The Hardtop Security Project – part 2

This blog post continues what I started last winter in The Hardtop Security Project part 1.

This post has been a long time coming. Instead of boring you with the details, I’ll sum up: it’s damn hard to find metric security bolts in the US. And it’s even harder to find metric security bolts in the US in quantities of less than 100 at a time.

So, here’s how I’m securing my hardtop with the Beatrush side latches.

Security bolts to prevent the top striker from being unbolted.

Security bolts to prevent the top striker from being unbolted.

This is a big one if you’ve got these side latches. I’ve seen some solutions that involve a lock going through the latch hole. I use a security bolt through that hole. That still leaves these two little easy-to-remove bolts. If these aren’t replaced with a somewhat-rare fastener, you might as well not bother with a lock. I’m using the same 3-sided button head screws on top that I’m using through the latch holes.

Bottom security bolts - nearly impossible to remove even with the HT out of the car.

Bottom security bolts - nearly impossible to remove even with the HT out of the car.

Down here, I’ve got some ridiculous bolts. True, pin-in Torx isn’t the most rare bolt, but shove a rollber in front of it and it becomes pretty rare. I had to cut my key in half to allow it to fit in the small space. This is basically not removable without taking the hardtop off first.

Latch security bolts - the final piece of the puzzle.

Latch security bolts - the final piece of the puzzle.

And this third bolt pretty much makes the Beatrush latches as secure as possible. A cutting wheel and a lot of free time is the only way to remove my hardtop without the key. I’m pretty happy about that.

HUGE thanks to my buddy Ric in the UK who sent me the two new bolt sizes. In the US, I would be out about $200 and have 192 spare bolts in my garage. In the UK, these are sold in single-serving amounts. Ten quid to a buddy with a UK address and some bolts were on my way!

If you’d like some security bolts of your own, well… you’re on your own. I worked for months to find these bolts and don’t really want to publish the specs of exactly what I have. But I’ll help you out with some measurements!

Hardtop side latch bolts (3 on the HT itself): M6 x 1.0, 15mm long. 20mm long works as well.
Side striker plate bolts (2 on each side of the body): M8 x 1.25, 20mm long. Get as short a bolt as possible due to the rollbar making space an issue.
Beatrush lock holes: 8mm in diameter. The latch is 22mm wide, so you need a 30mm bolt minimum. I’m using 1/4-20 x 1.25″ SAE bolts in mine.

That is enough info to get your hardtop all safe and secure if you have either Spec bolt-in plates or Beatrush latches. If you have stock side latches, you’re on your own.

Check out that clean rear package tray!

Check out that clean rear package tray!

As for me and my hardtop-only experiment, I’m loving life. I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks again for the help with the bolts Ric!

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  • Andy says:

    Ha ha. I did exactly what you avoided and went and bought the extra 100 bolts just to get what I needed to secure my latches.

    You can read my cronical on this thread: http://www.norcalroadsters.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7434

    Keep your tops safe!! OE latches are a 5 second thieft waiting to happen!

  • Jake says:

    My dad told me about this site just yesterday. Great blog you’ve got!

  • Rick says:

    Look like Ultra. I can get them in bulk…email if you have someone who can get them to save a ton. What’s your thoughts on using S-Groove nuts?

    I love the Sharka! I’ll send pics when it stops raining.

  • Scot says:

    I wish I’d read this before I bought the GarageStar kit.. It will do for now, though, and I already have the security bolts!

  • Jonathan says:

    You know, I’ve been looking for two weeks, and cannot find anyone who sells security bolts to individuals. Most places I’ve asked have said, “Sorry, we only sell to companies”, or, the ever popular “We don’t sell to individuals because it would dilute our unique driver”. So whoever you got your bolts from, well, I’m not only jealous that you got them, but I would really love to get some for myself 🙁

  • […] like being able to get the hardtop on/off a little quicker and like your solution here; The Hardtop Security Project ? part 2 ? revlimiter.net Nothings perfect but hopefully slowing them down a bit will make them think twice. […]

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