Manual Top Convertible

Discussion in 'The ragtop shop' started by 6455spd, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. 6455spd

    6455spd Silver Level contributor

    I just swapped out my convertible hydro-electric power top for a manual spring system. I know this is usually done in the opposite direction but I like the manual better as it is more reliable, no possible fluid leaks, much faster to operate, and lighter. The plastic hold down clips were rotten, and are only used on the manual tops to keep the top secured. I'm surprised to find nobody makes these clips for GM A-bodies, so a re-pop 65 Mustang set were used. I considered 3D printing the clips and even I made a CAD model to do so, but figured the injection molded mustang part will be more durable, plus they looks nice in black. The manual top is a great system, its as easy to open as a hood, and the springs both compress and expand during its full cycle.
    Anybody out there have a manual top?
    20200322_193656.jpg 20200322_193624.jpg convt clip.jpg
     
    wkillgs and tubecatgs like this.
  2. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Very cool. I have never seen a manual reveled before.
     
  3. ssmock

    ssmock Well-Known Member

    I have a 64 manual top. Never had the back seat out of it. I guess it's the same set up.
     
  4. gsconv

    gsconv BPG# 1603

    Dad's(Mom's), 1967 Camaro RS Convertible has manual top hold down latches that are readily available.
     
  5. Rapdron

    Rapdron Member

    This 65 Skylark I just bought has had the pump motor removed, not sure how they did it.
    Cost wise right now I plan on leaving it this way until winter. I want to drive it for the summer.
    I've been looking for this model convertible since I'd sold my first one in the early 70's ,
    but getting married, having kids, paying for college and weddings got in the way.
    It's delivery date is this Wednesday, July 17th, so I'm excited to drive it.
    6455spd, Where did you get the kit to do this just in case mine isn't done correctly?
    Thank you
    Ron
     
  6. 2dtrak

    2dtrak Well-Known Member

    I have considering making my 70 a manual top. As u said everywhere I’ve looked was told it’s generally the opposite manual to power conversion. I plan on not driving this car very often and considered the manual system more trouble free. With the lift cylinders detached I can pretty easily open the top by myself so was wondering if it was possible to run it this way without the manual assist springs etc.
     
  7. 6455spd

    6455spd Silver Level contributor

    I like the manual top much better. The 64-67 manual springs to the hydraulic cylinders are interchangeable. I read somewhere the manual 68-72 top frames might be slightly different, but i don't know if that is true. The manual springs require hold down clips to position the frame in a supported position when the top is down. The springs like to rest the top about 6 inches above the clips in its relaxed position causing me to slightly push down to engage the clips. I fear without the springs and clips, when the top is down, it will put more pressure on the fabric or whatever it finds to rest against. I could not find the clips as a repo so i made the repo 65 mustang clips work.
     
    2dtrak likes this.
  8. 6455spd

    6455spd Silver Level contributor

    I posted in the parts wanted section here on V8BUICK and la 65 gs (Loren) sold me a set of springs and clips. I kept my slightly leaky cylinders and pump incase I ever change my mind and go back to a power top.
     
  9. 6455spd

    6455spd Silver Level contributor

    Unfortunately the Camaro manual top clips are quite different than the Chevelle's (or Skylarks)
     

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