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Thread: Converting to manual

  1. #1

    Converting to manual

    Hi,

    The roof mechanism is being a pain (Smiths)- it won't go up unless I assist it (a lot), theres a slight leak of fluid and I have a switch which just cuts the power to the battery -
    closing the roof way too fast for my liking!

    Now it won't though after being up for several months unused (It's been propped open)- it's stiff and wont close fully-

    Being claustrophobic and hopeless with electrics means I need another way! (Buy a Toyota)

    Is there a way to make the canopy manual- if I remove the pipes (so no pressure) will it be too heavy to lift? I have a Morris Minor T handle I can fit for lifting...

    I seem to remember that the first manual canopy Novas had Austin Maxi tailgate struts and recall
    Johns Lotus Nova having latches at the sides above the door pockets inside to lock down the roof?

    Thanks, Mark

  2. #2
    I had the manual roof on my first Nova, while it worked, it could be a prize pain and I wouldn't go back to it again if I could possibly avoid it!
    It's a 52 year old car and everything works, just not always at the same time.......and it's probably about to get jealous!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by novanewbie17 View Post
    Hi,

    The roof mechanism is being a pain (Smiths)- it won't go up unless I assist it (a lot), theres a slight leak of fluid and I have a switch which just cuts the power to the battery -
    closing the roof way too fast for my liking!

    Now it won't though after being up for several months unused (It's been propped open)- it's stiff and wont close fully-

    Being claustrophobic and hopeless with electrics means I need another way! (Buy a Toyota)

    Is there a way to make the canopy manual- if I remove the pipes (so no pressure) will it be too heavy to lift? I have a Morris Minor T handle I can fit for lifting...

    I seem to remember that the first manual canopy Novas had Austin Maxi tailgate struts and recall
    Johns Lotus Nova having latches at the sides above the door pockets inside to lock down the roof?

    Thanks, Mark
    Well, I have a handle for a manual roof which you can have for free; but I agree with Alex, this sounds like a bad idea man.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    Agreed - my first Nova started out as a manual roof with gas rams to assist the opening but the roof was very heavy and it was a struggle to open. Not only that but the lack of negative pressure holding the roof down meant it bounced around a lot. I would overhaul the hydraulics as it's a far superior system. And fit a sunroof (if you haven't already got one) as a means of escape in the event of a failure. Another option to consider is linear actuators that are electrically powered - this is favoured in Australia with the Eureka. If you're worried about the speed of closing you can fit a one way re-strictor valve to slow it down, that's what I did to my car -

    http://www.euro-nova.co.uk/vb/showth...-begins/page42

    (Scroll down to near the bottom of the page for more details) .
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  5. #5
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novanewbie17 View Post
    Hi,

    The roof mechanism is being a pain (Smiths)- it won't go up unless I assist it (a lot), theres a slight leak of fluid and I have a switch which just cuts the power to the battery -
    closing the roof way too fast for my liking!

    Now it won't though after being up for several months unused (It's been propped open)- it's stiff and wont close fully-

    Being claustrophobic and hopeless with electrics means I need another way! (Buy a Toyota)

    Is there a way to make the canopy manual- if I remove the pipes (so no pressure) will it be too heavy to lift? I have a Morris Minor T handle I can fit for lifting...

    I seem to remember that the first manual canopy Novas had Austin Maxi tailgate struts and recall
    Johns Lotus Nova having latches at the sides above the door pockets inside to lock down the roof?

    Thanks, Mark
    Hi Mark - the Smiths Minipack was one of the most powerful hydraulic pumps on the market when it was new - I think the maximum delivery pressure is 210 Bar, which should be enough to lift just about anything!

    It sounds like you are only getting hydraulic assist to open the canopy, with the "down" solenoid valve not working? If there is no fluid leaking from the pressure hoses (minor leaks from the pump reservoir are OK as the fluid is not under pressure), and nothing coming out of the ram seals then the problem is with the internal ram piston seals. In normal use these need to be refurbished every few years (mine lasted 6 years before I had to get them replaced).

    I am sure that it is possible to create an effective manual canopy for the Nova, but I think a major redesign of the hinges and actuator would be required, plus the development of suitable anti-burst latches etc. Not a job to tackle lightly. In my experience the Smiths pumps are pretty bulletproof in this application, so a ram rebuild would probably see everything working again. I have tried opening the canopy without any form of assistance and it is very hard work indeed! I would stick to hydraulic if possible.

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  6. #6
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    If you look through the related posts to hydraulics you will see the post mentioned multi buy.
    Within is mentioned the hydroproducts pump which quite a few of us now have, and is an excellent alternative to the smiths pump.
    As mentioned you could go modern with electric actuators.....

  7. #7
    OK, thanks for all the advice- I'll consider my options.

  8. #8
    Electric actuators are good, simple and consume less than 4Amps on average per unit as long as you have battery power, almost impossible to move without, I have actually removed the redundant VW latches, so a release pin is a good idea, (still working on mine).

    Actuators are always a compromise between power (lifting force) and speed (mm per second).
    My doors are about 25Kgs at the lift point, using a bathroom scale on the floor and a broom handle, so working on a 30Kg unit it came to 8 seconds for 200mm of movement. faster would mean too much strain on the motor and probably unable to lift at all, better lift power would mean 10 or 12 seconds opening time which would be too long.

    The difference between eBay Chinese at 35€ and expensive ones at 100€ plus? Noise and longevity.

    If not done already, could someone be so kind as to put a broom handle between an unsupported canopy level with lift (upper hinge) points and a scale on the floor at half open it would be useful information.



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