How to Install a Car Vinyl Roof

classic car image by Goran Bogicevic from

A vinyl car top on older cars adds a different look to the roof of the car. The vinyl top also protects the roof from rust damage because the vinyl waterproofs the metal and protects it from weathering. When the original car vinyl goes bad, it is important to replace the vinyl right away. This will not only help the car look better, but it will add further protection to the roof.

Unscrew the trim holding the old vinyl top in place. Set the screws and the trim pieces aside.

Pull the old vinyl top away from the roof of the car with a putty knive. Loosen any stubborn adhesive from the surface of the roof with the knife. A small stepladder can help make this task easier.

Wipe a layer of adhesive remover over the car top. Allow the remover to sit for about five minutes, then wipe away the residue with the putty knife. Wash the roof of the car with a degreasing cleaner and work rags. Allow the roof to dry.

Check the roof for signs of rust. If rust exists, sand the rust away with sandpaper, and paint the roof with a rust-inhibiting paint. Allow the paint to dry for two hours.

Place the vinyl car top over the roof. Note the location of the three centre seams. Draw the outline of the seams onto the top of the roof with chalk for a reference line during installation.

Spray the top of the roof with spray adhesive. Place the vinyl top on the roof, making sure the seams line up with the chalk lines. Smooth out the top, making sure the seams stay in line the whole time.

Spray the side mouldings of the car with spray adhesive where the top will overlap along the sides of the cars. Press the vinyl top into place.

Screw the trim pieces back into place along the side of the car to hold the vinyl top in place. Use a power screwdriver to drill through the tough vinyl for a tight and stable fit.

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