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rich_e777

My 1995 Vert replacement thread

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  Ive read several threads on replacing these and decided over the winter to start the project myself and do all the small things most shops wouldn`t do. The FSMs and threads are a wealth of info but when you have specific questions sometimes its better to ask and I wanted to keep all the info together best I could. This will be an ongoing thing and right now I want to get all the tools/materials I need to install the new top better than it originally was. I've read there are some heim joints that have been replaced with stronger parts and one member suggested using a metal strip along the rear curtain portion to help hold better but I forgot which thread that was in.

Any advice you guys can provide will be much appreciated, I can only afford to do this once. Before this point I had taken the car to a reputable shop that kept the car outside under a tarp for 2 months and only ordered the top. To speed the story up they didn't put the top on but I got it at a decent discount for my troubles. Anyways complete install kit(cables, tack strips, headliner, etc) from Lectro-Tops black StayFast is what I haz. I dont have a stapler yet but was curious to know if there was something better to use than those, if not what would be a decent one to get. 

9MntRlO.jpg

 

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Good luck, and congratulations on taking on the endeavor. I hope you are also doing the header. This is the best time to replace it. 

The hardest part of the job i personally encountered was installing the rear tack strip. Order a new one, because the old one will be dry and cracked, so it won't hold the staples. It has a metal channel that it is housed in, and you cannot pull it through the channel to install it. You will have to painstakingly spread the channel apart, lay the strip in it, then fold the sides back down over the strip. I did check with an automobile interior installation shop; there is no machine for drawing the tack strip through the channel. 

Take lots of pictures before you disassemble, AND as you go along. 

God speed. 

Edited by GabsOlds

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Thanks man, I dont really have much a choice but to do it myself, I sort of want to do all the little stuff to like repainting some small parts, and making everything look new. 

I stashed everything in a wooden cradle I made and set it up high to be safe. After work I`ll get the top laid out to make sure everything is there. I definitely want to take the header covers off and repaint them, only thing is I dont want to damage any rubber seals I cannot replace.  

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I've got a build thread on here from when I replaced the top on my 95, you might have already seen it.   I would also recommend focusing on the rear tack strip.   When the top is up, there is a lot of tension on that strip.   When I first assembled my new top, it started to pull out of the tack strip and I had to pull out the staples, reposition the top, and add more staples.   There's a section on each rear corner where the top and rear curtain overlap and you need to make sure that is stapled very well.   Don't skimp on the staples, they're cheap!   

For a stapler, I used an electric stapler that I got from convertibletopguys.com.   It's an Arrow T50ACD stapler.   Make sure to use stainless staples.   The electric stapler worked well, but for the rear corner overlap sections you have to push in hard to make sure the staple gets seated into the tack strip.    Maybe you could use longer staples for the sections where the top material is folded or overlaps, and the staples have to go through multiple layers of canvas.

I did NOT replace my rear tack strip, even though it came in the kit I bought.   I probably should have replaced it, though, it probably would have reduced the problems I had getting my top to attach at the rear.  

I still have a bunch of pictures I took during my project, if you have any questions or problems post on here and I might have some advice.   

I should admit thought that my new top still leaks at the A-pillar corners, I need to do something about the rubber seal there, my initial fix has not worked well.

Did you get installation instructions with your top?   If not I could send you some relevant pages from the installation manual I have.

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Ok got the top out and unpacked and looks like it doesnt have the tack strips or the headliner but does have the the 2 sets of cables. IIRC the shops might have some of that in stock so i might ask before ordering. On one site I read the headliner might be reused so I wanted to ask if that could be an option. Or do i need to order a new headliner as well?

Treating this thing like a huge piece of sugar glass, heres what I got...

i7kiMiG.jpg

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I re-used my headliner.    It wasn't torn, it was just a little faded which I didn't care about.   My headliner has also slightly shrunk so the side velcro pieces don't quite mate with the velcro pieces on my latches, but it's only mildly annoying and could be rectified without buying a new headliner.     

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Mine had a tonne of dust. If you're gonna replace it in another couple of years,........... Get the picture? Do it now.. Problem will be the lead time to get it. They are made to order. But i advise that you do it now. 

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I'd price a new headliner and consider doing it all at once if the budget allows for it.  The worst feeling I've had doing projects like this is not replacing a wearable part when I've had the chance, then wishing I would've spent the extra $

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Ill make the budget allow for one, it needs to be done right. My thought was less weight/strain the pump had to contend with is why I even brought it up.

I got front and rear tack strips and headliner on the to get list, what else should be replaced/mod-improved tools to acquire? Its hard to find the old thread but IIRC Galaxie didnt you replace some parts with eye-bolts or something else once upon a time? I remember reading there was some brittle parts that someone replaced with other hardware on these convertibles.

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