Why are your soft tops so much cheaper than the factory OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) item? Does this mean the quality is not as good?
The main reason our soft tops are lower in price is that we don’t place the same mark-up on our product as the OEM spare parts department. The OEM mark-up generally justified as are Original Manufacturer is the only place you can buy that original soft top, that is unless you know about our great range. It should be clarified that the original car makers like BWM do not actually produce their own tops, the manufacture of these tops is outsourced to Tier 1 suppliers.
Our tops are made in the USA, Germany, and the UK to exacting standards by the biggest and the best in the industry. These manufacturers employ ISO quality control systems and use CNC cutting technologies to ensure the pieces that are sewn together result in an exacting fit.
What do I get in the box, is it a whole new roof?
If purchasing a new soft top, you will receive the outer vinyl or canvas assemble and in some cases a window. No frame or seals are included unless specified in the description. Often a small bag of rivets and components is included if required during the replacement process.
How long will my new top last?
Our soft tops are designed to stand up to the Australian climate however many factors will influence the life span of a soft top. If cared for correctly a new soft top should last in excess of 10 years.
Some of these factors that could vary this life expectancy include:
- Sun exposure - Intense UV light accelerate the degradation of materials
- Frequency of use - The more you put the top up and down the more wear occurs
- Temperature the top is folded up and down - The colder the weather we more wear will be on flexible components
- Environment – If you keep your car in the garage your top will last longer. Note: A top should never be stored folded down for prolonged periods.
Like many things, the better they have been cared for, the longer they will last. See our section on Soft Top Care guide and product to get the most out of your soft top, new or old.
Can I install the soft top myself?
The answer is it depends. Generally speaking, we do not recommend installation by anyone other than a qualified motor trimmer or mechanic. If however, you have a broad experience in disassembling and resembling cars you may well be capable of executing the work. Be warned though, fitting a soft top is not for the novice handyman, it required a lot of time, knowledge, and patience. Some fitting tips are available and included with most tops but these are far from a step-by-step guide and may not be sufficient for the first time installer.
If I choose to install the top myself does it void my warranty and are there any things I need or should know first?
If you fit a top yourself it will not void the warranty provided you have not installed it incorrectly.
To install a soft top you will require a standard set of tools ranging from sockets, spanners, and screwdrivers required for the disassembly and reassembly of your vehicle. Many tops also require a rivet gun, staple gun, and high strength contact adhesive. Furthermore, a temperature-controlled heat gun and steamers may also be required to help alleviate any creases and wrinkles from the top once fitted. The rear guards and boot should also always be covered to prevent any accidental damage to the paint and panels. The last thing to note is, fitting a vinyl soft top or soft top with a vinyl window should be avoided in temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius.
What other bits might I need for the installation of my new top?
There are additional components that can perish as a soft top ages. These include bow straps, quarter pads, tension cables, headliners, and more. Please note that these vary from car to car. We stock many of these parts so be sure to replace these when changing the soft top as they ar dificult to replace after a top has been fitted to the vehicle.
Note, in some cases, we require that bow straps to be replaced on some vehicles to avoid voiding warranty, this is mentioned in the product description and instruction and includes the Honda S2000 and the Nissan 350Z. Both these soft tops come with straps included as part of the kit.
What does Top Only mean?
Top Only refers to the outer front section of the soft top, less the rear glass or plastic window. This implies that the window is sold separately or that the factory item is to be reused.
My top is in great condition but the plastic window is ruined, can I just buy the window?
For many soft tops, we offer the window as a separate item that can be purchased independently to the soft top. If the top you have is a one-piece design, in other words, the window cannot be removed without cutting the top then unfortunately a new top will be required to remedy the perished window.
How do I maintain my soft top to keep it looking like new?
Keeping the tops clean and protected is key to maintaining a new looking top all year round. Please see our section on Soft Top Care.
How do I prevent the plastic window from wear and creasing?
A plastic window can last many years and still look like new if cared for in the correctly. Keeping the window clean is an important part of maintaining its glossy transparent condition. As the window folds down the center creases, quite often on many convertibles it ends up folded back on itself when laying flat in the rear storage position. If the plastic is covered in dust or dirt this dust can work as an abrasive and with the vibration of the vehicle can result in the marring of the outer surface of the plastic. This in turn results in an opaque and worn appearance.
To preventing creasing there are two simple things you can do. Firstly if you lower the soft top in cold weather the plastic is a little stiffer and may not fold correctly down the centre. Keep an eye out for this and if a clean single fold does not occur stop the roof midway and smooth out and creases by hand then continue to lower the roof down. The second fold a towel and lay it down to cover the lower half of the plastic window (at the fold point as the roof is lowered). This will prevent rubbing and the fold in the plastic being as sharp, helping maintaining the condition of the window.
What does “Curtain” mean?
A Curtain is another term for a plastic window and refers to the removable rear transparent section of a soft top.
What is a headliner?
A headliner is the fabric cover that is visible from the inside of the vehicle. Its function is to insulate and reduce noise whilst covering all the straps and mechanisms of a convertible roof. Note: not all vehicles have headliners and the headliner is sold separately to the soft top.
What is a bow and bow strap?
A bow strap connects between the bows in the roof. Bows are the horizontal bars that run left to right to make up the skeleton or frame of the roof. Some straps are elastic and perform an important function in the smooth and reliable operation on the roof assembly.