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Post by lars on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:10 am

I am wondering about a cheap alternative to a complete top restoration. My roof has these hideous tears in them, and they are one of the first negative things people notice about my car. I also suspect it isn't good for my roof. Any ideas? I want to be able to do a restoration down the road, too.
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Post by BlackChevelleSS on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:56 am

You can removed the top and sand, prime, paint where it was the same color as the top. And GM did this exact thing so you can not say they never did that. Leave all the v-top trim.

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Post by 77mali on Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:20 am

Removing the top is your best bet.  If the car is exposed to weather- having those holes in the material will trap moisture underneath, not good at all.  It's a pain in the neck as there will be vinyl adhesive residue to deal with but it's doable.  As far as removing the top a good sharp blade will do the trick but be careful not to cut through the paint if possible- this will be a slow process.  I cut mine around the edges & pulled the vinyl back.  There should be retainer nuts in the truck on the underside of that body panel between the deck lid & back glass for removal of that rear trim piece.

Also- if you do decide to sand & repaint- PROTECT YOUR GLASS SURFACES.
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Post by driveit on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:44 am

77mali wrote:Also- if you do decide to sand & repaint- PROTECT YOUR GLASS SURFACES.
I've got to replace a lot of glass!
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Post by magic marouke on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:37 pm

I agree with Mali . Old and damaged vinyl tops are more trouble than they are worth . I'm so glad mine didn't come with one .
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:44 pm

You don't want it to look like this...do 'ya?!!

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Post by Pontichev327 on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:47 pm

You can use truck bed liner and paint to make it look like a vinyl top after prepping it. That's what I am going to do with my Laguna.
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Post by 77mali on Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Mcarlo77 wrote:You don't want it to look like this...do 'ya?!!

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Nothing left of that one!  Funny you can still see the middle "Line" where the seem is usually.  That's the only spot that the adhesive is not used. A little duct tape & it'll be OK Laughing 
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Post by lars on Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:00 pm

I wasn't expecting the only option to be get rid of it, but that's why I asked you guys. I'll see what happens, but I don't see myself being able to do that kind of a job on my own.
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Post by dynchel on Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:34 pm

You could always go to a place that does vinyl tops and get a estimate. I had a top replaced on my caprice (sometime in the mid '90's) and it cost $175.00.
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Post by JB2wheeler on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:22 pm

Personally I like the vinyl that has two seams near the sides as opposed to the one down rthe middle. Of course I like no vinyl better. I saw a car at a show that used to have a vinyl top on it and they put that "wrinkle" paint on it after taking off the vinyl. JB
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Post by 77mali on Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:33 pm

dynchel wrote:You could always go to a place that does vinyl tops and get a estimate.  I had a top replaced on my caprice (sometime in the mid '90's) and it cost $175.00.
It never hurts to ask, maybe get 2 or 3 estimates- Just don't let them go over the old one with a new one. You might laugh at that- but someone did it to my car somewhere in it's life. Suspect 
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Post by Tom77 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:35 pm

How about rihno lining.
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Post by Pontichev327 on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:32 pm

That's what I was talking about, too. You must strip the top of all paint and glue and prep it. It would be helpful to have the windows out also. Then have truck bed liner applied to it where the vinyl top would be. It can be painted to the color you need and will look pretty close to a vinyl top. It should stop future rust outs if it's done right. My Laguna has the front half- roof. I am going to do this to it when the time comes. Rhino lining is just one brand, there are a whole bunch of them now, Line-X is a major name, and I think they can even tint the material different colors so you wouldn't have to paint it. My top is white, and I was going to call Line-X to see about that.
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Post by fishhead on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:31 am

Years ago I noticed a couple of small bubbled up places in my vinyl top on my 73 and to my dismay a crunching sound was heard when I finger-poked those spots.I stripped the top off and used a DA sander to remove the adhesive and smooth the surface for primer and paint.I used short-strand fiberglass filler to patch the little 3/8" rust holes and a few pinholes in the roof.So far so good,no more holes.Personally,I don't trust what goes on under vinyl and prefer a hardtop but if you have swiss cheese under there you may as well remove the rust,slather on the filler,prime and paint and throw some vinyl back over it.A good body and paint shop will tear a hole in your wallet to get a perfect surface on your roof.

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Post by thatfnthing on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:53 am

Wow, I'm beginning to think I got real lucky with mine. When I pulled it off after 15 years the roof underneath was perfect. The front and rear window channels are where I had my issues.
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Post by big-g-67gto on Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:38 pm

What ever you decide to do, keep the value of your investment in mind.
The more time, or money you spend today, will impact the value of your ride down the road.......
They don't make these cars anymore Cool 
I'm a big fan of preservation not patching........

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