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Old 03-04-2014, 06:56 AM   #1
59BlueSilver
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Default 59 soft top

My vinyl has shrank and needs replacement. When I requested a quote from a corvette restorer, he pulled the frame back & forth and said there was too much slop. I assume the pivot points have bushings & screws that wear out. The cost to redo both the frame and top was considerable. Is tightening up the frame and installing weatherstripping something a novice can do, basically get it ready for the upholsterer? Can it be done without removing the frame from the car?
If so, where can I get these replacement bushings and screws, i don't find them in the repos catalogs? Anything else I need to know?
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #2
woodsdesign
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The top frame on solid axels are flimsey to begin with. It sounds to me that he was trying to run up your bill. Check the pivot pins and clips. sometimes they will pop out. Also check the four main attaching bolts. You can replace the pivot pins. Some may be difficult with the canvas on. However, I would take it to another shop. Always ask them if they have experience with C1 tops. You don't want them to go through a learning curve on your car.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #3
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If I remember correctly Woodsdesign is very knowledgeable concerning C1 convertible tops and their installation.
Follow his advice.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:43 AM   #4
Frankie the Fink
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I agree; these tops were hardly put up and down thousands of times a year. It would take a LOT for the pivot points to wear out to the point of being unusable. And there are ways to attempt to stretch your existing vinyl back to where it will latch....if its not too far gone. Leaving it up but unlatched in the hot sun and perhaps some VERY careful attention from a hair dryer might help. I put on a StayFast top so I did't have to deal with the shrinkage problem ever again!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
chris ritchie
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Paragon has a top frame rebuild kit. Their p/n 7515K. Other vendors may also sell something similar.

If the vinyl has shrunk, try leaving it in the sun for some time while you try to latch it. Don't force it. You could break the windshield frame.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #6
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Yes, you need to take the frame off the car.
And yes, this is a job you can do.
Take pics of all the joints before taking it apart.
This is a good time to repaint and replace the
weatherstrip.
Coffman corvette along with Al Knoch has parts and kits.
http://www.coffmancorvette.com/tops.html
Good Luck
Tony
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
59BlueSilver
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I don't think it needs repair, feels stiff enough to me. And because of the shrinkage, i don't think it's been put up in years. Too bad, really, the material seems in really good shape. Last summer, in Texas 98 deg. Heat, I put a conditioner on the vinyl & let it sit in the sun for a day. Didn't help, lacks about 3 to 4" of latching. Two weeks later I left it in a hot garage with bungy cords while on vacation. Still no good, I think it's done.
I will look for an experienced C1 installer and get his opinion & estimate. Hopefully i can find a good one locally. Thanks to you all for your suggestions.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris ritchie View Post
Paragon has a top frame rebuild kit. Their p/n 7515K. Other vendors may also sell something similar.

If the vinyl has shrunk, try leaving it in the sun for some time while you try to latch it. Don't force it. You could break the windshield frame.
Jees, never knew there were that many fasteners! Does that include the ones holding the weatherstrips on also? Just fastener replacement, no reaming required?
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie the Fink View Post
I agree; these tops were hardly put up and down thousands of times a year. It would take a LOT for the pivot points to wear out to the point of being unusable. And there are ways to attempt to stretch your existing vinyl back to where it will latch....if its not too far gone. Leaving it up but unlatched in the hot sun and perhaps some VERY careful attention from a hair dryer might help. I put on a StayFast top so I did't have to deal with the shrinkage problem ever again!
I would love to go with StayFast, but living in Texas you pretty much have to go with white. Tan wouldn't be bad but doesn't go with silver blue. Why can't you get it in white? What else rivals StayFast but comes in white?
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:45 PM   #10
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A few pics of the frame pieces when I restored this one on a '60 a few months ago. I used the repro fastener kit. But this frame was missing the outer links so I had to make my own.

The side weatherstrip uses it's own kit, as well as the header fasteners.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich5962 View Post
A few pics of the frame pieces when I restored this one on a '60 a few months ago. I used the repro fastener kit. But this frame was missing the outer links so I had to make my own.

The side weatherstrip uses it's own kit, as well as the header fasteners.
Love it, looks brand new! The weatherstrip kits comes with fasteners?
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59BlueSilver View Post
Love it, looks brand new! The weatherstrip kits comes with fasteners?
Nope, that's a separate kit with screws and T-nuts. When you buy the rubber kit, that's all you get, the rubber stuff.

Here's a link to a supplier with many items related to your needs.

http://corvette-parts.zip-corvette.c...ible&year=1959

Note there are 3 pages to peruse through.

Rich
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:54 AM   #13
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Again, what other material rivals StayFast but comes in white, or are we back to vinyl?
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