How do I fold the Top when Down?

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Mark Osterman
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How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:42 pm

Ok, so I installed the Clastique top kit on my 1923 runabout. It goes up fine and comes down fine too. Now I’m trying to figure out how it should be ticked in and folded in the down position. There is the metal bracket on the second bow where the end of the first bow goes when the top is in the up position. I’m pretty sure I don’t want this rubbing against the top material. So it needs to rest against the metal on the front bow when down ... right. By the time I pull the material out of the way it’s really bunched up and impossible to tuck inside the folds. What’s the secret? Can someone please make a short video to show me the technique?
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Erik Johnson
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Erik Johnson » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:55 pm

When folding down the top, fold/push the material inward on all three sides.

Basically, the opposite of what you show in your photos (don't have the top material hanging out the back, past the bows - push it inward).


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Mark Osterman
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:00 pm

I did push it in on the back ... but it’s the sides I can’t figure out. How does one avoid the metal bracket rubbing against the top material? That’s where a video of a 23-25 runabout would be helpful.


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Mark Osterman
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:08 am

Come on guys ... I know there are a few people with runabouts / roadsters who can give me the advice I’m looking for. I posted on the mode T Facebook page and all I got was pele telling me to always have the top up while in the garage and in storage.


Erik Johnson
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:19 am

I should have put a disclaimer in my first post.

I only have experience with two-man tops.

I should have realized that the mechanism/bracket is in the way on one-man tops which makes it difficult to fold the top inwards at the left and right sides without having it rest against the fabric as you have described in your posts.


Original Smith
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Original Smith » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:01 am

Your final photo looks pretty good. I tuck everything in as neat as I can. I made an exact copy of a '17-22 boot that I use. It fits nicely, but does not cover the sides that are attached to the rear sockets. By the time your car was made, Ford was not supplying top boots. If you choose to do this, since you are using a roll up rear curtain, you could attach the middle strap to the bottom side of the boot.


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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by John kuehn » Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:17 pm

I have a 1919 Runabout and my top is folded in pretty much like your last photo. I push it in evenly the best that I can and seems to help. Without the boot covering the top it doesn’t have the finished look. But it’s OK.
It might help if there were photos from the factory showing what they looked like.


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Mark Osterman
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:58 pm

My sense from the answers is that no one actually worries about that steel bracket on the center bow digging into the top material ... right? I have gotten better since I shot that last picture.

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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by CudaMan » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:11 pm

Correct. I have noticed that the tab with the hole for the front bow to fit in when the top is down does tend to rub on the inside of the top material. It actually wore a small hole in one side of my top over the years, so I had to sew on a patch from the inside. You can't see the hole with the top up. :)
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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:32 pm

Ask your wife to get you a couple of leather barrettes at the store. Use a shoestring or a piece of leather to thread through the holes in the barrette. Cover the bracket with the barrette when you put your top down. Or just make your own with a piece of leather so it looks authentic. Tandy leather store in Rochester?


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Re: How do I fold the Top when Down?

Post by Original Smith » Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:30 am

Mark: I fold mine as I'm putting the top down.

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