Problems with the zip on the rear screen in the RV8 soft top
Victor Rodregues (Oxford Blue RV8 1621) from Switzerland reported a difficulty with the zip around his rear screen. This note explains how he resolved it together with some comments from John Barnes (Woodcote Green RV8 0636) in Wellington New Zealand. (Aug 01)

I had a difficulty with the zip on the rear window of my RV8. It became unserviceable and it was no longer possible to close the rear window. I called the V8 Registrar to see if there were any ideas on repairs or fitting a new zip, or whether any member had faced this problem before and how was it solved? My initial contacts with local hood repair specialists in Switzerland were disappointing - their answers were either that it would be necessary to fix the rear window so it could not be opened and consequently the hood could not be dropped, or I would have to install a new hood!! The V8 Registrar replied relaying information provided by Clive Wheatley indicating that the hood could be repaired in the UK. Clive Wheatley would be able to arrange that, but the hood would have to be removed from the car and sent over to England as a parcel with a freight company (like Fedex or UPS). Clive warned me that, unlike the hoods on the earlier MGBV8 Roadsters, it was not easy to remove the RV8 hood and considerable care would be needed. Alternatively I could deliver the car to the hood repair specialist in England - quite a journey from North East Switzerland!

Well I did some local research in Switzerland and found several firms specialising in soft tops for motor cars. The fourth specialist company I contacted made a fantastic and professional job maintaining the rear window intact and they did not need to remove the hood from the car. They managed with very good hands and their special tools to repair the zip by

exchanging the very vulnerable piece that brings the two separate parts of the zip together. The total cost for the repair work was the equivalent of £60.00 which I was very pleased with.

Now here are my tips for RV8 enthusiasts facing a similar problem with the zip on their rear window:

Research - make enquiries and seek the opinions of several local car hood specialists or qualified furniture restorers.

- try to make sure the small zip cursor piece can be professionally replaced before you decide it is necessary to remove the hood from the car.

Hood replacement - it is definitely not necessary to think about a replacement hood even if you live a long way from England!

Caution - if you are not familiar with zip repair technicalities, never try and do the repair yourself as it could become a very expensive experience!

Finally I was advised to always keep the hood up whenever the car is parked long term with the window closed. At least once a year you should lightly lubricate the zip all round with a suitable product. Also Clive Wheatley advised that RV8 enthusiasts must take care with operating and maintaining the zips around the rear screen to avoid possible damage.

Comments from John Barnes in New Zealand: Before the zip is zipped down, it is a good idea to release the front clips holding the hood to the screen which releases the tension on the hood fabric including the rear window. It should be zipped right the way down so that when the window is folded over and stored at the rear of the parcel tray, there is no strain on the zip. When zipping up or down, the zip should be treated gently.

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