Has anyone fitted real speedster top latches to their VS speedster. There is so little material on both the top and windshield that there can’t be room for mistakes or adjustments afterwards. Will they even fit. Too long or short? Any help will be appreciated before I spend the money.

Tom

Tom

Original Post

I'd be very careful "bolting" them to the windshield frame - the least bit of a screw hitting the glass will cause it to crack.  The 356 Convertible D had a sturdy brass frame and posts that were chrome plated - not the flimsy aluminum upper frame of the replica speedster. Many have added a center replica latch to better seal the top bow to the windshield.

This is from https://convertibledregistry.com/history.html

The key differences between the Speedster and the Convertible D are as follows:

Windshield: a completely redesigned, taller windshield with a stronger frame, higher side posts and a better fit to the top assembly. Both models had windshield frames and side posts made of chrome plated brass. Overall the car was 3.5 inches taller.

Image result for porsche 356 D windshield frame

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Last edited by WOLFGANG

I just did this on my Spyder, using a Beck top and latches. Beck uses the same windshield header for both Speedster and Spyder tops. The latches are exactly as in Wolfgang's picture. Placement MUST be accurate. I put them on EXACTLY the same on both sides and one was very tight. 

I ended up grinding the inside of the square-holed tang to make it just tight enough to latch firmly. The other side was spot-on perfect. Beck sells thin nuts which I used inside the window frame and ground down any protruding threads on the bolts. This all fits fine without touching the glass, and squishes the rubber only a little.

The window frame on a Spyder is the same aluminum one as a Speedster, and I believe it is too thin to reliably support threads, hence the thin nuts inside.

The Beck top header is dimpled where the latches go, simply drill through and tap, there is a steel insert in the fiberglass.

Last edited by DannyP

I am retrofitting these to a 2014 VS . Its already drilled for the old ugly latches, so I probably can’t use the same holes, right? I could drill and tap new holes if those original holes don’t interfere, but they most likely will, right? 
  Or maybe..... I just leave well enough alone.

Gotno356 posted:

I am retrofitting these to a 2014 VS . Its already drilled for the old ugly latches, so I probably can’t use the same holes, right? I could drill and tap new holes if those original holes don’t interfere, but they most likely will, right? 
  Or maybe..... I just leave well enough alone.

Order a set and if they don't fit order a new windshield frame.......or send them back. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Gotno356 posted:

Damnit man! I knew somebody would say that. Thanks. Ok. I’m buyin today. How bad could it be? What could I screw up? ..... how much are windshields?

Don't say that. Think positive.

I know, your right. But with a middle name “murphy”, it’s not easy. Another problem is that I don’t want to take it down for as long as  it’s gonna take to do the job. I have a bunch of little things I’d like to do on it but I just love driving the poop out of it so much. Anyone else have this problem?

Doesn't Vintage use the type that hook on the edge of the window frame? That's what my OLD Vintage Spyder top had, I just had to bend the frame back a little, as there were no holes drilled in it. Yes, you'll have to drill at least one new hole in the header.

Get the parts and wait until you get a rainy season, eh?

Gotno356 posted:

Damnit man! I knew somebody would say that. Thanks. Ok. I’m buyin today. How bad could it be? What could I screw up? ..... how much are windshields?

At least you can do a dry run then replace the frame and do it right .

Wait until you price shipping the fragile windshield frame!  It's light but takes a huge box. The windshield is costly to pack and ship too!

Last edited by WOLFGANG
Gotno356 posted:

I know, your right. But with a middle name “murphy”, it’s not easy. Another problem is that I don’t want to take it down for as long as  it’s gonna take to do the job. I have a bunch of little things I’d like to do on it but I just love driving the poop out of it so much. Anyone else have this problem?

Taking the top piece of the windshield frame should just be the two screws on each of the side posts and the center rod. I haven't done it before but looking at it I don't see it taking that long. The top frame on my VS has the same bump out that Danny is talking about so that should give you the necessary room for the thin nuts. And since there are no holes there now getting it to fit shouldn't be too difficult. 

The holes in the fiberglass top bow may or may not match up with what is there now but some epoxy to help hold the new latch in place along with the screws may be enough to make it all work.

Gotno356 posted:

Frame-$$$ + glass-$$$ + header-$$$ + latches-$$$ = $$$$$$$$$$$$. Sounds about right.😩😂

Gotno356 posted:

🤞🏼

You're only in for the latches at this point so it you're fine for now.

Robert is correct. 4 screws on the side pieces(don't know their name, maybe windshield posts?), and the center rod. Also, in my case, I loosened the posts from underneath, it's a 17mm socket on a 10mm thread bolt. This makes it much easier to get the thin aluminum frame out.

I've been given incredulous looks because I've removed my windshield about 5 or 6 times. It's not that big of a deal. Don't overtighten any fasteners or tweak the windshield. Don't drop it. And certainly don't let a bolt or a drill bit touch the edge. Then you're good. Just be careful. I usually just grab a beer and sip it slowly while I'm working, it slows everything down just enough to lose the nerves without getting you stupid.

I've no idea how the Vintage Speedster header is made, but the Beck has a steel insert where the latches bolt. 

 

Tom, I keep forgetting we're neighbors. We should probably do beers or coffee some time.

(BTW, what color is your car?)

But, since we're both in the same microclimate, I would strongly argue against taking this on right now. What's 'not that big of a deal' for Danny could easily lead to the boulevard of broken dreams for lesser mortals like me.

We're just around the corner from that two- to four-week window of Perfect Speedster Weather that I wait for all year. A single dropped bolt or misguided drill bit and you'll be grounded well into the Summer Blast Furnace.

Every time I look at the cheesy latches on my top I think the same thoughts you're having - the Beck hardware is the way it should have been done. But then, a carb will go out of tune or something start dripping in the night, and I get distracted.

Gather ye drive time whilst ye may. There will be plenty of hours for tinkering in the garage come the rains of next winter.

 

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Mitch, it really isn't that big a deal, but I did suggest he wait until your rainy season.

Right now it's in the 30s out, you know, February in the northeast. I'm installing a top on my Spyder. Once that's done, I'm not doing anything else except driving it, once it warms up.

I have a couple MAJOR things I still want to do but I'll wait until next winter. This year I'd like to spend actually driving it. Last spring, a stupid 2 dollar circlip failed on the trans mainshaft. This entailed complete disassembly to replace it, ugh! While I was in there, I decided to do a top-end rebuild on the motor. New pistons and cylinders and rebuilding the heads took a while. It was finished at the end of September unfortunately. I'm not losing another driving season.

Hey Mitch,

   We are very close. I would love to meet up sometime. I try to get to Cars and Coffee in Folsom on the first sat of each month. I set up a pop up for the local 356 club and hand out flyers to try and get new and maybe younger interested people to come to our breakfast on the second sat of each month.

    My car is aquamarine blue. Very basic. Silver painted wheels. Anthony and his crew sorted out my stuttering issues with an electronic dizzy and I’ve been having a blast. I was looking to see when the gathering of clown cars is this year but I guess they haven’t secured a place or date in SLO yet. Do you go?

   Let me know when you would like to get together and we’ll see what trouble we can get into.

Tom

@Gotno356

Tom - here is the info on the West Coast in SLO this June. For further details, click 'Forums' on the navigating bar at top here, scroll to 'Speedsters' then scroll to 'Events' for 'Official West Coast Cruise' thread. Hope you'll join this bunch of knuckleheads for the shenanigans

"Contact the reservation desk and tell them you're booking a room under the SOC Event June 5th-7th, 2020. Room prices are $235.00 per night plus taxes etc for a single king bed and $255.00 per night plus taxes for 2 double beds.

Quality Suites San Luis Obispo
1631 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Hotel 805-541-5001
www.qualitysuitesslo.com

As usual there will be a manager's reception each evening and our dinner/raffle will be on Saturday night in the breakfast room. I will post more information later regarding lunch and dinner costs as well as any necessary information regarding t-shirts etc."

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