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Luv my bug!
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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

I just noticed the edge of my rag top on my 2005 NBC on the driver's side is fraying :eek: and I want to stop it from advancing.

Right now it's not advanced too terribly far to be unsightly, but it will keep fraying with the exposure to driving conditions.

I know about Shoe Goo and I hesitate to use that stuff because it tends to look messy. It's gloppy and thick. I also know about fabric glue which is more refined and easier to control in a pen, but although it's quality stuff I don't think it will be heavy-duty enough to last any length of time with the exposure to driving conditions. I do cover my bug at night--

Do any of you know of a good product to stop it from continuing to fray?
 

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You aren't going through a car wash with your convertible are you? The chemicals they use in those car washes over time will disolve the oils/waxes in the roof and over time will destroy the roof. So never ever take your convertible (if it has a soft top) through a car wash. Hand wash only!!

Here is a Youtube video on how to repair a convertible roof.
Not sure if that is helpful or not.

Car Soft Top / Convertible Roof Repair - YouTube

Here are some great products to care for your convertible roof:

Convertible Top Care Products. 303 convertible top care and Wolfsteins Raggtopp Products
 

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Luv my bug!
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246 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You aren't going through a car wash with your convertible are you? The chemicals they use in those car washes over time will disolve the oils/waxes in the roof and over time will destroy the roof. So never ever take your convertible (if it has a soft top) through a car wash. Hand wash only!!

Here is a Youtube video on how to repair a convertible roof.
Not sure if that is helpful or not.

Car Soft Top / Convertible Roof Repair - YouTube

Here are some great products to care for your convertible roof:

Convertible Top Care Products. 303 convertible top care and Wolfsteins Raggtopp Products
LOL I've been called stupid a time or two, but only by people who were dumber than me. LOL Nopey, I'd never take my girl through a car wash. Common sense does prevail in my mind, although it's really not so common.

I just bought her and am noticing things bit by bit as I get closer and closer to her, examining every inch of her as each day goes by.

The weather is kind of crappy in my region this time of year, so getting the chance to see her in broad daylight, in clear weather, is sporatic. I don't have a garage. I did have the good sense to buy a quality cover for her, which I've been using diligently as weather permits. E.g. if it's pouring down rain when I get home and she's already soaked, no cover. If I get home and it's relatively dry I put the cover on. So far so good.

I just noticed that on the edge of her rag top that it's beginning to fray and I want to head it off at the pass. The weather has been wet so frequently off and on lately, and with no garage and freezing temps, I'll probably have to wait to put any kind of glue or sealant on it to stop the fraying. It's not advancing as rapidly as I thought it would, thank goodness.
 

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This is a VERY common problem, especially when the door latch assembly is bad and the window does not drop before the door is open and/or the latch is band and window drops when opening the door, but raises up to it full height before the door actually closes.

Also some of the earlier cars had the windows that would come loose and the windows would pop up at the top and damage the edging of the top around the side windows.

Here is what I have used before. Make sure you ONLY get the black color. I am assuming your top is black as well?

3M 08008 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive Tube - 5 oz. : Amazon.com : Automotive

This is actually contact cement. Weather can be an issue, but you really need to have the fabric dry, you may want it to warm up a bit depending on your local temps?? What I did was to put a small amount of adhesive inside then carefully and tightly roll the fabric back into place. I used a piece of wax paper to allow me to use the handle to a wooden spoon to work back and forth to actually press the fabric as tight as I could get it.

The wax paper should not stick to any adhesive that may contact the wax side of the paper.

I had to do this on my top due to the same problem. I had an area about 5 inches long on the front of the drivers side.

A few other pointers, I understand in 2005 the windows would drop when the keyfob was used to unlock the doors. This was not the case in 2003-2004. My 2003 had the newer 2005 window regulators installed along with reflashing the central locking system to drop the windows via the keyfob.

I also always use the keyfob to unlock the car, both doors if needed when others are getting into the car, I also usually drop the passenger window as the way the door latches work, if you pull the door to quickly the glass will not have enough time to drop.

Make sure your windows are dropping to clear the top and that the window does not jump back up before the door is closed.

FYI, I am on my 3rd set of door latches in my 2003 at this point!
 

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Ali's Dad
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We have the same issue with the driver's door. It will only drop if you gently pull on the door handle and then hesitate - passenger door works fine. Is the 2005 lock and reprogramming a dealer only item? I would guess that the lock swap is something I can do but the dealer will have to reprogram the chip?
 

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Sounds like your drivers door latch may need to replaced?? What year is your car??

I had SO many issues with my 2003 windows the dealer installed new 2005 window regulators and I think??? the dealer had to reflash the central locking for the windows to drop via the keyfob?? I there may have been a technical bulletin on this issue??

I think I even had issues where the window would drop from the outside door handle and not the inside as well. Also the exterior door hand cable placement/adjustment is kind of critical as well, easy once you know the trick!

Correction on the above statement about the windows dropping from pulling the door handle on the outside but not dropping from the inside door handle. The initial window drop may have been from the keyfob with the new regulator after I thought about the history of the car for a while. Since I had 2 different sets of window regulators it the car, I had to think about when and how the windows were behaving! In any event you have to pay close attention to what is going on with the window drop. Most all of the window drop problems are due to bad switches in the door jam latches. A few cases were where the window would come loose from the clamping mechanism and pop up too high. There is a tech bulletin for the window clamps.
 

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Luv my bug!
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Discussion Starter #7
This is a VERY common problem, especially when the door latch assembly is bad and the window does not drop before the door is open and/or the latch is band and window drops when opening the door, but raises up to it full height before the door actually closes.

Also some of the earlier cars had the windows that would come loose and the windows would pop up at the top and damage the edging of the top around the side windows.

Here is what I have used before. Make sure you ONLY get the black color. I am assuming your top is black as well?

3M 08008 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive Tube - 5 oz. : Amazon.com : Automotive

This is actually contact cement. Weather can be an issue, but you really need to have the fabric dry, you may want it to warm up a bit depending on your local temps?? What I did was to put a small amount of adhesive inside then carefully and tightly roll the fabric back into place. I used a piece of wax paper to allow me to use the handle to a wooden spoon to work back and forth to actually press the fabric as tight as I could get it.

The wax paper should not stick to any adhesive that may contact the wax side of the paper.

I had to do this on my top due to the same problem. I had an area about 5 inches long on the front of the drivers side.

A few other pointers, I understand in 2005 the windows would drop when the keyfob was used to unlock the doors. This was not the case in 2003-2004. My 2003 had the newer 2005 window regulators installed along with reflashing the central locking system to drop the windows via the keyfob.

I also always use the keyfob to unlock the car, both doors if needed when others are getting into the car, I also usually drop the passenger window as the way the door latches work, if you pull the door to quickly the glass will not have enough time to drop.

Make sure your windows are dropping to clear the top and that the window does not jump back up before the door is closed.

FYI, I am on my 3rd set of door latches in my 2003 at this point!
Oh it would have been AWESOME if someone could have shot video of you making the rag top repair!
 

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Luv my bug!
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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like your drivers door latch may need to replaced?? What year is your car??

I had SO many issues with my 2003 windows the dealer installed new 2005 window regulators and I think??? the dealer had to reflash the central locking for the windows to drop via the keyfob?? I there may have been a technical bulletin on this issue??

I think I even had issues where the window would drop from the outside door handle and not the inside as well. Also the exterior door hand cable placement/adjustment is kind of critical as well, easy once you know the trick!

Correction on the above statement about the windows dropping from pulling the door handle on the outside but not dropping from the inside door handle. The initial window drop may have been from the keyfob with the new regulator after I thought about the history of the car for a while. Since I had 2 different sets of window regulators it the car, I had to think about when and how the windows were behaving! In any event you have to pay close attention to what is going on with the window drop. Most all of the window drop problems are due to bad switches in the door jam latches. A few cases were where the window would come loose from the clamping mechanism and pop up too high. There is a tech bulletin for the window clamps.
It's a 2005. One of the forum members found a yard for me which has a beetle with compatible parts, and I've been pestering them for the interior driver's side door latch assembly but I'm going to have to call them. They're not answering email for some reason. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep that window from further damaging my top. Yes, for clarification, the window is not dropping when I use the door latch to open the door from the inside. I think this is what's causing the fraying near the front. Most often I remember to lower the window a tad with the switch prior to opening the door, and then that spares the top getting swipped with the window as the door is opened. I've got to search for vids on how to replace the door latch once I find one!
 

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Not sure I would put a used latch in one of these cars. I think the latch would have to be from a convertible and unless you see the car the latch came from and also cross checked the part number, I would to tear into the door.

A new latch with good dealer pricing is about $125. If you ask nicely some of the parts departments will give you wholesale pricing without much issue.

The reason I would not consider a used latch is these take a BEATING on the convertibles. If the window drops as it should, between the window being down and the convertible top acting like a balloon you have no air resistance when you close the door. Additionally you have no pressure from the window gasket against the glass if the window is dropped. So these doors need VERY little effort to close them, but EVERYONE slams them like they are a full size SUV door.

So the latches have internal solder joints that break and the tiny micro switches get damaged.

If you plan on keeping the car, do yourself a favor and just buy a new latch, keep the old one in case you need solder joints reworked. For $65 on ebay you can get your latches reworked, however, you likely do not want to have the car apart waiting on a latch?

You will also need the triple square/XZN bits for the latch bolts and the bolt for the lock cylinder.

Neiko 10-Piece XZN Triple Square Spline Bit Socket Set, Quality S2 XZN Bits - Amazon.com

If you plan on doing the work, also buy the $10 plastic latch support, if they break easily and if anyone has every been in the door, they have likely cracked or screwed these up. There is also 1 pop rivet that is needed and you will need a pop rivet tool. The stupid dealer supplied pop rivet is the wrong one, but a pair if side cutters to trim the head is all that is needed to make it work.

Dealer monkeys used wire ties on my plastic door latch support as they probably had to order it and did not want to wait on it?? Cannot understand why the parts group does not make a kit with the latch, plastic support and pop rivet??? Only would be about $10 more and it would all fit in the same box the latch comes in. I guess just not enough brain power??

Kind of like exhaust flange gaskets, just include the nuts and washers as you will not likely want to reuse the originals!
 

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Luv my bug!
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Discussion Starter #10
Not sure I would put a used latch in one of these cars. I think the latch would have to be from a convertible and unless you see the car the latch came from and also cross checked the part number, I would to tear into the door.

A new latch with good dealer pricing is about $125. If you ask nicely some of the parts departments will give you wholesale pricing without much issue.

The reason I would not consider a used latch is these take a BEATING on the convertibles. If the window drops as it should, between the window being down and the convertible top acting like a balloon you have no air resistance when you close the door. Additionally you have no pressure from the window gasket against the glass if the window is dropped. So these doors need VERY little effort to close them, but EVERYONE slams them like they are a full size SUV door.

So the latches have internal solder joints that break and the tiny micro switches get damaged.

If you plan on keeping the car, do yourself a favor and just buy a new latch, keep the old one in case you need solder joints reworked. For $65 on ebay you can get your latches reworked, however, you likely do not want to have the car apart waiting on a latch?

You will also need the triple square/XZN bits for the latch bolts and the bolt for the lock cylinder.

Neiko 10-Piece XZN Triple Square Spline Bit Socket Set, Quality S2 XZN Bits - Amazon.com

If you plan on doing the work, also buy the $10 plastic latch support, if they break easily and if anyone has every been in the door, they have likely cracked or screwed these up. There is also 1 pop rivet that is needed and you will need a pop rivet tool. The stupid dealer supplied pop rivet is the wrong one, but a pair if side cutters to trim the head is all that is needed to make it work.

Dealer monkeys used wire ties on my plastic door latch support as they probably had to order it and did not want to wait on it?? Cannot understand why the parts group does not make a kit with the latch, plastic support and pop rivet??? Only would be about $10 more and it would all fit in the same box the latch comes in. I guess just not enough brain power??

Kind of like exhaust flange gaskets, just include the nuts and washers as you will not likely want to reuse the originals!
You are so right about people slamming the doors like it's an SUV. I now find myself reminding passengers automatically when they get out to GENTLY shut the door EASY DOES IT. I am so ginger with the driver's side door it's not even funny.

I can see I'm going to have to print out your post and order all this stuff. I don't think I can do this myself. How long would you say it will take a decent repair mechanic to put in a brand new door latch assembly? I found a repair place that will do it, but I want to go in there armed with the knowledge of how long this should take so I don't get scroomed.
 

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Not sure the book time, I can probably do mine in 45 minutes now. It also depends on how stuck the sealer is on the inner door panel. When the car was new, it was only stuck on 1 side, now 10 years later is tends to stick to both sides. I recall the seal should stick to the inner panel you remove. They need to take their time and slowly release the sealer from the main door and then the job will be a bit easier to put back together.

I would guess 1 1/2 max labor. The good news on the verts the windows and window regulator does not need to be removed.

BUT the shop really needs to know what they are doing otherwise they can screw up the outer door handle a bit and the hold down for the lock cylinder can be a bit tricky.

You may want to have a body shop do the work as many times they are far cheaper on labor rates, usually about 1/2 mechanical and they are more likely to know the ins and outs of doors and door panels.
 

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I am so glad I read this thread!! I have no problems with the doors at the moment, but I tend to be a bit heavy handed myself - I will now be more gentle!:rolleyes:
 

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Proper way to open the door on a convertible from the outside.

You MUST use your thumb to open the door.

Do not just grab the door handle with your 4 fingers and pull, your window will not drop in time and you window WILL rub/catch on the convertible top edge.

When you grab the door handle with your hand, put your thumb on the door lock, and use your thumb to push against the door lock to force your 4 fingers back and to unlatch the door. When the window has dropped, you can use your 4 finger wrapped around the door handle to pull the door open.

See picture below. For you folks on right hand drive cars, obviously the picture is backwards to what you would expect, but the process is still the same.

Try it for yourself and see how it works!
 

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Fray Check

Hi,

There is a product we use in the sewing world called Fray Check and it is awesome. You can gut up a sweater to make other items and use this stuff on the edge and the sweater WILL NOT UNRAVEL, and it stands up to machine washing, one after the other. You can order it online from lots of places.

If my top started fraying, this would be the first product I would try, since it is made for cloth and I have seen it work.

Regards
Marietta
 

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The only thing I would worry about with the Fray Check is if it would actually "glue" the top material back down to the rounded frame/cording?

What I used actually glued the top material back down to the round cording so not only did not fray, it was not noticeable that the material had lifted/popped up from the round cording.

Also not sure how well the Fray Check would work on the "waterproof" material?
 

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Hi,

There is a product we use in the sewing world called Fray Check and it is awesome. You can gut up a sweater to make other items and use this stuff on the edge and the sweater WILL NOT UNRAVEL, and it stands up to machine washing, one after the other. You can order it online from lots of places.

If my top started fraying, this would be the first product I would try, since it is made for cloth and I have seen it work.

Regards
Marietta
I use fray check on cloth tops, tents and so on and wondered why others don't seem to. It's been working great for me. I clean the spot with a liquid spot cleaner for clothes, let it dry, then apply the fray check and let that dry, then treat the area I cleaned and "fray checked" with a convertible cloth top protectant.
 
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