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removing a vinyl top

Discussion in 'Oldsmobile Cutlass / 442 / Hurst/Olds' started by fodoimp, Oct 9, 2006.

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  1. fodoimp

    fodoimp Master Mechanic

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    Is removing a vinyl top more work than its worth? What do I have to look out for?
    I want to take mine off but Im afraid that I might open up another can of worms.
    Is the roof finished under the vinyl top
    I have an 86 cutlass
    thanks!
     
  2. D's350GP

    D's350GP Apprentice

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    Removing a vinyl top isnt that hard. You need to be ready for the possibility of rust though, depending on where you live. Once you peel of the actual vinyl there is going to be a spongy material under it thats pretty easy to scrape off. The next part is getting all that adhesive crap thats under it off, this can be easy or hard. You can either scrape at it until you get it all, or you can use rubbing alcohol on it, which will take it right off. Above the rear windows you're gonna find a clay like material covering some shitty welds, you're going to need to get rid of that too. Also there are some small studs that are used to hold the trim on, these you will need to cut off(hack saw, recip saw) and grind down smooth. The last thing to do is bondo the areas where you found that clay filler, and it should be hard to tell your car had a vinyl top at all.
    Clay Filler
    Down to metal
     
  3. fodoimp

    fodoimp Master Mechanic

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    thanks for the info
    what about the window trims do they remain the same
    or should I find a set from a non vinyl top car
    thanks again for the info
     
  4. D's350GP

    D's350GP Apprentice

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    They're the same, just make sure not to scratch them up when taking off the padding.
     
  5. pontiacgp

    pontiacgp Rocket Powered Basset Hound

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    I think the winows trims have a rubber seal on them when there is no vinyl top. Also the there are no studs around the back window to secure the clips to install the chrome trim around the back window
     
  6. edmck82

    edmck82 Not-quite-so-new-guy

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    What do these Landau/carriage tops run? I've seen a few people mention on the other forums that an auto upholstery shop would charge $200-400. The GM parts site claimed that a replacement top runs around $1500 ?
     
  7. GP403

    GP403 Administrator
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    When I had mine done about 2-3 yrs ago it ran ~400 (IIRC) and that was removal/re-install w/ the padded top. (hail!) Unsure where the replacement came from but that $400 was for everything. Was done in a shop in Dubuque IA. hth.
     
  8. edmck82

    edmck82 Not-quite-so-new-guy

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    Thanks ! Was it an upholstery shop?
     
  9. betsy84

    betsy84 Greasemonkey

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    Wrong.. all of it. The Brougham windows fit in fine after the top is removed, just put some dum-dum around where the face of the glass mounts to the exterior and refasten windows into place. There will however be holes where the trim pieces from the top attached to the body. There are studs underneath, but the trim is covered in glue, as is the filler panel between back window and trunk lid. Also, where the sheetmetal for the roof meets underneath where the top was, you will need to remove the lead from out of it, and do whatever you want to fill the gap. Anyways. good luck.
     
  10. jerrycad472

    jerrycad472 Master Mechanic

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    The side windows from the vinyl car will work, but there will be a gap where the vinyl used to tuck underneath. The Non vinyl top cars had an extra rubber around the outside of the window trim that covered the gap (at least on the Regals, and I think all the G-bodys use the same quarter window). I would find some from a non vinyl top car at the junk yard. You can probably get a set with the glass and all for $20.
     
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