Author Topic: Soft Top  (Read 8704 times)

athadani

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Soft Top
« on: March 23, 2003, 11:09:12 »
Please tell me how to straighten out the curling soft top corners.

I once read something about this but cannot locate it but believe it was Cees who had contributed the information.

FYI, today I fixed the side pockets US model that were undone at the lower part letting things slip out. I just put self adhesive Velcro tape and they are nicely tight. 10 mintes work.

Thanks
Ashok
280 SL 1970 Grey white

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2003, 14:58:47 »
It is very easy to fix the soft-top corners curling up: when you fold down the top, take care to fold the corners UNDERNEATH the frame. If you don't force them underneath, they will naturally fold upward. Then they sit in the well that way for up to many months (when the hardtop is on). No wonder they stay that way when you put the soft-top back up. The corners of my top pointed upward for years - I thought it was because the top had shrunk. It looked terrible. Then someone told me this trick -which is still not common knowledge- and after only a couple of days of having sat folded down properly, the corners stayed flat and have been that way ever since.
You need to put your fingers in the tight space below the "almost folded down top" as you put it in the well on either side in turn. Difficult to explain but when you look closely at what happens next time you put the top down, you'll see what I mean. I recall someone suggesting you can actually use or make a shoehorn for this procedure to make it easiest. Now the only thing not perfect about my dark blue top is the small chafing marks at the left and right rear along the bottom.
Thanks to Bob Geco I also traced down two products that helped me (1) clean and impregnate the soft-top (from RaggTop), and (2) polish the plastic rear window to new-condition (from Meguiars).

Cees

white 1969 280 SL
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Mark in KS

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2003, 20:48:11 »
Cees is right.  I discovered this technique a couple of weeks ago.  My top was curled, and by pushing the corners under the edge as you fold the top in it's compartment, I've made the corners stay down.  Just one of those 'lil tips.

Mark in KS
1967 230SL

n/a

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2003, 20:14:23 »
Ashok,
Cees is my hero. I had the same problem with outside corners curling up. After a week packed as Cees recommended, I no longer have a problem. Now everytime I put the soft top in its compartment I carefully fold the corners under before closing the cover. And I was afraid that I needed to replace the top.


Regards,
Stan

supergrobi

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2003, 10:23:26 »
cees - did i get it right? so it just is a matter of how you fold down your soft top to keep the edges from curling?

-----------------------
"if all else fails, read the f***ing manual"

280SL 1969, steelblue metallic, Euro 4sp shifter, hard/ softtop,
Becker Grand Prix Cassette Full Stereo, rear jump seat, light grey leather, luckily no headrests...

Richard Madison

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2003, 14:38:40 »
Related soft top problem and solution. My previous soft top had some gashes along the bottom side edge, both sides. I found that the top of outer side edge of the soft top compartment (near the large front spring) was quite sharp and was tearing the top.

I installed a new top. Now before I fold the top up or down, I insert a "shoehorn" between the lower edge of the soft top and the side of the soft top compartment near the springs on both sides. The soft top slides along and down the "shoehorns" not the sharp compartment edge. The "shoehorns" are actually plastic "followers" from a ring binder designed to move pages around the rings. They are hard but flexible plastic, about 10 inches (25 cm)long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide, perfect for the job and the top is still in one piece.

Richard M
1969 280 SL, Tunis Beige, Euro Model (Italy).

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2003, 19:05:16 »
Yes Supergrobi, just follow the instructions posted by Mark (summary of my own, and much easier to understand!) and your folding problem will be solved.
Thanks for that extra tip Richard, I have that same problem with the gashes and was wondering how to attack that next. I know the plastic part you refer to, so will pick up same next possibility.

white 1969 280 SL
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
1968 Ford Mustang 302 V8
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600
1962 FIAT 1500S OSCA convertible
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3
1983 Porsche 944 2.5
1990 Ford Bronco II

n/a

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Re: Soft Top
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2003, 01:43:30 »
Richard,
I made similar "shoe-horns" from a plastic milk jug.
They not only protect the top, but also protect the boot lid seal. where the top rubs past the seal/lip on its way into the compartment.


Regards,
Stan