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Revitalize Vintage Soft Top

Discussion in 'Early Jeep Restoration and Research' started by sixtyfive5, Mar 26, 2023.

  1. Mar 26, 2023
    sixtyfive5

    sixtyfive5 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    83
    This Panorama (brand) top came in the box with my 1970 Renegade I. It seems to be all there, but obviously the windows are shot. I’ve sourced the proper 40 gauge clear vinyl material to replace. I may tackle on my own. Anyone know how to pry away and remove the old clear vinyl that was bonded electronically sealed to the black vinyl edges? Many thanks in advance for any tips. Photo of the top on the Jeep it just draped over. Not yet fitted.

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    577B97C7-9D2E-4B15-8047-6DA49495ECD4.jpeg 6451C882-C019-40BD-BE18-AC9976C2DAC3.jpeg

    EA2BA970-EF00-4A99-807A-DD6D50950DEB.jpeg
     
    Ol Fogie, Beach66Bum and ITLKSEZ like this.
  2. Mar 27, 2023
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Veradale, WA
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  3. Mar 27, 2023
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    Oct 12, 2003
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    The 64 came with a 1976 soft top. The windows are red, like that one. I'll be watching this thread.
    Once I get the body back on, I will need to do something with the top or replace it.

    Dave
     
  4. Mar 27, 2023
    68BuickV6

    68BuickV6 Well-Known Member

    Hesperia, CA.
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    Wow I love the art on that box! Can't wait to see how this turns out.
     
  5. Mar 27, 2023
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    My guess is you will end up cutting the material just along the edge of the heat-weld of the window vinyl, or maybe cut the clear window section leaving the heat weld section for more strength. Possibly you can peel the window vinyl away after careful warming with a heat gun? You don’t have much to loose.
    New window vinyl would likely need to be stitched back, but that may raise more problems if the black fabric is crispy, making a perforated place to tear.
    I’m in an area with a few or more boat top companies that do custom work ($$$$). The clear vinyl they use is a product called Isinglass or Strataglass.
    Before you go to a lot of work, check the stitching thread to see if it is rotting. I remember one of my early tops coming apart at all the seams as the (cotton?) thread rotted out.
    -Donny
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2023
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  6. Mar 27, 2023
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
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    893
    On those old tops, if you pull on the thread, it all unravels. Not sure you can stitch up my old top.

    Dave
     
  7. Mar 27, 2023
    Beach66Bum

    Beach66Bum 1966 Tuxedo Park Mark IV 2024 Sponsor

    Big Island on...
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    What a cool feature, having 2 clear top panels!
     
  8. Mar 27, 2023
    sixtyfive5

    sixtyfive5 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and input! The thread is in great shape and holding well. The black vinyl needs a good cleaning, but it is very pliable and flexible. That’s one of the reasons I want to replace all the window material. It’s a great example of a vintage top that can be saved. I have a brand new super top for my 65 and I just don’t like the new styling as much as the vintage details. I have another top for my 67 but it is in way worse shape. I was surprised how good the material was on this one.

    I have a very good marine canvas shop near me. I will stop in and see what they think it would cost.
     
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