Hardtop Mounts

You would’t think that the hardtop mounts would warrant a whole post on their own, but then…I didn’t take any pictures of the process.  It turned out to be quite a fiasco.  All of the latches are held in with phillips screws.  The side mounts came out as you would expect…easily.  The top screws I couldn’t get with a hand screw driver, so I switched to the cordless drill.  Still no luck, and eventually I stripped the heads out of all 6 screws…great.

It took a while to figure it out, but someone used red locktite on the screws.  There’s no hint of these in the various manuals or forums…so, I’m guessing the previous owner was having “issues” and “fixed” them.  Anyway, normally with red locktite you remove it by heating the threads until it melts, and then back out the screw.  In this case I have two problems:

  1. I’d had to drill out the heads and the protruding threaded shaft was very short. 
  2. The screws thread into a metal backing plate which is held captive behind a 1/4” layer of fiberglass.

So, #1 meant that I could only barely get a grip on the screw with vice grips…so, I needed to get the screw good and hot to ensure the locktite is completely melted.  But, #2 meant that I needed to be careful not to weaken the fibreglass which makes up the bulk of the hardtop structure.  Anyway, I used my plumbing torch and aimed as directly at the screw as much as possible.  Even still I know I weakened it some. 

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