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Old 11-14-2004, 08:16 AM   #1
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Default T-Top foot coming loose

Aaagh.. I've had problems with the feet of my T-Top coming loose from the deck on my Parker 21.

When they came loose before, I rebedded in 5200, filled the old screw holes as best I could with epoxy, and added more 3 more screws around the flange....(Each foot had only 3 screws. Now they have 6).

That worked well for a while, but now one of the front feet is coming loose again. It's annoying as hell, because when I run the boat, the top will flex and make a funny noise. I vaguely recall some instructions about "whirling" an allen key into the soft wood of the screw holes and filling with epoxy, but I'd sure appreciate very specific instructions and suggestions. There is basically zero access to the underside of the deck in that area, and I'm loathe to cut access holes, especially unless I'm sure I won't be blocked by a stringer!

Also -- it's clear that to do any kind of meaningful repair, I'm going to need to move the feet of the T-Top out of the way...If I unscrew the top completely from the deck and center console -- will this thing expand and be impossible to reinstall? I have visions of straining and cursing in the future, as I try to center a flange over bolts....

Thx -- Steve


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Old 11-14-2004, 09:16 AM   #2
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Steve- I have recently began having the same problem with mine although it is not specifically my t-top it is my center console that is attached to my t-top and also attached to the deck(t-top legs). I recently mounted a birdsall leaning post to my deck which is also not accesable from the underside using 1/4"-20 stainless toggle bolts avaialable at both bw and west marine. I plan on using these to secure both console and t-top the next time I have to remove my top/console and since my experiance with my lean post- know that they are very sound/sturdy (much more so than just screws,lol). good luck- might want to give them (toggles) a try- craig
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Old 11-14-2004, 09:30 AM   #3
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Craig's toggle nuts are probably the easiest fix for your problem. You will have to free the ttop from the boat as you will have to open each screw hole up to 1/2" to accomodate the toggle. These things go down thru the 1/2" hole and a zip tie kind of gizmo holds the toggle firmly in place under the deck for re-assembly with 1/4-20 screws. When you bore out your holes to 1/2" take care to seal the surface of each hole with 5200 to prevent wood rot. If you are unlucky you may have deck rot already. If you do it will be best to only drill thru the top of the deck and the wood. but not the skin layer of glass under the wood. do what you can to dig out the rotten wood and then fill the space where the wood was with epoxy. when it cures drill thru it for the toggle. that will prevent the deck from crushing under compression. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2004, 09:35 AM   #4
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Quote:
Miles Offshore - 11/14/2004 10:16 AM
I recently mounted a birdsall leaning post to my deck which is also not accesable from the underside using 1/4"-20 stainless toggle bolts available at both bw and west marine.


Having considerable experience with those "Togglers", let me advise, they ain't no fun to install either. They go in one of 2 ways ... real easy or a real bitch !

The best way I have found is to drill the minimum 1/2" hole needed (for the Toggler to pass) way oversize, then I wet out the core with epoxy, then I redrill to 1/2".

You need to remove some of the foam in the area where the hole projects through the deck so the Toggler can snug up against it. Another tip, I put a large Allen wrench into a power drill and use it like a cutting tool into the foam, with the small "L" end ripping out the foam. I even have a few where I ground a single-point edge (think of a typical lawnmower blade) onto them to make them cut easier & faster.

I also orient the Togglers fore-to-aft to absorb and spread the load the way it will be applied from running the boat into seas.

As others stated, get rid of the screws where you can. Even 2 Toggler per base foot would absorb the G loading to the base. Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:24 AM   #5
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Man, thanks guys, but I'm having real trouble visualizing how those toggles work. Where are the threads?? These are a female piece? Or does the center of the toggle piece have a hole that's invisible in the photo?

The other question -- how hard will the top be to work with, once it's removed? Will it be fairly easy to put back in place, possibly with a helper, and line up over the new holes?

That's a good suggestion about overdrilling, filling with epoxy, and redrilling to the correct size. I think I'll do that. Thx
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:47 AM   #6
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Yuh, the stainless top-of-the-T in the photos has a threaded hole in its center, between the two nylon pieces that fasten to it.

Envision pulling/pushing one of the nylon pieces fastened to the stanless "nut" while holding the other, and the stainless "nut" can be slipped into a hole in the deck. Then the two plastic pieces would be equalized so that the nut can't be pulled out, and then the bolt could be screwed into the threaded hole, tightened, and the plastic "handles" cut or pulled off.

Got it?

I used a couple of them for fastening my t-top feet, and they haven't moved yet (2 years).
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Old 11-14-2004, 04:07 PM   #7
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

When tops are welded, metal pulls, and sometimes cocks the load unevenly on the 4 feet. Installers will somtimes crank them down to sit level and one of the legs will always want to pop up. And sometimes the decks of our boat are not as flat as one would think, so this can also put a strain on the deck fasteners. In other words it may be time that you took off the top to see whats square and flat and determine if something else besides a faulty fastner is the cause.
The toggler is a good idea, but I think I would also even up the legs, and then weld an additional 3"X 3/16X 36" long piece of aluminum strap to each pair of legs to gain more surface area for the 4200 to bond itself to your deck , cover the old holes, and provide more area to place double the number of fasteners to make sure this doen't become a problem again.
This will work, I assure you.
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Old 11-14-2004, 09:27 PM   #8
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Take a look:

http://www.racksandstands.com/prods/...htm#additional
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Old 11-14-2004, 11:29 PM   #9
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Quote:
cfwegman - 11/14/2004 10:30 AM

Craig's toggle nuts are probably the easiest fix for your problem. You will have to free the ttop from the boat as you will have to open each screw hole up to 1/2" to accomodate the toggle. These things go down thru the 1/2" hole and a zip tie kind of gizmo holds the toggle firmly in place under the deck for re-assembly with 1/4-20 screws. When you bore out your holes to 1/2" take care to seal the surface of each hole with 5200 to prevent wood rot. If you are unlucky you may have deck rot already. If you do it will be best to only drill thru the top of the deck and the wood. but not the skin layer of glass under the wood. do what you can to dig out the rotten wood and then fill the space where the wood was with epoxy. when it cures drill thru it for the toggle. that will prevent the deck from crushing under compression. Good luck.
Good advise . . .
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:50 AM   #10
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Quote:
cfwegman - 11/14/2004 10:30 AM
When you bore out your holes to 1/2" take care to seal the surface of each hole with 5200 to prevent wood rot
I'd use thinned epoxy over 5200 to wet out the core edges (heat area to allow epoxy mix to penetrate) but the other info is dead-on, including the epoxy plug idea.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:50 AM   #11
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Thanks, all -- some great advice. A good winter project to tackle. As with so many other things on a boat, and in life, I wish I'd repaired it correctly the *first* time. Actually, I wish it had been installed with toggle bolts, or backing plate arrangement from the factory!!

Mumblerone, you should have seen the light-bulb over my head, when I clicked on your link.

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Old 11-15-2004, 08:06 AM   #12
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Default RE: T-Top foot coming loose

Can you get access to the underside of the deck to install backing plates? That would be the ultimate fix. Possibly remove the console and open up an access from there? it would then be covered by the console. Maybe you already have a removable panel under the console to reach the fuel tank? Lots of work, but a permanent fix. Contact Parker for advice about stringers blocking the way. . You probably have some rot around the screw holes, or they would not be pulling loose. I agree with the epoxy repair, and start from scratch with backing plates.

Before I would do anything at all, I would contact Parker.
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