Newest Top re-write

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Briano1234
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Newest Top re-write

Postby Briano1234 » Mon May 24, 2010 2:59 am

Installing Your Convertible Top Outer Skin only. Major re-write 7/7/2016

How to install your Headliner click here.
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=3013
How to install your Top Padding Kit click here.
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2788

To install your top/pad/headliner here is the basic order:
1 Remove the Outer Skin.
2. Remove the Padding.
3. Remove the Headliner.

To install any of the above you have to follow the same order:
1. Install Headliner.
2. Install Padding.
3. Install Outer Skin.

Hints, you have to have a HEATED Garage that is if you are doing this in the Winter or on a cold day, the vinyl won't be as pliable as you need it, getting it up to about 75-80 degrees makes it easier.
I have 4 500 watt Quartz Halogens that I use to get the Garage up to about 80 degrees easily
.

You can't skip steps.
If you need clarification Email me.
No I don't travel.

Canvas Top Differences.
CAVEAT: For Canvas Tops heads up.
You have to set your rear cable.
The Canvas will not stretch as easily, so set your front lip. Front frame and rear frame, replace the seal trays as well.

Carefully close the top and don't fully latch it.
Outline the rear window frame in chalk. You then make additional Marks with chalk about 3 inches in side the frame and Cut the opening for the window you need 3-4 inches of material in side the frame to pull to staple.
This will allow the top give, latch the top, then let it stretch for a couple of hours.
I have Changed the installation order for the newer way to install the top. The old way ala Forrest Kings doc is incorrect, and actually makes it more difficult to install the rear cable.


Includes creating your own Side Cables.

Things that can make it easier.

Hammer
Center Punch
10mm or 11mm offset ratcheting wrench as the nut sizes have changed Must Have
Heavy Duty Electric/Air (can use a hand) Stapler and 3/8 galvanized or SS staples
Good number 2 Phillips screwdriver
2 Wide blade Straight Slot screwdrivers
Wide blade Jewelers Screwdriver Straight Slot
Razor Knife and new blades
3M Hi-Tack spray adhesive
Clear Silicone Sealer number II
Permatex Ultra Black or Clear Silicone RTV dependent on top color.
Roll of 1 inch wide by ¼ inch thick closed cell foam
Small Brass Flat Link Chain 1 foot
CARB Cleaner 1 can.
Rags and Paper towels
Old News Papers
Measuring tape
Plastic bags to hold parts for a bit. One for each side as in left and right.
Flat steel anvil bout 1 X 2 X3 inches or a Large flat Punch
Drill and a assortment of Bits
2 or 3 Plastic Spring clamps
4 feet of broom stick and 2 large vise grips
Needle Nose pliers
Flat nosed pliers
Diagonal cutter
Masons Twine
Long Hemostat’s
WD-40
Vaseline, Ky Jelly and a Childrens Syringe (Walgreens will give those to you if you ask them nicely.)
Ice Scraper
5/32 X 5/8 1/8 X 1/2 inch pop rivets and backing washers (number 6 and number 10 washers work great), Pop Rivet Gun
Broom Stick and 2 large Vice Grips
40 inch long 2X4
2 headless nails

If your top's struts have seized, they can be replaced with new ones.

OEM Lift-O-Mat part number: 155 671 997 A
Sachs-Stabilus-Boge replacement part number: SG401018
As of September 2007, the following places carry the aftermarket replacement strut:
Rock Auto, Auto Parts Warehouse and through special order at your local Pep Boys.

Or from http://www.Mcmaster.com
2 Struts 9416K15
4 Eyelets 9416K84

How to Create your own Side Cables

There are 2 styles of attachment points for the different frames that VW used. Knowing which ones you have determine the length of the Cable when complete.

The older Style attaches at the padding Bar. The length of these cables are "Loop to Loop" 40". The Spring attaches to the front of the frames padding bar. No Brass Chain is needed.
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The Newer Style attaches to a Stud at the side of the front frame. The length of these cables are "Loop to Loop" 37 1/4" to no more than 37 1/2" or from loop to end of brass chain. Spring is at the rear.
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Creating your side Cables
Depending on if you bought side cables or decided like me to make your own.
8 foot 1/16 stainless or galvanized Steel cable Coated cable is fine but you will be stripping off the covering to use the ferrules
and have to be aware of that in measuring.
8 foot 1/16 ID vinyl hose
6 1/16 cable swedges ferrules
2 2 links flat brass chain.

Take your 2X4 that is 40 inches long and Place a nail in the middle of the board 1 inch from the end.
Measure over 37 1/4 inches to no more than 37 1/2 inches and put your other headless nail there.
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Cut the steel cable in half
Cut the vinyl tube in half
Cut the vinyl tube 35 inches long


Loop the cable and force it into the swedge.
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Do not leave any bitter edge of the cable exposed out of the ferrule.

Now pull the long side to make a small loop
Tighten the swedge ( I used my ratcheting Amp Tool )
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Place the completed loop over one of the nails.

Pull cable through the vinyl tube back to the swedge.
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Cut the Vinyl tube about even with the nail

Take the Brass Chain and cut off 2 links, then on the flat link insert a centering punch and using wood Hammer that punch into the chain to expand the hole.
It has to fit over the steel stud on the front frame.

Slide the swedge onto the cable

Insert the flat brass chain onto the cable on the other non-expanded side,
Insert the bitter end of the cable into the swedge.
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Place the Flat Brass chain over the free nail and pull the cable tight.
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Mark the cable and the swedge. Release it from the nail.
Cut the cables bitter end short of the mark.
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Move all the marks so they are aligned then tighten the swedge.
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Now repeat for the other side and place in your plastic bag for use later.

It is gonna look like this
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De-Construction

Open and close your top look at the attachment points, do it a few times.

With the top closed

Remove the 2 corner plastic pieces and screws place in the Bag
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Using a Razor Knife cut the top off from the rear quarter glass seal cut the vinyl only.
Cut the Top to the upper corner down around and above the bead all the way to the other side rear quarter glass seal, you are cutting the top
from the rear cable tray. As you are cutting pull it over the headliner at the corner so you don't cut nothing but the top.
DO NOT CUT DEEP.

Cut the vinyl 1 inch from the rear glass, you are cutting the top away from the window.
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Pull the top back to the front of the car, and cut the black vinyl ties on the sides and continue to pull it off the car towards the hood.

Cut or pull the top off from the front lip


Your top will now look like this but with padding on
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Yes that is a sorry pad.
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Here is where you start making your top leak proof. All the windows up. top latched into position
Close the doors and look at the seals.

Are your "A" pillar seals over lapping the Door seals by 1/8th of an inch?
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Is your "B" pillar seal cut, and not against the door frame?
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Are your doors sagging?
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Are your window glass fully engaging your seals at all points?
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If not then we have to address the a-pillar Seal over lap now alog with the door sag.
It is far easier to do it now. For window adjustments you will have to wait till you get your new top on as you are going to be
removing your trays, so fine tuning is pointless.

How Fix your "A" pillar gap click here.
http://volkswagenownersclub.com/vw/show ... ir-the-Gap.

Saggy door fix click here.
http://volkswagenownersclub.com/vw/show ... y-Door-Fix


If your front frame isn't about 1/4 inch from the front seal, then you need to resolve this now.
I have found that the main cause is usually the front latch receivers are bent, and or that the eccentrics are out of adjustment.
First with the top unlatched and half raised loosen the eccentrics and get them out of position.
Re-latch the top, if the frame is now 1/4 of a inch from the front seal, great....
To adjust the eccentrics, slowly rotate the eccentric as you are rotating it you will see it slightly raise off
the "B" pillar, when it slightly raises, lock it down.

To repair the "B" pillar if cut, I use Permatex ULTRA to seal the beading to the door frame, and hold it in place with maksing tape.
I then use the silicone to glue and fill voids in the "B" Pillar area, then using some "spit", yes "SPIT" on your latex gloved finger you can work it smooth.
Allow over night to set, the longer you can let it set the better.


Remove the rear side window glass upright seal by inserting a flat blade screw driver between the seal and the seal tray.
Towards the middle of the tray (carefully not to tear or puncture the rubber,
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Prying back on the blade the Seal will lift out of the tray,
now slowly get the front to come out by Gently by pulling on the seal at the middle your fingers can touch together
front to back, then pull upwards on the seal to release it from the stop at the bottom now that the bottom is out
pull down to get the seal to come free of the top stop.

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Remove the 4 Phillips screw holding the tray to the frame, and place the screws in the bag,
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Insert your flat blade between the seal tray and the frame and pry it off the old dead foam.
Do it in easy steps the entire length or you will bend the tray. The Ice scraper and wd-40 works good at this step.

You do not have to remove the B-Pillar Seal at all. So leave it alone. If you decide to remove it, as this may be your first top.
To replace the foam be VERY CAREFUL.. It likes to tear, On the Side near the "b" pillar it is usually glued with Urethane so you may need the flat blade to assist you.


Remove the seals from the other side.

Open your Trunk lower the rear seat top and parcel shelf and look up to see where the fingers are holding your headliner.
You may have to remove the cardboard covers to expose the under side of the aprcel shelf wings.
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Push the center pins in, then collect them later.

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Bend the metal fingers to 90 degrees and pull the headliner off the keeper fingers there are 6 or 7 of them


Remove the headliner welting off the Top Frame cover (where the unlatching buttons are) this will remove the headliner from being attached you will need the room.
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Open the top fully.

Remove all the screws that hold the top frame keepers re-enforcement bar and gently pry off should be about 12 of them.
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Remove the 2 Screws from the front “A” pillar seal lip one from each side.
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The front edge is usually glued with either silicone or Ureathane so you have to use a flat blade to pry it up CAREFULLY.
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Carefully pry out the front seal in the middle, and then pull about ¼ inch to the front to release it out of the holding clip, then CAREFULLY work the front out, it is usually glued to the tray in the front, so I use a flat blade in the tray between the seal and tray.
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Remove the 4 additional screws.
Pry the seal tray off the frame in the same manner as you did the rear.



On the leading part of the front frame, you will need to carefully pry from the back the first two nylon keepers to remove them. Take the dead vinyl off the front frame
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Get as much off the tray as you can.

Using carb cleaner on a paper towel wipe down the frames to get all the goo off.
Clean is good as you need the new glue to stick to the metal only.


Pull off the vinyl off the rear frame, the front frame, and the leading windshield frame,
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Clean all the goo………..with carb cleaner.

Drill out the rivets in the front frame, and the rear frame

Make sure that you test fit your trays back to the frame and adjust as necessary as you want them to lay flat.




Now open the top fully and latch it.

Removing the Rear Window

Remove the Defroster connectors and the plastic covers on them there are little clips on the connectors that you have to release to get the "covers"
off of the connector itself. This is so that you can remove the connector easily from the interior gasket.
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From the outside of the car,

Lift up the outer edge of the Seal insert your flat blade between the window seal and the window frame at the rear, start at the corner.
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While you are gently prying up and out on the seal in a rocking motion gently reach around the frame and undo the seal from the inside lip.


Using a rocking motion with the screwdriver you will get the window out remember to
unwind the defroster wires gingerly out of the gasket remove the plastic covers off the wire ends
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The window will pop right out, you may have to work your flat blade down and around a bit.


Remove the gasket from the window glass and Clean the hell out of it, if there is OLD DEAD ROPE CAULK you have to remove all traces.
To remove the rope caulk residue, I find that soaking it liberally in wd-40, and leave it alone in the corner, and about every couple of hours re-spray it again.
Let it work....It softens up the Caulk and starts to release it from the rubber.
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After usually sitting over night, I scrape it with a dull flat blade with wd-40, when the majority is off and out of all the grooves, I spray it
with a good soapy spray (Totally Awesome from Family Dollar Stores) and a fingernail brush with Warm Water will get it like new.
BE GENTLE.

Scrape and clean the glass
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Clean the inside grove where the glass is, cleanliness is a must.


Return the gasket to the glass, the holes for the defroster wires are on the bottom and the sides.
Work the gasket by holding 30 to 60 degrees off the glass the gasket will slide right back on.

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Set the assembled rear widow aside.



Using your flat Jewelers screwdriver pry up every one of those 120 to 200 staples, after they are up,
remove them with your large flat diagonal cutters the pliers, after you remove 50 of them you can probably zip the remainder of the
vinyl with the staples out.

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Carefully inspect the frame for broken staple bits, and remove as needed.
For Staples that didn't pull out and are too far gone, you can use a Sanding Drum on a Dremel, to get the
itty-bits totally below the plastic.
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Inspect your Plastic, if it is cracked and moved, you will need to re-glue it and or fill in the gap sand it smooth.
JB-WELD works good.

Clean the Rear Window Frame of any and all rust, sand smooth Spray with a rust destroyer/primer,
let dry and paint, remember to use a mask to prevent over spray on your headliner, if you are replacing your head liner,
then still be careful.

Open the top halfway up, and use the broomstick and vice grips to lock it in that position.



Remove the struts by removing the clips and the washers, and place in the cable tray, you will need the room
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It is a good time to test your struts, with a Phillips Screwdriver inserted into one of the holes use it as a fulcrum,
try to compress it against the floor, it should compress and then shoot back, if it doesn’t compress then it is bad,
if it is really slow or bent then it is bad.

Using your 10mm offset ratchet remove the nut off the rear cable You can get to it from the top
use your finger to gauge how many threads are out, you will need to tighten it back to that spot if you are re-using your older cable.

Loosen the nut, and after about 5 or six clicks, the nut will spin freely off. Place the nut in the cable tray and with your hemostats or
needle nose pliers remove the cable out of the tray on both sides the nut turns down to loosen and up to tighten Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty.

With the ends of the cable out remove it from the cable tray with the beading.

Wow all that just to remove the top….. remember that installation is the reverse or removal.

You will need to remove the rear cable from the remainder of the top, I usually can rip it out…

Remove the Side cable bits from the front frame, and bend the finger up on the rear frame and remove the spring.
Bending it at about 90 degrees is a good thing.

Clean your rear cable and spray the hell out of it with wd40.
Make sure that your Cable tray is devoid of any and all bits of vinyl and or rope caulk.
Look at the TRAY WIDTH, make sure that the tray isn't bent and that the top of the tray steel is the same distance
from the body, if not widen it, if too wide narrow it. It is imperative that the TRAY is correct.

If there is a rust hole you have to repair it.
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I knocked all the rust off and cleaned the hole to bare metal
I protected the paint with Saran wrap, clings like anything.
Then used a rust repair spray
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A good primer:
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Fill the Void behind so your filler material will not clog the tray
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I mixed up some "JB-WELD" and filled the hole, some "SPIT" on a Latex finger smooths the glue out for less sanding. GIVE it PLENTY OF TIME TO SET.
Then sand and primer.
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It don't have to look pretty as the top is covering it, just rough smooth and shape, the big thing is killing the rust.
and not filling in the back side of the tray.


Measure your rear window frame for proper position, make sure that the bottom edges are the same length from the cable tray,
if they are within a eighth of an inch that is ok, if they are more than that then you will need to adjust it.
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OIL THE WINDOW FRAME HINGES....OPEN AND CLOSE THE TOP A FEW TIMES TO WORK THE OIL IN. OIL ALL THE PIVOT POINTS on the frame and
work it in... Remember the Struts are off and the top is heavy....

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The Rear Window Frame has to be square, measure the frame from the diagonals.
It has to be about 1/16 of and inch off or less… bend the corners as needed think rectangle versus a parallelogram, oiling it usually takes care of it, but there
is a tad of wiggle room by loosening the frame mounts (2 10mm bolts each side of the frame).

If your window frame isn’t the same distance between the top edge of the lower part of the frame to the top of the cable
tray, adjust the thing… it has to be equal distance.

Take your closed cell foam and place it on the bottom of the seal trays.

Look at your pig tail seals, that the rear upright frame mates with when the top is up,
if it is cut or split along the body you need to glue it back in place, cover the edge with silicone sealer,
as that is part of the water tight seal.
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We should be done with the De-construction and restoration now on to the installation.

Since I last left you your top needs to be in the half up position and locked with the broom safety.

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Find the center of the cable tray and mark it with a sharpie on the lip of the body. I measure between the corners of the trunk
but it is usually in the center of the lock.
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Find the Center of the rear cable sheath mark it with a sharpie.
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Loosen the Safety and close the top frame.



INSTALLATION. MAJOR Change in installation 7/7/2016

Trim all the excess material off the REAR inside Edge of the TOP, Cut it to as close to the seam as you can.
BE VERY CAREFUL Make sure that you are CUTTING THE EXCESS ONLY and not the TOP.

DO NOT CUT THE STITCHES AND FOLD THE MATERIAL BACK SO YOU DON’T CUT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TOP.

From this:
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To this:
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Place your top on the car, take the pocket and place it over the front lip and drape it into position. Center it, and adjust it as you
want the sides to be equal, roll the rear corners so that they hit the rear side frame at the same place on both sides, and that the
seams are running straight.
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Find the two boot tabs and cut them loose and put in your pocket so you will know where they are.
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Find the center of the top measure between the seams and divide in half and measure over or
if you have the notch for center then cool
Place a small mark right above the bead.

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If you didn't trim all the excess material, then you have to do the following:

Find where the cable exits the outside of the top and enters the inside, as you have to make a relief cut to the seam,
do not cut the seam. THIS IS CRUCIAL, it allows the rear cable to bisect the top.
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It allows for the Top bead to lay flat to the car when open instead of humping the cable.
I suppose you could pierce the top with a hole, but the slit works fine. If you have trimmed all the excess then tis step may be skipped
Only you will know.
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Thanks Dandy:
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Raise the frame half way and safety it.


Grab the side cables out of your bag and insert the chain over the front stud.
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Tie the other end to the pull string, and pull from the rear of the string, if there isn’t a pull string as in the case of my Cabrio World Top, but my AAAbest one had it.
You will have to do a fish line to pull the cable end back through. That is take a coat hanger and feed it from the front, or the rear to the front, when it comes out, attach the
cable to it and pull it back.

Take the free end and feed it through the side frame, then attach that loop to the spring, cover with the vinyl tube now pull on the bottom of the spring and hook onto the finger then bend the finger down.

Take you rear cable and lay it in the Inner Cable trough. Make sure that the Vinyl cladding can more freely in the trough if not, then widen it a bit.
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You cable needs to be able to move freely in this.
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Be sure that before you start pulling tension use a little grease in the trough and on the bolt.
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Pick up your rear cable and measure it find the total length subtract the sheath, and divide in
half and that is what you should have on both sides of the sheath, you can use a
little electrical tape to make sure that the cable don’t slip and get off center
it is terrible to find out that you have installed it and that your cable wont reach the holder on one side…
(don’t ask how I know this).

Install the ends of the cable in the tray and tighten the nut about 3 spins too on one end.
Take the boot tabs out of your pocket and place them through the cable Sewn side in.
Place the free end of the cable into the other Cable tray and tighten the nut 3 turns.



About 30 minutes prior to installing the rear cable take a pair of spring clips.
You will accordion pleat the rear seam area.
You will fold the seam at the bead about 1/2 to 3/4 of and inch to the front, then fold the thing back the same and use the spring clamp to hold it. This will ease your pain of the corner and the seam and boot tap.

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You are pre-folding it.

Take your grease (KY is non-staining for canvas it is good, Vinyl you can use Vaseline )and lubricate the inside of the rear cable tray all the way around, a little goes a long way.) KY is water soluble and cleans up well with clear dishwashing liquid and warm water.

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Take your grease and from the rear bead lay it on the top about a ¼ inch from the bead to the bead.
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You are going to grease the cable and the top, this is imperative that you do this so the cable tension can be pulled. across the top and that you can pull the top to the left or right.
Line up your center marks fold the rear cable into the top and pinch it and insert it into the cable tray it pops right in with no strain or pain. Easy isn’t it.
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Work from the center to the outer sides.

General rule of thumb:
The Seams on the top should lay at the corners, they should be equal as you tighten the cable, you can pull the top to get the seams straight. I usually place the boot taps on the inside of the seam edge.

On the bead with the palm of your hand run it around the corner pulling it as you go and the boot tab you will find will pop in to place,
you may have to pinch the bead in to the tray a bit but if you work it, pulling the bead around the corner it will just fold into place.

Secure the cable with a clamp.
Grab the Side of the top that is on the rear side frame and as you Push the bead with one had, you are pulling the side of the top to the front of the car.
You will find that the cable goes right in place. You then adjust the side cable tray, and clamp it.
Tighten your cable a little bit.
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You work the corner and the boot tab into position, with a clothes pin or a wooden spatula and a hammer.
Do the same for the other side.
[img]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y65/briano1234/topadditions1/357.jpg[img]
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Where the cable goes from the outer top to the inside you have to fold up the material so that it passes the relief cut the cable will bisect the cut
and the top will lay flat.

Here is where the spring clamps work well to hold the corners in tight. You can use small vice grips but you have to pad the jaws.
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Newer Style Cables are using a 11mm (actually it is 7/16 and 10-24 nut.) A 6mm Long wrench holds it fine.

Place the hemostats on the cable bolt notch and clamp.

Pulling the hemostats to the front of the car tighten the nut as far as you can with your fingers.
Move everything to the other side and repeat.

After all the basic tension is pulled place the Hemostats on the notch and then using the 10mm or 11mm offset tighten the nut about halfway to the measure that you took before loosening, Repeat on the other side.

Once you have pulled all the tension,

As you are tightening it you may have to pinch the side together a bit. As it gets tighter, the lubing that you did will pull the material and the cable tighter DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN YOU WILL SNAP THE CABLE.
If the top moves, you can pull it about a bit because you lubed the cable and the cable tray. Be sure that your corner seams stay put and are even with the corners of the car.
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When you are happy with the way it looks and the measurement is about the same you are done with the rear cable and it should only have taken you about 35-40 minutes.

What I have found is that with the newer style cables you have to shim them to pull it a wee bit more.
I used a 5/16 X 1/2 shim and a washer same size. I super glued the washer to the shim (holds it for ease.) I clamped the bolt with a pair of Small Needle Nosed Vice Grips. I then used another pair to clamp to the edge of the cable tray to prevent me from losing the tension.

Loosen the nut fully. With 1 drop of Super glue on the shim edge place it over the bolt end and stick it to the cable tray( may have to wipe the grease a wee bit.). now place you nut back on and finger tighten it to the shim. Remove the vice grips and do the other side. Gel super glue works good as it doesn’t run. The Glue is so that the shim is held in place and you don’t have to hold one in place while you try to get the nut back on….

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Tighten the cable more so that you are about all the way threaded in and some more.

Now replace the struts on the pivots (Strut on the inside and the washer on the outside.).

Fold the top down, we are going to work the front edge.



Open the top and latch it open
Drape Plastic garbage bags, towels, or blanket over the "A" pillar seal and the Front window..This protects them from the glue that
you will be spraying.
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With the top folded back and locked
Use plastic garbage bags, towels, or blanket between the front frame and the first fold. You are protecting the material from glue over spray.
Remove the Top from the front lip, and spray the leading edge of the top frame top and bottom.
Turn the top material inside out, and spray glue on it.

Fit the corners so they are tight and firm against the frame, you want a small curl of the bead to go inside, then set the metal corner trim to hold it.

Work the vinyl in to the front edge so that the seam will curl almost 90 degrees work the edge so that the seam of the front is running straight along the top edge of the frame.
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Get it to look even and not wavy…

The Glue will hold the material in the position it is tricky, and you can peel it back to get it correct.
What I have found is that the Front edge bead has to be firmly against the frame and 90 degrees pointing up. it has to be firm set. Work the Material towards the frame taking out all the slack that you can out of it.

Using the re-enforcement bar as a guide you can locate the screw holes, use a dull pencil to locate the first one, then pierce the vinyl and insert the screw and tighten loosely.
insert screws in all 8 holes tighten them from the center to the ends alternately.
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Notch the material out around the latches.
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Close the top and see if the seam lies flat, it not then open and reposition it to get the seal to lay flat on the seal.

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You don’t have to remove all the screws to get the seam tight you may need to only loosen one or two screws pull the material one way or another
Then reposition the screws. Get this right, as the top will be sealed correctly reducing water migration, and or NOISE.


Take the flap out from under the edge, and spray Hi-Tack on the metal frame and the vinyl allow to dry.

Force the flap onto the metal and get the edge seated trim even with the latch and "POP-rivet it".

Now the little top piece needs to be glued with silicone
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Locate the holes for the nylon fasteners punch with a Phillips Screw driver you will need to trim out the front one as it is
two layers thick, then insert the round nylon in the leading hole and the square one in the second hole.
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Place the seal tray on the frame and make sure that it lays flat. Adjust as needed. Use the First longer Screw to locate
the seal tray DO NOT TIGHTEN IT FULLY.
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Locate the screw holes and insert the 4 screws not tight but loose
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After all the screws are in a bit move the seal tray to the outer most edge that you can then tighten the screws down remove the leading screw (round-nylon).
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Open the top, and close it. Don’t latch. Let it stay there for about 1 hour.
Hook the latches but don’t lock.
Check your rear cable so that it is still in position.
If not Push it in and use Clothes pins to keep it there.
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Find your rear window frame inside edges, and using chalk out line it. This is imperative for Canvas tops, but actually will work well on vinyl as well. This is actually a better way to do it. Who sys you can’t teach an OLD FART new tricks.

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Now going in about 3 inches Cut the opening for the top. This will give you plenty of room to staple and pull the top. It will also relax the vinyl and allow it to fully stretch and the rear cable should remain in place. let it settle for about 30 minutes, then Latch the front and see that your leading edge is flat and the corners fit well. If not then you need to re-position them. I usually mark the edge that is not flat with Chalk, so I know where to work at. Remove the bar, and carefully force the material off the glue pull the material up. Set it, replace the bar and close. Get it right. As I stated above you will see that the Beading on the front has to be at 90 degrees and tight against the frame lip.
If you have readjust it, you will find that your screw holes will have moved up. I have seen about 1/4 of an inch. You can usually see the impression of the previous bar tightening, or mark it first and use the mark as a gauge.

Once you are happy, you can insert the front seals.


On the rear side frame fold, you will need to locate about where the holes for the screws, and rivet go (sharpie). Rivet is at the wee bottom of the rear side frame.

To eliminate the Puckers, I have found that the bottom side of the top will be about 1/2 inch below the frame

Take the flap on the rear window frame and fold it over , and spray with hi-tack, then spray the rear window frame and allow to dry. Do both sides.

Now press the side flap on the frame get so that the edge of the top is next to the frame and the bottom edge is against the bottom of the frame so that the corner that is folded again the bottom edge of that fold will be about 1/2 inch below the Frame….
is at a true 90 and the bottom edge is flat and even with the cable tray line. Get the side material smooth and flat as you press it against the glue some of the material will bunch and pucker on the inside of the car but get the 1 inch that is
closest to the outside as flat as possible.


Find the holes for the nylon screw fasteners, and punch the hole out with a Phillips screwdriver then insert the nylon and tap into place with a hammer.
"pop" the rivet with a backing at the bottom....This helps to hold the top in at the bottom and takes the strain off the material.
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Take the seal tray and position it and screw it into place you did already install the foam when you were removing it if not put new foam on and cut to fit,
make sure that the tray is at the outer most edge of the top this will insure that the seal will totally center to the glass.


Do the other side now.
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Take your razor knife and run it along the inside frame to cut the excess material peal it off then spray carb cleaner on a rag and remove the excess glue.



Close the top and it should look like this
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After the seal tray is mounted you have to place a bit of silicone on the leading edge
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Spray the tray with a bit of WD-40 or Vaseline, spray or Lubricate the seals bottom lip.

To insert the seal place the front edge towards you into the tray then slightly pinch it and force it in to the
back of the tray and it should pop in
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Do about ¾ of it then slide it as far to the rear of the tray, this should allow the front to pop in and leading edge should be in the centered in to the front hole and screw it
down with the bigger screw. Silicone will ooze out so you will need to clean it. On lighter colored tops I use clear, for black tops I use black.
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With the seal in position, you can now trim the excess material from around the latch, and clean the glue over spray off.
Now insert the Rear seal in to the tray
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Let’s return our attention to the rear window.

DO NOT GO TO THE EXTREME CORNERS

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Now Measure the bottom of the frame to the top bead, make sure that the frame is still square.
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HINT: Most folks loose the ability to pull equally on the material to keep the
Frame Square and Parallel to the bead…your hands get tired, so you have to Measure the distance, and get BOTH sides of the bottom at the same height. Do this by stapling a few staples near the corners to set them at the same distance Measure and RE-Measure to get it right. Remove the staples and re-adjust you have to get this correct….
When stapling place the head of the stapler against the inside edge, you don't want to staple on the outer edge of the frame.

Second pull the material the same amount…shoot a staple then move over a few inches and shoot another… after the material is the same tension and the window is square, you can go back and pick up the remaining staples that you skipped.

Pulling the material tight shoot one or two staples into the corners then measure again, get it right, you can remove the staples and either pull it tighter or looser the difference should only be 1/8 of an inch. Once you are happy, start stapling from the outside edges back to the center.
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To get the corner to lay flat you will need to make a relief cut or two.
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I staple the sides next then go back to pick up the corners. You don’t have to pull the top part of the frame as tight…
Pull it as needed to get the top material to look even and not puckered

When you are finished stapling make sure that the staples are firmly seated, and that if you run your finger along the tray.
You finger should feel smooth if you feel a raised Staple then using your hammer and punch or anvil seat it.
If one or two bend over just smack them harder.
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Once the material is laying nice and you are happy you can trim off the excess even with the inner frame.

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Lay a bead of silicone over the staples and into the lip of the frame.
This will seal the holes for the staples, and provide a water barrier for the rubber after the window is installed.
It helps to fill voids between your gasket, and the staples, then helps you to install the rear window.

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Take your masons twine and wind it into the inner lip of the gasket on the window so that you have 2 wrappings DO not Cross the
cords, and remember which is the start and ending string.
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Here is where you need a helper is nice to have, but you can do it alone.

Insert the glass and gasket into the lower bit of the frame with the strings on the inside and press it firmly in all the way around,
with the flat of your hands keep pressure on the glass and seat it almost fully from the outside.
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Have your helper slowly unwind the string, it will pull the gasket
in to the inside of the car and seat it firmly on the inside lip. Wipe off any excess silicone that may ooze either on the inside or the outside.

The glass should be square.




With the top latched and the front seal should seal flat to the top.

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Now from the inside of the car

Place the defroster wires back into the holes in the gasket and then under the gasket and back out and connect to the defroster terminal then place the plastic cover back on.

With a Flashlight reach in to the trunk and pull the headliner onto the hooks and with a needle nose bend to you the metal fingers then smack with the hammer.

Replace the two side cover pieces, you may have to trim the tube a bit I find that if I usually want 1/4 of an inch bead in the
corner cover.

With the EZ-on top they include 2 6 inch steel rods, you are going to insert them in to the center of the bead and push them as far back as you can. As you push them in you will
see the side move flat to the car. If you don't have the rods you can use a piece of "heavy wire" coat hanger or a Thin unfluxed welding rod.
You will also notice that you may have to trim the rubber hose off as it is too far out.. Well pull it out a wee bit and cut it off, then force it back in the hole.
Your corner covers will now fit nicely.


Insert the rear screw (longer of the two) it has the snap for the boot then replace the front screw (shorter screw).
The snap goes to the back.

Now for the final part.

What the hell are these flaps thingies?
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They pull the top in when you close it so that it folds pretty. Chances are that your original ones won't match your old pad slits, or if you have replaced the pad
You don’t need to slit your padding cover at all.
Half open the top.
Place the strap on the inside of the frame and close and latch the top. Your straps should be hanging down.

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Use chalk to make it relative to the frame next to the eccentric.
Half open the top.

Where the mark is place the straps mark against the outside of the frame at the eccentric.

On the end of the strap you can poke 2 holes for a rivet, These are going to wrap around the bar and rivet to each other.
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Wrap it and secure it with a "pop" rivet, or a wire tie.
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Replace the parcel shelf, raise the seat now clean your finger prints and marks off the top with Dishwashing soap and a soft brush with warm water You may have to do it a little more on the rear cable because of the lubricant,,,,, Clean the rear window inside and out,
Pop a brew or two and you are done.


If you do a test drive and there is more noise than ever at speed you may need to adjust the J-hooks tighter.
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Enjoy :)


Now that you are through patting yourself on the back, you need to roll up all the windows and make sure that the glass is going in to the seal and adjust the window stops as needed.
Verify that the doors closing with the windows raised will seal the glass, you may have to move your latches in a tad.
Last edited by Briano1234 on Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

GreaseJunkie
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What year is your cabby?: 1987
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby GreaseJunkie » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:18 pm

Great write-up; I hope you are still reading this. I have gotten to the point of installing the skin and am around back with the rear cable. You don't seem to touch on this too much - am I making more out of it than it should be? I am having a hell of a time getting the cable and skin to go into the slot together. I've greased up everything, tightened the nuts on each end ever so lightly, put vice grips on each side, but the cable refuses to go into place. I've even tried using some force with the tips of closed needle nosed pliers, but have come very close to putting a hole in the new top. Any advice? I have an '87 Cab, btw.

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Briano1234
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby Briano1234 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:50 pm

No, I never re-read posts.

Questions?
Did you trim the excess material off the rear from the seam?
It is this excess that causes the rear cable from going in fully.

Second if you are using a "new" rear cable from TMI or the like they are physically larger than the factory.

Is your top in the half raised or down as you need slack.

One trick that I haven't shot pics of is that you can (no top or cable installed) open up the
rear cable channel a wee bit, that is that you insert a flat blade screw driver in the slot and twist it
a wee bit sideways to open the channel. Like opening a can of Paint with a screwdriver.

You insert the rear material and cable it will go in easier, and then pull it about to get the rear bead to be even and tight with the top.

Using a 2X4 bit
Lay that over the top material (Cable channel) and Smack it back closed...
Because the cable tray and cable was lubed, it can be slid left or right a bit to get it re-centered.

On my next top install (William/Cristine are you listening?) I will take pic's of it to add to my diagrams.

If I have time I will try to do a pic as in paint of what I mean......... But for most of the rear cable the trick is that you have to trim the excess material off the rear as that is going to hurt you in the clearance in the
tray.

You also have to pull the material of the top that is on the top outside of the cable tray to seat the bead next to the cable tray to get the "tight" look of the rear bead. It only takes me about 30-40 minutes to get the rear cable in following my tricks and tips.

The first top I did I used the Forrest King guide, and it was a lot less informative, and he told you to beat the rear bead in with a clothes pin and a hammer... (not a good thing... and it was a major pain in the keyster.).
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

GreaseJunkie
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby GreaseJunkie » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:59 pm

Thanks, Briano! I was hoping you'd be "listening"! I did trim the material, but still have about 1/4" of material from the seam. Do I cut right to the seam? That would seem to solve it, that and prying the channel open a bit more. Plus, it's about 40 degrees here, so I probably need a little warmth to make the material more pliable.

Thanks again!!! I was ready to drag it in to an upholsterer. That would defeat the purpose of my little project. I figure to ask is smart, to have someone else do it is failure (for me, at least).

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Briano1234
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby Briano1234 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:15 pm

You have to trim it as close as you can to the seam, but don't cut the threads...
I wouldn't attempt to do a top at 40 degrees. vinyl isn't flexible at that temp, and is actually brittle.
That and the fact that it is "new" make it a tad tougher.

I have a closed but unheated garage. I turn on my 2 1000 watt quartz halogens, and it gets up to
80 degrees in about 2 hours.
Briano

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You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

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gull
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby gull » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:10 pm

Yeah, they're a little tight anyway when new, and stretch a little when first erected. I'd be concerned about tearing the vinyl doing one in that kind of weather.
VW fan who fell to the Honda side of the force
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GreaseJunkie
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby GreaseJunkie » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:41 pm

Thanks, gents. Looks like I'll have to wait until May to get this done. At least there's plenty of engine work to do. Like find the drain on the battery and replace all the cooling system hoses. Then to the body work... :screwy:

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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby GreaseJunkie » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:48 am

Hey guys, Happy New Year! I thought I would post some pics of my top project progress while I was on here looking for something else. I'm pretty sure I didn't do this 100% properly, but in the end, I'm sure it will be fine once I can get a stretch of warm weather. God, I would be in heaven with a heated garage. Hell, I'll take any garage.

Here's where I am. Headliner installed, mostly, and top installed, enough to survive the winter, though I still have it covered. I ended up prying up the end rails where the cable is supposed to "slide right in," and that did the trick, but it's still visible, which I'm hoping will work itself out once the warm weather hits and I can tighten the cable down without snapping or tearing anything. Thanks again for the tip!

I am intimidated by the rear window install. I fly solo with my projects and every article I've read says it's a 2-person job. I think I can get it done on my own. Any suggestions?

Best in '11!
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Briano1234
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby Briano1234 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:50 am

Yes you can probably get it down with one person, it is just easier with 2.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

GreaseJunkie
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby GreaseJunkie » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:10 pm

Briano, can I just hire you as a consultant? :) You seem to have the most knowledge out of anyone on this forum. Thanks for all your help!

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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby Briano1234 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:47 am

GreaseJunkie wrote:Briano, can I just hire you as a consultant? :) You seem to have the most knowledge out of anyone on this forum. Thanks for all your help!



I ain't cheap.

When I started in the Cabby business there was only Forrest Kings Guide out there. You can see it here:
http://www.geek-out.com/cheerleadermobile/cabtop.doc

So with all the bother, I had to do another top about 2 years later, then another, and another,,,,I think
that I am up to about 7 or 8. I have one more to do sometime (mmm WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE), and have another on schedule for this spring. Anyway, I said let me find a easier way, and document it with pictures.
So each top I do I take more pictures and refine the document.

I am so AHAD (Read ANAL) I have invested time and effort in to making my cabbies water tight. I pass my information to you....along the way I write a few docs.
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

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CalAltaDubber
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby CalAltaDubber » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:27 pm

Brian, I have to replace the top on my project car this spring. You can be sure I will be using your write up for a guide.

Thank's
Phil

'87 Cabriolet, "Topless Bunny"
'88 Cabriolet, "Posh Bunny"
'04 Golf
'12 Golf Wagon TDI
'69 Manx type Dune Buggy (New Toy)

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whozmaresy
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby whozmaresy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:33 am

Brian,

Is the horse hair imperative for the soft top? Mine was old and rotten, so I removed it. Because I am just replacing the soft to and not the padding or headliner, I am wondering if I really need it?

Thanks

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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby gull » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:49 pm

I would expect it to be a lot noisier on the highway without the padding.
VW fan who fell to the Honda side of the force
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whozmaresy
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Re: Newest Top re-write

Postby whozmaresy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:53 pm

I still have all the padding, just not the brown "horse hair" thin sheet on the very top.


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