How To Remove Vinyl Top From Car – Installing vinyl siding doesn’t have to be scary. Following a few basic steps and using the right tools and materials can produce lasting results and show winning results like this 1970 Nova SS.
Depending on your situation, you can replace the top after a fresh coat of paint or install a new one (we should all be very lucky!) In this instance, all the glass was already off the car. Because we had just finished the metal, body and paint on these modifications. To properly install sheet vinyl, all top moldings, drip moldings, as well as front and back glass and associated trim must be removed.
How To Remove Vinyl Top From Car
See the extra material on all the edges? Make sure you have a quality set of vinyl cutting scissors when it’s time to trim, but proper fit and alignment are essential before you start cutting! There is nothing worse than a vinyl top that is too short!
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Fresh Paint: If you’re as lucky as we were with this Nova, you may have a freshly painted finish to begin with. Any grit from 220 to 320 will work well for preparing the roof, tarpaulin panels and A-pillars for fastening the top. After sanding is complete, remove the residue from the air hose and clean thoroughly with wax and grease remover or glass cleaner.
Removing and replacing the old top: If you remove the old top, you will be left with a lot of old glue and possibly some rust. All old glue must be removed and all repairs completed before a new top or you may end up with a very leaky top with lots of bubbles that will come loose the first time you try to drive. The good news is that the old glue will probably heal, so if you’re lucky you can sand it with DA, being careful not to go too far into the paint. There are cases where the previous installer used the wrong glue (Super 77 or similar aerosol that is not heat stable). In such a situation, you will have to spend a lot of time using glue remover to clean it all.
Use chalk to mark the centerline of the vinyl based on the dimensions of your car. Don’t believe it! Some brands will have a notched centerline, so you just need to find the center on the roofline with a trowel or flexible measuring tape.
Start trimming leaving a comfortable margin. Pie notches in the corners help you make jokes and set positions. The cake cutouts shown here are for customization only as they help the material fit properly, they are usually cut and re-cut when they are ready to be glued.
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The right tools and materials are lifesavers when installing vinyl planks. Before starting, we recommend that you prepare a list of the following items:
Rollers come in many styles, rubber rollers are best because they won’t damage the vinyl. Before rolling the top, make sure the rubber is clean and free of dirt or debris.
This is what 3M Contact Cement looks like after mixing with a mixing stick. Shaking the can is not recommended. Open the lid and scrape the bottom of the can with a stirring stick and, using an “egg scramble” motion, mix the residue at the bottom of the can into the liquid until smooth and sediment-free. don’t be
The icing on the cake needs to be ready to install, so plan ahead! Gutter strips cause a lot of distortion when removed and will not stay properly on the gutter if not properly shaped. Thoroughly repair or re-chrome/polish any damaged pieces as required. As another note, beware of the later sewers!!!!!! The fit is often so far off that it doesn’t even hold and can really spoil the look of the car and in some cases destroy the top!
Deleting A Vinyl Top?
Steps for Installing Your Vinyl Top Once the top is laid and marked, tape 1/2 of the top to prevent it from shifting when you glue the first half of the top. An extra set of hands is very useful at this stage.
~ Fold the vinyl to a 1/2 point, laying it flat on top of you with the neat feel on the bottom. Mix the contact cement and pour it into the spray cup.
*Before spraying: Check the spray sample and test the spray in a trash can or on a piece of masking paper. Apply glue about 6 inches above the center of the drip strip on the top of the car and on the bottom of the vinyl top.
Apply the adhesive to the roof to within 6-8 inches of the gutter. Wait until the roof top is secured and rolled before gluing the tarp panels or A-pillars.
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~ Once the glue is up and on the ceiling, you have about 10-15 minutes (depending on temperature and humidity) to wait for it to “stick”. When you peel the vinyl to adhere it to the car roof, the adhesive should not be wet to the touch.
The glue is setting and still a bit dark, so we waited a few more minutes. If you try to glue it while the moisture vapor is trapped under the vinyl, it will result in bubbling and bond failure.
~ Working from the center to the edges, lay the vinyl sheet over the roof of the car. Make sure there is no slack left to allow air to get trapped, but don’t pull too tight or you can stretch the material too far and cause it to get stuck. Using rollers with firm pressure (doesn’t sound like angry crazy pressure like Steve is doing lol) roll the vinyl from the center to the edges to remove any trapped air and promote adhesion.
Roll out the vinyl top from the center to the edge using firm pressure…not crazy pressure in a rage like Steve! lol
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~ After gluing and wrapping both sections of the roof top, mask off the vinyl top to prevent overspray cleaning and lay down the last of the top material as shown below. Apply glue, stick, place and roll
Glued, glued, almost ready to roll. The A-pillar is not glued yet. Canvas panels have approximately 1″ of adhesive above the trim line.
Pie cut around corners and hems is necessary so the top can fit properly and the hem can be installed.
A-pillars and canvas panels should be glued last. Additional adhesive can be brushed around the window openings and edges near the trim to ensure it is sealed and secure.
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The A-Pillar must fit snugly and tuck below the body line below the pillar to be secured by the windshield trim for this particular application.
Trim the vinyl around the clip pins to make sure the clips fit properly to trim the lines around the windshield.
~ Now that the top is installed and trimmed around the trim clip studs, the clips can be installed and the front and rear glass installed.
The top has 2 seams that we measured from the center and from the drip rails to confirm they are the same distance from the center and straight from the front to the back of the car.
The Roof Of My 75 Sport…
The vinyl sheet over the gutter must be properly trimmed to allow the gutter strip to fit snugly and seal the top from the elements.
The top is glued and ready to be trimmed for quarter trimming, which will be done after several test fits after the glass is installed.
Final trimming around window clips and drip rails can easily be done with a razor blade or precision knife.
Original trim clips and stainless steel window trim and gutters are installed to secure the top edges. My 67 coupe has a series of holes for the aluminum strip that holds the vinyl down into the roof gutters and pop rivets to hold it in place then the gutters are sealed with rubber or butyl sealant.
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These holes will need to be welded and some bodywork done to the gutters. Not to mention the quarter panel trim holes and surface rust after coming up.
I may not get the job, but I wonder if it’s done and how things went? Thanks
Watch out for those aluminum strips that are very hard to find and no one will want them.
Thank you for your replies. There’s still a lot of work to be done before a final decision is made, but thinking about changing the color from spring yellow to clear water aqua and painting the top on the kitchen table contrasts with the appeal of black vinyl to voters. And 2. 66, these aluminum strips are attached to the wall plate for safe storage!
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Mine was done at one point and I had no idea until I saw the “bugs” through the tarpaulin panel.
I think vinyl records are the only + option that is less so now.
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