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Old 08-18-2019, 09:01 PM   #1
skidmarks
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Default 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

Helping out a friend with a project that was torn down 30 plus years ago.

1948 ford convertible.

Were the hydraulic top cylinders mount to the floor. Is there a spacer or bushing on each side of the iron bracket in the floor that the cylinder is anchored to.

With just a pin , the cylinder is pretty loose.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

Skid marks, all mine had was two pins, I guess there is a little movement at the anchors because of the movement in the top assembly when you are traveling on the road.just a guess but I have owned mine since 1955 so I am assuming that was original.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

My guess was it needs some slop being aluminum and the top frame being all steel that if it got out of alignment and in a bind the weakest point would be the aluminum base of the cylinder.

The iron mounting bracket has a slight counter bore that gave the impression like it could of had some kind of a bushing or spacer
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

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Originally Posted by skidmarks View Post
Helping out a friend with a project that was torn down 30 plus years ago.

1948 ford convertible.

Were the hydraulic top cylinders mount to the floor. Is there a spacer or bushing on each side of the iron bracket in the floor that the cylinder is anchored to.

With just a pin , the cylinder is pretty loose.
In 1940 they had a rubber bushing in there. Nearly every car I've restored those bushings were long gone or only a slight fragment remained.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

Kube,is much more knowledgeable than I am, but I did look at a Ford bulletin showing the hydraulic system for 46-48 and it only showed pin but there still could have been a bushing of some sort.
The play is very slight so I doubt it would be a concern.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

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Kube,is much more knowledgeable than I am, but I did look at a Ford bulletin showing the hydraulic system for 46-48 and it only showed pin but there still could have been a bushing of some sort.
The play is very slight so I doubt it would be a concern.
I was careful to state 1940. I know little about post war cars. I could only hazard a guess there would be some type of bushing there. If not, it (canister) would rattle.
Of course common sense did not always apply to how these cars were designed and built.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

What size pin is in a 40 vacuum cylinder?

On the floor iron bracket, it does have a slight counter bore on the hole so it might have had some kind of insulator.

With the hydraulic cylinder centered, there is about a 3/16 space on both sides
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

Skid marks, maybe you good try couple of rubber washers
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

When I did my '40 I went to the hardware store and found some nice stepped nylon bushings that worked out really well.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

My 47 only had pins in the bottom.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

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What size pin is in a 40 vacuum cylinder?

On the floor iron bracket, it does have a slight counter bore on the hole so it might have had some kind of insulator.

With the hydraulic cylinder centered, there is about a 3/16 space on both sides
Gosh, without looking, I seem to recall 3/8"???
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

For detailed drawings of the convertible top mechanism, order a 44-52 Ford parts catalog. It is V-44 at C&G (800)266-0470, $56.I used my copy to help restore my '47 ragtop. While the cylinders were there, they were lying on the floor when I bought the car. Close inspection showed that time and the corrosive effects of the fluid made replacement necessary. I ordered mine from a place called Hydro E Lectric.at 800/343-4261. They furnished the cylinders, pump, piping, and a new pump.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

The 47 that I am currently working on had no bushings either. That being said I had a couple of aluminum bushings made at a local machine shop and the fit is perfect. To me taking up the slack just makes sense.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:16 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

I was thinking that maybe they are loose because the aluminum base on the cylinder would be the weakest point versus the top irons that if it got in a bind the bottom of the cylinder would break.

Might just be over thinking it
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

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Originally Posted by supereal View Post
For detailed drawings of the convertible top mechanism, order a 44-52 Ford parts catalog. It is V-44 at C&G (800)266-0470, $56.I used my copy to help restore my '47 ragtop. While the cylinders were there, they were lying on the floor when I bought the car. Close inspection showed that time and the corrosive effects of the fluid made replacement necessary. I ordered mine from a place called Hydro E Lectric.at 800/343-4261. They furnished the cylinders, pump, piping, and a new pump.
Second the recommendation for Hydro E Lectric. I got new cylinders from them as well as the parts to rebuild my original pump. A note of caution. My system still had the original brake fluid as the "hydraulics" for this system. If yours does too, be very careful you don't get any on your paint! I'm using ATF as a substitute and it works great and won't spoil you paint job.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

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Originally Posted by RKS.PA View Post
Second the recommendation for Hydro E Lectric. I got new cylinders from them as well as the parts to rebuild my original pump. A note of caution. My system still had the original brake fluid as the "hydraulics" for this system. If yours does too, be very careful you don't get any on your paint! I'm using ATF as a substitute and it works great and won't spoil you paint job.
Aren't there rubber parts in those cylinders?
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

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Aren't there rubber parts in those cylinders?

I don't think there are in the replacement cylinders, Mike, but you do need to replace the hoses as part of the rebuild. At least that's Hydro E Lectric says for pre-1953 cars who want to convert to ATF.


Rebuilt mine about four years ago and so far so good!! But, you raise a good point if you're only doing the cylinders.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:05 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1948 ford convertible top cylinders

If you check hydro e lector I believe their warranty applies with ATF only in their cylinders
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