New Edge Convertible Top Replacement - Doing It Myself
So, a month ago I bought an '01 'vert for my wife. It's only a V6, it's got some blemishes, and the top was shot. But hey, it was cheap.
Some of the damage on the ragtop:
I've never done a convertible top before, but I found these instructions:
and figured, "how hard can it be."
I've got the rag top completely removed now. For reference, those instructions are decent, but leave out details in some spots that would be useful. Most notably, so far, in removing the headliner. The order you remove it is important, and Step 18 really should be before Step 17.
The paint is coming off my header bow in sheets. Is this a common problem?
I haven't figured out how I plan on dealing with this yet.
Also, it seems like a dumb question, but where do you get tacking strip from? The vendors on this site seem to only carry it as part of a kit with the tops, and I already bought the top (as separate pieces).
I re used my old strips, also you should not have removed any part of the frame from the car to replace the fabric of the top. It's a pain in the @55 to replace the top. If I had another rip I'd be more than willing to pay someone the 1200 I was quoted to have it done. Biggest headache of my life.
I'd spray some rust inhibitor on that piece before I put it back on.
The tacking strip was very brittle and simply removing the staples caused it to break in several places. Reusing it wasn't really an option.
I'm going to check on price to powder coat it today. If it's reasonable on price, I'll go that route otherwise I'll just clean it up as best as I can and rattle can it.
If you rattle can it make sure you get some kind of rust inhibitor like por 15. It will prevent it from oxidizing again. And my tack strips cracked in a few places but it still held up fine to the new top. I couldn't find new strips anywhere. The dealer doesn't even sell them anymore.
Well, I got it powdercoated:
One problem is that plastic bits will melt when the part is baked. We weren't able to salvage the four white plastic pucks that attach to the mounting arms (you can see them in the ealier picture). I'll need to track down replacements.
The tacking strip I got from here:
I also found this series of videos that has some useful info:
Well, it's "Done":
There are still some trim pieces, but I just closed it and drove it for the first time. A few things that made it easier to install that I haven't seen elsewhere:
1. Don't tighten the bolts on the left and right tacking bars that hold the rear of the top until you have closed it the first time. It was a struggle to get it closed at first before it stretches out.
2. Right behind the windows is a tension spring that connects to a reinforced hole in the top. Attach these before bolting down the three rear tacking bars. These guys are a real bear to hook up.
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