Hard Top interchangeability
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Cadillac Allante Forum Discussion, Hard Top interchangeability in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey Allante enthusiasts: After years of thinking about it, I've finally decided to buy an Allante. After doing some reading ...
  1. #1
    carmental is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Hard Top interchangeability

    Hey Allante enthusiasts:

    After years of thinking about it, I've finally decided to buy an Allante. After doing some reading I'm partial to the Phase II models, 90 1/2 through 92. Problem is I'm having trouble finding a decent one with a hard top and I'd really like to have the hardtop if possible. Solution: Find a hardtop from an older model as they seem to be more plentiful (I see plenty of pre-90 cars with the hardtop for a reasonable price).

    Question: Are the hardtops interchangeable between years? I've read that the latching mechanism changed in 1990, so I'm not sure if that changed the hardtop configuration.

    Last question: Any suggestions for Allante hunting? AutoTrader and Carsoup just ain't doing the trick.

    Thanks Bruce (aka Carmental)

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  3. #2
    macsr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    Here is great site for locating Allante's. Be sure and go to page one Good luck Mike

  4. #3
    macsr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability


  5. #4
    c5 rv's Avatar
    c5 rv is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    Welcome! I don't believe the hardtops are interchangeable because of the latch locations. Be patient in your search and soak up as much as you can from this forum.


    I hated my hardtop. It was a PITA to put on and off and I was never used the car much in the rain, let alone winter. I kept the car garaged. Storing the top was a PITA. One prospective buyer was turned off by the car because of the separate hardtop. If he would have called back, I would have knocked off $500 and kept the top to sell here - but he never called back.

    Then there are those folks that keep the top on all the time (or much of the time) and leave the convertible top folded up for months, or years, getting ruined. The hardtop was just in the way for me.

  6. #5
    OffThaHorseCEO is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    i like the hardtop personally. I plan to use the vehicle year round and i just FEEL like the car will warm up better if the hardtop is on.

  7. #6
    billc83's Avatar
    billc83 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    A Phase I hardtop will not fit a Phase II car. I've heard there are adapters out there, but I've never looked into it personally.

    Storing the hardtop sucks, but I usually put it on/take it off once a year, right around now (in fact tonight I will probably get a friend over to help me put it on) and leave it on during the winter. Especially now with all the Bricklin taking up the majority of the garage, my hardtop is in the friggin' rec room!

    Having the hardtop on is almost like having a whole new car.

  8. #7
    c5 rv's Avatar
    c5 rv is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    I always put my car into winter storage with the soft top up and a car cover. I'd always read that convertible tops lasted longest is left up whenever possible. The only problem with that is the hardtop took up wall space in the garage. I suppose I could have created a floor-mounted stand and put the car and top in off-site storage together.

  9. #8
    carmental is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    Well now I'm torn. I'd always figured to get a hardtop as I don't imagine there are a heckuva lot of them on the secondary market so if you don't get one with the car, finding one would be tough. Looking for 90-92 cars without a hardtop certainly makes the pool of available cars a heckuva lot bigger though. I found a 90.5 w/o the hardtop in burgundy that I really like, but it has some funky side molding that must have been put on by the dealer. Nice looking car, but that molding makes it look like a cheap 70's car.

  10. #9
    FLBill is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    Hi

    The placement of the hard top on the car definately changes the feel of the ride. Inside, air conditioning is definately easier (Florida here) and I'm thinking heating also would be easier .

    Bill

  11. #10
    FLBill is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    The chances of getting a phase two top are not as good as getting a phae one if you have a phae two car that did not come with a hard top. Phase two tops are out there, just at a premium price. Good luck on the search.

    Bill

  12. #11
    billc83's Avatar
    billc83 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    Quote Originally Posted by c5 rv View Post
    I always put my car into winter storage with the soft top up and a car cover. I'd always read that convertible tops lasted longest is left up whenever possible. The only problem with that is the hardtop took up wall space in the garage. I suppose I could have created a floor-mounted stand and put the car and top in off-site storage together.
    My hardtop came with a stand (unsure if it's factory or just some assembled piece).

    Now, I've heard the same: most convertible tops should be kept up when possible. But I've also read that the Allante tops are made from a different material than some other convertibles and the material was specifically selected because it can take being down for extended periods of time and won't crease as some older convertible tops a known to do.

    There's also a worry of the soft top shrinking if it doesn't see some sunlight every now and then. But really it's a matter of not putting the top down if the top is wet and keeping moisture out. If you have a good, dry garage like I have, that should not be an issue.

    Over my ownership, I kept the soft top down mostly year-round. I have not noticed any detrimental effect to the soft top when raised.

  13. #12
    electricman is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    First, faze II tops use two electric latching motors on the hard tops that latch into the windshield frame, similar to the way the soft top works.

    The faze I tops use mechanical latches on the sides, near the front corners.

    I have a faze I top on a '91 (faze II). I'll fit right on, but you need to attach a bracket to the windshield frame onto which the side latches fasten. Even then, the weatherstripping along the windshield top edge is a poor fit, and therefore has wind leaks.

    There is a kit available that I bought on ebay that converts the faze I top to the faze II body. It consists of a specially machined piece that is used along with the relocated side latches to latch into the windshield frame. The video that comes with the kit also shows the trimming that needs to be done to the sealing front edge of the hard top to seal correctly.

    All that said, since I drive my car mostly on nice days, top up or down, I only put the hard top on once I determine I won't be using the soft top. I then mount the hard top, but i don't plan on driving it during the sloppy season.

    I thought I would use it as an all-weather car, front drive, etc. but I don't want to crud it up. I have another front driver for the sloppy weather anyway.

    George

  14. #13
    David is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    I have had my '92 Allanté since March of 1994 (2nd owner; currently have 101,000 miles on the car); the soft top is original, and except for a couple of spots where the soft top has rubbed against the boot, it looks new (the spots are slightly shiny, but not worn excessively at all); I install the hardtop each October and take it off in late March, so the soft top is down for approximately a half year each year.

  15. #14
    David is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    George: the phase II hardtops do NOT have electric latching motors (the soft tops do); the hard top has a tool that is used to secure the hardtop to the front of the car. I have a phase II car (1992) which has both tops...

    David

  16. #15
    electricman is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Hard Top interchangeability

    I stand corrected! I obviously don't have a faze II top but the pix I've seen of the top sure looks like the motors along the front edge. My mistake for assuming.

    That actually makes sense; why have the expense of motors on a top that would be used infrequently?

    George

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