- 1961 Corvette Soft Top Installation Kits
- Al Knoch Interiors – Corvette Interior Parts
- 1966 Corvette Soft Top
- Corvette Soft Top Replacement
- C1 Convertible Top Installation Without Video - CorvetteForum ...
1961 Corvette Soft Top Installation Kits
Al Knoch Interiors – Corvette Interior Parts
1966 Corvette Soft TopThis is a relatively easy top to install. We haveprovided a very detailed step by step procedure in the following two pagesof text and graphics to guide the reader. In doing so we also encounteredsome real life rust and worn parts that had to be resolved as well. Wealso included our tricks learned as a result of replacing many tops sincethe early 70's. We hope the reader is not overwelmed and discouraged bythe excessive detail provided. Unfortunately these tops get tougher toinstall as the cars further age and the need for quality workmanship increaseswith the increasing value of the cars. Unfortunately not all tops are createdequal. We have always carried only the best quality tops. We have to faceour customers after the installation and live with our mail order customershopefully for a very long time.
Corvette Soft Top Replacement
|Special tools needed: You'll need regular pliers, needle nose pliers, punch, single edged razor blade, screw drivers, small wrenches, and strong hands. |
Begin by first removing the wire-on molding just above the rear window. This molding covers a seam which is present on most convertible tops. The wire-on molding is folded front to back. First remove the stainless ends usually fastened by phillips screws (ill. 1). Unfold the wire-on molding and remove the staples securing it to the top bow. This is done using a sharp punch to pry up. Usually 1/2 of the staple separates fromthe bow. Use pliers, either regular or needle nose to finish the stapleremoval. Remove all the staples securing the top seam overlap after themolding has been removed.
Removethe rear weatherstrip by first finding and removing the weatherstrip retainer wire embedded within the weatherstrip (ill. 2). The weatherstrip will easily pull off once the retainer wire is removed (ill. 3). The top fabric is fastened to the rear bow by a small welt or beading stiched into the fabric edge and tucked into a groove in the bow. Use a screw driver to untuck the top fabric from the rear bow(ill. 2).
Removeall front weatherstrip which include front center, left and right corners. The center weatherstrip is secured by plastic push in studs embedded into the weatherstrip and spaced approximately six inches apart. Much care should be taken when desecuring the plastic studs from the bow (ill.5). The studs are t-shaped therefore pry them loose with a screw driver placed next to the stud. The corner weatherstrips are secured by two metal push in clips, one plastic push in clip, one phillips screw, and one threaded embedded steel stud. Pry the clips loose in the same manner used when removing the centerweather plastic studs (ill. 4). Unscrew the screw and removethe one nut on the back side of the side rail.
Removethe front fabric molding staples, then the top fabric wrap aroundstaples(ill.5). The top is then fastened only by the sideverticle weatherstrip studs. The quick way to remove the side verticalweatherstrip is done using a single edge razor blade to slice the top materialfacilitating easy access to the weatherstrip stud nuts (ill.6).There are three nuts and washers that need to be removed. The old top isthen removed exposing the top pads (ill.7). The top padsand adjacent straps are replaced one at a time so as not to disturb existingtop bow alignment. Before changing pads and straps we must repair the existingfront bow rot. We were very surprised to find the extent of ruston the front bow as we did on this particular Corvette. In fact the entireframe of the car was in much better condition. The only explanation wecould surmize was that the top had been replaced once before many yearsago and the fabric wrapped around the front bow had been trimmed short,exposing a surface that we find typically covered by fabric. Since therust was isolated we weighed the cost factors involved in replacing thefront bow as compared with its repair. A new bow cost approximately $300.00and requires three or four hours for installation since their fit is notas good as one might expect. We estimated six to eight hours to repairthe existing bow not unlike the many we had repaired over the years priorto this replacement part's availability. The repair would result in a substantialsavings for the customer when considering our shop rate and no delay inprogress .
Repairrusted front front bow by first grinding the rusted surface (ill. 7). The pitted areas are then ground using a die grinder (ill. 8). This process is similar to a dentist preparing a tooth for a filling. Sheet metal plates approximately .020 to .030 inch thick are then fabricated and fitted over the rotted areas (ill. 8). The repair plates are then mig welded in place (ill. 9). The welds are then ground flat and the entire repair area is also lightly ground in preparation for body filler application. Apply a light coat of body filler. Trim or cheese grade when half hard. Sand and shape the body filler as needed when completely cured (ill. 9).
Installfront tack strip: The original tack strip, (what the top fabricstaples are secured to), usually survive. This is one of those rare timesthat require its replacement. Oddly enough the original tack strip fromthis car was in excellent shape but we opted to replace it with a woodenreplacement. The factory tack strip and the aftermarket reproduction aremade from a fiber board, paper-like material. We have found that a softwood replacement holds the staples better and will probably out live itsoriginal counter part. We discovered this process many years ago when noreplacement part was available. The wood we use is from a yard stick whichused to be given away free from most hardware store and lumber yards (ill.10). The yard stick is cut approximately 5/8 inch wide and a numberof pieces are cut to eight to ten inch lengths. The pieces are fitted andtrimmed as necessary. When satisfied with the overall fit they are bondedinto place using body filler. The factory tabs are then rebent over thenew tack strip (ill. 10). The entire header bar is then primedand painted gloss black lacquer.
Checkthe dimensions and fit and orientation of the old pads and strapsbefore commiting to their replacement.We have found that old pads and strapsshrink a bit with age. It is not necessary to use a tape measureextensively for this procedure, rather a prefit of the new top will bestdetermine if any change in pad length is necessary. The critical item isthe location of the rear tack strip bow, (where the wire-on molding waspreviously secured). There is a chance that this bow crept forward slightlywith the aging pads. Install the new top with the rear edge wrapped aroundthe rear bow, which clamps to the car. Pull the material to the front bowand around the side vertical rails. The open seam of the new top shouldbe locating exactly over the rear tack strip bow. A close inspection ofthe ends, left and right, will show that this seam is comprised of two1/2 inch wide flaps that overlap each other. The point where they overlapwill be stapled to the rear tack strip so the staple point should locateprecisely over the middle of the tack strip (ill. 18). Youwill need to pull back on the rear tack strip bow while pulling forwardon the new top material to accurately check this fit.
Begininstalling one new pad first. Check the distance between the tackstrip bow and the rear bow on the other side for reference (ill.12). Remove all staples. You will find that the generally practicedrule with pad fastening does not render staples on a surface adjacent tothe top material. The new pad is placed with the rear tack bow properlyplaced and properly aligned over the side rail with no pad material appearingbelow the side rail bottom surface. Remove the inside padding materialbefore stapling into place. The pad is then stapled first at the frontbow, then rear tack bow and then the middle (ill. 13). Installthe padding and properly place the outer pad covers as illustrated (ill.13). Apply adhesive to the two surfaces that will meet each other.Allow adhesive to dry before joining. The overlapped seams are then taped.Apply adhesive to the area that will be taped then apply the tape.
Installthe top straps using a punch to locate holes in the rear bow (ill.14). Check the distance measurement reference taken from the oppositeside. The strap is stapled to the rear tack strip bow under the pad (ill.14). With the front clamped and the rear latched two notches thestraps and pads should appear taught leaving approximately 1/2 inch clearanceunder the rear bow between it and the body.
This Article is Continued. . . .
The top of the rear bow has soft-sided Velcro applied to it to prevent glass scratches during top lowering. If it is in poor condition, now would be the time for replacement. This is the crucial part of the top installation. If the top positioning is off, the entire top placement will suffer. Gluing the vertical section first makes the most sense. Corvette Convertible Top Install, Rear window falling out, new soft top install, Convertible top rear window replacement, Convertible top specialist located.
Copyright © 1999 Rowley Corvette Supply, Incorporated
All Rights Reserved
C1 Convertible Top Installation Without Video - CorvetteForum ...
|General Description||1-2||Underbody Rocker Molding, Body Sill -|
|Service Operations||1-2||- Molding and Sill Plate||1-20|
|Cleaning Soft Trim||1-2||Rear End||1-20|
|Front End||1-4||Folding Top Compartment Lid and Deck Lid -|
|Installation||1-5||Deck Lid Trim||1-21|
|Instrument Panel 1958 - 1962||1-6||Lock Assembly 1961 - 1962 Models||1-21|
|1954 - 1957 Radio Speaker Grill||1-7||Removal||1-21|
|Instrument Panel Cove Trim Plate||1-8||Lock Assembly 1953 - 1960 Models||1-22|
|Instrument Panel Tray||1-8||Division Panel||1-22|
|Cowl Trim Panel||1-8||Hinge Assembly||1-22|
|Rear View Mirror||1-8||Removal||1-22|
|Body Heating and Ventilation||1-9||Repairs||1-23|
|Heater and Controls||1-10||Folding Top Compartment Lid||1-23|
|Service Operations||1-11||Folding Top Compartment Lid Lock||1-24|
|Door Window and Post||1-14||Hinge - Top Compartment Lid||1-24|
|Weatherstrip, Arm Rest and Trim Panel||1-16||Seat Separator||1-24|
|Rear Glass Run Channel||1-17||Folding Top||1-25|
|Forward Post Assembly and Sash Channel||Operation - 1956 - 1962 Models||1-25|
|- Guide||1-17||Operation - 1953 - 1955 Models||1-26|
|Window Regulator - Manual||1-17||Adjustments||1-29|
|Removal||1-17||Care of Folding Top||1-30|
|Installation||1-17||Folding Top Linkage||1-30|
|Window Regulator - Power||1-18||Removal||1-31|
|Door Lock||1-18||Disassembly and Assembly||1-31|
|Installation||1-18||Folding Top Trim||1-31|
|Installation||1-18||Hydraulic - Electric System||1-36|
|Door Outer Handle||1-18||Electrical System||1-36|
|Removal||1-18||Sequence of Operation||1-36|
|Door Lock Cylinder||1-19||Filling Hydraulic System||1-38|
|Removal||1-19||Hydraulic Top Cylinders||1-39|
|1953 - 1955 Hinge Assembly||1-20|
|Gas Filler Door||1-20|