just bought a 1988 allante convertible
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Cadillac Allante Forum Discussion, just bought a 1988 allante convertible in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; car has 93k on it, how do i get down the convertible top, i can fold it to fit in ...
  1. #1
    fatvernon is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 allante
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    1

    just bought a 1988 allante convertible

    car has 93k on it, how do i get down the convertible top, i can fold it to fit in the well, but the fiberglass boot cover, won't slide down it is hitting something about 4" from the locked in position. also, the electric motor does't lock in the soft top which is why i am trying to put it down, the back end doesn't lock it. and if i get a hardtop, will i have the same issue with the back window part not fitting in? sorry for all the questions, i love the car, but have small problems, i live in la...is there a good, reasonable allante guy here?

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  3. #2
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2004 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD, 1989 Cadillac Allanté: Pearl White
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    Re: just bought a 1988 allante convertible

    hey congratulations on your purchase. these cars arent brand new so of course theyre going to have to be tweaked and have glitches or issues fixed.

    as far as the top goes here are some brief instructions

    to raise

    - lower both windows or open both door (my windows dont roll yet)

    - pull the switch to release the soft top hard cover

    - slide the cover back then open

    - pull the top up, until you get used to operating it, its best to do this with a helper, from both sides, and in a slow fluid motion. i usually grab the top by the latch handles, and by the rear bow and pull up and forward

    - pull open the latches on the front of the soft top to lower the hooks

    - manually engage the hooks, if you have a partner, close the latches together at the same time, if you dont have a partner, i go halfway with one, then go to the other side, go all the way with the other, then come back and finish the first side.

    - AFTER the latches are engaged, go to the driver side and look right behind the driver door, right above the weatherstrip for the top. you should see a red latch, push the bottom of the soft top torward the front of the car a bit and release this latch but dont lower the back of the top yet

    - close the soft top hard boot and slide forward, make sure it snaps in place

    - inside the car, behind the drivers seat, on the underside of the boot is a rocker switch. iirc if you push it torwards the passenger side it lowers the pulldown assembly, torwards the drivers side it raises it. if its on the way up, you cant lower it until it gets to the top, if its on the way down you cant raise it again until it hits the bottom.

    - You want this assembly raised. you may have to lower it all the way first and then raise it.

    - So now, the front should be latched in, the back should be released, the boot cover closed securly and the pulldown mechanism should be in the up position using the rocker switch.

    - grab the bottom of the soft top near the hook and gently lower it about halfway. you may TRY to gently lower it onto the pulldown assembly but it may not work. what i do is lower it about half way then firmly push it down, you could almost call it slamming it down. after that use your hand on the bottom center of the back glass area to keep pressure on the latch assembly. once it clicks your done!

    If any of that doesnt work post back please



    to LOWER the top if its raised completely, meaning pull down assembly is latched

    - Pull the lever behind the drivers seat to release the top from the pulldown assembly

    - grab the rear "bow" (bottom of the soft top) and pull up and torwards the front of the car

    - AS YOU DO THIS, there is some fabric that MAY try to fold inward or downward. Again it helps to have a helper here. Try to make it fold outward instead. The two places are at the "C pillar" and at the very back of the "roof"

    - Now pull the bootcover release latch

    - slide the bootcover back and open

    - push the rear bow torward the front of the car and engage the latch with the red handle, which will secure the rear bow in the up position. if you manipulated the folding material correctly, this should be VERY easy

    - unlatch both the hooks from the front of the soft top

    - slowly push the top up and back

    - AGAIN THIS TIME watch how the fabric fold, there should be a HUGE piece of it that is supposed to fold outward, if it folds inward, your top will not lower all the way. it helps again to have a partner here until you get used to it

    - now finish lowering it, my fabirc usually ends up covering the pulldown assembly so i move it off of there and make sure it all stuffed down correctly and lowered correctly.

    - when your confident its as low as it can go, close the boot cover again.



    again, if anything doesnt go as planned, post up here

    there may be some joints or pivot points sticking as well, but try the fabric bunching up thing first.

    if that doesnt work check all the joints to see if they need oiling or anything


    AND POST PICS

  4. #3
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2004 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD, 1989 Cadillac Allanté: Pearl White
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    Fayetteville NC
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    Re: just bought a 1988 allante convertible

    Theres a very thin plastic "shield" over the pulldown motor assembly. it goes across the whole backside of the soft top boot. i found that it was getting in the way so i removed it, its secured with 4 phillips screws. Its still sitting in my trunk, has been for about 3 weeks now.

    also, with this off, you can make sure the pulldown assembly is bolted securely and connected. you should also inspect the clear plastic housing for any serious cracks.

  5. #4
    KiminWashington is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1988 Cadillac Allante
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Age
    48
    Posts
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    HELP With 1988 Cadillac Allante Hardtop - Don't know how to take it off?

    My car came to me without an owner's manual and I have no idea how to get the hard top off. I see the two release latches at the top of the windshield, but I don't see any way to release it from the rear. I don't want to damage anything. I guess I could drive my car up to the Cadillac dealer but they aren't use to working on vintage cars. I need help!

  6. #5
    moosejr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 89 Allante
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    53
    Posts
    5

    Re: HELP With 1988 Cadillac Allante Hardtop - Don't know how to take it off?

    Quote Originally Posted by KiminWashington View Post
    My car came to me without an owner's manual and I have no idea how to get the hard top off. I see the two release latches at the top of the windshield, but I don't see any way to release it from the rear. I don't want to damage anything. I guess I could drive my car up to the Cadillac dealer but they aren't use to working on vintage cars. I need help!
    You will find two latches right inside the side windows behind the doors. You will need to release those also, , and then pull the lever to release the pulldown motor.

  7. #6
    DBA-One's Avatar
    DBA-One is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2005 DeVille
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    Re: just bought a 1988 allante convertible

    Quote Originally Posted by OffThaHorseCEO View Post
    hey congratulations on your purchase. these cars arent brand new so of course theyre going to have to be tweaked and have glitches or issues fixed.

    as far as the top goes here are some brief instructions

    to raise

    - lower both windows or open both door (my windows dont roll yet)

    - pull the switch to release the soft top hard cover

    - slide the cover back then open

    - pull the top up, until you get used to operating it, its best to do this with a helper, from both sides, and in a slow fluid motion. i usually grab the top by the latch handles, and by the rear bow and pull up and forward

    - pull open the latches on the front of the soft top to lower the hooks

    - manually engage the hooks, if you have a partner, close the latches together at the same time, if you dont have a partner, i go halfway with one, then go to the other side, go all the way with the other, then come back and finish the first side.

    - AFTER the latches are engaged, go to the driver side and look right behind the driver door, right above the weatherstrip for the top. you should see a red latch, push the bottom of the soft top torward the front of the car a bit and release this latch but dont lower the back of the top yet

    - close the soft top hard boot and slide forward, make sure it snaps in place

    - inside the car, behind the drivers seat, on the underside of the boot is a rocker switch. iirc if you push it torwards the passenger side it lowers the pulldown assembly, torwards the drivers side it raises it. if its on the way up, you cant lower it until it gets to the top, if its on the way down you cant raise it again until it hits the bottom.

    - You want this assembly raised. you may have to lower it all the way first and then raise it.

    - So now, the front should be latched in, the back should be released, the boot cover closed securly and the pulldown mechanism should be in the up position using the rocker switch.

    - grab the bottom of the soft top near the hook and gently lower it about halfway. you may TRY to gently lower it onto the pulldown assembly but it may not work. what i do is lower it about half way then firmly push it down, you could almost call it slamming it down. after that use your hand on the bottom center of the back glass area to keep pressure on the latch assembly. once it clicks your done!

    If any of that doesnt work post back please



    to LOWER the top if its raised completely, meaning pull down assembly is latched

    - Pull the lever behind the drivers seat to release the top from the pulldown assembly

    - grab the rear "bow" (bottom of the soft top) and pull up and torwards the front of the car

    - AS YOU DO THIS, there is some fabric that MAY try to fold inward or downward. Again it helps to have a helper here. Try to make it fold outward instead. The two places are at the "C pillar" and at the very back of the "roof"

    - Now pull the bootcover release latch

    - slide the bootcover back and open

    - push the rear bow torward the front of the car and engage the latch with the red handle, which will secure the rear bow in the up position. if you manipulated the folding material correctly, this should be VERY easy

    - unlatch both the hooks from the front of the soft top

    - slowly push the top up and back

    - AGAIN THIS TIME watch how the fabric fold, there should be a HUGE piece of it that is supposed to fold outward, if it folds inward, your top will not lower all the way. it helps again to have a partner here until you get used to it

    - now finish lowering it, my fabirc usually ends up covering the pulldown assembly so i move it off of there and make sure it all stuffed down correctly and lowered correctly.

    - when your confident its as low as it can go, close the boot cover again.



    again, if anything doesnt go as planned, post up here

    there may be some joints or pivot points sticking as well, but try the fabric bunching up thing first.

    if that doesnt work check all the joints to see if they need oiling or anything


    AND POST PICS
    That is all? Reminds me of my first experience putting a top down on a friend's Allante. It was awful and it is also why the car lives with the hardtop on.

  8. #7
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2004 Cadillac SRX V8 AWD, 1989 Cadillac Allanté: Pearl White
    Join Date
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    Fayetteville NC
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    4,406

    Re: HELP With 1988 Cadillac Allante Hardtop - Don't know how to take it off?

    Quote Originally Posted by DBA-One View Post
    That is all? Reminds me of my first experience putting a top down on a friend's Allante. It was awful and it is also why the car lives with the hardtop on.
    It really sounds like a lot more than what it is. I can actually have the top up in less than 30 seconds if i need to, tested by pulling over on the highway after watching heavy rain come in my direction at a very fast pace!

    Quote Originally Posted by KiminWashington View Post
    My car came to me without an owner's manual and I have no idea how to get the hard top off. I see the two release latches at the top of the windshield, but I don't see any way to release it from the rear. I don't want to damage anything. I guess I could drive my car up to the Cadillac dealer but they aren't use to working on vintage cars. I need help!
    Sorry i didnt see your PM, heres what i tried to send in a reply PM.

    Hey! Sorry i just saw this. hopefully you got the hard top off by now, but if you didnt heres how.

    You will need two people or super long arms and the ability to balance awkward weight. The top itself only weights about 60 pounds so almost anyone can help with it.

    1) behind the drivers seat, on the part that blends with the toneau cover, are two latches. one is labeled hardtop/soft top release or something to that effect, i believe it is the top latch. Pull that and you should hear a click as something releasing.

    2) since youre back there, look at where the quarter windows meet the body of the car, on the backside of the b pillar. you should see a black smooth latch, and the end of it should be pointed up. there is one on each side. release that latch by swinging torward the back of the car, the latch tip will swing around and eventually point to the back of the car.

    3) Last set of latches are the most obvious, they are on the ceiling of the car, where the top meets the windshield. Push the putton while pulling the latch open. as soon as the hook disengages it SHOULD pop out of place, and you can close the latch again.

    4) make sure the car radio is off so that the antenna is not extended. it also helps if the windows are down and the doors are open.

    5) you and your partner should now lift the top at the same time. i prefer to lift the front end first, which allows me to use my second hand under the quarter windows. makes it easier to balance.

    6) carefully lay it down somewhere, preferably on a hardtop stand, but ive laid it down on my shed floor before, paint UP of course

    hope that helps

  9. #8
    DBA-One's Avatar
    DBA-One is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: just bought a 1988 allante convertible

    I'd swear the top was possessed by the Devil himself! This was not something I expected from a premium car. I normally don't like droptops but I did have a CLK because it was nearly given to me buy a family member. That car changed my perception of soft top cars because it sealed like a hard top and even had coat hooks. My friend's '89 Allante is like a car wreck in that I can't help but looks but I don't want to be in one. She is the original owner and it has a lot of features that I really like but it isn't the car for me.

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