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MG TD TF 1500 - 51 TD convertible top - lift-the-dots vs snaps

Next question: the old (aftermarket) convertible top had lift-the-dot thingies all around. So did the tonneau, and hence there are in fact two different lengths of lift-the-dot things so they could both be used (top down and tonneau on).

I'm considering going to the more modern style snap on buttons, which are probably easier to take off and put on. So I imagine I can get snap fittings which will screw in just like the lift the dots did, and into the same holes; my question is do I need to add more snaps? Or are they just as strong as the lift-the-dot things and thus don't need any additional snaps to do the work?

Thanks!
Geoffrey M Baker

If you can't find them at Home Depot or Lowe's, try a boating top shop or an upholstery shop. Cheers - Dave
D W DuBois

For the top you need a lot more snaps. About every three inches or so versus just 4 or 5 LTD studs for the tonneau. The tonneau is not under tension but the top is.

See the recently restored thread on this.


Christopher Couper

Mine snaps work fine at about every 6 inches and under the flap so not seen.

Don H.
Don Harmer

Lowes (and probably Home Depot) sell suitable screw in snaps with anvil and punch in packs of about 6-8 pairs. I got snap bases without the built in screw at Hobby Lobby. There is a full article by Dave Braun on how he did his (much neater than mine) at http://www.dbraun99.com/ and by me on how I made my hood fully removable somewhere (I think Chris is hosting it but I don't know the url). Here's a picture of my snaps. Jud

J K Chapin

One more. Jud

J K Chapin

Where are the L-T-D fasteners on a top? Mine is secured by screws or snaps. Tonneau cover has L-T-Ds. The snaps around the back edge are replacing screws. Bud
Bud Krueger

Bud: You are correct. The top only attaches to the Rexine covered wood blocks with screws and/or snaps and the tonneau to the sheet metal with 4 or 5 LTD studs. The two didn't share any snaps, studs or screws originally.
Christopher Couper

Geoff, I did the snaps vs. the screws and have never had the need to open the snaps in 3 years! The interior is much easier to load stuff back there. If I did it again, I would just use the screws. Just my preference.
Ed
efh Haskell

Bud, mine was an aftermarket top which they fitted to the same lift the dot screw mounts as the tonneau has... you can see because there are two different lengths, short ones for the tonneau (on the sides and a couple in the back) and long ones for the top. That way (I imagine) the convertible top could stay snapped on but lowered, and you could fit the tonneau over it.
Geoffrey M Baker

Undoing the snaps also simplifies the act of loading the side curtains into the TD's compartment. Bud
Bud Krueger

Decisions, decisions. I'm still vacillating. But it appears that nobody has used lift-the-dots screwed into the metal tub as a method of attaching the convertible top. As I said earlier, the old top was an aftermarket top made to use the lift the dots as a method of attachment. Is the Moss top piece even long enough to fit down and use the lift the dots screwed into the tub?
Geoffrey M Baker

I suspect that the entire rear section of the top would be distorted if you were to fasten the rear strip below the wood. But, I understand that custom tops aren't that much more expensive than the name brands. Bud
Bud Krueger

As I never saw the aftermarket top working I don't know if it was distorted - probably not as it was custom cut and fit! But I suspect the Moss top probably was not designed to mount to the tub, and therefore would be distorted, so I'll go with the top rail as everyone else is doing. Now I just need to buy the fasteners... I don't suppose anybody has a part number? Doing an online search at home depot doesn't come up with any screw in fasteners, just brass clothing snap fasteners.
Geoffrey M Baker

Geoffrey,
Use the clothing snaps and use #8 phillips stainless wood screws to fasten the male snap to the wood strip (3/4 or 1 inch length)

Works even in old wood, if problems use toothpicks and Gorrila Glue to strengthen the hole for the screw.
Don Harmer

Lowes has them back where the Stanley staplers are. Jud
J K Chapin

Picked up some at Home Depot. These fasteners seem to work better with #6 screws than #8 though (the heads fit in the recesses perfectly, the #8 heads did not)
Geoffrey M Baker

Home Depot, Section 14-012, General Screw Snap Fastener Kit, 6 sets, $5.97. Bud
Bud Krueger

Have you seen the Tenax fasteners? They are really nice, but a little on the pricey side.
Frank Bice

Frank, a quick look at those and they certainly are nice! The idea that it simply cannot come undone at speed is attractive, even if the price is pretty astronomical.
Geoffrey M Baker

Snaps are better under the Top rear flap since they lie flat,

Tenax fasteners do not and would produce strange bulges in the flap

Great fir tonneaus

I used snaps for the top to rear top rail and have never had any come loose in 40,000 miles of travel

Don H. TF1500
Don Harmer

never heard of Tenax befor,, I think they are real good and worth the price,, it sure will stop "helpful" people from pushing the Lift The Dot fasteners to far onto the shaft!!!!!

SPW
Steve Wincze

I had a 1977 MG midget that had Tenax fasteners on top area right behind the doors and on the tonneau and half tonneau covers. I always thought they were original but maybe not.
Rich (TD 3983) Taylor

From what I've read on Tenax, looking through sites, it looks like they have been around a while and were used extensively on MGs, BMWs, Porsches etc. Definitely a high end fastener. Probably was on your Midget, Rich.
Good for tonneaus as Don says, but they sit higher than snaps so they won't work well for the convertible top.
Geoffrey M Baker

This thread was discussed between 12/10/2014 and 21/10/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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