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BigJimny Meet 2019 (17 May 2019)

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20TH OCTOBER 2019

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Replacement soft top

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09 Oct 2019 15:30 #214513 by JCS2019
Replacement soft top was created by JCS2019
I've just replaced my soft top with a new one from Monsoon. Unfortunately, I had to replace the front frame which was rotted through, sadly I didn't keep it as I thought it was beyond repair! Now the new fibreglass one provided by Monsoon doesn't seem to fit properly and I am having major leaking problems - went out to find about 2 inches of water in the passenger footwell after the first bad storm, my ashtray FULL of water and my radio dripping and now refusing to work at all. Monsoon have kindly replaced the frame, sadly it is exactly the same as the first one - it just doesn't lie 'flat' over the door side and I can only assume that the rain is pouring in there? Anyone else had these problem with fitting a new soft top and does anyone have any idea of how I might be able to resolve it? Be really grateful for any help and suggestions - I love my car and am devastated that I have to keep it covered and can't use it. I've owned my Jimny for 10 years and it has always lived outside - I have NEVER had any leakage problems before no matter how bad the weather has been :(

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10 Oct 2019 19:06 - 10 Oct 2019 19:14 #214577 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic Replacement soft top
Hello JC

Wow - I'm sorry to hear of this drama. That's very bad.

I don't understand why the fibreglass frame shouldn't work; why is it so different from the metal frame? I think its hugely expensive for what it is and must surely have undergone its own trial during development.
I'm sure you have checked and re-checked, but is the vinyl targa cover fitted to the frame correctly?

Perhaps as an emergency measure you could determine the gap, and bond some rubber extrusion around the roof apperture, underneath the targa, such as THIS ONE along the areas you think the water is getting in. Or, belt-and-braces all the way around the targa. If you do this - dont completely rely on the self-adhesive bit - I found it wasn't that great.

Failing that see if there is any larger- section seal available that goes around the lip of the roof apperture. In an attempt to make it a tighter fit against the targa roof.

I did exactly this along the front-edge of my targa - not to stop leaks but in an attempt to quieten down some of the wind-noise.

It might be prudent to get onto Monsoon again about this problem, and in the meantime search for another metal frame . However rotty they get they should be easily repairable by welding them up as required.




IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
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Last edit: 10 Oct 2019 19:14 by Max Headroom.

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11 Oct 2019 13:39 #214610 by JCS2019
Replied by JCS2019 on topic Replacement soft top
Hi Max - thanks for the quick response :)

As you can see from the attached photos, the main problem is that the side doesn't fit flush with the roof structure - it is the same on the other side but not nearly as bad. This allows water to get blown in (I think) which then runs down the front channel and drips down the windscreen. You can see the water stains on the inside of the roof over the passenger door. When I fitted the first bar and the original leaking happened I actually drove my car from Wales to Monsoon's workshop (near Eastbourne!) for them to look at and they agreed to make me a new one, checking their 'jig' and fitting it on a Jimny they said they had in the workshop at the time. Several weeks (and some nagging!) later they finally sent me the new one which is just as bad, if not worse, than the original - which is incredibly disappointing. Sadly I binned the metal one so that isn't an option, and yes, I am kicking myself! I've tried looking online for a second hand one but no luck :( They are no longer made new either it seems.

I've shown the husband your photos and he says he can try that but do it all the way round the roof opening. We also thought we might be able to glue velcro onto the bodywork and canvas and close the gap like that? It may not look great but might be functional which is the main thing I suppose :) The thing is, I can't believe I am the only person who has bought one of these from them to have this problem and they really need to sort it out. It's just such a long way to drive to Eastbourne from here ... sigh?
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11 Oct 2019 19:11 - 11 Oct 2019 19:21 #214633 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic Replacement soft top
Wow yes, I see the problem! It's very clear that there is a huge gap where I've marked with arrows on your photo



Some questions about the fibreglass frame as I've never seen one:

Are the fibreglass sidearms straight when not fitted to the car or are they formed with that curve?

How flexible are the side arms?
It looks as if there could be too much tension in the fabric from front to back causing the arms to bow at the point I've marked with arrows - the original metal arms are just plain straight tubes.

How long are the side arms compared to the original frame?
Unfortunately we don't have a direct comparison as the old frame got filed under B1n, but I'm wondering if its because they are too long and under compression, and its that causing them to bow.

I seem to recall on mine (its dark outside or I would go and inspect it now) there is some sort of white nylon or plastic "plate" thing in the fabric cover near the front corners - has that got misaligned and somehow causing the apparent gap?
(mine is not as good on the drivers side for some reason and I do have a small gap slightly like yours, but nowhere near as long, and certainly not to the extent that it leaks - and I live in the Cotswold hills where it rains sideways!)


I have arrowed the seal that I mentioned that goes all around the aperture. That should be making good firm contact with the targa covering, all the way around the roof aperture. Is yours?
If it isn't then it could to be to do with the fibreglass frame either being formed incorrectly, and stopping the targa from fitting firmly against the seal, which leads back to the first questions about the arms being too flexible or too long or both of those things.



Finally, there are a couple of guys in the forum that are involved with the breaking of Jimnys and they must see these original (and rusty) frames all the time.
Perhaps one of them can find you a replacement original frame - Im sure its j999pre that breaks the vehicles - why not give him a shout?


IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
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Last edit: 11 Oct 2019 19:21 by Max Headroom.

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11 Oct 2019 19:43 #214634 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Replacement soft top
I don't have a soft top Jimny and so have never fitted a replacement roof on one, so forgive my suggestion if it's totally wrong etc.

But I have fitted a 2CV roof and am assuming it operates in a similar manner to the Jimny (but in a thinner / striped / more French sort of way).

Is it possible the problem is with the fitting at the rear of the vehicle?

It looks like the front frame is not pulling the fabric taught enough to get it to follow the roof contour, or the rear frame / mounting has moved the fabric forward too far, hence the frame can't apply enough tension.

I'll shut up now, I suspect I am wrong, but just thinking out loud and trying to help.

Good luck

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11 Oct 2019 22:06 - 11 Oct 2019 22:15 #214640 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic Replacement soft top
The 'convertible' Jimny has two seperate hood sections Scimike, they operate completely independently of each other, and one has no influence over the other .
The proplem here is the Targa part - the front roof section that sits above the front passengers.
In this instance its the way the replacement fibreglass frame is supporting the fabric roof (or not) as the case may be


IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
Last edit: 11 Oct 2019 22:15 by Max Headroom.
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11 Oct 2019 22:39 #214641 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic Replacement soft top
Thanks Max, was not aware. Sounds like the frame then.
Mike

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11 Oct 2019 22:50 #214642 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic Replacement soft top
This is what the original frame looks like - its actually very simple apart from the header bar which is from pressed steel to form the shape.



The two arms have a pivot point at their ends. To open the roof you undo two large clamps on the header-bar that hold the front of it to the top of the windscreen frame, and simply lift the header bar up and back, around the pivot points on the arms.
The loose fabric is then pulled aft to neaten it up and you're good to enjoy 93 million miles of extra headroom






IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
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12 Oct 2019 16:21 #214667 by JCS2019
Replied by JCS2019 on topic Replacement soft top
Hi Max,

Thanks for all your help and the pictures! My original bar was a mess of rusted holes, seeing yours makes me realise how eaten it actually was :) I've tried to take some useful pictures of the new Monsoon replica, not sure if they help at all? In theory I don't see why it shouldn't fit, it looks very similar to yours. My husband thinks the side bars may possibly be attached at the wrong angle? Unfortunately we are STILL swept away by rain and gale force winds here so I can't take mine off again just yet but I think i might try removing the hole roof section as soon as the weather permits and try fitting it again from scratch although when I took it to Monsoon they seemed to think it was fitted correctly but you never know?

Thank you so much for your help, it has cheered me up no end. I was really feeling disappointed and depressed at the whole mess and couldn't see a solution. I'm besotted with my 'Jimmy', we've had some really fun road trips and I always enjoy scooting around the Welsh valleys and mountains in him. I don't think I've ever enjoyed driving any other car as much as I enjoy driving him - so thank you :D
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12 Oct 2019 16:25 #214668 by JCS2019
Replied by JCS2019 on topic Replacement soft top
Thanks Scimike - all thoughts and help are gratefully received! It's just lovely to know people care enough to respond to my wails of anguish :D

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12 Oct 2019 17:19 #214674 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic Replacement soft top
Good pictures there JCS

I can see a potential flaw in the design which might possibly point to the problem.

Where the arms join to the header-bar, they have been flattened and therefore will have lost resistance to bending at that point. This has created a weak-spot (Marked with a red arrow) - I'm familiar with doing this to tubes as I have a vintage car with cross braces on it that I made in a similar fashion.

I realise in your photo the frame assembly is upside down, but its possible the arms are not where they should be, and may need bending very slightly in the direction of the green arrow. BUT DON't! ...At least, not yet..

I would suggest getting the car under cover and un-popping the targa cover and studying the frame with it in the closed (and locked) position. The arms should, I imagine, travel parallel with the roof line with a constant gap between the arms and the surface of the roof, but in your case, I wouldnt mind betting they do not.
I imagine that as they get nearer to the fibreglass header bar that they are getting further from the roof line, therefore creating the gap that is giving you the problem.

I therefore imagine that by bending those arms in the direction of the green arrow, slightly, and checking the assembly again, that the gap between the arms and the roof would now remain constant from the pivot point to the header bar.

Bending the arms would need to be done on the bench. Determining the amount of bend to put in will be difficult; but it won't be much.
The other problem will be how to bend it; it looks like the flattened end of the tube is welded to a plate that is rivetted(?) to the header-bar. Just bending it will potentially pull the rivets through tthe fibreglass.

This is all theory - based only on what I can see in the photos, and I would be inclined to see how it looks without the targa cover attached; if it looks like the arms don't follow the roofline with a constant gap, show your findings to Monsoon.

I hope all this makes some kind of sense.
By the way - my header-bar in that photo had just been de-rusted and painted - if you saw it up close you would see the rusted-through holes. I did this job last year, and already the rust is starting to come back.
If we have a dry spell next summer I shall shot blast it, get it down to bare-metal treat it, and paint it in two-pack.








IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
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12 Oct 2019 17:21 - 12 Oct 2019 17:22 #214675 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic Replacement soft top
Scimike, I forgot to mention the front section of the roof on the convertible Jimny is identical to the good old 2CV; undo a couple of clips on the header-bar and throw it up and back for the added headroom B) But its not attached to the rear section at all like the 2CV - that opens seperately


IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
Last edit: 12 Oct 2019 17:22 by Max Headroom.
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