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Username Post: Convertible won’t latch, top adjustment?        (Topic#359785)
C. Anothalevel 
Poster
Posts: 58

Reg: 03-12-19
02-11-20 11:06 PM - Post#2786344    

So I just bought a 63 SS convertible (got tired of looking for the right 64 SS convertible) and bought it with top down. I tested the top before purchase and saw it worked fine so put it back down but when I got the car home and put the top up I tried to latch it and noticed the top couldn’t reach the window frame latch and noticed the top is off on passenger side and fine on drivers side. I called the previous owner and he claimed it wasn’t just because he hadn’t had the top up in ages or something like that and how all convertibles do that. (Well none of mine ever have) So does anyone here have an idea of what I mean or is there a way you need to adjust these cars top frames sometimes? Please chime in somebody



 


japete92 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1296
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
02-12-20 06:56 AM - Post#2786352    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

  • C. Anothalevel Said:
So I just bought a 63 SS convertible (got tired of looking for the right 64 SS convertible) and bought it with top down. I tested the top before purchase and saw it worked fine so put it back down but when I got the car home and put the top up I tried to latch it and noticed the top couldn’t reach the window frame latch and noticed the top is off on passenger side and fine on drivers side. I called the previous owner and he claimed it wasn’t just because he hadn’t had the top up in ages or something like that and how all convertibles do that. (Well none of mine ever have) So does anyone here have an idea of what I mean or is there a way you need to adjust these cars top frames sometimes? Please chime in somebody




I don't know about ALL convertibles, but the ones with the plastic rear windows can be a beach to get latched if it's been 'down' for a long time (especially if chilly).

Try unzipping the back plastic 'window'. Like many materials, it shrinks a little when cold, and deforms somewhat when laying in the boot. That plastic doesn't want to 'stretch' out (especially if it's cold). Be careful with the plastic, it is kinda brittle when cold too. It can crack rather easily.

A trick I heard about (never used) is heating up the plastic window with a hair dryer. It should help because the plastic gets much more pliable when warm.

There are differences of opinion, but going back to the 60s when I owned my first '63 ragtop, I ALWAYS unzipped the back window prior to putting the top down. I'd 'unlatch' first to take the tension off. Going back up I'd zip prior to latching.

The '61 Shop manual (pretty far back) has LOTS of info on the convertible top. The '63 Shop manual is a supplement to the '61. For the entire car, one needs both. Recommend both AND the '63 Assembly manual.

Let's see her. Hear's mine.

Pete



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pvs409 
"8th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2700
pvs409
Loc: Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
Reg: 01-10-05
02-12-20 09:05 PM - Post#2786402    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

  • C. Anothalevel Said:
So I just bought a 63 SS convertible (got tired of looking for the right 64 SS convertible) and bought it with top down. I tested the top before purchase and saw it worked fine so put it back down but when I got the car home and put the top up I tried to latch it and noticed the top couldn’t reach the window frame latch and noticed the top is off on passenger side and fine on drivers side. I called the previous owner and he claimed it wasn’t just because he hadn’t had the top up in ages or something like that and how all convertibles do that. (Well none of mine ever have) So does anyone here have an idea of what I mean or is there a way you need to adjust these cars top frames sometimes? Please chime in somebody



What is the center to center measurement from the chrome line up pins on the top latches. Also what is the center to center measurement of the pin mounting holes mounted to the convertible frame.
All 1961 to 1964 Impala Convertibles are have the same convertible mounts on the window frame and the latches are the same.

It is possible to adjust the strikers on the window frame.

Another measurement is to measure the latch mounting screw holes center to center(4 screws -2 per side) to determine if the front top bow is damaged(I had a bent front top bow that I had to replace on my 62 Convertible.

I can compare my 1962 convertible to your measurements.
Paul

57 BelairHT 283/270hp 4 spd
62 ImpHT 327/300 4 spd
62 Imp CV SS 327/300HP 700R4 (sold)
62 Imp HT SS 409/482 stroker 4 spd
62 Imp SS 409 - 5 spd Convertible
http://paulstensland.com


 
impala 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1278
impala
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Reg: 07-13-00
02-14-20 11:38 AM - Post#2786501    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

If I understand correctly it sounds like the header bow is out of adjustment. There are two bolts on each end to adjust the bow square with the top of the windshield frame. Since this gets adjusted before the top material is installed I'm not sure how it can be done after the fact.
impala

61 Impala Convertible, AACA Senior Grand National
99 Jaguar, XK8
13 Avalanche LTZ
18 Equinox


 
C. Anothalevel 
Poster
Posts: 58

Reg: 03-12-19
02-14-20 02:40 PM - Post#2786519    
    In response to impala

Yeah I’m still having trouble with that. I broke the top latch trying to make it lock. While the driver side is fine the passenger side is like 1/4 inch too far back. Looks cockeyed when you view it from the side



 
junky 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3233

Loc: Northeast CT
Reg: 06-27-10
02-14-20 04:33 PM - Post#2786527    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

My '64 did the same thing when I left the top down for a couple weeks. I would just let it "hang" for a couple of days and the top material would stretch out and then it would latch. I also broke the hook doing what you tried, and after I replaced it, I never tried to force it again. Putting the rear window down is a good suggestion, but you will need to release the top from the header when you decide to zip the rear window, so you don't tear the zipper. If all this doesn't work, take the car to an auto upholstery shop, and they can steam the inside to allow the material to stretch. I tend to try the easy stuff first, rather than mess with adjustments that I might not be able to get back into their original place. If you were to cut the top material loose, in all likelihood, the bows would be fine and align with the header without problem.

Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level, then beat you with experience.


 
USCGMK1 
Contributor
Posts: 145

Loc: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Reg: 07-24-15
02-17-20 05:46 PM - Post#2786761    
    In response to C. Anothalevel

Sounds like an adjustment issue. But as other have said if the tops been down for a while it seems to shrink. That's why I always put mine back up when I'm done.



 


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