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1964 1/2 Convertible - 260 V8 C4 Automatic, Power Top, Console, 4 Wheel Drums
2,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all.

I have been saving up to get my convertible top fixed.

When I got the car a couple of years ago, the fabric parts of the top were
pretty much all gone, but the frame looks complete and the power top mechanism
seems to work fine.

But after I stripped off all the torn pieces of fabric, I just put it down way back
then and have left it there to avoid having the car look any uglier than it already is.

Here was the top when I got the car

(Here is the car now)

Everything that isnt metal has been removed, including the inside pieces that
separate the trunk from the area where the top folds down.


My question is: what should I try to do myself before I bring it to the shop to
get the new top installed?

Is it easy to take everything out and paint it? Should I?

Are there any chronic trouble spots to look for in the mechanism that would be
easier to fix now?

The driver side latch that clamps the top to the windshield looks to have a lot of
slop in it, though it does still work. Thats about all I have noticed to be wrong with
it so far...



1,654 Posts
I would personally take the entire frame mechanism to a professional media blasting place and have the entire frame blasted of any paint, rust, etc. ANY repairs (such as the one you mentioned) should be taken care of prior to any recovering. You have the option of having the frame powder coated (preferred) or painted after good prep and primer. You might as well go first rate BEFORE the fabric/vinyl is being put on. By the way, are you going with the stock vinyl covering or the cloth/canvass seen on the newer convertibles?


129 Posts
Hey Zim, great project. You'll get there! I would prep the top and paint it black as original BEFORE you have the top installed. Once you really clean up the frame, you can carefully lube it where needed. Most catalogs sell the rubber seals, which you may be able to put on after you've painted the frame. Hmm..don't know what else. It will be hard to tell how strong the pump is, since the frame's much lighter without the fabric and window etc.

I've installed tops before, but unless you've done LOTS of tops, I would have a professional do it, and not just any upholstry shop. I know I'll never do a top again by myself.
Find one that proudly posts photos of the mustangs they've done in their front office. Definitely get the proper padding etc. Some shops offer to save you money and make the padding themselves. You'll end up finding their work wears out too soon! I suggest TMI's tops etc. which are sold at many catalogers. If you're not too concerned with Concourse correctness, I also suggest the upgrade to the folding rear glass. Well worth it, in my opinion.

I've found lots of shops that can put the top on...but few who really get it adjusted right and fewere still that can get it PERFECT.

Good luck.


4,885 Posts
Just a question about the folding glass. I thought that the glass rear window was an option on the Mustangs and not just an aftermarket add.

1,356 Posts
Get a pro to do the install. I did my own once.....ONCE! The next one went to the shop and looks better, fits better and in the overall just was a better deal. Other things I have done that are for the pros are
rebuilt automatic transmission (it worked fine but was a real learning experience) Paint...
I will do my own prep and details. Just the final coat is a better deal for the pros.
Air conditioner work! It ain't magic but the shops are just faster and cheaper.
Chrome plating...the chemicals are just too expensive and regulated.
I'm as cheap as they come but please realize that some things require expertise..not just knowledge and ambition.
Bruce (TX)
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