Installing a New Top on a New Car
This is one of the most popular restyling techniques for new cars. These roof
treatments give a car a greater touch of class.
Having Auto-Mat Co. do the job is generally more cost effective than having the
dealer handle it for you.
The top consists of a fiberglass shell which is molded for the specific car,
an outer skin, and in most cases, chrome moldings. The skin is laminated to the
shell. The shell is then rivetted and siliconed to the metal roof, and then the
moldings are screwed in place.
Installing a New Top on an Older Car
If you have purchased a previously owned car, or if you are simply ready
to make a change to the look of the car you have owned for a number of
years, installing a Simulated Top will give your car that fresh, new, stylish
look you want.
All the same principles apply to installing a new top on an older car as they
do a new car.
Replacing a Top which is Damaged or Worn
We can replace just the skin or the complete top
Replacing the Wire-on Only
This is the trim above the rear, and sometimes the front, windshield which
has the little chrome end caps at each end. This is usually one of the first
items to wear out. It can be replaced without having to remove or replace the
rest of the top.
Replacing the Skin Only
Like the wireon, the binding on the edge of the top is also likely to be the
first thing to wear out and become undone. However, because it is sewn to the
skin, it cannot be replaced without replacing the entire skin. Likewise, if
the skin has become delaminated from the shell, or if the skin has torn or
discolored, it will have to be completely replaced. Some models have door caps
which would also require replacement.
To replace the skin, the moldings and shell must be removed form the car. The
old skin is then strpped from the shell. Assuming the shell and moldings are
still in good shape, the shell is cleaned and prepped and a new skin is laminated
to it. The shell and moldings are then reinstalled onto the car.
Replacing the Complete Top
Occasionally, a car is in an accident and the shell gets cracked, or the shell
becomes loosened from the metal roof and then blows back and cracks while
driving down the highway.
If this occurs, the entire shell as well as the skin will have to be replaced.
Many colors & design options are available to meet your taste
Vinyl or Cloth
A cloth skin is a more attractive and durable material. A vinyl skin is slightly
easier to clean and is slightly more economical. We always recommend cloth
unless you are replacing a skin which was originally vinyl and you want to
keep it original. Both are available in a wide array of colors.
Full Top or Half Top
Most models are designed to take full tops while some allow the option of a
half top as well. Half tops have front molding/bands with or without integrated
accent lighting. The cost for both is about the same.
If you have a moonroof and choose a full top, the shell is cut out around the
moonroof. If you choose a half top, the shell ends just behind the moonroof.
Ribbed Top or Flush Top
Most shells are made with subtle ridges to simulate the look of a convertible.
Some later model designs also offer low profile, flush shells without the
ridges for a sleeker look.
With or Without Moldings
Most designs incorporate wireon trim and rear chrome moldings. The chrome moldings
smooth or with snap heads. Often with the later model flush designs the wireon
and moldings are left off to further enhance the sleek look.
Vinyl tops have vinyl binding. Cloth tops have the option of vinyl or cloth
binding, or again for that sleeker look, no binding at all, wherein the cloth
is wrapped around the shell.
With or Without Logos
Skins can be made plain or with logos in the rear sail panel/quarter area.
Logos can either be embroidered into the skin, or done as metal emblems which
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