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deegeeguy
03-19-2006, 12:20 PM
I have a bad feeling about this but ...

The convertible top on my 77 spit has developed major cracks in the side windows (the large rear one is still fine)

Is there a home-built solution to replacing these quarter panels. The actual plastic is ok but the seams where they joined to the fabric have let go.

I know I'm into replacing the top in a few years anyway (there's some wear on the front leading edge) but is that time sooner than later?

I did run some searches in these forums and on the Net in general but didn't come up with a diy solution.

Advice appreciated.

Doug

03-19-2006, 12:47 PM
Doug,'
For what it's worth, I have seen an upholstery shop actually repair soft top vinyl windows by heat-sealing in new vinyl. The end result was quite impressive, and very cheap. Now, that said, the trick for you would be to find someone where you are to do the same. I know it is doable. Good luck.

Bill

deegeeguy
03-19-2006, 02:23 PM
Bill - thanks for the thought. I've actually just come in from the garage where I had a really good look at the problem from the perspective of some dynamite coffee and the fact that the top was only going to last another year or 2 at the outside anyway. I removed one of the windows entirely - it separated from the fabric extremely easily - which tells me the vinyl was further along in degradation than I thought. Given the fabric is only good for another few years, (a few smaller tears on close inspection) I think I can epoxy a layer of vinyl on the inside of the top and it should be acceptable looking if not show quality. And as I rarely drive it with the top up - even in really cold weather (can you say "look at that idiot in the sports car") - it should suffice for the odd rain it finds itself in.

I will however take a look at heat sealing and see what kind of technology that will require - and if one of my buddies has anything that might do the trick easier than epoxy.

Thanks for the thought on heat-sealing. Appreciate it.

Doug

myspitfire
03-19-2006, 04:09 PM
My thoughts here is SAVE THE PLASTIC you removed & use as templates for a similar plastic purchased at an auto upholstery shop & super glue inplace yourself.It would be a temporary fix until a perminate comes along.Thats whay i'd do......Those side window templates could be valuable. Ken

vettedog72
03-19-2006, 08:02 PM
Dough:
If you find anything interesting about heat sealing/resealing, pleae post it.
Thanks