This may sound straightforward enough, but it’s surprising how many people fold their soft tops away incorrectly and then wonder why they fall apart prematurely (the tops, not the people, as far as we know…). Look after your top and it should be able to perform (i.e. look good and keep the rain on side) for years to come. Abuse it and it will soon start to pay you back, becoming faded, ill fitting and hard to see out of. Your top has a hard enough life as is, do it a favor and read on…
MGB, Folding Top Frames
First of all, if your car is equipped with sun visors, move them to one side. Next, unclip the two windscreen toggle catches, then undo all of the foiling fasteners: two on the windscreen pillars two on the top frame by your ears and two on the top frame just above the B post; a total of six fasteners altogether.
Next you need to venture outside the car and undo the four fasteners around each rear quarter panel (eight in total), at the same time loosen the hooks at the top of the B post. At this stage it will also help if you tilt the seats forward a little.
Failure to undo any of the fasteners will result in a loud ripping noise as you try to lower your top, followed by the appearance of a 6″ tear just in front of your rear quarter lights. You have been warned!
Now you.are ready to raise the header rail. Pull it backwards until it is approximately half way over the door; you should now be able to unclip the rear bar from the two tear-drop chrome fasteners mounted on the rear deck panel. With a well-oiled top frame this can supply hours of entertainment as you try to balance the top halfway back, hold it there with one hand, and unhook the rear bar with the other.
You now need to fold each quarter window onto the back-light, making sure that the fold is along the top material and NOT creasing either of the quarter windows. With your forth and fifth hands push the header rail backwards and at the same time pull the back-light and top material over the trunk-lid. When the top is fully lowered, fold the windscreen toggle catches flat before rolling the rear window back over the folded top. Position and secure the two retaining straps. To avoid divots in your forehead, it is advisable to clip the sun visors back into position. You may now return your seats to the upright position, extinguish all cigarettes, and prepare for take-off!
MkIV Sprite, Midget III & 1500
Undo the windscreen toggle catches and all of the interior fasteners (windscreen pillars, top frame and top of the B posts). Next, unpop the three or four fasteners on each rear quarter panel (the number will depend on whether or not you have Velcro fitted).
Grad hold of the header rail and pull it backwards until the hinge links begin to collapse (or until you pinch your fingers in the frame – whichever happens first), now take a hold of the top material at the seam just above the back light and pull it out over the trunk lid as you continue to lower the top frame.
When the top is completely down, make sure the rear window is lying flat against the trunk-lid, then fold the quarter windows inwards, along the top material, until they are flat against the rear window.
Next, roll the whole section back down over the folded top. You are now ready to stand back and briefly admire your handiwork before quickly repeating the whole process in reverse as the heavens open!
Spitfire MkIV & 1500
Inside the car unclip the fasteners and secure the top material to the center and the rear frame bars (the center bar clips are usually quite easy, the rear fasteners are real finger nail breaking items). Release the soft top header rail from the windscreen frame by pulling the catch levers towards you. Lift the locating pins out of the windscreen frame and rotate the catches back to the closed position to stop them falling back down in the frame holes.
Next undo the eight fasteners (four on each side) that secure the top edges to the bods-work. Next take a hold of the top of the top material and push the header rail rearwards and slightly upwards while knocking the center top bar forwards, until the whole assembly starts to fold. Do not pull the rear top bar downwards! Continue lowering the frame and pull the top material flat over the luggage compartment.
Finally fold the fabric forward over the folded top frame assembly and turn the quarter window sections inwards, making sure that the quarter windows themselves are free from distortion and the top fabric is not trapped by the top frame.
Triumph TR250 & TR6
Probably the easiest one of the lot, you first need to release the soft top header rail from the windscreen frame by turning the catch levers towards you. Once again pull the locating pins free of the windscreen frame and rotate the catches back to the closed position (they have a nasty habit of dropping back into the windscreen frame otherwise).
Outside the car you need to push the header rail rearwards and slightly upwards, while knocking the hinged soft top side support downwards, until the whole assembly begins to fold. Continue lowering the frame and pull top material flat over luggage compartment.
Finally, fold the fabric forward over the folded top frame assembly and turn the quarter window sections inwards, making sure that the quarter windows them selves are free from distortion and the top fabric is not trapped by the lop frame.
By Moss Europe R&D