The Chrysler Crossfire’s factory soft top has some serious problems. Not only is it notorious for splitting at the seams, but the rear glass window separates from the canvas.
A 2006 Crossfire recently came to my auto upholstery shop. It was a real mess, with both the top and window falling apart.
My client was really aggravated with the condition, and wanted something premium.
I turned to GAHH Automotive because their Crossfire soft top offers numerous advantages.
First, it’s made from the original Haartz German A5 canvas, so it’s really high quality and looks absolutely great.
Second, the heated glass window is attached to the top using GAHH’s UltraMaxx Window System, a bonding method they pioneered in 2008 that provides a much cleaner look than factory and prevents any chance of separating.
Third, the top comes with plastic extrusions on the front and sides that are identical to factory.
Some top manufacturers that aren’t able to reproduce these extrusions make trimmers separate them from the old top and mail them in to be reused on the new top. It’s a burdensome process that requires too much downtime with the car.
With the GAHH top, I’m able to complete the job in one day, just as I would if it were an OEM top. Plus, I know I’m installing a high-quality product that won’t fall apart and embarrass me.
I’m going to walk you through the process of removing an old factory top and installing a new GAHH top on the Crossfire. If the pads are split like they were in this car, you’ll have to buy and replace them too.
Professional trimmers should be able to complete this job in six hours or less. DIY-ers shouldn’t attempt it.
Lift the top half way so that the header bow is vertical. Remove the 13 torx screws to detach the metal header bow molding.
Remove the left- and right-side front rubber weather strips to expose the one rivet on each side that holds the front of the convertible top to the header bow.
Drill out the rivet to expose the side-tension cables. Then, unclip the side-tension cables to peel back the front of the canvas.
There’s one rivet on each side that holds a strap from the canvas to the frame. Take note of how the strap is routed and then drill out the rivet.
The second and third bows have sleeves that slide into them. Cut the sleeves off and pull them out of their tracks.
Peeling down the left- and right-side jammer rubber weather stripping will expose one rivet that holds the plastic extrusion of the canvas top. Drill out the rivet and pull up on the extrusions to separate it from the convertible top frame. Do this on both sides.
To separate the canvas from the rear of the convertible top frame, first operate the top so that the header bow is down and then lift the rear of the convertible top so that it’s vertical.
Simply pull on the binding with just your hands and the canvas will separate from the track that it’s in to detach from the frame.
Removing the back end of the convertible top will expose two more straps, one on each side that need to be detached. Again, take note of how they are routed and drill out the rivets that hold them in place.
Lastly, unplug the two defroster connectors on the glass window and remove the convertible top from the frame — but don’t throw it out just yet. You’ll need a few parts from it for the installation.
Now that the soft top is completely off the frame, it’s time to install the new GAHH convertible top. Here’s how to do it:
Remove the clips along the rear plastic extrusion on the old convertible top and place them in the same spots on the new top.
Bring the new top to the car and insert the two bow sleeves into their tracks. You’ll have to insert them both at the same time.
It helps to remove one of the pad straps at the rear only. This will give you more room to slide the sleeves in.
Using the ropes conveniently sewn into the top, pull the cables through the left and right sleeves. Attach the end of the cable to the frame.
Rivet the straps behind the side jammers on the left and right sides. Then rivet the straps to the frame above the side glass.
Make sure to route the straps correctly – just as you noted while you were removing the old top.
Affix the cable in its correct place. Then attach the side and front header bow jammer extrusions and rivet them in place.
Place the rear extrusion beneath the glass into the bow. Make sure it’s centered before pressing it into the channel. Next, hook the defroster wires.
Move to the front of the top. Tilt the header bow so that it is vertical and fold the canvas over making sure to center it. Although the canvas wasn’t glued to the header bow from the factory, I like to use a light amount of glue for added strength.
Reattach the metal header bow molding using the original torx screws, making sure the molding grabs hold of the piping sewn to the canvas.
Reattach your rubber weather stripping and you’re all done.
This GAHH top was easy to install and turned out beautiful. That’s what happens when you know what you’re doing and working with a premium product.
Had I installed one of those off-brand tops sold on Ebay, this job could have gone horribly wrong. That’s why I stick to renown brands like GAHH.