Getting in and out with side curtains on

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  • #233813
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    I have a VW Fiberfab car, registered as a ’53 replica, that I had totally mechanically rebuilt – engine, brakes, tires. I just had my top replaced – a new one made- at my boatyard by the guy that does all the canvas work. I was able to get the same material as the original top and side curtains and tonnau, and I must say he did a helluva job and it’s very well made and looks good. I’ll get some pics up here some day if I can figure out how to post them.
    The whole original design of the way the side curtains attach to the top leaves a lot to be desired. The zipper to attach them together pulls from front to back to remove the side curtain and then you have to unsnap all the ones on the door to open it, as the door pivots from behind. Then you can get into the car. After that, if you want to ride with the side curtain on, you have to zip it on from back to front and then reach out through the zippered channel and reattach the snaps on the door. What a PIA. It must be much easier with a Lafer with front hinged doors.
    Does anyone just try to unsnap the bottom of the side curtain and sneak underneath it to get in and out or do you do the removal and re-attachment thing every time if you want to drive with the sides on?
    I probably will resort to driving without my driver’s side curtain on, unless it’s really cold out, and then reattach it when I get to where I’m going when I park it.
    Any suggestions to make it easier getting in and out would be appreciated.

    #247776
    Mark
    Participant

    @mglondonroadste

    My side curtains on the London Roadster are a PITA.  If I want to drive with them on and the top up, of  course, I need to start the zipper and snap process before I sit inside.

    Once inside, I need to unzip the window and use both hands to guide the push bar and clip piece to hook into the windshield frame.  Then I need to reach through the unzipped window to snap the side panel in place, then zip it all up again.  This is not fun when it is soaking wet.

    I can open my door (rear hinged) with the side curtain partially on, but mostly unzipped and unsnapped.

    My top has a metal bar that fits into a small channel on the forward side of the windscreen.  It does not go in easily or quickly.  When I picked it up in the Seattle area and took it on a drive on the Olympic Peninsula,  I and a fellow driver got soaked trying to get it installed after it started raining.  In his Honda S2000 with an automatic top, it was up in about 5 seconds.

    Of course, as soon as we got it installed, zipped and snapped into place, the rain stopped.  It made for part of the adventure I had bringing her home.

    #247777
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    My Classic Roadster Duchess zips along the roof from front to rear.

    You unsnap from the windshield frame and unzip to open the doors.

    Once inside, there is a zipper under the window portion of the side curtain. You can reach through there to reattach the curtain to the windshield frame.

    I also carry a snap tool in the car, you can use it to more gently release the snaps and can use it from inside the car to resnap. Bought it from a boat supply website. I’ll update later with the site.

    Much better than trying to do the limbo under the curtain!

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #247778
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    So you unsnap the front of the side curtains from the window frame and not the snaps attached to the door, opening the side curtain with the door after you unzip it?
    I don’t think I could never reach the window frame through the zipper under the side window to reattach the 3 snaps up there but I’ll try that tomorrow.
    I have one of those snap tools from my boat somewhere, now all I have to do is find it (easier to buy another one). If you use that then maybe you can snap the side curtain to the windshield from the inside?

    mrlmd40864.9313773148

    #247779
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Hi mrlmd,

    Yes, since my Duchess unzips from front to rear, I just unsnap the curtain from the windshield frame and one snap on the body on front of the door, and the door will swing open with the curtain attached.

    There is no frame around my window, and the zip opening under it is almost as long as the window, so I am able to reach the windshield frame.

    And one more yes. With that snap tool, I can attach the curtain from inside the car.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #247780
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    This is similar to the top snapper tool that I have:

    http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=72146& amp; amp;amp;pdesc=Top_Snapper

    PMOSSBERG40865.0303819444

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #247781
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    You mean you have to have a tool to snap the top? Good to know information. I’ll have to add that tool to my Christmas list. Looks like that tool will fit between all those pieces of coal I’m gonna get.  newkitman40865.39875

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #247782
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    I’ve used mine a time or two and , like Paul, find that just unzipping the top a couple feet and unsnapping the windshield fasteners allows me to get in. I had not known about the tool, but reaching out to re-snap the three windshield snaps is really very easy.

    That said, even in pretty good rain, I tend to run without the curtains. Not much water gets in.

    Cold is another story.

    #247783
    Tom Colello
    Participant

    @gunfighter

    From the sounds of things here you guys really have a time with the side curtins. I guess I lucked out. My Allison has side curtins like the early model Jeep YJ’s. The side curtin frame slips into the door itself and opens and closes with the door. Problem is either the side curtins are on or they are off. There’s no window to zip in or out. Fortunately down south I never use them. On the few days it’s to cold to drive without the side curtins on I don’t drive the car. Otherwise with just the top on and the heater going it’s enough to keep from freezing to death. You would think that since these cars are originally British that they would have designed a better top and side curtin system given the weather over there.

    Gunfighter40865.4649189815

    #247784
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Gunfighters rig looks very similar to what I remember on my old MGTF-1500.  Mine were more convenient and conventional but leaked worse than the typical replicar zipper and snap-ins.

    #247785
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    The Allison design appears to be an exact copy of the TD’s. I have side curtain envy. They also have the very correct dash with glove box.

    That said, the curtains don’t get used much, and the framed ones look like they’d be hard to store in my car, which also lacks the awesome, coffin-sized front trunk area enjoyed by Allison Daytona owners of the VW persuasion.

    #247786
    Tom Colello
    Participant

    @gunfighter

    You’re right Ed. That’s exactly why I don’t use them. This is my first winter with the car so we’ll see how it goes. I don’t much like even having the top up let alone side curtins. Too much of a closed in feeling. But I’ll leave the top up for most of the winter anyway. People down here look at you a little strange driving a car with the top down while wearing a snow suit and bomber hat.

    #247787
    Montie Henderson
    Participant

    @montie

    I still get  from most people even when I in a parka with hood and the top down.  Guess I’m just stubborn, top only goes up if it’s raining,,,, hard.  I should have checked the weather channel before I left the house.   The tool looks good though, I may have to look for one, but hope I never get to use it.

    #247788
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    You have to be careful with that tool, that you don’t scratch up the fiberglass using it. I found mine that I had for my boat in the third place I looked – lucky me – (and I never thought it would be in here but I was curious anyway), so I’m going to see if I can use it. Basically it can prevent you from ripping the snap out of whatever it’s attached to, can ease getting the snap off and back on. and it may facilitate snapping the side curtain onto my windshield reaching out through the zipper or from inside. I’ll let you know how it works out. Thanks for the idea.

    #247789
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    The top snapper tool is always used on the inside of the fabric.

    It slips over the female portion of the snap and can provide some gentle leverage to release a snap. It protects the fabric, you are no longer pulling on canvas or vinyl to get the snap to release. Just be careful of the fiberglass.

    On my 1965 Plymouth convertible, I ALWAYS remove the boot cover using the tool. The snaps are only through two layers of vinyl, and I don’t want to repeatedly stress the vinyl and pull a snap out. 

    To attach using the tool, you do all the work from inside the car. Again, just slip it over the female end of the snap (between the snap and the inner layer of your side curtain) and leverage the snap onto the mail fitting.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #247790
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    I gotta see a picture of someone reaching through the zipper to get to the snap on the windshield. It just sounds kinda ……. wierd.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #247791
    Paul Mossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Sort of a disembodied arm flapping in the breeze.

    I’ve paid tolls that way too! Great expression from toll collectors! 🙂

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #247792
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    One of my weekly guys for breakfast bunch laughed when he saw me get in and zipper and snap to “close up” my MIGI.  I told him that I drove this car by choice, it’s fun and that my civilized car was home in the driveway.    And if he didn’t understand then I couldn’t explain it to him.  I had a big smile on my face when I drove off.  I truly am intrigued by people that don’t “get it” and am glad that I do.  (But, these side curtains  really are a pain in the ass – eh?)  

    We “sports car types” always used to wave and/or flash our lights to each other when passing on the road.  …….whatever happened to that form of recognition?   It was a sign of a happier time.  Too often when I wave, I get a “who the heck was that” kind of return look. 

    #247793
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    We motorcycle riders (another sickness) for the most part always wave and get a return wave. I’d wave like crazy if I ever spotted another TD on the road (provided I had the top down or side curtains off).
    I did meet one other local owner when stopped on the side of the road one day. He has a yellow kit in his garage for the past few years, unassembled, and I have to go over and pay him a visit, and maybe even help him put it all together one day.

    #247794
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    I give and get waves and flashes to old car drivers and sports car drivers regularly. I’ve found that ’60s muscle car guys almost always look and nod with polite respect, but Brit car drivers pretty much go crazy.

    One day in August I was in midtown Baltimore getting on the highway to visit a guy running for mayor. Behind me was a dude in a pristine chrome-bumper MGB. Just a beautiful example, with knock-off wires and perfect marina blue paint. After the on ramp he pulled alongside and screamed “THAT’S BEAUTIFUL!”

    In June, while on the way out to Chambersburg to see the Great Race roll through I slowed in traffic in Westminster and noticed a Jaguar driver following too closely. He ended up passing on one side and then slowing to let me by, all the while smiling and waving like a little girl who’d spied Justin Bieber’s entourage.

    edsnova40866.3831597222

    #247795
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    I tried it the way suggested, just unsnap the side panel from the windshield and the one on the body in front of the door and unzip the horizontal part of the main zipper, and I can easily open the door with the panel attached, and, I can easily get the front snap and 2 lower windshield snaps in place without any difficulty once inside the car, by sticking my arm out through the lower zipper in the panel. The topmost snap under the top itself I can’t reach but that area of the panel and window is firmly held in place by the top so it should be OK to drive it like that. That’s much easier than undoing all the snaps on the door and trying to reattach them from inside. I have to lube the zipper with something so as not to break off any plastic teeth on it, but that method works pretty well, altho still a PIA. I guess if you have a passenger with you and want to keep the side curtains on, you have to assist them by zipping and buttoning them up. That’s either chivalry, or trying to protect your car.

    #247796
    Dennis Brock
    Participant

    @dbrock

    We made the top for the yellow Fiberfab.  Didn’t have the website located yet, and no “real TDs” to look at, so it’s a bit odd looking, but the side curtains that we made work well and easily.  The side curtains snap along the body and doors, and zip at the top.  We used a seperating coat zipper on the top.  The curtains themself are made of parachute cloth with windows made of the heaviest guage window plastic that Wallyworld sells.  They velcro to the back edge of the windshield and to the rear side curtain.  almost a perfect seal on the top, front and rear, but it does leak under the bottom where it is snapped.  All in all, we probably have $30.00 in our top, side curtains and folding frame.  Don’t care that it looks a little wierd as we use it for storage and unexpected rains.  The rest of the time it is folded under the boot which is where it should be!

    #247797
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    dbrock I would really like to see a picture of your top up with the side curtains installed.  My top looks great but is old and I treat it very carefully.  I will need to replace sometime in the not too distant future.

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