89 Cadillac DeVille with a bad vinyl top

A few years ago, I inherited a 1989 Cadillac DeVille from my grandfather. It had been sitting out in the open for about four years,
undriven, before I got to it. Regardless of that, it runs pretty good and gets me where I need to go, but the vinyl top is completely destroyed. It really can't even be considered vinyl anymore, it's more of a sickly-gray fuzz. This ugly appearance wasn't even really a problem to me, I'm not entering any car shows here, but in the last few months, the roof has started leaking inside. When I first got the car, I could see watermarks on the passenger side where it looked like it had leaked previously, but never saw any actual water coming in. Now it's leaking fairly heavily on the driver's side.
In the past, I kind of kicked around the idea of replacing the vinyl, but it is really impossible for me financially, so I'm now considering removing the old "vinyl," repairing the rust that is there and then repainting it (which would be more cost effective for me, as my brother is well-acquainted with such things, and could provide cheap labor and assistance).
So I guess my question is, has anyone done this? Is there anything I should know? Any problems or complications you had, or better suggestions?? Should I just sell the old girl and get a Yugo?? Any input is greatly appreciated.
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If it were mine, I would strip off the old vinyl, repair the rust, and repaint, just as you mentioned.
There is probably considerable rust under the deteriorated vinyl. Since this is a beater, I would do the minimum necessary to get it dry again.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

I imagine that the roof has probably rusted completely through in spots. I would probably pull the vinyl; clean it up well with a wire wheel and/or 80 grit sandpaper and then lay on a thick coat or POR-15 with a brush. After that you will probably want to sand it smooth again, lay down a thick coat of high build primer, maybe a skim coat of body filler, sand smooth again, then paint as required.
not an easy job, not a particularly good repair (but the easiest one I can think of) and you may find once you get the vinyl off that the car is not worth repairing.
nate
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replying to Ed, johnny wrote: no mine has a bad top as well but does not leak I think you should repair the metal top and get the car a new viynl top installed I have heard they can be installed at most body shop pretty cheap but good quality good luck friend
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