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  #1  
Old 01-31-2003, 09:23 AM
jgilb
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Rag top replacement

I need to replace my rag top. Is it worth trying to do myself. The installation instructions provided at World Upholstery and Trim are 5 pages long. Any help would be appreciated. Also, who can recommend a good replacement top?

Thanks,
Jim
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2003, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
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I have never used this company but have an older catalog from them. It seems to be a reputable company. The link to their website...

www.gahh.com

What model MB do you have?
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2003, 11:42 AM
Steve Gutman's Avatar
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Location: Chicago, IL
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I would give it a try...

I am interested in giving this a try as well. You can buy a top for $400 or so but I have read the installation procedure on the 107 CD and it seems like quite an ordeal. I would like to see another installation procedure as well. But I think installation cost is more than the part and I would be interested in saving the money. Of course I really enjoy fixing my car myself and think I could do it.

What are the difficult or tricky parts? Has anyone here done this job?
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1985 Mercedes 500SL Euro (Gray market)
1995 BMW 520i Euro (Gray market)
1992 BMW 525it Wagon
1994 Honda Del Sol Si
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2003, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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I did this last year. I had gotten a quote from a reputable upholstry shop of $1200 for a new top and installation. So I bought a top for almost $400 from Cabrio World that looks and feels exactly like my old top. I used the instructions from the CD manual to do this. I also read through the instructions from the World Upholstry site. Not a lot of difference that I remember.

You should do a search on this site, because there was a lot of information just last year. A few things I would say are:

Glueing the top to the rear frame is one of the more critical areas that needs to be done right, or the entire installation won't look right. This particular area is also the only area that requires more than one person. It's not hard to do it right, you just need to make sure you align it carefully. Make sure you do a couple of dry-fits before you actually apply the adhesive. That was probably the best advise from the World Upholstry site.

I used 3M Super Trim Adhesive. Great adhesive, but it's a spray, so it was very difficult to use. If I did it again, I would probably switch to 3M Fast Tack Trim Adhesive. It comes in a tube and that would make it much easier to use. Whatever you use, you want it to setup quickly because once you have it in place, you want it to dry in place.

I spent a lot of time prepping my frame. I removed all of the old adhesive by using adhesive remover and a razor blade. This took a lot of time. I don't think I said that enough, this took a lot of time. I think it took me about two weeks, spending about an hour or two a day on it.

Don't get rid of your old top until you're finished. I don't know how many times I had to go back to my old top to see how a certain area was folded, trimmed, etc. The fabric on the rear bow can't overlap into the groove for the rear seal. If it does, the seal will never get/stay in place. You will almost certainly have to trim the flap. Same for the vertical window flaps.

Don't try to do this with the frame on the car. The rear bow and the front header should be done off the car, as well as the inner bows. I did the vertical window edges on the car.
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1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2003, 07:51 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
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Here's a link to Cabrio World .
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2003, 07:24 AM
jgilb
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Thanks Guys, I got some prices for the top and will try it soon.

Jim
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2003, 04:41 PM
Steve Gutman's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
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Remove the frame?

MAHEATH - Do you have to remove the frame, mount the top, then remount the top? I don't recall the CD ROM saying to remove the frame. Is that the recommended procedure?
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1985 Mercedes 500SL Euro (Gray market)
1995 BMW 520i Euro (Gray market)
1992 BMW 525it Wagon
1994 Honda Del Sol Si
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2003, 06:12 PM
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Your correct, the CD-ROM says nothing about this. However, if you're going to be removing the old top and using adhesive remover and a razor blade on the frame to remove the old adhesive, well, you don't want that crap in or on your car. Also, I just found it easier and safer to remove the frame. Two bolts on each side and the frame lifts right out.

This also gave me plenty of time to work on it. I just installed my hardtop while I had the frame out.
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1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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