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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stu (or anyone else who can help),
Since you're into classic cars, I thought you might be able to help me.

This new (used) car I bought has a black fabric convertible top that needs a bit of a touch-up. I bought a convertible cleaner and that did a great job at getting the dirt out, but it has some faded/worn spots and streaks. I've been looking at restoration products on the internet, but the only one that I found to restore the color (along with waterproofing) is over $100. 98% of the top has good color, so I really just need a touch-up product that will simply put the black back. Our local autoparts store guys look at me like I'm crazy when I ask about it, and a couple of people have suggested black shoe polish... any thoughts? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank Obnoxus and Stu! I thought about dying it, but I didn't want to hurt the fibers or put something on that might run onto the white paint when it rains. I'll check out the website and let you know what I find. You guys are the best! :D :D :D
 

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GEB... find an auto paint supply store in your area.They sell a spray can in just about any color for vinyl tops & convs....I use this stuff all the time,even on interiors on the cars that I sell. I did my daughters Beretta that she kept for 2 year and it never came off.In my area the can cost around $12. Hope this helps,just make sure the top is clean with NO WAX OR AMOURALL ON IT!!!! ;)
 

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Thats the Idea of Dye,,, It wont come off !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks enigma. That sounds like what I'm looking for... does it work on canvas tops, too? Since it's a spray, I suppose you have to mask the surrounding area. I'll look into that further. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I've called around and even those who specialize in canvas tops say that the best thing to do is hit it with some shoe polish until the top needs to be replaced. I've been warned against dyes and sprays because they tend to breakdown the fibers more quickly and the worn spots will take the color differently than the rest of the top.

It looks like it would run about $1100 for a new top (including the window w/defroster) or $800 for just a new top using the old window. Not sure if I want to put out that kind of money right now... I'll wait to see how it does in a downpour first. :eek:

Thanks for all your help... I'll be off to Kmart at lunch time for some black shoe polish! :)
 

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Karen, that is why I recommended the Eastwood products. The spots & stains are something that is usually just ground in. That cleaning solution would probably help most of it. As far as worn area's, all you can really do is to replace them.
Dyes and shoe polish are usually just a quick fix.
Do you keep the car garaged ?
A new top can last 25+ years if kept out of the elements. Mainly cold & snow and then summer sun and humidity do the most damage. If you keep them cleaned and housed as much as possible, they can last ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Stu. I did check out the Eastwood website, and you're right they do have a wide variety of products (I sent you a private msg last night, but your mail box was full). They didn't have anything to restore or replace the color, but they did have some cleaning products. Those products looked similar to what I used on the top to get the majority of it clean and back to black again. I did just hit some of the worn spots with black shoe polish, and it worked fine. I may have to do it again after it rains, so I just stuck the bottle in the glove box.

That's interesting about how long a top should last... 2 of the restoration shops told me that a 6 year old fabric top would be probably need to be replaced in a year or 2 (but then again, consider the source!). I do have a 2 car garage, but Jeff's Cobra owns one half and his tools, etc own the other. We have 5 vehicles and 2 boats and the Cobra's the only one that's protected from the elements... Royalty does have it's privilege! Thanks again for your help! :)
 

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Sounds like they want some business.
If the car sat out all the time and has been totally neglected, I might agree with the 6 year estimate.
There are 2 Chevy Caprice's in town here, one is a '73 and the other is a '76. They both have their original ragtops, in white, and both look like new. But both have always been garaged and maintained. Last I knew, the '76 had less than 50,000 miles on it. So if you can keep them out of the elements and clean, they will last. :)

Ya know, I really need that Cobra !!! :D
 
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