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Discussion Starter #1
I've posed this question before...One of screws holding one of my top latches fell out. I've been told that there is a nutplate inside the header, that receives the screws. when i move the remaining screw around, I think that I hear something rattling around inside. I felt around, through the screw hole in the header with a bent paperclip and feel nothing. How would one get that nut plate into position to accept the screw?
 

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The nutplate is retained even if the screw comes out. Hardware stores sell flathead metric screws (I'm guessing they're 5mm x .8) that won't look perfect, but will replace your missing oval head.

What you hear rattling around inside the header are probably old pop rivets. The conv. top is secured to the header by pop rivets - when you replace a top you drill out the old rivets and the bottoms fall into the hollow header.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
latches

thanks, jay. I'm not able to get the nutplate to line up with the missing screw hole. When i rotate the existing screw, I can't see the nutplate. I'm thinking of backing out the existing screw enough to get a little locktite on it so it will grip the plate a bit and let me rotate it.
 

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tI'm not able to get the nutplate to line up with the missing screw hole. When i rotate the existing screw, I can't see the nutplate. I'm thinking of backing out the existing screw enough to get a little locktite on it so it will grip the plate a bit and let me rotate it.
I'm not sure I followed all that. I think you're saying:

- One screw is still in place. You don't want to remove that one for fear that the nutplate will completely fall away.

- One screw is missing, gone, disappeared. Or maybe it isn't - I'm not clear on this point.

- When you try to install a screw into the blank hole, it doesn't engage with any threads.

- You're hoping that the nut plate has rotated out of position, but by twisting the screw that is still installed, it may come back into position.

Am I on the right track here?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
latches

i dripped some loctite on the screw and it tightened up the connection to the nutplate and I can rotate it back and forth and hear the nutplate banging around, but it appears to be about 90 degrees to the proper orientation...can't get it to move around.
 

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i dripped some loctite on the screw and it tightened up the connection to the nutplate and I can rotate it back and forth and hear the nutplate banging around, but it appears to be about 90 degrees to the proper orientation...can't get it to move around.
I have never seen the inside of an Alfa conv. top header, so don't know exactly what is going on in yours. But my guess is that the screw that is Loctited is holding the plate too close to allow it to get past some obstruction.

Those plates were retained when the cars left the factory; you can generally remove both screws and the plate won't come loose. So whatever "cage" used to retain your plate has rusted/broken, and its remains are now interfering with the plate's rotation.

The "cowboy fix" would be to just use a large pop rivet to re-attach the top latch. Crude, non-original, ugly - yes. But it will hold.
 

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i dripped some loctite on the screw and it tightened up the connection to the nutplate and I can rotate it back and forth and hear the nutplate banging around, but it appears to be about 90 degrees to the proper orientation...can't get it to move around.
I'm not sure that adding Loctite to the equation was the right thing to do.

I believe you have the right idea when you say the other hole in the plate is "90 degrees to the proper orientation". In actuality, the plate probably isn't rotated at all, since I believe it is rectangular and resides in a horizontal slot in the header and cannot rotate 90 or 180 degrees. What I believe has happened is that the plate has slid too far to one side, so that only one D/T hole is visible, and it happens to be visible in the wrong access hole.

For example, if the plate slides too far to the right, the RH screw will thread into the LH D/T hole in the plate, and you won't even see the plate through the the LH screw hole.

What you will need to do now, is remove the screw that is threaded into the plate and then slide the plate back over into the correct position. This will probably not be easy because you have used Loctite.

Nevertheless, once you can unscrew the single screw that is attached to the plate, you will need to try and slide the plate over so that same D/T hole that you put Loctite in is now located under the other header screw hole.

I doubt if a paper clip will have the strength to do this, but a strong metal "pick" tool should work. It could take a bit of time however, since you may only get the plate to move a millimeter at a time. Patience my friend.
 

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I have changed both and have a problem with the sun visor, because the new one is bigger. If I remember correctly it's just one plate with two holes so you can't tighten until both have taken threads.
 

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What I believe has happened is that the plate has slid too far to one side, so that only one D/T hole is visible, and it happens to be visible in the wrong access hole.
As I wrote earlier, I'm just guessing how the inside of an Alfa conv. top header is constructed and what might be going on with mgsteve's car. His lock plate may well have shifted to one side, such that the left screw is now in the right hole. mgsteve could probably figure this out based on his history of disassembling these parts:

- Were both screws installed and tight at some point?

- The screw that is in place - the one with the Loctite: was that one ever removed? If not, it's tough to see how the plate could have shifted sideways allowing that screw to get installed in the wrong hole.

Using the Loctite may well have been an error - I hope it was blue or green (e.g., low strength) and not the red stuff. If the screw won't break loose, applying some heat will degrade the Loctite. Of course mgsteve can't use a torch, as that would melt his windshield trim. Maybe a soldering gun applied to the screw head will warm it enough to soften the Loctite. It might be worthwhile to try backing out that screw a few more turns, and then seeing if the plate will rotate into position when it isn't so close to the backside of the header.

Norseman50: What the heck does "D/T" stand for?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Blue loctite. Just enough grip to get the the plate to to move when the screw turns. I tried backing the screw out as much as I dare. I'm afraid to lose the plate inside the headrail
 
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