Many Cabrio owner would also like to drive the vehicle in the winter months and find it more convenient to have a firm roof over their heads instead of a soft top. This is understandable because older vehicles in particular have installed much simpler roofs that are difficult to store the heating heat and are also susceptible to weather influences such as road salt, snow or freezing rain. This is usually no longer the case with current vehicles, but there are sometimes extreme differences depending on the price range. The question then arises whether a hardtop can be easily retrofitted.
the hardtop for car tuning
Whether a hardtop can be retrofitted depends primarily on the vehicle model. Many manufacturers optionally offer their customers the option of retrofitting the vehicle with a hardtop. For example, there is a suitable hardtop for many vehicle models that can simply be completely installed instead of the existing soft top. Anyone who has the chance to buy a used hardtop for their vehicle saves a lot of money here. Because most convertible models are equipped with a hardtop preparation ex works, even though they are supplied with a soft top as standard.
How does hardtop assembly work?
To install the hardtop, the soft top is simply folded back. Then the hardtop can be placed in the hardtop preparation provided for it. The hardtop is then simply attached to the convertible top locks and thus locked in place. It is recommended to use only original parts from the manufacturers to prevent permanent function, a dry interior and difficulties with the fitting of the hardtop. In particular, the roof must sit correctly on the body so that no draft or the one addressed can enter. What I notice in particular in car washes, on the freeway or during extended use in the rain and snow. At some point the inaccuracy manifests itself in loud wind noises and water ingress. No fit is guaranteed without hardtop preparation by the manufacturer.
What is needed for hardtop mounting?
In addition to the hardtop and hardtop preparation directly on the vehicle, a suitable manufacturer-specific mounting kit is also required for the hardtop. After all, the hardtop must be firmly attached to the body. Depending on the vehicle model and year of manufacture, the manufacturers offer corresponding kits for hardtop mounting. Often, depending on the car model, the right assembly kit can already be installed. Experts see this at a glance. In addition to placing the hardtop on the vehicle, it is also necessary to make adjustments to the hardtop, particularly in the area of the locking mechanism. A specialist should make these settings. When set correctly, the hardtop offers a perfect fit. It makes no difference whether a used hardtop should be used or a new one. The exact adjustment of the hardtop to the vehicle is necessary and decisive, since otherwise it can also damage the paintwork on the body of the car. With the correct setting of the hardtop, easy attachment is not a problem.
universal options for retrofitting
Usually there are no universal kits to retrofit a hardtop to any convertible. The different dimensions make this impossible and the mounting for locking on the A-pillar and the attachment points on the body are completely different depending on the manufacturer and model. However, there are a few manufacturers who offer accessories for the recording of an original hardtop. For example for old vehicles or simply as a cheaper alternative to the original. However, a hardtop that was available ex works is a prerequisite. There is no plug-and-play from the accessories! But if you still want to give a convertible a hardtop that never existed ex works, the only way is to find a tuner who is familiar with the body shop. For example, the Wiesmann company produced a hardtop for the Audi A4 B7 convertible for a while. The costs were extremely high at around € 4.000. In addition, we are currently not aware of whether the Wiesmann accessory hardtops even had TÜV approval.
Conclusion on the installation of the hardtop
A hardtop can be easily retrofitted if the manufacturer offers it ex works. Here it depends on the vehicle model which is the right hardtop. Hardtops generally fit across models. That means it doesn't matter whether the 3 liter four-cylinder or the 1,9 liter six-cylinder is installed in a BMW Z2,8, for example. At least for the assembly, however, a hardtop preparation is required on the vehicle, which enables the recordings to be anchored. Furthermore, it is necessary to use a mounting kit when attaching and attaching the hardtop. Many hardtops also have to be adjusted directly on the vehicle during assembly in order to offer an optimal fit.
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