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Hardtop can't be removed! Help!


Guest JRinWV

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Guest JRinWV

Hi all:

I inherited a TC from my father, who titled the car in both our names. It sat unused for quite sometime. Today I tried to remove the hardtop for the first time in many years (10 or 12 at least)with a couple of neighbors.

We read the owners manual about the task, and followed it as precisely as we could. Last step was to press the "TOP" switch to release the back two pins. I heard a whirring for a few seconds, and thought we were golden.

But when we lifted the hardtop, the back pins only came up an inch or so! We pulled and wiggled, and opened the trunk to see about getting to it through there, all to no avail.

When the whirring motor stopped, there was no discernable click at the end to indicate anything had tripped as microswitch of any kind. Now it refuses to make a sound or operate at all!

I did notice that in the cargo space at the top center just under the roof there was a small opening in that flat surface area with a flap. When I hold the flap up, I can see a good-sized hex. Is this a way to manually disengage the top hold down?

Is there any way to get at this motor/relay/switch gadget to fix or repair it with the hardtop still in place?

I've gotten the mechanicals to run the car set up right, now I want to return it to life as a convertable again, which is why Dad had it, he loved an open car!

Thanks for any advice anyone can provide!

JR in WV

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If I understand correctly, you DO have an owners manual. There arte 2 sets of directions. 1 - for the ordinary electrical release. 2 - for mechanical release (emergency release when electrical swich does not work) Read the 3 pages for the complete directions; both reg. & emergency. you will also read where there is a possibility that the mechanism is out of cycle. This does happen and often. That is probably what happened. When you pushed the upper part of the switch the cycle started but did not complete as evidenced by the "NO CLICK". Follow the diorections to release it mechanically, Remove the top. Then reset the cycle. It should now work OK. When you use the switch in the future HOLD DOWN the switch. When it reaches the end of the cycle it will shut off automatically. ( if it is working correctly)..

You did not tell us what year the car is. There is an extra relay in later models that creates a slightly different scenerio; but mechanically it still works the same.. Wrench size is 3/4".. Good Luck, Lou

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Guest JRinWV

Thanks, Lou!

It's a 1990 model, with the V-6, white with brown interior, 24,450 miles on it.

It's been years since we took the hard top off, at first because my mom was sick, then because Dad was sick, so I didn't remember anything about it.

I just got it running Thursday. The shop put in a new fuel tank and pumps, replaced the belts and filters, sucked out all the old fluids, bled the brakes, everything we could think of to make it run smooth after being parked for a long time - I drove it home from Dad's the summer of 2005 when we sold his place (he died Nov 2, 2004), and I only drove it a couple of times after that til last Friday.

I'll let you know how it works out. I just got out a 3/4 socket!

JR

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Guest JRinWV

Hi:

The 3/4 socket wrench worked like a charm. I didn't see those manual instructions because they're in the convertible section, and I assumed (making an ass of me, at least, if no one else!) that the hard top directions were all under the hard top section.

I didn't have anyone to help lift, so I spent some time cleaning it up. The electrical top switch didn't seem to work at all, although clockwise locked things and counter-clockwise unlocked them.

Whooo! One small step closer.

I found that Dad has kept all the receipts for the maintenance work he had done - including a new radiator back in '97. I'll have to look up the work Gary and his guys did for me and put that with it.

Thanks again!

JR

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When you do get the top off and everything open and exposed check the wires that feed that lock down clean any corrosion, also look st the bottom center of the unit if there is a silver relay riveted there. Ypu have the later Chrysler "fix". All that is another Delay timer so that if the unit runs too long that relay automatically shuts the thing off. It's the same delay relay that turns off your interior lights etc.

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THIS IS CRITICAL ! - JR in WV, it is important that you DO NOT try to re-latch the top using the emergency release mechanism.

If you have released the top with the emergency release, you MUST verify proper electrical operation of the mechanism before installing the top. If you have power, you can use the 'TOP' (release / re-latch) switch to test the mechanism. It must operate in both up and down directions. Very possibly the mechanism will have been disconnected from the motor drive system, if so, it must be re-latched before it will operate properly. THIS IS CRITICAL !

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