CAR This is not a milk thread. I have owned my '74 Eldorado convertible for 2 years now but it's time for a build thread

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jelloslug

jelloslug

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Jul 1, 2003
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Greenville, SC
I also finished up a few other things on the lifter arm part of the top frame. These guide blocks keep the top frame from rubbing together when it's folded up. They mount near the latch handles.

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I also mounted the upper weatherstripping for the door glass. This piece of weatherstripping mounts directly to the lifter arm and has a gutter section that helps guide water away from the door opening when it's raining.

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The matching piece of weatherstripping that goes on the top of rear quarter window is mounted to the 3rd bow. It does not go on until the top material is completely attached.
 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
The latest thing I worked on was the accelerator pump on the carburetor. The car had always had an off idle stumble. It went away for a little while after I rebuilt it but it was still there. I bought a much better carb kit that came with a much better accelerator pump piston and I finally got around to swapping it in. It made all the difference and it now runs the best it every has.

 
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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Here is an fairly dull little part: NOS wiper blade refills. I was surprised how hard it is to find the correct blade refills anymore.

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The old ones were very shot.

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The new blades just popped right in.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
My stainless steel staples arrived so I was able to start on the reassembly of the top. The first piece to go back on was the gutter. It has a notch cut in it where the center of the part is so you can line it up with the center of the frame.

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After than, it's just a matter of going around the edges and stapling it all on.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next is the well liner. It staples over the gutter but wraps over the top of the frame. When mounted in the car, it covers the well where the top retracts into. It has the same type of alignment notch as the gutter.

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It's "lightly" stapled all the way around like the gutter was.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next I scrubbed the rear curtain to get the majority of the dirt and grime off of it before I installed it.

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And then I started to staple it to the rear bow. The section below the glass is two layers and they both have alignment marks to help get it centered.

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I continued to staple the curtain around the sides.

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Both the black parts and the white flap have guide lines printed on them to help align the top material with the bow.

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With the curtain stapled all the way around the sides, I stapled the top edge of the curtain to the 3rd bow. I made an alignment mark with the center mark on the 3rd bow before I took it off the other frame.

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And with all of the staples in the 3rd bow, this is how it sat.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next up are the pads. They cover up the frame on the sides and protect the top from wear when the top is up. The lower canvas part is stapled to the 3rd bow and the middle foam and upper fabric extend back to the 4th bow and are glued directly to the curtain.

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For now, they just drape off the 3rd bow.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
The actual top itself was quite dirty from sitting around and from the fire. It had soot on the underside and was just dingy on the outside.

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A bit of test cleaning showed that it would come clean with a little bit of work.

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I laid the whole thing out and scrubbed it with a stiff brush. It came about 80% clean which is good enough to install it. The rest will come off easily when it's on the car.

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On the sides, there was quite a bit of soot. It all came off easily.

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The rear sides where the top meets the rear quarter windows is glued to the frame. I think they used all the glue they had because it was 1/4" thick in places.

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A brass brush and a plastic scraper did a great job of getting it off.

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The other side was not quite as bad.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
To put the top itself on the rear frame, you start with the zipper over the rear glass. This centers the top on the frame.

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Next you run the guide cables though the 3rd bow frame and attach them to their posts. There are access holes in the bow frame to help guide the spring though the frame.

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And finally, you hook the cable though the guide ring at the top of the 3rd bow frame.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
Next I aligned the rear of the top with marks I made on the curtain at the rear tack strip.

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And then I stapled it around the sides. You can see some rust staining and overspray from the car it came off of on the top material.

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It all came off with a magic eraser dipped in lacquer thinner.

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The other side was the same.

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With the rear attached, I aligned the staple tab to the middle of the 3rd bow and stapled it on.

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And with that, that is as far as I can go with the rear frame off of the car.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
With everything attached to the rear frame that is possible, it was time to moved the rear frame back to the car.

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The arms have to be about 1/3 folded back to access the upper bolts.

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With the arms half folded, next this is to put the gutter spring wire in it's slots on both sides.

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With the spring wire in the upper rear frame pivot bolts can go back in.

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The next parts to go in are the rear glass lifters. They are very important at this step because if you try an put the top up all the way without them, the rear glass can get caught on the rear cabin wall and break the glass.

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They clip onto pivots on the body near the actuator mounts and then up on the bottom corners of the rear glass. The springs attach to mounts on the floor of the trunk but they have to be disconnected while I'm still reattaching the roof fabric.

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jelloslug

jelloslug

OT Supporter
Jul 1, 2003
65,947
Greenville, SC
With the rear glass lifters in, I can pull the top material, pads, and guide wires forward over the 2nd bow. Like the other staple strips, the center is marked to line up with the center of the 2nd bow.

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I then stapled the strip across the 2nd bow.

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The cables that run up though the 3rd bow frame have ears that mount to the outside ends of the 2nd bow. These ears help guide the 2nd bow into place as the top frame folds up and down. Without it, the 2nd bow can flop around and damage the staple strip on the top.

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The ends of the cables have brackets that mount to the outside of the front bow. As the top opens, the top bow pulls the cables forward, this aligns the 2nd bow with the front bow and they also pull the 3rd bow forward. This also pull the 4th bow up which pushes the rear glass up. Without the cables, none of the rear top frame will work.

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Now with the cables attached, here is how close the top is to wrapping over the front bow. This is where I'm at right now.




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