How to Repair a Ford Mustang Convertible Top
Many people love the idea of riding through the city or countryside with the car top down and the wind in their hair. Owning a Ford Mustang convertible is a dream for a lot of people. However, unlike with a conventional hardtop vehicle, there are certain aspects of owning a soft top that must be considered. If your Ford Mustang convertible top gets a rip that is a foot or less in length, there are steps you can take to repair it.
Prepare the Car
Close the top of your Mustang and ensure it is locked in place. Place absorbent bath towels directly below the rip to prevent water entering the car through the rip and causing damage to your interior or carpet.
Clean the Convertible Top
It is important that you clean your soft top before you begin any repairs. This will ensure all adhesives adhere to the canvas and that you do not cause more damage. In a large bucket, mix a solution of warm water and dish washing liquid for hand washing. Wash the canvas well to remove any dirt, wax, and oil.
Dry the Canvas Well
You can use soft, absorbent bath towels that do not shed fuzz or plenty of kitchen paper towels to dry the surface. Follow this with the use of a hair dryer. You must make sure the top is thoroughly dry, especially the damaged area. If any moisture remains in the ripped area, it will prevent proper repairing and potentially cause more damage.
Remove any Frayed Threads
The first step to repairing your convertible top is to bring the edges back together. You will need to use either good, sharp scissors or a utility knife to carefully cut away any frayed threads on the edges of the rip. Once your edges are neat and tidy, without removing any canvas, you can tape the rip closed.
Apply 100mph Tape
100mph tape is a special tape that is used for vehicles. It is commonly used in the racing industry to repair small damages during a race. It is called 100mph tape because it can withstand the high velocity pressure that occurs at 100mph. If the rip on your canopy is not large, you may be able to quickly and easily repair it with this tape. Be sure the surface is clean of any dirt and oils, and dry, before applying the tape. 100mph tape is recommended over duct tape due to its ability to withstand wind pressure and moisture.
Sew the Damage
Once you have applied the tape to hold the edges together, you can sew the rip to ensure it remains closed. You will need to use upholstery thread in a matching color to your canvas, and an upholstery needle. Be sure to make your stitches neat, even and side-by-side, drawing the rip closed. Be careful not to pull the stitches so tight that the puncture hole expands.
Seal the Stitches
Once you have sewn the rip closed, apply the upholstery glue along the seam to seal it, and prevent leaking. Depending on what you have purchased, you may or may not need an applicator. If you require an applicator, you can use a small paint brush, or a paint sponge.
Patch the Damage
Once you have closed the rip with the tape and then you have sewn it, applying a patch over the stitches will make the repair job less noticeable and also increases the strength and waterproof aspect. You can get a piece of convertible top canvas from a junk yard, or you can get some canvas from a boat supply shop. Cut the canvas to the size you require. Then apply the patch with fabric or upholstery glue.
Seal the Repair
Using a brush or paint sponge, apply a relatively thick layer of fabric adhesive to the edges of the patch. This will help create a complete seal between the canvas and the patch. The tape, stitching and external patch will protect your interior from water due to rain and snow.
Cover the Stitches
Covering the stitches inside the car not only adds one more layer of protection, but it also is a cosmetic touch. This can be done quick and easy with another piece of 100mph tape. Alternatively, if you want a nicer touch, you can place a patch over the stitches as you did on the exterior of the top.
Unlike a hardtop, a Ford Mustang convertible top has a far greater chance of becoming damaged. Small tears and holes can be easily repaired. You do not necessarily have to replace a top that has some minor damage. If you repair a tear quickly, you can extend the life of your convertible top.