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I need to replace my rear window on a 74 Spider. How can I do this? Must the top be removed or can the window be replaced in situ?
 

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It'll be interesting to see if someone has an answer you want to hear. I talked to a top shop and the guy said it would have to be removed from the frame, not worth it in my case. I had the top with the frame off the car already, but he said he couldn't do it without taking the top off the frame completely.
 

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Many years ago I replaced a scratched, opaque plastic window in my MGA by glueing in a new piece without removing the top from the frame. It wasn't concours but it got me by for an extra couple of years. IIRC, I used contact cement - because otherwise there isn't any practical method to clamp it in place to allow other types of glue to dry.

If you don't want to DIY, try a shop that makes/repair tops for boats.
 

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I need to replace my rear window on a 74 Spider. How can I do this? Must the top be removed or can the window be replaced in situ?
If the rear window needs replacing, you need a new top. At best, any "solution" will be temporary and never look like new, as it is just not possible to match the original stitches. Furthermore, most of the labor is removing the old top and installing a new one, so there is no labor savings for re-using the old top.

A new top is not necessarily cheap, as it will cost anywhere from $275 for a vinyl one (OEM on a '74 Spider) to about $600 for a canvas type. (Personally, I like the Elektron canvas top fit the best, and it's a little less than $500. There are lots of opinions on tops, so I would recommend a search.) Then you have to factor in labor. A professionally installed canvas top (top costs and labor all included) will set you back anywhere from $800 to $1200 depending on where you live. About $200 less at least if using vinyl. They are not necessarily that difficult to install, but it is very hard to achieve professional results. By this I mean a top that is very tight, with all edges matching perfectly, symmetrical on both sides, watertight (no leaks!) and one that allows the windows to be rolled up and down properly when the car is in motion. The good news is that either vinyl or canvas will last easily 20 years, as long as you just hose it down every 6 months or so, an don't let grime accumulate on the rear plastic window.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys. I replaced my top in '92 while in Germany. The material, I believe is called Stayfast. Cost me $1000 but well worth it. Except for the window the top looks new.

The problem is the window cracked when I gently thumped it to knock snow off it. So maybe the best is to glue the crack.
 

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The 74 that I just bought has had the rear window replaced. It appears that whomever did it simply cut out the original window, and sewed another in it's place. The top is rather tatty now, but it took close inspection for me to notice the window replacement.
 

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Just a thought, because mine needs this big time. Has anyone tried to use one of these headlight polishing kits for their Spider rear window? You can buy them from Mother's or 3M at all sorts of auto parts stores. I've used them on headlights with good results, but not sure about plastic windows.
 

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Google for Miata rear window replacement. I'm pretty sure I came across a "top on" replacement kit in the past that may be able to work for our Alfas.
 

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Since it was new, I've cleaned the window on my Duetto with McGuier's Plastic Cleaner and Plastic Polish. Also great for the headlight covers. Kept it clear and supple. I did finally replace it, but the original lasted 25 years and was still clear.

Robert
 

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Just a thought, because mine needs this big time. Has anyone tried to use one of these headlight polishing kits for their Spider rear window? You can buy them from Mother's or 3M at all sorts of auto parts stores. I've used them on headlights with good results, but not sure about plastic windows.
There are polishers that are made specifically for the plastic window, and they will make a world of difference... Not sure which are the best today, as my windows are in pretty good shape, but I have always used Meguiars. (See their web site for the heavy duty products.) There certainly are other manufacturers with products which BB posters have praised, so I would also encourage you to do a search.

Best regards,
 
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