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Old 10-26-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
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Robbins Top - Fair Offer & Advice

I have the opportunity to buy a Robbins glass window top with defroster and wiring. It is the color of my current top. If I can get a good deal, it might be a cheap insurance policy. It will be an even better deal if I can gather the nerve to install it myself.

I don't absolutely need a new top now. My rear window is probably a 7 on a scale of 10 and I have a hard top for the winter. My car was built 9-11-99, so the top is over 8 years old. It has a few scratches and hazy spots.

My questions:

1. What is a fair offer? They are readily available for about $700 on the internet. The seller bought the top and sold his car before he installed it. Is $400 a fair offer?

2. I've researched tops on this forum and some others. More people seem to have GAHH tops and there are some comments that they are superior. What is the current thinking about Robbins tops? Has anyone installed one lately.

3. I there anyone in the Central Virginia area interested in helping with a top install? Experienced volunteers are preferred.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-27-2007, 03:53 AM   #2
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Hello, I have installed many tops for the Boxster as well as all Porsche bmw mbenz ect. $400.00 is below market value for this top. I use GAHH almost exclusively, except, if customer supplies the top. It is easier to install a POrsche factory top than a Robbins top. frayadjacent on this forum recently installed his own top. He is taking car to an upholstery top to have it installed properly. BTW, GAHH is a sponser of this websight. Thanks, Peter 862-222-4618
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Serbanica
Hello, I have installed many tops for the Boxster as well as all Porsche bmw mbenz ect. frayadjacent on this forum recently installed his own top. He is taking car to an upholstery top to have it installed properly. BTW, GAHH is a sponser of this websight. Thanks, Peter 862-222-4618

Hi Peter,

I've read several of your posts and I saw that you prefer the GAHH tops. (The top I was offered is a Robbins, but I haven't bought it yet.) Since you work with tops all the time, your opinion carries a lot of weight.

I saw Frayadjacent's post, but I missed the detail that he was taking the top to a shop to have it adjusted. That is a situation that I would like to avoid. I know that a lot of places will charge you more to fix something you installed incorrectly, and I understand why.

By the way, what part of New Jersey are you in? My brother lives near Philadelphia. The next time I visit him, maybe I can stop by and have you install my top.

Kevin
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2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-channel amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top and Frame
Homelink transmitter integrated in dash with Targa switch
Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated seats, litronics, painted console
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:49 AM   #4
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I installed a Robbins glass window top a couple weeks ago. It's not super difficult, but if I did it again, I would do things in a slightly different sequence.

It's a $700 top brand new, and if it's still in it's shipping box, it's still worth most of that price. $400 would be a low-ball offer, IMHO.


I'm taking the top to a shop to have it adjusted, because IMHO, I just don't want to have to go back and correct a couple things. If I were to give you advice, and you followed it, you shouldn't have any issues. Learn from my experience!

Let me know if you have any questions. I still need to write up a little review of the process and send it to Mike Focke. There are a few tips I think would really help people when installing their own tops.

Honestly, it's really not that difficult. With hindsight being 20/20, if I could go back in time and do it over, it would have turned out fine.
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinH1990
Hi Peter,

I've read several of your posts and I saw that you prefer the GAHH tops. (The top I was offered is a Robbins, but I haven't bought it yet.) Since you work with tops all the time, your opinion carries a lot of weight.

I saw Frayadjacent's post, but I missed the detail that he was taking the top to a shop to have it adjusted. That is a situation that I would like to avoid. I know that a lot of places will charge you more to fix something you installed incorrectly, and I understand why.

By the way, what part of New Jersey are you in? My brother lives near Philadelphia. The next time I visit him, maybe I can stop by and have you install my top.

Kevin
Iam in Chatham, New Jersey
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrayAdjacent
I installed a Robbins glass window top a couple weeks ago. It's not super difficult, but if I did it again, I would do things in a slightly different sequence.


It's a $700 top brand new, and if it's still in it's shipping box, it's still worth most of that price. $400 would be a low-ball offer, IMHO.

I guess I will probably have to make a bit better offer. Of course, I won't go up to $700. Would $500 do it?


I'm taking the top to a shop to have it adjusted, because IMHO, I just don't want to have to go back and correct a couple things. If I were to give you advice, and you followed it, you shouldn't have any issues. Learn from my experience!

I'm definitely willing to listen to any and all advice.


Let me know if you have any questions. I still need to write up a little review of the process and send it to Mike Focke. There are a few tips I think would really help people when installing their own tops.

I have Mikes's instructions, and I've looked at your posts. I can wait until you refine the instructions.

Honestly, it's really not that difficult. With hindsight being 20/20, if I could go back in time and do it over, it would have turned out fine.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
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2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-channel amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top and Frame
Homelink transmitter integrated in dash with Targa switch
Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated seats, litronics, painted console
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:10 PM   #7
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Fray...please do send me your comments.

The posting on top installation I have up now is the product of several inputs. With more comments, maybe we can make it better.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #8
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Here's what I emailed to Mike:

Mike,

Here's a little review of my install of the Robbins glass window top:

Removing and installing a new top is really not that difficult. In hindsight, I can see why everyone says that if they had to do it again, it would be very quick (6 hours or less).

- The Robbins top is very good quality material, but the glass window does make it a little odd getting into place, since it weighs a lot more than the plastic. Extra hands help, but it can be done solo.
- Get the back centered, it will bunch up and cause the mechanism to drag on one side if it's not straight. The rear most bow should have a marking at the center. Line up the center seam of the top with that.
- The smaller 'tab' or flap on the inside of the top is the one that gets wedged into the top most slot in the back bow. Use a wooden dowel or something similar to push the plastic 'wedge' strip in there. Again, be sure the top is straight.
- The plastic deals in the B pillar? Just buy new ones. $45 from the dealer. Just do it. The old ones get brittle and things just break on them. You'll probably bugger at least one of them up while you're figuring out how to remove them. (the four part numbers are 986-561-560-01, 986-561-670-03, 986-561-559-01, and 986-561-669-03... neither part included the four push pins... so I've got to look them up, and replace them. The top will hold the parts in place temporarily, but having the pins in there guarantees a little security)
- Get about 8 to 10 small clamps. Use these for clamping the sides of the top to the aluminum plates to let glue dry.
- If you want to use double sided tape, get some good upholstery or automotive tape. Office stuff just won't cut it. Trust me.
- When unscrewing the four screws on the sides (after removing the little retainer with the phillips screws), there ARE four screws, the back one is just covered by some of the weather stripping. BE SURE TO GET THE LAST SCREW... or you could bend up the aluminum plates. I bent mine up a little, but was able to reshape it.
- When you're attaching the aluminum plates to the top, do this with the top off, laying on a flat, clean surface. Use an awl to punch the holes in the material so that you'll be able to see them when you're getting the top on the car.
- If you use glue to attach the plates, use your clamps and let the glue set for the MINIMUM amount of time needed.
- When installing the top, line up the sides (the aluminum plates) and screw them in first. Then stretch the material over the front of the frame, and glue it down. Use your clamps to hold it, and again, let it set for the minimum amount of time.
- At the base of the B pillar, when getting the screw in place for the cable termination, put the screw through the cable eye, the lockwasher and the tab in the top, then use a pair of needlenose pliers with one hand to stretch it into place while you use a screwstick in the other hand to line it up and screw it in.

When all is said and done, the top will be TIGHT. When trying to close mine for the first time, the hook was about 2" away from the socket on the window frame. It took myself and a buddy to pull the top down enough to get the hook in. Close it slowly to let the material stretch a bit. If you have a heat gun, (not a blowdryer... they'll overheat too quickly) heat up the area around and aft of the B pillar to stretch the material. Once you have it closed, let it sit in the sun during the day for a few days. Today, almost a week later, I put the top down, and when I put it back up, I had to pull it forward a little to get the hook in the latch.

The rear window works by not attaching the top material to the bow behind the B pillar. In the OEM top, there are two 'tabs' that slides into the 'primary' bow (the one that's just behind your head) and bow behind it. When the top opens, the rear bow collapses to the front, folding the top material, forcing the plastic window to fold. With the Robbins top, the top does not attach to that rearward bow. It is allowed to slide forward to the primary bow, giving enough material to fold over and allow the glass to sit down in the top compartment.

Visibility is changed a little bit... given the top of the glass is probably 2" lower than the plastic window... so it almost feels like I'm looking downward out the rear window... but the glass is CLEAR!! It's a little bit of a tradeoff, but over my old top with the very foggy rear window, it's a HUGE improvement.

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1969 911T Targa - 'Stinky'

http://www.zoto.com/frayadjacent/img...f27a-4a399.jpg <---- my car. ^ crap I post.

"The existence of the flamethrower is evidence that someone, somewhere once said 'I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't want to have to walk over there to do it.'"
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