Center latch for hood

The center latch on the hood (convertible top) of my 1970 E Type doesn’t close with a definitive “snap”, as it used to do just a few months ago. Consequently, while traveling, the latch will pop open repeatedly. I’ve tried to adjust the latch assembly, as well as the retaining hook, with no success. I’ve seen other posts related to this, but no real solutions. Is it possible that the assembly has a “cam” or something that is worn? Would getting an entirely new assembly solve this problem?

Is the jay hook bent? If so remove it and straighten it out using soft jaws in a vice. This may help. Many times these are over tightened and get bent so they lose some of the over-center latching.

The temp has changed in the last couple months and that could change the characteristics of the top or the seal. The fulcrum action of those clamps relies on tension from the top and back pressure from the seal compression. If the clamp action is super firm, then it has gained tension somewhere. It could crack your screen. If the clamp action is very weak, then something has lost tension and it will pop open.

The clamps have two points of adjustment, the screw in hook can be rotated in or out, plus the clamp itself has slotted mounting holes so you can move it up or down. Adjust it until the tension is enough to hold it but not so hard you have to force anything to snap it closed. First verify that your seal has good compression though. It needs to be able to squish otherwise it won’t seal, plus you’ll be trying to force two hard objects together using a lever, which again, could break something.


You may have seen this thread on the topic in the archives already, but if not take a look. The hitch pin is not ideal, but does prevent the heart-stopping bang as the top lets go at speed…


The “J” hook appears to not be bent. I’ve tried adjusting the hook, as well as adjusting at the mounting holes. No luck. Even now, as it is, it takes quite a bit of force to latch it. Your comment about the seal compression is interesting…I’ll check that out as well.