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Convert top life expectancy

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24 Jun 2008, 09:02 am
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: on the border
Posts: 99
Default Convert top life expectancy

While considering the leftover '06 GT convert, I'm a tad concerned about life expectancy of the top. It would be parked outside all day, covered most nights. Our weather, while dry compared to most the country, can range from 100' summer to low 20's winter nights, maybe 2 snowfalls a year and less than 3" precipitation annual. Blowing dust is more common than anything else. And with 5,000' elevation the sun feels alot "hotter" .
Any guestimates, experience, and how do you take care of a convert top?

Last edited by ptborder; 24 Jun 2008 at 09:04 am.
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Old 24 Jun 2008, 01:14 pm
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Default Re: Convert top life expectancy

My '05 has the original top still in excellent condition. It has always been an Arkansas car, so while we don't have the winters as you we do get in the 100's during the summer.

I always own a convertible of some sort and the top on the PT is by far the best quality top I have owned. Had a Sebring convertible a couple of years ago...the top was junk. My Mercedes has the plastic windows and they are showing their age and I'm on the third top on it ('98 model).

The owner's manual states it's fine to Scotch Guard the top (Which I did). When washing the car, use a soft brush for the top and vacuum it regularly. It helps the appearance of it just keeping dust and pollen off of it.

I'm pretty much a neat freak and vacuum the car out every three days or so and do the top at the same time. It doesn't take long and it prevents airborne blossoms, etc. from staining the top.
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Old 24 Jun 2008, 10:28 pm
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Cool Re: Convert top life expectancy

If you're not going to flush off the top prior to washing, the vacuum is a good idea. It's not just dirt & dust, it's a lot of other contaminants in the air that could shorten the life of the fabric.
A lot of the previous posters have recommended RaggTop products.
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Old 25 Jun 2008, 08:33 am
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Default Re: Convert top life expectancy

Sooner, what do you mean by "Flush off" the top prior to washing?
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Old 25 Jun 2008, 12:24 pm
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Cool Re: Convert top life expectancy

Just using a wide spray from the hose to "rinse off" the rag top when you wash the PT. If you use too much soap and scrubbing with a brush on the rag top, you are just scrubbing off the proective treatment (water repellancy & cloth conditioner).
(I guess what I am saying is don't scrub you rag top often with brush & soap, unless you plan to retreat it often also - that will help extend the life of the rag top. The conditioner is usally a water repellant, and conditioner that has some UV protectant also. I think that's why the product RaggTop comes so highly recommended.)
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Old 11 Sep 2008, 07:38 pm
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Default Re: Convert top life expectancy

Does anyone take their convertible through car washes? We have a Mike's Car Wash that uses a soapy strip rather than spinning brushes on the car tops.
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Old 11 Sep 2008, 08:37 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Danville, PA
Posts: 121
Default Re: Convert top life expectancy

The PT convertible top is obviously an extremely high quality assembly sourced from one of the big European top companies as memory serves. My guess for lifetime unless there is extreme sun, or very heavy snowfall allowed to lay on the top would be that it would still look like new after five years with reasonable care, and still be usable after ten years. Black will look better a little longer, because light fading will not be so noticable.

I took a Lebaron convertible through one of those soft soapy rag car washes about ten years ago, and it ripped a slit about 3" long on one of the known stress points of that design. It was a five year old vinyl top, but it was whole when I went in, and needed replaced after I came out. They have insurance for that sort of thing of course, but four guys came over when I complained, and all said it was like that when I arrived, and that they had never had any problems with that sort of thing. That is probably because all the torn tops that ever turned up were "like that when they arrived"!!! In truth, you could probably get away with using an automatic car wash for a long time, but a taller car like a PT probably puts a little more pressure on the cleaners, and I can guarantee you it will ruin your day if the top does get hurt.
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Old 11 Sep 2008, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: Convert top life expectancy

I thought I was the only neat freak
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Old 14 Sep 2008, 04:03 pm
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Default Re: Convert top life expectancy

Does anyone know if there's a temperature below which one should not open/close the top due to brittleness issues or hydraulic issues?
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