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Old 07-07-2008, 08:39 PM   #1
VT-RDZSTER
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Default Convertible top problem :: Top separating at the seams

So shortly after I purchased my 2004 350Z roadster (which I love very much) I discovered that the back corners if the convertible top appears to be separating at the seams (images attached). The car has 46,000 miles on it now so it is out of warranty, which means the dealership won't replace it for free. (haven't got to them about this yet)

I have read a few things here and there in this forum about convertible top issues. A few people mention that seam separation issues are common but everything I have read says that people just got the top replaced by the dealership under warranty.

I am looking for alternatives to doing a complete top replacement as I don't really want to pay the entire cost out of pocket (as it is out of warranty). The rest of the top is in good shape and works fine. I was wondering if anyone knew of a glue or adhesive that is specifically for this type of situation or something that would work to close up these splits. If I know what glue or adhesive to use I have determined that I think I could fix this myself because if I open up the top to a specific position I could clamp on a vice grip to hold the two separating pieces pinched together where they split, after applying the glue. I am wondering if I leave it clamped in place for long enough (a couple of hours or so) then it just might hold together and prevent (or slow) it from separating further. The issue currently is slowly getting worse, I've noticed, and I do put raise and lower the top multiple times a day.

I figure it is worth a try before doing an entire top replacement out of pocket. Has anyone, that has maybe experienced this issue, done this successfully? Any suggestions on a glue or adhesive that would work? I am assuming that a glue or adhesive was used originally on the seam that is splitting. I have attached a couple of pictures to show you the splitting of the seams on my top. Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Also... can some people confirm for me if the top is in fact vinyl? That seems to be the consensus but a few insist it is cloth.
Attached Thumbnails
Convertible top problem :: Top separating at the seams-left-side.jpg  Convertible top problem :: Top separating at the seams-right-side.jpg  Convertible top problem :: Top separating at the seams-full-back.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:18 AM   #2
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i've had that same problem, though your right side was a bit more separated than mine.

Luckily I had mine replaced 2 days before my warranty expired. I attributed my separation to the freezing winter, but I could very well be wrong. (Left the car outside during freezing rain, snow, etc. Figured with the water expanding during freezing temps, caused the seams to separate)

From what I understand, we are supposed to use vinyl cleaners. It might appear cloth but it has vinyl underneath...or something like that.

As far as the glue, I don't know if that would work. Opening and closing the top is a pretty "jerking" process. Never know though.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:51 AM   #3
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that is normal... mine had the same issue and on top of that I did not like the blue top on the blue car... I was lucky to find someone on the forum that was parting out his car and was selling his black top.
Now I have a blue roadster with black top that is in perfect shape... Check the classifieds...
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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Yes but be careful as I was scammed out of $300 when I didn't know anything about tops. I bought one off a member here which had the same problem as your pics. Long story short I have not received a refund and bought a new top from topsonline.com. Now I have a new top but it is not opening !
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:09 PM   #5
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My garage kept 04 with only 11k on it has tears starting where the top folds when put down.. I work for a Mercedes-Benz Dealer and if a LOW mileage car comes in that is slightly out of warranty we would "DSA" the work... which means the customer would not pay for it.. Has anyone had this experience? There are quite a few things going on my car that I would have taken care of under warranty...
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:38 PM   #6
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I've never read of anyone being able to repair the top....hopefully someone will have some info to share.

I'm on my third top and starting to see signs of it seperating again (this top is two years old). I think the problem is systemic and Nissan hasn't decided to address it.....but only replace tops under warranty.

A few guys have replaced their top for aftermarket cloth tops. You should search for this (I think the tops cost around $400ish).
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
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Aftermarket Tops cost $549 or $649 brand new, depending on the material. topsonline.com
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenputo
Aftermarket Tops cost $549 or $649 brand new, depending on the material. topsonline.com
yea, but if it is not opening like you said....

i got lucky. i went to see the top as the guy was local. we installed it there.
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Last edited by A3VT 74; 07-10-2008 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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I still have the fourth top on mine, it has lasted about three years now, but is showing signs of wear. If you have to get a new top, request the -G top, because all others have the same issues with splitting at the rear seam.
Aftermarket tops aren't too bad, but I highly suggest having them professionally installed. On a previous car (1998 Sebring convertible), I replaced it myself, but it took what seemed to be an eternity, and tweaking it to get it just right where it would open and close properly, yet stay taut when closed took a lot of patience. Looking at how our tops are installed, it might be worth your sanity to have someone else do the job, not to mention the value of getting the first folding done right.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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Well... I appreciate the replies. I have decided to give my gluing idea a try before I get the top replaced (why not). Stopped at Lowes today in picked up some vice clamps and some multi purpose high adhesive glue that did mention vinyl as a type of material that it can be used on. We will see! I figured out that I can open the top half way to a point where I should be able to put some glue in the points where the top is separating and then clamp the separation together with my vice clamps. I'll probably leave the clamps in place for an hour then remove them and see if it works. I plan to do this sometime this weekend. I'll let all you know how it goes.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:23 AM   #11
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I saw a whole convertiple top on ebay last week for a starting bid of 300 dollars. Maybe check it out on ebaymotors.com. You'll have to search for it, but it may have already completed. Just a thought.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:32 PM   #12
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This "-G" top you speak of, is that part of an OEM part number ??? please elaborate. thanks
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT-RDZSTER View Post
Well... I appreciate the replies. I have decided to give my gluing idea a try before I get the top replaced (why not). Stopped at Lowes today in picked up some vice clamps and some multi purpose high adhesive glue that did mention vinyl as a type of material that it can be used on. We will see! I figured out that I can open the top half way to a point where I should be able to put some glue in the points where the top is separating and then clamp the separation together with my vice clamps. I'll probably leave the clamps in place for an hour then remove them and see if it works. I plan to do this sometime this weekend. I'll let all you know how it goes.
Did this work?
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:11 PM   #14
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Default Same Problem on my 2004

Also wondering if anyone has found an adhesive that does the job. Seems like if you put the top half -way down, you can find a position where the fabric in this corner is not tight, allowing one to glue.

Only problem is finding the right glue. I see one product from K&N, #684 that claims "rubber" to "rubber" and mentions "vinyl tops" as great for bonding. But I have not tried it yet, so looking for anyone that has experience here.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:21 AM   #15
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Default Still living with this problem

Let me know if gluing has worked for anyone. I actually tried doing this myself (twice). The first time I used some glue that was more rubbery than glue (said it worked on vinyl tops). Didn't hold. Ended up leaving a little mess behind but since it was rubbery (like rubber glue) I was able to peel it off clean. I then tried with a super glue type glue. This worked much better and appeared to be holding nicely. Then after about a week it started coming apart again and now I am right back where I started wit the separation. I don't know why they designed these tops this way. Its like there is a pressure point in the corners, right where they attached the two pieces of top material (no wonder it comes apart). Seems like they really could have designed that better. There has to be a glue that works because it looks like the two pieces are glued together to begin with (They def don't look like they were sewn together)

The good news is that it seems my top isn't separating any further than it already has. I have just been living with it at this point.

If anyone got this to works, I would love to know what kind of glue you used.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:54 AM   #16
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See posts 5 and 9 in this thread, I repaired my roof with seam sealer and it's been holding fine, post 9 has a pic of the repair and how I did it.

http://my350z.com/forum/350z-roadste...roof-tear.html
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:49 PM   #17
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I've had the issue with my car for about 2 years now. I plan on buying the hartz top cloth. The cloth looks better than the vinyl tops. I plan on using the DIY guide too for replacement, a few member on here have done it in about 4 hours with no mechanical experience.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:44 AM   #18
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This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:44 AM
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350z, coming, convertible, miami, nissan, problems, repair, replacement, roadster, seam, seams, separating, separation, thread, top



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