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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rapid City SD, Black Hills of South Dakota
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Convertible Top Installation

Just finished installing a top. Installation took me about 10 hours of slow methodical work. That time did not include removing the old top, which only took about an hour. A good chunk of time was spent prep cleaning and fixing broken rear studs with rivet nuts. Since this was only the second top I've fitting (the last one being 20 years ago), I took my time. Like tuning a SPICA system, the order in which you do things is critical. When installing the top, you have to be familiar with the instructions, soup-to-nuts, before you start.

The top was manufactured by Easy-On and purchased over the internet from Delivery was very quick and I think the total price was about $190 delivered. Glue and some new side cables were about $12 at ACE hardware and the rivet nuts and setting tool from McMaster were another $55. I re-used my old front windshield seal, but I think I might replace that since the side extensions are ripped off. It's a pinpoint vinyl top, no padded side-quarters, heat sealed rear window. Although I considered a canvas top, I decided on vinyl for price and long-term appearance. I rarely drive with the top up. Vic at topsonline said the vinyl will retain a better appearance for the long term, will be more durable in the elements, but of course, doesn't look as good. He said he sells more canvas tops because people like the appearance better.

The top itself looked to be of high quality heavy materials with good workmanship, stitching, etc. With the exception of the radius of the front bow, which was a slightly off, the top's "fit" is excellent. The holes for the rear studs were pre-punched and were perfect. When I went to "dry fit" the top, the top's front radius seam didn't fit the front of the bow in the middle. It was about a 1/4" off, which may not seem like much but it makes it harder to glue the front edge evenly. To topsonline's credit, Vic was very helpful and even went to the manufacturer and set up a 3 way call. The rep from Easy-On was very helpful and said it shouldn't be any problem, but if it was , they'd make it good, no problem. As it turned out, it was no problem and the vinyl stretched into place fine.

Below are some pics of the finished installtion. I'll be writing up a "how-to" with pictures I took during the install as time permits. I found the Alfa factory instructions to have some glaring deficiencies and poor illustrations/pictures, especially on how the side cables and window seals are fastened. I also found that the old top was incorrectly installed.

Here's the pics. Top is still stretching and today was a cool day so it didn't get much thermal heating to soften up the vinyl, hence there still some shipping creases and dimples evident.
Attached Images

John Stewart
74 Spider
91 164S

Last edited by Roadtrip; 05-17-2005 at 08:50 PM.
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