Monday, January 2, 2023

Hood I

Now that Alice is running and driving well, it's time to make her more weather-capable.  That means it's time for the hood!  (That's 'top' to us colonists.)

The first step is to fit the frame to the car.  Actually the first step is to make sure the frame is in reasonably good condition.  Mine was not, but all the pieces were there and I was able to make repairs to one of the top bows and to tighten up the hinges that attach the header rail to the frame.  A lick or two of paint in the right spots and I was happy with the result.

Fitting the frame is not terribly difficult with a little luck.  In fact, it can be done by one person.  Juliette helped me, though.  The first time.  I shall explain later.

The frame is affixed to the car with six rather substantial screws.  If you are lucky, the nuts that those screws screw into will be in good shape.  I was not so lucky... or so I thought.  The frame has three attachment points on each side.  You can see one in the upper right corner of this photo.

Fitting the frame is as simple as hosting it into place and having someone on each side thread and tighten the screws, ensuring the attachment plate for the tonneau bows is in place between the car and the frame.  You have to open the frame a bit to get all three screws installed, but you can do one, then open the frame a little, then the second, open it more, then the third.

So I thought I was in good shape.  Juliette fitted one side and I did the other.  My side tightened down just fine.  But hers did not... and here I was thinking those lousy nuts were stripped out.

So we removed the frame.

Fortunately, Moss sells a repair kit for those nuts as they take a lot of abuse over the years. I ordered one, then I put a couple of screws in to hold the tonneau retaining plate and... they tightened down tightly.  No stripped nuts!

I'll have to cancel that Moss order, but in the meantime it was off to the hardware store!  I bought some alloy steel screws (blackened, even) and headed home.  Unfortunately, Juliette was not around.  So I made a big decision and did it myself.

It really isn't that hard if your lower back is in good shape.  I wrapped one side in a heavy towel and lowered the frame into the car.  I got one screw in on one side, then a second.  I worked my way over to the other side, removed the towel, and installed all three screws.  Then I put the last screw in place on the other-other side, and they all tightened up!

The result is a smoothly working frame that goes up and down properly.

Next time, I'll install the actual hood.  That might take a couple of shots of liquid courage.

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