Convertible Top Seam Stitching Disintegrating -

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Old 02-15-2018, 11:35 PM   #1  
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Default Convertible Top Seam Stitching Disintegrating

I've had my '12 Race Red ragtop since new (7/15/2011) and lately most of the exposed seams along the edges of the top and inboard of them are splitting apart due to the thread disintegrating. I've been spending the last few evenings with heavy polyester hand sewing thread, a pack of needles and a pair of pliers, sewing the seams back together. So far it appears that I've caught the splitting seams in time before needing a new top. Prior to this I noticed just the inboard seams were showing this issue and I tried sewing them up with nylon thread, but that didn't last long at all, less than a year.

Being retired I can afford the time to sew the top back together, but wondered how many others are experiencing this issue.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:40 AM   #2  
GT Nate
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Good ole ultraviolet degredation. Are you sewing with the top partially down to relieve the tension on the seams?
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:32 AM   #3  
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Default Top Sewing Procedure

Hi GT Nate,

Yes, I am partially lowering the top to both relieve tension on the seams and to get them at more of an eye level when possible to ease the procedure while standing next to the car.

I also find to allow better access to sew the seams, I'm forced to remove the side rail weatherstripping and their metal carrier channels. The channels are attached with either 2 (front) or 3 (middle and rear) Torx head screws. Without removing the strips and channels, there isn't enough room to get the needle straight through the seam.

I quickly found that I needed the pliers to help push the needle into the holes, and to pull it out the other side. With enough patience and repositioning I'm able to reuse the factory seam holes. After a few broken needles I've also learned that the pliers need to be held 3/8" or less away from the point of penetration to reduce breakage.

After seeing other Mustang convertibles in the area looking very shabby once the edge seams let loose, allowing the various layers to delaminate. I didn't want to join those ranks, so went ahead with this project to short circuit the eventual decline.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:02 AM   #4  
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I have this problem with the seams around the rear window of my '02 but couldn't really think of a way to stitch that so I grabbed a tube of superglue and glued it back into place 6 months ago and that seems to be holding up pretty well.
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