Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Adjusting the T-Top Panels

The gap between my T-tops was bugging the hell out of me. It was totally uneven being way wider at the front of the tops than at the rear.

I had to do something about it, and since I'd just replaced the weather rubber seals, what better opportunity to attempt this adjustment. I say "attempt" since it is not as easy as it seems.

The first thing was to determine the issues, which in my case was—as previously mentioned—an uneven gap between the tops as well as a height difference between them.

The photo below shows the huge gap, especially at the front of the T-tops, while the second pic shows the obvious height difference between them using the fluorescent light reflection as a guide (blue arrow).

The left panel is clearly higher than the one on the right.




I started by removing the headliner panel and then removed the two T-bar bayonet-style pins, which are held by three bolts each. Once the bolts are loosened, they can be repositioned a bit. Not a whole lot, but enough to get the tops to fit properly. Also, the pins are usually shimmed in order to adjust the height of the tops relative to each other.

In addition to the T-bar bayonet pins, there are locating pins in the front corners. One on each side (right photo), which do not appear to be adjustable.

These "bullet" pins are secured by two 12-point star bolts which made me decide to wait and leave them alone for now, while I research the subject a bit more.

In the meantime, I removed the bayonet pins from the passenger's side panel first in order to clean everything, and also see how many shims they had under each tab.

The front one had no shims while the rear pin had three. This explained why the passenger's side T-top panel sat higher than the driver's side panel.

I removed the shims, cleaned the pins and reinstalled them, leaving the bolts loose in order to be able to adjust them. And by the way, the only way to do the adjustments properly, is with the tops on so you can tighten the bolts while sitting in the car.






Even after removing the shims, the passenger's side panel was higher than the driver's, so my only option was to shim the T-bar bayonet pins on the driver's side panel.

It took quite a bit of adding & removing shims but, finally, I was able to get the tops as close to perfect as possible. The only remaining issue is with the gap between the panels, which still is just too wide for my taste. But at least it is even now.

At some point I may have to seek professional help in order to get a perfect fit, but for the time being my adjustments are close enough.

Thank you for reading.