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LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: monza66mo ()
Date: August 05, 2022 08:28AM

This is my 5th Corvair but my first rag-top. I have a few questions, if someone would please enlighten me:

1. What's the purpose of the zipper around the window? (Am I supposed to unzip the window in order to fold the top down?)

2. What do you use for cleaner and conditioner?

3. Is it a bad practice to leave the top down for long periods of time?

4. My top seems to be in good condition but there are puckers on the LR corner (the area of what would be a "C pillar")... Can this be stretched and or tightened up?

Any advice for a convertible newbie would be very appreciated.

- Art in Missouri
'66 Monza Vert 110, 4SP, AC

Previous vairs:
63 Monza Coupe
66 Sport Sedan
66 Corsa (clone)
61 Loadside

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: August 05, 2022 11:48AM

monza66mo Wrote: Craig replies in BLUE
-------------------------------------------------------
This is my 5th Corvair but my first rag-top. I have a few questions, if someone would please enlighten me:

1. What's the purpose of the zipper around the window? (Am I supposed to unzip the window in order to fold the top down?)
Two reasons: Fun second mode is top-up, window down. Great ventilation and sounds. Second reason: It's better for the window to unzip (release top from header first) and drop into the well. Cover with towel and then proceed to drop top into well. The window will last longer this way.

2. What do you use for cleaner and conditioner?

3. Is it a bad practice to leave the top down for long periods of time?
Not too bad but they do shrink. When you want to put it back up, do so on a warm day, preferably in the sun. If it's really hard to clamp to the windshield header, just let it sit in the sun partially hooked until the top is good and soft; then finish clamping it.

4. My top seems to be in good condition but there are puckers on the LR corner (the area of what would be a "C pillar")... Can this be stretched and or tightened up?
That's an installation error. Not much you can do about it.

Any advice for a convertible newbie would be very appreciated.
Don't fold the top unless it's clean and dry.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
65 Canadian Monza 4dr 110/PG 40k
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: August 05, 2022 02:48PM

Craig took the words right of my fingers. I leave mine down all summer. When you lower the top, if manual, don't let the plastic hold downs on each side snap in place. Rather hold them back push the top down past the engagement point and let the go into the lock position slowly. If you have and use your boot. Slide a finger under it on each side of each snap, then lift straight up. 303 protectant is a good product to protect from UV. UP or down is best down on a warm, hot, sunny day. ENJOY, warm evenings are more rewarding than bright sun, especially if you get caught in traffic.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: August 05, 2022 02:57PM

In my OPINION, a Manual Top is preferable to a Power Top every day of the week.

When putting the top down, take your time.

Once you release the latches and have raised the top a couple inches, return the latches to the closed position. This can reduce the possibility of damage to the Parade Boot.

I always found unzipping the rear window to be sometimes difficult and not all together necessary if proper care is taken when putting the top down.

Having a Zip Down window is a benefit on a HOT day when one would like the additional breeze while keeping the top up to shelter from the sun.

Once the top is about 1/3 of the way down STOP and take a few moments to straighten out the wrinkles that have occurred at the bends of the fabric and in the rear plastic window if it has not been un-zipped. This will help reduce damage to the top and the window. It also seems to fold down easier and further too.

Repeat this procedure as needed once you resume putting the top down.

Be sure to secure the top in the retaining clips (Manual tops only) to keep it securely in place. IF they are broken or missing, they can be replaced.

Put the Parade Boot in place. Sometimes a little lubricant on the snaps will help prolong the life of the snaps.

Using the Parade Boot looks better in my opinion than not using one. It also helps protect the top when it is down.
Over the years, I have heard to may stories about tops being damaged when down from stray cigarette butts among other things.

In my opinion, it takes longer to put a power top down than a manual top if one takes care to fold the window and fabric as it goes down.
The only time a Power Top has any advantage is if the Parade Boot has not been used and one wants to put the top up.

I usually leave the Parade Boot attached to the back of the rear seat even when the top is up.

When removing the Parade Boot, take care NOT to pull up with a lot of energy, especially on an older boot. One could damage it easily.

When I go to put the top up, I gently unsnap the boot and fold it down over the rear seat back. I then fold either side toward the center of the seat so the ends almost touch.
When the top is up and secured, I then flip the Parade Boot into the window well area while taking care that it does not come in contact with the plastic window.

Last year, I replaced my Parade Boot with one from Clarks and am very happy with it in every way regarding fit, function, and quality.

One other suggestion....Carry a Towel in the car with you at all times because convertibles leak when it rains, more often than they don't.
The nicer you are dressed, the more likely you will get wet so having a towel on your lap would be beneficial. JMO

The towel also comes in handy on those HOT days when the top is down and you get in wearing shorts. The towel can save the "Ouch" on the back of your legs.
The towel can also come in handy on very COLD days by placing it again on the seat to insulate you from the cold seat.
Back when a Corvair convertible was my daily driver, I usually took the towel with me into the house during the winter months so I could have warmer seat when I went out to a cold car.


Something else to consider when driving with the top down.....
When out driving and it begins to rain, it is not always necessary to stop immediately and put the top up.
IF you can maintain enough speed that the wind carries the rain over and out of the interior area, driving with the top down can be fun in the rain.
You can better plan your strategy if on the highway by waiting until you come to an overpass (Bridge) that you can shelter under while putting the top up.
Unfortunately, if you are in an situation where slow speeds and frequent stops are likely, stopping once rain is apparent to put the to up is the wiser course of action.

In the end, Experience will be your teacher. Do what works best for you and your convertible.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe
1965 Monza Coupe
1965 Monza Convertible
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: August 05, 2022 03:06PM

Some wax on the snaps helps them work smoother also.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: monza66mo ()
Date: August 05, 2022 04:09PM

Great tips and advice. Thanks guys thumbs up

- Art in Missouri
'66 Monza Vert 110, 4SP, AC

Previous vairs:
63 Monza Coupe
66 Sport Sedan
66 Corsa (clone)
61 Loadside

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: Layton Curtis ()
Date: August 05, 2022 05:16PM

Carry a pocket knife in case you have to remove the parade cover. I never put any undue force on some of the snaps that fit tight but rather i put the knife blade as close to the snap as I can and pry.

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: August 05, 2022 05:39PM

Rubbing candle wax on the rear-window zipper teeth can help the zipper glide better, if your ever wants to become difficult.
Some people use silicone spray, but I am not sure if the is really good on the fabric parts.
.
Just for the record,
Our cars simply have a "Top-Boot".
A proper "Parade Boot" is made of hard fiberglass, that can support the weight of a person sitting on it, ala Beauty Queens, Mayors, and other Self-Important Elitists, placed on display for the general public's adoration.

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WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border, I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

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Re: LM Manual Convertible Top Tips
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: August 05, 2022 06:16PM

I use zipper wax designed for use on wet suit zippers, works well, no harm

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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