: Redoing Vinyl Top



DopeStar 156
03-28-05, 05:15 PM
So I've got $500 burning a hole in my pocket and I'm ready to make an appointment to have my vinyl top redone I however have a few questions. How long will it take to have the top redone? Two? Three days? Also if I asked him to get the opera lights working, do you think he'd successfully be able to do so?

ocjmakaveli
03-28-05, 05:28 PM
So I've got $500 burning a hole in my pocket and I'm ready to make an appointment to have my vinyl top redone I however have a few questions. How long will it take to have the top redone? Two? Three days? Also if I asked him to get the opera lights working, do you think he'd successfully be able to do so?

Honestly this is only a question the shop can answer because it's all subject to how busy they are and how fast he can do the job.

the opera lights can always be fixed it all depends how smart the guy is.

For me I had an estimate done locally and they told me it would take a week for the vinyl to be done they said though they could just repaint the one i had because it wasn't torn or anything.

brougham
03-28-05, 05:31 PM
Why don't you just call the place you're going to bring it to and ask them? For the opera lights that probably depends on if he knows how to fix them or not.

caddycruiser
03-28-05, 05:35 PM
Honestly this is only a question the shop can answer because it's all subject to how busy they are and how fast he can do the job.

the opera lights can always be fixed it all depends how smart the guy is.

For me I had an estimate done locally and they told me it would take a week for the vinyl to be done they said though they could just repaint the one i had because it wasn't torn or anything.


What did they mean by repaint? The white one on my '93 looks okay, but sitting outside this winter has not helped it, and it now seems to look a little dirty and has stains that just refuse to come off, regardless of what I try.

That said, I had been researching vinyl paint, plus all the prep and "vinyl primer" that goes on beforehand, and was thinking about doing it as a project this summer to get it looking fresh and white again. Like you, my vinyl is essentially perfect shape with no cracks or tears, just needs "re-whitened".

FRANKO
03-28-05, 05:48 PM
One day is all it should take...2 guys working!

Vinyl tops look good re-painted...just be sure to "Clear" it.

FRANKO

davesdeville
03-28-05, 06:29 PM
Vinyl can be re-dyed..

ocjmakaveli
03-28-05, 09:29 PM
Vinyl can be re-dyed..

Yes I believe they would redye it which would save me money and they told me it would look just like new.

You only need to replace it once it tears otherwise just redye it a good place should be able to do it.

I don't recommend a do-it-yourself job but if you know how go for it.

Mine is also just dirty looking damn vinyl looks like it was soaked in dirt and it's never been washed. I'm going to redye it for this summers use.

Post pics when you get yours done it should easily be a job under $500

DopeStar 156
03-29-05, 12:39 AM
Yeah, the reason I'm asking here is because I posted this when they weren't open and I was just wondering if anyone here had this done before. I didn't know opera lamps could be fixed! Wow I'd love to see them work.

caddycruiser
03-29-05, 11:44 AM
Good to know. It really doesn't look that bad until you get up close and think it's dirty--but I've scrubbed and used every type of cleaner known to man.

Looked amazing about a year ago, but sitting outside, not far from trees, is not good for white vinyl.

I'm back at college until May, but I'm going to check on getting a quote to re-dye, re-paint the vinyl to get it back to a bright vibrant white.

http://i152.exs.cx/img152/7223/10000416by.th.jpg (http://img152.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img152&image=10000416by.jpg)

Boy, the summer Fleetwood "list" just keeps getting longer... :rolleyes:
-Fresh transmission fluid and filter
-New tires
-New shocks
-Have the top done...

Night Wolf
03-29-05, 12:00 PM
I had thsoe same stains on the top of my '79 DeVille (yellow)

I used this white wall tire bleech in a spray bottle I got from the auto store... and it cleaned it right up.... try that...

caddycruiser
03-29-05, 12:04 PM
Yeah, when we first got it, we did the "bleach" treatment that worked so well on the Roadmaster and it looked amazing. Now, when you get up close, it actually looks like a lot of the white finish has started to wear off from a little too much scrubbing (look at the top of the roof, where it looks gray). Those stains down the side are bizzare, because they just sort of appeared and REFUSE to come off with anything.

DopeStar 156
03-29-05, 01:20 PM
I just got off the phone with my top guy. He says it'll take a day to do and to bring the car in to match up a color. He also said that the opera lamps are close to impossible to find and can't be fixed. He suggested maybe a place that specializes in old Caddys that would be able to get ahold of some new ones or perhaps aftermarket ones. He sounds like a good guy and keeps referring to himself as a professional. Let's hope he delivers.

kmhebert
03-29-05, 02:18 PM
By opera lights, do you mean the light strips between the front and rear doors? Or the reading lights in the back seat? I realize I reveal my ignorance with this question. My reading lights work fine but the strips do not light up at all. I wonder how hard it is to replace these with some LEDS or maybe even a small flourescent bulb?

brougham
03-29-05, 02:51 PM
Opera lights are the ones that are on the outside by the doors.

kmhebert
03-29-05, 03:11 PM
Opera lights are the ones that are on the outside by the doors.

OK, heh, all this time I thought they were the reading lamps. http://cadillacforums.com/forums/images/smilies/hide.gif

So, are they hard to replace with LEDs? I think they would look cool lit up when the headlights are on.

caddycruiser
03-29-05, 05:02 PM
Got another question. What "category" in the phonebook did you guys look up to find a place or person that re-does vinyl roofs? Would it be an upholsterer, a custom auto shop, or what?

ocjmakaveli
03-29-05, 06:08 PM
upholstery shops do the vinyl tops

DopeStar 156
03-29-05, 06:23 PM
Got another question. What "category" in the phonebook did you guys look up to find a place or person that re-does vinyl roofs? Would it be an upholsterer, a custom auto shop, or what?
My guy I found under the category "Automobile Tops." I would love to hear if anyone knows how to make LED opera lamps or even if the hinted aftermarket ones exist.

davesdeville
03-29-05, 06:56 PM
My thoughts on retrofiting opera lights...

LEDs might look a bit weird. A bunch of dots of light rather than a big glowing strip. Retrofitting an old unit with LEDs, however, should be easy as long as the LEDs physically fit in the casing. The old electroluminescent transformer puts out about 120 volts IIRC so removing that and running 12v would be easier. Wiring LEDs with the proper resistors is explained all over the net, just google it if you're interested.

Another option would be replacing the old EL tape with new EL tape and a new transformer. You can get differant colors of EL tape (and of LEDs for that matter) if you want a custom look, I was thinking of doing red EL tape on my 78 but the old ones actually worked. Speaking of that I might have a working set to part out if I'm junking that car.. Some old opera lights might have bulbs - that would probably just make it easier to retrofit it.

90Brougham350
03-29-05, 08:48 PM
Hmmm, I didn't know you could just do the EL tape like that. The red might look pretty sweet, especially since it would be the same shape as the red on the sides of the chrome tailight housing. Mine work though, so I'm not considering this yet, but good to know.

Brian

Night Wolf
03-30-05, 01:17 AM
maybe pull the opra lights from a '77-'79 DeVille/Fleetwood

they use fuse type bulbs... and work... and easy to replace... and are much brighter then those EL strips too.... the opra lights on my '79 work like a charm....

I have seen the LEDs on limos.. and it looks really nice, then again those have like 4 banks of 3 or whatever it is....