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Good day, all;

Has anyone installed this Sonnenland top?

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I‘m having trouble attaching the cloth flap to the Frame Side Support:

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The installation manual says to “apply contact cement to the surface of the Side Support, allow it to set, then press the Fabric Flap on the Side Support”. I’m holding the Fabric Flap, which is about 3” wide. The Side Support is flat on the visible surface, and has a shallow U-shaped channel on the other side; the Rivet Backing Plate fits into a Fabric Fold and is then pressed into the channel. This setup enables using the 3 rivets to attach the Fabric Flap, the Fabric Fold, and the Rivet Backing Plate at the Side Support, which ultimately secures the Edge Flap.

With me so far? 😁

Here is my problem... The only way that the Fabric Flap can be glued to the face of the Side Support is to pull it taut from behind and then flipping it onto the glued surface of the support. But there are two problems with that: (1) it prevents the the Rivet Backing Plate from being slid into the channel, and (2) it reveals the back surface of the Fabric Flap, not the herringbone surface of the Flap. Unfortunately, the Flap isn’t wide enough to press it into the channel and then emerge to be pressed onto the glue surface of the Support. Also, it’s not possible to slide the flap from right to left onto the Support glue surface because there’s no “slot” that would make that possible:

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This is what the old top looks like. The Fabric Flap is much wider, and it is attached from above the Fabric Fold and Rivet Backing Plate:


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Has anyone run into this problem? Am I missing something obvious? Or do I have a defective top with a Flap that is just not wide enough to do it’s job...?

Help!

TIA,
Bob
 

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I have a vinyl top that has the same problem. I originally thought the installer had cut it short. Seeing that you're having the same problem, I'm now thinking that the manufacturer made a mistake. I'm curious to hear what the fix is.
 

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I installed the exact same top a few weeks ago and I am having difficulty understanding your problem. I found the following thread to be very useful Convertible Top Installation project

Do these pictures help?
001.JPG
004.JPG
 

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Where the top meets the frame, there are actually two pieces of fabric that need to be attached. The one closest to the rear window (#3 below) is referred to as the "flap" in the installation manual, and it gets glued to the forward side of the square tube frame upright (#2 below) first. The other one is located in front of, or extending forward of the vinyl window seal bead, and it is referred to as the "fold" (#6 below). The "fold" gets glued to (and wrapped around) the backing/rivet plate (#5 below). After that the wrapped plate gets riveted to the upright side support.

Gluing the the "flap" to the upright can be a bit tricky. You need to apply adhesive to both surfaces and then wait for them to dry (about 30 minutes). At that point the mating surfaces will permanently bond when brought into contact, so positioning the cloth requires holding the back portion away from the frame until the two forward surfaces are aligned and set into place. Then carefully work towards the rear, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles. Use an awl to punch holes where the rivets will go.

Before applying adhesive to the rivet bar or fabric "fold", it's a good idea to do a couple of "test" fittings, to determine the proper position of the metal backing plate within the front "fold". The bar goes against the padded edge, and then the flap is wrapped around it, and you want to make sure that after gluing, the rivet holes in the bar line up with the rivet holes in the frame upright. Once I got what I felt was a good "practice" fit, I marked the "fold" through the rivet holes in the frame so that I could achieve the same position when bonding the rivet plate to the fabric.

Before applying contact cement to the top fabric, I made sure to put masking tape on any nearby cloth surfaces. I hope this helps.
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Discussion Starter #8
I installed the exact same top a few weeks ago and I am having difficulty understanding your problem. I found the following thread to be very useful Convertible Top Installation project

Do these pictures help?
View attachment 1671495 View attachment 1671496
2 questions. The face of the side support — is it bare metal painted black, or is there some kind of surface? And in both pics, there’s a little triangle-shaped piece of cloth peeking out at the top. I believe that’s the second piece of cloth (aka the Fabric Fold). What did you do with that?

The instructions in the installation guide are not clear:

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If in both cases it’s the face, that Fabric Fold isn’t wide enough to reach the face of the Side Support... unless the Side Support can be removed, which isn’t mentioned anywhere in the instructions.
 

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Here are a couple of photos showing the fabric "flap" and the fabric "fold" of the left side of the top. The wider piece in both pictures is the "flap" that gets glued to the frame support upright. If you look closely at the overhead sketch of the frame post on page 28 of the installation manual (the one showing a rivet), you can actually see where they have made some wavy lines on the surfaces that receive the glue. If you don't have enough slack to pull the flap around the upright, you may need to unlatch the bow to free up the side material.
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questions. The face of the side support — is it bare metal painted black, or is there some kind of surface? And in both pics, there’s a little triangle-shaped piece of cloth peeking out at the top. I believe that’s the second piece of cloth (aka the Fabric Fold). What did you do with that?
It is the painted frame.
The piece of cloth closest to the frame is the top of the flap that is glued to the frame. I should trim it.
 

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Classic alfa in the uk will send you the original instructions I have them too if you want me to email them to you
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Classic alfa in the uk will send you the original instructions I have them too if you want me to email them to you
If the "original instructions" are from the Alfa Guide on the distribution CD, that's what I've been using for reference.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Couple questions about the turnbuckle pieces...

I'm missing both of the cable stop cylinders that attach to the cable above and below the turnbuckle, but I've "improvised" them with hardware that costs like 4 bucks total. What is the correct positioning of those cable stops relative to the body of the turnbuckle -- touching the turnbuckle from above and below, or with "slack space" between the turnbuckle and cable stops? If slack space, how much space is good?

With respect to the position of the turnbuckle itself, how much threading should be visible above the lock nut. From 1-10 with 1 being almost no threads are visible and 10 being all the threads are fully exposed, what's a good position?

I'm also missing the small springs that fit into the cavity of the body of the turnbuckle. I'm pretty sure I can improvise them, but I need to know about the stiffness of the springs. I was thinking of using the springs that are are located behind the brake shoes of the handbrake -- they have the correct length and width, but they can't be compressed by the thumb and forefinger pressure at all. So on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is can't be compressed at all with finger pressure and 10 is can be fully compressed with finger pressure, what is the stiffness of those springs?
 

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Were tops orig fabric?
Think my 71 is vinyl and looks original.
Everything else is.
Window is aged n orange so was planning on getting window replaced as top seems fine
May just get a new one if its not correct
appreciate the feedback
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Were tops orig fabric?
Think my 71 is vinyl and looks original.
Everything else is.
Window is aged n orange so was planning on getting window replaced as top seems fine
May just get a new one if its not correct
appreciate the feedback
The old one is cloth and probably wasn’t original — there are too many signs that it was a replacement that wasn’t a very good job. The new one is very nice and is made from the Haaretz cloth.
 
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