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Old 02-14-2013, 12:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default '65 Vinyl Top Removal; Molding/Drip Rails

Hey everyone, I am new here! I'm 17 and working on my pride and joy 1965 Mustang coupe.
I've recently removed my vinyl top with plans to possible eventually replace it with a new one, and I had a couple of questions concerning the molding and drip rails.

In terms of the molding that is right above the quarter panels on vinyl tops, where exactly can I get replacement retaining clips? When I removed the molding, the "clips" that I found are pieces of plastic screwed on to the sheet metal it appears, shown here:




I broke apart one of the plastic retainers and the screw stayed attached to the body, yet the screw is very brittle and I figure that I'll have a hard time removing them.

Anyone know where I can get retainers similar to the above? Are these even factory? Because a lot of the reproduction moldings have the "screws" attached directly on the stainless steel, but I want to reuse the ones I removed, which don't have the attached mounting points.


While I'm here, does anyone know what I can do to the little strips of metal inside of the drip rails to restore it? I have heard that these are not made anymore and people have a hard time tracking some down, but mine are pretty rusted out and I definitely need to do something with them:

I'd love to hear your experiences with each! Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on the Mustang!

The side molding pieces are held in place by a nut that is on the inside of the car. It's around where the bottom of the sail panel comes down on the headliner. Remove the rear interior panels and pull the bottom of the headliner up, you should see where those posts come into the car and the nuts that hold them. I replaced my trim pieces when I put the new top on and like you said, the posts are molded into the trim. Do you know if your car was a factory vinyl top or did someone add it later?

The pics you posted of the drip rail, did you remove the small metal strips before taking those pics? I'm pretty sure the original strips were aluminum (or some metal other than steel) and shouldn't be rusty, the rust might just be from the drip rails/roof. The metal strip should be held in place with rivets popped thru the drip rail. Was yours like that?
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good luck with your project, post pics and post often.

As for as that metal rail holding down the top in the drip rails.

I'm adding a vinyl top to a car that doesn't have one, I will make those strips out of thin strips of thin aluminum, several possibly, and rivet them in place like the originals.

They will be covered in caulk, so it doesn't matter how it looks underneath, as long as it is doing it's job and holding the top down.

Lynn
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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the metal strip are not required. the glue will hold it down just fine. just make sure they you spray glue in the drip rail and on the vinyl.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was wondering about that. It seems like a good place for water to eventually get trapped under it and leak if the caulking were to fail.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As for the moulding fasteners, you can box them or toss them. The factory mouldings were cast metal, and chrome plated, with cast-in studs, not separate clips. The OE mouldings are available from any Mustang supplier.

It doesn't look like your top had the gutter retainers, either. They were aluminum, about ⁄₈" thick, and ⁄₄" wide, with a ⁄₈" pop rivet at each end. This strip was protected by filling the gutter completely with silicone caulk. You'd probably be OK with just the caulk. One other oddity was the lower front corner of the top, in the gap between the door and fender, was anchored with an upholstery tack.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! I have no idea whether the top was factory or added in later, but now that I know the OE moldings had the studs attached, I'm thinking that the vinyl roof was added in at a later date. The only thing I removed from the drip rails was the outside stainless steel molding that actually shows. As for the strip of metal on the inside, I'll check if they are riveted in later today after school, maybe someone fabricated these?

And for the molding retainers, I'll definitely toss those out now, would it be better to try to find/make clips similar to these or just go ahead and buy new OE moldings with the studs attached? They're not too expensive (~$50) but any money saved is a win for this poor high school student lol
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! I have no idea whether the top was factory or added in later,
Well, we now know it was later. A very common add-on in the 60's and 70's. I once saw a new 70 mach1, red with a white vinyl top. Ew.

but now that I know the OE moldings had the studs attached, I'm thinking that the vinyl roof was added in at a later date. The only thing I removed from the drip rails was the outside stainless steel molding that actually shows. As for the strip of metal on the inside, I'll check if they are riveted in later today after school, maybe someone fabricated these?
You don't have them. Look at your photos again.

And for the molding retainers, I'll definitely toss those out now, would it be better to try to find/make clips similar to these or just go ahead and buy new OE moldings with the studs attached? They're not too expensive (~$50) but any money saved is a win for this poor high school student lol.
Well, the OE mouldings look better anyway. The ones you have were bent bt the installer to fit your car. These were kept by shops for the purpose, and cut to fit. The following day, that shop probably used the same strips on a Chevelle.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If it was a factory vinyl top it should have 4 holes drilled, one each corner of the car, in the windshield window seal area in the top front and rear windshields for the vinyl top seams to be lined up to on the assembly line when they installed the top.

Oh... If it is a factory top, could you please get the the measurements of those holes please..?..

THX,
Lynn
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I looked today, and I didn't see any holes drilled in any corner of the car, so I'm guessing that the top was added in later?

Also, the picture in my first post about the metal inside the drip rails....I inspected further and decided to take it off to investigate and it actually isn't metal at all (oops! ) it turns out its just a type of caulking/sealant, so there turns out to be no strip of metal in there, which further leads me to believe that it isn't factory because I know the factory put in those strips of metal into the drip rails.

And as for the molding retainers, I couldn't find it underneath the headliner area where it theoretically should be, I might just drill them out from the outside if that's practical (I already accidently broke the head of one of the screws off while attempting to remove the plastic "clips", they are so brittle!)
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's what your factory top mouldings will look like-
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0001.jpg (89.7 KB, 22 views)
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I like a well done vinyl top. Odd that with all the retro built new cars lately we havent seen that come back on anything yet. Of course, I also miss vent windows.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well, the retro Mustang is based on the fastback. But you're right, the Camaro and Challenger would be naturals for it.

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey... my look is coming back! Dad was WAY ahead of his time I guess. :-)
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodEspen View Post
I looked today, and I didn't see any holes drilled in any corner of the car, so I'm guessing that the top was added in later?

Also, the picture in my first post about the metal inside the drip rails....I inspected further and decided to take it off to investigate and it actually isn't metal at all (oops! ) it turns out its just a type of caulking/sealant, so there turns out to be no strip of metal in there, which further leads me to believe that it isn't factory because I know the factory put in those strips of metal into the drip rails.

And as for the molding retainers, I couldn't find it underneath the headliner area where it theoretically should be, I might just drill them out from the outside if that's practical (I already accidently broke the head of one of the screws off while attempting to remove the plastic "clips", they are so brittle!)
Not a factory vinyl roof for certain. The caulk/sealant is on every 65 mustang, vinyl top or not. I had a 6 cyl vinyl top car when I was younger. It went to it's doom due to the vinyl top causing the pass side drip rail to rust off the car. I hate vinyl tops, they cause rust.
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