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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

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Originally Posted by palladin
Thought you were using a bra?

The t-ops go on top of each other, then strapped down. Post some pics, Ricky.
Argh! File too big when I tried posting picts just now...let me learn how to reduce file size in this new program & I'll get some picts up tonight hopefully.

I decided against the bra for the trip, too expensive & didn't want to keep the bra on except for the trip. I didn't like the wear I saw picts of & heard about using bras so I used blue painters tape instead. Looked awful, but now I have a great line about a foot up my hood with NO chips where the tape was!

"Hay Ricky you going to start a new topic for every pucking wire you look at for your blinker."

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 11:34 PM
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

pictures: right click the picture and select "send to" your email client. The email will pop up with the picture as the attachment. double click it and it should ask to open or save it. Save it...it will save as a 230kb file.

AC: If the compressor works...i.e. you hear it clicking and visually can see the clutch engage, then you have pressure. Has anyone put a set of gauges to it to see what the pressure is? Remember you have auto air...your air could be fine, just that the system is opening the heater valve because it is STUPID. The AC guys you are talking with do not know how to work on this auto air unit...they are used to working on cars in this century whose auto air does not malfunction as this does.

Next case in point: All of a sudden my air has turned hot...then it will work...then it is hot...after a couple weeks of this I notice I can hear it click, compressor comes on...then in a few moments it is warm again...but now I cannot hear it click. So, assuming I have pressure b/c it did blow cold sporadically...I troubleshoot the premise of a bad 12v connect either at the compressor, fuse, or switch itself.

moral: Don't necessarily jump to conclusions.

Chattanooga, TN 82 white w/ red na coupe 153,000 83 2+2 330k mi 82 Black/buck 126k mi
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

I'm glad to hear you speak on the stupidity of this auto-air I have. On the trip I knew it wouldn't blow cold, but I WAS trying to just get some sort of "fan" setting, just so I could get ambient air blowing into the car while I was talking on my phone. Too noisy with windows down for phone calls. Every time I turn on the system it blows hot. No matter where I place any of the controls, it blows hot. I was like; "what the heck is the deal with this thing?" I'm both relieved and concerned to know there is a general issue with the auto air systems. Now that I've read a bit I do know many people remove the auto air & replace with the standard type of A/C system. I'll read more to see how involved that is, because it seems auto air is a real pain in the neck most of the time. I suppose this would involve removal of the under-dash components & the control panel.

"Hay Ricky you going to start a new topic for every pucking wire you look at for your blinker."

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:11 PM
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

Bad news: You have to remove the dash
Good news: You don't have to break into the system.

basically, there is a hose and T-connector change in the eng compartment. The std air uses one vac hose so you have to plug the other one. The control panel is changed out. And the big pain is a couple of the vacuum control hoses are rearranged and you have to read the somewhat ambiguous hose schematic and reroute them.

I would try this. O'reilly has a $10 shutoff valve made by murphy that you could place at the firewall into the input hose just before it enters the cockpit. Then shut the water off. If the ac is cold, you should feel it. This does not solve the blower problem though.

http://www.xenons130.com/auto2manualCC.html

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 05:38 PM
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

and while we are on the topic of t-tops...I just noticed that in the center of the t-top opening on the top is the small piece of metal with a pin sticking up that the t-top centers itself on. That metal is pop riveted from the inside and both of mine are just sitting there. The only thing coming to mind is JB weld.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 04:48 AM
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

I haven't kept on where the thread has been going, but I have some advice on the original topic.

I don't have straps or anything in my hatch. What I do is keep two soft towels in the hatch and wrap each top in one and set them on top of each other. It's quick and it keeps them safe. The friction of the towels keeps them from sliding around too.

If human beings were like Z cars, we would all be going to the doctor a lot more often.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

Quote:
Originally Posted by palladin
and while we are on the topic of t-tops...I just noticed that in the center of the t-top opening on the top is the small piece of metal with a pin sticking up that the t-top centers itself on. That metal is pop riveted from the inside and both of mine are just sitting there. The only thing coming to mind is JB weld.
That's interesting that you'd mention that, because I just got through doing a temporary-fix of one of mine. I super-glued it! It's held three days now. One was "just sitting there," which causes insertion of that T-top to be a bit difficult, the other (pass. side) is wiggly & I can tell is near coming un-riveted. The good news here is that I'm an aircraft sheetmetal mechanic and this will be an easy fix for me. Instead of the smallish pop rivets, I'll drill the 2 holes slightly over the size they're at now & use solid-shank rivets, or maybe even Hi-Loks, to permanently put this metal thingy in it's place. I'd like to use solid rivets & buck them, but this ONLY if I don't have to do a huge removal of ceiling carpet & ceiling, too to access the other side of the riveted holes. If getting to the other side of the holes is difficult, I'll use Cherry Max rivets, which are blind rivets in the same principal as the pop-rivets, but larger and much more stout & long-term. All I have to do is get ahold of a Cherry Max gun of hand-squeeze riveter from work. I would recommend to anyone else experiencing the removal of these T-top pieces to rivet them back into place. Just drill the holes out in the roof and the metal pieces the same diameter of the rivets you'll be using, countersink the outside of the holes (the part facing you when you look at the piece) and, using a hand-squeeze riveter, or a gun if you have access to one, fasten those suckers back into place forever. Of course, you'll have to borrow, rent, or buy a rivet squeeze or gun. Riveting, especially blind pop rivets, is really very easy. I'll update you on my progress & perhaps take pictures, too. One thing that comes to mind is to probably apply a strong vacuum (shop-vac or suck-vac or even the vacuum at a car wash if necessary) to the holes post-drilling to remove any metal shards from floating around in the ceiling "crawl space."

"Hay Ricky you going to start a new topic for every pucking wire you look at for your blinker."

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 10:51 AM
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

So you are going to rivet from the front? Pics WOULD be nice. That is also a long rivet.

Let's discuss a moment about the value of T-top straps. Not only do we not want them sliding around, but in the case of a sudden stop.....we do NOT want them coming airborne and hitting us in the back of the head!

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

Quote:
Originally Posted by palladin
So you are going to rivet from the front? Pics WOULD be nice. That is also a long rivet.

Let's discuss a moment about the value of T-top straps. Not only do we not want them sliding around, but in the case of a sudden stop.....we do NOT want them coming airborne and hitting us in the back of the head!
I will drill the hole just slightly over the size it's at now, really just enough to drill the remnants of the old rivet out and clean the hole out as mine seem to be a bit corroded (I think these are aluminum?). I'll drill the holes, and old rivets, out of the brackets (I'll call the "pieces" brackets) FIRST (very important), and then use those newly-drilled holes to "match-drill" the new holes into the car's roof, exactly where the pop-rivets went into the roof. That will get rid of the old rivets, which remain in my bracket and roof as well (they broke in half). It's important to use the holes drilled into the brackets as guides for the holes going into the roof, since it's difficult to drill those holes into the roof, and then get them to line up exactly with the holes drilled through the brackets, if drilled seperately. With aircraft, if I have an old hole that's being used for a new fastener, I always use the old holes, or the new, whichever is most convenient, as a guide for match-drilling. This, because to insert a fastener of any type, the holes must line up exactly.

I will photograph this process as I go through it, and I'll try to do this this week or coming weekend, since it sounds like fun and is kinda "right up my alley" in relation to work I do on aircraft structures and sheetmetal. It helps that I have access to an unlimited supply of rivets which I can ask if I can take a couple out of the recycle bins or fastener trash cans. If not, I can use the fasteners at work to look at & figure out which is best to use, and then go buy some at the local aircraft tool supply store. I would use aircraft-approved fasteners, just because they're a much higher strength & quality than rivets one would find at Lowes or Home Depot. But, really, probably any rivets will do. The main deal in achieving long-lasting fastening is to clean the hole and around the holes with maybe an acetone-based cleaner. If there's any bare metal, make sure it is alodined or treated in some other way against future corrosion or rust, and then prime and paint the part, especially around the hole. It helps to use a fastener of the same material as the part being fastened, since metals that are not similar will have a chemical reaction leading to corrosion & rust. Heck, Fastenall would be a good source of fasteners, too. And, thinking of this, Auto Zone has a tool loan deal and they might have hand-operated rivet squeezers you could borrow. I'm fortunate to own all the riveting tools needed, since I use them almost-daily at work.

And about the T-tops, yes, I am now fastening them on top of one another under the straps.

O.K. DUMB question...WHERE is my spare tire? Where is it located, or supposed to be located? I will go look in the Haynes and the FSM (I have the DVD given with my car's sale), but it just struck me that I haven't seen it, or even looked for it yet. Just last weekend I discovered that the two metal bars behind the seats conceal two "hidden" storage spaces (which look like they might be able to hold ice & drinks!), so I'm definately learning & discovering brand-new things about this car!

"Hay Ricky you going to start a new topic for every pucking wire you look at for your blinker."

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hard lesson learned on T-tops

OH, and, yes, I will most likely drill from the front (as seen when looking at the T-top hole standing next to car, looking at the "bracket" and the place where they fasten to the car's roof, I'll call this the "front"), unless I take the trim off from the ceiling in the interior and find easy access to the "other side" of these two holes.

I'll venture a good guess that to get to the other side of the holes, the ceiling carpet is going to have to be partially removed, which I don't want to do unless it's needed, and with a blind fastener, or blind rivet, it's not necessary to access the other side of the hole. That's why it's called "blind," since access to the other side of the hole is restricted, or impossible to get to.

It's always best, in my trade, to use a solid-shank type rivet or Hi-Lok, to do fastening. A rivet of this type means bucking the tail-end of it, using a rivet gun & bucking bar, & a Hi-Lok means breaking off a high-tension nut on the "tail-end" to complete the fastening process. But since access to both sides of a hole is sometimes restricted, a "pop-rivet" or "Cherry Max" rivet (same thing, but "Cherry-Max" is bigger & stronger) is acceptable, and, with a car, high-strength needs are usually not a thing we need to be concerned with.

"Hay Ricky you going to start a new topic for every pucking wire you look at for your blinker."

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