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Hello Alfa Spider Fans
My 1990 S4 has a great looking soft top that had been renovated before I got him. However, putting it up is a titanic struggle because it seems to be too tight to latch easily. Yes it latches eventually after scraped knuckles and effectively having a handy heavy helper sit on the roof almost. So - once its up, its up and once its down its down. :irked:

My garage says keep the roof wet for a few weeks - but hey who can keep up that sort of thing! Does anyone have a solution that just involves a spanner?
Help appreciated
Su
 

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There are quite a few threads on the Alfa Bulletin Board about this sort of thing. The consensus is that the top does shrink if left too long and you should leave it up (sorry :depressed:) when not using the car for a while.

You can adjust things a bit by moving the frame a little on the bolts where the hood attaches at the B posts.
Also, the fasteners at the front of the top have some adjustment - slacken the two posidrive bolts on each one and you can move them around.

Or you can try putting the hood up, spraying with water and then warming up the interior of the car with an electric fan heater while it dries - it might help "set" it in a more stretched position.
 

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There are quite a few threads on the Alfa Bulletin Board about this sort of thing. The consensus is that the top does shrink if left too long and you should leave it up (sorry :depressed:) when not using the car for a while.

You can adjust things a bit by moving the frame a little on the bolts where the hood attaches at the B posts.
Also, the fasteners at the front of the top have some adjustment - slacken the two posidrive bolts on each one and you can move them around.

Or you can try putting the hood up, spraying with water and then warming up the interior of the car with an electric fan heater while it dries - it might help "set" it in a more stretched position.
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm a bit thick - where/what is the B post?:embarrassed:
Anyway - seems like water-boarding Alfie might be worth trying. He probably has never got wet with this top.
Su
 

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The B post is the one behind the seats although I suppose in a convertible its only half a post as it doesn't go up to the roof. Anyway, the bolts are at the bottom of the hood frame, where it attaches behind the seats.

This is a thread about a tight top on the Alfa BB.

I found another suggestion on the BB just now which came from somebody who used to work on classic British convertibles. He reckoned that boiling a kettle inside the car, with the hood up, worked well. He recommended putting something under the kettle to avoide damage to upholstery and, obviously, checking it doesn't boil dry. And naturally you should leave enough water to have a nice English cup of tea afterwards :thumbup:
 

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The B post is the one behind the seats although I suppose in a convertible its only half a post as it doesn't go up to the roof. Anyway, the bolts are at the bottom of the hood frame, where it attaches behind the seats.

This is a thread about a tight top on the Alfa BB.

I found another suggestion on the BB just now which came from somebody who used to work on classic British convertibles. He reckoned that boiling a kettle inside the car, with the hood up, worked well. He recommended putting something under the kettle to avoide damage to upholstery and, obviously, checking it doesn't boil dry. And naturally you should leave enough water to have a nice English cup of tea afterwards :thumbup:
Hi - an update.
Inspired by the kettle idea I took it to more advanced levels and used my domestic steam cleaner to carefully steam the top from the outside. Gave it quite a going over, and it has definitely loosened the cloth. So much so that, with the removal of a couple of packing pieces on the windscreen latch to help alignment, it s gone from "almost impossible" to "fiddly".
So I intend to repeat the steaming and put some bricks on the top for a few days to add a stretching weight factor. Anyway - progress. Many thanks for the tips.
Happy new year!:drink:
Su
 

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So I intend to repeat the steaming and put some bricks on the top for a few days to add a stretching weight factor. Anyway - progress. Many thanks for the tips.
Happy new year!:drink:
Su
I wouldn't use the bricks thing tbh.....the top is a 3 layer job...outer weather fabric, middle rubber membrane and thinner inner fabric...
if you deform the centre rubber membrane (that keeps the water out;)) it might not go back to shape.....!

I'd just keep the thing latched, it will stretch itself once the weather gets warmer (or put a heater on for an hour a day in the garage)
 

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I wouldn't use the bricks thing tbh.....the top is a 3 layer job...outer weather fabric, middle rubber membrane and thinner inner fabric...
if you deform the centre rubber membrane (that keeps the water out;)) it might not go back to shape.....!

I'd just keep the thing latched, it will stretch itself once the weather gets warmer (or put a heater on for an hour a day in the garage)
I guess patience is a virtue - the bb thread you linked to was very useful. Although waiting for the sun to get hot here could be trying! Popping it up every time its in the garage is a good tip I will take note of.
Thanks again.
Su
 

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In 'Classic Cars' magazine recently (can't remember exactly which issue) Russ Smith described how he managed to get the hood on his spider to fit using ratchet straps fastened between the hood and the garage door. Gradual tightening of teh ratchet straps then pulled/stretched it into place. Seemed to have worked, but patience was required!
 

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I was a bit embarassed by that as it was me who sold Russ the hood and frame from the S4 I broke for spares :paperbag: It had been off the car for a year or two, folded up, so had obviously shrunk a fair bit.

I was very relieved when he got it to fit!
 
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