Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

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Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by garyf » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:29 pm

Hi All

I've recently managed to pick up a good condition Stainless Finisher/Spreader for the rear window rubber on my recently purchased Hardtop (Photo attached).

Can anyone advise the best way for me to fit it without damaging it!

I can see that it overlaps the window rubber on the outer edges and then slots in via a flat section on the inner edges of the window rubber?

My thoughts where to leave the perspex window/rubber in place on the hardtop and then start at the corner on the outer edge, possibly using a length of cord or thin rope to space out the rubber to allow the edge of the trim to overlap the rubber and locate.

Then gradually remove the cord as the trim locates applying gentle pressure and easing out the inner section of rubber seal over the inner flat strip of the finisher/spreader at the same time to fully locate it?

Hope this makes sense.

If anyone can offer a better method, please let me know


Stainless Finishers.jpg
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Re: Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by Fordlandia » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi Gary,

I restored my hardtop a while back and thought I had correctly installed the rear window stainless trim and the "clips" that hold the two sections together. Ends up that I did not have it installed properly and one side has "loosened up" (I'm lucky I didn't lose it). I just did quite a search online, and found the following tech tip on the "Tigers United" site. Please note the section I have in bold type. Apparently, the best way to install the trim is BEFORE the window is installed in the hardtop.

I am going to remove my hardtop and try the described method sometime over the next few days. I will let you know how it goes.

Bill Waite
Grand Rapids, MI USA



I'm thinking about buying Chris Vaughn's rear window trim for the old hardtop that I have scheduled to rebuild someday. He said that you had a tech tip on installing it. He also said that SS had the clips to hold it on, are you familiar with them?

Cullen Bennett
Tempe, Arizona USA


Yes. Rick was no help at all on how to use the things, and they looked all wrong, with the way he described it. At Big Bear there were only two Tigers that did it right.

BUT, having said that, it isn't an easy job. First, you must be sure you have a good fitting rear window. If it's from CAT, forget it. I bought a new one from Rick, plus his new rubber and clips.

Everybody tries to tell you how to install those clips, once they've got the window in place. Forget it. It can't be done. That's why so many are lost. The tab from the clip fits between the rubber and the top after it has joined the two halves top and bottom, and has been slipped into the slit in the rubber that holds the trim. That straight leg lies directly inside the flat are that goes under the inner edge of the window hole, fitting nicely on the rubber.

Even installing the trim is extremely difficult if the window is installed, as the outer edge of the trim goes around the outside of the rubber edge, and in a slit on the rubber surface. The rear window, rubber, and trim are installed as a unit. You must run a 'rope' around the entire top gripping inside slot and push the mother in from outside, while someone inside is pulling the rope out to let the lip get and the inside of the top metal edge.

My headliner was in-place and around the window edge, so the rubber could grip it. If it's too thick, then make sure that the liner is glued to the top in that area, and the inner piece of rubber gets over it. It's a progressive job, cleaning up the waxy crud they put on windshield and back light rubber, as an installation assist lubricant (you need it) has to be removed with a special solvent.

I had some "travelling" installers, who go around to the body shops, come to my house and install the windshield and rear window glass, as well as install the windshield, stainless surround trim and adjust the shims. I did the rivet stuff. It didn't cost anything like what the retail glass shops wanted, and they did a great job. Need to find out from the good body shops that they use.

-- Steve Laifman - B9472289

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Re: Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by garyf » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:44 am


Thanks for the info, I Have read this method before on-line but thanks anyway.

It sounds like it is very difficult to fit the Stainless finisher/spreader trim with the window & Rubber in place and impossible to fit the 2 retainer clips :(

I've also read a tip on the Tiger Facebook pages of how to hold the Stainless Finisher/Spreader Trim in place by drilling small holes at each end of each trim and tensioning the two halves top & bottom with thin wire to hold it firmly in place, these tensioner wires are then pushed into the Rubber Seal recess and hidden with the Joiner Clips?

I'm going to have a go myself using this method and if I struggle I may pay a professional to do the job, I'm not 100% sure my rear window is original or not although it is very cloudy and aged so may well be original

Let me know how you get on with yours?



Posts: 134
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Re: Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by garyf » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:55 pm

I finally got round to fitting the Stainless Spreader/Finishers to my car at the weekend, it was a job I was dreading but managed to complete the fitting in just over an hour much to my surprise with the rear window and seal still fitted to the car?!!

I used some small electrical cable placed in the retaining slot of the rear window rubber to help locate the Spreader/Finisher, starting at the top corners I was able to ease the stainless spreader into position whilst pulling out the cable.

Copious amounts of soapy water helped to ease the rubber over the flat edge of the Trim.

The hardest parts to fit were the two Joint clip/covers, these needed a slight tweak to ensure a close fit and also a few drops of Superglue to hold them in place to the window rubber, hopefully the Glue will hold?

After further advice on Facebook pages I have also drilled the end of each Finisher top and bottom and tied the sections together using a small paper clip to try and hold them in place this was tucked in neatly under the Joint cover/clip.

A few photo's it looks loads better, just waiting a couple of lower corner seals to arrive in the Post and I will then replace all the lower seals as for some reason the main lower seals been cut in several places no Idea why?
Fitted 3.jpg
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Fitted 2.jpg
Fitted 2.jpg (43.9 KiB) Viewed 810 times
Fitted 1.jpg
Fitted 1.jpg (78.44 KiB) Viewed 810 times

Posts: 134
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Re: Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by garyf » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:56 pm

A couple more photo's.
Fitted 5.jpg
Fitted 5.jpg (53.41 KiB) Viewed 810 times
Fitted 4.jpg
Fitted 4.jpg (35.83 KiB) Viewed 810 times

Posts: 134
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Re: Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by garyf » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:34 pm

The Final installment on the Hardtop refurbishment (For now?)

I Received all the lower seals and fitted them this week, including new seals to the top of the Door Windows on the Hard top.

The worst one to fit was the lower section under the rear window, plenty of lubrication, use of a blunt wood chisel and patience saw it fitted in just over an hour, I have secured at each end with a small countersunk self tapping screw.

I have also used some gasket paper to space out the 'B' Post seals as the catches were quite loose, hopefully they will be a bit tighter now although I've yet to fit the top.

I've also used the gasket paper to space out slightly the two pin brackets that engage in the holes in the Boot hinges, in a effort to try and get the pins to engage in the holes a bit more securely, will see how it fits over the Bank holiday?

A few Photo's
13. New rear Seals.jpg
13. New rear Seals.jpg (61.16 KiB) Viewed 688 times
12. New side & corner Seals.jpg
12. New side & corner Seals.jpg (87.31 KiB) Viewed 688 times
11. New Side window Seals.jpg
11. New Side window Seals.jpg (64.41 KiB) Viewed 688 times
Last edited by garyf on Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 134
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Re: Hardtop Stainless finisher - Fitting advice

Post by garyf » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:35 pm

A couple more
15. New Corner Seals.jpg
15. New Corner Seals.jpg (123.48 KiB) Viewed 688 times
14. New door Seals.jpg
14. New door Seals.jpg (61.02 KiB) Viewed 688 times

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