View Full Version : Series Soft Top Visibility

02-16-2007, 02:12 PM
I have a IIa 88" with a soft top mounted, no side windows. I purchased it several months ago and just started driving it around. My biggest problem is with visibiliy. No matter how well I adjust the wing mirrors they don't do very well. When backing out of a parking space I can't see a bloody thing. Would door hinge mounted mirrors work better? I know that if I don't do something then it is just a matter of time until I hit something.
I am also having trouble cleaning the rear window. A clean towel with warm water and dish soap just smears the plastic. Is there a special type of soap to use?


Ted in Crockett

02-16-2007, 02:41 PM
Larger mirrors closer to the window will help somwhat. Rolling up the sides would also help :D As for cleaners, take your pick:


02-16-2007, 11:12 PM

I've added defender style mirrors to my 109 and they do help with visibility
as my soft top only has one clear window at the rear. You can stop by any autoparts store and look for 3-M Plastic Cleaner, Item # 3M-39017 roughly $10. This works very well for me...http://www.autogeek.net/3mplasclean.html

02-19-2007, 09:03 AM
I know that if I don't do something then it is just a matter of time until I hit something.

In 101 circles this is known as reversing by ear. Fortunately we have nice rubber tipped bumperettes to prevent crunching sheetmetal most of the time.

I improved the mirrors on my IIA hardtop by replacing the stock items with some of the 6 inch convex towing mirrors from Autozone/NAPA etc. that are designed to clamp onto the mirror arms of pickups towing RV's. They were dirt cheap, use the same clamping style as Rover mirrors and give an extremely wide angle view while keeping the authentic round mirror style. They work even better when mounted on the door.

Just another cheap alternative.

02-19-2007, 01:00 PM
Having a 109 ambulance I can barely see behind me when backing up and I have the big mirrors on the fenders and doors. In the Marines it was common practice to blow you horn twice before backing out, it gets the attention of people around you to what you are doing. Next I installed a industrial truck backup alarm, it gets most peoples attention, yes its annoying. I also park a bit further out in the parkig lot and plan my escape route before parking. Most importantly is just to backup slowly, I find backing up extremely slowly and studying your mirrors is the best solution besides all sounding devices.

On the plastic window front, think about replacing it as they normally have a limited life. Take the top to a good shop and have them install a new window of the best quality UV proof plastic. A good shop can also fix any problems with a soft top, before it becomes unrepairable.

BTW: Don't park in the spots closest to the stores, they are usually smaller, harder to park in because of angles and people near the front are usually in a hurry and aren't watching carefully.:eek:

02-19-2007, 02:37 PM
you guy's have reverse on yours?!

i too have the canvas hood but w/ the side windows. it's new so i'm not having too much trouble now. i have used straight bleach on a sponge (wrung out to avoid drips) to clean that brown tint that shows up on old vinyl windows. done this on my spitfire which is a vinyl top. i'd be careful doing it near canvas.

02-20-2007, 05:18 PM
I have a 109 truck cab with a 3/4 tilt and though backing isn't too bad. I find that I can't come up to a stop sign that I am going to turn right at while already starting to turn? I literally have to come up to the stop sign like I am going to go straight and then turn right otherwise I cannot see a bit of oncoming traffic!


02-23-2007, 01:41 AM
Hey Ted! I know your boy Greg...

My 109 now has a truck cab, but for years I had a full canvas on it. I hate the look of side windows so my tops have always been all-canvas. My side mirrors are the original small round heads, mounted on the fenders.

The best solution is to avoid backing if possible. Park in a stall that you can pull forward when leaving. If you have to back out, turn toward the driver's side whenever possible so that you can track your line from the side mirror or stick your head out when it's necessary. If you have to back to the passenger's side, just be aware of what's there before you climb in the truck.

Once you get used to the blind spots, it's no big deal really. The mirrors on the wings, even if they are the small round ones, are a bit easier I think. Reason being because you don't have to crane your neck so much or stretch over to scan the mirror, since you're looking forward into the mirror and not over to the side. Hope that makes sense.

Finally, Series Rovers are easier to back than modern vehicles because they are squared off. No sloping rear overhangs you can't see.

Anyway, I have never hit anything while backing. Even in parking garages with low overhead clearance, when sometimes all I had was a half inch of room above the rear hoop...

By the way Ted, are you and Greg going to Mendo?


02-23-2007, 08:36 AM

I have the round, hinge-mounted SII mirrors on my 109 softtop. They're OK, but I can honestly say that I hang out of the open door or window every time when reversing. I don't avoid backing-up, but it is often easier to reverse into a spot, just so I can pull away forward.

Can't help with the windows - I never use anything other than what you mention...

Tom P.

02-23-2007, 12:23 PM
I did learn about the results of backing in to something with a Rover once. I was working on a TV Pilot in LA and got to work at about 5:30AM. I was parking and as I was pulling up to a space on the road a guy in a red Mercedes went by me. Unfortunately he then pulled a U-turn in the intersection behind me and as I backed up to better situate myself in the spot my big metal lifting ring on the back of the Rover went through the grill of his late 70's mercedes (that WAS in very nice condition).

The best part was convincing my insurance company that although his car had received significant cosmetic damage to its front end (grill, hood) that I had not damaged my Rover in any way. She kept asking me, and what damage did your vehicle sustain? Each time I told her none. I think that she finally got the point when I told her that not only had I not recieved any damage, but that I may have actually gained a little bit of paint.

02-24-2007, 03:14 PM
Thanks for all the input. I think that I will look for a set of the large convexed mirrors for the wings. I was considering door hinge mounted mirrors but they seem to stick out rather far and I do like the look of the wing mirrors.

I will also check out my local auto parts suppliers for the window cleaner.

Hi Mo, Greg is definately going to Mendo this year and he wants me to go with him so I will probably tag along with my 88". I wasn't planning on going because I don't quite trust the new beast yet but having a deadline will force me to look it over and fix some of the little problems and do a tune up.


02-26-2007, 08:14 AM
I have a 110 with no side windows and stock defender mirrors (which, despite the hype, are as abysmal as the series ones).

I back into all spots whenever I cannot pull all the way trough.

Seems simple; you know what's moving around you when you park, but you don't when you leave. It may annoy some people as you park, but they'll get over it (hopefully, before they re-load their gun):eek: .

Then leaving is easy!!!

03-05-2007, 02:49 PM
i went to wally world bought $15 worth of clear heavy vinyl from the sewing department and some duct tape. it got me through the first winter. absolutely no blind spots and on a sunny day the solar gain was intense. star gazing (while daring lucas to mess with my ride) was fun too. now i've a canvas hood and it doesn't look so getto.