Convertible Top Restoration and Install

By Fred Mattson
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Front Cover
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There's an old saying we've all heard before that goes "When the top goes down the price goes up." Of all the projects involved with the restoration of your collector car, few seem as challenging or confusing as addressing the convertible top. Due to aging and neglect, the hardware and fabric covering have led to some "not-so-nice conditions," making it difficult to find information addressing your specific model.

Fred Mattson, author of Automotive Upholstery and Interior Restoration, delivers this compilation on restoring and repairing convertible tops. Step-by-step photo sequencing walks you through convertible top applications for Corvettes, Ford retractable tops, scissors tops, manual tops, and power tops. Fred also addresses the weather seals, well liners, hydraulic/electrical systems, adjustments, materials, and pads. No other book ever produced on convertible tops goes into this much depth of coverage.

● Chapter 1: Evolution of the Convertible Top
Early Top Frames
Enclosed Cabs
Folding Tops
Modern Innovations
Convertible Top Components

● Chapter 2: Tools
Specialty Tools
Rivet Tools

● Chapter 3: Suppliers of Convertible Top Parts
The Haartz Corporation
Electron Top
Metro Moulded Parts
Al Knoch Interiors
Kee Auto Top
Convertible Service
Online Searches

● Chapter 4: Open Cars
Bolt-On Accessories
The Windshield
The BopTop
Carson Tops

● Chapter 5: The Corvette
What Makes a One-Piece Top?
Top Removal
Bow Measurement
Top Pad Removal
Inspecting the Frame
Top Frame Adjustment
Clean and Paint
Top Latches
Fitting a New Top
Prep the Top
Attach the Top
The Finished Top

● Chapter 6: Retractable Tops
Lowering the Top
Retractable Soft Top
Old Top Removal
Repair Damage
Adjusting the Frame
Installing the Top
Clean Up

● Chapter 7: The Scissor Top
Replacing a Scissor Top
Getting Started
Rear Assembly Removal
Removing the Old Top
Servicing the Frame
Installing the New Top and Components
Fitting the New Top
The Finished Top

● Chapter 8: Two-Piece Tops
Verify Correct Elements
Protect the Car
Make Repairs
Attach the Rear Curtain
Fitting the Top
Weather Seal
Installing the Top

● Chapter 9: Scratch-Built Convertible Top
Prep the Frame
Adjust the Top Frame
Measure for Materials
Rear Curtain
Top Lay Out
Sizing the Deck
Window Opening
Hidden Fasteners
Tension Cable
Front Weather Seal

● Chapter 10: Restoration Repairs
Tacking Strip
Rear Tack Rail
Rear Bow
Header Bow
Aluminum Bow Repair
Adding Tack Strip
Third Bow Repair
Painting the Frame
Frame Adjustment
Weather Seal Adjustment

● Chapter 11: Power-Top Systems
Hydroelectric Pumps
Hydraulic Cylinders
Servicing the System
Replacing Components
Fitting the New Components
Connecting the Cylinders

● Chapter 12: Taking Care of Your Convertible Top
General Care of the Top
Biannual Inspection
Protecting a Vinyl Top
Protecting a Fabric Top

With this book you will be guided through the convertible top repair/restoration process in an easy-to-read how-to format, so there should be no reason to fear taking your drop top out with the threat of rain. Convertible Top Restoration and Installation will be the one tool that will show you how important a well-sorted top restoration is, not only for practical reasons, such as staying dry, but for cosmetic reasons as well.
Cartech, Inc.
Paperback: 176 pages

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