When the leaves fall and the first real frost of the season hits, I start thinking about putting the hardtop on. There’s nothing more frustrating than installing (or removing) a hardtop when it’s 30Â° outside; banging knuckles on cold metal is a bummer.
I’ve got the process down to a science now, and yesterday it took me about an hour to remove the soft top, fold it up, drop the hardtop down onto the rails, align the gaskets (don’t forget the windshield gasket!), drive it out of the garage, and get the bolts in place. I finger-tighten the four windshield bolts first, and then start with the two siderail bolts directly behind the doors, working my way backwards. It’s always much easier to push/pull the top in the middle to align the holes than it is at the ends. What would have been finished in an hour took an extra 15 minutes because I had to open the tailgate up to re-align the hatch mechanismâ€“something I’ve also got down to a science, as it happens at least twice a year.
She’s been running really well this year, and apart from some basic carb adjustments, I don’t have any complaints at all. I backed her into the garage, set up the trickle charger, and let her sleep until next week with her winter coat.