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From digest.v4.n698 Fri Jun 7 17:29:50 1996
From: (Dave Halliday)
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 15:09:33 -0700
Subject: <E30> convertable top patching.


After ripping my top I thought I would try and patch it to until I could get a replacement at a reasonable price. The following might be usefull to others that have tears located by the seems on the top of the top.

The following cross section will be usefull when reading the following.

Back of top ======$$=xxx==========Front of top

                     ^ /###\<------- Inner cloth around strut 
                     | \###//<------ Outer cloth around strut  
                     |  \__/

Location of rip, direction of tear is accross the car (into the page)

### = Cross section through a strut

  1. Cut fabric on the supporting strut below the seam a few inches further out on both sides of the split. This enables the fabric to be unraveled from the strut.
  2. Unravel the fabric from the strut to give you enough fabric to use as a patch that is securly fastened to one side of the split. If the split is to the back of the seam then you only have to unravel the first piece of fabric this has the advantage that the roof is still fully attached to the strut. If the tear is to the front you will have to unravel both bits of fabric, note the front piece is allot shorter.
  3. With the top part open to remove the stress on the fabric clean and contact glue the fabric flap so as to patch the tear.
  4. Leave the glue a good day to dry

Back of top ======$$=xxx==========Front of top

               --------+###\<------- Inner cloth around strut 

5) Close the top.

6) To ensure the patch was waterproof I used a small hot glue gun (the sort that costs a few bucks in drug stores) and filled the rip from the top side ($$ above). I found using the glue gun tip to move the glue around enabled me to place an fairly complete coat over the area of the patch.

7) If both parts of the cloth around the strut had to be unraveled to get at the piece on the side of the split you can now glue the unused flap back to the strut.

Although the roof looks obviously patched it is at least water tight. This whole procedure assumes that your roof is similar to mine.

Dave Halliday.

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