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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading through several past posts on preferred top vendors. Not looking to spend a fortune, since I only drive on days with the top down. But can someone confirm a top vendor that provides tops with pre-punched holes for the 22 or so bolts along the back ? I been asking this of each of the vendors I spoke with, all confirming theirs does. Just received my top and now taking steps to return it, as it it not pre-punched. Don't want to go through this again. Unfortunately, my old top was in tatters, and tossed, so I don't have it to use as a template, nor really want to try punch these holes to ultimately find out some are mis-aligned. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Note - '79 Spider, and I am looking for a canvas\cloth top, not vinyl
 

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it's possible they don't pre-punch those holes because maybe the fastener locations are different from car to car? Kinda like the antennas? Maybe the bolts are "hand" placed on the assembly line before the top is installed so the top guy has to hand punch the holes to match the hand placed bolts on each car? These cars were "hand-built" to some extent I think.
 

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it's possible they don't pre-punch those holes because maybe the fastener locations are different from car to car?
Yes, my guess would be something like that. I don't know if the side-to-side spacing would vary that much car-to-car (*), but the holes' up-down location might depend on how the top frame is positioned and other dimensional variables.

Eric W said:
I been asking this of each of the vendors I spoke with, all confirming theirs does.
Still, I sympathize with Eric; if the vendors say their tops have the holes punched, and then they arrive un-punched, it doesn't inspire much confidence.

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(*) People love to joke that every Alfa is different, depending on how much chianti Guido drank the night before. Besides being offensive to my ethnic group, I find these comments silly; Alfa was building far too many cars by the 1970's to not be pre-punching the stud holes in the sheet metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can fully appreciate and understand, due to manufacturing tolerances and variation why a vendor would not opt for pre-punching holes. My frustration is in reading the dozen or more past threads on this site, which emphasize ordering tops with pre-punched holes, and the ease of installation... And the vendors that reply their tops are indeed punched... Has no one actually ordered and received a pre-punched top ? If not, I will have to work around it
 

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I think you can rely on the rear studs being positioned correct......many people have fitted pre-punched hole tops successfully
here Ed's pre-punched recommendation from CA
Soft top recommendations

also might be worth to ask alfissimo if theirs are pre punched (closer to home)
ALFA ROMEO OEM: ORIGNAL Quality CLOTH TOP (black)

if a vendor says a top is pre-punched and it arrives not, send it back.......its simple, you don't support idiot vendors, you need to tell them 'not with me folks'
there are many honest vendors out there.
 

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i have a new canvas top.. if not holes are punched in it.. after setting up the correct location, of the holes. would it not be a good idea to press some of the those brass grommets into the top?
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Classic Alfa in the U.K. sells the German Sonnenland mohair cloth tops with padded quarters and pre-punched rear stud holes. One of the best out there IMO:
 

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i have a new canvas top.. if not holes are punched in it.. after setting up the correct location, of the holes. would it not be a good idea to press some of the those brass grommets into the top?
No, I don't think grommets would be a good idea:

- Grommets prevent a raw hole in fabric from enlarging due to wear. But the Alfa convertible top is sandwiched tightly between the rear body panel and that sheetmetal strip that the studs hold on. So those two metal parts are essentially doing the work of the grommet, preventing the canvas from rubbing against the stud.

- You want the canvas to be pressed tightly against the rear body panel, so that water can't seep down between them. Grommets would act as spacers, ensuring that there was a gap between the top and the steetmetal, allowing water to run down.
 

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Classic Alfa in the U.K. sells the German Sonnenland mohair cloth tops with padded quarters and pre-punched rear stud holes. One of the best out there IMO:
I just came across this thread. I'm in the process of restoring my soft top and am looking for a top supplier. Last night I got a reply email from Tom Bouet at Classic Alfa that their to is not pre-punched. I would need to punch these myself.
Thanks
David
 

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I plan to replace mine and I too would like to know who does and who doesn't sell tops with pre-punched holes.

My current one was "professionally" installed and that is why I plan to do this one myself.
 

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I plan to replace mine and I too would like to know who does and who doesn't sell tops with pre-punched holes.

My current one was "professionally" installed and that is why I plan to do this one myself.
I just came across this thread. I'm in the process of restoring my soft top and am looking for a top supplier. Last night I got a reply email from Tom Bouet at Classic Alfa that their to is not pre-punched. I would need to punch these myself.
Thanks
David
I went ahead and ordered the Classic Alfa soft top. I am happy to say that I was wrong. It absolutely does have pre-punched holes. Jay was correct. The holes for the back edge of the top are pre-punched. I have sent an email back to Classic Alfa to let them know as well.
Thanks,
David
 

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Hi Dave,
Thanks for the follow up and the good news :)
 

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just checked my new top...no punched holes... wonderfull
 

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67 duetto, 70 spider, 72 spider. 911 cab, 993 coupe
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Restoring my top now. I ordered a canvas, and no pre punched holes.. I used old top as a guide for cutting new holes. Cutting the holes was a p.i.a, thick plastic material in-between the canvas layers. Also the included hardware ( rivets, adhesive) were junk.. I substituted polished aluminum rivets and all weather adhesive from Lowe's..
I had my frame refinished while everything was apart.
I have photos of my process and progress if anyone cares. I haven't completed the install yet so if anyone needs detailed photo of anything let me know..
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Restoring my top now. I ordered a canvas, and no pre punched holes.. I used old top as a guide for cutting new holes. Cutting the holes was a p.i.a, thick plastic material in-between the canvas layers. Also the included hardware ( rivets, adhesive) were junk.. I substituted polished aluminum rivets and all weather adhesive from Lowe's..
I had my frame refinished while everything was apart.
I have photos of my process and progress if anyone cares. I haven't completed the install yet so if anyone needs detailed photo of anything let me know.. View attachment 1662475 View attachment 1662476 View attachment 1662478
Okay, now you are making me feel guilty. I have a top to install and your frame looks great. Guess I will have to refinish my frame too after seeing yours.:LOL:. Thanks for giving me more work!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So, I had looked at several suppliers, and wound up purchasing another top, without pre-punched holes. I could not see myself spending a fortune on a top, since my casual weekend driving, the top will be down, 99.9% of the time. My issue, is that I have trashed my old top, so I do not have it as a template. I will have to locate one stud, and then perhaps use the metal strips as a template for the others. I don't think it will be that easy, but its what I have to work with...

I do have another question however. On the old top, the front flap, along the windscreen bow, covered not only the rubber gasket channel, but extended to the underneath area, where the clamps and the pull strap are attached. In fact, there is still some soft foam attached to the underside there on my frame. The new top does not extend that far, and looks to end within the gasket channel, (with bead along front edge) leaving this area uncovered - bare metal.. I have seen some photos of other installations, which this appears as well. Is that true on most installations? Do I need to prepare that surface, with a new coat of paint, and leave it bare metal when re-attaching the clamps and pull strap ? Thks.
 

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Lol, it never ends does it..
Be sure to take the opportunity to clean and or replace drains in the corners of the rear tray, and the tray itself. Also I'd run a tap on your studs to clean them. I used a thread conditioner as well when I rebolted the rear. Made things go so much smoother as you will need to reposition the top several times for tight fit later on...

I went to fabric store yesterday and got some material to make new skirt cover for interior package tray as well.

All my own opinions, I'm no expert. Just taking things slow and being my normal finicky self lol.
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So, I had looked at several suppliers, and wound up purchasing another top, without pre-punched holes. I could not see myself spending a fortune on a top, since my casual weekend driving, the top will be down, 99.9% of the time. My issue, is that I have trashed my old top, so I do not have it as a template. I will have to locate one stud, and then perhaps use the metal strips as a template for the others. I don't think it will be that easy, but its what I have to work with...

I do have another question however. On the old top, the front flap, along the windscreen bow, covered not only the rubber gasket channel, but extended to the underneath area, where the clamps and the pull strap are attached. In fact, there is still some soft foam attached to the underside there on my frame. The new top does not extend that far, and looks to end within the gasket channel, (with bead along front edge) leaving this area uncovered - bare metal.. I have seen some photos of other installations, which this appears as well. Is that true on most installations? Do I need to prepare that surface, with a new coat of paint, and leave it bare metal when re-attaching the clamps and pull strap ? Thks.
My top was the original one to car surprisingly, the frame had multiple areas or bare metal and some light corrosion.. I'd advise putting some protection on it, even if you don't go crazy with it... Also new top will look sightly different if your going from vinyl to canvas..It seems the canvas doesn't need as many attachment points at front edge areas as vinyl. That part was confusing to me. I used machine screws to hold everything first and "mock up" before I riveted anything. I also had extra material in the front seal, latch area to trim.. I glued, riveted my seal strip first. Then folded and trimmed excess.

Anther note. Becarful when you reinstall the side brackets for door glass area. Attachment flap needs to fold so top makes a good seal at window, but not so much that door won't close w window up.. again I put together with screws, raised top and opened and closed doors and windows to my satisfaction. Marked my locations, then glued and riveted. Most tedious part so far for sure but worth it. I broke my passenger window on my Porsche the same very way after a top was replaced ( different story 😢)..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
To my question - the underside of the front bow of the frame top - where the clamps are screwed in, along with the top pull strap - is this area covered with material, or is it bare metal ?
 
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