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Old 11-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default Soft top install help: What parts am I missing here?

My friend needed a soft top badly so we put my top on his car, just a full frame swap. His top went in the trash. However, looking at the plastic piece (I guess this is the rain rail?) that runs along the back/bottom of the top where the 10 or so studs go through, my old one had a rubber piece (like weather stripping) that ran along the bottom of the rain rail, and his old top did not. The newer top that I'm putting on my car also doesn't have that weather stripping on the bottom of the rain rail. My friend said he didn't have any leaks in that area when it was raining even without that weather stripping. On top of that, my old top had rivets that held the actual top to the rain rail, my friends top did not. Not sure if this is necessary since the studs kind of set everything where it's supposed to be anyway.

Here is a picture for reference.

This is the new one I have that has no weatherstripping.

My question is: Is this weatherstripping required, and if it is, do I have to order a whole new rain rail? A new rain rail definitely isn't cheap if I remember correctly. Also, do I have to rivet it to my top? I don't have a rivet gun or anything so I want to know if I'm going to need any of this stuff before I put the top on my car and find out it leaks.

Opinions?
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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you need the full rain rail and you need to rive it on properly or you will have leaks
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:13 PM   #3
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So the rain rail needs the weather stripping? My friends rain rail didn't have it and he had no leaks. Also I don't really remember how this **** goes together. Does the rain rail sandwich the soft top?

I can't even find a ******* rain rail online. Anyone know if the rain rail for the robbins top fits the OEM top?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying.

but the weatherstripping is part of the rain rail. at least on the 5+ NB's I've replaced tops in.

without it you might not see any obvious leaks, but the water will be getting past the roof (unless he was lucky and it was bolted so snug to the body that it was water proof) and you won't know it til the car starts smelling like doo doo
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:54 PM   #5
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Well I just spent half an hour on the phone with the dealership. Apparently the rain rail comes with no weatherstripping on it...

Something isn't adding up here.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #7
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The one I have looks like that. That one doesn't seem to have weatherstripping on it...It almost seems as if newer rain rails are updated or something. Mine is just hard plastic.

Am I just blind?

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Old 11-15-2012, 07:58 PM   #8
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After searching and googling various writeups on replacing the top/rain rail, everyone seems to skip over what I want to know.

The top sits in between the 2 halves of the rain rail, right? My top and frame came off and went directly on to my friends car so I didn't have a chance to look.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinezA92 View Post
The top sits in between the 2 halves of the rain rail, right?
That is correct.

For what it's worth, I question the assertion that the rain rail must be riveted to the top cloth. When I replaced the top on my '90 last year, the old top was not riveted to the rail, nor did I rivet the new top to the old rail when replacing it. I simply slipped the rain rail back over the studs in the body, and then peeled back the outer part of it one stud at a time and slipped the fabric of the top in between the two halves of the rail. The nuts which go onto the studs in the body are the only thing conjoining the top fabric and the rail, and this seems to work just fine.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:36 AM   #10
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I was wondering what purpose the rivets had if any. I'm honestly too lazy to do that especially because I don't have rivets or a rivet gun. I guess if it leaks it isn't too much work to pull the top.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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Yeah, on the subject of epoxy, be sure to have a bicycle inner-tube and some 5-minute plastic epoxy on hand before beginning if you intend to re-use the old rain rail. Mine was hard and brittle, and cracked in several places during the process even though I was handling it with utmost delicacy. I cut up the inner tube into repair strips, and used them along with the epoxy to create patches across the cracked areas. Messy as hell, and the result looks like ****, but nobody will ever see it and it seems to work just fine.
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