Canvas Bonnet Strip

Series rovers originally had braided canvas cord filler strips along the front of the bonnet to cushion the closing or contact point and prevent unnecessary airflow or dust entry. At some point long ago this one had been replaced with a self-adhesive foam strip, which had subsequently degraded. Replacements in the original style are now readily available and come with the split rivets for installation. The process is reasonably simple but care must be taken on a couple of points.

The first step was to carefully peel and scrape away the adhesive strip and remove any remaining glue. Using a scraper material other than steel, that is softer than the paint, is a prudent idea.

If the previous installation was the original filler strip the old split rivets will have to be bent straight and pushed out the bottom of their holes. This is a good time to evaluate and repair or protect any rusted or bare areas under the strip before installing the new one.

The rivets are brass and split almost to the head. They must be installed with the heads below and the splits above or the heads will not seat properly in the channel between the two cords (see example photo below).

The process of installation involves opening a hole in canvas that is precisely aligned with a hole in the body and expanding it to accept the rivet from below. An awl or small marlinspike is more effective than trying to cut or drill through the fibers. Splitting the rivet can be started with a flat screwdriver or pliers, but the final tightening takes quite a bit of force. In this case a pair of smooth blacksmith tongs was used and then a small hand held dolly anvil was placed under the rivet head and a small hammer used to flatten the splits fully into the channel.

The length of the canvas filler strip is a few inches longer than necessary and is probably intended to be trimmed to length. In this case a tidy looking solution was to leave them uncut and tuck the ends under for a short distance on each end. This has the added benefit of shoring up the corners of the bonnet where they often have some extra play. Adjusting the bonnet catch depth is an important final step once the filler strip has been installed.