn't like my chances to be honest. However, it may be OK?? Only on way to find out I suppose. 

Oh, certainly worth checking the chassis siderails and the 4 body mounting brackets each side. If they are at all iffy the body could start moving about when the roof is removed.

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Triumph used the hasp  and  staple to control door opening on  all open top breeds be it herald vitesse and all  TRs

But Not on spitfires

Shown  on all the parts lists  and available but can be rare and can be very pricey.

Do check the sprung wedges on yourn door  striker is free and  is spring returned,  most important  to stop door latch  lift and self  opening

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I have done this quite extensively in the (fairly distant) past.  Structurally there is very little difference between the saloon and convertible tubs (none at all to the chassis) and the extra parts added to the convertible tub (b-pillar shrouds and hood bin frame) add very little.  What is more significant is the general condition of the structure, both chassis and tub, especially the body-mount areas.  The condition, lubrication and adjustment of the door catches also makes a difference.

My 1200 saloon had it's roof removed several times and was driven quite long distances (yes, there was the occasional wetting!).  Yes, the doors would fly open sometimes, but the car was really pretty rotten so the doors would also occasionally fly open with the roof fitted as well.  The car was noticeably more flexible with the roof off.

Then, when I built my Vitesse convertible, for many years I had no "anti-burst" catches fitted.  This was better than the saloon with the roof removed, but there was still the occasional door "incident" - usually only under severe conditions.  Eventually I did get around to finding and fitting set of the extra catches.  This has improved matters to maybe 98% - if I remember to keep everything adjusted and lubricated and passengers occupants shut the doors properly in the first place.   Cobbled hairpin bends open them whatever.....

Bottom line.... the cars are flexible things without roofs (saloon and convertible), not much better with roofs, and the door catches are "rustic".  On my "one day" list of improvements

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with only 3 fixings  at the front and 3 at the rear  the  B post extensions do very little with just a couple of small screws and pop rivets  i guess the roof doesnt add  great  aids to rigidity but it must surely  help .

 

how many have the striker wedge actually free , sprung and working , this little sod stops the door lifting you can buy the striker and wedge but no springs are available . repairs are down to much faffing and lots of DIY to find a spring let alone connect it up 

Pete

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

HI guys,

Just picking this up again. lol
Does anyone 'causally' take their roofs off? - I mean say if its sunny i'll take it off one weekend etc... but then put it back on etc.. 
My 2nd question to follow has anyone come up whht solutions that allow for "easier" lift off etc? - (back) Windows flopping out etc or does that just do that on mine because the rubbers are so perished?

Many thanks

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Hi Jug. Short answer: Yes! I used to remove the roof from my 13/60 frequently every summer in the 80’s. I’m not saying it is the right thing to do, it’s just a fact that I did... The doors never flew open, but yes, the car was a bit more flexible without the roof. I should add that my car was (at the time) completely rust free and very solid. I used to cover the car in the evening and avoid using it on rainy days, and then put the roof back for the winter. It takes 10 – 15 minutes to remove or to put back the roof once you have done it a few times. I even learned how to do it myself without help from others. Quite spectacular exercise! You have to carry the roof on your neck (pefect equilibrium is the key to success) then climb into (or out of) the car. I used to amuse my neighbors a lot stumbling around on the lawn with a roof on my neck. Happy days!

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I missed this before.

I know that an event in which your car inverts is unusal, but precautions need to be in line with the consequences, not just the likelihood.     I also know that the roof on a Herald isn't very strong, and might not protect you if you did invert, but there will be nothing between you and the road if it isn't there.    Not a pretty thought, and the windscreen and surround are useless in this respect.

So, some sort of 'Roll Over Protection System' (ROPS) is needed, IMHO, even if you have no intention of competition.    This will have the added advantage that you will be able to brace the B-posts against it, if you will add a small strut between them.         

John

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A roll bar would be nice but theres plenty of our convertibles out there that dont have any protection.....

Jug if you do decide to remove the roof youll probably find that bitumastic sealant has been used onto the rear deck which is a bit of a pain to get off. This of course does help maintain a good seal but also I found keeps the roof more solidly located - now after bolting it back in place without sealant I do get more creaks and squeeks as I drive along☹️  

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Yes, if you're worried about roll-over, don't buy a convertible! The difference with the Spit door catches is that they're "burst-proof" locks - on the 1500 at least. I notice Canley's have tooled up and offer new staples & hasps (or whatever they're called) for Heralds etc.

Cheers, Richard

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9 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

The hasp and staple are common to most TR not unique to the H V S.if that helps a supply chain.

Good morning Pete! Could you please give some advice where to find these TR items? My CV Vitesse have doors from a saloon and I dont have the "anti-burst catches" or whatever they are called (yes, the doors do fly open during spirited driving, never a dull moment in a Vitesse). This item seems to have become obsolete at Canleys (?) I can't find it there. Any advice much appreciated.
Br Roger

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20 hours ago, johny said:

A roll bar would be nice but theres plenty of our convertibles out there that dont have any protection.....

Have to say, that is a bit like other human habits that need 'protection', and we know how often that goes wrong.

By strange coincidence, a poster on the FB page Triumph Vitesse International has just decribed his inversion incident in a Spitfire, and ascribed his survival to wearing a retractable seat belt, that "secured him in his seat".  No argument there, but from the rest of his description that he landed upsidedown in a ditch, so that he wasn't crushed was a more important survival factor.

john

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