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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-05-2016, 02:36 AM
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Default Lemans Hardtop Install

Been a few threads where this has come up so I thought I would start one documenting the install of my Mr Bruce Hardtop.

Background - Gav, Phil N and I had 3 tops made, crated and sent over in 2012 (I think). As of now Gav was the only one to actually get his fitted. I started 3 years ago but life got in the way and its been sitting down the side of the house for too long.

Original mods were to remove the side window and put in a naca vent, and extend the rear a little to create a more gradual taper towards the boot. I also had to move the drivers side b pillar forward a bit and the passenger side back a bit. Its a pretty good fit on the CR body now. This is how it was 3 years ago:







Part of my issue was finding a suitable hinge for the hatch. I wanted internal ones, but the longish hatch meant the usual hoopy ones were a little more intrusive then I liked. Finally settled on these mini boot hinges. The base is angled for a curve as well so no mods required. The come in chrome or cast Alum which suited me and were pretty cheap:



Will also need a new roll bar for hardtop use. Other one is a little too tall.

I want to use this style of pinch weld where the top meets the body (so the pinch bit is not visible from the outside):



So that means I needed a return lip where the top meets the body. A couple of metres of plastic angle the the bottom edge, put the top on and softened with the heat gun the form to the body and started glassing the lip in.



Ive order a 2 way rod lock for the hatch, and am planning to machine up some threaded ferrules to bolt to the body. Been tossing up the fitting where it meets the screen, but am going to have a go at a simple solution used by one of our US brothers (knurled knobs and t-bolts though the windscreen channel:

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Old 06-05-2016, 02:53 AM
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Looking good Andy,
I think the return on the sides is a good idea, mine needed to be supported and strengthened in that area.
if you have a roll bar bent at 22.5 deg as it comes out of the body it will then be vertical and sit nicely forward of the rear hatch opening.
Looking forward to seeing it done and on the track.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:50 PM
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Great timing Andy......keep the details coming and the pics.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:30 AM
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A little progress this week. Have glassed in the return on the bottom edge and picked up some pinchweld. Look pretty neat if you squint and makes a nice seal against the body. Once its bolted down im working on having a 5mm gap between the top and the car. Its sitting a little higher than that now.



Also part of the lock mechanism arrived. Ive made up a tubular frame for the hatch that will be glassed in, and used that as the mount for the lock turny thing (technical term). The hinges also bolt in this frame rather than just the fibreglass.






I need to take a trip to my mate with the lathe to turn up the body ferrules. Once they are in I will glass in the brackets to the top and then will patch up all my holes, flow coat the whole thing and get it nice and flat ready to brush on the concrete.

Aerial shot of the top in place.

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Old 06-09-2016, 04:15 PM
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Hey Andy, maybe you could go with "black concrete" - I like the contrast of the black top in your pic with the black stripe on the bonnet etc. cheers Gregg
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:10 PM
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Check this one out Andy. In oz too.

2007 AC Cobra Manual - Xoticar
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:04 PM
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Its a Dax and looks like the DB hardtop which is what Sambo imported. Beautiful top - hopefully Ill end up with something that looks nearly as good.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:01 AM
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Does anybody know if you can drive the car with the hard top in place without the windows?
I am considering a hard top also.
I know with a db hard top you have to remove the side curtains for installing the windows.
And with the windows in place I am going to get claustrophobic.(I think)

I do love the look
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:52 PM
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Sure can!
I raced mine for years with no side windows.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gav View Post
Sure can!
I raced mine for years with no side windows.
But that will be with a helmet.
How about the wind noise ?
I have seen people open up the back window a little bit,I think for letting the wind flow
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:21 AM
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I did drive it on the road as well.
The noise with a top on is less than without.
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Old 06-15-2016, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gav View Post
I did drive it on the road as well.
The noise with a top on is less than without.
It was quieter for sure, couldnt hear anything over the sound of me sh1tting myself.

A few small updates - have sorted the windscreen fittings I think. Found that the standard t-bolt coming straight through didnt allow me to get the clamping knob on, so had to put a little bend in them. Not sure if Mr Bruces design changed a bit from the one in the pic above. Made 3 all up. Stainless M5 bolt tapped through a little SS plate and tigged on. Then heated it up with the map gas torch to get a bend.

Pictured below on what looks to be a beautiful piece of brushed aluminium.



Roof feels very snug against the screen. Have some19x5mm foam strip to go between which will attach to the top. Just have a few offcuts in there at present.






Next is the body ferrules and brackets for the top. Need to think long and hard for the placement on these as I do not want to drill in the wrong spot.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:43 AM
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Looks good
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:08 AM
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Default A little more progress

So I now have the top bolted on. Still havent machined up the ferrules, so it is just bolted through the fibreglass so far with 5mm bolts - these will eventually bolt into the threaded ferrules. Made up 4 S\S brackets that have just been epoxied to the top so far - I will glass over them later. The top feel solid as a rock once bolted down and seals very nice against the body.









The latch mechanism is close to finished as well. Just need to do the striker plate. The guides that came with the locking rods were a bit ordinary so I bought a couple of linear bearings, gutted the inside, and printed off a couple of inserts on the 3d printer at work to suit the diameter of the rods. When it is all done the frame and brackets will all be glassed over.



Once the ferrules and latch are finished, and its bolted in final position I will back off the windscreen bolts and tighten back up to take any tension off. Then its body work time and cleaning up the inside. Getting a nice finish on the inside of the hatch is going to be a challenge. Also want to do a mould to slump some plexi over for the hatch - I think it will fit and look better then trying to force a bend in a flat sheet. We have a big oven in the art department that might come in handy.
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:48 AM
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Small update - machine up the body ferrules and installed. Turned out quite neat and not too ugly with the top off. Ill Just put a s\s button head in there when not installed.





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Old 07-03-2016, 06:53 AM
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Nice job so far. I've been thinking about a hard top, but I'm 6'3" and wonder how hard it is getting in and out. And like you, I don't really want side windows, but will it keep the rain and cold out?
Are you coating or smoothing the inside?
JD
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydee View Post
Nice job so far. I've been thinking about a hard top, but I'm 6'3" and wonder how hard it is getting in and out. And like you, I don't really want side windows, but will it keep the rain and cold out?
Are you coating or smoothing the inside?
JD
Definitely a technique to getting in and out. Dive in head first, get the left leg over to the other side of the wheel and then slide back is about it. Id find someone with top you can try first before taking the plunge.

Ive taken it for its first run round the block, without the rear window - I think the side windows are essential if you want to enjoy all the benefits of having one. If anything the exhaust sounded louder. Lining - not sure, Gav had carpet lining his which he said made a big difference to the noise.

Cheers
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklemming View Post
Does anybody know if you can drive the car with the hard top in place without the windows?
I am considering a hard top also.
I know with a db hard top you have to remove the side curtains for installing the windows.
And with the windows in place I am going to get claustrophobic.(I think)

I do love the look
You have to try driving a GT40 for the first time, then you will know the real meaning of claustrophobia, but once you get used to it you will feel at home and then all the worries will be gone..LOL
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:48 AM
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Really enjoying this mod Andy.

You've got me thinking how I'm going enter/exit with cage, intrusion bars, no door of value, window net, race suit etc etc. hmmm

I guess removable wheel is a plus. Best start losing more weight I think.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:03 AM
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Really enjoying this mod Andy.

You've got me thinking how I'm going enter/exit with cage, intrusion bars, no door of value, window net, race suit etc etc. hmmm

I guess removable wheel is a plus. Best start losing more weight I think.
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