J. New Paint, New Vinyl Roof and Assembled

posted Nov 13, 2016, 6:32 AM by Dane Belden   [ updated Jul 7, 2017, 10:54 AM ]
The Chevelle was re-assembled after the paint was cut and buffed to the point that the vinyl top could be applied.  Because the rear window was taken out to do the rust repair of the rear window channels and corners, it was left out to make applying the vinyl top easier.  The vinyl is wrapped around the quarter, roof and trunk filler panel lips and down the side of the window channel itself, so with no window in the way the job can be done easier.
Now the toughest part of having a new vinyl top installed is getting the trim back on the roof.  Specifically the drip rail molding trim is the tricky part.  Because the Stainless Steel molding is c-shaped in its cross section, you have to apply it to one edge and then force it over the second edge and it can take quite a bit of force which isn't good for very light gauge stainless steel!

We fabricated a tool using an old bottle opener - it's something that most everyone does, so really nothing new here.  Just bend the opener in a way that gives you good leverage so that you can move the molding down around the lower edge of the drip rail.  Always start at the back of the drip rail and work forward.  Also, you slip the top of the C cross section on the drip rail and rotate the molding over the bottom.
This process takes time a patience - something that is difficult to do at times.  Also remember, the drip rail molding for the 1970 Chevelle differs if you have a vinyl roof - it's a bit larger in cross section to accommodate the vinyl roof.  Using non- vinyl roof molding on a vinyl roof car just won't work.  We applied the original factory molding back to this car.  It had a few dings and dents that we tried to remove, but because this is a nice driver it has some very minor dings that can be seen at certain angles.  All trim was buffed with a wheel and green rouge before re-installation.
So with the drip rail molding installed, it's time to move to the body molding.  This molding is held on by studs and injection molded plastic clips the top trim snaps over.  It's not complicated and pretty straight forward.  The key is to apply the clips in a way they capture the vinyl as a bit of additional "safety" to keep the top in place.  The factory did it much the same way you see here.
And there you have it, with all the trim back on, a nice, new vinyl roof for the 1970 Chevelle SS.
So with the paint and vinyl top complete, it's now time for the mechanical restoration work to begin!