Did my first vinyl top install - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 2:20 AM Thread Starter
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Darren
 
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Did my first vinyl top install

Finally had a decent day with some sun and not much wind to speak of. Didn't get the car out into the sun due to the wheels being at the powder coater's shop, but didn't really feel the temperature would be a problem. Followed the instructions Chris (Bubba68ss) posted in his recent thread, along with tips from some of you guys in other threads. I'll have some more insight on stuff to watch out for on the next one, but this one came out decent. Definitely better than spending $350 labor the ONE guy I could find to do the job wanted. Nobody else seemed to want to tackle it when I called them. No problem, saved myself some coin on this one. Here's some pics.






Darren
64 El Camino 468, 9", ST-10, 4wdb, eternal project
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 5:07 AM
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Rich
 
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Im thinking seriously of putting one on my 66.Havent got the cahoneys to try it yet.Dont really know where to start.Your came out nice.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 6:19 AM
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Joe
 
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Have to do mine soon also. Really can't see it being that difficult of a job either. I'll have to search the threads. Question, did you have the windshield moulding clips installed "prior" to install and trimming of the vinyl or "after". I also don't remember if the top is trimmed flush with the drip rail or slightly wraps over it and is tucked inside the drip rail moudling, I would assume it gets tucked in.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 7:16 AM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Looks great.
Perfect timing, I'm just waiting for warmer weather.
Keep the details comin' !

Mike
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 7:22 AM
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Alan
 
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRN69CHV View Post
Have to do mine soon also. Really can't see it being that difficult of a job either. I'll have to search the threads. Question, did you have the windshield moulding clips installed "prior" to install and trimming of the vinyl or "after". I also don't remember if the top is trimmed flush with the drip rail or slightly wraps over it and is tucked inside the drip rail moudling, I would assume it gets tucked in.
Slightly wraps over the drip rail,the moulding is a little larger for vinyl tops and will be too loose if you don't. Also i recommend you find and mark the center of the car roof and the vinyl and glue and stick the top from that center point to the drip rail on each side. Good luck

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

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Originally Posted by snowtrav View Post
Slightly wraps over the drip rail,the moulding is a little larger for vinyl tops and will be too loose if you don't. Also i recommend you find and mark the center of the car roof and the vinyl and glue and stick the top from that center point to the drip rail on each side. Good luck
I tucked the vinyl into the drip rail, and when it was dry, pulled it horizontal over the top edge of the rail and trimmed it off with a very sharp razor knife. It leaves enough at the edge of the drip rail to capture it and hold the vinyl. As far as splitting the top front to rear, and working out sideways, I'm going to use that method next time. Folding it front to rear makes it a bit harder to keep your seams straight. As far as the clips, I had them off during the installation. I trimmed around each one instead of just slitting the vinyl for the stud because I want to be able to keep an eye on the stud and clips for rust, and not have to peel the top up when I do. I had a windshield replaced in my old '84 Cutlass once, and they used plain steel clips to replace the plastic ones they broke. The entire top front section of roof ended up rusting out, had to replace it. It was an Astroroof equipped car, too, so it wasn't as easy as just replacing the roof. Some people will just cut a slit over the studs, and put the clip on over it.

Darren
64 El Camino 468, 9", ST-10, 4wdb, eternal project
69 Firebird 461" stroker, th400, 3.36's, 4wdb, Midnight Green - Sold
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 3:06 PM
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Alan
 
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

[QUOTE=Cameano;1294118]Folding it front to rear makes it a bit harder to keep your seams straight.

Your right about that, I started at the seams being very carefull to evenly space them from the drip rail and when i glued it down it stretched almost 5/8 of an inch. Now one seam is closer to the drip rail on one side, It was aggrevating but you can't really tell.

396 ci (60 over)
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Crane Hyd. Roller (214/553-222/576)
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 4:45 PM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Looks great Darren...

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 4:46 PM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Buy yourself a $1.50 caulking tube of roof coating/tar at your local hardware store and put a small dab on each of those clip studs before you intall the clips, put another dab on the clip and snap the moulding on. Wipe any excess off with wax and grease remover or mineral spirits. Simple, and it will seal off the stud area from holding any moisture and won't dry out for many many years, works fine IMO. The old butyl in a caulking tube also works but is getting harder to find. Silicone and other sealers seem to loose adhesion over time and actually end up holding water down the road. A non hardening sealer is the way to go in this type of application. JMO
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 9:03 PM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Cool, so you only glue into the roof channel, not onto the rail. As far as the install, I figured doing it side to side would work best. Works for me.

PS - what glue do you guys recommend?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 07, 9:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

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Originally Posted by GRN69CHV View Post
PS - what glue do you guys recommend?
I used three cans of 3M Super Trim Adhesive. Followed the directions, two overlapping coats in the same direction, then one coat at 90 to the others, on both surfaces. I bought it at Napa, about $19/can here.

Darren
64 El Camino 468, 9", ST-10, 4wdb, eternal project
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 07, 5:17 AM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

thanks
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old May 12th, 07, 9:39 AM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

How do you end the vinyl at the A pillars? Do you just cut it and glue it down or do you fold it under a little at the end and glue it down?

Also, can someone post a pic of the vinyl top at the A-pillar with the door open so I can see where it ends?

This is for a 72 Chevelle.

Thanks!
Mike
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old May 12th, 07, 10:13 AM
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Looks real good for the first time!... I got a question, i'm going to be putting mine back on, what was the surface prep on the roof? I noticed that at the factory they actually painted the roof, then applied the vinyl. Is that what you did?

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old May 12th, 07, 7:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Did my first vinyl top install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike72ss View Post
How do you end the vinyl at the A pillars? Do you just cut it and glue it down or do you fold it under a little at the end and glue it down?
Mike, I just cut it a bit long and glued it down in there. It's covered by the lower windshield reveal molding, so you can't see the end.

Antonio, the roof of the car has 2 coats of epoxy primer, one coat of sealer, body color on all the edges and A-pillars, and one coat of clear on all the edges too. I doubt it'll rust anytime soon.

Darren
64 El Camino 468, 9", ST-10, 4wdb, eternal project
69 Firebird 461" stroker, th400, 3.36's, 4wdb, Midnight Green - Sold
Beach Cam
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