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New Glass Top Woes

mmvette80

Well-known member
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
273
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Central NY
Im from the 68 - 82 forum. My friend has a 85 Vette and she just got a new glass top. Last one was stolen. She says its not fitting correctly. The top is off by a 8th of an inch on the drives side. The other corners fit ok. Do these to break in(flex)? Should it be left in the sun?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Len, I believe the difference is more like an inch rather than fractions thereof.

MMVette80, the nuts in the roof panel are 'floating' - they can be carefully moved about 1/4 inch in any direction. Have her lightly screw in the back two bolts and then hold the top an inch or so above the front bolts. Then use a finger or small tool to move the nut until it looks like it's over the bolt shaft. My passenger side moves if I keep the top in the trunk too long (bumps, I guess) and I have to adjust it fairly often. Not sure if there's a way to tighten them.

You may want to move it slightly using a screwdriver first; if it's really tight a finger won't be able to budge it easily.

[RICHR]
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
All the attachment places are adjustable. Take the trim off of the top of the windshield, you will need to remove the mirror and the sunvisors. There are 2 bolts on each side that hold the attachment piece on. The attachment piece has slots that the bolts go through, unloosen a bit and press them down then tighten them up. The rear is much easier, there are 2 bolt heads showing, unloosen and push down then retighten.
It worked on mine...no more leaks and or squeaks...
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
The top is adjustable, it is much easier to adjust the top to fit to the car than the other way around. All you have to do is use the top wrench to loosen the bracket that is mis-aligned, line it up and re-tighten.
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
The front of the top itself is not adjustable...at least on my 85 and the 88 top I just installed. The rear is a possibility. The easiest way to adjust the top is as I said earlier. My new top would not fit because the brackets in the front were off center. So I took a dremal tool and milled the top and redrilled the holes and moved the brackets to fit. I then adjusted the front and rear attachment places on the car...not the top. And now no leaks or squeaks....
Sometimes it is necessary to do a bit more work to make things work versus taking the easy way out. I could have waited for Ecklers to get me the refit kit...but engineered the refit myself. Which was much more satisfying.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Eagle, the front of both tops for my 86 *are* adjustable via the method I described in my post. You should not have to drill anything to make one fit...
[RICHR]
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
I know there are 3 different top styles, but i thought they only changed the location of the mounts, not the mounts themselves... On the latest design for sure, you can adjust the mounts on the top, there are two bolts holding in the bracket, and the top wrench can be used to loosen them. It should be much easier to do this, if it is a possibility (I can adjust one in less than 5 minutes using this method) I am wondering if the aftermarket tops come with the adjustable mounts, or if they are factory spec and are not adjustable. I am assuming chevrolet got smart over the years and made the top adjustable to make things easier.
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
As I said in my post earlier, I have an 85. The roof was trashed so I bought one off of ebay. It was the wrong year, turned out to be an 88, the mounts were off by 2 and some odd inches. Instead of waiting for the kit from ecklers, I redrilled the top and moved the mounts over to fit. They are not meant to move as I have seen from the OEM top and the replacement. I suppose you could get a hair of movement out of them but not enough to help me. When I finally attached the new roof and then washed the car I had leaks everywhere. That is when I found the adjustments on the windshield and the rear mounts. I got lazy and did not want to tear the trim off to adjust the front so I took a hammer and tapped them down as they are slotted. No more leaks....but I did put a crack in the windshield bottom middle.
I have 4 tops...the OEM smoke blue, a red painted top, a replacement blue top and a bronze top. None of them exibit any adjustment on the top. The adjustment is on the car. Think about it....why put adjustments on both mating surfaces? You would have quite a time trying to get both just right and keep it there.
The reason the top has a bit of play laterally is to allow for movement when the car flexes. If there was no allowance for that the roof would crack when the car flexed. Just common sense and my .02¢
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Yes, if you got the wrong year (after the change) you'd have to use the changeover kit or drill. But my car doesn't have adjustments on the windshield for the top (the bolt holder is not slotted)... it has adjustments on the tops. I have to play with the passenger side almost every time I put it back on the car, so I know for certain how it works.

There should be no lateral movement *while* the car is moving... the tops have metal frames and shouldn't flex THAT much. They're a major stiffening component... you know how squirrely the car is with the top off!
[RICHR]
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
The block that the bolt holder rests in is bolted to the windshield frame by two bolts. The holes that the bolts go through are slotted specifically for adjusting The roof. Now while I was trying to make the new roof work prior to milling the new one I bought three pair of them off of ebay to replace mine. As usual for my luck they would not fit...but all had slotted holes. On the morrow I will photograph them and present the photo here. Or I can send you a set....they are useless to me...

Also when the weather stripping is new and spongy, no problem, but after being compressed for so long they do not spring back, you need to be able to readjust the roof to maintain fit.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Here's the solid roof from mine. Sorry for the fuzzyness; I'm not sure how to take closeups with this digital camera and it's inside the focal length.

Anyway, if you look at the circled area, you'll see the nut attached to a plate behind it that fits through a larger hole. The plate moves (all four between both roofs) in an arc; maybe it's not supposed to, but all mine do (some more easily than others). That's how I adjust the roof. The way I look at it, GM would have made the nut fixed to the frame rather than a plate if they didn't mean for adjustments to occur - this has to be an extra expense for them!

I too have the early roof, so those extra plates you have probably won't fit mine either.

[RICHR]
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
I have no idea what you have taken a pic of...but it looks nothing like what I have. Basically there is a plate on the roof held on by 2 bolts...in the middle is a threaded hole.Once placed in place I screw the bolt from the bottom into the roof and it is pulled down.
It is a shame they changed it,what seems like, every year. The attached pic is of one of the sets I got but will not work due to there being no bolt to go up into the roof. But these bolt to the windshield and the bolt holes are slotted...
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
The picture is of the driver's side front corner of my factory (painted) roof. There's a black piece of frame (I think it's coated metal) that's not bolted in any way, with a thick pin that fits into a hole on the windshield header, and next to that is the nut for the bolt from the windshield. The nut is on a floating plate and is visible through a larger hole (both of which are circled) in the metal frame. There are two rivets on the edge, but those are the only visible fasteners.

Did you have your car since new? I wonder if someone already swapped it to the newer style of roof.
[RICHR]
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
I think we are talking about 2 different things....I am talking about the piece on the windshield...not the top. If you remove the trim which includes the mirror and visors you will see the blocks. They are bolted to the windshield frame. The blocks are adjustable so you can adjust the "height" of the roof. If you install all new weather stripping it is very hard to get the front of the roof down to let the bolt attach to it. The adjustment is necessary to provide a good seal.
My roof is the factory OEM that came with the car...but it has the usual flaking of the clearcoat...well I used too heavy grit sandpaper and made a mess. So I bought one off of ebay. It was a new top but would not fit my car...it was off just like the Eckler catalog shows. So I moved the brackets on the roof to line up with my car. But the roof was still riding too high, even bolted down tight, it leaked like a seive. That is when I discovered how to adjust it. All four points of attachment "on the car" not the roof are adjustable to raise and lower the fitting of the roof. Now I do agree that if the bolt holes are off a bit you can loosen the bolts on the bracket of the top and that will help center the bracket, then tighten it up to remain in that position. But if the roof leaks or whistles from leaking air or squeaks from the rubber due to flex then you need to adjust the car attachments as the roof points will not do it. Once I adjusted mine it fixed all the problems.
No air leaks or water leaks no squeaking.
I am not trying to argue here I just think we are comparing apples and oranges. It is like trying to hang a door on a car. The hinges are adjustable up, down, forward, backwards, in and out to get the best fit all around. Well the same is for the roof. It has to have these adjustments due to the fact not every car is the same. And if you change roofs you will need to readjust these attachment points to match the roof to the car. I could not just grab a roof off another car and expect it to fit perfectly on mine in as much as I could not take a door off your car and hang it on mine and expect it to work perfectly without doing some sort of adjusting. haveing changed roofs and having bought a painted one as well as another smoke blue I have had to learn how to adjust it to make it fit. Photos coming....
Rich...just noticed you are from MD...I used to work at the Physics lab in Laural....been through GB many times...
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
i just figured, since 3 out of four were ok, all it needed was the roof panel bracket adjustment.... If you start moving the car's brackets around, then it seemsl like you would have great difficulty swapping between two different tops
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Eagle, in an earlier post you were saying that the front of the top itself is not adjustable. I was trying to show that your statement wasn't quite correct. My interpretation of the original post was that the roof owner couldn't get one bolt lined up rather than it wasn't long enough to reach through to the top. I figured that the easiest adjustment would be to the new roof itself. No taking-apart of the car needed.

Which Physics lab? APL? I have friends that work there...
[RICHR]
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
Yep APL... my early days as an Engineer...

The top is not adjustable to any extent past an 1/8 of an inch. If you need to adjust the roof it is done at the attachment points on the car. Period. If you don't believe me call Ed Schmidt chevy in Maumee Ohio and ask for the corvette specialist. He will be more then happy to tell you how to do it as well as where to find the documentation. I am finished with this thread. Y'all figure it out ...
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
the point was, if 3 out of 4 are lined up, then a top adjustment would most likely solve the issue, and solve it quickly and easily. It just seemed like you mis-read the problem. If it was a problem with the wrong top, you would have to start adjusting the car like you explained.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2001
Messages
314
Location
Andover, MA USA
Corvette
1986 "Bright Red" Coupe
I put a few of these tops on and they all need adjustment, you need to follow a procedure to do it correctly, I have the factory instruction sheet. I can scan it and send it to you if you like. There are ample adjustments at all the attachment points to get a perfect fit.
 

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