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Old 01-06-2018, 10:26 AM   #1
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Softtop complete R/R with frame question

I've searched and I can't seem to find the answer. Found a replacement 03/04 softtop with glass to replace my 02 plastic. Read all the usual q/a but not clear on one. If I'm replacing the the entire frame as a unit does the clamshell have to come off? Would it be in the way? Is it part of the procedure? Much appreciated.

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Old 01-06-2018, 11:38 AM   #2
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You don't need to remove the clamshell, but it would probably make things easier. If you haven't seen Maurice's guides, here is a link, the pdf's are at the bottom of the page. Now if I could only find an 03/04 top in Graphite Grey!

https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/installinga%2703-%2704glasstopandframeona%2797
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:49 AM   #3
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I don't believe it makes a difference 02, 03, 04 should all bolt and mount the same.

the cam shell doesnt need to be removed.

I swap a hard top for soft top about 2 time a season. The system I use is prety easy and simple I can do it in about 30 to 40 minutes.

1. With the roof down 17mm wrench remove the bolts from the for the seatbelts.
2. locate the roof bolt just below the seat belt bolt. 13 mm ratcheting box end remove one each side.
3. Raise roof to the service position.
4. There are two more bolts for the frame each side remove them. 13mm ratcheting box end.
5. there is a 6 mm flathead socket attaching the lift link and the motor arm remove one either sdie then get a hand to support the roof and remove the other one.
6. Lift the front end of the frame clear then the back of the roof and canvas.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:12 PM   #4
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To install.

1. Remove the 17mm bolt holding the seat belts drop the belt out of the way. make sure the roof motor and cam shell is in the service position.
2. Set the roof down into the the roof well back first. Push it back as far as you can then press the front arms down into position.
3. Align the front hole below the seat belt bolt an install the front bolt with a 13mm ratcheting box end wrench. LEAVE LOOSE
4. Lift and support the roof. Put the hardware on the link arm, rubber spacer, steel flange collar, brass collar and flat head socket bolt bolt fasten either side to the motor arm then repeat for the other arm.
5. Either side wiggle the roof mount until the bolt at the rear can be started. repeat to the other side. LEAVE LOOSE (normally I find I have to press down and forward.)
6. Either side wiggle the roof mount until the bolt at the center can be started. repeat to the other side. LEAVE LOOSE
7. tighten the lower bolts then then lower the roof tight the front bolt.
8. Attach the seat belts again.
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2003 Black 986. modified for Advanced level HPDE and open track days.
* 3.6L LN block, 06 heads, Carrillo H rods, IDP with 987 intake, Oil mods, LN IMS. * Spec II Clutch, 3.2L S Spec P-P FW. * D2 shocks, GT3 arms & and links, Spacers front and rear * Weight reduced, No carpet, AC deleted, Remote PS pump, PS pump deleted. Recaro Pole position seats, Brey crouse ext. 5 point harness, NHP sport exhaust
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:02 PM   #5
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One of my favorite mods was putting o 204 top/frame on my 2002 (it's cold up here in MN and I like to drive top down as often as possible early Spring to late Fall).
I used the instructions linked above and did not remove the clamshell. It was much easier than expected. The tip to leave the bolts loose at first is a good one. Even though I had marked the frame location, the 2004 top fit slightly differently and needed to be adjusted so the latch would not contact the plastic windscreen. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
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Thank you all, my old plastic is pretty fugly, green and cracked. The aesthetics of later model glass really updates our cars. Really looking forward to install.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:17 PM   #7
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All info above is great info.
I've done it a few times without any real problems.

Two things to add...
1. Have a buddy help you with removing old top and setting new one in place. The top is not extremely heavy but it it a bit cumbersome for a 1 person lift. You don't want to take a chance on dropping it on your car.

2. Be careful not to rip the foam tray during r/r of you top.

3. Good time to clear drain holes if you haven't done it in awhile.

You're gonna love the new top!!

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