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Mondial convertible top tips- chime in.

Discussion in 'Mondial' started by MondiAl87, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. MondiAl87

    MondiAl87 Karting

    Oct 10, 2005
    69
    Sacramento Area
    Full Name:
    Al D.
    (Info from various owners and mechanics)

    1. When garaged, put the top up to keep the materials from creasing.

    2. Don't keep the top up for long periods of time since some of the material may stick to the frame and could cause ripping.

    3. When folding the top down, don't force it... it should never feel that way.

    4. The sequence to folding down the top is, in order is:
    a) wind all the windows down,
    b) un-buckle the top from the window frame,
    c) wind back the two guide pins at the buckles as far as they will go to make it easier to push the top up,
    d) yes, the first to push UP with ever so slightly back on the top rail that the buckles are fastened to so as to clear the guide pins,
    e) once you have cleared the gudie pins from the top of the windshield, fasten the buckles down using the leather straps that snap into place (catching the buckles on the top of the windshield on the way down is the #1 way to break the small arms on the buckles ($450+ part to replace- more on that later),
    f) once you have pused the top up, stand next to the car and smoothly push the top back while keeping the 2nd bar vertical.
    g) as the top folds backward, note how the sides fold neatly into the middle and that there is no material being caught in the joints
    h) if it doesn't go all the way down (normal) look for the elbow closest to the rear windshield that has probably caught on the rear deck or recessed cup. If so gently lift up on the elbow to release (check for the elbow on the other side of the car also), this should let the top fold all the way down to its lowest point,
    g) make sure to fold the rear windshield over the sides (that have collapsed into the middle) but under the front bar (that has the buckles), this will keep the the whole package slim and make the boot cover install super easy.

    h) when rolling the windows up, the glass tends to catch against the material. Help the window motors by gently pulling up on the glass as it comes up... if necessary, open the doors slightly if the glass doesn't go all the way up.

    On the boot cover, leather or canvas: make sure to periodically inspect the interior collar that winds on to the outer pull knob. The inner collars can unwind over time and result in the combo coming apart, usually at high speed usually when you least want to pull over. Never mind the money to replace the parts, it's the flapping that can cause damage to your paint job. The collars wind on like a golf spike. A split ring plier is the tool to use to check the collars. Also when the boot cover is on, make sure to pull up on the material at the knobs to make sure that the knobs are seated on the post under the material. Again, you don't want those knobs slapping agains your paint at speed.

    5. Putting the top up:
    a) pull at a 45 deg angle on the middle strap at the middle of the first bar SMOOTHLY making sure that nothing seems like its caught, as the first bar nears the top of the windshield, the first bar will move downward,
    b) to get the guide pins back in place to buckle, extend the pins all the way by winding down on the adjustment knobs (the opposite of when putting the top down)
    c) guide both pins into their slots and buckle only one side at a time. After both sides have been buckled, unbuckle each side and wind the guide pins back until the top is snug and the pins are as retracted as they will go.

    Maintenance:
    Wash the top as often as you do the car. I use the same Boar's hair brush (Griotsgarage.com) as I do for the rest of the car. Make sure it's dry before you fold it down (it dry's quickly). Lubricate the joints (clean off the excess to avoid staining the inside of the top). Check the C-clips and pins periodically.

    That's it. It might seem like a lot, but with practice the whole show doesn't take more than 5 minutes, enough time for the car to warm up.

    If you want to drive top down but with all the windows up, you'll have to pull slightly inward the top frame to clear the path for the rear windows to come up.
     
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  3. NYCFERRARIS

    NYCFERRARIS Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2004
    999
    great detail;...we should make a instructional video...big cabriolet controversy...what order to you attach your boot cover...do you start withthe middle snaps INSIDE the car 9 and if so do you attach these BEFORE you lower the top...OR...do you start with the outer snaps at the "wing" tips" ??? I do the former and still have some trouble getting all teh snaps over teh engine cover to catch.
     
  4. MondiAl87

    MondiAl87 Karting

    Oct 10, 2005
    69
    Sacramento Area
    Full Name:
    Al D.
    I always start by stalling the two interior straps first, while the back seats are down then the smooth the cover toward the pins opposite (at the bottom corner of the rear windshield) and fasten those pins. I then install the ones closest to the rear, then the ones closest to you where you are standing and the last is the pin at the door opening. Those second set of pins (the ones at the foot of the rear windshied/ top of the engine cover are the tougher ones). Just make sure to not pinch the top fabric between the post and the knob.
     
  5. dakharris

    dakharris Two Time F1 World Champ

    Jun 7, 2001
    29,441
    Sleepy Hollow
    Full Name:
    Cavaliere Senzatesta
    The plastic window is easily scratched. When the top folds, the window folds against itself and if there is a spec of grit it will scratch itself. On all of my convertibles, I have always placed a cotton towel on the window when i fold the top down in order to protect it from itself. With the Mondial, there is the added peril of the heat from the engine melting the plastic window that rests directly on top of the engine compartment.
     
  6. Fyrrari

    Fyrrari Formula Junior

    Jun 4, 2005
    312
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    David
    I wanted to thank everyone for the great info on this issue. Also, from what I have heard you should never fold your window in an "out" ward direction (toward the rear of the car) so that it is laying over the engine cover otherwise it will melt. As you collapse the top it should always be folded inward where it will be protected from the heat. Does anyone have experience with this?

    I am only aware of this because mine has a telltale line across it. It is slight but never the less it is still there. According to a local Ferrari expert, there is two ways of folding it down, as to where the window will lay. One way exposes it to the engine heat and the other way protects it...

    Perhaps someone can post photos of correctly folding down and storing the top...
     
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  8. MondiAl87

    MondiAl87 Karting

    Oct 10, 2005
    69
    Sacramento Area
    Full Name:
    Al D.
    If you make sure to have the middle sections of the top fold in naturally, without any manipulation, you will see that the plastic window will naturally want to lay over the middle sections. Just make sure to also tuck it in under the front bar of the top and it will neither "fold against itself" nor "lay over the hot engine grill". As an added precaution I purchased some ultra-suede contact paper (drawer liner) and wrapped the rear bar that extends over the top of the platic window when in the up position and lays under the plastic window in the folded position. The towel trick is also helpful. The bar is really the only threat to the plastic window, assuming the lining of the boot cover is in good shape. If the interior strapping for the top is in place, the top fabric and plastic window will not travel rearward enough to be in danger of being burned.

    I'll try to post some pictures later.
     
  9. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    974
    Berlin, Germany
  10. NYCFERRARIS

    NYCFERRARIS Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2004
    999
    OK, the mondial is the all time best F-car daily driver right...up there with the 911 for sportiness and comfort and hauling capacity..OK it is my daily driver and I love it..In NYC they have vandals who cut the platic window...it is cheap thin crappy plastic..I go to my auto upholstry guy and he says it is nothing special same as used in the "cheap" (ouch) BMW and other euro convertibles and he will take my top off and sew in a new window...problem..replacemsnet does not have the horsey . I tell him I must have the horsey..he laughs real hard .. and questions my manhood or the size of it I think...I tell him if no horsey when I go to sell the car these Ferrari guys will be all over it hassling down thousands saying it is all suspect....I check into making a "die" of teh horsey and melting it into the replacement window..too much of a pain not cheap and if detected as not looking right..I am worse off...I call ferrari and they tell me the window is not avail as seperate part you need to buy the whole damn conv. top witht he bows and top contraption..essentially making the little tear inteh plastic ..turningthe whole car into a noneconomical repair...I ***** to Re-Originals a vendor of ital fabric auto stuff and he is quite the entreprenuer and now seels the canvass tops with the plastic (check on the horsey or not from him) w/o buying the whole top contraption from ferrari...lesson learned...be carful with that plastic window..it is cheap plastic but very costly...
     
  11. Rival

    Rival Formula Junior

    May 12, 2005
    338
    Misipi
    I was reading this post from earlier this year, and I was trying to understand a statement. It was said that
    .....I'm not sure I understand this. When I fold my top down, everything just sort of layers, and everything folds straight back.

    Since I have a leather top boot, I need everything to fold into as compact a package as possible, because I think the boot has shrunk some over time.

    In an effort to find the best possible sequence, I've tried this process multiple times; however, getting the boot on (all snaps in place) is virtually impossible.......Therefore, would it be possible for someone (BluTan87Mondi?) to include some photographs of critical points in the folding process? Many of us would be GREATLY appreciative of learning a new technique...........thanks!
     
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  13. RMDC

    RMDC Formula 3

    May 15, 2005
    1,005
    Boston, North Shore
    Thanks - You folks just convinced me I should never buy a Mondial cabriolet
     
  14. peteskie

    peteskie Karting

    Jan 11, 2006
    128
    Oakville ON Canada
    Full Name:
    Peter D


    LOL...my sentiments exactly when I was researching buying my Mondial :)
     
  15. buzzm2005

    buzzm2005 Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2005
    1,692
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Buzz
    Here's another tip.

    When you put the top up, unfold and tension the bracing but don't latch just yet. Grab the B pillars (which should now be upright) at the top where they intersect the roof and gently tug them forward. You'll find the whole top will shift forward up to a half inch! This will greatly ease the latching at the windshield AND you'll be pleasantly surprised by how nicely the rear windows go up since they're not fighting the B pillar. Although you can certainly walk around the car to do this, I do it from inside the car, including reaching behind the passenger seat to get at the starboard B pillar, which should give you some idea of the effort involve (i.e. not much).
     
  16. buzzm2005

    buzzm2005 Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2005
    1,692
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Buzz
    I must confess I don't even undo those interior straps anymore. When the top is up I usually just left the cover flop into the rear seats.

    And those pins at the base of the engine cover are demonic....
     
  17. Rival

    Rival Formula Junior

    May 12, 2005
    338
    Misipi
    "Different strokes,.........", as I would've never considered a coupe.

    Every convertible with a manual top I've ever owned was a little difficult to drop the top and install the boot. However, wanting to make sure the top is stowed properly, and figuring out how to do that correctly, certainly did nothing to make me not want another convertible!

    It's a really small price to pay to have a full convertible Ferrari!
     
  18. MondiAl87

    MondiAl87 Karting

    Oct 10, 2005
    69
    Sacramento Area
    Full Name:
    Al D.
    I'll try to get the pics up next week. I also have a leather tan boot cover. If you make sure that the top is sitting at its lowest point by making sure to check that the elbows that are at the cups on the interior deck lid are lifted up slightly to allow them to slide back and not "stuck" in the cups, the top will be at its smallest configuration and the boot cover will go on easily. Just fold the rear seats down to make attaching the interiior straps easy and attach the interior boot cover straps first. Smooth the boot cover rearward and attach the snaps directly opposite (making sure to not pinch the rear window or top fabric). The rest is a breeze. It takes me not more that 5 minutes from the start of unlatching the top (with the windows down), attach and snap the boot cover in place and back into the car ready for a nice drive.
     
  19. Rival

    Rival Formula Junior

    May 12, 2005
    338
    Misipi
    Thanks for the response. I'm looking forward to seeing how you fold your top as it's being put in place. I've tried several different ways, and after attaching the interior boot straps, it's a real job (if even possible) to snap the boot at hinge side of the engine cover........hopefully, your photos will provide me with a clear view of what I may be doing wrong.
     
  20. ronfrohock

    ronfrohock F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 16, 2004
    3,257
    MA
    Full Name:
    Ron Frohock
    After breaking the toggles on my latch's I designed and had fabricated a better toggle. Basically the same as the original, but machined from stainless steel with titinum pins. I offered to have more made to the F-Chatters. I had a local machine shop quote making more but the cost was in the area of $250 for the pair. (I think this was due to the fact that they knew it was for a red car.......) Anyway, I could get another estimate if need be.
    - Ron
    PS. Serach the archive for more detail.
     
  21. Rival

    Rival Formula Junior

    May 12, 2005
    338
    Misipi
    I remember seeing these, and it looked like an EXCELLENT solution for broken latch arms. Mine are fine (so far), but if they were available at a more "reasonable" price (maybe constructed of black anodized aluminum with stainless pins?), I believe there'd be a pretty good market for them.

    Just my thoughts..................
     
  22. Max4HD

    Max4HD Formula Junior

    Jun 20, 2006
    998
    Florida
    I recently purchased an '87 3.2 qv and read this thread on the convertible top operation.
    In fact, I printed it off my computer and held it in my hand as my wife and I TRIED to get the top on our car down for an inaugural topless ride.
    However, we got the top ALMOST all the way down, but could not get the last step to happen.
    The original post by BluTan87Mondi, says that the front bar with the buckles comes back and makes the whole top sit as a slim package.
    What I ended up with was the front bar not folding backdown over the rest of the top, but rather sitting at a 90 degree angle.
    I did not want to force it back, nor did I want to drive with the top sitting up as it was and risk melting the rear window as it flapped over the engine compartment.
    Do I need to do something extra (ie: fold down back seats)?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
     
  23. NYCFERRARIS

    NYCFERRARIS Formula Junior

    Mar 2, 2004
    999
    As per Buzz, who showed me the trick, even after I took a "seminar" at WWOC on this top folding business I still did not get it.

    whenthe top is foded back, but not going all the way down, on of thecenter bows, by the driver side, actually has like a hook , or handle, to get your finger under ( it is the only bow that has this on its outer edge) you reach in and lift that bow up by that finger hold and the whole buisness should drop down further.

    I am still not sure if the top material, including the plastic window folds into and in between the bows ( like an accordian) or if you should pull it away from the bows ( so it does not crease) and then fold it over the top when down.
     
  24. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,575
    socal
    Hey any of you guys got a good source on the cab top rubber parts on the b pillers?
     
  25. MondiAl87

    MondiAl87 Karting

    Oct 10, 2005
    69
    Sacramento Area
    Full Name:
    Al D.
    The plastic rear window should be gently pulled up and away from the frame, curved over the top and smoothed under the buckle end.

    To help keep the scratches down:
    1. Always make sure to dust the window before putting the top down.
    2. Make sure that the lining of the boot cover is also clean.
    3. Wrap the two ribs that the rear window will lay over with some fabric drawer liner. I used tan ultra suede. It has a sticky side and is super easy to cut into long 1 1/2 inch strips the length of the ribs.

    I'll get to posting pics soon.
     
  26. AR!

    AR! Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    974
    Berlin, Germany
    When searching for my t Cab EVERY example I saw had those damaged rubber parts. The one I bought was at least quite nicely repaired with some kind of liquid rubber.

    If I find time next weekend I´m going to take a picture of the repaired part. And I will also make a photo documentation on my attempts to fold the roof down .. .. as a demonstration how it should NOT be done :-/
     
  27. lusso64

    lusso64 Formula 3

    Apr 12, 2004
    1,535
    Simi Valley
    Full Name:
    David
    Ron,

    please get another estimate :) My wife complains about the cold air in the evenings. The roof hasn't been up on the car in 6 months. Good thing we're in California I suppose...

    If you don't have the time, I'd be happy to hunt around for a decent price for you and get them done.

    Dave
     
  28. SonomaRik

    SonomaRik F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 15, 2006
    6,715
    Sonoma, CA
    but I NEVER put the top up: It only goes out in the dry weather anyway...

    Not too worried about creasing the top, or the window items.....just the way a 17 year old car would be...

    BUT

    cleaning that leather...just did it AGAIN for the 5th time this year...IMHO, this is a reason to get a TS....
     

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