Soft top

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Soft-Top Replacement Instructions

Info non-talk.png It’s a good idea to mark all the parts as you remove them so you know where and from which side of the car they came from.

From an original write up by KevH, 4th March 2004


  1. From inside the car, remove the two hood toggle catches 3 x M8 Allen head screws in each. Remove the plastic cover the catches were mounted against. 3 x M8 Allen head screws.
  2. Still inside the car, remove the top front window seal housings. 2 x cross head screws from inside the hood frame. Make a note of how far the seal protrudes from the rear edge of the housing for when you fit the new seal and remove the seal from the housing, clean out the old Sikaflex. There may be some packers between the frame and seal housing, keep a note of how many and on which side.
  3. Lift up the front of the hood and remove the front seal, you have to destroy it to get it out. SJ supply a front seal with the hood canopy.
  4. Clean out as much Sikaflex as possible from the channel.
  5. Peal back the hood front edge from inside the channel and pull the front section of the canopy from the header.
  6. Back inside the car remove the rear window seals. These have 2 x cross head screws buried inside the seal. If you poke about you can find them and remove them without damaging the seal. There is also a plastic push fitting in the bottom, you have to tilt the hood open to get at these.
  7. At the same time pull off the plastic trim which runs along the length of the underside of the rear upper cross member and pull out the canopy flaps which were trapped inside by the cover.
  8. Back outside the car peal off the flaps under the rear frame and pull the hood from the rear window seal mounting brackets at each side.
  9. Pull the hood forward over itself from back to front till you can see the steel wire terminations in the rear upper cross member. Slacken the pinch bolt (6mm A/F) and remove the wires.
  10. Cut off the elastic straps as you go but note how and where they are secured. Drill out the pop rivets securing the two wires to the header rail.
  11. Remove the hood canopy from the car.
  12. Drill out the pop rivets securing the elastic straps to the two-front cross rails and the rear lower frame.

That’s the easy bit done.


  1. Lay the new canopy on the frame and fold it forward exposing the rear of the frame.
  2. Starting at the back pop rivet the rear of the straps (4mm-pop rivet) to the rear frame and the rear of the upper cross member (3mm-pop rivet).
  3. Cut slits in the lower rear flap every 6 inches or so. Start in the centre and stick the flaps under the rear frame one at a time (with Evostick contact adhesive). The reason for this is that you need to pull the hood tight from the centre out. As you go along keep checking that the hood has stretched enough to fit around the bottom ends of the lower frame and that they go far enough around to meet the rear of the windows.
  4. Make sure that the rear upper cross member is as far forward as the straps will allow it to move. I wedged a piece of wood the correct length between the rear upper cross member and the rear frame under the hood.
  5. Fold the hood back exposing the front frame.
  6. Attach the remainder of the elastic straps to the cross rails and header rail with pop rivets (3mm) and the plates salvaged from the old straps. This is a bit of a guess as you do not really know how much tension to put in them but as long as they do not sag they should be OK.
  7. Lift up the side edges of the canopy and pass the steel wire through the fixing ferule, do not tighten the wire yet. You may need to remove some of the outer coating of the wire as they are too long.
  8. Stick the hood side flaps to the rear window seal brackets, you need to pull like hell to make sure that it fits tight against the bracket. Again you need to open the hood to stick the lower flaps. Poke a hole in the hood flaps where the fixing holes for the rear window seal are.
  9. Refit the rear window seals.
  10. Inside the car stick the two long flaps at either side of the rear upper cross member. Stick the one further forward first, pulling forward to make sure the rear window is taught. Fold the edge of the flaps inside the rear upper cross member, trim if required and re-fit the plastic cover.
  11. Stick the front corners to the header rail. Pull like hell to make sure the hood is taught in both directions. Stick the flaps under the header rail edges, trim if required. Fold back the front and stick the remainder of the front of the hood to the header rail, pull tight while doing this. Trim off the excess of the flap leaving about 10mm and stick this under inside the channel.
  12. Temporarily fix back on the hood toggle catches.
  13. Sikaflex the front seal sides (the bit above side window) into the front window seal housings, ensure that they are fitted with the same protrusion measured from the old seal before it was removed. Leave to dry.
  14. Bolt the front seal sides back in place (don’t forget the spacers).
  15. Sikaflex the front seal into the channel. Push the seal home and make sure it sits straight.
  16. Lock the hood in place with the toggle catches, this will make sure that the seal will not move till the Sikaflex is dry.
  17. When dry, remove the toggle catches. Refit the plastic cover and the toggle catches. Lock the hood back in its closed position and pull back on the steel wires and lock them off with the pinch bolts.
  18. You may need some supplementary sealer in a few places such as a bead of Sikaflex between the hood seal and the front edge of the hood.
  19. Remove any excess glue with WD40. This only works on Sikaflex if you catch it before its dry.

Now stand back and admire your work.

See Also

External Links

Soft-Top Maintenance Hints