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Replacing roof on Solara convertible
November 12, 2009
Hi everyone, I'm also new to this forum. I have an oldie but a goodie 2002 Solara convertible. Some miserable character slashed my roof so I need to decide what to do. The 2002 has two parts to the roof - the main roof and then the rear window panel. My main roof definitely needs to be replaced, however the rear window panel is still working (as in no leaks). I need to decide whether to replace this rear window panel as well.

I'm wondering how long this 7-year old window panel will last if I choose to stick with the old one? From talking to one mechanic, it sounds like this window panel is prone to leaks, and I may have lucked out that mine has lasted so long. Does anyone know the average lifetime of this type of part? Or any ideas on how much longer my old one could last? I always park my car outside in San Francisco weather.

A new panel + labor will cost me $500. Not cheap, which is why I'm considering keeping the old one. However if its just going to break down in the next few years then maybe I should just eat the cost now.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this. Thanks!

November 24, 2009#1
I believe that the Solara's of this generation had their tops designed by ASC (American Sunroof Company) which made high quality tops for various manufacturers and custom build shops. Quality is quite high, I'd suspect reusing the back panel should pose no issue, though I'd worry about the replacement surrounding top.

As long as the adhesive use to attach the window panel is compatible and the top can reuse it without fitment issues - you should be OK. If the top is an aftermarket piece, could run into fitment problems which means more problems down the road. Replacing everything at one shot is one alternative (expensive), but that will be up to you.

As for convertible lifespans - that is greatly dependent on initial quality of the top and how it was maintained. Not usual to see convertible tops last decades with proper care. Even without too much thought, as long as there were no physical trauma directed to the top, 10-15 is not out of the question. Garaging the car outdoors will shorts its life a bit, due to exposure to the elements and UV interaction with adhesives and material strength, even with SF weather being pretty mild compared to other areas in the US.

November 25, 2009#2
Great! Thanks so much for the info. This is just what I was looking for.

March 17, 2010#3
Can someone please give me direction for installing a 2001 solora convertible roof

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