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Replacing your convertible top with a Robbins Top

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Replacing your convertible top with a Robbins Top

Old 05-09-2019, 06:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: PNW
Posts: 248
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I just finished replacing my top, I want to share a couple notes of information I didn't see in the guides:

-the topsonline instruction video was super helpful, thought it's not 100% complete. I HIGHLY recommend it in addition to this guide. One differentiation they make is to not rivet the rain rail to the new top, that it comes from the factory riveted because that saves the installers time. That's not the case when you're replacing the top in a non-factory setting, and the topsonline instruction video suggests riveting the rain rail can actually create wrinkles that wouldn't otherwise exist.

-my EZon elastic straps were kind of unimpressive. I doubled up with additional elastic. Right now there's a bit of a visible raise from the extra elastic, but I think this will settle once the top stretches out, or the extra elastic can be trimmed off if it causes visual disturbance.

- I used slightly larger rivets in some areas, one step thicker. They worked much better than the rivets sent by EZon.

-the plastic ears behind the driver's and passenger's heads, right where the typical rip starts in the OEM tops --> this is plastic that's cut at a 90 degree angle and it has a SHARP edge. I played around with it and was able to cut a thread with it. SAND THE EDGE OF THIS EAR WHERE IT MAKES CONTACT WITH THE TOP!!!!!! I can't stress this enough. It's sharp and it shouldn't be, it just requires a little extra finishing.

-that horrible 90 degree angle screw position at the base of the b pillar: put a piece of masking tape over the screw in the in the bracket. You can set it in the hole and screw it in slightly with the masking tape on so it won't fall, then pull the masking tape.

-the center console doesn't really snap down to make it fit in with the roll hoops, it becomes flush with the screws. I screwed around with it for 30 min until I gave up trying to make it snap perfectly in, then I realized the screws are what make it flush.

-weldwood contact cement: both topsonline.com and the top installer in my area (classics and exotics) recommended this glue. It WILL NOT stick if you don't put on multiple coats. People are always complaining that the glue doesn't hold their patches. It doesn't hold because the first coat sinks into the material and it's not available to adhere the patch to the top. When you use contact cement or glue on tops, you need multiple coats, waiting 15 min between each. When there's a good coat of glue, after 15 min from your last application, you stick the patch to the top. It sticks instantly and continues curing for 24 hours, but it's never full cured as you can still dissolve it with solvent.


You can see in this picture the difference between one coat and 3 coats. The one on the left was still drying, so after it dried it looked even more dull, meaning that mroe of the visible cement sunk into the fabric reinforcement patch. The one on the left, it applied as is, wouldn't hold up long, whereas the one on the right will adhere and be very difficult if not impossible to remove without solvent.

-my EZon Haartz top has a smaller glass window than the OEM top.

-I broke a clip. My Honda dealer wants $12 for it. Don't break clips.

-I had a hard time getting the rivets out of the top bars. I needed a and I was stressed about getting one of them that fell down near the brushes from the B pillar. I ended up blowing them out of the first bar with a compressed air can (computer duster). I somehow missed part of one, which rolled down and settled above the rubber cap after everything was buttoned up, which I then took out. The easiest method I found for catching rivet backs is to put a piece of adhesive tape on the end of the bar with a hole in it for air to pass through, that when when they fall you don't have to go looking for it. I used this method after I dropped the first one I drilled from the B pillar. Also in the 2nd bar one of the rivets got stuck and wouldn't blow out. To get it out, I got one of these from home depot, it worked like a charm! It's used for fishing wire, and I used it to thread the cable through the top also. It's such a great tool I never knew about until now, and it fits in the top bars perfectly.


...I probably spent 20 hours on this, probably 6 of those figuring out how to get all of the rivet fragments out of the car, but I'm super detailed and triple-checked everything. Looking back, I wish I would have paid someone to do it. I did an excellent job and it looks perfect, but the time I spent wasn't worth it. I just wanted the top out of my apartment and I wanted to take on a project.
ragtophardtop is offline  
Old 05-10-2019, 06:22 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 25
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Excellent review and tips!
I probably spent 20 hours as well, but am still glad I did it myself.
I found getting the Robbins top buttoned up for the first time to be a wee bit frustrating.
To get the seemingly impossible job done, I attached nylon ratcheting straps on each side from the top frame to the bottom of my garage door rail.
I had it buttoned up in minutes...
SkidPad is offline  
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