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How to fold a 1931 roadster top so it fits in the canvas boot ??

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  • How to fold a 1931 roadster top so it fits in the canvas boot ??

    In the 30+ years I’ve had my deluxe roadster, I haven’t been able to fold the top so it fits neatly in the canvas boot. Does anyone know how to do this ? Top and boot are from LeBaron Bonney....

    many thanks - JIm
    Last edited by conaway2; 11-18-2019, 05:28 PM.

  • #2
    Jim-The October 8, 1931, Indianapolis Service Letter contained instructions. Here is the best copy I could make. Scan_0001.jpgScan_0001.jpg

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    • #3
      BudP - thank you ! I have never seen this !

      many thanks - JIm

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      • #4
        Con, on my 31 deluxe roadster I fold down the top and let the rear window rest on the bumpers. I then place the boot on the top and then the strap it. The strap is the tricky part. The hook on one end of the strap gets hooked around the grab handles that are on each side.

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        • #5
          Thanks Old31 - that’s exactly the way I try to do it. I wonder if the fact that my boot is 30 years old has something to do with it. Does canvas shrink with age ?

          Jim

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          • #6
            Originally posted by conaway2 View Post
            Thanks Old31 - that’s exactly the way I try to do it. I wonder if the fact that my boot is 30 years old has something to do with it. Does canvas shrink with age ?

            Jim
            I think it does, as I've seen warnings to always store convertibles with the top UP.

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            • #7
              I’ve always left the top up when I’m not driving the car, so it’s fine. I guess the boot has shrunk.....

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              • #8
                Yes, tops definitely will shrink, but a boot that is not usually out in the elements I doubt it.

                I understand why Ford put that letter out. When I install my boot there is a bulge in boot from the window pushing out on the boot, but the boot still fits. Fords way, the window is completely out of the way.

                I would say it was an engineering goof because the rubber bumpers perfectly align with the rear window frame. So, it was meant to go there.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by old31 View Post
                  I would say it was an engineering goof because the rubber bumpers perfectly align with the rear window frame. So, it was meant to go there.
                  Keep in mind that the body was created as a standard model with a taller top. Apparently when they later designed the deluxe top they saw a need (or at least an advantage) to drawing the curtain forward when putting the top down. For those that haven't seen one, below is a pic of the "window light strap" mentioned in the service letter.

                  Curtain_Flap.jpg

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                  • #10
                    Until I saw the service bulletin, I had no idea what the window light strap was for, since it wasn’t obvious what it was supposed to attach to.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post

                      I think it does, as I've seen warnings to always store convertibles with the top UP.
                      We even did that with our '67 Ford Galaxie convertible. It just made common sense so that is how we proceeded. I didn't even like leaving the top stacked over night.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marco Tahtaras View Post

                        Keep in mind that the body was created as a standard model with a taller top. Apparently when they later designed the deluxe top they saw a need (or at least an advantage) to drawing the curtain forward when putting the top down. For those that haven't seen one, below is a pic of the "window light strap" mentioned in the service letter.

                        Curtain_Flap.jpg
                        Marco, now I am really confused. I have never used my pull tab, "window light strap" or the hook, I just didn't know how they worked. So is the correct procedure to:

                        1: unsnap the rear window snaps
                        2: lower the top, and at the same time hook up the rear window to the seat hook and lay the top down.

                        or

                        1: unsnap the rear window snaps
                        2: snap the window up into the top of the roof
                        3: lay the window down and hook the window to the rear seat hook.

                        It would be great if someone had a video.

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                        • #13
                          Unfortunately I've never folded mine. With that said, I've never heard of unsnapping anything to fold down the top with the exception the "visor" at the windshield.

                          I've read that service letter may times over the last 35 years and it lacks clarity. It does say to hook the strap before the top is fully collapsed. What isn't clear is if they are suggesting to hook the strap before the rear bow reaches the top rests or after. That would require an assistant to test.

                          In the mid-late 1970's my everyday car was a '29 Roadster. It was not uncommon for me to put the top down. Since I was typically alone my method was as follows. I unlatched the front bow from the windshield stanchions and lifted the front bow enough to unsnap the visor (windshield flap). I left the scissor mechanisms on both sides locked by the tension of the top deck. I grasped a front corner of the front bow and tilted the entire top back until the rear bow was down on the top rests, and the top deck was straight up. At that point I neatly tucked the rear curtain making it lay as smoothly as possible.

                          Next I freed up the scissor mechanism on one side. At that point the first side is wanting to collapse from gravity but only moves a little as it's still being held by the opposite side. From the other side I freed up the second scissor mechanism and easily lowered the the bows and top deck down into position.

                          You should be able to follow that same method with the Deluxe top and experiment with the rear curtain flap before collapsing the the top deck.

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