Aspen 4D vinyl roof replacement.

Sub03

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I'm thinking about replacing the vinyl roof on my '77 Aspen once I got it back from winter storage.
Been searcing the web for a while hoping to find a place to order a good quality roof.

Legendary auto interiors and SMS auto fabrics comes up as good places to buy, but does not seem to offer a replacement for F-bodies.

So far I've found these two:

Newstalgia Parts - 1976 - 1980 Dodge Aspen Vinyl Top

<b>Factory Style</b> Full Landau Top for 1976 thru 1980 4 Door Sedan | Topsonline.com


Any of you guys and gals heard of places to order a vinyl roof from? Any advice on where to buy one would be appreciated.
And of course if someone in here has experience/tips on how to tackle the job itself, please chime in with your knowledge...
 

Mikes5thAve

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I've seen the odd vinyl roof kit available but the one car I had done so far I brought in to a local shop. I didn't want to tear in to it myself and have it look like crap or run into problems with the top I bought online not matching the factory style or not fitting properly and I'm sure that would be more of a problem with these cars when they probably don't sell many of them vs a charger or challenger etc where if there are any problems the company making them had lots of chances to correct things.
 

Sub03

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Thank you for responding. That's what I was afraid of, appatently none of the known quality suppliers makes a replacement roof for our cars.
Was hoping someone in here did buy a vinyl roof at some point and could tell me where it was ordered from and if the quality was OK.

I guess a local shop is out of the question over here. If I could find one it will probably set me back half the Aspens value, if not more...
 

Yellowdart

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No experience with aspen vinyl tops, but I have dealt with Topsonline. They were excellent to deal with. they sent me a sample of the cloth, for our Sebring convertible, to confirm the colour, before I ordered, and answered all of my questions, as well.
 

Justwondering

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Just an observation, but you could buy the 'kit' and then audition it for your vehicle.
If its off just a bit, I would imagine a local shop could 'adjust' it for far less money than creating from scratch.
If its way off, resell it on fleabay.
Putting it on is a matter of time and patience (at least it was for me and the fifth avenue landau roof - SMS purchase).
Guess it depends on pocket book and whether its a two-foot beauty or a 22-foot beauty.

JW
 

Mikes5thAve

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I don't know if they can adjust it after its done since they'd be into cutting and redoing stitched seams. You'd think the biggest potential for problems would be around the rear window.
 

Justwondering

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My problem was around the rear window on the left hand side.
The seam had a small curve to it in the wrong direction for the fiberglass bonnet under it.
I just pulled the stitching out and restitched it making sure it was straight.
Far better doing one short seam rather than cutting all the pieces and sewing everything from scratch
JW
 

Sub03

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I've read a lot of different forums and seen a ton of videos lately explaining how to change it. It doesn't look too bad as long as you take your time (you know measure once etc...). I am a little worried about rust underneeth the vinyl, so i really need to adress this just to put my mind at ease. If it isn't too bad I'm gonna blast of the rust spots and treat the roof with rustkiller and prime/paint it.

I will contact SMS to check about tops for F-body in boar grain pattern. Topsonline only offers Elk grain vinyl, but by looking at the pictures on their website I'm sure my old roof is boar grain.

JW: what kind of adhesive did you use on yours?
 

Justwondering

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Contact cement to get the vinyl to stick to the fiberglass bonnet (its a 5th avenue).
Butyl to get the fiberglass bonnet to stick to the car.

There is a post on here from me with many, many pictures about renovating the fifth avenue roof. However, I had the 'luxury' of the bonnet rather than going directly to the car roof.

Might I say, Butyl is not my friend. Waaaaaay sticky.

JW
 

Sub03

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Thanks JW, I read your post(s) about your renovation. Nice job.

The reason I asked is because the internet is giving me all kinds of answers regarding the best glue for the job.
Some say a spray adhesive (3M super 80 or 90) is good enough. Some again is swearing to a couple of brands you have in the US, applied with a paint gun.

Got a picture to show the areas on my roof looking suspicious:

vinyltak.jpg


The yellow arrow is an L-shaped aluminum piece, kind of a drip rail. I suspect it was installed after import so you could attach the ugly 70s roof rack to it. It is actually pop riveted o_O trough drilled holes in the roof panel with a rubber gasket in between. The vinyl is cracked in some areas around the alu-piece.

The red arrow is pointing at some lumps in the vinyl. I understand it is a weld seam on the C-pillar here. Hope it is not too much rust underneath.
 

Mikes5thAve

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My problem was around the rear window on the left hand side.
The seam had a small curve to it in the wrong direction for the fiberglass bonnet under it.
I just pulled the stitching out and restitched it making sure it was straight.
Far better doing one short seam rather than cutting all the pieces and sewing everything from scratch
JW
You're lucky you were able to do it, you usually can't either because of the way it's stitched or getting stuck with the old holes.

I swapped the whole fiberglass cap on one car and kept the old one in case I ever wanted to redo it.
 

Mikes5thAve

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Thanks JW, I read your post(s) about your renovation. Nice job.

The reason I asked is because the internet is giving me all kinds of answers regarding the best glue for the job.
Some say a spray adhesive (3M super 80 or 90) is good enough. Some again is swearing to a couple of brands you have in the US, applied with a paint gun.

Got a picture to show the areas on my roof looking suspicious:

View attachment 48991

The yellow arrow is an L-shaped aluminum piece, kind of a drip rail. I suspect it was installed after import so you could attach the ugly 70s roof rack to it. It is actually pop riveted o_O trough drilled holes in the roof panel with a rubber gasket in between. The vinyl is cracked in some areas around the alu-piece.

The red arrow is pointing at some lumps in the vinyl. I understand it is a weld seam on the C-pillar here. Hope it is not too much rust underneath.
Yes there's a filled seam there.
 

Justwondering

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You're lucky you were able to do it, you usually can't either because of the way it's stitched or getting stuck with the old holes.

I swapped the whole fiberglass cap on one car and kept the old one in case I ever wanted to redo it.
My husband stood there watching me work on the vinyl and then shaking his head he walked away, mumbling.
My bigger mistake was 1. not getting the roof clean enough to get the bonnet to settle just a tad closer - so I have a gap on the left and bottom beneath the rear window (filled with silicone she says in embarrassment) and 2. cutting the vinyl under the rear side window on driver side just a tad bit short at the seam junction (because I always see that tiny little sliver of vinyl I glued in to cover the gap).

Someday, I'll redo it again. AFTER I get the y-pipe installed that's been waiting for 2 years now.

JW
 
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