How To:- Install T-Bar Eccentric Rod Guides
MR2 T-Tops - Eccentric Rod Guide Installation
The position and fit of the T-Tops in the Mk.2 MR2 can be adjusted by replacing the two small plastic rod guides in the locking mechanism with a similar part manufactured with the hole off-center. Rotation of the two rod guides then allows the T-Top to be moved relative to the locking rod, hopefully providing a better fit in your particular application. This page is intended to show the steps necessary to replace the rod guides. It is a very simple operation and should take even the most mechanically challenged person no more than 15-20 minutes per side. Of course, any modifications you make to your car are your own responsibility.
Parts and Tools Required
- Eccentric T-Top Rod Guide - two per side. Part number 63283-17040. See Photo 1.
- M4 x 10mm machine screws - two per side. I got these from my local hardware store. Note that you must get metric machine screws. See Photo 2.
- Medium size cross-head screwdriver to fit T-Top cover screws.
- Large flat-head screwdriver for use as a lever.
- Clean cloth to remove T-Top handle clip.
- Remove the T-Top from the car and place it on a flat, clean surface. I placed it on an old blanket to avoid scratching the glass.
- Remove the screw from each side of the T-Top which attach the locking mechanism cover. See Photo 3.
- Work a clean rag behind the locking handle and gently pull each end back and forth until the spring clip pops out. See Photo 4 for the direction you need to work the cloth. Place the handle and clip in a safe place. Pull the knob off the sliding catch and keep it safe also.
- Make sure the locking mechanism is in its retracted (remove) position, then gently lift the cover over the ends of the locking rods and insert your flat bladed screwdriver to help pop the cover out of the two clips that now attach it to the locking mechanism. Photo 6 shows the T-Top with the cover removed and points out the location of the two clips. Be careful not to break the clips.
- Remove the old rod guide. It is not fixed in place by anything, so just pull it off the rod. See Photo 7.
- Insert the new rod guide in the same place as the old. There were a couple of small moulding lines on my new guides which prevented them from being fully inserted. After removing the excess plastic with a sharp knife they were fine. Don't worry about the rotational orientation of the part at this time; you can adjust it on the car later. I added a small dab of grease to the rod at this point. See Photo 8.
- Insert the M4 (4mm) machine screw and tighten. Be careful not to tighten it so much you eat into the plastic rod guide. You will probably adjust this later anyway. See Photo 9.
- Repeat steps 5 through 7 for the other rod guide in the T-Top.
At this point, I re-attached the locking handle (without the cover) and fitted the T-Top back on the car. This allows you to take the car for a drive while adjusting the rotational position of the rod guides using a small open-ended wrench. When you're happy with the final position you can tighten the locking screw and re-attach the cover.
Reassembly, as the books say, is the reverse of removal. The only part of reassembly which might be tricky is the spring clips that secure the locking handles. I found the trick here is to place the spring clip half-way onto the locking handle, then fit the locking handle back onto the splined spindle on the locking mechanism and push the spring clip fully home with the tip of a screwdriver. If you try this a couple of times it should snap home eventually.