850 Spider Hardtop Bracket

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by Mark, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

    Does Anyone know if the factory 850 Spider hardtops came with different mounting hardware throughout the years? My ‘68 came new with both tops and used two of these brackets at the windshield to install the hard top:
    59531751-2551-41CF-9DF0-689D97BA30C4.jpeg

    The only info I’ve been able to find shows a hard top that uses the soft top latch. Here’s a comparison of the two setups:
    FCC6CBF9-AA63-4B51-A492-63C095CE17CE.jpeg

    They’re not interchangeable because the hole orientation at the hard top is different.

    I’m looking to install the hard top but only have one of the two brackets and it’s broken. Does anyone have experience with this?
     
  2. Loren Field

    Loren Field Low Mileage

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Hi - I use soft top latches on my factory hard top. I had to fashion some small plates which were then mounted behind the sheet metal where the factor mount was, and screwed the soft top latches to that. A little bit of bondo camouflaged the changes. I can send a pic of it if you wish. Best, Loren
     
  3. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

    I picture would be great! Thanks. Not sure where the bondo was used.

     
  4. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Another option would be to replicate your bracket. It’s not too complex and could probably be made from aluminum.
     
  5. Loren Field

    Loren Field Low Mileage

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Pic is below.... had to cut the metal to be able to get the little plates I made behind the sheet metal of the top (ie where the original bracket was mounted). You can see the two Phillips head screws that are holding that piece in place (bondo was used to camouflage the hole needed to fit the little plates in. I got some headliner material from a local shop and glued it to the top (my head would not clear the headliner if I used the original bows to replace it). The advantage of using the soft top latches is that you do not have to remove or replace the little female pieces on the windshield frame when switching from hard top to soft top to hard top. Let me know if you need more pics. Best, Loren

    20181124_120619.jpg
     
  6. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

    Thank you for the picture. I attempted to access the area but the weatherstripping, trim and headliner all have to be removed first. I’m only installing the top for shipment with the car, so I guess the rear mounts will have to suffice.
     
  7. Loren Field

    Loren Field Low Mileage

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    They should hold fine - if it will be in a breeze (ie if it is being trailered) might want to load it backwards so the wind can't catch it (and so water is less likely to get in). Best, ljf
     
  8. RocketMonkey101

    RocketMonkey101 Daily Driver

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    looks like you have all the parts, JB Weld is a miracle worker.
     
  9. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    New brackets can be fabricated using ~1/8" flat steel & a pattern traced from the original bracket (the bracket for the other side is just a mirror image). A saw, a drill & a grinder are all you really need - nothing fancy. The tricky part is getting the bend just right - it takes a little trial & error fitment. I've made them in the past for Spiders I owned with hardtops that were missing a bracket (or 2). Finished off with either black or aluminum-colored paint, they looked ok & did their job. ;)
     
  10. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

    I can’t seem to locate the blind plates the screws thread into and I don’t want to remove the headliner at this point. The car is getting shipped across country, so I’ll wait and see what type of transportation the buyer has arranged. Hopefully an enclosed trailer so it won’t be an issue if the top isn’t totally secured down.


     
  11. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    For the factory steel hardtop, there was only the one type of bracket you've shown (a left & a right).

    Most of the period aftermarket fiberglass hardtops I've seen used the factory convertible top latches.
     
  12. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    With the hardtop already fitted in place on the car, mount the single (broken) bracket you have onto the interior windshield frame using the 2 lower (vertical) bolt holes in the bracket. This should line things up close enough for you to find the holes in the hardtop using the upper bracket holes as "view-finders".

    Sometimes the receiver plate (inside the hardtop) will be a little loose & shift around a bit, making it difficult to find the bolt holes at first. Using the tip of a nail, awl or punch to locate one of the bolt-holes in the receiver plate can make things easier. Once found, you can slide the plate over to line up better with the bracket hole, then install one of the mounting bolts (leaving it loose). Repeat the process for the other bolt, then tighten both bolts all the way.
     
  13. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    and for shipping you might consider wraping something around it (shrink wrap around the entire car) or a motor cycles strap. something to keep it in place (some times shipers will pick up with nice gear and then transfer to a larger truck.
     
  14. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

    Thanks. I was hoping that once I installed it I’d be able to find the plate; assuming it’s not totally dislodged under the headliner.


     

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