Re: 1955 Caribbean top material
Posted by Leeedy on 2021/7/23 16:34:06
If I was doing a Caribbean hardtop today I would still slightly pad the roof. But technology and trim solutions have gone huge leaps since the 1950s. I certainly would never use felt padding. Even in the 1970s-80s some automotive vinyl topping fabrics went for the padded look by having a thick, fleecy soft backing made right into the material. But even this stuff tended to hold moisture.
Fish Eggs wrote:
Would you recommend putting a "pad" under the everflex when I redo the roof or just put it over the metal? I plan to shoot the roof with an epoxy primer prior to covering it. Thanks again.
Ask your local professional auto trimmer. They should know best. They may even have a better solution than Everflex (though I can't imagine that–especially in the case of convertibles).
I have not been in that business professionally for many years now. Things change. Last time I was involved in doing a padded vinyl top we used a special layer of thin high-density sheet foam. But things may have gone way beyond this by now.
Problem in the case of Everflex or Caribbean's original Hypalon was that these were fabrics made for a convertible top. Packard wanted a soft, convertible look and a premium look so they padded it ever so slightly. Everflex alone without padding is merely convertible top fabric and thus won't look soft like the originals did without at least a thin layer under it. Otherwise it will tend to look rock hard, just glued to the metal roof.
DIY-ers often try to cut corners when in the long run they actually save by using the services of a pro. Find a good automotive trim shop in your area and get their input.
The original Caribbean hardtops rusted because all padded tops eventually are prone to retaining moisture. My 1979 Continental Mark V (sold new in SoCal) has rust in the roof under the padded vinyl. This is what happens over time. However, my 1969 Continental Mark III has no rust in the roof... but it has a roof covered in a special gained vinyl but not amply padded except for the C-pillars and even they are only lightly padded. The difference.
Whatever method you use will eventually go this route sooner or later if padded. Get your new top done well... out of good fabrics, with dielectrically heat-sealed seams. Don't allow moisture to remain on the fabric for extended periods and your top should last a long time. But none of this stuff is permanent.
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