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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on having a local shop do the top on my 1969 vert' and I am curious about something. (I ask because I have never encountered this before) They have "requested" a prepayment of the cost of the parts since they are "special order". Is this the norm? They quoted me a ballpark of $1300 for a Robbins top installed with a plastic window. I would like to get as much feedback as possible before I hand over any money. Thanks, Pat
 

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I think you'll be much happier in the long run with the glass window. The plastic will fog up. OEM was glass.

Partial pre-pay seems reasonable to me. Price seems a bit high, but I know the Robbins top is more expensive compared to other brands.
 

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I agree, if the shop is reputable I'd pony up the deposit so they can purchase the parts/materials. I have done this in the past, though I also often show up with the parts that I'm asking for someone else to install -- an idea for next time. And I agree with MrEos, a glass window is the only way to go. Two tips from the guys who have installed convertible tops for me over the years: (1) unzip the glass window before lowering the top and lay it carefully in the well so that it doesn't stress the top fabric (particularly the seam around the glass), and (2) install a plastic zipper. Those metal zippers can be quite a challenge to un/zip. I've done the latter on two cars (not show cars) with no complaints, the former always. Be forwarned, though: you should only zip down the window on older cars, and need to test it out carefully when putting the top down the first few times. I learned the hard way on an '84 Mustang convertible that lowering the back window before the top is not always a good idea. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I appreciate the comments. I also like the idea of bringing my own parts. I am going to contact them and see if this would be a problem. They have a backlog of work right now anyway. I'll post again with updates. Thanks, Pat
 

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The guy I've worked with has always used E-Z On brand tops. this is the same company that makes the factory tops for the chrysler company. Is the estimate for everything? like top pads ,cables, new fluid, rear boot,window liner etc. etc.. I would also as stated do the glass rear window without even thinking twice about it. The top going to vinly or are you doing a cloth top? The down payment would be standard at Pat's shop too for a special order top and parts that way if you backed out for what ever reason he wouldn't be stuck with trying to sell a top to get his money back. The price sounds a little strong if it's a vinly top, but if he's good then that needs to be considered too. The old saying of "you got what you paid for". Don't pay in full until job is complete and to your satisfaction!!!. Have him fill out a receipt as to exactly everything that is going to be new or fixed( document)
 

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Does that price include new pads, cables, weatherstriping & well liner? If not, the price is high, especially with a plastic rear window. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the standard reproduction vinyl top available from your favorite Cougar vendor. Using that top along with the glass window and replacing all the parts mentioned in the first sentence should cost around $1K. I urge you to reconsider the plastic rear window. Visibility sucks in a convertible with the top up and the plastic window just makes it worse. Additionally, plastic on an upscale Cougar just looks wrong.
 

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i have had converts for 40 years "glass window in the back is the only way to go." the only other substitute for the glass back window is none at all :)

a plastic window is allways distorted and only gets worse real quick.
 
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