Many things have been written about
replacing the skin or Targa top material. I am one of those guys that look at this
type of project and figure I'll give it a try and if everything fails the worst I'm out is
about $70. I am lucky in that the hardware in my top is in very good shape compared to
some of the stories I have heard on the RennList. None of the webbing was bad and even the
foam was in good shape. I ordered a replacement top from Original Fit Interiors that was
the domestic type. I like the look of it and it was relatively inexpensive.
It only took a few hours to remove the hardware and old material and do the initial
fit of the skin on the frame. Taking the advise of others about attaching the material to
the top while the frame is in the unlock position I was able to secure the sides without
to much trouble. A quick check of the top in the locked position revealed some ripples and
it felt somewhat like a blister. It looked OK, but when you touched it was very soft and
spongy. My solution to this was a beer break - while the top sat in the 85 degree sun for
20 minutes to soften up.
This is the way to go ! When I brought it in I could hardly
touch it, but I was able to stretch the material a good inch and a half beyond where I had
initially had it secured. When I snapped the frame to the lock position it gave a very
reassuring POP and WOW was I impressed with myself !
The top looks great and I still get that great feeling of
slaying another Porsche maintenance dragon. Now that you've read the book, now here are
the pictures of this project.
[Click on Image to Enlarge]
The old top was torn at the folding points. The seam along
the front edge was turned up far enough that it caught the wind and made considerable
noise while driving.
Here is the skin - patiently awaiting it's turn on the Targa
top. The quality and fit was excellent and there was plenty of extra material to
grab on to on the sides to stretch the top.
Removal of the hardware is pretty straight forward. Being
anal about these things (and not wanting to find out later that there are specific left
and right parts) I used masking tape to identify the parts.
When removing the clips you need to be aware of the
"floating" nut plate that is behind the panel and not let this drop out. I used
a piece of duct tape to secure them to the back side of the panel.
Take care in removing the screws from the seals. The screws
are buried in the small holes and the rubber will tear if your too brutal with your
After removing the screws pull the seal away from the top and
you will see the attachment screws for the rain gutter. The material is attached to the
top with this rain gutter rail.
Remove the screws from the rain gutter and pull it away from
the top. You will now see how the material is "trapped" under the rail. A couple
of the screws were in bad shape and were replaced.
I don't know if my top had been replaced before, but I found
weather striping under the portion of the rail where it meets the roof - not in the
gutter itself. Good idea for sealing out the rain.
You will need to remove the alignment pin from the top. The
cover shown is easily removed by carefully prying up from underneath the plastic plug
As I pulled back the old material I was careful to keep from
destroying the foam that is glued to the edge. Peeling back the top I used a razor to
separate the two.
Following the same procedure across the top I was able to
keep the old foam from tearing and the old material came right off. No glue was used
past the edges.
Here is the top with all of the edges peeled back and ready
to remove. I later used spray glue to reattach the edges of the foam.
Here is a good view of the foam on the top side of the roof.
It is in great shape and I didn't see any need to replace it. The edges just needed a
little glue to attach it and keep it from bunching up later during reassembly.
Laid out on the table I checked out all of the edges to
ensure I had the top centered and that the corners matched up with the hardware on the
corners. I kept the arms unlocked during the recovering so that I could achieve a good
I attached one side first using the rain gutter as shown,
then the other side. I locked the arms out to check the fit. It seemed a little puffy so I
put the top in the sun for 20 minutes to allow the material to loosen up.
After sunbathing on the patio I unlocked the arms and pulled
the material as tight as I could while attaching the rain gutters. This gave me a very
tight fit when the arms are locked it popped right into shape with no sign of wrinkles.
With the arms locked out I went down the edges applying
contact cement and ensuring the seams lines up with the front and rear edges. A quick fit
check on the car and your ready to reattach all of the hardware.
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