Removing the Sonett III Bonnet

The instructions presented here are based on the factory procedure and my own experience.  This procedure is specific to the Sonett III.

Removing the bonnet   is not a complicated task but the beginner is advised to have a helper for the final stages of the procedure.  

Care must be taken when opening the doors with the bonnet unsecured at the door pillars.

No specialized tools are required for this procedure.

 

  1. Remove the hatch.  Only one (of two) hinge pin/bolt need be removed.
  2. Remove the screws in the door pillars (3 on each side)
  3. Remove the screw at the rear end of each front wheel well. The rubber grommet will often come out with the bolt.
  4. Remove the 2 screws at the hatch hinge.  The hinge should hang freely.
  5. On a big bumper car: remove the front bumper; and remove the bolts that secure the bonnet to the bumper supports.  On small bumper cars, remove the 2 nuts  that secure the bumper stays to the bonnet
  6. Remove the 2 bolts (1 on each side) that secure the under edge of the bonnet to the frame.  Make note of the rubber washer that fits between the bonnet and the frame.
  7. Disconnect the 2 block wiring harness connectors. These are mounted on each side of the radiator.
  8. Disconnect the headlight control mechanism.  I prefer to remove all 3 bolts (the factory says to do just 2) : the rod; the adjustment/anchor, and the pivot.  This will make it much easier for the bonnet to clear the frame. And will make it very much easier to put the bonnet back on.
  9. Disconnect the windshield washer piping (at the pump end)
  10. Remove the bonnet by lifting it up (at the front) and forward. Gently rock the bonnet up and down as it is pulled forward.  On big bumper cars this movement must begin by clearing the tabs on the bumper supports.  Also, make sure that the wiring and washer tubing does not hang up on anything as the bonnet is removed.  For 2 person removal, position one person on each side of the car with one hand gripping the wheel well and the other on the front edge of the bonnet.  For solo removal, position yourself in front of the bonnet.  Put your legs against the front lip of the bonnet and your hands on the inside of the hatch opening.  Use a reverse grip (thumbs pointing down) and hold the sides (not the leading edge) close to the hinge point for the hatch.   Removing the bonnet by yourself takes some practice and is not recommended for first time practitioners..