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Can I replace the convertible top myself?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 May 2016, 04:05 pm
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Default Can I replace the convertible top myself?

Can I replace the convertible top myself?
Are there special tools required?
How hard is it?
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Old 02 May 2016, 04:13 pm
cruserdad1976's Avatar
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

well I never did a PT but on a 1964 Chevy it is a PAIN id have it done to get a really nice job the fit is really important and getting it stretched is hard
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Old 02 May 2016, 05:46 pm
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

I wouldn't advise tackling it. I've restored all sorts of classics as an avocation for well over 30 years. I've put new tops on a few small roadsters myself, but left the larger vert tops to the experts. The last one being a later model Corvair vert that started as a basket case. Although short on funds for that stage of the project I traded a complete basket case late model Corvair turbo engine for a new top and the installation. I've always thought I got the better of the deal. So did Jeff. That's always a good deal, when both parties feel they came out ahead.

Granted, you can get by with 2 hands and a set of instructions on roadsters, you need a full shop, proper tools and equipment, experience, and 6 hand on larger cars.

I'd advise that unless you have the know how and expertise to install the top on your PT vert I'd say find a reliable shop, let them show you their work. (hopefully a few PTs) and if your comfortable with the price and quality of work, go with it. A reputable, quality shop can get you the best buy on a new top and installation if they know your shoppin'.

There's no greater disappointment than a botched top installation as it's a lot like being just little bit pregnant. What's done is done!

Good luck.

Happy Ptin', ptprice

corvair before & after 010_NEW.jpg

corvair before & after 006.jpg
__________________
SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.

Last edited by ptprice; 03 May 2016 at 09:00 am. Reason: redundant typo error
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Old 02 May 2016, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

Thank you for the responses. I see its a lot more involved than I anticipated. BUT Id rather find that out like this than with a screwed up roof.
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Old 03 May 2016, 08:31 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

I replaced the convertible top on my Chrysler Sebring which is very similar to the top on a PT Cruiser convertible. It's actually fairly easy but takes a long time. The biggest issue I had was at the front edge. The top was folded and "stapled". I did not have a staple gun up to the job. So I used adhesive and nail-in staples. The nail-in staples held long enough for the adhesive to set. And then it was perfect.

I recommend getting a top made of high quality material. They look so much better than the cheap stuff like comes on them from the factory.
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Old 03 May 2016, 09:40 am
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptprice View Post
I wouldn't advise tackling it. I've restored all sorts of classics as an avocation for well over 30 years. I've put new tops on a few small roadsters myself, but left the larger vert tops to the experts. The last one being a later model Corvair vert that started as a basket case. Although short on funds for that stage of the project I traded a complete basket case late model Corvair turbo engine for a new top and the installation. I've always thought I got the better of the deal. So did Jeff. That's always a good deal, when both parties feel they came out ahead.

Granted, you can get by with 2 hands and a set of instructions on roadsters, you need a full shop, proper tools and equipment, experience, and 6 hand on larger cars.

I'd advise that unless you have the know how and expertise to install the top on your PT vert I'd say find a reliable shop, let them show you their work. (hopefully a few PTs) and if your comfortable with the price and quality of work, go with it. A reputable, quality shop can get you the best buy on a new top and installation if they know your shoppin'.

There's no greater disappointment than a botched top installation as it's a lot like being just little bit pregnant. What's done is done!

Good luck.

Happy Ptin', ptprice

Attachment 16730

Attachment 16731
sweet do you still have that corvair?? I was looking at 2 that are pretty rought they are all there buy really need some loving
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Old 03 May 2016, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

Cruiserdad1976. A bit off the thread subject of Convertible PT tops, but you mentioned Corvairs and that used to be a passion of mine. I gave that Corvair vert to my son Steve. It was a 97 point car when I'd finished it.

Later on, Steve in turn sold it to a guy from the New England states who I understand from Steve has been keeping it up, bringing it back to its shine. Steve has first refusal if he ever sells it. It was a daily driver with me and Steve (we "enjoyed" it every day) so the "97 point shine" of a "trailer queen" didn't last that long.

The few times I juryed concourse auto competitions I'd always bring the class competitors together before naming the award winners. Of course the "trailer queen" always won, but I always complemented the "daily drivers" (deservedly) on their cars 'cause they had the most fun and enjoyment with their rides. I guess this probably kept me from gettin' a couple of black eyes. In almost every case the none winners went away proud of not having a "trailer queen"!

Just about any Corvair except the four doors are becoming more collectable as time goes by. They're real easy to work on and as long as you honor the 6000 RPM engine limits it can be tricked out to really haul a#s. The stock turbo is no slouch and the four carb engine is rated at 160HP out of the box. If you decide to make a Corvair a project you can count on me for over the shoulder help. Jeff from Corvair Ranch and Clark's Corvair are fine resources for parts, whole cars and pieces. Because of the constraints of the thread subject I'll not post any more Corvair pictures than the relative ones previously.

Happy Ptin', maybe Happy Corvairin', ptprice
__________________
SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.
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Old 03 May 2016, 02:39 pm
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptprice View Post
Cruiserdad1976. A bit off the thread subject of Convertible PT tops, but you mentioned Corvairs and that used to be a passion of mine. I gave that Corvair vert to my son Steve. It was a 97 point car when I'd finished it.

Later on, Steve in turn sold it to a guy from the New England states who I understand from Steve has been keeping it up, bringing it back to its shine. Steve has first refusal if he ever sells it. It was a daily driver with me and Steve (we "enjoyed" it every day) so the "97 point shine" of a "trailer queen" didn't last that long.

The few times I juryed concourse auto competitions I'd always bring the class competitors together before naming the award winners. Of course the "trailer queen" always won, but I always complemented the "daily drivers" (deservedly) on their cars 'cause they had the most fun and enjoyment with their rides. I guess this probably kept me from gettin' a couple of black eyes. In almost every case the none winners went away proud of not having a "trailer queen"!

Just about any Corvair except the four doors are becoming more collectable as time goes by. They're real easy to work on and as long as you honor the 6000 RPM engine limits it can be tricked out to really haul a#s. The stock turbo is no slouch and the four carb engine is rated at 160HP out of the box. If you decide to make a Corvair a project you can count on me for over the shoulder help. Jeff from Corvair Ranch and Clark's Corvair are fine resources for parts, whole cars and pieces. Because of the constraints of the thread subject I'll not post any more Corvair pictures than the relative ones previously.

Happy Ptin', maybe Happy Corvairin', ptprice
thanks im not sure its a project im really wanting to do but it is a thought id really love to find a Elcamino that is the car of my dreams I drove one for a bunch of years but ended up selling it to get me a S-10 but a HUGE tjhanks for your input and if I do ill for sure count on you to help or give good advice
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Old 03 May 2016, 05:26 pm
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

El Camino sure is a loose term as they break down into several groups.
Which is your Dream?
59-60 full size Or the various sized later ones?
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Old 04 May 2016, 09:14 am
cruserdad1976's Avatar
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Default Re: Can I replace the convertible top myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pasadenahotrod03Dreamer View Post
El Camino sure is a loose term as they break down into several groups.
Which is your Dream?
59-60 full size Or the various sized later ones?
1970-1971 SS 454 Elcamino
but for me im not so much the "NOS"

Id like the digital dash AC a Maybe not a 454 but a LS 4
that is injected maybe tub the rear and put some big honking tires I want it for a Driver on weekends but

Id love it to have a 6 speed
SO you can see this is goanna need some really DEEP Pockets
it will be sweet but just not cheap

I could probably be content with a 70-71 chevell since they are basically the same car with out the bed
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