Homemade top in progress - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Homemade top in progress

I have about $350 and 4 months time off and on into this top. Frame is steel bar, mid bows are electrical conduit, wooden header bow, sheet metal for the panels behind the doors, plywood and plexiglass rear window (cut in to sections to fit behind seats) and top is regular vinyl. The frame folds and fits in the trunk. I sewed it myself on wife's sewing machine. Plan is to do some fine tuning, run the top this summer and if no issues arise redo the top in better material and make the windows next winter. At 60 mph the top is very stable. I used two u bolts to attach it to the roll bar. . Look forward to having some shade thus summer.
Bill

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:11 AM
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Looks good. That is my future plan to make a top..

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:49 AM
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It looks like it was done by a pro. Very nice
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:56 AM
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Are those rear windows open? If so, based on my hardtop w/ the windows out, you will love it.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Craig, the windows are not intended to open. They are held in by 4 clips each but can be removed if needed. I do plan on putting a rear facing scoop on each side panel that I think should provide adequate ventilation. Would like to be able to turn vents on or off if I can find the right hardware. Thanks for the comments
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 05:12 PM
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Hey Bill, been wondering what you've been up to. Put many miles on her yet?? Top looks really good, if I didn't know better I'd think you were an engineering type.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave, no engineering in my background. Just a retired bean counter. Actually right after the inspection I took a 3 month consulting position that turned into 9 months so not much time for the car, most went into the top. Just now getting around to fine tuning it and some improvements I want to make. Odometer not yet calibrated so not sure about mileage but just local runs, less than 500 in total. If you are free next week, how about meeting up? Thursday works best for me. Let me know.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:48 AM
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Looks great Bill! Any more pics of frame/mounting? I have been considering a very similar design, just need time to get to it.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:48 AM
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:16 PM
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Home made top.

Very nice looking top Bill. I have been looking at different bimini tops, but none as nice as yours. Any chance you might produce others for sale?
Irwin

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Irwin, thanks for the compliment but the top is not ready for sale. I would rather answer questions for anyone who wants to copy this top. any suggestions to improve it would also be appreciated, lets make it better together!
Big Blocker, I attached my header bow to the windshield frame using (4) 1&1/2 inch screws with heads that fit into the track on the windshield top. I used a 2 piece wooden header bow cut to the contour of the windshield and routed out the front bottom edge to accept some track and awning rope I got from Sailrite.com (part nos 103299 and 120147). The top material is double stitched to the outside edge of the awning rope. See the pics below.
Big Blocker and CanuckSnake and Irwin check out the attached pics. My biggest concern is when I redo the top in better material, it won't stretch as much as the vinyl so it may be hard to get it to fit as well. Realistically it will take 20 to 30 mins to put up. Also check out the videos on the Factory Five site and Rodtops site to see how the Factory Five top is built..
Pics will be in next post
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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sorry guys, i can't add pics will try to create new post

Last edited by Bill46; 06-17-2017 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Pictures
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 09:03 PM
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Home made top

Hi Bill; sorry if this reply is out of order. I was speaking with someone who gave me several ideas. He has a past history of sailing and mentioned checking with some sailboat/ sail construction companies. He said they use, and usually have on hand, various materials that hold up to all kinds of weather conditions. They also have various stainless steel components/ fittings for the braces and attachment points. I too ground down some bolts to fit in the windshield groove but have been perplexed about the overall height above the windshield. The other problem, obviously, is the windshield bow. I tried "rod tops" to inquire about purchasing their bow but they said NO ! Thanks for the info. thus far.
Irwin
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Irwin, no problem with the reply. Sailrite makes sailboat equipment. That is the company where I got my supplies. They may be the company your contact is referring to. Regarding the header bow, I got a piece of wood and cut my own with a handheld power jigsaw. Took a couple of tries to get it right.
Bill
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