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My spider quad needs a new top and I really should do it this year. I have no experience at doing this myself. Is it simple, should I tackle it, or leave it to a body shop or other pro? I want to stick with a canvas top, not vinyl. Who sells the best? Any other recommendations? Thanks!
 

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1) do a BB search for Caribou Tops before you buy.

B) see the Spider FAQ thread - there is a link there to a step-by-step convertible top installation (with lots of photos). That will help you decide if you want to DIY or understand why a shop will charge $500 or more to install one.
 

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Thanks, Eric. My main concern is having it done right. I know there are DIY instructions but haven't studied them. IAP seems to have a good top and with instructions, too. I'll weight the professional install cost potential accordingly.
 

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It ain't that hard but is a back breaker doing up the 3 metal strips that hold down the top across the rear, while getting the 3 cover pieces in place correctly at the same time. The original cover trim pieces are a crappy black plastic which does not like to be manhandled after many years of being in the same position. Just for what it is worth, I went to Tandy Leather and made new cover pieces out of a nice leather hide remnant. I also went to the nut bolt and screw wholesaler and bought a complete set of new identical metric nuts and fender washers. (because of this and other similiar requests to this wholesaler, he now hates to see me come in his place of business). These made the job easier and fulfilled my sense of always replacing all conneting hardware with new whenever possible. (I am in love with stainless steel when I can get it). But the real job aid was a fifth of Bourbon and a bottle of Aleve. Even drunked up and doped up, it came out pretty good. I bought an Alfa Factory Supplement on top installation, but after removing the old top, it was simple enough that I never even read the supplement. It was enough pages that I figured I could install the new top faster than I could read the supplement.

You can see by the last photo, toward the end I no longer knew which end was up. And the focus on the camera, or my eyesight - one or the other - was no longer working properly.

Robert
 

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I thought the hardest part was gluing down the loose fabric. Installing it was not that bad but I am not sure I would do it again. I would say that if you have the time and don't tackle it all in one day you would be better off. Take it step by step and do it slowly.
 

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I think it depends on how handy of a person you are. If you're the sort of person that doesn't mind tackling jobs, and you have a lot of patience, then have at it. If on the other hand you prefer to leave things to professionals because you're never sure which way to tighten a nut, or you get impatient and rush things, well, there's no shame in having a pro do it. I did mine, and it took me the better part of a day. Getting the new weatherseal in the header was probably the slowest part. Lots of silicone, pushing, pulling, swearing (in Italian, of course, the car responds better). The worst part, for me, was gluing the fabric to the top bows, mostly because you're in an enclosed space breathing fumes from contact cement. (It wasn't a day to do it outdoors.)
But assess yourself. If you honestly can say you would approach the task with care and patience, go for it.
 

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I did mine myself, but that was years ago when I was limber and had more patience. Today, I would pay the piper. I've got more disposable income, less patience, poor eyesight. I could go on and on making excuses, but you get my drift. As others have noted, it is a very do-able DIY project, just allow the entire weekend.

KKKKFL
 

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One day? better figure a week with taking one;s time. Thats the only way I tackle these proojects. My top took a week-10 days, taking my time, measuring twice and cutting ONCE, etc etc. Also, did metal/rusty frame restorsation. You cant skip that right??
 

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Be very careful if you have a shop install your top. Five bills of quality roof can end up being a painter's drop cloth in the wrong hands. I had mine installed at at a upholstery shop which has been in business for many years and it turned into a fiasco. When they start blaming the manufacturer who has extremely good feedback and reputation your basically screwed. Unless of course you have open checkbook to sue the bugger. Do your due diligence and make sure they they are reliable and will stand behind their work. Good luck and happy motoring.
 

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About to take on the job on my girls white 91 spider i'm restoring. Got the the tan top, from topsonline. They had a good price on the cloth Haartz,Mohair, Stayfast fabric?.!, as well as good ratings. We'll see what happens.
 

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My spider quad needs a new top and I really should do it this year. I have no experience at doing this myself. Is it simple, should I tackle it, or leave it to a body shop or other pro? I want to stick with a canvas top, not vinyl. Who sells the best? Any other recommendations? Thanks!


I can send you the convertible top manual to you email....
 

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I got the topsonline stayfast canvas with padding and had a shop install it. They redid the front bar with new material and installed the new middle handle. The only problem was getting the weatherstrippng into that **** slot. Also the top was just a tad to long around the back and as it went around it ended up with a creases in the sides. That could have been taken out but then the vertical part behind the door glass would have been too far forward and the window would have been sitting ontop of the vertical flap instead of just ahead of it. They charged me 400 bucks. Leave the top up in the sun for a week or two otherwise getting it pulled down to mate with the top of the windsield will be near to impossible. I got the 5mm? nuts and fender washers from McMaster Carr cheap.
 

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I had mine done a year ago and it still has creases on the sides and it's still tight locking it down. My top is heavy gauge vinyl because I live near the ocean it was recommended. Hopefully yours loosens up.
 

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was it from topsonline? wonder if that is just a vendor problem or all like that? mine went on a 77, ended up costing around $850 total
 
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