The MGA With An Attitude
SIDE CURTAINS Installation #2 - TT-111A

At 10:09 AM 1/4/2012 -0500, Richard Meyers wrote:
original 1500 style side curtains
This is the fit needed.
See Richard's problem below.

"1) I have purchased a pair of original flip-up style side curtains and have discovered that the fit is surprisingly off (see pictures below). These flip-up side curtains seem to fit well everywhere but bottom half of the windshield area. Mine do not fit like the picture you have in Article TT-110. I have a gap of about 1-1/4 inches along the front of the door tops. The framing appears very structurally strong to where you couldn't try to bend the two mounting brackets forward or back. I would have to probably strip the vinyl off and use a torch to heat up the mounting brackets so as to shift the whole curtain framing forward at most a 1/2 inch, but then I will have an issue with the top half of the curtain front being too far forward and pushing against the windshield post. Should this type of major adjusting be required"?

Side curtain does not reach the windscreen at bottom half of side post.

Side curtain appears to be a bit too high at the back, and maybe a bit too low in front.

Sticky problem with alignment of the side curtains. This problem starts with installation of the windscreen during body assembly, and before the rag top is installed. Do not simply bolt the windscreen in and assume it will be in correct position. These parts have a rather sloppy fit that need to be properly aligned during body assembly.

My first impression is that the windscreen is tilted too far back and needs to be adjusted to stand up a little more vertical. That requires removal of the front kick panels for access to bolts for the side posts. The grab handles are originally slotted for at least two of the three top screws. Theory here is that two screws were installed loosely, then the windscreen was aligned using some kind of factory jig. Then the two screws were tightened, and the third (center) hole was drilled in the windscreen side frame for installation of the last screw. This would fix the correct position of the windscreen in case of later disassembly and reassembly. This also makes your windscreen and grab handles a matched set with the original body shell. If any of the parts are changed later, the windscreen can be misaligned.

Modern replacement part windscreen side posts will likely have that center hole pre-drilled. Modern replacement part grab handles will also have the center hole pre-drilled, but not necessarily in the same position as the original parts. So realigning your windscreen frame may require re-drilling or generous slotting of the center hole in the side post.

Remove the center screw and loosen the other two screws while you realign the windscreen (tilting more forward). When in the desired position (parallel to front of side curtains), tighten the two screws and the lower post bolts. After this you will see if you can drill a new center hole in the side post, or you may need to slot out the existing hole in the side post. Grab handles should also have a nylon pad underneath to protect the paint. This pad affects height of the grab handle, and that will affect alignment of the windscreen frame. Some people have installed two pads (shims) or have made thicker pads to accomplish the desired final alignment of the windscreen (in lieu of slotting the center hole in the side frame).

Realigning the windscreen in this manner will create two other issues. First, since this rag top is already installed, it may be difficult to pull the top frame forward far enough to mate with top of the windscreen in the new position. If this proves to be near impossible, you might have to re-do attachment of the canopy to the front wood bow. How you go about extending the fabric edge that has already been trimmed is another sticky issue. You might do it with iron on fabric patch, but then the joint may be visible on the outside (as well as inside). Otherwise you might have to buy another rag top.

The other issue is alignment of the side curtains when they will need to be positioned farther forward. With the 1500 flip-up type the vertical steel mounting brackets are fairly long (tall), so those might be bent to reposition the side curtains farther forward. If you have just re-trimmed cockpit rails and door panels, it might be a bit tacky to reposition the triangular attachment plate or the rear socket.

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