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#11
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Owen_Dyneto
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A while back I performed some routine preventative maintenance on the folding top mechanism of my 1956 Caribbean convertible. I did this by removing the rear seat and side panels. I see absolutely no way that the complete hydraulic assembly could be serviced thru the trunk.

Posted on: 2020/5/24 9:27
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#12
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Marty or Marston
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I agree that the only way to work on the rams is from inside the car after the panels have been removed and not from inside the trunk. Before posting the question (see #8) and looking at the rams, hoses, and the pump, logic told me that the hoses needed to be disconnected and the rams removed separate from the pump. The pump with the hoses connected to it would be removed as a unit.

What prompted my question was nowhere in the manual does it mention disconnecting the hoses from the rams and the last step states "Remove the bolts and clevis pins that retain the power cylinders. See figure 86. Lift out the entire assembly."

I should get the pump and rams on Friday and hope to install them this weekend.

I want to thank everyone for their assistance and things to watch out for.

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Posted on: 2020/5/26 2:53
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#13
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Marty or Marston
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I had some time this afternoon and decided to try and remove the system. I had already removed the panels, unbolted the pump, and disconnected the electrical. All that was left was to unbolt the yoke and remove the pin at the bottom of the rams. I was able to slip the ram through the hole where the hoses were routed. I climbed in the trunk and pulled out the entire system as a unit.

Once I get the parts, hopefully on Friday, I will be able to fill the system and test it before installing in the car. The beauty of doing it this way is that there little worry of getting hydraulic fluid on the car's carpet in the back seat area or on that in the trunk.

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Posted on: 2020/5/26 18:29
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#14
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Leeedy
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Posted on: 2020/5/27 21:36
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#15
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Marty or Marston
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Posted on: 2020/5/29 2:47
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#16
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Marty or Marston
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Last weekend the with the parts in hand the whole ensemble of hydraulic cylinders (HC) and pump/reservoir was assembled on a bench. The cylinders were filled with hydraulic fluid before being connected to the pump. Fluid was added to the pump. With a battery charger as a 12V power supply the system was cycled about 6 or 7 times to remove any entrained air. Once it was leak checked, the system was placed in the trunk and HCs passed through into the rear seat compartment. It was connected to the top and everything worked great.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 2:13
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#17
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Kevin
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Not to hijack this thread or anything, but I'd like to ask if anyone has a line on an authentic reproduction of the 1955 Caribbean top material. There are a few of us 1955 owners that are getting ready to replace our tops, and the last place that I saw offering reproduction tops is, I believe, no longer in business. I am hoping that Leeedy will chime in here.

Posted on: 2020/6/15 22:37
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#18
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jfrom@kanter
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The original top material for '55 was woven orlon which hasn't been available since about 1960. It was not very long lasting . As a replacement top, Packard offered it the material originally used for 1956. That was vinyl in Colonial grain, a leather grain look.


Thanks
James From
Kanter Auto Products

Posted on: 2020/6/16 6:10
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#19
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Kevin
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Thanks James. Does anyone know if someone makes these tops nowadays? If not, is this grain of vinyl commonly available? And for the color headliner, is it a separate piece of material, or does the underside of the vinyl need to be dyed?

Posted on: 2020/6/16 8:23
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#20
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Owen_Dyneto
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Others will have more complete information, this is a thoroughly and frequently discussed topic but I'm a little out of date on it. I believe both the pin or diamond point pattern (1955) and the leather grain (1956) are available as kits from E-Z Tops in electrically welded white vinyl with either black or brown underside, I bought mine with black underside thru Bill Hirsch - a totally satisfactory top. Elektron may still have them as well. Nothing available with the correct colored underside that I'm aware of. Dyeing has not proven particularly successful as I understand the color tends to bleed thru to the white. A separate colored underlayer has proven problematic for some as the extra bulk can restrict the folding of the top into the well, it's perhaps an option to consider if you're willing to accept that you might never fully lower the top.

To my knowledge there has never been an entirely successful and correct replacement top for the factory original. There was something with a separate piece underside in color available from Kepich for a while though I heard decidedly mixed comments about it and it has since been discontinued.

Leeedy's response will probably give a better past history and summary of the options currently available.

Posted on: 2020/6/16 9:09
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