What if anything do my fellow open car owners
Put on the top. Philip
I've wondered the same thing. Haven't searched an answer yet, still running topless till real winter starts down here.
I hope to get the new top installed on my new bows in the next few days. My car is a '21 Touring. I will be interested to see what info is given here. I'd like to make my top last 100 years as some have. Next time it gets replaced my grandson can deal with it.
This is what I've been using for years. It's made for boaters. My opinion it's like armorall but it's waterproof. It does last for a season.(for me)If it does get wet it doesn't streak on to the paint.
I found these by searching the word "dressing".
I just use the auto parts stores vinyl stuff in the pump spray bottle. Can't remember the name, pretty sure it's a McGuires (sp) product. Works great.
Have used this for years on tops and seat covering, like it.
Whatever you use, make sure it doesn't have any silicone in it. If you have to paint something down the road, you'll know why. Paint and silicone do NOT play well together, at least that's what I've been told by those that know. Dave
I have a very good, skilled, auto top and upholstery friend who has been in the business for 50+ years. Roger has always directed me away from using any top dressing on the cars I have own, new and old.
His advise is to use a soft natural bristle brush, auto soap, wash in a circular motion, and rinse well. Cover the top for storage with a clean soft cover.
I have never had an issue with any car I have owned, and they have always looked good.
When I got my 23 Touring it had been stored uncovered for 5 years. I followed Rogers advise and it looked great after after a couple of washes.
Mothers has a very good product called VLR. Its recommended for use on most leather, vinyl or rubber materials to clean and protect them. It's infused with neatsfoot oil and lanolin blend. It really removes surface dirt and grime and after wiping with a separate cloth leaves protection against cracking, fading and drying.
It's interesting that responses all point to items marketed for cleaning or "slicking up" vinyl. That's as it should be, as I doubt there have been any "leatherette" materials made or sold for auto tops the past 50 years that aren't vinyl.
Time was, "rubberized" fabrics for the purpose were compounded with materials that were a lot like slow-drying paint. They would succumb to UV exposure in time, become brittle, and crack. "Back in the day" a "top dressing" was most likely to be a coating intended to bring some life back into a weathered top, and provide an additional layer of "goop" to continue fighting the elements. About the closest thing we have to that today are vinyl dyes.
The fixed top material on my unrestored '22 Centerdoor was cracked and crazed from years of some type of top dressing. It was not torn anywhere but sags in spots between the support braces. I did not want to replace it but also did not want water getting under the covering and rotting the wood. I decided to give Flex Seal a try and have to admit that it seems to work very well. I cleaned the top off to remove all the accumulated dust and grime and then I brushed it on in a very thin layer spreading it out as much as possible and then I let it dry. The top remained flexible so I used 3 more coats and they filled the cracks and crazing yet left the top flexible. The only thing I don't like is that it has a gloss finish which is inconsistent with the rest of the car that is clearly showing its age.I plan to go over it with scotch bright to see if the gloss can be toned down. If I had a folding top that was no longer waterproof I would give it a try using a very thin coating that would penetrate the fibers. Panasote is rubberized canvas so I expect that Flex Seal is just another coat of rubber. I used less than 1/3 of a quart can to do the entire top in three coats so it really did spread thin. Don't know how well it will stand up to frequent folding and unfolding but I painted a coat of it over wax paper and let it dry t see how flexible it was and was surprised at how well it seem to hold up to twisting and turning.
Val, I remember a post by someone who was going to try a can of spray Flexseal on his radiator leak. I posted to let us know how it worked but didn't see any response.
Sounds like your idea might be a good one for lots of guys adding a little more life to their tops.
Gene,Flexseal be me. Not being very good at soldering Rad. leaks all I did was slow it down, brushed a generous about on the innersole where the weeping was occurring. So far it's holding up
If you're willing to 'brush it on', this may be a possible DIY alternative. Be aware of the silicone. (I just appreciate 'practical frugality'...)
Take Care; Behave; "Don't Shoot!" (and)
I also poured some Flex Seal into a mold to make a grommet and it set up very nicely. I don't know how durable it will be but it seems to have the same consistency as the the grommets that I bought at the local hardware store which did not fit.
George, I think the Ultra Black would have worked very good as well IF you could get the surface clean of oily residue. Guess the hardwest part you had was to be able to coat the back side or areas not accessible.
I think the Flexseal is a copy of Ultra Black by Permatex with a slight change of compounds.
I know you can mold the Ultra Black which cures like a chunk of rubber and is very tough.
Marv, WOW That looks like a great idea... Wonder how good it holds up or if it gets dirty or discolored?
Suppose the leftover "paint mixture" can be stored for any time?
I'd like to try that on some items.
Philip, I have a 1911 T touring that I show and drive. I used a product from Auto-tech called
( Tire-Shine ) on my top and tires for years. It was water based. It did a wonderful job. Spray it on and wipe it off. They discontinued it. It took me a long time to find another product that would work the same way.( that was not chemical based )The new product that I found is
called (Kleen-shine tire and trim dressing ) It is
also water based. I do not like to put chemical
things on my top and tires.