I finally pulled the trigger and tore into the top. I’m sick of only driving in fair weather. I got 2nd place in this year’s Bug-In for the 2nd time, and so the thinking is if I finally finish the top and interior I might get a 1st place next year, and therefore I can acquire a new project! Luckily I have a portable A/C unit that I can run in the garage, it’s been in the 90′s with tropical dew-points.
Dissecting the top actually went very fast, with the exception of stopping to take pics at every step. There is a lot of folds/tacks/ties/measurements that I will need to recreate, and not a lot of information out there for do-it-yourselfers. I did acquire a CD-ROM that walks through the process, which will hopefully answer any questions that come up when it’s time to reassemble. The closest thing I can compare the precess to is carving a turkey, with a box-cutter in place of a carving knife. There are a million rusty staples that break in half instead of pulling out. The padding is made of some type of horse-hair material that turns to dust when you touch it. Also the “wood” bows are actually a sad sort of Fiberboard that easily rots away. Lucky for me it appears the front header bow is the only one that can not be reused. Other repairs that will need to be done before building it back up are a broken intermediate bow weld, and possibly welding new header bow mounting plates to the front rails. There is a lot of rust, and depending on how it looks after sand-blasting, it might need new metal, or just a good coat of POR-15. Next step will be talking to Atom’s sand-blasting contact, and having Atom look at the bad metal and give me advice. This might be my best chance to learn how to weld.