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Old 06-08-2015, 09:32 AM   #1
Lona
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Default Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

In spite of their past good reputation for products and service, I am very disappointed with Lebaron Bonney. The installation instruction that came with my new '31 Roadster top are very amateurish with hand sketches that are difficult to understand and descriptions that do not completely explain some of the important steps. I called them this morning for some advice on forming the top over the rounded corners at the front header but was told the person who used to answer technical questions recently retired. I was given the option of leaving my number so that one of the shop workers could call me back tomorrow but chose not to because, from experience, these messages usually go unanswered. Anyway, I am on a deadline to get this top finished and can't afford the gamble that someone might or might not call me back.

Please, if anyone has experience installing this top, I would really appreciate some advice. The problem is how to form and staple the top at the header corners without the fabric bunching up which happens if you follow their directions. Marco's site has some good photos of how it should look when finished but I can't find any photos of how it's done.

Glen
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:55 AM   #2
Del in NE Ohio
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

First, based on my experience with L/B, I would expect that you will get a return phone call. If you go to their website, they have a pretty good video of a top being installed on a 31 Deluxe Roadster.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:03 AM   #3
Lona
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

Del,

Thanks for the quick reply. I have seen the video and they do show the corners being stapled with the fabric bunched up but don't show how the gathered or bunched up fabric is eliminated with the corners made smooth.
Glen
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

Lona I feel your pain in regards to their instructions. The kits that I have gotten from them have been very good but the instructions they send with them are pathetic.
Their illustrator must be from the 3rd grade class at the local school plus they must have lost the originals long ago and are making copies from 5th or 6th generation copies.
It amazes me that a company of this size and reputation gives such poor instructions with their kits.

Okay I'm getting off of my soap box now...
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:31 AM   #5
C26Pinelake
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

I personally would have left my number. What did you have to lose ? My experience is contrary to yours as LB has always and I repeat always returned calls when promised ! Wayne
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:47 AM   #6
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We have an L/B top on the Roadster and I really like it, I didn't put it on but whoever did, did a fine job.

Maybe call Car-Douche and ask them for a set of their instructions Just don't buy their product!
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

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Originally Posted by bluesunoco View Post
we have an l/b top on the roadster and i really like it, i didn't put it on but whoever did, did a fine job.

Maybe call car-douche and ask them for a set of their instructions just don't buy their product!
lmao x2
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

"Car-Douche"...that's hilarious.
Are they really that bad?
I'm nowhere near ready to start installing an interior, but it's nice to know which product to get when the time comes.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:18 PM   #9
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"Car-Douche"...that's hilarious.
Are they really that bad?
I'm nowhere near ready to start installing an interior, but it's nice to know which product to get when the time comes.
YES i can prove it with pics of my interior
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

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Originally Posted by BlueSunoco View Post
We have an L/B top on the Roadster and I really like it, I didn't put it on but whoever did, did a fine job.

Maybe call Car-Douche and ask them for a set of their instructions Just don't buy their product!
i think i am the originator of that term but u can use it
i did not patent it yet
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

You have to work (pull fabric) towards the front and corner at the same time . Stay tacking the fabric close to the edge so that the hidden will cover any tack holes. It will take some time . I used a pliers be very careful .the top fabric doesn't have much give. It will conform to the shape of the corner. Again I caution you on using the pliers. You tear the top fabric and that will mess up a good day . Take your time.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

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i think i am the originator of that term but u can use it
i did not patent it yet
You may well have if so, thanks for letting me use the term
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

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You have to work (pull fabric) towards the front and corner at the same time . Stay tacking the fabric close to the edge so that the hidden will cover any tack holes. It will take some time . I used a pliers be very careful .the top fabric doesn't have much give. It will conform to the shape of the corner. Again I caution you on using the pliers. You tear the top fabric and that will mess up a good day . Take your time.
miff..... seems like I saw a picture once of a guy with a special set of pliers for this job,,,, had a set of jaws about 4-5 inches across like a Hammerhead Shark like looking setup I could see where regular pliers would probably tear the fabric
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

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.....It amazes me that a company of this size and reputation gives such poor instructions with their kits....
X 2 on that !! They really need to work on their instruction sheets. I've bought two kits from them so far and am always left frustrated with the lack of specific details. If Doug - the tech help guy - has retired I hope they will replace him with someone as helpful !
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

Sheet metal workers use flat jawed pliers about 3 1/2" wide. Made by Wiss. You can get em at Home Depot. Like 12 bucks......
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

I purchased a 31 top kit from LB and also agonized over the instructions. I looked at their video many times (terrible background music) and went back over the instructions several times. I also called them and had a good chat with their installer who I felt did the best he could at answering my questions. However, in the end I did not have a clear enough understanding of the tricks and traps that goes with this task to dive into the effort and risk the possibility of buying another top after I total screwed this one up.

I have done all my own work with my roadster which I've had going on 11 years but sheet metal work and upholstery are not my strong points.

So, what I wound up doing was checking with LB for a shop that was on their recommended list for their kit installation. I have decided to go with someone experienced with this and familiar with LB kits instead of on-the-job training at my expense.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

i once called a local shop that was listed on the LB web site as a certified installer... it turns out its a one bay garage at a house and he would need the car a month as it was not his full time gig.. no i dont think so leaving a freshly built car there.... be very careful as it seems anyone can get approved and listed on the site

oh and to top it off he only did a couple A's

i just looked and its still listed the only one in PA lol just great
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

I asked a fellow in SoCal years ago for a recommendation on a paint and body shop for a Mustang. He told me 'Take it down to Mexico they do outstanding work and for a LOT lot less than a shop up here. Gave me a name and address of a shop near Tijuana.

I'm sure a number of Mexicans could do very good work, they are pretty good in upholstery and such too BUT who would want to take the chance that your car 'disappeared' never to be seen again especially in one piece!
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:13 PM   #19
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I asked a fellow in SoCal years ago for a recommendation on a paint and body shop for a Mustang. He told me 'Take it down to Mexico they do outstanding work and for a LOT lot less than a shop up here. Gave me a name and address of a shop near Tijuana.

I'm sure a number of Mexicans could do very good work, they are pretty good in upholstery and such too BUT who would want to take the chance that your car 'disappeared' never to be seen again especially in one piece!
FORGET the car you may disappear...
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Lebaron Bonney Disappointment

BlueSonoco, they are called webbing /canvas stretchers the jaw sizes are 3.1/8and 1/1.2if that is any help . Some times warning or steaming the fabric helps. But be very careful not to burn the fabric. If you use a steam iron hold the iron up off the canvas and let the steam blown down on the canvas. Be careful not to touch any painted surfaces . The steam will soften the paint. OJust keep pulling the fabric over the corner. Work one side and then the other . Contine to work back and forth (side to side) till you get where you want it. It takes effort . Also be sure the top bows are sure cured and in the right place on the car . Leave it sure cured until you are finished with the corners. I hope this has been helpful.
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