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L98 Corvette and LT1 Corvette Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine

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Old 03-10-2005, 12:45 AM   #1
nw92vert
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Default Soft top replacement

I need to replace my '92s soft top. Is this something easy to do in my driveway or garage, or should I seek a professional installation?
If you have any tricks or other recommendations they'd be much appreciated. Also, advice on pricing and sources would also help out.


- Glenn
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:53 AM   #2
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Easy...........No. Doable in your garage..............yup, I did. I had a few threads I started last Spring when I changed mine out with pictures. Guess what........they are all gone and my expectation of Corvette forum fixing things(searches ETC.) are low. So all I can tell you is this.........

It took me about 12 hours to remove the old one, clean off the glue, and prep it for replacement.

It took me about 8-10 hour to glue the new one back up.

And that was with the help of a video.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:57 AM   #3
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I replaced mine in my 90 last summer on my front lawn with a conversion to a glass rear window. If you are halfway mechanically inclined I would do it for sure. If you are going to take the time to do it put a glass window in with the overpriced conversion kit. This overpriced kit contains a few plastic pieces, some velcro, a few rivets and a couple of springs. I took pictures of what this consists of if you're interested.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucks88
Easy...........No. Doable in your garage..............yup, I did.


And that was with the help of a video.
I'm planning on replacing mine in a few weeks...i have read all i can about if from the web and from this forum, and from the helms manual. I was wondering if that video is available for rent? I saw a soft top video from somewhere for $50.00 bucks...i was quoted $600. just for labor from a local shop. i plan on photgraphing this and making an illustrated tech tip out of the process.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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Send me your address and I'll send you out a copy
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:39 PM   #6
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Excuse the interruption, but does anyone here know if there's an adjustment on soft tops to tighten the fabric? My '91 came with a cloth top and glass window, but it's loose on the top between the bows. The windshield and back fasteners are tight and it doesen't leak a drop, but it looks sloppy. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old182
Excuse the interruption, but does anyone here know if there's an adjustment on soft tops to tighten the fabric? My '91 came with a cloth top and glass window, but it's loose on the top between the bows. The windshield and back fasteners are tight and it doesen't leak a drop, but it looks sloppy. Thanks in advance.

No adjustment that I came across.
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:15 PM   #8
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i got my soft top (plastic window) from an ebay vendor for $250. i dont know who it is off hand, but it looks good. i ll know more after the install if it is of good quality. if you pm ill be motivated to look them up...secondly, i got cheap weather stripping (pm me and ill look it up. WS through Ecklers or Mid America was 400 bucks, and i got this for half that. Again, it looks good, but will find out over time if it is crap. i do know this company was very helpful and quick to ship.
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:07 PM   #9
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I'm going to replace my top in a few weeks too, probably during Easter weekend since I'll have a few days off. There is a very detailed process for installing a new convertible top w/glass in the tech tips, I highly recommend you read it before doing your top. I would also like to see a video or pics if someone has them available.
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dock351
i got my soft top (plastic window) from an ebay vendor for $250. i dont know who it is off hand, but it looks good. i ll know more after the install if it is of good quality.
i bought mine off ebay as well.... it was like 200 bucks.. been on a year still looks great!! and for 200 i can replace it 3 times before the cost of the other brands.. but so far if it continues holding up the way it has it will be no problem for years to come
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:17 PM   #11
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I just checked and convertible tops are still available on ebay for $255 w/plastic window and $372 for glass. Seller is kwiktops. For those that have replaced there top, is the headliner separate, and should it also be replaced?
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:38 PM   #12
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I have an 89 and I'm having it done by a trim shop. They quoted me $915.00 that is labor and cloth top with the plastic window. I guess I'm to chicken to do it myself. I will do anything mechanical to the car but when it comes to the top or paint I will have a professional do it. Also it was asked if the headliner has to be replaced. No if it is good shape you can reuse it.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:58 PM   #13
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My top on my 87 needed replacement and I ordered the plastic window and the video "how to" from one of our suppliers and watched it about three times before I thought better about it (there are some cuts to be made that once done are important/irreversable) and hired a shop that does the work for dealers for $200. They did an excellent job and I sent my tape to Julliet who was getting ready to do her 87. I never drive mine with the top up so it gets no use, but, if it were my daily driver I would have spent money on a complete new weather strip kit for it. The weatherstriping is as expensive as the top and the minium you need is the one that seals the bow. My total with the experts doing the install and the one new piece of weatherstrip was $600. It is perfect and wrinkle free and I could have saved money by letting the trim shop buy the top.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:43 PM   #14
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Is there any adjustability in the skeleton structure of the top? I've got a rattle on a bar just behind my left ear that goes away if I move the rubber cover wrapped around that bar.

So, there IS a new top in my future, you ARE making me interested in a DIY job. (I've done EVERYTHING else on this car, why should I stop now?)
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Old 03-12-2005, 09:47 AM   #15
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I do my own work as well, and, wasn't trying to talk anyone out of DIY on the vert top install. I do recommend that you spend the $ for the video and after you watch it you will have a feeling as to if it is something for you. After watching it I decided that I could ruin my new top so I chickened out on this project and went to the pros. Then I learned that they could have saved me money by them furnishing the top. Regards
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Old 03-12-2005, 11:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAZ2
I do my own work as well, and, wasn't trying to talk anyone out of DIY on the vert top install. I do recommend that you spend the $ for the video and after you watch it you will have a feeling as to if it is something for you. After watching it I decided that I could ruin my new top so I chickened out on this project and went to the pros. Then I learned that they could have saved me money by them furnishing the top. Regards
1. Where did you get the video?

2. Where did you buy your top and how much did you pay?
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:41 PM   #17
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I bought the top and video from Ecklers in 2001. I don't recall the price of the top, but, it was more expensive than the $250 on ebay, but, under $400. Before the trim shop would agree to install it they wanted to inspect it. The video was $24.95 and I remember Juliet was talking about doing the install on her 87 and I sent it to her (she insisted on sending me $20)after I determined that it was not my cup of tea. I left the board for a while so I don't know how her install went, but, I'll bet it went great. I don't have the patience to assure that the rear cut and glue would result in the tight fitting top that I wanted. Regards

Last edited by KAZ2; 03-12-2005 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:03 PM   #18
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I'll tell you once you do one of these tops there is no way you would pay someone to do it for you. It really is that easy.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAZ2
I bought the top and video from Ecklers in 2001. The video was $24.95 and I remember Juliet was talking about doing the install on her 87 and I sent it to her (she insisted on sending me $20)after I determined that it was not my cup of tea.
I've checked Ecklers and some other places and cannot locate the video. If someone has a copy of the video I would be will to pay to it.
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:00 PM   #20
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Here is the phone number for Al Knoch Interiors 800-880-8080. I rented a video on how to do this for a C3 I used to own. It went well and looked great!
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:00 PM
 
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