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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ).

General Questions About us.

Who is Topsonline.com?
We're not just an Internet-based business-- We have over 22 years experience in the automotive interior & convertible top industries.
Our main warehouse is located in Southern California. We also have distribution centers in South Carolina & Reno, Nevada.

Does your toll free 888-803-8505 number work for International customers?
Our toll free number is good for the United States. International customers may call 818-786-2474.

I am having trouble reaching you on either line.
Our customer service reps are available Monday thru Friday, from 830am to 530pm (PST). When they are busy helping other customers, you will be forwarded to our message system. Please leave your name and phone number and we will return your call promptly.

Why does it take 5-7 days before you ship my order?
We stock most original materials and colors for immediate shipping. If you order a special color or material or if that particular item is temporarily out of stock, your order will be drop shipped, factory direct within 5 to 7 business days.

Will you ship Internationally?
All shipments outside the USA will be shipped via US Mail or UPS Worldwide Express within 5 business days.
Choose the shipping method you would like on the order page of our website. If your Country is not listed in our drop down menu, please e-mail us for a shipping quote.

Convertible Top Questions

The following FAQ’s do not apply for SUV tops (Amigo, Jeep, Sidekick, Tracker & Vitara, etc.).

SUV Tops are easy to remove and install, exactly like Factory Tops.

Can I install the Top myself?

It is recommended that you have your top professionally replaced, but if you are mechanically inclined and decide to replace your convertible top yourself, please request the installation instruction with your order. If the instruction for that specific car is available, we will include it with the top.(Installation instructions will only be supplied with top purchase.)
The installation instructions provided are not step-by-step, but do give a basic idea on how tops and windows are installed, along with diagrams. Note: Please pay special attention when removing your old top or window. That is how you will find the special, specific small steps needed to replace the top more efficiently.

Do I need any special tools for Convertible Top installation?
Most tops require a Heavy-Duty Staple gun and solvent base, high heat resistant contact cement, in addition to the basic tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches.

Do your tops or windows require any sewing before installation?
Almost all of the tops, windows & headliner do not require sewing.

How Many Top Styles are there?
Three available convertible top styles accommodate almost all models.

1- ONE PIECE TOP: Most European convertible cars such as BMW, Alfa Romeo & Fiat come with a one-piece top from the factory. This means that the top & the window are attached to each other and can only be replaced as a whole.
2- TWO PIECE TOP: Most American cars through the late 1990s, and some others, such as Toyota or SAAB came with a two-piece top. The top and window are separate pieces. Each piece is installed separately on the top frame. When the installation is complete, the top and window look like a one-piece top. If you have a two-piece top, you can replace the top only, the window only or both.
3- TOP ONLY: Some European cars, such as VW & Jaguar, come with a reusable window. That  original glass window needs to be pulled out of the old top and reinstalled to the new top after the new top installation is complete.

What type of plastic is used to make replacement plastic windows?
Our manufacturer’s use 40gage plastic (required); the thickness & quality are equal to an original factory plastic window.

 Are your Glass windows of equal quality to the factory glass windows?
Yes. Our manufacturer’s use the highest quality replacement glass, meeting the Federal Government's transportation codes and the Original Equipment quality codes.

Are all glass windows tinted?
Yes, all glass windows have the same light (approximately 10%) tint as the original glass window.

Can I use my existing window with a new top?
If your car has a two-piece top assembly and your window is not separating from the material (curtain) around it, then you can use your existing window with a new top. In this case, you won't even need to touch the window section at all. If you order the top only you will not receive any material relating to the window section. But if your window is separating from the material (curtain) around it, then you also need to buy a new window (If  we offer "Top Only" for your car, it means that your car Top has a two-piece Top assembly).

Can I use my existing top with a new window?
Yes you can. If your car has a two-piece top assembly and if your top is in good shape, but your window is broken, discolored or separated from the material (curtain) around it, you can replace only the window section and use your existing top (If  we offer "Window Only" for your car, it means that your car Top has two-piece Top assembly).

What if I have a one-piece top and the Plastic window is faded?
In this case, you, unfortunately, have one option, to replace the complete top & window. Some upholstery shops do offer to install new plastic windows, but the cost of removing the old window, sewing the new window, and re-installing the top is often as great or more than replacing your old top with a new one.

What if I have a one-piece top and the glass window is broken or separating from the top?
Unless you have the reusable factory style top, such as VW & Jaguar, you, unfortunately, have one option, to replace the complete top & window. If you have VW & Jaguar, you can just purchase the glass window.

How long should a replacement top last?
The top should last a minimum of five years.
Some of these factors, however, might shorten or extend the life of your top: 1)- Climate 2)- Usage 3)- Exposure to sun/rain & snow 4)- Indoor or outdoor parking 5)- Care & maintenance.

What are Top pads & how do I know if I need new ones?
Top pads are used to protect the top from rubbing against the metal frame when the top is raised or lowered. You need to replace them if they are worn out or torn.

What is a Headliner and what does it look like?
A headliner is a cover that hides the convertible top frame from the inside of the car. Replacement headliners are only available for models that have a headliner as Original Equipment.

What are Side Tension Cables and how do I know if I need new ones?
Side tension cables hold the top securely over the side windows of the car. They are hidden inside a pocket, and are not exposed, so if one of your cables is broken you may see part of the cable hanging. If the top is not going up and down smoothly or is binding, or if one side is getting ahead of the other, that is a sign that one of the cables may have been stretched or broken. Please note that existing cables may be reused if they are in good shape.

What are Rear Cables?
Only a few cars have rear cables (VW through 94 models & Capri, for example.) The rear cable holds the top down on the rear of the car. Existing cables may be reused if they are in good shape.

What are Rear Quarter or Rear Flap Cables?
Only a few cars have rear Quarter or rear Flap cables (Mustang 94 to 98 models, Cavalier & Sunbird 84 to 98 models, for example.) The rear Quarter or rear Flap cables hold the top down to the top frame on the Quarter of the car (just above the side rear windows). Existing cables may be reused if they are in good shape.

What is Pinpoint Vinyl?
Pinpoint Vinyl, a material that looks like grained plastic, was originally used on most 60's, 70's, 80's & early 90's Vinyl convertible tops.
Construction: A two- ply composite made of a PVC outer layer and a dyed 100% cotton sateen lining fabric. Excellent Weather ability , Excellent U.V. Resistance & Excellent Durability.

What is Sailcloth Vinyl?
Sailcloth Vinyl has a similar, grained plastic appearance to Pinpoint Vinyl, but the texture is a little different.
Construction: A two-ply composite made of a PVC outer layer and a Grey blended polyester/cotton drill lining fabric. Superior Strength & Durability, Excellent U.V. Resistance & Superior Weather ability .

What is Cabrio Vinyl?
Cabrio Vinyl is a material that looks like grained plastic with a Pebble texture.
Construction: A two-ply composite made of a PVC outer layer and a Grey blended polyester/cotton drill lining fabric. Superior Strength & Durability, Excellent U.V. Resistance & Superior Weather ability .

What is Stayfast Canvas?
Stayfast is a Canvas Fabric with an appearance similar to tent material. It is made especially for convertible tops.
Stayfast is often used on replacement tops for European cars as a less expensive alternative to the Original German Canvas or Sonnendeck Canvas.
Construction: A three-ply composite made of 100% acrylic square weave outer fabric, a butyl rubber inner layer and a 100% cotton drill lining fabric. Excellent Wrinkle Resistance, Superior U.V. Resistance, Superior Weather ability , Excellent Durability & Excellent Low Temp. Flexibility.

What is Sonnendeck/ Twillfast II Canvas?
Sonnendeck is basically like Stayfast canvas but it has textured backing. Sonnendeck, in the Auto trim industry, could be described as American Stayfast with black or tan German backing.
Construction: A three-ply composite made of 100% acrylic twill weave outer fabric, an elastomeric inner layer and a polyester/cotton dobby weave lining fabric, homogeneously dyed. Superior U.V. Resistance, Superior Weather ability & Superior Durability.

What is Twillfast Canvas/ Twillfast JX Canvas?
Twillfast is similar to Sonnendeck Canvas but with Grey backing.
Construction: A three-ply composite made of 100% acrylic twill weave outer fabric, an elastomeric inner layer and a polyester/cotton sheeting lining fabric.
Superior U.V. Resistance, Superior Weather ability , Superior Durability.

What is Original German Canvas/ Sonnenland/ A5 Canvas?
No description is needed. It is the Original German Canvas.
Construction: A three-ply composite made of twill weave outer fabric, rubber inner layer and a dobby weave lining fabric.


Can I replace my original Vinyl or Canvas top with any other Canvas products you offer?
Yes, in fact it is a very common practice in our industry. You can replace one material with another, if you prefer. Although the appearance may be different, you will not sacrifice quality.

Do canvas tops last longer than vinyl tops?
No, both materials wear at about the same rate.


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