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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have an extra top strap laying around? I bought a 2001 Spyder, but apparently the strap that prevents the "ears issue" is missing. Unfortunately, I've lowered and raised the top multiple times, and recently noticed that I have torn a hole in the top on one corner, and appear to have a near- tear on the other. I assume this is from the lack of that strap, but I am open to being corrected. Anyway, anyone have on FS? Thank you.
 

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... I have torn a hole in the top on one corner, and appear to have a near- tear on the other. I assume this is from the lack of that strap...
From my experience in patching an old top - I think the strap accelerates tears in the top. I had a tear show up right where the "ears" fold in with the strap in place. I removed the strap to reduce all the pulling on that part of the top. I think it stresses the material less to just let the "ears" stick out. If you have a nice new top, it sure looks better to have the strap in place and functioning. But if you're trying to squeeze some extra life out of an old top, I'd recommend removing the strap and don't tuck the ears in by hand. Just let them fold where they want to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Repair top

From my experience in patching an old top - I think the strap accelerates tears in the top. I had a tear show up right where the "ears" fold in with the strap in place. I removed the strap to reduce all the pulling on that part of the top. I think it stresses the material less to just let the "ears" stick out. If you have a nice new top, it sure looks better to have the strap in place and functioning. But if you're trying to squeeze some extra life out of an old top, I'd recommend removing the strap and don't tuck the ears in by hand. Just let them fold where they want to.
I've wondered if perhaps my top has gotten to the point where preventing the ears is more risky than living with them. That said, did you have any success repairing the hole? Mine is a straight tear about an inch long, and I'm considering a combination of stitching and taping. Thanks again
 

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,,, any success repairing the hole? Mine is a straight tear about an inch long, and I'm considering a combination of stitching and taping. Thanks again
I have repaired the split by the rear glass (here see post #18) I haven't done anything with the tear by the fold. Tape will really look ugly. I'd suggest a patch using some new ragtop vinyl and the HH66 glue. If you try any stitching, don't space the stitches very close to each other. I think the failure sequence is 1) the structural fabric inside the vinyl wears out, then 2) the vinyl covering tears apart. Gluing a new vinyl patch can restore the structural strength. Stitches through the old vinyl will probably just tear through because the fabric inside has departed.
 
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