Model A Ford Closed Car Roof Installation - Page Two

Installing A cover over small dents, ridges, etc., is much like painting over bad body work. It will show! Originally the roof panel over the doors fit smoothly within a recess cut into the header wood. A small dent is shown by the upper arrow and should be filled. A special plug was installed in the hole shown by the lower arrow to bring it up flush. If these were overlooked prior to painting, the the surface can be lightly scuffed with #80 grit paper (for adhesion) and an application of polyester filler can be used to smooth it out. Also pay close attention to the joint in the roof panel over the rear of the door. This is a common problem area.


This photo shows the correction done to the area mentioned above. It was simply roughed to final shape with #80 grit paper

This is your last chance to correct any problem with the roof ribs. View carefully from both front and rear of the car. The ribs should match the curvature of both the header and rear roof panel. An arch too tall will give an awkward ballooned look to the center of the roof which is not uncommon among restored cars.

Check the ribs from front to rear across their centers. A firm but somewhat flexible strap such as a yardstick laid flat can help identify any high ribs that will show later. It's not unusual for the center rib inserted into the steel support to be too thick and therefore higher than the rest. Correct it or it will show!


The light strip across the top of the header panel is a strip of GOOD masking tape. This helps provide minor protection of the paint as well as a better surface for marks such as the required center mark for the roof cover alignment.

The 1" poultry wire shown was used on Fordors and Victorias, but not used on a number of Coupes and Tudors. I strongly recommend the use of poultry wire for a foundation or the location of the ribs will show through. Not shown is the anti-squeak strips attached to each rib prior to the poultry wire. A variety of materials were used including a thin paper backed cork. Strips of most any fabric will do the job. It will also be helpful if your top wood is the usual 1/8"+ below the level of the perimeter metal to allow the installed poultry wire to be very slightly below that surface.

The poultry wire is first pulled tight front to back, working outward from center. Next, the wire is drawn tight side to side starting at center and working in both directions and alternating from right to left sides. The wire should be stapled every 2-3".


©1998 Marco Tahtaras