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Thread: Convertible boot

  1. #1
    Registered User Willy Moore's Avatar
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    Convertible boot

    When the rag-top was installed, the upholsterer did not install the snaps on the back. This because the leather boot had not been delivered, and he was concerned the boot might arrive with snaps pre-installed, and he wants them to align.

    In the event the boot arrives without snaps, does anyone know how many should be installed and where they are placed? I do know about the snaps in the end rail cap, but the many photos have shown different snap placement.

    Additionally, I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the snaps. Are they there just to be able to anchor the boot, or is there another purpose? I say this because the tensioning cable seems to do a fine job holding the top down to the body of the car. So do the snaps just penetrate the fabric top to facilitate the boot anchorage, or do they penetrate the body of the car? If the body of the car, then my holes were leaded by the body man.

    - Willy -
    Willy M

  2. #2
    Registered User bertfam's Avatar
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    Willy,

    If no one answers your question before I get home tonight, I'll take a look for you.

    By the way, the snaps are there to attach the boot when the top is stowed. No other purpose.

    Ed

  3. #3
    RonRapp
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    Each item that is bought that requires snaps, as a rule is shipped without the snaps installed. The reason being that no one knows what snaps are installed on the customes car or what the current location of these snaps is. The top should have 7 snaps. The top lining box forward wall, item 43-4 should have 9 snaps according to the book. However, mine only has 7. Each end rail gets 1 apiece. Therefore, the boot should have 18 if you've been counting. But the book list 14????? Go figure!

  4. #4
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    Are the snaps supposed to be the colored (to match) kind or just plain staniless? I thnk I recall seeing on my OE boots that they are plain stainless, but am not sure. The colored ones blend in so well. But, I fairly sure they are plain stainless......

    If I find nice blue ones to match my leather, I may go with it...hee hee.

    As an aside, I think I recall that the OE boots have a colored (to match?) lining and that the snaps have a little round material (leather?) backing. Do they do that for the premade boots?
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  5. #5
    Registered User Willy Moore's Avatar
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    Big surprise... Now I'm more confused.

    Let's start with the snaps, by function, at the rear body...

    Are there male snap posts (bases) mounted to the body of the car just behind the aluminum track that houses the rear tensioning cable? If so, then snap caps would be mounted in the canvas top, per the various photos i've seen. I would then guess that when stowed, the snaps for the canvas top are un-snapped to then facilitate the snap caps for the boot.
    This puzzles me, because if correct, I don't remember having so much slack when the top is stowed, to lift up the material behind the tensioning cable to make room for the boot snaps. I would think the canvas top material, when pulled back to expose the snap bases, would bunch up under the boot???

    The only other scenario I could envision, is if the snap bases where mounted to the canvas top, not the car body, and the boot snap caps fastened to that.

    As an FYI, I used to have a '69 convertible Pontiac Bonneville. Its boot had a thin plastic strip stitched into the rear edging that tucked under the rear tensioning cable trough. That way, there were no snaps required in the body that could become future rust holes.

    As far as quantity of snaps goes... given Ron's remarks, I should have holes in my top lining box forward wall that got leathered over by the upholsterer years ago. I'll just put the same number back as was there before (presumably 7 or 9). Then that leaves the 7 in the canvas top that can be clarified by my above confusion.

    Walt - I just got your message. I'll let you know about the lining when I get the boot. The upholsterer says the manufacturer has more than one "Tan" leather choice, and is shipping me swatches to choose from. Once that's out of the way, we'll get the boot.

    - Willy -
    Willy M

  6. #6
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    Although the "Master of Serial Numbers" Ed B will quote the actual serial numbers; generally speaking the earliest cars had the snaps in the body. Most cars have them on the edge of the top.

    My boot has yet to be sewn and we will use my originals as patterns. But, the trim shop told me the best way to do it is use the old parts as guides only. That way he says he will assure me of the wrinkle free fit. So far eveything he has done is just as smooth as can be, all-be-it lacking in a (fixable) detail or two here and there.
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  7. #7
    Registered User Willy Moore's Avatar
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    Walt,

    Thanks for the clarification. My car being a '62, would clearly be well beyond the body mounted snap scenario. But if the snaps are in the canvas, then do you snap on a dummy cap when the top is up? In other words... If the snap is in the canvas top, the base would be in the top, and the cap of the snap would be in the boot. When the top is up in foul weather, the ugly male ends of the base snap would be visible. The only way to minimize that appearance would be to install a dummy cap that would be removed when you stow the top and install the boot. Am I making any sense?

    - Willy -
    Willy M

  8. #8
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    Yes, when the top is up you see those (ugly?) Silver snaps. When the top is up, you stow the boot somewhere. Sure you could put (colored) snaps on with the top up to hide them.
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  9. #9
    Registered User Willy Moore's Avatar
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    Walt,

    The "ugly" part i'm referring to is the base of the snap. This being similar to the component that is fastened through the side of the chromed end rail cap. The base of the snaps usually have a raised collar that the finishing snap fits over top of. The photos provided in my last thread show a snap on the top, but the part we see looks like a snap cap, not a base. I call the base "Ugly", because it doesn't project a finished appearance without its smooth cap snapped in place. That's why I wonder if they are typically covered with a dummy cap.
    See below the picture that seems to show a fished snap cap in the top, in lieu of a snap base piece.

    - Willy -
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Willy M

  10. #10
    Registered User Willy Moore's Avatar
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    The photo below shows what I am calling a snap base that is installed in the chromed end rail cap. If the article, labeled "Snap", was what you saw mounted in the canvas top, I wouldn't think it would look finished.

    - Willy -
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Willy M

  11. #11
    Registered User bertfam's Avatar
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    Willy,

    The "MALE" end of the snap (what you're calling the "base") is what's installed on the rear of the top and the End Rail Caps (or the Body for earlier cars). These are not covered by anything when the top is up. Only when the top is stowed do the "FEMALE" parts of the snap come into play. No "finishing" plugs or such are used when the top is up. You get the "ugly" male ends staring you in the face.

    Ed

  12. #12
    Registered User Willy Moore's Avatar
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    Ed,

    Thanks for the detail.
    That sounds so un-mercedes. Such attention to minute details, and being left with unfinished snaps??? I think the top looks so good without the snaps right now, I may have to break ranks and see if the upholsterer can do something similar to my old Pontiac. If not, I'll live with it. If that's the worst of my concerns, I'll be living very well.

    Thanks again.

    - Willy -
    Willy M

  13. #13
    Registered User bertfam's Avatar
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    Willy,

    To be honest, here in So Cal we RARELY drive with the top up! I'd say 99 percent of the time we have the wind in our face and the sun burning a hole in our thinning hairline!!

    I guess Maryland is another story...

    Ed

  14. #14
    of the West Walter's Avatar
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    I even think there were some cars that did not have a boot. My dad tells me the last cars did not have the box and hence could not have the boot. My car is a Coupe and the soft top was delivered in a box in the trunk. There is an SA number for that.

    Never been quite sure about if my car actually had a boot cover. The reason I say this is that I bought my car as an empty body from a wrecking yard and was able to buy many of the parts to that particular car via a newspaper ad. The surround and boot were not with the stuff. I also did not get most of the chrome, because it was supposedly lost at a chrome shop and hence the body ended up in the bone yard. So I just don't know if my car had a boot. BTW: I did get the little side covers that go in place of the surround.
    Walt in the West says: Don't ask: "Use the SEARCH Luke"
    1959 190SL DB050 with 333 leather blue ("It's Alive!" - 653 miles) Chassis 14445
    1961 300SL Roadster DB608 with red - fresh brakes and rebuilt engine hung in - more work coming!

  15. #15
    Dennis Keith
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    One idea for the snaps on the top is to put a bit of dum dum in the center to prevent any possibility of leakage in rain.
    Dennis Keith
    Dana Point, CA
    56 190SL 'Mercy'

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