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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought my first convertible, and was told the top shrunk. Read that they can be stretched back out. The issue is that the top will not quite close all the way. Short by an inch or so. It will also not go completely down in the boot. Is it more likely that the motor just needs more hydraulic oil? Or do I really need to get a new top?
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The only time I had a top that was short at the windshield and wouldn't retract completely is when the first upholstery shop I hired effed up a brand new top. Never heard of a top shrinking like that and honestly it looks to me like a very poor installation.
 

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You may be able to make some adjustments to the cam bolts that affect the bow position. Sometimes those fall out of whack and will make it not stack or close. You can add some fluid if you feel it's low too, but most likely it has been stored long term with the top down, and that let it shrink to the point that you're fighting it to close. Stretching it back is a long shot, but maybe if you get it closed and put in the heat…

by the way, the sides look poorly adjusted, I think the cables need tightened, those pull the side borders down and straight.
 

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It might never latch but like mentioned, try heat while it's up. Just let it sit with the top up as far as it will go. Putting it down does the motor still make noise just the top doesn't go lower? If that's the case, try when it's half down to pull out the folds. Right or wrong I've always been anal about the top going down as far as it can so i can get the boot cover on it easier so I pull out the one big fold that is in between the 2nd and 3rd bow i think it is. You will see which one I mean when top is stopped part way. If I don't do that the top doesn't go down as far. It's worth a shot on both above.

I will say, I have a boot cover that was new but in a box for 15 yrs when i bought it and that thing had well over and inch to go to each snap. Took time and random people to finally get all the snaps done. Then a yr or so later i took it off for a month and i'm right back to same again almost. I'm going to do as suggested by a local upholstery guy and put it in some warm water sometime and see if that helps to get it to stretch.

Wonder if warm water poured on your top would do anything? Same guy said his top stays down for months and he puts it up and lets it sit for a day or two til it stretches out to latch then puts it back down again. He told me not to try to latch it til it sat a bit. I don't have a real top anymore but do remember that cold days it was a nightmare to get it to stretch any to latch.

Also on the motor, use "type F" if you can find it, transmission fluid. They were originally filled with "type A" which doesn't exist any longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really appreciate all the advice! I think my best move is to take it to a professional shop and let them put it right. Thanks!
 

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The only time I had a top that was short at the windshield and wouldn't retract completely is when the first upholstery shop I hired effed up a brand new top. Never heard of a top shrinking like that and honestly it looks to me like a very poor installation.
I am in the position now. I just got a replacement top put on, and the installer told me to wait for 2 weeks until I take the top off. I did just that, and now the top will not close completely. I am scheduled to go back to that shop tomorrow.
 

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I am in the position now. I just got a replacement top put on, and the installer told me to wait for 2 weeks until I take the top off. I did just that, and now the top will not close completely. I am scheduled to go back to that shop tomorrow.
Best of luck to you. I hope your upholstery shop has more integrity than the one I used.

I went back to the first shop and told him of the issues I was having and demonstrated how the top was difficult to latch, would no longer stack properly and the boot could no longer be snapped into place. I couldn't believe my ears when he said it was because it was an aftermarket boot. I explained to him that it fit perfectly before he did the work and he again said that aftermarket boots don't fit as well as factory stock ones. What??!!! He also said I need to leave it in the hot sun for a while and everything would get better, magically I suppose. Another case of things just fixing themselves when no one is looking.

Second shop explained to me how he cut the top too short causing it to sit too far back on the number one bow and how that affected proper stacking. In addition, there was a 2" wide gap where the top and right quarter panel meet.

All good now though.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Best of luck to you. I hope your upholstery shop has more integrity than the one I used.

I went back to the first shop and told him of the issues I was having and demonstrated how the top was difficult to latch, would no longer stack properly and the boot could no longer be snapped into place. I couldn't believe my ears when he said it was because it was an aftermarket boot. I explained to him that it fit perfectly before he did the work and he again said that aftermarket boots don't fit as well as factory stock ones. What??!!! He also said I need to leave it in the hot sun for a while and everything would get better, magically I suppose. Another case of things just fixing themselves when no one is looking.

Second shop explained to me how he cut the top too short causing it to sit too far back on the number one bow and how that affected proper stacking. In addition, there was a 2" wide gap where the top and right quarter panel meet.

All good now though.

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I do not look forward to the problems associated with a rag top. Didn’t really want one, it was a concession to my wife……
 

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I fully understand that. I thought I wanted one. In hindsight I wish hadn't gotten one.
 
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