Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Don't ignore your soft top

  1. #1
    Sport Button On - DSC Off
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    123

    Don't ignore your soft top

    We always talk about how to care for the finish on our 8s but don't forget the soft top.

    Giving my 8 a bath the other day I started to wonder when I last treated the cloth top.
    I close the windows and the top on newspaper just in case I get a little sloppy while treating it. I have been pleased with BMW's product for this little procedure. Does anyone have another product they prefer??

    Pandaman,

  2. #2
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,490
    Don't think I've ever treated mine... tell me more. Do you use your a lot? Mine is always stowed, pretty much.

  3. #3
    Sport Button On - DSC Off
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    123

    soft top

    Hi there Norcal,

    I used to always keep my top down until us Texans had our cars shipped to Peter Pan for the great time Andrew and the rest of you folks put together. Anyway, Dana at Peter Pan suggested for the best top life when the vehicle is stored for awhile he suggests storing the top up but NOT latched.
    Regarding treating the top. Not an authority on this but again I believe it extends the life and the ability to repel water etc. Heck I just try to do what I'm told. (most of the time)
    Pandaman

  4. #4
    I always keep my top up and unlatched unless I'm actually driving, it is 'the way' based on both the clubs and Danas wisdom. I usually use the BMW fabric conditioner and sometime the Griots one, about twice a year, or when I remember, which ever comes first!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    Team Z8 zilver8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    356
    I've never tried the BMW soft top product but have used a product called RaggTopp. I just spray it on about once a year. Does a very good job to repel water.

    http://www.wolfsteins.com/product-fp.htm
     

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    FWIW, I've been advised by my dealer to always store it with the top up and latched so its under tension. Its designed to be so. My top tore when I left it down for the winter and when I went to put it up- RIP. They had a local specialist replace the outer top and they also told me to always put the car away with the top up and under tension.

    As far as treating it- I have used the BMW stuff, usually I just wipe off the excess water from a wash and I try to not get soap on it.

  7. #7
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    368
    I treat mine about every 6-9 months. I've used the BMW product which I think is very good, but very messy. The BMW product seems to have some sort of oily residue in it (lanolin?) that is probably the secret ingredient keeping the material flexible and water repellant. This is what makes the application so messy - the oily residue runs off the top sticking to the paint causing extra work to clean the paint. Its OK as long as you remember to treat the top before you wash/wax the car.

    I've also used Raggtop. It's much easier to use and does a very good job for water repellency. It works differently than the BMW product by working only on the surface of the cloth top without a lot of penetration. Although it appears to be superior wrt water repellency, I'm not so sure about the long term effects since it is sort of a dry treatment compared to the BMW product. I'm not sure Raggtop puts any "protective" oils back into the cloth.

    Because of this, I alternate treatments just in case. My 2 cents worth...

  8. #8
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Seems like a very sensible solution.

  9. #9
    LLZ8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    46
    Why does Dana recommend leaving the top unlatched? Also, my top gets some wear on both sides, about a quarter inch of wear about three inches up from the side bottom. Any suggestions?

    Larry

    Larry
    2001/Silver/Red-Black

  10. #10
    yes, that wear is usually because of the soft top strings - see here
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    2,695
    Dana's just following the recommendation of the Club in Germany. As I recall, they published recommendations for storage several years back in one of the newsletters. In there they recommended storing the top up but not latched to ease the tension on the strings and to leave the doors and trunk partially latched and windows down slightly in order to extend the life of the rubber seals.

    As Jerry noted, some dealers may recommend differently, and the reasoning is good. I typically follow the recommendations of J?rgen and crew as they have access to the designers, engineers, and technicians that built the car. So, if they say have it up but not latched, I figure they'd know as much as anyone.

    Regardless, soft tops are ticking timebombs. They'll all fail in some manner, especially ours with its quirky strings and backlight. Having the mindset to take any reasonable precautions is really all we can do to make the last as long as possible. Either latched or not, keeping it up is much better than leaving it down, and conditioning the material from time to time is a great move.
    thegunguy

  12. #12
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,490
    Or just ignore it, like I do, and replace it at some point? Ten years (35k mi) and counting, still looks and acts new.

  13. #13
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    911
    Quote Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
    Or just ignore it, like I do, and replace it at some point? Ten years (35k mi) and counting, still looks and acts new.
    2003 Z8 Black/Red

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by zilver8 View Post
    I've never tried the BMW soft top product but have used a product called RaggTopp. I just spray it on about once a year. Does a very good job to repel water.

    http://www.wolfsteins.com/product-fp.htm
    I used the RaggTopp convertible care kit available on Amazon and was happy with the appearance of my 10-year old top when complete. The kit for fabric tops contains a mild cleaner and a protectant.

    I used the cleaner on the top while washing the car. A few days later with the top dried, I then applied the protectant. Hint: I used a towel to minimize overspray of the protectant onto the paint finish.
    My Best,

    Ed

    2002 Z8 Jet Black//Sport Red
    2012 SLS AMG Obsidian Black/Classic Red

  15. #15
    Team Z8 riverflyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    321
    I always used to leave my top down, as i rarely drive with it up, but have, for the last few years stored the car with the top up but not latched. I don't use a car cover but flannel king size sheets (2) to cover the car.

  16. #16
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    All I can tell you is the shop that replaced my torn soft top, which tore because I left it down, told me that soft convertible tops are designed to be stored under tension and if you do not, it will shrink. That is how my top tore- and it wasnt from long term storage, it was a few weeks one summer when the car was already a few years old. In the several years since then, where I have followed the advice to store the top latched, under tension, I've had zero issues..... This just makes sense to me. YMMV.

  17. #17
    DSC Off
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    52
    After reading these posts I checked "my strings". Sure enough one pulled out of the ferrule (I did not what. Ferrule was until this post!). After hours of repair( string was deteriorated) 3 tries of splicing a new one in job finally done! All I can say do not leave top down because of constant tension on the strings for long periods. And keep the top up stretched into place otherwise rips will occur! Posts were extremely helpful !

  18. #18
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    You are welcome.