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AndyC 4A

Surrey original or alternative.

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Hi All,

 

My soft top needs replacing and I am thinking of a Honeybourne equivalent. I am selling my other 2 seater (Honda S2000) and so the TR will be my 2nd (Occasional) car, and as a consequence will need the space where the soft top sits. Also Mrs C wants to take the the smallish dogs out with us in the Summer so the space will be useful.

 

So the question is, has anyone bought a complete replica "Surrey" from Moss or anyone else? Not really worried about having the "hard (Surrey) top" section at this time. Not much on the forum, odd mention of Honeybourne but not regarding complete ones. All comments welcome, warts and all.

 

Yours in anticipation

 

Andy

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I bought a Moss Surrey top to replace the tatters I got with the car, it had a hard top fitted.

I had to rake the windscreen to its absolute rearmost position to get the soft top anywhere near fitting. Getting the front under was a bit of a struggle, as was getting the rear to line up.

I stretched it with weights in the hot Canberra sun; the next fitting was less of a struggle.

After several subsequent fittings the material at the front has squashed down a bit and the whole thing has stretched a tiny bit more.

Fitting is now routine, while the 'roof' is still quite firm.

The windscreen raking didn't affect the fit of my hardtop.

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I think Andy is asking how good the Honeybourne or Moss backlight replica is. Stuart has one I think.

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Up to you which way you go, the Honeybourne supplied one does have a different seal with a slightly smaller rear window and a flocked interior. It is immediately recognisable as being an aftermarket item. I wasnt so keen on that so bought the bare frame from Moss and the original rubber seal and insert and headlining kit for an original Surrey then bought an uncut window from Honeybourne and using an original rear glass cut that to the same size. I then trimmed the aperture in the frame down to 10mm and spent a good bit of time priming and blocking the frame to get rid of the usual fibre ripples then painted the frame and fitted the headling and using the original rubber bonded the window into place. It now looks exactly like a very expensive original but only cost a fraction. I was lucky to pick up a steel roof to go with it cheap but that was just a bonus.

Stuart.

 

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Going back to the opening post - for clarity the soft section is the "surrey" isnt it?, then theres the steel (or allloy) centre section and the backlight to complete the assembly

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Surrey - The name comes from four-wheel covered carriage as per the song "Surrey with a fringe on top", and as you say relates to the soft top section only.

 

Mick Richards

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Thanks for the clarification, so I am looking for comments on the back-light section, and the surrey "soft" centre section, Moss, Honeybourne or any other. Stuart has kindly started the ball rolling with his views and experience so I am interested in anyone else's comments, good bad or otherwise on replicas v originals. Also, I see in the Moss On-line catalogue, some items are on back order, anyone had experience on time delays this means?

 

Andy

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There is the Honeybourne version and then Revingtons do another to go with their roll bar. Moss sell the Honeybourne one. or your into large amounts of money for an original, up to you for your budget.

Stuart.

Edited by stuart

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Be aware that it's not a good idea to travel at motorway speeds with the Surrey top in place as they are likely to detatch and fly off.

Revington has a mod to prevent this and fits a TR6 header rail to a fabric top and the matching bits to the windscreen frame.......it's not cheap but it works well. I was lucky and found that a previous owner had already fitted it to my TR4

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Be aware that it's not a good idea to travel at motorway speeds with the Surrey top in place as they are likely to detatch and fly off.

 

This can happen although never had it on mine, often because an owner hasn't refitted the windscreen capping on correctly or made sure the surrey top is slid underneath the securing lip correctly. There are plenty of TR4s with the original fitment which works fine although the TR6 header rail is a mechanical fix to ensure that the front of the Surrey definitely doesn't become detached.

 

Mick Richards

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If you haven't got the spacers in the screen frame then clamping down the hard lid (don't want to call it the "hardtop" because that is potentially something completely different!) could result in compressing the gap in the windscreen capping that the surrey fits into - making it difficult to install properly when the time comes.

Certainly I had to carefully prise open the gap to get a satisfactory fit for the surrey- and subsequently realised there were no spacers, although I didn't equate the two at the time - and I'm still not sure if it was the reason.

Edited by stuartmac

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Be aware that it's not a good idea to travel at motorway speeds with the Surrey top in place as they are likely to detach and fly off.

 

 

It is a phaff getting the Surrey top sorted so it is correctly attached. However having done this do not let anybody else help you in the future.

This happen to a friend of mine on A Scottish tour.

 

The sky came over all black and we and put our tops on. My friend was assisted.

Going up a very steep hill in monsoon conditions the front of the roof opened up.

My friend had to keep going, using one hand to steer and another to try and keep the front shut.

 

The fitting is simple and effective, but!!!

 

Roger

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Hi Andy,

these are a few of my observations as a long term owner of an original Surrey Hard Lid/Soft Top, I was lucky enough to get mine way back in the last century long before the prices of these things had become astronomical!

First off, the alloy rear frame is very light, any thoughts that it might be a substitute roll bar, forget them. Anyway, as has been said above at anything like motorway speeds the Soft Top is a bit prone to fly off, when it happens you think a bomb has gone off in the car!!. The other thing is that the noise level in the car becomes deafening above 75mph, and it's made worse by having the front air vent and the face level vents open. The Moss replacement front stiffener kit is very good (much better than the original) but you need to be careful how you fit the rivets.

I've got a steel lid, but I guess the same would be for an alloy or GRP one, .... once again, the Moss headlining is very good once fitted but takes a lot of careful teasing into position. Once the lid is in place if you pay careful attention to the fit of all the window and door seals (adding small sections of black silicone mastic where appropriate) then the wind noise can be reduced to a very acceptable level (even with the rev counter nudging 5K in O/D top), like this you can hear what the engine/gearbox/diff is doing instead!!.... When it is fitted it gives a very solid feel to the car.

With both lids off, if you've got any hair you still need to wear a hat at anything above 40mph, you get this weird back/up draught!!.

It's nice to see out of a clear back glass screen, with no chance of it yellowing or becoming cloudy.

Cheers Rob

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There is an element of noise caused by the frame capping as its leading edge shears the airflow.

Quite loud and just the right frequency to annoy.

 

I fit a triangular piece of double glazing seal in the gap between the screen frame and the capping. This removes that element of the noise.

 

Roger

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Roger,

 

I've seen you make that comment before but as yet,

haven't acted on it.

 

My own TR4 - originally soft top but was converted to

an ally hardtop / surrey setup with parts from a similar

vintage TR4 that I owned.

(conversion done as part of a TR Enterprises rebuild)

 

It's OK at speed, although there is an interesting effect.

 

Before the restoration, running the soft top, there was

a lot of windnoise, passenger side, above 70. This was

alleviated by dropping the side window down a shade.

 

Now that the car is running the 'surrey' hardtop, exactly

the same sympton occurs, so I have to drop the pass

side window down a fraction.

(I haven't yet run it with the surrey)

 

Into the equation, I will throw the exact fitting of the

windows. The fitting of the windows on my own car

has not been changed from factory.

They do NOT line up exactly the same (height or

rear alignmen.

 

The only lesson I can take from this that may help

others is the the fitting of the windows is critical to

wind noise (and also, probably, any tendency to

lift off at speed) and that even factory-fitted windows

weren't always exactly spot-on.

 

It seems to me that my other TR4, also early 1962

but running soft top only, is probably more quiet at

speed that the 'surrey' hard top.

 

AlanR

Edited by TR 2100

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There is an element of noise caused by the frame capping as its leading edge shears the airflow.

Quite loud and just the right frequency to annoy.

 

I fit a triangular piece of double glazing seal in the gap between the screen frame and the capping. This removes that element of the noise.

 

Roger

I've thought of doing that for 20 years!

 

As for peeling off, my first one did this despite being a !@#$ to get under the lip, which almost touched the windscreen seal most of its width. Ripe conditions were 80 mph in rain. I did find that opening the window slightly relieves the pressure sufficiently, and barely any rain gets in. Being the proud owner since of (2) chromed brass capping pieces ( very first issue, before the anodized alu ones ) I can attest that the gap between it and the seal is much larger - so I reckon they would peel out much easier - they've never seen any action in the above ripe conditions, so I'm speculating.

 

I would never be happy with a TR4-6 without this top now, and 98%+ of their use on my cars is without the Surrey soft top.

 

Cheers,

Tom

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The Moss surrey top conversion kit for my TR4 (all the items you will need to fix the fabric (surrey) top to the car includes the fabric top itself) is what I used. The top itself, I find, is pretty poor- not in the fit as this can be adjusted to more or less fit quite well, but the material itself is several grades down from the original material Triumph used. Mine is a white one, beige inside, which allows sunshine through quite a bit with no blacking out property at all. In other words its thin and flappy- hence a very loud noise created by the fabric movement up and down onto the tubular frame. This can be minimized by fitting some Woolies self adhesive black foam strip to the top of the tubes, but this needs careful handling for it to last although its cheap and quick to replace but it does make a difference.

The front fixing is bit is a challenge, especially when it starts raining. I can guarantee you will get wet but persevere you must as if its not pushed well into the gap between the windscreen frame and the screen capping it will come away with surprising consequences- see above. Its something to watch every time you fit the top. I also found that the tubular frame needs a certain amount of re-shaping to get the height looking right as every car differs so adjustment takes quite a while.

If anyone knows of a better quality WHITE top material than please let me and others know via the forum.

James

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Be aware that it's not a good idea to travel at motorway speeds with the Surrey top in place as they are likely to detatch and fly off.

Revington has a mod to prevent this and fits a TR6 header rail to a fabric top and the matching bits to the windscreen frame.......it's not cheap but it works well. I was lucky and found that a previous owner had already fitted it to my TR4

It's perfectly sound at illegal speeds if fitted properly.

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Thanks everyone. Interestingly, from the conversations I am reading that fitting the back-light assembly is not an issue, so its up to me on alloy or fibreglass and Moss or Honeybourne as described by Stuart.The main chat seems to be have been about fitting the soft top which has been interesting. So I suppose its down to "pays yer money, takes yer choice"

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You wouldn't mind so much if it was complete ! No stainless trim on rear of the hard panel or even backlight joining trim over the stainless insert !

 

Mick Richards

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Strong money indeed lacking the stainless trim strip which is utterly unobtainable ( except with the rest of the kit ). Terribly difficult to reproduce, though the specialist I use could do it - 30 hours maybe? Bad enough to get an original in well used condition and have to work out the gouges, scratches and dents they typically have.

 

The worst part for me ( having been through a few of these in both metals ) is not knowing what lies beneath that lovely coat of paint. The last alu one I bought had (35) puller holes with dents underneath. Steel lids I've had were rusted away at the front lip, as these weren't even primed inside and of course all condensation runs downhill. Only trust a California, Arizona or Saudi lid!

 

Cheers,

Tom

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( Spot the puller holes )

 

 

attachicon.gifChequered roof panel 2.JPG

You wouldn't believe that unless you saw it.

 

Mick Richards

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