Moparts Tech Archive
Tech Misc. Info
Vinyl Top Installation
Bob VC has done this installation on his charger and has agreed to let the board use his pics and he will write some instructions on how he did the installation.
Any dents will show through the vinyl. A nicely finished surface is
Clean the roof.
Four spray cans of 3M Super Trim Adhesive -08090 at $14 ea.(Very expensive,
but it works. The top stuck easily in spots I assumed would be dificult.
Follow directions on the can.)
Plastic drop sheets, paper and tape.
Let overspray dry 20 min before trying to remove it. Use material with dry
adhesive on it that will stick to and pull off the overspray.
February 2001 Mopar Muscle has a installation article in it. I deviated
The vinyl is wrinkled from being boxed, and everything I've read insists
upon soaking it in the sun to remove wrinkles and make it workable. The
wrinkles didn't come out. July 26, 2001 ready to start installing the top.
Outside in the sun the black color vinyl was so hot I could not smooth and
position it with my hands. Back inside goes the car. With it 80 in the shade
the vinyl was very flexible and easy to work.
Tape perimeter of the area where vinyl will go to make a defined line where
the adhesive will stop. Trim holes were a perfect guide on the sail
panel/quarter. Half the hole is taped and half open. Stainless under the
roof rail is taped, and not the roof rail. Tape below the windshield pillar
half way under where the small stainless trim would be. Tape the window
chanel where the gasket and window seal to it.
Position the vinyl top on the roof and the pillar seams 2-3" down the
windshield pillars. Measure the two main seams to center it side-side: 1-at
the front of the roof rail to the vinyl seam(over the outside mirrors.) 2-at
the sail panel to the seams(very back over rear window.) Repeat, and recheck
that both sides are the same measurement. Clamp the vinyl top to the window
chanel in the front and rear. What-your windows are in? Use a ratcheting
nylon strap from the front to the rear chanel. Use a softener under the hook
to protect the vinyl.
Spray adhesive down the center front to rear. (Photo 4 shows adhesive not
covering to the front and rear edge. It would be better to do it all now.
Photo 6 shows the unnecessary extra step.) Stand on a chair and lean on the
vinyl at the roof rail to keep it from moving away. Reach under the vinyl in
the center and unfold/roll an inch over the adhesive. Press down and always
away, and work from center to rear. Then from center to front. Unfold an
inch at a time, and repeat-rubbing from center to rear, and center to front.
Inspect the laid area continuously. Rub out high spots. Don't rub-in sharp
wrinkles, just pull up the vinyl and try again. All the wrinkles in the
vinyl came out and don't show after rubbing and pressing by hand.
Protect the vinyl before spraying more adhesive.
The extra step caused by not spraying center fully from front to rear.
Spray adhesive on the roof, and in/on the roof rail, and down the outside of
the sail panel. Do all the broad wide surfaces, and hand rub away from
center toward edges. Use a plastic spatula(or?) and tuck the vinyl down into
the roof drip rail gutter and rub it in. It will stretch to go over the
quarter window curve. Pull down over outside rail edge and rub it on. Finish
the other side.
Pull vinyl straight up to fold back on the finished drip rail vinyl. Cut
with a razor blade from inside the fold straight down and staying flush
against the drip edge.
Make a cut at the back end of the drip rail as relief. Trim the vinyl at the
quarter window corner so there is a half inch to tuck in toward the glass
and stick down. Fold the quarter vinyl back up on it's self and trim the
same way(easy-don't stick the razor into the paint job!) The finished edge
should line up with the center of the holes the stainless trim clips in(top
of the tape.)
Spray adhesive around the top of the rear window chanel and the inner sail
panels. Stick the vinyl from the center of the rear window into the chanel
out toward the corner and stop with the seam in the vinyl. Rub on the first
half inch inside the sail. Then start near the top of the rear window corner
and push/stretch vinyl down into corner a quarter inch at a time. This way
will pull slack from further down the sail up toward the corner. Rub the
sail and chanel down. Trim with razor.
Apply adhesive for front chanel and pillars. Rub the vinyl to the pillar
from top down. Continue from the drip rail down to the bottom of the pillar.
Stick down over the outside of rail.
Work vinyl into the chanel corner with the plastic spatula. Work the rest of
the chanel down pillar, and over to the center of the windshield. Trim
edges. Leave some extra vinyl at the bottom of the pillar. When installing
stainless trim cut it to fit. Get a pin and search for emblem holes, and
trim screw holes.
Removing old vinyl top:
You might need this post before you do the install!!!
And remember, anything under the vinyl will 'show-up' after the car sits in the sun for awhile. So get the top clean before you start.
Registered: Jan 2002
posted 06-24-2002 05:05 PM
My dad and I are going to be removing the beat up vinyl top on my 70 coronet, so I can save some money by doing some of the prep work. I was just looking for some advice on how to do this succesfully. I am not sure how easy it will be to remove the trim pieces and the actual top so any suggestions will be appreciated.
From: Cherry Hill New Jersey USA
Registered: Aug 2001
posted 06-24-2002 05:32 PM
The vinyl top goes under the top windshield trim.Which is clipped on.The other mouldings bolt on.I have used a variable setting heat gun.And a scrap
From: green bay,wisconsin
Registered: Mar 2002
posted 06-24-2002 10:16 PM
im working on a 71 charger as we speak-first time-the hardest part was front and back windshield moldings,like he said they use clips,but they put in when windshield sealant was still wet,so a little difficult,i used a big putty knife or scraper,so i wouldnt bend mouldings.vinyl top just pulled right off no problem,now i have to scrape around windshield and back glass where vinyl was set in sealant.actually went pretty good,now i have to find some molding clips-little white plastic-and some windshield molding clips-ordered from legendary auto,best price,hopefully here in a few days.a little nervous about installing new one,we will see what happens
From: Suburb of Chicago,Illinois,USA
Registered: Dec 2001
posted 06-25-2002 02:19 AM
I've found that once you pull the material off, that acrylic enamel reducer will take the old adhesive off real well.
I used it on a Dart roof and helped my bro-in-law take off adhesive from vinyl decals that had been on his International Scout.
Registered: Feb 2002
posted 06-25-2002 11:46 PM
If you don't know how to pull the trim off without bending it talk to a windshield installer. It is pretty easy if you have a good tool though.
Let your car sit out in the sun until the the top is hot. Start rippin. It should come off in large sections. Use laquer thinner to clean up the goo. You can have it in the shade for that part.
From: staten island, new york USA
Registered: Jan 2002
posted 06-27-2002 01:50 PM
laquer thinner to clean up the goo
info provided by members listed above