• User avatar
  • User avatar
  • User avatar
  • User avatar
  • User avatar
  • User avatar
User avatar
By Ddedman
#10691
So I am in the middle of doing a rear seat recover ( they are supplying third party cover) for a 73 Mustang convertible. The car is sexy and is owned by a member of a prominent local family with a lot of high dollar mustangs and collectibles. We long story short they want me to install a new (supplied) convertible top on it. I’m Kinda freaking out a little bit. This car has a fair amount of value for one, and for two I have never messed with convertible tops. I have expressed my apprehension to them but they’re still pressing. Should I jump and if I do are the any secrets to convertible tops. I was hoping to cut my teeth for convertible tops on a 73 fiat spider for my wife before but time wont allow that. What would I do?
Click Here to Remove Ads
User avatar
By BigRig
#10692
@Ddedman , what are you going to do if you screw up the top? Do you have the funds to buy a new one for a redo? Realistically you should be prepared to do either a great job, ok job or completely screw it so there is no return.
User avatar
By Ddedman
#10696
Well the goal is to do a great job. I have reached out to them for some more info such as brand of top so I can research a little.
User avatar
By Revv Up
#10699
You could always discuss you will take it as far as your comfort level allows giving you an out if it starts to go sideways, if you want the experience and don’t need the money you can make a deal that if you don’t complete they don’t pay so they can get it done elsewhere.

On the other hand.... let’s say you do it and it’s a complete success, how many more are there for you to do, or is there others in your area doing convertible tops.
John liked this
User avatar
By John
#10728
That some solid advice from @Revv Up.

I would go for it! Changing a convertible top on most cars is fairly easy. The just look complicated because of all the moving parts. On many tops there are side cables with springs to hold the edge tight. Many times these are broken or old and need to be replaced. Also fit the top is stapled on you will most likely need to replace the tack strip. Tops with glass rear windows usually need a new seal.
Does this car have a headliner? The tops with headliners are a bit more difficult.
User avatar
By Ddedman
#10740
Well it's an ez on top going on a 73 mustang. Definitely looks doable if one takes his time. There are alot of steps for sure.
John liked this
User avatar
By hapyrdr
#10743
Take your time. I have put a couple on for myself and one for a friend . getting the pads good and straight an tight makes a lot of it I have one more to do when I get to it I'm building a 63 Dodge dart convertible for my wife . Her first car was a 64 convertible that she drove off of the show room floor but the 63 was as close as I could find. Only difference is I'm putting a hemi in this one
John liked this
User avatar
By Ddedman
#12035
Well the day of reckoning is closing in on doing this top. I am going for it.. Next question is what is the going rate for convertible installs. I realize this is different for different areas. There are not to many businesses willing to do these locally. I actually have another interested party waiting that needs a top installed as well. He is from a prominent rod club in town. Seeing how it would be my first I intend to give them a first time deal. Thinking 1500 might be the amount charged. Does this sound reasonable?
John liked this
User avatar
By John Long
#12036
The average book time for a top and rear curtain will be around 10-12 hours not counting pads, replacing tack strips, etc. You will not put your first top on that quickly, of course, but that will give an idea of what the normal charge might be. There are several YouTube videos on installing tops an that model of Mustang and at least one I have seen for a Cougar.

I just installed my first top and was pleased and surprised at how well it came out. The Mustang will have a hidden tack rail which will make it a bit more complicated than the early Chevy I just finished but I suspect you can do a good job. Even if you are slow and don't make a great profit you will get a great and inexpensive education.

John
John, Cervantes liked this
User avatar
By John
#12050
I dont have a ton of experience with convertible tops. Ive maybe done 10 in my carrier. I have used Ez On, Electron, and Robbins. I had no complaints with any of the tops from these manufactures.
Some times older older cars the manufacturing tolerances of the convertible top frame are not as precise as one would hope or something can be slightly bend / worn out. This is where getting the top to fit nicely can get frustrating and time consuming. Most convertible cars 70s and later go together pretty easy in my experience.
John Long, Cervantes liked this
By Matt Hamblin
#12135
I'd like to add my name in this convertible top conversation if i can. Im in a similar situation. I have never installed a top of any kind and they seem a little daunting with the fitment and frames as well as moving parts. I have already turned down several jobs because i hadn't expected that much interest, being that i live in the midwest near St. Louis, MO. We have cold and nasty seasons so the thought never crossed my mind.

I currently have a guy with 2 mid 2000s VW convertibles that both need tops and full interiors. They could be very good jobs but i am hesitant with the tops. I have started researching and found that EZ On has been the biggest name around here.

I guess my main concern is how they are made. Like what staples or tack strips are there? How the headliners and seals come out and fit. Things I've never seen before. I run into stuff like that a lot but usually its not as important as the roof over their head lol.

Anyway, just glad to see others are venturing out into the unknown as well. Good luck @Ddedman i hope it turns out well. I may just have to take the leap and watch a lot of youtube.
User avatar
By John
#12147
Ive done 2 VWs around that year. Very easy you wont have mush trouble. Cant remember how it was attached but I remember being very surprised how easy it was to replace.
Click Here to Remove Ads & Support the Forum!

We built a custom couch / window seat in our tiny […]

french seams for sure. This was just a mock up si[…]

Foam Saw

I have never used it so my opinion may not be vali[…]

The videos

We are just getting started, but so far we are enj[…]