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Old 10-28-2005, 02:32 PM
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convertible top replacement

Anyone ever put a convertible top on a latemodel mustang before ? I have read it was ----- to install. Mine is totaled and I would like to install it myself.

I am looking at the tops here

Here is the tops now



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Old 10-28-2005, 03:21 PM
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Buy a book......I did my 62 Pontiac using the GM factory books. Worked out well. The hard part is setting the rear bow at the right spot.....and stretching the material.
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Old 10-28-2005, 09:37 PM
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Take it to someone who knows what they are doing,I have been installing tops for almost 20 years and have repaired or replaced many tops that were installed by the owner. Jeff
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Old 10-29-2005, 07:25 PM
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That car had its top installed at Cars and Concepts. They were not factory installed. The cars were shipped built topless at Rouge and from Rouge shipped to Brighton Michigan and they had a small line that put the mechs in and the tops on them. The reason I am telling you this is that they are not always square and straight even right out of the box, so C&C did alot of Tailoring on the fly to get some of the geometery issues straighten out. Those cars can be a curse even for an experianced trimmer. I have done 4 of them and its been a 50 50 so far. The car was never ment to be a convertable and if it has any sag in it good times are had by none. There are books and if you are patient you can put them on with em, but perfect is not easy with that car. Sorry to say
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Old 10-29-2005, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for the info... I am not looking for perfect as its not a perfect car. It has over 100k miles and by no means is perfect. I am looking for decent and something that don't leak.


My problems is the cost to put one on is over a grand counting the cost of the top. Was hoping with the shop manual and time I could do it. But its not looking promising
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Old 10-30-2005, 12:59 AM
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.....the first time experience puting a top on can be a nightmare. Best to let a pro do it unless you have patience and are willing to learn. I've done a few and have run into poorly sewn tops that just don't fit right, or the top frame over the windshield is rotted so what do you do ? , tacking strips are shot , or someone stripped the bolt holes in the trunk , etc . Neat trick I use for taking out wrinkles or slight sag is a hot water kettle boiling , let the steam hit the wrinkle working it slowly at a time and watch it disappear when the spot cools off.
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Old 10-30-2005, 08:33 AM
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Chris

If money is the problem think of it a little differently. Quality is value.

If you are going to try to do it yourself there are a couple of different levels of top materials that create a couple of different costs. Sunbrella material is the best when putting a top on. It comes in more colors and is the most consistent material when pulling. You also have a glass rear window in your car. The window is bonded to the rear cover curtain that has to be replaced as well to match your window, that is a steep cost in itself wether or not you do it yourself.

Cheaper materials and in the end a cheaper top cover tend to be less consistent when pulling. Your top is called a floating coversystem, it has a few tie downs to the rear center and front cross car but the top is held in tension by the cables on the side. It is critical to get this top centered and the belts and front and rear rail square. I have found that if I pay for better materials I have more say to the supplier when it is not sewn right. I Always check the seams and the sew of a top before I install to make sure that when I find centerline of the top the cover is symetrical from side to side. Once you put a staple through it you have bought it.

Depending on how good the car is and how good you want it to look when your done should determine the cost of the top cover you buy. There are other costs in a top as well. Belts and pads (under the top cover to set the suspension between bows and edges that form the top shape). Cables that hold tension on the sides to keep the top from bellowing and to shape. Your driver side looks to be broken in the picture. I always replace those as the only stretch so far and fatigue over time so never replace just one.

Make a once over of your top mech to decide how good it is. I believe your car has a headliner (some years didnt) that covers the inner bows carefully pull it down and look to see if the main bow that goes to the windshield is straight from side to side. Look at the bow over the back seat, the one that sets the down slope look to see if it is centered above the rear seat. Are the latches in the front bow tight. Are the side cables that run from the header of the windshield to the front of the rear window tight (the driver side is obviously not in the picture)?

Now here is a big one. Do the doors close easily? If not you have a can of worms on your hands. The car probably has settled which in turn springs the top up and rearward. Before I even get into the bid process I open and close the doors a few times if they both dont close easily after I open them both at the same time I recommend a body man first to tighten up the frame of the car or the top will never close right.

Now go to the bookstore or on line and get a book on the subject. I am sorry I cant recommend any as I was taught how to pull tops. A 30 dollar investment to decide you want to pay someone else is cheaper than the cost of a second top. Just to note I agree with Junkyardjeff and I regret to say most of us will not usually attempt to repair a owner install it usually means starting over and that is at least a new cover.
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