TR4 Soft Top Installation Hints
Art Kelly, ArthurK101@aol.com
This page provides some hints regarding replacing the top for a TR4.
In my humble opinion, although you can do it yourself, the best thing to do is to take it to a “top shop” – one that does either auto or boat tops. The reason is that they will have the correct tools and more expertise. Having said that I am going to forward you a message which I wrote about a year ago. I had a boat “top shop” replace my original top in ’94, but, whether you do that or do it yourself, there a few things which YOU should know about (and be sure he does).
1st – the front (top/side of windscreen) hooks. The Robbins (the replacement brand I bought) hooks are fine but the rivets supplied to attach them could not be installed by the shop which I had do my installation (he didn’t have a tool to compress them, so he used pop rivets which I then had to trim). You might want to check that. Be careful not to install the hooks until the rest of the snaps are done and the top is correctly fitted. I made that mistake and had to move the hooks around thus ending up with several more holes than I wanted.
2nd – the sealer around the back (don’t know if your replacement top has an inner rubber seal which fits over the aluminum trim – mine didn’t but the original top did). Marine top suppliers have an identical groummet which comes in different colors. Because I did not think this out and was therefore in a hurry (top was off and rain was coming and no place to go inside) I had to settle for white rather than the original black. BUT – it works fine, he just cut a piece the same size as the original and sewed it in the same place on the new top as it was on on the old.
3rd – be sure to properly fit the top on the car before you put on any snaps. The guy who did mine did not exactly match the two sides – the top is sort of twisted so that there is more overlap on the passenger side front than on the driver’s side. Reason for that was that the snaps cannot be installed while the top is under