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Cabriolet Top Elastic Strap Replacement Question

Our cabriolet tops have two elastic-strap sections that run parallel to the roof sides and below the headliner. On my top, the elastic sections have tired out and sagged to the point that they provide no tension. The way I understand it, the elastic portions act to pull the middle-forward top bow correctly back to the rear as the top is folded.

I've looked at replacing the two straps and they appear to be available, but the price is a whole 'nuther matter. Outrageous may best describe it.

I've bought 1-inch wide black elastic to sew in to replace the failed elastic sections, but the question I have for cab owners is how much tautness should I build in to the straps when I sew the new sections in? Can anyone describe how it should "feel"? Thanks!

Brian
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:28 AM
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Maybe someone close to you; DC, Baltimore, Alexandria, etc. with a cab will chime in and you two can meet up and see first hand. If not then maybe some time after first of year I might be up for a little day trip as you are just 3 or so hours away. You could check out mine...then..In the mean time

With my top in the closed/up position the I checked the strap tension at the center bar (one over you head when seated). The strap runs under this bar (between you and the bar) with a small piece of strap sewed to it going over the bar. The strap was taught enough to snap back to the bar when I pulled it toward the seat bottom yet not too tight that pulling it down required effort. With minimal tension the strap would come down about an inch or so. After that more pressure would have been required but the strap going over the bar limited the travel..

Hope this helps and if you do not meet up with someone in your area let me know after the new year and we'll see about trying to meet somewhere so you can see first hand.

Gregg S.
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1983 911 SC Cabriolet, 1989 944 S2
1969 Chevelle SS396 w/427 Vette motor, 1970 Buick GS455
2000 BMW 528i Touring, 2005 GMC Sierra
Old 12-24-2008, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-911SC cab View Post
Maybe someone close to you; DC, Baltimore, Alexandria, etc. with a cab will chime in and you two can meet up and see first hand. If not then maybe some time after first of year I might be up for a little day trip as you are just 3 or so hours away. You could check out mine...then..In the mean time

With my top in the closed/up position the I checked the strap tension at the center bar (one over you head when seated). The strap runs under this bar (between you and the bar) with a small piece of strap sewed to it going over the bar. The strap was taught enough to snap back to the bar when I pulled it toward the seat bottom yet not too tight that pulling it down required effort. With minimal tension the strap would come down about an inch or so. After that more pressure would have been required but the strap going over the bar limited the travel..

Hope this helps and if you do not meet up with someone in your area let me know after the new year and we'll see about trying to meet somewhere so you can see first hand.

Gregg S.
can you take a pic please I am in the same pickle and will be rebuilding my top this spring so I can install it on the car. Thanks
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:55 AM
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First two are of drivers side the second two of pass side.. if more needed please state what you need as it is mid 60's now don't know what future holds...BRRRRRR.




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Old 12-24-2008, 11:39 AM
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Thanks, these dont come with the headliner? Surely for 370 or so dollars you get more than an cut piece of cloth. In the 20's here
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76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 12:46 PM
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Do not know if they come with the headliner (maybe you meant conv. top?) as mine does not have a headliner in it. I inquired about installing the headliner that was installed in later year tops and was told it was waaaayy expensive to retro it to my car.

I just had top replaced when car was in for repaint, or should I say had car repainted while getting top replaced. I do not know if these came with the top or were extra. Total for top replacemeant was $1500.

Gregg S.
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1983 911 SC Cabriolet, 1989 944 S2
1969 Chevelle SS396 w/427 Vette motor, 1970 Buick GS455
2000 BMW 528i Touring, 2005 GMC Sierra
Old 12-24-2008, 12:54 PM
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If they were replaced with the top I woud take it back there is alot of frayed material there. Do they commonly do that?
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" Porsche there is no substitute" I always liked that saying. Air cooled is the only way to go!
76 911 C.R.A.P. Gruppe #2 BIG time TURBO C.R.A.P. Bitz EFI/EDIS Now MegaSquirt 3
76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1982911SCTarga View Post
Our cabriolet tops have two elastic-strap sections that run parallel to the roof sides and below the headliner. On my top, the elastic sections have tired out and sagged to the point that they provide no tension. The way I understand it, the elastic portions act to pull the middle-forward top bow correctly back to the rear as the top is folded.

I've looked at replacing the two straps and they appear to be available, but the price is a whole 'nuther matter. Outrageous may best describe it.

I've bought 1-inch wide black elastic to sew in to replace the failed elastic sections, but the question I have for cab owners is how much tautness should I build in to the straps when I sew the new sections in? Can anyone describe how it should "feel"? Thanks!

Brian
Where did you see them in the PET I looked and didn't see them but that is not unusual there is alot in the PET that you cant find unless you know where to look.
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" Porsche there is no substitute" I always liked that saying. Air cooled is the only way to go!
76 911 C.R.A.P. Gruppe #2 BIG time TURBO C.R.A.P. Bitz EFI/EDIS Now MegaSquirt 3
76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 01:51 PM
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Thanks for the follow-up, guys. Hopefully we can share some knowledge here.

These tops should have headliners. Mine does.

In 83-911SC cab's pics, it looks like his elastic strap runs completely from the back to the front. On my top, the elastic strap runs from the rear of the top to just before the loop of fabric around the bar. The material continuing to the forward portion of the top from the folding bar is regular nylon.

What gives?

Brian
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:00 PM
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Where did you see them in the PET I looked and didn't see them but that is not unusual there is alot in the PET that you cant find unless you know where to look.
Gregg, it's part no. 911-561-153-65 "restraining strap." Pelican's price is $125.50 each.

Brian
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1982911SCTarga View Post
Thanks for the follow-up, guys. Hopefully we can share some knowledge here.

These tops should have headliners. Mine does.

In 83-911SC cab's pics, it looks like his elastic strap runs completely from the back to the front. On my top, the elastic strap runs from the rear of the top to just before the loop of fabric around the bar. The material continuing to the forward portion of the top from the folding bar is regular nylon.

What gives?

Brian
Thanks for the info could you take a pic, my straps run from front to the bar are not elastic and I could not see where they run to the back nor do I see where they attach any info would be greatly appreciated as to how they attach. I had no idea how complicated this was, I plan on starting to refurbish my top this spring when I can get it outside to clean it up and replace what needs replacing. Jerry
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" Porsche there is no substitute" I always liked that saying. Air cooled is the only way to go!
76 911 C.R.A.P. Gruppe #2 BIG time TURBO C.R.A.P. Bitz EFI/EDIS Now MegaSquirt 3
76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 02:26 PM
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As far as headliners I thought they were not installed in cabriolets until after the switch to the 86 year top frame (power/manual roof w/small rear window). I could be wrong..

My straps I would not consider completely elastic like say a underwear waistband or bra strap elastic. Yet it is not non stretching nylon either, kind of a mid ground mix..

My straps go from the front of the top between canvas top and about 8"wide vinyl covered metal plate that is at the front bow area to between the canvas top and the rear vinyl covered plate (also about 8"wide) on the third bow.

My top is new, kinda, as it was replaced about a year and a half ago but was sitting in body shop until this past August when I finally got so pissed at the body shop for draggin azz, I picked it up and am still finishing putting it right. This top is the second one they put on as the first was wrong year range..They originally installed the later 86-89 cab top w/small rear window not the original year 83-85 w/larger rear window..made them replace at their cost.

Gregg S.
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1983 911 SC Cabriolet, 1989 944 S2
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2000 BMW 528i Touring, 2005 GMC Sierra
Old 12-24-2008, 02:41 PM
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I believe I have an 84 roof and it has a headliner but I think the straps are not complete and I will need to do some work on them. Anybody else out there that can shed some light on this hope someone took pictures when they put a new top on their roof.
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" Porsche there is no substitute" I always liked that saying. Air cooled is the only way to go!
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76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 02:55 PM
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This discusstion is great my kid is bouncing off the walls and we are killing time until we go to a candlelight service at 11 tonight so this is both helpful and making the time pass, thank you all and Merry Christmas.
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76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 03:13 PM
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This is a pic I had in my files of a 83-85 top that clearly shows the straps and headliner.
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" Porsche there is no substitute" I always liked that saying. Air cooled is the only way to go!
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76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-24-2008, 04:24 PM
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Nice pic there. Are we in agreement, then, that the front portion of the 1-inch front-to-back straps are regular nylon material and the elastic portion runs from the loop around the middle hoop to the rear?

Regarding the headliner, PET clearly identifies a headliner for the top beginning with '83.

A lot of thought went into these tops -- they are designed to endure north of 140 mph without flapping. Try that, MG and Triumph.

Brian
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:38 AM
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Yep I agree, Merry Christmas I got to bed about 1:30 this morning and my daughter had me up at 5:15 so what I type might not make any sense sometimes. Jerry
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" Porsche there is no substitute" I always liked that saying. Air cooled is the only way to go!
76 911 C.R.A.P. Gruppe #2 BIG time TURBO C.R.A.P. Bitz EFI/EDIS Now MegaSquirt 3
76 Blazer also restored by me
Old 12-25-2008, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1982911SCTarga View Post
s how much tautness should I build in to the straps when I sew the new sections in? Can anyone describe how it should "feel"? Thanks!

Brian
Brian,
A few years ago I had to remove my worn top to repair (TIG) a crack in the aluminum
rear support. I purchased a new top, made my own new headliner, and as well replaced the old elastic supports with new ones I fabricated from material from a local fabric store.

I recall laying out the old elastic and determining a point where to sew in new loops for the center bar. I laid the new straps on top of the front and rear frame sections with the roof in the down position. I then pulled the elastics just enough so that it would be rather taunt enough not to have any sag; the tension of the elastic would be less than "half" if you pulled the elastic all the way to its limit, i'd say one third is fair game. Off the top of my head there may have been cotter pins at one end of the straps? and I replaced them with new SS ones.

R&R of the cab top is a challenging but a rewarding adventure. Difficulty for the DIY? Frankly I'd rather do a motor drop, however the cab top R&R is less greasy and more interesting. A camera comes in handy. Most importantly you need to insure the gear boxes on each side are correctly set so the "timing" of the top coming down for the front locks is perfect (no twists). I had a printed copy of these procedures as well as a video from the factory. FYI the reason the rear support cracked on my car was because one of the gear box's bolts were loose and the top twisted.

Have fun and Merry Xmas.

Griff
Old 12-25-2008, 06:52 AM
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I'm getting ready to start driving my cab, so, believe it or not, I just completed replacing the two worn-out elastic sections with new 1" wide elastic from a fabric store.

Once I had sewn the new elastic sections in (as we discussed earlier, you have to pre-tension them before sewing them in), I could fold the top back and watch the horizontal support bar move to the rear and out of the way of the folding top material. Cool!

Brian
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:55 AM
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Piece of cake!
Old 06-28-2011, 06:29 AM
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