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OK. So, I've read a LOT of forums about convertible tops peeling off the back glass window of New Beetle Convertibles (our is an '05). There are posts that say it's repairable and offer simple gluing techniques. Other posts say it's repairable, and offer fairly complicated and involved techniques, with no guarantee that it will work. And there are posts that say go out and buy a new roof, you'll never get the top to stay glued to the window.

After reading them all, and assessing our problem, I'm inclined to go with last option (get a new top), for several reasons: One, virtually all option #1 posts simply had the top come loose, but still had plenty of give to re-adhere it to the window; Two, the option #2 posts are more realistic, and give no guarantee their solution will last. Three, as you'll see in my pictures, our top has shrunk so badly, you can't even get the material to overlap the window (some posts say they had to stretch the material . . . but I'm pulling it taut, and it's not even coming close to overlapping); and, Four, I took it to an auto upholstery shop today, and the owner stepped out, took one look and said, "You need a new top. Any forums that say you can repair this are crazy. It's too far gone." I trust him, because I read a review that he helped someone with their '68 Mustang convertible repair a top that had separated from the window. So, I figure if he thought ours was repairable, he'd have told me.

I'd love to get some input from the forum. What say you? Repair or replace?

248818


248819
 

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I have 2003 bug. I bought the 3m primer and 3m black cement that you use with a caulk gun from Amazon. I also bought suction tabs and used a paint stick under the suction tabs. I saw a you tube video explaining how to do it. I think the poster’s name is Bill Tate. I took my time and glued the top first, then both sides, and finally the bottom. I did this over a 3 day span. Has been 3 days now and no issues yet. This is a lot cheaper then buying a new top.

YouTube has lots of videos on how to do it. yes, it’s a P.I.T.A. But doable.
you have to leave the top open about 18 inches for the top of the glass, then lower to about 12 inches for sides and closed all the way for the bottom.
 

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I just had mine repaired by a convertible top shop. They added a strip of black canvas across the top since it had also shrunk and glued everything in place. Looks fine and the cost was $500. The rest of the top is in great shape so there was no need to replace the enire top.
 

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I just had mine repaired by a convertible top shop. They added a strip of black canvas across the top since it had also shrunk and glued everything in place. Looks fine and the cost was $500. The rest of the top is in great shape so there was no need to replace the enire top.
I guess our top is too far gone. Not only is the window an issue, but the entire top has deteriorated from the intense sun we get in Colorado. Any time we get a heavy rain, it soaks the interior, even after applying several coats of 303 Outdoor Fabric Guard. I've had two different auto upholstery shops, as well as the VW dealer, tell me we need a new one. When I asked one of the upholstery shops if the top was OEM, he said, "Why would you want OEM? The OEM top separated from the window in the first place. The top I'll install is better than OEM." I thought that was interesting, and made complete sense.
 
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