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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I've started on this car a long while back, but I'll be darned if it isn't going to get done this summer along with the '66 galaxie 500 XL. The last time I posted to this was some time ago and that's when I was using Photobucket and then all the pictures seemingly bloody well left the building. I had a look at the old postings on here and now they are gone. So in the interest of picking up where I left off I am going to post a link to the other Ford galaxie forum where it was mirrored and all the pictures are intact. I'll start posting here with more or less present progress.

Here's the link to the past work done to this car that was lost on this forum. 1966 LTD from the start...

The reason why my mojo was more or less zapped was the roof had some rotten areas under the vinyl top and padding that was added. Actually if Ford didn't put the padding on the ends the steer roof would have probably been just fine.

Hello All,

I wanted to pick up from where I left off on this project. I intend to finish this car this summer along with the 1966 galaxie 500 XL.

The reason my interest waned in the LTD is I found a good deal of rot under the vinyl roof and padding.

Here are the pictures of what I found:

LTDRoof_1.jpg


Ford used this fibrous padding under the top but only on the sides to hide the steel roof body lines under vinyl.

LTDRoof_2.jpg


LTDRoof_3.jpg


LTDRoof_4.jpg

The padding stops at the seam on the sides of the main top section.

LTDRoof_5.jpg

It's the padding that seems to have held the moisture and do the damage.

LTDRoof_6.jpg


LTDRoof_7.jpg

This is the disturbing portion of the show. The vinyl top was stapled and nailed, yuppers, nailed into the steel roof. There are loads of holes to weld and grind smooth shut.

LTDRoof_8.jpg


LTDRoof_9.jpg


I am currently working on stripping all the paint and glue from the roof as well as remove the front windscreen to fill those holes created by loads of staples and nails.

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hello,

It's been awhile, but back to work on the LTD. My plan for dealing with the body sheet metal was to start at the easy section and work my way back towards the corrosion. But I did tackle another problem along the way (one of the many niggles to be sorted out).

So the fuel tank filler neck seal was on the list to be sorted out. It was leaking when I filled the tank. I put a new O-ring in there but it wasn't quite right obviously. It appears there are two different kinds of seals used on 3rd gen fuel tank filler necks. One uses an O-ring and the other uses a lip seal. The tanks are physically different and one seal is not interchangeable with the other.

LTD_04.jpg

This seems to be the more common type fuel tank it uses the lip seal.

LTD_03.jpg


This one. However the fuel tank in the LTD has a tank with a recess in the opening to hold an O-ring. I went through about 75 dollars worth of O-rings (Mc Master) before I finally found one that fits properly.

LTD_01.jpg

LTD_02.jpg

This is one of those seemingly simple problems that turns into a multi-day way more expensive problem than it ever should be. But this did the trick.

Next was to start removing the rest of the detachable parts off the main body shell. It still had two complete doors on it and so I removed the door innards in order to make them lighter.

LTD_08.jpg


Next I removed the new tail lamp assemblies.

LTD_09.jpg

So now I can just remove the deck lid and the doors when I was ready to block sand the entire body before paint.

Next the windscreen had to come out.

LTD_05.jpg

At first the glass seemed useable, just a few nicks and pits as one would expect. However....

LTD_06.jpg

The glass is starting to delaminate around the edges and hasn't spread beyond the side trim yet. But it will. So I shall have to buy a new windscreen for the car. I'll keep this as an emergency replacement.

missed1.jpg

It may be hard to tell but Ford went pyscho on the staples and nails into the roof for the top in the front as well.

Before I get deep into the repair I wanted to remove the dash and steering wheel.

More in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Continued....

All this had to come out. I'd leave the column as that could be covered to protect, but I still need to move the car, of which it moves under its own power.

LTD_10.jpg

So the process started, then I found something amusing then disconcerting.

LTD_15.jpg

So this is the back of the instrument panel. You can recognize the radio on the left, speedo in the middle and the fuel gauge on the right. The thing in the middle of the speedo and fuel gauge is the voltage regulator, which is nothing more than a high speed flasher. However this one is a virgin and was never connected.

The jittery electrically noisy flasher/voltage regulator works in this case because the fuel gauge is thermal electric and buffers out the current pulses with the thermal mass of the bi-metal needle mechanism and heater in the gauge.

LTD_17.jpg

Um there's one screwed into the dash frame.

LTD_16.jpg

I guess someone was hungover at the factory the day this one was put together. Too funny.

Now for the irritating portion of discovery. Rodent damage and a possible shorted ignition coil at one time in its life.

LTD_12.jpg

The right turn indicator never worked and my natural assumption was a bulb. Um no, the wire was chewed clean through. And you can see the beginnings of a nest of insulation behind this. There was no feces so the rodent never really settled in.

This seemed to be the extent of the damage from rodentia. Whilst this is unfortunate it is still better than newer cars where the wiring insulation is soy based and is very yummy to animals. This new biodegradable insulation was phased in around 2000 and is apparently a huge problem for newer cars and trucks. As if overpriced cheap disposable vehicles aren't expensive enough to have these kinds of problems as well. But I digress.

The next problem I noted was the tape on the main harness was melted.

LTD_13.jpg

LTD_14.jpg

It looks like the ignition resistance wire was the hot one (pink top one). I can only surmise the coil shorted at some point early in the cars life as this LTD still sported the yellow top Ford coil.

I had already planned on replacing the entire harness anyway as I am redesigning the electrical system somewhat but this is just another reason why you cannot trust an older car without completely going through it.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Continued....

Next was to repair the front windscreen frame area.

LTD_18.jpg

I removed all the butyl window sealant. Good grief that was tedious, I am not using that for the new windscreen. The windscreen and rear window will be glued in with modern urethane after the body is painted and the new top fitted.

Here you can see all the holes in the top glass frame.

LTD_19.jpg

Next was to plug weld all the holes. I used ER70 0.025" wire with a gas mix of CO2/Ar and the current and wire feed for 18 gauge mild steel.

LTD_20.jpg

After I plug welded every single hole next was to very carefully grind down each weld with a Dremel. This was very time consuming as each weld had to be at least flush to the plane of the channel as not to interfere with the top material and top stainless trim. This requires loads of patience as you do not want to accidentally cut into the thin sheet metal all the while lightly feathering the weld into the existing structure. It almost requires scalpel like precision in order to avoid making even more work.

LTD_21.jpg

Done. All holes are filled in with steel. There is no need to finish the metal perfectly smooth as all this is hidden anyway. The only two goals were to fill the holes in order to stop the ingress of water during a monsoon and also add a layer or two of corrosion protection of which the 2 stage paint job will more than adequately do.

Well that was the easy part that was finished the other day.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Roof Repair

Hello All,

I have been working on this roof project and it's a bugger. With that here's some updates. I finally have the roof stripped of irritating glue, paint, vinyl, padding, silicone, butyl, nails, rivets and staples. That was unbelievably tedious. The glue Ford used must have been from the space program as that just didn't want to let go. Not to mention dealing with all the other stuff on there. I want to slap that someone at Ford for thinking, hymmm, this is a good idea.

The worst side on this car is the passenger side, but since metal/body work is not my forte I had a lot of apprehension starting on this so I decided to tackle the drivers side since it was far less worse. There were only two areas that needed to be cut out and patches welded in.


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First area.


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Second area.


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First section cut.


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Second section cut.


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Patch pieces. These are from the donor '66 roof so it should be the same exact steel as in this car.


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Now I've watched countless videos on metal shaping even bought a couple from British master coach builders and whilst those guys could do the most amazing work with the basic of hand tools the one thing that always struck me as odd is they never did anything for corrosion protection. They would layer bare steel together or have exposed steel back sides. It's like they welcomed the eventual come back to fix the same rusty panel..... again...... and again.

So since I'm layering steel over steel for the window flange, I applied some weld through primer to stave off corrosion between the bare layers of steel. Now I will be using a internal frame type spray inside the roof area to coat from the inside after I finish all this steel work. But I even see body shops missing this step as well.


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Stuff I use.


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Did the under and back side of the replacement piece also.


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Every little bit helps. I DO NOT want to ever have to fix this roof ever again.


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This little guy was first. There is no direct access to this area from the inside with the internal roof framing in the way. If I crawl into the boot of the car I can barely access it. So I had to get creative on how to fixture the patch to weld. So I used these little neodymium magnets to hold the piece in place.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Roof Repair Continued


46061



This piece is actually a slight compound curve and I bent the patch close as I could at this point. I gambled that at least one corner of the patch would sit flush with the existing roof and I won that bet and that's where I started with tacking.


46062



To locate the trim stud hole I drew a slew of intersecting lines through the original hole and extended them outward as with the curves it's nearly impossible to use any other reference point. Once the side flush was tacked I crawled in and removed the magnets and used the little screwdriver to pry the edges of the patch till they were flush with the roof skin and continued tacking in this way.


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Tedious.


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Did a quick grind and found my centre for the trim hole and drilled that before I lost my reference lines.


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Did a first round grind flush and I had low spots.


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Since I can't bump them out from behind I got to use this guy.


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It's a spot welder and slide hammer rolled into one. You spot weld onto the area and use the slide hammer to bump the metal. Then twist and it comes off. "Rinse and repeat."


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I filled in some of the dimples from the puller with more weld and...


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No plastic filler required.


46070



tapped the hole for 8-32 and this patch is done.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Roof Repair Continued


46071



This one is next.


46072



The patch was held in place by some Clecos. Now I did screw up and removed too much metal from the roof skin as the gap was a bit wide at the top.


46073



Fortunately the MIG welder and I have become really good friends over the years and can deal with that with no problems.


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First round of blending. I had a low spot in the lower section.


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I reworked it, but still had a dew low dimples, then I remembered why am I even bothering, first the vinyl top will hide slight imperfections anyway, and secondly I am going to try to lead that seam so I can just put a little lead in the low spotted area to calm the OCD.


46076



I had to resistance weld the flat section of the flange together so I used the Harbor Freight thingy. Damn this spot welder is heavy. I got lucky and it was an open box item and the checkout girl basically sold it to me for 50% off. It actually does the job.


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The only bit left was to install the peg for the trim.


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I bought the attachment for this machine that welds those on. I bought a bag of 100 of them and did some practicing.


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Did some experiments with scrap first. You can't adjust the current as it's fixed, but you can adjust the weld time. I think this machine puts out 3500 Amperes. I turned up the time and it just melted the little peg.


46080



2 is the magic number for this job.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Roof Repair Continued


46081



I measured off the other side and installed the peg.


46082



This side is done, for the little pits elsewhere I just plan to lead those in and smooth out.


46083



Still have 18 million staple and nail holes to fill and grind.


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Damn it Ford... your pissing me off with this nonsense. :mad:


46085



I still have to do this side, but after tackling the other side I feel a bit more confident now. Don't get me wrong, this is truly the hideous side of the project and it will probably take a couple of long days to complete. Took me 10 bloody hours to do two small patches on the other side.


46086



I did just about patch all the staple and nail holes, have a couple to redo as this is not an easy area to on. At least the windscreen was big enough to stand up in and work. This rear window is very difficult to work on in the middle.


46087



That's it for now.

Until next time.

Cheers
 

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Very nice work. (y)

A suggestion.... have you watched any of Fitzee's Fabrication videos?
He does amazing sheet metal repairs with the most basic of tools.

Fitzee's Fabrications

Perhaps this vid might be of some small help...


Cheers!
 

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I too, have always found it curious why rust repair shown on TV and videos seem to not treat the inside and back side of repairs. Is it any worse than the original condition? Why wouldn't you treat the surfaces somehow, ospho and weld through primer, etc., while its open and you have access. I can't see a downside to doing it, but what do I know?

Greta work and attention to detail, as usual. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I too, have always found it curious why rust repair shown on TV and videos seem to not treat the inside and back side of repairs. Is it any worse than the original condition? Why wouldn't you treat the surfaces somehow, ospho and weld through primer, etc., while its open and you have access. I can't see a downside to doing it, but what do I know?

Greta work and attention to detail, as usual. (y)
Hello 70XL,

You know this idea of rust prevention leads to a whole other debate on flipped cars really. For fun I like to peruse Fleece-Bay for 3rd gen galaxies and the like and I see these high dollar cars of which nothing else is really done except a shiny coat of paint. I mean the engine compartment looks terrible the undersides has surface rust or heavier all over and then you know darn well all they did is poke the rust holes inward and fill with plastic filler, sand and paint. It's just a short matter of time before rust invades from the backside once more (99% of externally seen rust starts on the inside) and spoils the paint job. So what did a buyer actually buy for loads of cash? More like a time stamped paint job on a worn out car. This doesn't seem like money well spent to me.

Cheers
 

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More Roof Repair - just kill me now :rolleyes:

This is a long one. So I decided to tackle the welding in the patch panels on the swiss cheese side of the roof. This side made me apprehensive and I admit I procrastinated on it. Till now.

Just to recap.... yuck


46278



I thought about how best to tackle this. My main concern was cutting too much of the roof structure out at once and experiencing metal spring back from the initial stamping process. I decided to tackle the largest section first.


46279



This was round one of many on this hand formed piece of metal. Actually this piece of metal is from a donor galaxie roof skin. I wanted this to ensure it was the same thickness, material and temper in order to minimize any problems in butt welding this together.

But the best laid plans of mice and men......

Initially I had tried to form this using a spoon and exhaust pipe to form the roll over to the side.


46280



I had some success but the roll over wasn't smooth no matter how hard I tried. Now I have bought DVD's from master body craftsman to study and for the life of me I couldn't quite "get it". Now these extremely talented fellows do show how to build elaborate pieces using just a few basic tools. There is one fellow who made brass radiator shells of Rolls Royce quality using a rock and a tree branch. Ok I am being facetious but you get the idea.

After struggling with this for a couple of hours I gave in and bought one Harbor Freights finest....


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Even though it's a cheap Chinesium thing, 15 minutes I was done and it smoothed out the roll over really nicely. Next was to cut a big scary part out of the roof.


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So I cleaned the metal innards and used weld through primer.


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46285




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So I thought I was doing good, but even going slow and taking my time with short welds produced distortion and warping. Moving on...


46287



Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
More Roof Repair - Continued

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46289



The lower corner piece proved to be really challenging due to the curves involved. I had to make a steel die to form the window inlay in.


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It's not pretty but it will work.


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Now this part I found really interesting.


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There's an inner rounded back up piece to that seems to catch any water that leaks past the metal pieces in the corner then funnels that down onto another small tray with a funneled stamping that allows the water to pour on the outer wheel house.


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This is like the game of Mousetrap I used to play as a kid. This is borderline crazy in a car. Now here's a radical idea Ford, why not make the window area actually seal?

It's bad enough there's hardly any protective coatings on the inner structures of these cars and the space between the outer wing/fender and the outer wheel house usually accumulates dirt, dust and debris that holds moisture. Now add a drain/gutter purposely adding water to that and it's no wonder why 99.9% of these cars have rusted rear wheel arches. <shaking head>


46297



continued in next post.
 

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More Roof Repair - Continued

46298



46299



46300



I worked on the weld seems for seemingly days, using the spot welder dent puller, hammer, dolly and shrinking discs.

I needed a break from this side, I had enough and decided to finish the other side. So now the excursion into leading begins.

Originally I found this video from Eastwood Eastwood Leading Video and tried this method. The problem I had is after using baking soda and rinsing after the lead wasn't adhering well in some areas. So I had to redo this with some other kind of method.

Another school of thought is that instead of tinning first, then neutralizing the acid with baking soda, then add lead, was to tin, wipe the excess off then lead the poopers out of are, file/sand then neutralized anything afterwards with baking soda and rinse. I tried this method and it worked.

Of course I had my concerns about leaving trapped acid under the lead, but when I melted out the original Ford lead, the flux was still there in the seam so even Ford tinning, leaded, sanded, then most likely wiped to neutralize then sent the car down the painting line. So if Ford did and it lasted 50+ years, then so shall I.

Now I did find another really good video Trev's Blog on Lead Loading on leading and incorporated his ideas with the Eastwoods approach and came up with a process that seems to work.

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The lower seam is leaded and I filled in a bunch of rust pits in this section as well.

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I removed this portion of the Ford original leading. As you can see there is a little corrosion from the left over flux, but it's superficial and wire brushes right off.

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46304



Now it doesn't have to be plate glass smooth for the roof as it's getting the vinyl top and it will hide some minor sins. The amount of time this takes an rookie ameteur like me is staggering. So I crown thee drivers side done!

46305



Obviously you want to keep the particles of lead as large as possible to keep from getting airborne so I used a large bastard body file modified as noted in Trev's Blog (linked above) and 80 grit sandpaper on a Dura Block and sanded hard and slow.

A couple of notes about leading from what I've learned. First, using a propane torch is a poor idea. You really want a low heat pillow like flame for paddling the lead, especially on a vertical surface. My propane torch was a bear to use because of the concentrated heat in the middle of the flame. I did order that torch attachment from Eastwoods leading video to use on the passenger side. Hopefully it's as good as the video promotes. We'll see.

Secondly, to fill in rust pits, they have to be really clean. Even a wire brush is iffy. So I used my dremel with a tiny point like rotary file and cleaned out the pits like a dentist removes decay from a tooth. That worked a treat the tinning and lead adhered and filled really nicely.

The last and most important part of leading. When you discover you did not put enough down and when you add more to one spot the adjacent spots dish inwards and you find yourself chasing your tail. Easy peasy, don't use a torch for small areas. I used a 300 watt Weller soldering gun. Simply brush on your tinning solution just in the area that needs a bit of lead, use the soldering iron to get the lead stick hot and partially melted to the soldering iron tip then lightly press on the area of missing lead, let the tinning solution clean and let the lead on the soldering iron transfer to the area you need. Lightly and I do mean lightly keep adding and building up. Let the heat of the molten solder on the tip heat the area on the car you need to add to. Any more heating and you risk creating low spots around where you added.

My little trick may not be brilliant nor fast, but it does work.

I still have to do rework to the steel on the passenger side then lead. But at least it's a darn site better off now.

Now about vinyl tops or in this case looks more like a toupee.

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I was just laying this top I bought a while back out on the car to see how things look. Here's where I possibly went wrong. I ordered this top from a catalogue some time back, whilst the seams, window area and roof area seems to be well done and laid out the material itself looks like some cheap crap you'd buy at Walmarts Arts and Crafts centre.

46307



I did more research and found that a vinyl supplier named Haartz supplies a great deal of OEM's with tops for luxury car roofs and convertibles. If OEM's are willing to use this supplier it's probably a safe bet they make something that will last. So I ordered another top from Kee Auto Top and they use Haartz vinyl. So it'll be an interesting to see the comparison when it arrives.

At least I'm getting really close to finishing this roof.

Cheers
 

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depends on how old their patterns are. alot of top makers do good work, but if the patterns are shrunk from dehydration it doesnt matter what materials they use
 

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GM/Ford/Chrysler used different appearing grains on their vinyl. Your 'Walmart' top looks like a Chrysler grain to me.
BTW, you may have to install the headliner before the glass goes in.
 

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More Roof Repair - Continued


...I did more research and found that a vinyl supplier named Haartz supplies a great deal of OEM's with tops for luxury car roofs and convertibles. If OEM's are willing to use this supplier it's probably a safe bet they make something that will last. So I ordered another top from Kee Auto Top and they use Haartz vinyl. So it'll be an interesting to see the comparison when it arrives.

At least I'm getting really close to finishing this roof.

Cheers
All the work looks great! Thanks for the documentation. Learning a bit here and there! Went through most of this with my galaxie--and still at it--but had the support of a friend who helped along the way. Post like this are so great for the weekend warrior restoring, and learning along the way! Thanks XL!

My vinyl top was from mustang market, but years ago, so not sure of their vendor. Assuming it is the same vendor, for the record, I am very happy with it. If helpful to anyone, I believe the Ford texture for the 66 is called Levant?

As a second to Larsofvt, my glass was installed after the vinyl top was installed. Allowed me to wrap the top into the glass channel. Glass and trim fit well after.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
depends on how old their patterns are. alot of top makers do good work, but if the patterns are shrunk from dehydration it doesnt matter what materials they use
Hello extech,

I would think this is more a trivial matter as if the pattern is wrong it's on the top supplier to fix it, besides Kee Tops asked for measurements so they seem eager to work with me and my applications. Now any top supplier can do this, but if the material they source is cheap junk, then truly what's the point as who wants to replace a top every few years.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #20
GM/Ford/Chrysler used different appearing grains on their vinyl. Your 'Walmart' top looks like a Chrysler grain to me.
BTW, you may have to install the headliner before the glass goes in.
Hello LARSOFVT,

My critiquing of the material wasn't so much to do with the grain pattern, although it's not attractive, more the durability of the material used. This material is very thin and has a thin fluffy batting of what looks like loose Dacron on the back of it. This backing does absolutely nothing for strengthening the vinyl integrity. The original vinyl used on the car had what looked like a nylon crosshatch weave embedded in the vinyl. For being the original top on the car, if it wasn't for the rust, the 50+year old top looked nearly brand new still and I would have just kept it on there.

It'll be interesting to see how the Haartz material compares to this cheap stuff. The Haartz top is twice the price. This cheap top I bought reminds me of the chintzy table coverings we used to use at family picnics in the 70's.

Cheers
 
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