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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I'm not familiar with S4 Spider but got my friend's car to drive for 2 weeks to help him sort out a few things. One of the first things I noticed is that the front hardtop latches are rattling. Can somebody provide with tips or point me to an adjustment procedure for the hardtop latches (front and back)?

BTW: In case you wondered, the hardtop is on at this time of year because of space constraints.
 

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Mine has done that too, it seems when you tighten down the J hooks it slides the rear hooks together by moving the hardtop forward but that also loosens the front latches at the windsheild????? Maybe losen the J hooks a little.

You need to be careful with the spacing between the sides of the hardtop and the rear fenders. The manual I believe says to leave a 1/8 to 1/4" gap. I have suffed the paint a little and the crome strip that goes around the top but not having the top adjusted right so dounle check it and keep an eye on it.

Now I put micro towels under it and between sides and the chrome and a little pc.of micro towel right behind the doors, it seem that the rubber on the top rubs at that point.
 

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whats microtowel? my hardtop has worn a nasty channel around the chrome trim. factory top is heavy as hell. re-originals has the replacement rubber and its really expensive.

i also have the same issue. since i usually put the top on for entire seasons (so the latches dont get messed with for months) i use some cardboard folded under the straps to keep pressure.

i usually after strapping it all together, but before doing the J-hooks, grab the top and push it back slightly to put tension on the front latches. u really dont want them giving out at 90mph and catching wind.

the rear hooks are totally immovable. i think theyre badly designed and could benefit from a custom channel-lock design that would letch you set theyre position.
 

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You can adjust the latches easily enough by loosening the two philips screws there is some movement here. I have read the 1/4" inch clearance have never experienced the problems with paint being damaged - I've owned 2 S4s for about 10 years. I think the Chrome strip onto which the hardtop sits should ensure that only the seal touches the paintwork across the back. As far as tightening the J hook - I would be very conservative. If its a little on the loose side just tighten it by degrees and if you need to measure the clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your replies. I found some documentation about the clearance required when tightening the J-hooks. This clearance is OK.

What puzzles me is that there is no tension on the front face of the clasps (see picture), which is why they rattle. It is obvious that somebody already tried to adjust it with the screws. I'm starting to wonder if the front rubber seal has settled and starting to lose its elasticity. Could any of the members confirm whether the rattlling has increased over time?
 

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mine kind of rattles for the first week until a few hot/cold days really seat it in.

also very affected by window configuration. if i have the louvre-windows open, it rattles alot more than when i have just the side-windows opened slightly. (and only at speeds above 70)
 
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