vinyl top conundrum

1975 - 1979 Mopars

  1. d9103365

    d9103365 Well-Known Member

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    I want to replace the vinyl top on my 77 Cordoba. The shop I took it to told me that replacing the vinyl top was a major job, and that the side glass (you know, the opera windows) had to be removed, in addition to the headliner and part of the interior just to replace the vinyl top. That doesn't sound right to me. Can anyone advise? Does all this need to be done just to replace a vinyl top?
     
  2. MAGNUM GT XS22L9R

    MAGNUM GT XS22L9R Well-Known Member

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    No, that sounds like there jacking the bill? Would thing just removing the window trim would be enough?
     
  3. deedohaw

    deedohaw Well-Known Member

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    Go see another shop for sure! Only some outer trim should need to be removed... front edge band, opera window trims and rear trim band. If another shop agrees with a simple installation, as we all think... tell everyone you know about the "rip off" crooks where you first asked!
    David
     
  4. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    Taking the opera windows out could only mean they want to wrap the vinyl around and through the opening. Then the glass would have to be sealed against the top material. Talk about leaks!!? The guy couldn't have ever worked on this type of top before. Or, more likely, he was just running off at the mouth to put you in awe of his superior knowledge so you won't balk at the fluffed up bill. A true pro would tell u how easy its gonna be. When u hear "Sure, no problem. We can do that. When do you want it?", that's your guy.
     
  5. 1toolguy

    1toolguy Well-Known Member

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    The opera window trim is actually held in place by small tabs that wrap around the opening in the pillar, and are then held in place by the window seal. If you're careful you can remove the trim without taking the window out (I've done it a few times) BUT, it is impossible to reinstall without removing the glass. As far as removing the headliner and part of the interior goes I believe your 77 is exactly like my 75 and the only thing that needs to be removed are the vinyl covered inserts in the b-pillar covers. These are held in with three screws, two behind the light covers and one in the middle of the top of the window opening. After that one screwed in clip and the tar-like window seal is all that holds the glass in. Park the car outside on a hot day and with one hand on the outside of the glass and another, or a helper, on the inside you can push the glass in. Clean the old sealant from the glass and trim with solvent and reinstall everything in reverse order using the old style "universal" rope style windshield seal you can get for a few bucks at any autoparts store. Frankly this is so easy I'd pull the parts myself, let them install the top and rewinstall everything else my self.
     
  6. chrisd

    chrisd Well-Known Member

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    My dad has done vinyl tops since 1969 and I asked him about it. The answer is yes and no. It depends on the amount of work you want to do. Dad says he never removed a window, but he did remove the trim ring and carefully tucked the vinyl and used a small flat tool to bend the tabs of the trim ring ring back. He doesn't recall one coming back or leaking. The long way around it is to go in and remove the window and wrap the vinyl around.
     
  7. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    Its not impossible to replace the opera window trim with the glass in place. Ive done it. You need to remove the interior panel and bend the tabs straight. You dont even have to do that to get em off, just to put it back together. If you slide it right back through the slots that are left in the sealant goo from removal, all will be well. That being said...Toolguy is right about it being an easy operation; I was just being cheap and lazy. Plus, you gotta be VERY careful bending the trim's tabs. I dont know of a way to fix em once they start breaking off from being bent. Im almost positive I'll have a couple snap off next time I take mine apart. And thats really gonna suck because I've got quite a bit of work into them getting them smoothed-out. I'd have to say removing the glass is not mandatory, but the CORRECT way to do it. I think I just restated what everyone else already said. Duh
     
  8. dobastyle79

    dobastyle79 Active Member

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    Its not 'hard' but when its someone else's car and its easy to break something that kills your profit margin, its easy to see why some shops choose not to do this kind of job. Had it come to my shop we may have said the opera windows need to be re-done, and had a glass man come do that specific part. Its all about sticking to your area of specialty and comfort. The last thing i want to do is crack the back glass or bend the trim and have to replace it. There is no way the headliner has to come apart, nor anything interior related as i can see it. This guy was a little baloney for sure.

    In auto trim a lot of times theres the way the factory did it in assembly order, and then theres a away around that by maybe not going as far as they did. As the customer, would you want it done like the factory, or with a short cut?

    Personally i found a doba the factory didnt mangle, and i like it much better.
     
  9. Night Runner

    Night Runner Well-Known Member

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    The shop that is doing mine next week month also told me they thought the headliner needed to come out, but the roof band slides off after you removed the opera lights and vinyl around the opera window was cut at the edge of the metal from the factory. I found the orginal material online, and they are only charging 300 to re-do it. Top notch shop so I thought 300 was a good deal. Just need the car back from paint.
     
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