|New screen & top in place.|
The red hardtop is finally attached, but not after a few complications, and lots of bad language.
Because this is the second time I’ve done this, I’d expected a few issues, but it’s always the one from left field that throws you.
The usual problems of fitting and adjusting the strikers were overcome pretty quickly, once I’d remembered that R stands for Right and L for left. There were fewer dramas in cutting gaps in the plastic panels to make space to mount the strikers, although I’m not much of an artist with a Dremel.
|Strikers in place.|
The left field issue came up when I attempted to refit the driver’s side seat belt mounting. (It has to be removed to allow access to the area where the strikers are seated).
I undid the bolt, no problem, set the strikers in place, and then set about reassembly.
The seat belt retaining bolt stubbornly refused to engage with the cylindrical sleeve that it sits in.
After about two hours of messing about on the Friday, I gave up and decided to sleep on the problem.
No brilliant ideas lobbed into my subconscious overnight, unfortunately.
|This is the offending bolt.|
Next day, I had a closer look and noticed that somehow the mounting sleeve had become misaligned. I fashioned a method of pushing it back into place with the shaft of a screwdriver, gaining access through a gap in the lining of the cockpit, at the same time applying downward force on the top of the bolt as I turned it with the spanner. This required a fair bit of dexterity.
Eventually the thread engaged and it bolted home, but the amount of torque I had to apply to turn it in the thread was a bit of a worry, although I recall it was just as tight when I removed it.
Anyway, everything was assembled once this hurdle was overcome, and the hardtop fitted OK, although it does bear on the roll bar.
I think the bar will have to come off. It effectively blocks access to the area behind the seats which is a useful space for bits and pieces. It is a competition roll bar designed to protect the driver in the event of a rollover. I’m not planning any competition, club or otherwise.
Despite all the advice I’ve received to paint the top to match the body, at this juncture, I’ll leave it red. I prefer it that way, and maybe, like a fungus, the appearance will grow on the various nay-sayers.
I also got around to replacing the windscreen. It had been, at some stage, peppered by small stone chips, and no amount of polishing had removed them.
The new screen makes a great different in low sun conditions, and at night.
*Redhead, or redtop.