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Stag - soft top replacement

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Timidi Timothy Wright
Sydney, nsw, Australia   AUS
Hi, has anyone taken on the chore of replacing the soft top on a Stag.
I have been given the job of restoring the family car (stag) and am slowly getting it done.
I am not sure if this is an easy job to replace the cover. the frame will probably need some work as well.
any pointers would be much appreciated.
Cheers Tim
1976 Triumph Stag

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Ctwidle Chris Twidle
Reesville, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1954 MG TF
Hi Tim,
I reckon it would have to be about the biggest PIA I have had with my 74 Stag! The frame took most of a week to dismantle, straighten bent bits, restore broken bits (nuts, bolts and rivets) de rust and repaint with epoxy. Make sure it all works smoothly before thinking about fitting a hood and then allow a full day for that. I am thinking of trying to redo part of mine as i got the top stretched well enough but didn't get the sides pulled forward far enough leaving a crease on each side of the rear window and not meeting the B pillar as well as it should.
Recommendations:
Take a good long look at a well fitted one before having a go! Preferably have one nearby to keep referring to or at least take LOTS of pictures.
Buy a replacement set of nuts and bolts. It seems expensive but unless you are retired like me and have a lathe it will be worth it. There are a LOT of different bolts, nuts, washers and spacers that need to go in just the right places.
Download and read ALL the worksheets that have kindly been put on the various websites.
Have fun!

Timidi Timothy Wright
Sydney, nsw, Australia   AUS
Thanks Chris, this helps a lot as it looks like a daunting exercise. I think I'll take off the old cover and have a closer look.
cheers Tim

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accoj Avatar
accoj John Burley
Marsden, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1977 Triumph Stag
1977 Triumph Stag
1977 Triumph Stag
2004 Ford Falcon "My New Toy"    & more
Hi Tim
My soft top is all good
but before I got the stag I had a 72 Mustang convertible
when I bought the car it came with a new roof in a box
but it cost me $900 in labour to get it fitted
it was way beyond me to do it at home
John

Robin Stag Silver Member Robin Searle
Brechin, Ontario, Canada   CAN
I had just noticed this posting re replacement of Stag soft top and felt that I add in my search for answers for a zipper that does not come apart when it is used,a problem that I and many others have experienced from DAY ONE. The problem seems to be with soft tops made by the oldest stag interior/tops in the UK and who supply a fair number of the parts suppliers out there, the zipper that they sew in is just to weak to handle the stress especially at the two curves on the Stag top.due to its unique nature of being both glued and riveted in place.

I have spent five years going through all the forums in Australia/USA/UK and here in Canada and by contacting many of them that have or are having similar problems to me we had one connection the top was from the same supplier.

The solution obviously was to find a zipper that would do the job and I found one on www.zippershipper.com it is designed for a Jeep Wrangler,comes in 106 inch length,can be shortened when ordered to the 74 inches needed,with two bonuses one can be opened from both the inside or outside of the car and also from right and left sides.The ends come so that the zipper can be clicked shut when closed which the original one does NOT both ends are open and just sewn across with the top material.The cost for this zipper was only $25.00US custom cut down to the 74 needed,plus shipping.

The soft top has to be removed to replace the zipper so not cheap $900 Can but well worth it and had I known 6 years ago of this problem and yes it has been around for the last 10 years I would have had a stronger zip fitted before original installation.So my advice is to replace the zipper before you fit it for the first time you will not regret it. I have not named the company but I did reach out to them in a constructive way and they will not accept the fact that their zipper is weak,despite have some tops been returned for credit as some upholsterers refused to fit new hoods because of zippers that are too weak for the job in hand and wanted to protect their customers.

In my case now no more safety pins and duct tape when erecting the top for use in rainy weather!!

Contact me if any questions or comments.

Robin.[Now a happy soft top user]


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krbohanan Keith Bohanan
Los Angeles, California, USA   USA
I needed a new soft top. Ended up buying one, and then took it to a local shop ( Nachos, in North Hollywood) to have them take the old top off, and put the new one on.
They did a great job. There's no way I could have done that myself.
This Stag is a 73 and this top was the 3 window used on the 71, but I wanted the visibility you get with the three windows. There is some wrinkling of the side windows, but they smooth out once the sun hits them.


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sagreenwoo Stuart Greenwood
San Diego, California, USA   USA
Tim I have just replaced the soft top on my Stag
It is not an easy job and mine is not as good as I had hoped it would be
I can send you all the info I have on how to do it if you contact me at sagreenwood@att,net
You can restore the frame yourself. It is not difficult just time consuming and you will probably need the bolt kit from Rimmers
When it comes to fitting the top I would try to find a business in your area that has experience in fitting soft tops, preferably on a Stag, and see what they would charge
If they seem a good outfit and the charge is not ridiculous I would seriously consider using them
If you decide to proceed yourself you need to heed the advice about the zipper. I bought my top from Rimmers and it has the weak zipper so don't buy from them
I can E mail you the article that appeared in the US Stag owners club magazine about zippers
Stuart
San Diego Ca USA

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Robin Stag Silver Member Robin Searle
Brechin, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Hi Tim and Stuart,
My comments about the poor weak zipper on the 'top most commonly supplied out of the UK' were limited to just the zipper itself,the actual Mohair top itself is fine,but again I strongly advise before it is fitted to CHANGE the zipper over to the Jeep one from www.zippershipper.com, you will never regret doing it.

Here in Ontario Canada at British Car Day this past fall, we celebrated 45 years of the Stag,with close to 45 Stags on display and the Stag parked next to me had just had his top put back on after he had experienced exactly what I and many others had "a parting zipper". He had removed his top then when visiting the UK, had AT repair his zipper,upon return to the US he had it reinstalled, when he saw mine he realized that all they had done was replace same for same his old type zipper. So using my figure of $900.00 to remove my top and replace it this time fitted with the Jeep zipper,if his zipper goes again that will be a very costly second removal again.

I am not anti AT but I wanted them to know there is a major problem JUST with the zipper that they use, and for less than 20 pounds they could fix it once and for all,but they have chosen to ignore my report to them. I wrote an article for the British Stag Owners Club magazine, but it seems that they do not want to upset an advertizer,so have chosen not to use it. Again I went to great lengths to say how good their products are, seats,carpets, interiors and yes even their tops EXCEPT for the poor quality zipper they use,I have seen it myself when visiting their factory, it comes in a big roll they just cut off the 74 inches needed and just sew over either end and there is no clasp holding both sides together, hence the parting.plus the flimsiness of the plastic zipper itself.Just take a look and compare, using the pictures that I supplied earlier on.

Trying to be fair, but also want the all Stag owners out there to be fully informed as it has taken me a few years to discover what the problem was and fix it once and for all.

Robin

tkrich Avatar
tkrich Tim Richardson
Vancouver, Washington, USA   USA
1971 Triumph Stag "Saffron"
1971 Triumph Stag "Saffron"
I have to agree that replacing the hood is a Royal PIA! I bought the mohair top and it was beautiful, but the people I had install it obviously didn't know what they were doing and it was all messed up. Guard those spacers like they are gold, because you can't buy a set, that I know of. I am having another shop refit my hood and I'm hoping for better results.

If anyone knows where I can buy a complete set of spacers for the soft top on a 71 Stag, PLEASE share!

Thanks,

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tkrich Avatar
tkrich Tim Richardson
Vancouver, Washington, USA   USA
1971 Triumph Stag "Saffron"
1971 Triumph Stag "Saffron"
Well, I got my Stag back from the shop that I hired to fix my soft top and frame so I could open and close it easily.

The result it a great looking job on the top, but it will not latch at all nor fold easily for storage. Their upholstery guy put a bunch of hours into the job, at a significant cost, with little success. Oh, it looks good, but it will not latch.

I'm going back to "demand" that they get it fixed.

The joys of Stag ownership!

Tim

Robin Stag Silver Member Robin Searle
Brechin, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Hi Tim,
If the problem with latching is at the front,then make sure that you first pull the rear up and latch it with the two latches that hold it up,then standing on the door sill with your RT hand pull from the rear towards the front,suggest that you also have an assistant do likewise to the other side but using their LH to pull up.Both then push down and latch using the handles.

Now if the latching problem is at the rear,unwind the plunger to lengthen it until it will then lock in place.

To stow the hood,first unzip the window and let it hang down,then pull up the rear and again latch it up using the two catches, lift the front up and release the Velcro edges and fold the top back lowering it to rear compartment but have the window slide down first. As it is 'new again' push each side down and make sure you ease the underside of the top behind the rear seat back on both sides.Push down hard on each side and make sure that the hood bolts clear the rear seat surround on each side,now push down as much as you can on each side before lowering the hood cap and put both hands on top of each other and push down till it clicks in place,repeat on the opposite side.

You should find that when you have performed all this several times it will become easier to do each time.

The voice of experience unfortunately as this happened with me also,so needed a few adjustments at first.

BOL

Robin

tkrich Avatar
tkrich Tim Richardson
Vancouver, Washington, USA   USA
1971 Triumph Stag "Saffron"
1971 Triumph Stag "Saffron"
Robin,

Thanks for the advice, but I have already done the steps to latch the front of my soft top that you describe. I am afraid that something is bent in the frame itself. I'll keep going along until I have to give up. I have a major show in two weeks.

Tim

sagreenwoo Stuart Greenwood
San Diego, California, USA   USA
If you can't latch on the windscreen top please check that the hinged joints between the front header rail and the over door side rails are free to move. The welding on these joints tend to break when the joints rust up and repairers, who don't know that this is a hinge joint, weld it up solid. This action distorts the entire frame and you have to completely redo it to get it to work . I hope that this is not your problem but check the hinges.
Stuart

LGMTR6 Avatar
LGMTR6 Larry Miceli
Mount Dora, Florida, USA   USA
1952 MG TD
1954 MG TF 1500
1958 Triumph TR3A
1967 MG MGB GT    & more
I've replaced the top on my prior '73 Stag and yes, it's a difficult job. It's harder than a TR6, or a Herald (which is also a PITA job!) That being said, if youve done this sort of thing before, it is a job that you can do. Measure 15 times and cut once! Make sure the frame is 100% right before you start or you'll never get it right. I have to replace the top on my current Stag project and while I'm not looking forward to it, I'm not afraid of it either. Now, if money isn't the issue, than have a professional shop do the job. But it will cost between $750-$1,000 US. At least, that's what I was quoted. And after doing the job, I understand why!



Larry Miceli
Mount Dora, Florida

52 MG TD (restored)
54 MG TF 1500 (project)
56 Triumph TR3 (project)
67 MGB GT (restored)
68 MGC GT (nice driver)
68 Triumph TR 250 (nice driver)
71 Triumph Stag (driver)
73 Triumph Stag (project)
74 Triumph TR6 (restored)

I've just never really figured out the "sell one when you get another" part of it all...

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