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Hi everyone,

I recently pulled my Bonneville out of a barn its been sitting in since 1977. I was cleaning the mildew out of the interior and could not see really well so i manually pulled the top back about half way. It held there and i went in to eat dinner and it had rolled back in the down position when i came out. I cannot get the top back up! I tried powering it up and the pump is locked up. I even tapped on the pump and all it will do is click. My brother and i picked up on both sides while my fiancee worked the switch and the main frame will not budge off the cylinders. I unscrewed the hydraulic lines at the bottom of both cylinders and unscrewed the fill on the pump motor and i could hear gargling then when i lifted on the top. I thought it might let any pressure off. I believe the cylinders are frozen. I have sprayed ALOT of wd40 on all the pivot points and it acts like it is still stuck. I dont want to tear it up or force it up. The canvas top was put on the car new in 77 before it was parked and the top frame is in good shape. My cousin that drove the car last said the top operated fine except he would have to help it up while operating the switch. Can anyone tell me how to unhook the cylinder from the top frame so i can manually put the top up. WHich bolt is it in the picture? I dont want to unbolt the whole top. Unfortunately there is not much room to work with the top down. Thank you for any ideas and i realize this isnt a Bonneville forum
 

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Hello Bonny, the possibility exists that your pump, cylinders and hoses all contain brake fluid. Brake fluid was commonly used from the factory but unfortunately after sitting so long it most likely has crystallized. If you look closely at the top of the piston rods there is a large chrome bolt that acts as a pivot point with your top bow lift mechanism. Undo the nut and pull the bolt out, this will free up the top and you should be able to pull the top up manually. I would have someone help to pull the top up evenly as you do not want to stress the bows and possibly bend them. I rebuild the complete system on my GTO convertible, all these cars used the same basic system. Depending on what you find the pump can be rebuilt. Messy job but doable. Cylinders and hoses are available from Hydro E. I would use hydraulic fluid instead as brake fluid has stability issues. If you ever have a leak brake fluid is a great paint remover and will damage paint very easily. Good luck.
 

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Thanks Olde goat. I am going to get back at it this evening. It sure would be easier if there was more room to work or if the top were up. My lower back can only take so much!
 

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What Olde Goat says. BTDT. After you get the pump overhauled, use ATF. I fiigured it out after rebuilding my brake-fluid-equipped '67's pump twice. The impellor freezes up from corrosion because the brake fluid absorbs moisture. Excellent that you are not forcing anything...smart move! Take it easy and you'll get it. ...
 
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