convertible top frame nuts - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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convertible top frame nuts

I have a 67 Duetto that I just purchased (also my first Alfa) so I not overly familiar with some of the unique parts that my car is made from. I am in search of the flat nuts (about 5/8" in dia.) that have two notches on them, which I assume are for a special type of wrench. Do these nuts have a name - are they readily available? Does anyone know where I can find four of them?Thank you - Harris
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 04:42 PM
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Would perhaps a conventional open end wrench fit?

Gottsa pic so we can see specififically what you're talking about?

Darren
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 07:22 PM
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Darren,

There are no flats on the the O.D. for a wrench to fit on. The nut is actually slotted on the top as though a huge flat blade screwdriver would work if there wasn't a bolt coming up through the center! Something like a split flat bladed wrench would work. (I don't know if there is such a thing.)

Harris,

I don't know what those nuts are called and no, I don't think they're readily available although it would be worthwhile to check some of the european suppliers. They may have only been used on the round tail spiders. I used a tilted flat bladed screwdriver on one side of the slot when I took mine apart years ago but this will almost certainly distort the slot in the process and I probably wouldn't do the same thing today. You could probably fabricate a tool by notching a piece of stainless that was the correct thickness for the slot with a grinder.

Bill Sinclair
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response - I didn't really believe I could go to my auto parts store and find them, but you never know. Harris
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill S View Post
Darren,

There are no flats on the the O.D. for a wrench to fit on. The nut is actually slotted on the top as though a huge flat blade screwdriver would work if there wasn't a bolt coming up through the center! Something like a split flat bladed wrench would work. (I don't know if there is such a thing.)
Ah, I see.

I've seen tools like you describe, but for the cost to use ratio, it's indeed cheaper to modify something instead. Like notching a screwdriver or even fabbing as you described.

Relative but random tangent:
Having a pile of 'specialty tools', whether factory or fabbed doesn't increase the resale value of the vehicle they go to.

Darren
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 08:25 AM
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If they are truly cylindrical with a notch at the end, it may be viable to have someone spin them up on a lathe for not a whole lotta money.

Even if you had them get the OD correct and centerdrill then you get them home and run a tap through them and cut the notch with a dremel or stacked hacksaw blades might be cheaper than trying to source the actual items.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 07:49 PM
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Flat Nuts

I think he means these (pre-resto and new top shots). There are a bunch of these on the frame.

Would a large pair of right-angle snap ring pliers work?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Those are the ones - any idea where you can find two?
Thanks - Harris
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 07:30 AM
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Nope. Had all mine. Never seen this inquiry before. Folks have wanted other individual top parts. Folks sell top frames from time-to-time but I've never seen one parted out. Seems like a guy could make a mint parting one out so folks could acquire lots of assorted unobtanium. Perhaps APE has a skeleton in the closet?

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 08:31 AM
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I may have a solution to the tool question if you happen to find the nuts.

In addition to my Duetto I also have a 1970 Ford Bronco that was the victim of a frame-off resto-mod a couple of years ago. Luckily for me, when reassembling the dash one of the parts suppliers started selling a switch bezel installation tool that just might work for the Alfa top nuts. This tool was a major paintsaver and made dash assembly much easier.

I have one in my toolbox and I'll measure it/compare to my top and let you know if it might work.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stopwatch View Post
I may have a solution to the tool question if you happen to find the nuts.

I have one in my toolbox and I'll measure it/compare to my top and let you know if it might work.
Aha, so that's how the tool looks. Thanks for clarifying.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 09:45 AM
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This guy seems to have a corner on the market for tools like that: eBay Store - johnscudashop: mopar, chevy, German classics

Maybe if you sent him the dimensions he could match it.

Andy
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 02:58 PM
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frame nuts

Harris: Restored my frame 2 yrs ago and fortunately all the parts except for the bumpers that go onto the end of the 2nd bow were present. The flat slotted nuts that you are looking for would only be available if someone were parting out a frame. You could use a regular nut with a thin stainless fender washer to obtain the correct diameter. Ginding a nut down to the correct height would be simple. You may have noted that these flat nuts were difficult to remove: I used vicegrips. I think they were designed that way since there is no locking mechanism. Another bit of advice: The bushing for those studs are usually gone or badly deteriorated and they are essential for proper allignment of the different sections. I used bronze or brass bushings available at a hardware store as a door hinge repair kit. They have to be modified slightly: Bored out to the proper diameter and shortened but work well. Good luck.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 03:07 PM
I had a machine shop make up a batch a few years ago. PM me tomorrow and I'll try to find them.

- Rich D.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:45 PM
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I noticed this thread and though somewhat dated, I'll add a little info that may be of interest.

The flat locknuts are commonly referred to as simply that; the correct tool for removing or tightening them is a flat nut hook-spanner as pictured below ... I purchased this one a few years ago for about $29. One can make a functional substitute by altering a 1/4" socket of the correct dimension ... also pictured.

As far as finding replacement hardware for Duetto/Roundtail top frames ... I have that.
I restore these frames (as a hobby) and have sourced or machined my own parts as needed. I substitute Stainless Steel for some of the items in an effort to ensure durability. Pictured below are a few of the more than 200 items included in a Duetto/Roundtail soft-top frame.

If contacting me, please use my e-mail address rather than PM's.
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Alfa Sapiens

Last edited by GTD; 03-15-2010 at 10:08 AM.
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