My 86 LTD / Crown Vic has a full vinyl top, not the traditional Crown
Vic half-top. Anyway, I want to take it off and go back to the
standard metal roof. The top has deteriorated to the point where I
can see the metal roof in a couple of spots. It appears to be fine,
and painted the same color as the rest of the car. Any problems with
taking the vinyl top off and going back to the standard roof? thanks!
Not if you don't care how it looks. I doubt you'll get the old roof
off and wind up with paint and trim that doesn't look kind of crappy.
Having a vinyl roof redone usually isn't very expensive and is
probably cheaper then it would cost to clean up the roof and repaint
Thanks for the info. Painting would not be an issue because I'm
planning to have the car repainted when the vinyl top comes off. In
fact, taking off the vinyl top would be part of the painting job. My
concern has more to do with what, if any, body work would have to be
done to areas currently covered by the vinyl top. I heard somewhere
years ago that portions of the roof are not "finished" body-wise when
the car is ordered with a vinyl top.
That's not really an issue. If the car is going to be repainted, then
the work that has to be done where the vinyl is going to be similar to
where there is paint. Of course, you may have to do some extra steps,
like prime it. However, I suspect that there has to be some sort of
finish on it, even if it is missing a coat of paint or clearcoat or
something. Plus the amount of work that needs to be done will have more
to do with rust that is there now than how completely finished the roof was.
This was a 21 year old car. You're getting into antique territory with
it. If you wish to make it into an antique, it might be worth fixing up
right now, including a new vinyl top.
If the car had a vinyl top the steel roof underneath will be painted
so it won't rust, but I'll bet your suspicions are right and they
didn't do a full job of filling in the seams and making it 'exposed
ready' which would add more work. The vinyl top and the padding would
hide all the imperfections.
Plus you'll have to fill in all the holes left when you take off the
chrome edge trim surrounding the vinyl roof - unless you want it to
look like a painted roof car with funny chrome trim around the roof...
Do it the simple way: Strip the roof, paint it, and put the vinyl
top and the surround trim back on. Costs a bit for the vinyl, but I'm
betting it's still cheaper than all the bodywork to fill and finish
the seams and make all the trim go away permanently.
To go better than new, have an upholstery shop make the new vinyl
top out of real convertible top fabric. Will cost more, but will
probably live a lot longer before looking ratty or falling apart.
--<< Bruce >>--
Thanks again for your comments. I tend to agree that there might be
some seam-filling, etc, to do.
By the way, I have no antique-restoration plans for this car. It is
still my daily-use car. It has about 277,000 miles and still spins
like a top. In fact, when it rolls over 300,000 miles I plan to call
Ford Motor Company and invite them to send out a camera crew!
Vinyl roofs are fun to remove on Crown Vics !! :p I am currently restoring
mine and we had to remove the ugly vinyl roof that was still in almost
Other pictures here...
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