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  • New convertible top install

    IMG_3342.jpg
    Hi everyone

    Im at the stage where I want to attempt to install a new convertible top to my 60. I bought the top from Larrys some 2 yrs ago and have only just opened the box. I took the old, torn and ripped top off during strip down and didn't take enough photos of how it all went. I went to install the top pads that came with the roof and they are nothing like the old ones. Has any seen ones like this before? If I put black side up, the thin white material shows inside the car. So do I install black side down? They also came with no foam so can't see what they are actually doing. Anyone installed a top on here?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by YellowRose; January 13th, 2021, 09:09 AM.

  • #2
    There are two excellent books that explain the process: "Convertible Top Restoration and Install" by Fred Mattson; and "Automotive Upholstery Handbook" by Don Taylor. Either one of these will get you through the job. There are some You Tube videos but they don't get into the fine details that are important.

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    • #3
      Thanks for providing the pic. The black material goes down, the white bottom flap folds up and the white top flap folds down over the bottom flap. Some top pads use foam and others do not. The function of the pad is to protect the top material from being damaged by the articulating frame. It also helps smooth the appearance of the top along the top of the bows. There should also be a pair of rear pads, these go from the rear bow down to the tack rail and keep the corners of the top from curving inward.

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      • #4
        Thanks Carl
        I’ll see if I can find those books.
        what is the purpose of the white flaps? That’s what’s confusing me. They ate very roughly cut and don’t appear to have any purpose

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        • #5
          The pads are usually made from excess material available at the factory. Some pads contain a thin layer of foam, some I've seen have underlayment material and some several layers of canvas, but most usually have the base piece and one flap that overlays the other. I don't have a lot of experience at this but I did a lot of research before I installed my first Squarebird top. I've got two more on hand to do.
          Carl

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          • #6
            This site may help as well . " http://www.tommaruskacars.us " if that works, go to bottom of page and technical . That will bring up top installation guide .

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            • #7
              Martin, thanks for thinking of Tom's website! I had forgotten that he has those 12 Technical Tips at the bottom right of his website! Steve, hopefully, that will provide you with the information that you need to do your install! I have just added his information on installing a soft top on a 1955-1966 Tbird Convertible to the TRL so that we will always have it. The others are good to have available to us also. Some of which I have added to the TRL in the past. Martin, I am glad to hear that you received your Calendar!
              Last edited by YellowRose; January 14th, 2021, 07:19 PM.

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the advice guys. Started putting the pads on. Wasn’t expecting this though.....
                when I put staples through the pad, the material is that thin, when pulling it taught the staples tear the material ‍♂️
                now I think I need new pads! Any recommendations on where to buy as the ones sold to me by Larry’s don’t appear to be up to the task. What worries me now is that the roof itself is made of the same thin vinyl.
                Any advice of this issue?

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                • #9
                  Any one with a HD sewing machine and some material can make a pad for you, they don't have to be made by the manufacturer of the top. Here is one that I'm getting ready to install. The red material on the bottom is excess top material, the white is a compressed felt/underlayment, and the black flaps are light canvas or a heavier fabric. As long as they are the correct size and heavy enough material they will work. The top I'll be installing is by ARO. They were the original top supplier to Ford when the Squarebirds were built.
                  top pad.jpg

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