1957 Hardtop Side Locator Pins adjustment

Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Thunderbird Year
None
I have purchased replacement side locator pins for my '57 because the original pins were beat up so badly I had to remove them with vice grips. The new pins are .28" longer than the my original pins. I looked at several different suppliers, and they are seem to be selling the same pin. When I installed the new pins and tried to put the hardtop back on the car I discovered two issue. 1st I was unable to latch ether of the side laches. Also it appeared that the outer seal on the bottom of the hardtop was no longer coming in contact with the body.

I know that I could solve the latch issue by simply adjusting the side latches. However, that would leave me with the rear seal issue. One option might be to shorten the new pins by cutting off one end or the other. However, shorting the unthreaded end would leave be without the allen wrench hole to install the pins. And cutting off the threaded end by not allow for the pin to be screwed in far enough to offset the fact that the outer portion of the pin is nearly a 1/4" longer than the original.

Does anyone have experience installing the replacement pins? And what if anything did you have to do to make them fit correctly?
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
Why, actually i just did the same thing on my 55.
The suppliers do not differentiate between back, front, and side J-hooks, but, Asias, they are. So before you make another $15.00 mistake, NPD part number below should work for the sides.
The difference is in the length of the threaded portion ( side is shorter) and the radius of the J-hook (side is shorter and flatter). Happy hunting
Item
T-050501-1
J HOOK, HARD OR SOFT TOP SIDE CLAMPS
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Thunderbird Year
None
Why, actually i just did the same thing on my 55.
The suppliers do not differentiate between back, front, and side J-hooks, but, Asias, they are. So before you make another $15.00 mistake, NPD part number below should work for the sides.
The difference is in the length of the threaded portion ( side is shorter) and the radius of the J-hook (side is shorter and flatter). Happy hunting
Item
T-050501-1
J HOOK, HARD OR SOFT TOP SIDE CLAMPS
The J Hook is not my issue. The Side Locator Pins are installed in the underside of the hardtop next to the latches that hold the J Hooks. When the top in on the car they sit in the slot in the Side Deck Receptacles. When installed the pins that I purchase bottom out in the receptacle, not allowing the rear of the Hardtop to come in contact with the body. Changing or adjusting the J Hooks would certainly allow me to latch down the hardtop. However, it would not solve the issue with the seals on the bottom of the hardtop not coming in contact with the body. With the Side Locator Pins bottom out in the Side Receptacles you can simple pull the hardtop down using the side latches.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
@goldenberg57 use the 4-digit model year in the subject on future posts as prompted. This aids with our internal site search and google searches. I've updated your post.

model-year.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I have purchased replacement side locator pins for my '57 because the original pins were beat up so badly I had to remove them with vice grips. The new pins are .28" longer than the my original pins. I looked at several different suppliers, and they are seem to be selling the same pin. When I installed the new pins and tried to put the hardtop back on the car I discovered two issue. 1st I was unable to latch ether of the side laches. Also it appeared that the outer seal on the bottom of the hardtop was no longer coming in contact with the body.

I know that I could solve the latch issue by simply adjusting the side latches. However, that would leave me with the rear seal issue. One option might be to shorten the new pins by cutting off one end or the other. However, shorting the unthreaded end would leave be without the allen wrench hole to install the pins. And cutting off the threaded end by not allow for the pin to be screwed in far enough to offset the fact that the outer portion of the pin is nearly a 1/4" longer than the original.

Does anyone have experience installing the replacement pins? And what if anything did you have to do to make them fit correctly?
I guess I'm a little confused. The pins are # 50562 and the hard top pins are longer than the soft top pins. But I see no provision for a set screw other than for the 'J' hook to latch it in. Could you possibly have the tapered pins for the front latches? They are longer than the side pins # 50563.
 

Boozeman

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
I'm not familiar with the associated part numbers, but if I was in your shoes, I'd install the pins at a low torque (7 ft. lbs. - they can't go anywhere), and then use your Dremel to cut .3" off of the non-threaded end. If you ever need to get them out, a pair of pliers or vice grips will loosen 7 - 10 ft. lb pretty easily. Good luck!
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Thunderbird Year
None
I purchased my 55-57 Locater Pin, Top to Side Receptacle 50562 from Thunderbird Headquarters. https://www.tbirdhq.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=010102AF56D348DCB7FE2C8DD036479F

In the photo below the pin on the left is the original that I removed. And the pin on the right is the new 50562 pin. The original pin on the left still has the allen wrench hole intact. The new pin is ~.29" longer than the original.

IMG_1515.jpeg

So at point unless anyone else as a viable solution, I would think that Boozeman suggest to cut off the end of the pin after install is the best option.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I purchased my 55-57 Locater Pin, Top to Side Receptacle 50562 from Thunderbird Headquarters. https://www.tbirdhq.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=010102AF56D348DCB7FE2C8DD036479F

In the photo below the pin on the left is the original that I removed. And the pin on the right is the new 50562 pin. The original pin on the left still has the allen wrench hole intact. The new pin is ~.29" longer than the original.

View attachment 20390

So at point unless anyone else as a viable solution, I would think that Boozeman suggest to cut off the end of the pin after install is the best option.
Interesting. I checked my pins as my hardtop is hanging above the car. My pins are really short too. Like they barely protrude from the center of the new weatherstripping. That looks like the soft top pin.
I would call your supplier and ask them if they are aware of the issue. I'd also call Hills & CASCO to see if they are aware of the issue also. I'll bet you are one of the few that has decided to replace them. At this point I agree that cutting down the non threaded portion may be a solution. Just sand or refine the cut edges to not mar the receiver.
 

jimntempe

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1957
Interesting. I checked my pins as my hardtop is hanging above the car. My pins are really short too. Like they barely protrude from the center of the new weatherstripping. That looks like the soft top pin.
I would call your supplier and ask them if they are aware of the issue. I'd also call Hills & CASCO to see if they are aware of the issue also. I'll bet you are one of the few that has decided to replace them. At this point I agree that cutting down the non threaded portion may be a solution. Just sand or refine the cut edges to not mar the receiver.

I just looked at my pins, they barely protrude at all either.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Hmmm. could be a result of off shore stuff. Look at the nightmare of the fuel pump replacements.
I'd contact Hills and CASCO as they both sell parts and restorations and know their stuff. If there is a problem I'm sure they would like to know and investigate.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Thunderbird Year
None
Hmmm. could be a result of off shore stuff. Look at the nightmare of the fuel pump replacements.
I'd contact Hills and CASCO as they both sell parts and restorations and know their stuff. If there is a problem I'm sure they would like to know and investigate.
I spoke with CASCO this morning. And it appears that there 50562A @ ~7/8" is the correct length. I ordered a pair and I'll update this post once I've had a chance to install them.
 
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