Experience with vinyl tops??
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  1. #1
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    Experience with vinyl tops??

    Hello all. Did some searching but most vinyl searches yield interior, plastic, trim, and tires.
    What experience do you long time are owners have with preserving the exterior vinyl on tops like used to be popular. They did the roof without any real padding on the 60's and early 70s like some Chevelles and Pontiacs etc and later they did the 3/4 or 1/2 ones and padded them and came down the rear sail panels like on Lincoln Town Cars and I think Cadillacs.

    They are a textured grain like vinyl and the biggest issue I have seen is cracking.
    If you wash them with the wrong stuff It must dry them out terribly and within weeks you will have 1000s or little cracks!
    Back in the late 90s I was told to use a whole bottle (32 oz I think) of Murphy's Oil Soap in a 5 gallon bucket and add water and I think Comet or it could have been Simple Green. Been too long.
    I would think Comet might be too strong and maybe has bleach in it which sound like a drying out recipe for trouble.
    Not sure about Simple Green and drying out vinyl or the many alkaline cleaners like 409, Purple Power, Super Clean, Spray 9 etc.

    I had a friend that had town car with a top detailed at a car wash shop and about a week after the top cracked to pieces.
    I guess a good conditioner might have prevented this but don't want to **** any oils out if vinyl had oils or dry it out etc with cleaners if I don't have to.
    I have a lot of top on a almost 20 year old vehicle that has been garaged kept it whole life and the top is in very good condition. It will be outside a lot in the future and I want to keep the top from cracking so I don't have to attempt installing a new one.

    I know the dealers used to use something with a catchy name. Maybe a generic one the just nicknamed vinyl dressings. They had some that were very shiny and really goopy. I'm ok with goop or whatever. Just want to keep supple and crack free.
    I am one of the minorities that actually like my leather seats inside and doors, dash etc to be super shiny and wet looking.
    Been using the Gold Class Leather spray since I found it about 20 years ago.
    It takes old flat leather and vinyl seats and makes them pop and smells great. I think it is th2 G10916 but don't quote me on that.
    I get frustrated that there are too many similar products from Meguiar's. When I first came across this, I only ever saw it in spray and wipes, then a few years later another bottle came out. Cleaner/conditioner, conditioner, then the supreme shine and a no gloss one....I can't keep them straight.

    Any advice on keeping a vinyl top free from cracking and lasting would be appreciated.

    Thanks to all...

  2. #2
    Registered Member BillyJack's Avatar
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    Re: Experience with vinyl tops??

    I've been detailing since vinyl tops were on about every car produced. Cracking and deterioration were common, often on cars less than five years old. Back then we knew little about preservation. We'd just scrub 'em with whatever got 'em clean, including whitewall cleaner or household cleanser and apply a dressing such as original Armor All or, more often, clear floor wax-type coatings. Cleaning is still important, but today's APC's will handle just about everything. In the Meguiar's line, I'd use Ultimate protectant, applying multiple coats with sufficient drying time to allow the UP to thoroughly soak into the vinyl. Nothing you can apply will heal an already deteriorated vinyl. You can only hope to preserve it.

    Bill

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    Re: Experience with vinyl tops??

    Thanks Bill. This this one is an extremely great condition as it's been inside all of its life and most of that time in a heated garage. It's a little dusty and could use a good cleaning but I don't want to go nuts trying to make it nice and bright at the expense of shorten the life and causing cracks. It's white and color.
    It should look fine with just an occasional mild soap cleaning in a soft brush and rinse it off but since it will see quite a bit of sun now and outside, I want to really get a good conditioner on there regularly to keep it from cracking. I have not used this Ultimate Protectant you mentioned. It sounds like a good product as most of them are.
    So many people are against the goopy or greasy or shiny appearance now. I am completely fine with that on the outside white top and actually prefer it on the inside too but for this purpose I just want whatever will prevent the vinyl from cracking. Once the cracks start you can fill them in with caulking and then spray dye but it's hard to keep chasing your tail and fixing the cracks. You end up removing the top and painting the roof or putting a new top on unless you want it to stand out like a sore thumb.

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