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$1300 to for convertible top replacement??

47129 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  blueskycustom
I have a "98" convertible...good condition replaced the leather seat last year...the top is starting to look a little raged..and going home next month...aftermarket replacement top is about $500(want to switch from tan to black) found a shop here(in Japan) for around $1200-1300 for labor..1800 total...

Is that about average???
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Most upholstery shops, will do the job if they do tops. I had a quote last year, when I replaced the top on my 96 SVT Cobra Convertible. The quote came from a local upholstery shop, and it was for $1200.00 for the installation. Shop around for the top, they can be had for less. Try Mustangs Unlimited, they have two places one in Connecticut, and the other in Georgia. The older tops come in two pieces, the rear curtain (back windshield) and the top itself. If yor curtain is still good, you'll only need the top for around $150.00. Their web-site is (, have an upholstery shop that does convertible tops check your curtain for you before you order your top, Mike. SCT Tuner.:bigthumbsup
I called a place here in Huntsville, AL. $700 for a new top as long as I let them use my old window. That's installed.
They asked me about the window..but it's coming loose so I have to replace it and I want to switch to black...anyway
$1300, yup thats about right, pretty ridiculous in'it?
$1800 would be high here in the states, but is proabably NOT unusual in Japan. As you know, things are expensive there.

Ask around and SHOP around. There can be large price differences between shops.
Yeah, I would shop around and get a few estimates, but that sounds a reasonable price in Japan.
I just want to give you mad props for showing all those rice-mobiles what a REAL car is.
It depends on the job/ seats only cost $500.00 to install but it was a small shop near my house..and it was only 50.00 for the labor for rear brake pads..

I was thinking it would be about 500 to 700 for labor....This shop does work for Beinz, BMW and other he is a little expensive...I'll check around a little..
Does it matter where I buy it?? Mustang Unlimited seems to be the cheapest... Are most of the after-market tops about the same??
Not all aftermarket tops are the same. There can be huge differences in quality and how the thing is put together. Our shop would charge somewhere between 800 and 1800 for a mustang, depending on the top purchased, if the glass is replaced and if you want a new headliner. If you send me a pm I can try to source some tops for you and give an idea of what you should be paying for a good top. As far as labor, it depends. My dad for example, is the only guy in the shop who does tops. He has done it for about 35 years and can charge a good penny because he does it right. It is not unusual for us to re-do several tops a year becuase it is more of an art than anything else and he does it well. Good luck, ar
Quality wise, you might consider a Cobra top - the fabric is nicer than the standard GT vinyl.
Yep, the cloth tops are much nicer. I installed a cheap vinyl top on mine about 3 years ago and the piping edge just over my driver's window is worn from opening and closing the top already. The OEM top held up much better. When I can convince my dad to put in another I will definetly go with cloth, similar to what you would see on a merc or bmw, the mat finish is also nicer IMO.


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I spent about $1100 total for a Sail Cloth Top from my local Upholstery shop.
Next time i will go with the Cobra Cloth Top for a few hundred more, its so worth it!
2009 Prices for convertible tops

Just called our vendor for a good quality top. See pricing below - based on 2000 model year.

Retail vinyl top - $300.00
Retail cloth top - $600.00
Retail rear glass - $350.00
Headliner - $275.00
Our labor charge is around $700.00

If you are replacing just the rear glass, half the top needs to be removed in the rear. Labor should be about $350.00

Broken cables, seals, etc are not included.

Hope this helps, ar
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Price I'm getting is about 330 for Vinyl and 500 for cloth including window....everyone is saying the cloth is better(looks..quality) etc..

I guess I can use my old headliner??
the old headliner can be reused, no problem. you can buy new oem or with additional padding for better sound insulation.
We typically recommend that people get their tops in cloth (they last longer). Top and window installed in cloth runs just over $1k installed in a 4th gen stang. We've been in the convertible top replacement business for a while (25 years experience)
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