Instructions for Installing a Convertible Top


When installing a convertible car top, you must realize that the exact procedure will always vary for each model. Following the exact instructions provided or consulting a professional expert in this field is always recommended. If the old car top has been removed, you will have certain items like trim and metal strips you must use with the new top.

Attaching the Rear Curtain

  • Find and mark the center of the car's rear bow; there should be a small notch at the top of the center. Staple the top strip of the rear curtain to the rear bow at the center of each and align the edges of the curtain and the rear bow together. As you staple the curtain to the rear bow at the top edge, pull the curtain outward to smooth out any wrinkles. Now staple the curtain to the rear tack strip, starting in the center by aligning the curtain's center hole with the tack strip's center hole. The front of the car's top frame is latched in place; you need to unlatch it and then brace it a foot high with a block of wood or something similar. Now bolt in the tack strip with one bolt in the center and one at each end of the curtain; adding two more bolts in between the others can help. Remove the brace and latch the top frame back in place.

Aligning the Top

  • Laying the car's old top on top of the new one will help you gauge where the top fits over the rear tack strip. Mark either the locations where the bolt holes will be or where the rear tack strip's top edge will hit the top. Lay the top over the car frame, align it properly and slide in any metal strips from the old top's listings into the new top's listings. To pull the top's side cable through its side pocket , use a wire or coat hanger bent into a U at one end; slide the wire through the pocket and grab the cable so you can pull it back out. You can now attach these cables to their correct positions on the car frame by temporarily raising the top frame; make sure the cables are tight and aligning the top from side to side.


  • To place the quarter flaps, slide the top forward or backward and make sure the flaps' seams line up with the top frame. Start stapling the rear flaps to the rear tack strip at the end of the strip, then pull and stretch the flap around the bend in the tack strip before stapling the other end. Stretch the top toward the tack strip at the rear curve, using your alignment marks as a guide, and staple the top to the strip in that location. Once there are enough staples to hold the top in place across the entire car, bolt the rear tack strip in place like you did earlier.

Final Positioning

  • Pull the top toward the front of the car to smooth out wrinkles and mark where the top meets the frame's front edge on both sides. Pull and fold the front of the top around the front bow, pulling it a half inch past the bow's front edge, then staple between the outer edge. You can now shut and latch the top. You can now staple the car's top header seal to the front edge, glue the quarter and side flaps in place with contact cement and install the weatherstrips and well liner.

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