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Old 01-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
gag
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Convertible Top Problem - Dislocated

Yesterday I was going down the freeway at about 80 when all of a sudden my convertible top popped open. Since I was going pretty fast the wind caught it and pushed it back in the air quite a bit. I immediately slowed down and stopped in order to pop it back down and of course it didn't fit properly back in.

The problem that I have is that when I try to prop my convertible top back on, there is a small gap between the convertible top and the window, and the two hooks (left & right) don't align to the little hole were they are supposed to hook into.

Can someone please tell me what can I do to make my convertible top align properly again? ( All the help will be sincerely appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Can someone please tell me what can I do to make my convertible top align properly again? ( All the help will be sincerely appreciated.
Probably not what you want to hear, but 80mph is a lot of wind force. You MIGHT be able to re-bend some stuff to get it to line up and close, but I'm afraid that you're going to have leaks and it will never properly seal ever again. Unless your Sky is a dry weather driver only you might want to look for a complete replacement. Haven't looked lately, but they used to go for around $1500.

Btw, sorry that happened to you.

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Old 01-03-2013, 09:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There was another thread like this not long ago. Is it even possible for that to happen if it's latched properly? After reading that other thread, I double check to ensure it's latched after I raise the top.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds to me as if when you latched the top, the pins were not in the position that they were suppose to be, therefore when you latched it, you missed the locking catch mechanism. The pins don't always line up perfectly when raising the top and may require a little manipulation to aline them, especially if the top has been down for a long duration of time. I think that the top may shrink slightly when down for a long period of time. requiring a bit more pressure to align the pins and close the latch so that it catches the locking mechanism.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bradwpe - thanks for the info. I was afraid I had to hear that. I was hoping that maybe there was only some parts damaged that I could replace in order to fix my aligment issues.

gladmaker - I thought I had it latched properly, but maybe I was wrong. I can't think of any other way of the convertible top flying up unless it's not latched properly. (Or unless the latching system is also faulty?) do you think you can maybe post the link to that other thread that discusses the problem similar to mine?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would think if it wasnt lined up properly u would have heard it befor it popped on you i have owned six different convertables some soft top some hadrtop and a few with both and if the top ist secured rite you hear it especially at 80mph
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A properly latched top can not come open. If the latch mechansim is engaged unless there is a failure, the force required to overcome the latching mechanism can not be generated due to strictly aero forces.

Take a look at the latch hook. Many of us have improperly stowed the top in the trunk and bent the latching hook. The proper way is to unlatch the top and store it in the trunk. If you unlatch the top then move the top to the rear AND return the latch handle to the locked position, when you seat the top in the trunk, the latch hook will be exposed. When you close the trunk, the latch hook will be deformed.

In my case, I found this out when I went to put the top up and the hook would not engage. At all. When I slammed the trunk with the latch hook "out" it bent the crap out of it so the lock would not engage at all.

It is remotely possible that your hook was bent enough to compromise its latching strength but not so much to cause it to fail to engage.

Take a careful look at the hook and see if it is straight or slightly bent upward. This might explain why it failed at speed.

If the guide pins are not in the holes in the windshield frame, the hook will not engage. It is too short to mate with the locking pin in the windshield frame unless the guide pins are at least partially into their respective holes.

Given that the top is now bent, you have some options.

A new GM top is $3000 plus installation. I believe that they are still in stock so its possible to get one.

There are several people who have "new - used" tops. When people went racing in 2006 and 2007, the rules called for a "hard" top, so a lot of racers pulled their top assemblies and after a while sold them pretty cheaply. I bought one for $400 plus $200 shipping. Its in my basement. There are at least 5 others on this forum and probably a like number on the Sol forum who bought spares as well. You might induce one of them to sell you their spare. Heck, maybe even their current top if they want to go to their backup for any reason.

You can find a good parts guy and he can probably find you a used / recycled top at a recycle yard for probably the same cost. ~$500 to $1000 if you spend time looking.

Alternatively, take your top out of the car - its four bolts and the whole assembly comes out. Pretty straightforward. Put it on a bench and start inspecting the bits and pieces to assess the damage. Some deformed parts might be repairable. Many of the parts are available in GM inventory but can get fairley expensive. I have seen several different assemblies that make up the top listed in inventory.

Given that its winter, I would pull the top and check it out in detail first and then decide on how you want to proceed. You might also find a local top shop that will be willing to fix it for you for a lot less than buying a new one.

Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bradwpe - thanks for the info. I was afraid I had to hear that. I was hoping that maybe there was only some parts damaged that I could replace in order to fix my aligment issues.

gladmaker - I thought I had it latched properly, but maybe I was wrong. I can't think of any other way of the convertible top flying up unless it's not latched properly. (Or unless the latching system is also faulty?) do you think you can maybe post the link to that other thread that discusses the problem similar to mine?
Sorry gag, I didn't mean to imply in any way that I thought there was no way that your current top is repairable. It was more of a be prepared, start shopping/saving for a new top post. I do know if you try and fix it yourself it's going to require a lot of patience and trial and error to get it right. If you've got full coverage on your insurance and decent driving history (ie rates won't skyrocket with a claim), you might want to just look into letting your insurance deal with it.

I would definitely check for the damage Rob the Elder spoke about. I'd also agree with Leppyxr2, if you just missed the catch there's no way you would have gotten up to 80 before noticing.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Rob the Elder - Thanks for the useful information. (I've done some more readings and I've noticed that you have helped out a lot of other people. Your help is highly appreciated.) I took a look at the hook and it looks pretty straight - which I think means that was a user fault (in other words mine). Do you happen to know anyone who has a convertible top by any chance? I was also wondering if maybe replacing only the frame would be a feasible choice? As far as inspecting it, I will do that very soon. I have a friend who owns a shop and I will disassemble my convertible top there to see exactly what parts were damaged. I haven't done so yet because it has been pouring quite a bit in my area - which isn't a good thing because there are those little gaps between my top and my window. :/ Anyways, I'm looking into 1) Doing some rebending. 2) Replacing the frame. 3) Changing only the damaged parts. 4) Replacing the whole convertible top.


Bradwp - I just did some reading on my own and the chances of the convertible top flying open while it being latched are very unlikely. Damn. :/ Either someone played with the latching system or I just forgot to properly latch it. Although I would like to point out that I didn't hear any sort of noise while going through the highway - the popping of the top came without warning and instantly. There was no ruffling or shuffling of the top. I guess the lesson here is to always double check to close the top properly. Too bad I had to learn the hard way.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All part of owning a convertible gag, don't beat yourself up to much.

I've driven a soft top most of my life. Sooner or later, everyone turns their car into a sailboat on the highway.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Only 6 left !! COMPLETE ASSEMBLY-FITS SOLSTICE, OPEL GT AND SKY-COVER PART NUMBER 19152958

Solstice Sky Opel Latte Shale New Convertible Top Assm | eBay
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmmm, read this...

Elimination of Convertible Top Assembly
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I believe Source 1 has several complete top assemblies but they are in beige...They may have black convertible tops in boxes without thee assembly.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I believe Source 1 has several complete top assemblies but they are in
beige...They may have black convertible tops in boxes without the assembly. There are so many skys and solstices now in junk yards so the full assembly is readily available...and more coming each day.

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Old 01-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Mike,
You may have talked with them more recently than I, but when I talked with them last they had canvas covers but no complete tops.

These guys still advertise maintaining tops for those on the west coast

The Prestige Companies Custom Auto Upholstery - Pontiac Solstice Convertible Top Install
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