Help, please... My convertible top has shrunk

It is getting cold and my vinyl convertible roof has shrunk to the point where I can not put it up!
I have been unemployed for 1 year and can not afford to buy
a new one...
Does anyone know any softeners retail, commercial, industrial or otherwise that I can use to soften and stretch my vinyl top?
I am really desperate!!!
Thanks!
Steve snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
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Can you put the car in a garage, turn a bunch of electric heaters on, get the whole top as warm as possible and then put it up and leave it up. The heat might soften it enough to let it stretch.
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 00:16:21 -0400, "Steve Forrester"

----------------- Jim '88 LX 5.0 (now in car heaven) '89 LX 5.0 vert '99 GT 35th Anniversery Edition - Silver Mods to date - Relocated trunk release to drivers side, shortened throttle cable.
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Just in case it crossed your mind... don't start your car to use the car heater in a closed garage... not if you value your life.
-Mike

cable.
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Mike,
Great suggestion!
Having already employed it to its fullest, I feel I am in need of a chemical answer, i.e., a softener of sorts, to achieve my objective.
Thanks, again!
Steve

throttle
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AZGuy,
Great suggestion!
Having already employed it to its fullest, I feel I am in need of a chemical answer, i.e., a softener of sorts, to achieve my objective.
Thanks, again!
Steve

cable.
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I've tried that and it works, but I can not go through that process every time I drop the top.
I really need a chemical answer, i.e., a softener or conditioner, to achieve my objective.
Any thoughts?
Steve

cable.
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How about get a helper, and both of you just stretch the top as hard as you can until it mates with the windshield... it's possible that two people may be able to yank it hard enough to close the gap. But I suppose if the top is very old, or depending on what it's made of, there is a possibility of splitting something via this method. What is the top made of again? I wonder if soaking it with hot water would help to loosen it up a bit, just enough for you and a helper to stretch the heck out of it and get it to mate with the windshield. Once it is up and clamped in place, of course just leave it up for several weeks at least so that it will stretch out nice. How long was the top down previously? It must have been a while to allow it to shrink so much.
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How about get a helper... EVERY DAY???
What is the top made of again? VINYL
...leave it up for several weeks... BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, DOESN'T LAST
How long was the top down previously? PUT IT DOWN IN THE MORNING AND FA-GET-ABOUT-IT... IT IS DOWN FOR THE COUNT!

you
may
mate
it
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Just curious, what type and year car is this? How old is the top itself? Is it a stock original top, or a replacement? Sounds like maybe it is a cheap replacement top, or perhaps it's just really old...? I would think that good original tops would last a long time before shrinking so bad that they are almost impossible to put up. The top linkage etc is all adjusted correctly, yes? I wonder if there's anything that could be done to the linkage to help give you a little more slack in the top? I am surprised that once the top gets stretched out that it shrinks back so fast... just sounds like the top either never fit right from day one, or is perhaps made from a cheap vinyl that has shrunk way more than it should have. Another idea... just leave the top down all the time and get a good rain coat.
--------------------------------------

COUNT!
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What type and year car is this? 1993 GT
How old is the top itself? Is it a stock original top, or a replacement? ORIGINAL, I AM PRETTY SURE
The top linkage etc is all adjusted correctly, yes? I DO NOT KNOW NOTHING ABOUT "TOP LINKAGE". WHERE CAN I LEARN ABOUT SUCH THINGS?
Another idea... just leave the top down all the time and get a good rain coat. I HAVE GONE THIS ROUTE, TOO. NOW ALL THE ELECTRONICS DO NOT WORK PROPERLY!
Steve

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Hey Steve.... Warm it up. Use a blow dryer or find a way to warm the vinyl on it while it's "relaxing" as you are putting it up..or park it in the sunshine then close it.
Kate
| | | | | | |
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Blow dryers are for sissies! Use a heat gun! Just be careful not to burn anything.
- a l e x

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I've tried that and it works, but I can not go through that process every time I drop the top.
I really need a chemical answer, i.e., a softener or conditioner, to achieve my objective.
Any thoughts?
Steve

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no matter what the ads may say, you canNOT condition vinyl.
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Does anyone have a mirror?
I gotta see this...
Do I really look that stupid???
Steve

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Steve, what's your problem? The Crotch Viper '95 GT www.mantisdesign.com/sam.html (former Modless Wonder #1)
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You're starting to. Using a chemical softener (never heard of such a thing anyway) would degrade the material of the top and you would end up replacing it anyway. My suggestion:
1. Quit whining about it. 2. Get the top up, and leave it up until you can.... 3. Scrape together some money. 4. Have top replaced. 5. Enjoy new top and get on with your life.
Nuff said.
Iggy '01 Dyna Super Glide '96 Mustang GT Convertible Keep your powder dry and don't let your meat-loaf. :o)
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sorry Steve... it's beginning to look that way from here. Not so much stupid, but nieve and stubborn on this side of the glass *grin*
Kate
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Steve,
Put the top up as far as it will go, then park it in the direct sun for an hour. After that, it should regain some of it's "stretch", at least enough to allow you to put it all the way up and latch it in place. If you have to, after it has sat out in the sun for at least an hour or two, you could always have a friend add some body weight to the middle of it to allow it to fold closer to the latching mechanism............
Do not use any sort of chemical on the roof, as you will degrade the material to the point that it will be ruined within a short time period.
Bill S.
Steve Forrester wrote:

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I have stretched it as far as I can using ambient and forced hot air.
Are you saying there are no conditioners or relaxers available to help me?
Thanks!
Steve

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