I fiddled with it a bit until I realized what had happened. I had installed the latch hook blocks on the wrong sides! Grumbling, I grudgingly removed the latches from the frame and brought them back to my bench, knocked the pins out of them, and set to figuring out how they were supposed to go back together. I finally sorted it out and installed the latches back onto the frame and viola! They worked as expected.
|Removed the latches from the header bow.|
|The correct way that the springs are installed.|
|The correct assembly of the passenger latch.|
|The correct assembly of the passenger latch and spring.|
|The rear window in relation to the rear frame segment.|
|The clearance of the side window to the center link of the frame.|
|Frame installed with rear bow in place.|
|The pads in comparison. Old vs New.|
|Hmm.. the new pads are a bit narrower.|
|The plastic header strip is there!|
|A template was made of the old header strip and the new hole locations transferred to it.|
|The hole locations were then transferred to the new header strip. Note the left-most hole. I had to move it to the right 1/4" to accommodate the narrower pad.|
|The pads installed on the first 3 bows.|
|The pads stapled to Bow 4.|
So, once I rationalized keeping the Kee curtain, I could move on to bigger and better things; The installation of the Kee curtain. I temporarily installed the ARO top to ensure that certain measurements were kept in check. Namely the zipper's distance from the tops rear opening edge. I found that the tops most critical installation points were the flaps at the rear window opening, the bow listing sleeves, and the rear bow tacking reinforcement strip. Once these points were clamped in place, the top could be used for reference throughout the installation.
I wielded my handy-dandy air-stapler loaded with a lethal ammunition that consisted of 3/8" x 1/4" crown staples that I had special ordered on Amazon. The first victim that fell prey to its awesome power was the top zipper strip of the Kee curtain. The measurements for it were fairly straight-forward with the lower tacking strip location being more critical, and variable. Once I figured out the location of the bottom tack strip with some actual thought but mostly trial and error, I stapled it to the bottom of the curtain. Actually, I think that it wouldn't be as difficult as I made it because the Kee tops have the tack strip location marked out on the bottom flap... for a 20 1/2" bow setting! There lies the problem with the weird 21 1/2" setting of the ARO top. It seems that the side pads and the rear curtain expect a 20 1/2" bow height so mismatching a top and everything else just ads undue complexity to the project. I was very lucky that the bottom flap of the rear curtain had a spare inch to use because the tack strip was nearly all the way to the bottom.
|Comparing original curtain to the Kee. Differences include a plastic zipper and reinforced hinge.|
|Clamping the listing strips to the bows for top test fit.|
|Clamping side flaps to frame for top test fit.|
|The rear curtain zipper strip test stapled to bow 4.|
|Checking the centering of the zipper strip and distance to edge of the top to the zipper.|
|Bottom tack strip test stapled.|
|Zipper strip stapled permanent.|
|Tack strip stapled permanent.|
|Window installed with top clearances test.|
Speaking of rear quarter pads, the time has come to fit these... dirty little buggers. I still had one good original one so I started with that. I located it's position on the quarter tack strips and tape... yes taped.. it on. I then remounted the tack strip in the car to get a feel for where things lined up. Sure enough, it was about an inch lower than the bow... yet another thing that doesn't agree with the 21 1/2" bow height. I marked where the edges of the pads should come up to the bow with tape for reference when installing the new pads. I marked the tack strip location on the old pads and attempted to transcribe them to the new pads but really, that just left me with a starting point. There was still much trial and error and even then, they weren't nearly perfect. However, one really good tip that I had learned from the Dalorzof documents, was to mark the pads with location of the corner seam on the car between the rear quarter panel and deck lid filler panel. That line, if marked on both the pad and the tack strip, helps relocate them later.
|Old pad taped to the tack strip|
|Old pad in it's old position compared to the new bow 4 position.|
|Transcribed new pad with old pad tack strip location. Line indicates location of the rear quarter to deck filler panel seam for reference.|
|New pad in position. Still some wrinkles but not horrible.|
|View from inside.|