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Okay...as promised....over the next few days, I'll be posting some things on custom suspensions, sliding rag tops, shaved handles, and some other fun little things to do to your ride.

In this post, I'll be explaining how one goes about installing their own sliding rag top. These have actually been around for years. The first company to come out with them was Britax. They mainly supplied European companies with these, and they were built for a very select few of cars. In today's age, people are installing them in their trucks, cars, vans, etc... as a substitute for the usual sun roof. Here's a pic of what they look like:

<img src="http://us.st7.yimg.com/store2.yimg.com/I/streetbeatcustoms_1654_15531606" border=0>

You can get them in all kinds of colors to match your exterior. Now...this is a pretty standard install, and it's not really that difficult. Anyone can do it with time and patience.

<b>Step 1</b>
- Start with taking your interior headliner out. If you're not sure on how to do this...you can go to www.hmaservice.com and follow their step by step procedures on doing this. Once you have the headliner out and sitting away, you can move onto step 2.

<b>Step 2</b>
- The kit will come with a supplied cardboard template for you to work with when cutting your hole in the roof. Center the template on top of the roof making sure to measure an EQUAL distance from either side. Meaasuring the sides will make sure you have it properly centered.

<b>Step 3</b>
- After measuring and making sure the template is perfectly centered, carefully tape the template to your roof. Then take a good permanent marker, and trace the outline of the template.

<b>Step 4</b>
- Once you have outlined the template with a marker, you can remove it from your roof, leaving just the square marker outline. At each corner of the outline, drill a small hole with a standard drill bit. Then increase the holes with a uni-bit. After completeing your holes, it would be very wise to outline the marker sketch with 2 or 3 strips of masking tape. This will help the paint and the metal to remain stiff during the cutting process.

<b>Step 5</b>
- Be sure to wear protective eye wear when cutting because small metal shaving could fly up and hit you in the eye. Once you do that, you can now use either your jigsaw, saw-zall, or any other type of cutting tool, to properly cut away the outline to leave an open hole in your roof.
LO&SHOW HINT: If you have any spring clamps laying around..they come in very handy when you cut out the hole. Use the clamps on each side of the outline. They will help the metal from jumping all around when you cut. And make sure you clamp the cut out section, and not the car.

<b>Step 6</b>
- Now that you have cut everything out, and you have a gaping hole in your roof, sit back, wipe the sweat off your forehead, and have a beer!

Take a file, and smooth out any rough edges from the cutting, and make sure the corners are nice smooth.

<b>Step 7</b>
- Carefully take the metal frame that came with the kit and bolt it together. Sit it in the hole that you cut out, and make sure it sits smoothly, and snug. Take the frame out and take some silicone, and apply a thin bead underneath the frame rails and then set the frame within the hole. The silicone will make sure you have a nice waterproof seal. Clamp the frame at each corner to your roof.

<b>Step 8</b>
- Take your drill and drill out some holes around the frame. The holes will house the screws and bolts that come with the kit.

<b>Step 9</b>
- Now that you're almost finished with the exterior, you just have to finish with the inside. Take your headliner, and put it reinstall it back inside. When you get out of the car, you will see the headliner through the frame. Take a sharp razor blade, and cut the headliner out, leaving about 2" on each side.

<b>Step 10</b>
- The kit will come supplied with another frame to install inside. Put the frame together, and screw it to your headliner/roof. DO NOT TIGHTEN THE FRAME. Leave it loose.

<b>Step 11</b>
- Take the rag top, and insert it into the exterior frame rails. Use the correct supplied screws to secure the ragtop into the frame.

<b>Step 12</b>
- Go back inside your car, and start to tighten the interior frame, while tucking the 2" excess of headliner underneath each side of the frame.

<b>Step 13</b>
- Check all screws and bolts..making sure everything is nce and tight. Make sure the rag top is able to roll back and forth nice smoothly. Go out cruising and enjoy the open the air!

These kits also come in power versions, like power sunroofs. If you are worried about the overall strength of your car with doing this...you have nothing to worry about. Sliding Rag Tops are the same as moonroofs. However... the only bad side effect to having a rag top is that it is easy to break in. Considering most of your roof is just fabric, it would just take a sharp knife to get access to inside your vehicle. But if you're not concerned with this...they definitly make one of the coolest modifications you could do to your ride!

If anyone has any other questions...feel free to email me, and I'll send you lots of pics of different rag tops.

Stay tuned for more fun and informative posts.....

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<img src="http://www.fxtreme.org/members/2000Lo&ShowTibby/loandshow.gif" border=0>

<b>There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.</b>
 

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wow.

<img src="http://63.102.174.92/rudy_mini2.jpg" border=0>
my car is yellow. [email protected]
 

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My friend did this to his car but he also added some type of sliding piece on the interior so if someone did take a knife to it they still couldnt get inside the car, Ill have to ask him about it for the exact details...
 

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targa top also doesn't do much for security with the top off <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>


on the rag top what do you do when it rains? targa, you just put the top backo on...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The rag top closes..it's basically just like a big moonroof. If you install it right..it can actually be more waterproof than an actual sunroof. <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

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<img src="http://www.fxtreme.org/members/2000Lo&ShowTibby/loandshow.gif" border=0>

<b>There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.</b>
 
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