Installing my new vinyl top: Tips from those who've been there

Discussion in 'X1/20 Forum' started by Chad C., Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Chad C.

    Chad C. Daily Driver

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    I was going through a bin of parts that came with my car, and I had a replacement vinyl top from an unknown manufacturer. It just had a tag on it that said what it was. It was in much better shape than I originally thought, and I see no reason why I shouldn't set about putting it on. Except, how the hell do I do that?

    I did some poking around on this and other sites, and I couldn't find much of any info about replacing the top. If you've done this, and/or have instructions I'd sure like to hear from you!

    Also, if you have a set of usable top straps, chime in : )
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  2. Chad C.

    Chad C. Daily Driver

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Damn, over 60 views and no info. It looks generally doable, but I've thought that before. Like when I replaced the top on my former 124 Spider and did fine except I cracked its windshield in the process. Right now I've got the fasteners soaking in penetrant and I'm hoping to find some top straps from somewhere in North America.
     
  3. Mark

    Mark FIATFREAK

    Top straps are rarer than hens teeth. There were repros made that were too short and split faster than the originals. Didn't have the textured surface either. One of the reasons I started making double bubble tops 30 years ago. Not saying there aren't any to be found; just another part that makes a Scorpion next to impossible to restore. Not sure if the Montehospital's are the same too short versions.
     
  4. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Looking at my old dilapidated ones months ago, it seems like they would be ripe for remaking out of carbon fiber or steel, hinged with a stainless pin at the old crease/fold point.
     
  5. I have replaced my vinyl top with a cloth top and two new reproduction straps from the Monte Hospital. Its a fairly simple process actually
    1) Remove the flip panel from the car itself.
    2) Drill out the rivets securing the original top and the top just comes right off.
    3) You will notice a lengthy metal strip support piece where the rivets run through to secure the fabric to the metal flip top. Mine was completely rusted out to the point where it was rendered useless. Fortunately, It was still in one piece with the guide holes in tact so I was able to use it as a template. The not so good news was I had a one off piece made at a metal fab place in my home town of Abbotsford British Columbia and had it was fabricated out of stainless steel. I think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 to have it made. There is a slight curve in the strip which is the same width of the flip top so it was tricky to make it perfectly but my guy pulled it off.
    4) To attache the fabric is a reverse of taking it apart. I did paint the metal flip top with a black truck box coating (like that Rhino Coating but only out of a rattle can) and it cleaned it up nicely! Use rivet tool to re-secure the fabric and your done. There is a thin strip of foam that's sandwiched between the metal flip top and fabric and I would recommend that you replace that if it starts to fall apart while your doing the repair.

    Hope that helps

    Regards,
    Allan
     

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