Last Updated on December 15, 2021 by Peter Townsend
Do you recall that magical moment in which the newlywed Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly rode in their Rolls Royce convertible and greeted the crowd? And, perhaps, John Travolta drove that 1948 Ford DeLuxe in the film “Grease”!? It’s a long list of faces who have proudly displayed their convertibles is long all the way including The Beatles, Muhammad Ali as well as Marilyn Monroe, to Queen Elizabeth II and Sophia Loren have had the pleasure of top-down driving that a convertible can provide.
It is however likely that they did not face the same problems that a normal fan of convertibles might. Although these cars offer a lot of advantages and thrills they can be quite a hassle to use. What do you do if the top begins showing wear or is simply replaced after years of usage? How much will an entirely new convertible top cost?
Replacing A Convertible Top On A Budget
Before you embark on this project take a moment to consider whether you’d like to repair this top piece or substitute it. It all depends on the condition. replacing it may result in an affordable alternative.
- If you’re planning to replace the top, be sure you’re considering other options. There’s a variety of materials available which means you don’t have to concentrate solely on vinyl choices. You can also opt for the convertible canvas top. It provides the vehicle with the appearance of a soft-top and the wind will not create too much noise to the fabric when driving. Another option is the Stayfast canvas that has an inner layer of rubber and cotton backing.
- Are you trying to reduce expenses? Look for a company which is geared towards the customers with a budget. In many cases, low-cost companies can help you save more than $200 in the cost of replacing a convertible top. Auto Tops Direct and Tops Online are excellent examples of economical distributors.
- If you’re repairing or replacing your top frame, you could reuse some of the parts and accessories if they remain in good condition such as pad frames for the top and cables.
It is important to be aware of: As many times as you’re inclined to do some DIY fixes or installations replacing the convertible top is an extremely difficult task. If the job isn’t done correctly, it could result in an unfathomable leak, damage to the interior, or even a complete failure. Avoid the hassle and let the experts.
The Estimated Price For Replacing A Convertible Top Runs From $900 To $1500
The cost of replacing a convertible’s top is heavily influenced by the model and make of your car. However, in the majority of instances, the cost will include the following:
- Top replacement (including staples, pop rivets as well as hold-down cables and adhesive).
- A thin strip of sealant for windshields (for those who have an automobile with glass windows and rubber trim).
- Silicone spray.
A brand new window for your curtain and backlights aren’t included in DIY kits. Therefore, make sure you purchase them separately in case you are planning to tackle the project on your own.
Soft Top vs. Hard Top
A common dilemma for those who are contemplating buying a convertible can be deciding whether or not to choose the soft-top or the hardtop. Although both convertibles have advantages and disadvantages, however, they’re completely different options with regards to maintenance.
A few consumers might be concerned about the safety features, considering that the roof’s structural integrity isn’t as robust as a hardtop. In addition, soft-tops are more prone to use and tear.
However, while they may be the more secure and longer-lasting option however they can be costly in maintenance as well as repair. A convertible with a hardtop is dependent on a variety of moving parts for proper operation and demands more expertise and labor to maintain.
However that, the soft-top has one major benefit: it is able to be removed. If you are needing to repair the top of your convertible it is possible to use your car while the repairs are being completed.
Keep in mind that premiums for soft-top convertibles are usually more expensive than hardtops. This is because soft-tops tend to be more prone to break-ins and damage (due because of their accessibility) as opposed to hardtops, which is why they have an increase in insurance costs.
How To Replace Your Convertible Top
The replacement of a convertible’s top is an operation that takes a lot of patience, as well as a few meticulously planned actions. Let’s look at the process:
- Begin taking the lids of at the rear end of your car. Cover the deck lid with a sheet. After that, you can remove the fasteners. Be sure to mark all moldings and screws.
- Lift the top and then take off the strip of roll. All screws and staples must be removed and stored until the conclusion of the process. Be sure to remove all screw from between the bows and also.
- Take off ALL staples. If you don’t remove all staples, it could lead to the sharp edges of a staple that was not removed which could cut your new top.
- Make sure everything is loose enough to allow taking off the top of the previous one as simple as it is.
- Make sure you have all measurements in place prior to beginning the installation of your new pad.
- Remove the window from the rear. The removal of the window is likely to be the most difficult step that requires large screwdrivers or plastic tools for this job. If you can, get help from a different set hands for secure removal.
- Take the convertible top off the frame. Be cautious when taking off the vinyl.
- Make sure to form and attach the new top on the frame. At this point the process of installation will be reversed to removal. Anything that was loosening needs to be tightened. Likewise, all that was taken out (screws and screws, etc.).) must be put back in place and put in the original location in reverse the order of removal. It is best to start from front to back. After you’ve installed the new top and you are in a position to lift and lower it with ease. Try it out and ensure that it’s running well before calling it quits.
- The last step is to install the window again, and this should be carried out with the top of the window in an unlocked position. Also, this is the moment in which you must replace all remaining trims and other hardware that are not reinstalled.
It should be noted that it’s entirely up to you to determine the replacement solution which best meets your needs and budget. However, it is highly recommended that you replace your convertible top with an experienced professional. Generally speaking, the most common costs for replacing the top of a convertible are the following:
- In the event of the case of a DIY program, it’s possible to pay about $300 for the components to complete the task.
- A professional can cost around $1,000 for this task, based on the model and make, as well as whether or not it has either a hard-top or soft-top.
- Change the roof at the authorized dealer could increase the cost by a small amount (over $1,000) however, this could be the best option based on factors such as top-of-the-line warranties, warranty coverage, as well as insurance claim.
Keep in mind that these costs are only estimates. The final price will depend on the kind of vehicle you own and the maintenance required to get back to the road. Repairing and maintaining your convertible may be costly, but you can’t quantify the feeling of the wind blowing on your face while you drive on the freeway.