Vinyl top - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Vinyl top

So I've always loved vinyl too cars. No idea why but I do. The mustang I looked at before I bought mine was a red 66 with a black vinyl top and
I loved it. The mustang I currently have is not a vinyl top. What all is involved in adding a vinyl top? I know it's not as simple as slapping one on there, but there isn't much info that I can find on converting to a vinyl top.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 08:59 PM
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For a '66 it's pretty much as simple as obtaining the correct chrome trim pieces for the bottom of the sail panels, drilling the holes, removing the windshield and rear window trim and gluing the vinyl in place. While it may make it easier if you pull the glass I'm of the opinion that it's not ABSOLUTELY necessary.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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So where the chrome trim goes, there is no inset or lead filler that needs to be removed? I believe I read somewhere that it needs to be removed, although I may have read that about another car.

Were the roofs on vinyl cars painted prior to the top going on? I would assume it would be wise the paint stay.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 09:33 PM
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I think the only lead there is at the joint between the sail panel and the quarter and although it may have been omitted on factory-installed vinyl top cars there were PLENTY of dealer installed tops. IIRC, there was no topcoat on the roof under the vinyl. If there is paint already there that is properly applied I can't see where it should be touched, other than with some wax & grease remover.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 01:18 PM
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If the 66 had a vinyl top from the factory the area for the chrome vinyl top trim on the base of the rear quarters was indented from the factory as the 66 coupe i bought about 5 weeks ago had a little rust in that area so i ground it down and low and behold it also had the rivited strips that go in the drip rails and bondo sticking thru on the inside where the chome strips attached. I do not have a vinyl top car here complete to compare how the chrome would look and fit on a non factory job. The roof was not painted the factory color originally as far as i could determine. Wes

Last edited by mustang656man; 04-17-2017 at 01:21 PM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 03:01 PM
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My car is an original vinyl top car per my Marti but has since been removed. I was advised in order to perform a good job, pull both windows and paint the roof. Since the roof will be covered I would imagine any color would suffice since it wont be seen. I would go with a good quality paint since the vinyl is subject to so much environmental changes last thing you need is your paint job messing up on you under the vinyl.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 03:13 PM
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You'll also need to drill the drip rails and source a set of the aluminum channels that rivet in to hold the vinyl in place. I had a vinyl top car and pulled it off due to rust out- don't recall seeing any indents where the lower hockey sticks wrap around from the qtr glass to the back windshield. As easy as it is to pull the glass, I'd never even consider installing a vinyl top without doing so. You'll have to pull the chrome trim anyway, so why not do a complete job- pull the glass and replace the gaskets too. That way you can actually tuck the vinyl down over the edge for a good flat surface to adhere to. Otherwise you could have the potential for water and air to get up under the trim and under your vinyl.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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You'll also need to drill the drip rails and source a set of the aluminum channels that rivet in to hold the vinyl in place. I had a vinyl top car and pulled it off due to rust out- don't recall seeing any indents where the lower hockey sticks wrap around from the qtr glass to the back windshield. As easy as it is to pull the glass, I'd never even consider installing a vinyl top without doing so. You'll have to pull the chrome trim anyway, so why not do a complete job- pull the glass and replace the gaskets too. That way you can actually tuck the vinyl down over the edge for a good flat surface to adhere to. Otherwise you could have the potential for water and air to get up under the trim and under your vinyl.


If I ever converted to vinyl top I would probably pull the glass, it leaks so why not?

I looked on eBay for those aluminum channels, couldn't find any and I don't think they are reproduced either, those will be hard to find I'm sure.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mustang656man View Post
If the 66 had a vinyl top from the factory the area for the chrome vinyl top trim on the base of the rear quarters was indented from the factory as the 66 coupe i bought about 5 weeks ago had a little rust in that area so i ground it down and low and behold it also had the rivited strips that go in the drip rails and bondo sticking thru on the inside where the chome strips attached. I do not have a vinyl top car here complete to compare how the chrome would look and fit on a non factory job. The roof was not painted the factory color originally as far as i could determine. Wes


So where the chrome goes on the top of the rear quarters to the rear window chrome molding was indented?


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 08:30 PM
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So where the chrome goes on the top of the rear quarters to the rear window chrome molding was indented?
No. The window moulding was the same on all cars.

The roof wasn't really indented either. Ford simply didn't bother to fully fill the pinchweld where the roof met the quarter on vinyl top cars. It doesn't matter for your purposes.



The drip rail piece was nothing more than a narrow strip of aluminum band, pop riveted at each end, and completely buried under a thick bead of silicone caulk that completely filled the drip rail channel. You can't even see the aluminum strip after that. Its purpose was to hold down the edge of the vinyl top until the silicone was installed and cured.

At the bottom of the A pillar, partially hidden by the fender, the factory top was tacked in place with an ordinary carpet tack.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 09:12 PM
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So I've always loved vinyl too cars. No idea why but I do.
Vinyl tops do compliment certain colors perfectly. If only they made red vinyl tops...

Hope you go for the install (and post pics)!


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-17-2017, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Vinyl top

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Originally Posted by Varilux View Post
Vinyl tops do compliment certain colors perfectly. If only they made red vinyl tops...



Hope you go for the install (and post pics)!


Red top with silver? I think that would look awesome


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:35 AM
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Please don't add a red top- I think yours looks absolutely perfect as is!!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:54 PM
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Vinyl Top Installation

Maybe this will help. Attached are Installation Instructions for 1965-66 Ford Accessory Vinyl Top.


Bob
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File Type: jpg 1965-66 Vinyl Top I.S. 1888 - 1 of 2.jpg (95.6 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 1965-66 Vinyl Top I.S. 1888 - 2 of 2.jpg (93.7 KB, 10 views)
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 12:50 AM
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When I pulled the vinyl off my car the top was painted. On a 66 the aluminum strip is riveted all the way along the channel not just the ends .

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