Monday, February 27, 2012

Targa Front Seal, Rear Trim Bar and Rear Seal

It was time to install the front targa gasket across the top of the windshield frame.  The one that came with the car was in great shape, so I just cleaned it and slotted it into place.  It went in nicely.

Below is the place where the rear trim bar mounts.  I cleaned, pained and bolted the targa clamps back into their home.

I then went to install the rear targa trim bar.  Alert readers will remember that I had covered it in new vinyl a long time back, as it had several unsightly cracks.  I tried my best, but even the 1/8" of extra thickness prevented it from fitting into place.  So I carefully peeled off my vinyl and scrubbed off the contact cement residue with mineral spirits.

So the plan became trying to repair the cracks as best as possible.  I ended up filling the cracks with vinyl adhesive, waiting a couple of days, gently sanding, then applying more adhesive.  In retrospect I should have used epoxy because the vinyl adhesive takes a long time to dry and shrinks up, necessitating multiple treatments.

This is the result, with a bit of scuffing of the original vinyl due to the sanding.

I wanted to get a consistent pebbly texture and after a lot of research, I ended up with this rubberized undercoating.

The trick to using this stuff is to spray in a very fast motion or it will get too thick and goopy.  By fast I mean spraying across the whole trim in about 1/10th of a second.  Apply multiple coats until you get the look you want.  I hung the trim by a string from the bottom of my opened garage door so I had 360 degree access.  Just beware that the overspray will get everywhere!

It's by no means perfect, but better than it started and with a nice texture.

Finally, I mounted the U-shaped rear seal into the targa top.  It's not in the greatest shape, but I didn't feel like buying more replacement seals...  There are two breaks in the rubber gasket, so I shaped and stuck strips of butyl into the holes.  Someday I'll just get a completely new gasket as the fuzzy strip is disintegrating.