Putting on the hardtop - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Putting on the hardtop

Well, winter is coming to San Diego. I think it was around 70 today, but the mornings and nights will get chillier and that right now is the main use of the car, to commute to the office and back. So I figured it was time to put on a hard top. Now I had a real reservation about doing this, because I absolutely love the open top feeling when the weather is good, but I think the hardtop makes more sense when there is much less chance of taking off the top, and the hardtop looks many times better.

I was also a little concerned about how much time it would take to put the top on.

To my surprise, the top takes less than 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES! Why did I think it was much more involved and maybe was a two person job? I don't know. I simply picked it up, placed on top of the car. The little clips then easily swivel around to the pick up points at each corner and the 4 screws easily tightened with the proper tool. Then place the front fascia thing and its three screws on. Two velcro fabric bits. DONE!

What this tells me, is that if I had a nice weekend day, and I was going for a drive, I don't mind at all spending 5 minutes taking the top off and putting the soft top in the boot.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 08:13 PM
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I drive around without the top on when it is in the 40s outside :-) As long as it is sunny that is not a big deal. Turn the heater on, wear a sweater or coat and life's good. You guys in SoCal are spoiled *grin* Getting the hard top on in 5 minutes sounds fast. I don't own one, thought I read somewhere on this forum that it takes two people to do it. Guess not!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 08:31 PM
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Yes, I agree with you Randy. I've removed and re-installed the hard top many times and each time it's easier to do it! Installing takes about 5 minutes, but removing it is even faster (how about 2 minutes?).

One of the screws on the back of the hard top slows the process down, but wiggling the screw by hand to start the thread helps a bit. The "header" with the three bolts is the most difficult part of the process. Matching the three screws into the threaded holes can be trying. Next time I'll try silicone spray to loosen the thread interface.

This brings up a question. If one removes/re-installs the hardtop regularly (like I do it once a week), will it wear out the thread/hole interfaces causing stripped threads in a year or less?

Only time will tell.

I can't understand other posts that it's a "seasonal" rite, taking 20-30 minutes to do this?

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 08:41 PM
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Randy,

I was expecting to find this to be a revived thread from '05!

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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I don't read every post, but I swear I read it took two people and/or about 25 minutes.



This is my first time putting on the top, I just got it from Ivan. Always wondered about getting one since I got the car. Now I have it.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 08:53 PM
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Love the feel of the open top too, but the hardtop is definitely easy to put on and looks much better than the soft top.

Took me less than 5 minutes to put on by myself as well. . . other people must be unscrewing all the screws all the way out instead of just barely loosening the back two screws.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 09:04 PM
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I use my soft top here in Florida during the winter months, when open top motoring is beautiful. During the summer months, my hard top is used. The hard top seems to act as less of a heat sink as the soft top, and tends to keep the car cooler.

As far as frequent removal and refitting of the hard top is concered, I really am worried about the long term stress to the seemingly fragile bolts and mounting clips. I am going to stick with the seasonal top swap.

I don't know about anyone else's tops, but the upper limit of window travel is different on my tops. When I switch out my tops, I have to adjust my window travel to get the window edge to meet up with the top weather stripping. The top swap may not take long, but it takes me almost 30 minutes to adjust the window travel.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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I did wonder about the windows and was thinking I should do a spray test.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Chase View Post
Well, winter is coming to San Diego. I think it was around 70 today, but the mornings and nights will get chillier...
You So Cal guys are making me sick... It was 40 degree out today here in crappy OH. Man, I need to move...

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 09:17 PM
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Wow...has the new Lotus Talk already lost it's edge?

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 09:36 PM
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Yup, it's not really all to difficult.

the only downer is you can really only take the top on and off at home or a secure location, cause you can't stow it in the trunk.

me. I actually took my top OFF today, went on my first real road trip up Hwy 18 up to Lake Arrowhead. - averaged over 70mph UP most of the way. What a rush! god I love my car!
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megatron View Post
You So Cal guys are making me sick... It was 40 degree out today here in crappy OH. Man, I need to move...
I took the hardtop off the second I got home from the dealer and it has not left my closet since (16 months). My current daily commute is UTC to Oceanside (30 HWY minutes) at 7:00 am (heater on, thick hoodie, hot coffee) and back at about 4:00pm (windows down, sunblock on face). Soft top is just wasting away behind my seat in case it rains when the car is parked (did you know that if you maintain 35MPH and above, even heavy rain will not enter the cabin?)


If it weren't for physics and law enforcement, I'd be unstoppable!

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 01:59 AM
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worst thing about the hard top is when the velcro bits fall off and smack you in the head. seems to only happen at the worst moment- in a hard left curve. very distracting!

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 04:03 AM
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Hard Top

You are talking about putting your top on for winter and I am getting ready to put the car in storage for winter.


So sad.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 04:23 AM
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Oh yes.....winter in San Diego.....such a brutal thing......you poor people.

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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 04:38 AM
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TODAY IN NY!!


Right now we are enjoying a partly cloudy day at 33 degrees on to a high of 38.


Tonight gets even better with a low of a mere 23!!!

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 04:43 AM
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Glad you are finally getting around to using the hardtop Randy...Did it take this long to unwrap it?
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 04:55 AM
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Winter Hard top?

I actually leave the hard top on in the summer,(helps the A/C keep up in the Florida heat), and take it off in the spring and fall.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 05:06 AM
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What's really weird is I put my hard top back on yesterday for the first time then I see this post. It only took me 4 minutes and 56 seconds. I have no clue why Randy needed more time.

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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Chase View Post
To my surprise, the top takes less than 5 minutes. FIVE MINUTES!
The more important question is how long did it take to doublecheck everything to be sure you'd done it right after being surprised it only took five minutes.

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