I have a 2007 Mustang convertible. The edging on the sides of the top is cracking and separating. The top is in perfect shape except for that. Does anyone know if the edging can be repaired or replaced with the top on the car? It would be a shame to replace the whole top just because of the edging.
The top is vinyl. I am afraid of the cost if they have to remove it as well as the chance of getting a bad re-install job
I would switch to cloth and have someone replace it, if you want to get rid of the cracks. Cloth tops are so much better than vinyl, now-a-days. A good shop should make it look like factory, when done. Anything less, don't pay until you are happy.
Cloth tops are the BEST, but only if its the 'stayfast' material...not cotton or canvas. Thats the 'fluffy' looking tops you see on all high end cars like Mercedes, BMW, Corvette, etc. When wet they look like their soaking wet, but actually the best there is. Ive had a couple of early 70s Mercedes SL convertibles and the original soft tops (Stafast) were nearly like new. As for yours, Id ask a local upholstery shop if they can sew an new edge on them. That was the only thing on my Sebring that didnt look mint. Just like yours, it had a few minor cracks in the edges right where it folded.
Stayfast is canvas... it's just Haartz's brand name for it. Similar to Sonnendeck or Sonnenland. Pretty sure any old Mercedes would have used Sonnenland originally, as that's OG German material. Highly unlikely it would have been Stayfast.
[This message has been edited by thesameguy (edited 09-26-2014).]
I dont know if all the high end cars are Stafast, maybe thats just a brand name. And maybe Stafast is a type of canvas. Ive had older cars with a canvas top and they were nothing like the Stafast tops....like comparing a sheet of paper to a sheet of aluminum. I had a Ford Sunliner with a canvas top and after a freeway run, it drooped like a western Conestoga wagon. Also got brittle and cracked in 2 years. Whatever the brand, the fuzzy looking, water sopping tops Im talking about are 100 times better.
Stayfast is a type of canvas - what makes it special is that it's a three-layer bonded topping - acrylic, rubber (butyl, I think), cotton cloth. The layers help it insulate and keep its shape in a way that single layer vinyl or cloth cannot. Sonnenland is similar, but has a richer history, better build (higher threadcount) and is and has been OE for pretty much forever on all high end cars. Both are made by Haartz today - but I think Sonnenland is by acquisition. Sonnenland is the higher end material, but I think it's less to do with performance and more to do with feel. There are other three layer toppings, including Sonnendeck which, for all intents and purposes, it s hybrid between Stayfast (low end) and Sonnenland (high end).
It used to be plenty of cars came with single layer tops, but as expectations for thermal and acoustic performance have increased, more cars come only with three layers. Stayfast was Haartz's way of bringing Sonnenland "way" downmarket in order to fill that gap. That is not to disparage Stayfast - it's good stuff - but it's just the beginning for a high-end top.
That's a lot of rambling, but my point is any classic European motor will be Sonnenland or maybe Sonnendeck. Many modern mass-market cars (like the Miata) will be Stayfast. All are great options, and unless you plan on never driving with the top up I wouldn't even consider anything but a three layer top. Single layer tops are for super tight budgets, by-the-book restorations, and people who don't know any better. As you say, once you've enjoyed a three layer top there's no going back.
A friend with a Mustang conv was going to buy a new top from J.C. Whitney and I talked him into checking out some late model junkyards instead. He got a cloth top in excellent condition, complete, with bows, window and rubbers for $300 and put it on in an afternoon. Looks original because it is.
I had a Haartz top put on my 2000 TA about 18 months ago. It's canvas, same as OEM. Find a good upholstery shop that does convertible tops and they may be able to repair it. If the top has to come off, you might as well replace it at that point. When I did mine I put on a new top but re-used the original headliner since it was still in near mint condition.