The cloth is riveted and glued to the frame. Not for the faint of heart and certainly not a job for your mechanic.
Almost word for word what my body shop guy told me about my top, when I asked about if they could replace it for me.
First off, he said they could remove the top/roof assembly from the car. Then ship that to the top/interior guys shop, have them remove the glued/riveted old cloth fabric, replace with new top, then reship/deliver to the body shop, for reinstall of the completed assembly to the car body.
$ is always the question here. What is your budget for top replacement, IF you had to?
1) Purchase of new top from source... $1000. over/under more or less, plus shipping.
2) GM dealer/body shop guys.. remove/install top/frame assembly from car. $300. maybe?
Hours charged @ rate of ? GM @ $95-105. Body guys less here $75?
3) The shop that does the replacement of the canvas/fabric to the top assembly, rate and hours?
Unknown as they vary by location, reputation. Est. $250+ ?
$1400 give or take. Could be less, might be more. This is what I would refer to here, Part of the Big 3. Top/Motor/Body. $ $$ $$$. Top can't leak, or fit oddly. Kinda ruins your interior here, know what I mean? $ Pretty important.
Weather stripping, is/can be expensive, IF you can find those parts still? Getting tougher these days.
I have a slight air leak in my passenger side. Small rip/tear in it. No leaks.
Note here: Use di-electric grease on these rubber parts. Works good. I have made the switch to this product.
I recommend it.
Time involved? Could be 3-5 days, not including shipping for the top itself. Keep that in mind.
How long can you live without your baby? The stress of others touching your beloved Kappa.
Un-thinkable. BUT.. sometimes you as owner/operator has to break down, and hand over the keys.
Scary thought I know.
Then... you hiding this new top, in the trunk.. money well spent, and go get permaginizied…
Hell with the budget. Life is short don't waste it. Life is more fun when you smile.