Friday, April 25, 2014

Convertible Top Replacement Preparation

Save money by replacing your own convertible top! Replacing a car’s top can be time consuming, but that doesn't mean you can’t accomplish it on your own or with a little assistance from friends.. Doing the replacement yourself will save you money and allow you to make sure it is done right while ensuring you have the best quality auto top. With some preparation and planning, your replacement can go smoothly and successfully.

Plan & Prepare Adequately
Make sure you are prepared to do a full repair of the auto top and related parts. One of the first things you'll need to do is to determine the state of your top, including everything from the well liner to the system that raises and lowers your top. If your convertible top needs replacement, it's likely that a number of other parts have suffered from wear and tear. Some of the most common are: the water trough, which help keep water from leaking into your trunk; tack strips; and the pump or cylinders of the system that raises and lowers your top. Some items, such as the water trough should just be replaced, but the pump or cylinders can often just be cleaned and lubricated.

As you remove your old top, it is a good idea to inspect each of these areas to see if they need work or replacement. If something is in poor condition or made of subpar materials - weather stripping being a good example - it is a good idea to go ahead and replace them as well. This can prevent future problems from developing, especially in the case of tack strips that are often made of cardboard and can allow the frame to rust; replacements are made of vinyl rubber and won't hold onto water.

Before you remove your top, be sure to measure the place where your rear bow is if you do not have a manual that includes this information. Marking any parts you remove can save you a lot of time and frustration.

Use the Right Tools
Along with a replacement top, you'll also need an air compressor, a staple gun and professional quality upholstery glue as well as any additional parts that need replacement. While OEM replacement parts may be available, aftermarket equipment may be the better bet. Additionally, when looking at aftermarket equipment, you'll want to consider materials, ease of installation and durability. For example, both glass and vinyl replacement windows are often available, and while glass may be prone to shattering, vinyl tends to yellow and get scratched and hazy over time. Be sure to look at different materials and options to ensure the best and most durable installation results.

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