I have an 86 Convertiable that has had a lack of care. The Convertiable top portion is in good condition with a small tear at the stable line so I have decided to just replace the back window section.
What is the best way to repair a small tear in the top? I was thinking a piece of the top with an adhesive. But what kind of adhesive or glue should I use?
As for care what is the best way to preserve the top material itself, to keep it clean restore and help it last?
Thanks in advance for any answers.
I would evaluate the whole top with a critical eye before making repairs.
If the current tear is really a "wear through", then you probably have multiple spots (they will look shiny or frayed) where the same thing is about to happen. Better to just replace the whole top if that is the case. Putting additional money and time into a worn out top is a waste.
If you ARE just looking at a small tear, you can try a vinyl repair kit - this will work if you have access to the back of the fabric.
You can also take the car to an auto upholstery shop and see what they say about doing a repair. Sometimes sewing in a patch is the best alternative, and they can do this.
Given the age of the car, I suspect the top is in need of replacement, frankly.
As for care for the top, the main damange done is from two sources:
1. Dumb owners. Piling junk into the well where the top stores itself when its down is a sure-fire way of ruining a top. Raising and lowering the top when the car is moving? Dumb. Over-stuffing the trunk with stuff that can poke the top is another duh moment.
2. The Sun. UV rays kill convertible tops. Simple as that. If you have a garage or carport, it helps a lot. Otherwise find a good UV protectant and keep the top treated (at least once a month, believe it or not), but even then, the Sun will cook that top eventually. Mother's and Meguiar's make good products for this.