[TR] New TR6 top

DAVID MASSEY dave1massey at cs.com
Tue Dec 29 11:59:04 MST 2020

 I couldn't agree more.  Even my TR3 tonneau, which is shipped with the snaps loose, was just too small to fit properly.  An additional one inch would have made all the difference.  I think they are influenced by the concour people who value appearance over functionality.  They want a nice, taught look to the finished product.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Friedlander <forzion7 at gmail.com>
To: DAVID MASSEY <dave1massey at cs.com>
Cc: dave at mdmackay.ca <dave at mdmackay.ca>; triumphs at autox.team.net <triumphs at autox.team.net>
Sent: Tue, Dec 29, 2020 11:01 am
Subject: Re: [TR] New TR6 top

At least the vinyl top has a plasticizer in it. Sunfast tops are NOT going to stretch no matter what or when. When they're tight, they're tight. Not sure I understand why the various manufacturers don't try out their patterns on actual vehicles and adjust them, especially for when they use fabrics that don't stretch. I have a hoodstick cover from Prestige in the UK and have had a real challenge to get it to stretch to fit the lift-the-dot fasteners properly. The manufacturer has never actually fitted one to a real TR3 so I don't know how they derive their patterns....
Dave Friedlander
On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 11:51 AM DAVID MASSEY <dave1massey at cs.com> wrote:

 The vinyl material used in tops is produced with a plasticizer which is an additive that makes the vinyl soft, pliable and stretchable.  The problem is this product is volatile and will dissipate over time making the top less and less stretchable.  If the top stretched whens installed (and installers don't like wrinkles and the easiest way to remove wrinkles is the stretch the top to remove them) it will become more difficult to erect, especially when cold.  When I rebuilt my TR6 in 1996 a friend gave me a top that was sitting in his basement for 20-odd years (he bought it but his car was totaled before he could get it installed).  I had that top installed and it was a dream to erect and fold the whole time I had it.  I attribute that to the fact that it wasn't stretchable when installed.
My advice is to get your top installed when the weather is cold and the material is more resistant to stretching.  The installer will pre-stretch the top less and it will work better in the long run.
Here's another anecdote: I bought a tonneau for the TR3 which was, in my opinion, cut about 1 inch too short.  I installed the Lift-A-Dot snaps as close to the edges as I could but still could only install it on a hot day in the sun.  Since this car lives mostly in the garage the tonneau is virtually permanently installed and over the years as the cover gets less stretchy it has become easier to install.  I think the plasticizer has dissipated and the top took a set in the stretched position.  So, this raises a question: What would happen if one slit some garden hose and placed it over the bows and left the top up with a little extra stretch.  After a while the top will take a set with extra slack, perhaps making it easier to put up.
Or buy your top years before you install it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave MacKay <dave at mdmackay.ca>
To: triumphs at autox.team.net
Sent: Mon, Dec 28, 2020 4:41 pm
Subject: Re: [TR] New TR6 top

I, too, have had problems with the Robbins tops although my car is a TR3A, not a TR6. Like Bob with his TR6, my tonneau (and also a convertible top) is so tight that I can only fit it with great effort even in warm sunny weather. The tonneau was installed by professional installers who complained about the fit. Robbins was responsive when I complained. I even sent my previous tonneau to them so they could see what fit, but the replacement they sent me after that was no better. The top hasn’t stretched or loosened over time. If anything, it may have shrunk because it seems as hard or harder than ever to put on. I would suggest having the top (tonneau or convertible) made by your installer so that you get a good fit. That would have been cheaper for me than buying the Robbins tonneau and having to pay for two installations. As always, particularly since you’re dealing with a TR6 not a TR3A, YMMV Good luck, 
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