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lancemb

57 Convertible Top Bleeding, Issues - Help, Advice?

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OK, so I am having troubles getting the top fully functioning.  The previous owner said he had installed new hoses and top cylinders around 2008 and the top then functioned, but then he burned the motor up trying to get it going again after sitting a few years. When sitting, he just left it with the top down.  He said it was stored this way most of the time, because they always drove it only in top-down weather anyway.

 

I hooked up a new pump/motor, filled the reservoir, and activated it.  The top easily retracted a bit until I stopped it and then it easily went back down under it's own power.  I then fully retracted it, and filled the reservoir, but could then not get it to budge to go back up.  I tried letting it sit, topping off the reservoir again a couple times, and still got the same result.

 

Many moons ago I bled motors on a couple mid-sixties Buicks and was easily able to get them going myself by just refilling the pump and activating it, but this one won't budge.

 

Any suggestions?  Is it likely that my cylinders are weak/bad or do I need to keep at it and do something differently?

 

Right now I just left the top down and put the boot on.  It looks great!  But, I will want the option to put it back up soon!

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Disconnect the cylinders from the top frame and run them in and out a few time without all the weight of the top.  They will bleed quickly this way.  Reconnect and you should be good to go.  Keep the pump fluid topped off.

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Thanks that sounds like a good idea if I can get to the cylinders fairly easily.   Do you think just a bleeding could take care of it then?  It just seems odd because I remember when I bled these before they would still move up a bit even with some air or maybe slowly but this won't budge from all the way down. 

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If I read the original post correctly, you started with the top up ( closed) , put it down partially, refilled, put it down some more, refilled then put it down all the way.  Once it was all the way down ( open)? 

 

You did not say if the top's motor was , or was not, running when trying to put the top up.  Just that the top would not budge.  Assuming the motor was running, but the mechanism did not move, are you certain it's not binding on something?  Maybe a loose bolt in the frame mechanism?  Or maybe the bolts are too tight in the mechanism?  Did it work at all before you started the bleeding process?

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2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

If I read the original post correctly, you started with the top up ( closed) , put it down partially, refilled, put it down some more, refilled then put it down all the way.  Once it was all the way down ( open)? 

 

You did not say if the top's motor was , or was not, running when trying to put the top up.  Just that the top would not budge.  Assuming the motor was running, but the mechanism did not move, are you certain it's not binding on something?  Maybe a loose bolt in the frame mechanism?  Or maybe the bolts are too tight in the mechanism?  Did it work at all before you started the bleeding process?

Yes that's a pretty good summary of steps.  Once all the way down I kept filling the reservoir after running the pump a bit at a time until I couldn't get it to take any more.  

The motor was indeed running and it still would not budge.  The top would go up and down under its own power until I put it down enough for gravity to take over.  

The frame mechanism looked pretty sound and clean but I did not do a thorough inspection before.  However, the seller was a very conscientious and honest guy with me in my dealings and he said it had worked fine a few years back before the top remained down and he burned up the motor.

I can walk around to either side and lift it partially by hand easily, so I don't think there is anything binding, at least not at the lowest point.

How difficult is it to service the cylinders?  I've never done that. 

It's also very difficult to fill the reservoir so I was thinking of trying to find a fitting that would screw in to make the opening right side up at least. 

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Without access to a 57 Service manual I would say the problem is either, a mal functioning pump, where the check valve mechanism between up and down does not work fully, or lack of a counter balance on the convertible top frame, if one should exist.

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Check the lines for kinks

 

Also raise the top and re bleed according to the manual.  It looks like the reservoir is intended to have some air in it.  Perhaps the reservoir is now overfilled.

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Thanks for all the info!  I am going to try bleeding it with a helping hand raising and lowering the top and go from there. 

 

I called the guy I bought it from and he clarified that he did not replace the cylinders but just the hoses but said it did work fine when he was driving it and said he had a similar experience, so hopefully it will work out.  If so I'd like to try to take it to a show in a couple weeks.

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