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Discussion Starter #1
How do you take these ugly things of a 77-90 Chevrolet caprice sedan? I hate them. But just in case if i buy a caprice with the ugly vinyl top, tell how to remove it.
 

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You may be very very unhappy with what you find underneath - just a warning.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What will I find? money? lol
 

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Rust.
 

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The opposite of money......money pit. You'd be lucky with surface rust, probably some holes are likely.
 

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Even if you are the one in a zillion with out some rust issues, the painted top will not match the rest of the sunfaded car. I repeat, you will not be happy with what you find unless you were already planning to paint the whole car - in which case, you would probably would not be asking us how to take off a vinyl roof...... :)
 

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My car has gone from this in September 2010:


To this June 2011:


Paint alone was $3K, plus new door seals, window sweeps (parts where the window drops into the doors, window channels and new trunk seal which added another $5??.00 to the bill.

To remove the vinyl top you need to pull the trim molding off of the windshield, rear window, roof drip rails, door jam trim, and the strips along the seam between the paint and vinyl material. Using razor blades, glue remover, plenty of rags or good paper towels and lots of arm strength you can remove the top. Now you will find at minimum bare metal for these cars were not painted where the top was glued on. Most often if you live in the southern states you will find some mild surface rust and mild pitting. If up in the northern states that use salts on the winter roads you may find much pitting and even small holes in the metal. Worst case I have seen is a rust holes so big that no shop would touch replacing the top after pulling the old one off. That car you could wave at people just above the windshield. That particular car had to be scraped.

You will have much sanding to do and you may have to replace some body filler where the roof and sides meet and were wielded at the factory. If it looks ugly in those areas don't be too worried for it is normal. You may even need to replace the molding clips that holds the windshield and rear window trim on. Be sure to clean the metal real good and use primer and then paint to finish the job if you are doing this yourself.
 

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Nice transformation there 77IMPALA.
 

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^^ yeah, awesome work!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice Impala, man. When you had the vinyl top removed, were you suprise of what you discovered underneath?
 

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Yes I was. I had not seen how these cars were built with the roof attached to the body quarter panels, they are crudely wielded and have a good amount of body filler covering the wields up. I was expecting to see major rust issues and was nicely surprised only to find 2 small flaking issues (one near the lower left rear window, and the right side drip rail) but no holes. Rest of the roof had a light patina of rust.
 

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Rust isn't a big issue in Texas is it? I have a little rust in other places, but my vinyl top is in great shape, I don't see where the water would get under it. I wonder now...
 

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How do you take these ugly things of a 77-90 Chevrolet caprice sedan? I hate them. But just in case if i buy a caprice with the ugly vinyl top, tell how to remove it.
Vinyl tops do have a purpose; when it is raining, with a vehicle that has a vinyl top, the occupants of the vehicle are not barraged with the, "ting, ting, ting", sound of the rain hitting the roof. Vinyl tops make things much quieter inside.
 

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Vinyl tops do have a purpose; when it is raining, with a vehicle that has a vinyl top, the occupants of the vehicle are not barraged with the, "ting, ting, ting", sound of the rain hitting the roof. Vinyl tops make things much quieter inside.
Honestly on the 77-79 (and most likely through 90) that is not a problem, hail yes rain no. These cars have "a polyfoam blanket in the roof area"* to help deaden sound. And I have personally seen mine and it is in great shape.

*From: The Chevrolet Productivity Network Pro Tech Training 1977 Chevrolet Caprice and Impala Reference Booklet (Program TT-76-9-1), page 32 under the subheading: Body Treatment
 
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