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Too tight Top


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I recently became the proud owner of a 77 Spitfire 1500.  The car has what appears to be an almost new, canvas top.  Seems to look and feel right except for 1 little problem.  It take three men and a camel to pull the top tight enough to attach the windshield header and the snaps both.  I can get the top to the header, but will never get more than 1/2 the snaps to connect.  Attach the snaps, and it will never reach the header.  

Any good tricks for getting this to stretch?  If i could get an extra 1/4 to 1/2 an inch, it would make the car so much nicer to live with.  

Anybody who's dealt with this, any suggestions appreciated.  Thanks, 

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It could be that the top came from another Spitfire.  A new top would normally be fitted and glued in warm conditions to each car and can be a little tight during cold weather. 

How does it fit around the top of the side windows,. 

Have a word with the previous owner if you can to get some idea of the history. 

 

Danny

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I know with the vinyl hoods you can get a bit of stretch by carefully heating with an hot air gun?

Not sure about Canvas though, hoods do shrink with age but it sounds like yours is new.

You maybe able to remove the front header rail seal and unscrew the retaining rail, carefully remove the material from the header rail (It should be glued?) then adjust slightly to give you a bit of slack but it if its been cut so there is no slack then it might be a new hood I'm afraid?☹️   

Gary      

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Could the 3 bolts each side of the hood frame be loosened . The ones on the b posts. Then it lowered/adjusted into position then tightened up again as i know they are moveable plates on each side? Could thus the hood at the back be a tad high? Adjusting it slightly lower may resolve this.

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Mathew - thanks, I've tried this once, but I think i'll try it again, when I've an extra pair of hands with me.  I've also wondered if I can loosen and reposition the strap at the rear where the top is affixed to the body.

I'm thinking if I loosen all of these, attach the hood to the windsheild header and then retighten all the bolts, it might work.  Possibly even 'slot' the bolt holes by a fraction of an inch to get them lower? 

Unfortunately, the clutch gave up on me last week, so that will likely be my first job!  

 

Thanks for the help. I'll give it a try.  Mike 

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If it's desperate last measure before having to fork out $$$lots then might be worth a try with Fabsil (the stuff used for waterproofing tents, raincoats etc). Absolutely drench the material with it repeatedly, but keep it off paint or other furnishings. It may just give a little bit of extra stretch allowing a 'closed'' position to be achieved.

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Doug how about being a little Nationalistic, with a local tight top, hope its not too smutty!

There's a reason why I have this pic (kept in Triumph TR Sabrina file), here in Aus early 62 I think, as a 15/16 year old I had lunch sitting opposite her at a very popular regional restaurant here, family was entertaining some UK business visitors when the owner asked if she plus mgr could join our table as restaurant was full!

Mum always said I was off my food that day!

Name Sake Sabrina.jpg

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On 21/09/2021 at 11:27, Gary Flinn said:

I know with the vinyl hoods you can get a bit of stretch by carefully heating with an hot air gun?

Not sure about Canvas though, hoods do shrink with age but it sounds like yours is new.

Vinyl hoods can be softened via heat from a fan-heater, or hair-drier gun, heating up the whole of the inside the car (with the windows and hood mostly closed).  A hot air gun used on the outside can be too localised and generally use of its high temperature is very much more risky.

Canvas, double-duck, and mohair tops tend to stretch a little more when wet.  I'd recommended a good sponging the fabric down, inside and out to aide fitting.  Once wet, then warming that with the aforementioned fan-heater or hair-drier from within can help with fastening new hoods.

Btw.,  Hoods left up and carefully pulled into shape (..their interface with side windows for example) when the car is not in use will encourage their long-term shape and fit to be better when actually needed. Many mostly-dry-weather drivers who keep their car in the garage tend to have their car's hood folded down pretty much all the time, and then struggle when it is needed to be put up in short time.

Hope that helps,

Pete

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1 hour ago, JohnD said:

Methinks cold showers are in order.  This is what you should  be ogling

There is a Triumph "link" according to wiki:- The 1959 Triumph TR3S 1985 cc iron-block alloy-headed engine was called "Sabrina" because of its dome-shaped cam drivers.?.  (your Pic?)

P.s. IF I remember right from my "yoof". 40DD was an off-times quote?.

As for the original topic, one would think that whoever fitted the hood would have fitted the front first and then the rear?. Or is that not the way it is done?, I need to know as I need a new Top for the 13/60 at some point.

Pete

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