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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I have a '72 coupe with the original vinyl hardtop, and I want to take it off. I have the original ford shop manuals, all 5, and the wiring diagram, but in the instructions on removing the top it says I'd need to remove the back seat, and the headliner, the headliner is in perfect condition so I don't want to ruin it by taking it off. I'm just wondering if there's some other waythat you more experienced guys know of that I can take the vinyl and trim off the roof without doing anything inside?
 

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There's no need to remove the headliner to get the vinyl top off, if you intend on installing a new top. You can just pop off the trim and strip off the top.

Problem is, Ford used a pressed in stud to retain the trim moldings. When you remove the top, these studs will be sticking out all over the roof of your car. To remove them, you'll need to grind them down and most likely weld the holes shut, then grind the welds flat. You should remove the headliner to do this, because you stand a good chance of catching it and the rest of the car on fire when welding.

Headliners are cheap and relatively easy to install if you take your time and be patient. There's alot of adjusting required to get it wrinkle free.

If the tops in good shape and you aren't gung ho on doing the body work required immediately, I'd just leave it alone. There's nothing wrong with having a vinyl top. If it doesn't suit your taste and the car is in nice shape, I'd probably sell it and locate a plain roof car that is more to your liking. Many times, the removal of a vinyl top, while all good intentions, is the start down the path to the boneyard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice, however the boneyard is nowhere in the future of this car, for as long as I own it it will be driven and taken care of. The top is being removed because it was torn in several places by the previous owner thinking he could just tear it all off. Also, I don't have the money to buy a new one right now so I'm going to remove it and the trim for now, and if I like it better without the top I'll probably keep it that way until the day when I can turn it into strictly a nice day driver and a show car. And as for locating another car in this good of shape, I don't think it'd happen for a reasonable price, this car is all original with no real rust to speak of and was given to me by a family friend who also gave us a 1971 F-100 in trade for a 1980 Suburban.
 

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Hemikiller said:
Many times, the removal of a vinyl top, while all good intentions, is the start down the path to the boneyard.
Really, I stripped mine off about 6 to 8 months ago, and it's not on the way to the boneyard. Why would stripping the top kill the car???
 

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Hemikiller is correct about the headliner. You have to take the backseat (top) out also to remove the headliner retainers on the inside sail panels. Headliners are a challenge to install, but easy once you get going. Don't mix up the headliner rods inside the headliner, remember which one goes where. I had an awful time installing mine after I removed my vinyl top.

I would have left it on if it would've been another color. But "Avacado Green" isn't really my style.

When you fill in the holes from the trim, you may want to consider putting a small piece of screening (inside the top) and then using melted lead to fill in, instead of welding to keep from warping the metal.
 
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