II.Convertible Top Questions
IIa.Can I install the top myself?
It is recommended to have your top professionally replaced, however if you are mechanically inclined and decide to replace your convertible top yourself, please request the installation instruction with your order in our customer comment box on the order page. If the instruction for that specific car is available we will include it with the top (installation instructions supplied only with our Tops).
The installation instructions provided are not a step-by-step, but a copy from a convertible top manual that gives you a basic idea on how tops and windows are installed along with diagrams. Note: Please pay special attention when removing your old top or window that’s where you will find what special & specific small steps you need to take to replace the new top more efficiently.
IIb. Do I need any special tools for Convertible top installation?
85% of the tops require a Heavy-Duty Staple gun and solvent base high heat resistant contact cement in addition to the basic tools such as screwdrivers and wrench set.
IIc. Do your tops or windows require any sewing before installation?
99% of the tops, windows & headliner does not require any sewing.
IId. Professional Installation Guaranteed
We guaranteed our work, with a 6yr manufacturer and installation warranty.
IIe. How Many Styles of tops are there?
There are 3 styles of convertible tops available that covers 99% of car covers.
- ONE PIECE TOP
Most European convertible cars such as BMW, Alfa Romeo & Fiat comes with a one-piece top from the factory. This means that the top & the window are attached to each other and can only be replaced as a whole.
- TWO PIECE TOP
Most American cars up to late 1990’s, and some others, such as Toyota or SAAB came with a two-piece top. The top is a separate piece and the window is a separate piece. Each piece is installed separately on the top frame and once the installation is complete, the top and window looks like a one-piece top. If you have a two-piece top, you can replace the top only, the window only or both.
- TOP ONLY
Some European cars, such as VW & Jaguar, comes with a reusable window. The window is the raw glass that needs to be pulled out of the old top and reinstalled to the new top once the installation is complete.
IIf. What do you mean by “Top with window”?
Most Foreign cars come with a one-piece top with the window either sewn or heat-sealed to the top. Click on link below to see an example of a one-piece top with window.
IIg. What do you mean by “Top Only”?
Most domestic cars have a two-piece top assembly; in this case you can change only the top or just the rear window or both. If you purchase the “top only” you will not get any material or curtain to use on your rear window.
IIh. What do you mean by “Window only”?
Most domestic cars have a two-piece top assembly; in this case you can change only the top or just the rear window or both. If you purchase the “window only”, you will get a complete window section curtain, you will NOT get any extra material or product to use on your top.
IIi. What type of plastic is used to make replacement plastic windows?
Our manufacturers use 40gage plastic (required), and is the same thickness & quality equivalent to factory plastic window
IIj. Are your Glass windows Equivalent to the factory glass windows?
Our manufacturers use the highest quality replacement glass, which meets the Federal Government’s transportation codes and the OE quality codes.
IIk. Are all glass windows tinted?
Yes, all glass windows have the same light (approximately 10% tint as the original glass window.
IIl. Who are your convertible tops manufactured by?
We carry a wide variety of top name brands.
IIm. Can I use my existing window with a new top?
If your car has a two-piece top assembly and your window is not separating from the material (curtain) around it then you can use your existing window with a new top, in this case you won’t even need to touch the window section at all. If you order the top only you will not receive any material relating to the window section. But if your window is separating from the material (curtain) around it then you also need to buy a new window.
IIn. Can I use my existing top with a new window?
Yes you can. If your car has a two-piece top assembly and if your top is in good shape but your window is broken, discolored or separated from the material (curtain) around it you can replace only the window section and use your existing top.
IIo. What if I have a one-piece top and the Plastic window is faded?
In this case, you unfortunately have one option, to replace the complete top & window. Some upholstery shops do offer to sew in new plastic windows but the cost of removing, sewing the new window, and installing the top again costs the same in labor as replacing your old top with a new one.
IIp. What if I have a one-piece top and the glass window is broken or separating from the top?
In this case, you unfortunately have one option, to replace the complete top & window. Unless you have the reusable factory style top, such as VW & Jaguar, where you can just purchase the glass window.
IIq. What is Pinpoint Vinyl?
Pinpoint Vinyl is a material that was used originally on most 60’s, 70’s & 80’s Vinyl convertible tops. Vinyl looks like grained plastic.
Construction: A two- ply composite made of a PVC outer layer and a dyed 100% cotton sateen lining fabric. Excellent Weatherability, Excellent U.V. Resistance & Excellent Durability.
IIr. What is Sailcloth Vinyl?
Sailcloth Vinyl is a material that has a little different texture than Pinpoint Vinyl top. Sailcloth Vinyl looks like grained plastic.
Construction: A two-ply composite made of a PVC outer layer and a Grey blended polyester/cotton drill lining fabric. Superior Strength & Durability, Excellent U.V. Resistance & Superior Weatherability.
Original Equipment: Ford Mustang & Chrysler Sebring.
IIs. What is Stayfast Canvas?
Stayfast is specially made Fabric (Canvas) material for convertible tops. Stayfast Canvas looks similar to tent material.
Stayfast is also very commonly used on replacement tops for European cars as a less expensive alternative to the Original German Canvas or Sonnendeck Canvas.
Construction: A three ply composite made of 100% acrylic square weave outer fabric, a butyl rubber inner layer and a 100% cotton drill lining fabric. Excellent Wrinkle Resistance, Superior U.V. Resistance, Superior Weatherability, Excellent Durability & Excellent Low Temp. Flexibility.
USA: Chevrolet, Camaro, Dodge Viper, Plymouth Prowler, Pontiac Firebird EUROPE: Alpha Romeo Spider, Lotus Elise, Rover MGF, Peugeot 306, RR Bentley Azure
JAPAN: Toyota Celica, Mazda Miata
IIt. What is Sonnendeck also known as Twillfast II Canvas?
Sonnendeck is basically like Stayfast canvas but it has textured backing. A basic description of the Sonnendeck in the Auto trim industry is American Stayfast with German backing (Black or Tan backing).
Construction: A three-ply composite made of 100% acrylic twill weave outer fabric, anelastomeric inner layer and a polyester/cotton dobby weave lining fabric homogeneously dyed. Superior U.V. Resistance, Superior Weatherability & Superior Durability.
Original Equipment: Aston Martin DB7, Audi Cabriolet, Jaguar XK8, BMW Z3 Roadster, BMW Z8 Roadster, 98 & up Chevrolet Corvette, BMW 3 Series Cabriolet (E36), Opel Astra & VW Golf III
IIu. What is Twillfast Canvas also know as Twillfast JX Canvas?
Similar to Sonnendeck Canvas but comes with a Grey backing.
Construction: A three-ply composite made of 100% acrylic twill weave outer fabric, an elastomeric inner layer and a polyester/cotton sheeting lining fabric.
Superior U.V. Resistance, Superior Weatherability, Superior Durability Original Equipment: Chrysler Sebring JXI
IIv. What is Original German Canvas also known as Sonnenland and A5 Canvas?
No description is needed. It is the Original German Canvas.
Construction: A three-ply composite made of twill weave outer fabric, rubber inner layer and a dobby weave lining fabric. Original Equipment: VW New Beetle Convertible, Mercedes, Porsche, Saab 9-3 & Volvo C-70
IIw. Can I replace my original Vinyl or Canvas top with any other Canvas products you offer?
Yes, in fact it’s a very common practice in our industry. You can replace one material with the material of your preference without sacrificing the quality or the look.
IIx. Do canvas tops last longer than the vinyl top?
No, both materials will wear out at about the same rate.
IIy. How long should a replacement top last?
There is no specific answer, the top should last minimum of five years.
Some of these factors might shorten or extend the life of your top: 1)- Climate 2)- Usage 3)- Exposure to sun/rain & snow 4)- Indoor or outdoor parking 5)- How it’s cared for.
IIz. What is a Headliner and what does it look like?
A headliner is a cover that hides the convertible top frame from the inside of the car. You can only replace a headliner if your car has already a factory headliner.
IIaa. What is a boot cover and what does it look like?
A Boot cover (also called a top cover or parade cover) is used when the top is folded down. It installs over the top opening and makes the car look neat.
IIbb. What is a Tonneau cover and what does it look like?
A Tonneau cover is used when the top is folded down. It covers over the seating area.
IIcc. What are Side Tension Cables and how do I know if I need new ones?
Side tension cables hold the top down tight on the side edges (over the side windows) of the car. Top cables are not exposed and are hidden inside a pocket, if one of your cables is broken you will see part of the cable hanging. If the top is not going up and down smoothly and is binding, or if one side is getting ahead of the other, that’s a sign that one of the cables must have been stretched or broken. You can always reuse your existing cables if they are in good shape or are not broken.
IIdd. What are Rear Cables?
Only few cars have rear cables (exp. VW up to 94 models & Capri ) The rear cable is to hold the top down on the rear of the car. You can always reuse your existing cable(s) if they are in good shape or are not broken.
IIee. What are Rear Quarter or Rear Flap Cables?
Only few cars have rear Quarter or rear Flap cables (exp. Mustang 94 to 98 models, Cavalier & Sunbird 84 to 98 models ) The rear Quarter or rear Flap cables is to hold the top down to the top frame on the Quarter of the car (right above the side rear windows). You can always reuse your existing cable(s) if they are in good shape or are not broken.
IIff. What are pads & how do I know if I need new ones?
Top pads are used to protect the top from rubbing against the metal frame when the top is raised or lowered. You need to replace them if they are worn out or torn.
IIgg. Do you sell weather stripping?
We can order anything you may need in addition to a top.
IIhh. Do you replace vinyl tops?
Yes, we replace them.
IIii. Do you sell Convertible Top Hardware?
No. You can get the hardware from the dealer or a wrecking yard.
IIjj. What is the average completion time?
Most Convertible tops take 1 full day to install.
IIkk. any special info after i get my top installed?
Yes, we install the tops tight to fit perfectly to the frame. Installing new tops incorrectly can lead to the “floppy” sound you usually hear. When it is finished,
we ask you to not use the top for 3 or 4 days so the top has had a chance to adjust and set.
IIll. What is the Warranty on your tops?
For detailed warranty information, please click on the Warranty link.