The old Robbins canvas top (that was on the car when I purchased it) came off with little ceremony, but during the process I discovered the frame cross bows were all badly rusted. This would prevent the contact cement from adequately securing the flaps of the new top, so I decided to remove the loose rust and repaint the frame.
I suppose I could have unbolted the convertible top frame from the car and repainted it separately, but I chose to leave it attached to the car since it was properly adjusted, operated correctly, and the old top fit perfectly.
So after covering the interior with some inexpensive HF moving blankets, and some 2 mil plastic drop cloth material, I got to work with a 4” diameter, 80 grit nylon abrasive wheel on my drill motor. I finished up with some hand sanding, beginning with 150 grit sandpaper, and ending with 220.
Here's a picture of the nylon abrasive wheel I started with and a couple shots of how the frame looked after I was done sanding:
Here’s where the project is at today. The frame is completely painted (in a satin finish) and ready to go.
To get to this point, I performed the following steps last week:
1. Washed the entire frame with POR-15 Cleaner Degreaser, followed by a thorough rinse with clean water.
2. Applied and re-applied POR-15 Metal Prep over all the frame surfaces with a 1" paint brush, keeping the arms coated and wet so the acid had time to etch the metal. After 2 hours of this etching process, I rinsed the frame twice with clean water.
3. Allowed 2 days to make sure everything was completely dry.
4. Painted the frame with POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating Gloss Black. Since this product can only be re-coated or top-coated between 4 and 6 hours after application, I waited 5 hours and then applied a coat of POR-15 Top Coat Chassis Black. All of this painting was done with inexpensive ½” wide artist’s paint brushes.
Tomorrow I plan to replace 4 of the M5-0.8 water channel studs that I discovered had been broken off when the previous replacement top was installed (before I owned the car). I plan to use a combination of M5 rivnuts with M5 studs secured with blue loctite 242.
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