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  1. #1

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    Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    I`ve been saving up to get Jen a new car for awhile for her birthday. Got lucky with this local car that`s been sitting in the showroom for a long long time:



    2020 F-Type Supercharged 6-Cylinder

    So far its got a full PPF, and today was the first wash.



    This is my first red car, and first convertible. I typically do a quick 2000 psi powerwash and wipe down with waterless wash in between drives. What should I be doing to maintain the top? Right now I`ve got some good beading, and I doubt it will spend many nights outside unless we`re on vacation and I can pawn my kids off on someone...
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  2. #2
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    Nice F-type. Do they still oversteer like the early F-Types?

    how i clean and do things with my convertible top. Is probably a bit different than most. I anymore treat it like paint on the car. Being that i go lest aggressively as possible, and only clean as necessary. I`m a believer in 303 fabric protectant, unless the car spends lots of time outside with the top up. Then i would recommend ragg top, because i know it has uv protection in it. To clean it i use 303 convertible cleaner. I work it in with a really good quality 4" flag tip paintbrush. I have used the raggtop brush. I think its to stiff unless you have a neglected top. I worry about it wearing the stitching over time. I find that most of my washes i just rinse off the topp with the hose nozzle. Of course a lot of time it sits as yours is in the picture. With the top down, and covered. I know others do use a pressure washer with reasonable precautions. I`ve seen more than one top with marks from pressure washing. So i just don`t take the risk.
    Making someone else happy, is one of the best feelings.
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  3. #3
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    Congrats on a beautiful Jag-U-ar, as they say in the UK..

    Have Detailed perhaps 100 convertibles in the Pacific Northwest, and always used RaggTopp Cleaner and Conditioner with excellent results..
    On many, I have carefully cleaned, pressure rinsed, and extracted the tops.

    The RaggTopp products have always left the tops a richer color, and they bead like crazy, which is what you want in the Pacific Northwest..

    Once I Detailed a Mini Cooper Convertible with RaggTop products, that was then shipped to Florida from the PNW..

    The vehicle above it on the truck leaked oil onto the newly cleaned, conditioned, top on the trip!!!
    The Client frantically called; I told him to carefully wash and rinse the top, and the oil came right off..
    Dan F
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  4. #4

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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    Gtechniq has been alot longer lasting for me than 303. Got 7-8 months strong and still beads somewhat. Havenít tried raggtop protectant.

    To prep I used the raggtop brush (get it) and Griots Convertible cleaner.

    Google the Gtechniq fabric and watch how it sheets water.

    Lastly my cars a daily and garaged at night. I live in washington so bombarded with rain and held up strong. Check it out


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  5. #5
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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    FWIW Iíve been using 303 for the last 12 years on my black BMW top & it still looks brand new. I think (at least it used to be) most of these topsí materials were one of various twill materials made by Haartz from the factory.

    I believe Haartz does or did recommend Ragg Top. Honestly, it doesnít matter what you use as long as you apply it when it needs reapplication. Apply more frequently than needed & the top will remain very nice for a very long time.

    I donít believe that UV protection is significant in any car care product, regardless what it says on the product copy. Iím sure it helps a little, but maintenance is key.

    I use 303 because itís cheap, works well, and is readily & locally available. You can apply it with a sponge or a paint brush as well - I usually use a wax applicator itís similar. No matter how heavy you apply it seems to look good and bead like crazy for quite a while.

    Car is garage kept & driven about 5,000 miles a year. I apply it once a year and It beads so well at that year point - that itís really overkill.

    I just donít like the Ragg Top because itís not locally available and it only comes in aerosol, which means you are always paying more for less compared to anything in a regular spray bottle. Also, the aerosol seems to blow everywhere if you use it outside of I recall.

    You just want to clean it well before you apply whatever. You really donít need anything special to clean convertible material. Diluted APC or even clothes detergent works fine. Routinely just use car wash soap

  6. #6
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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    Quote Originally Posted by Swanicyouth View Post
    FWIW I’ve been using 303 for the last 12 years on my black BMW top & it still looks brand new. I think (at least it used to be) most of these tops’ materials were one of various twill materials made by Haartz from the factory.

    I believe Haartz does or did recommend Ragg Top. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you apply it when it needs reapplication. Apply more frequently than needed & the top will remain very nice for a very long time.

    I don’t believe that UV protection is significant in any car care product, regardless what it says on the product copy. I’m sure it helps a little, but maintenance is key.

    I use 303 because it’s cheap, works well, and is readily & locally available. You can apply it with a sponge or a paint brush as well - I usually use a wax applicator it’s similar. No matter how heavy you apply it seems to look good and bead like crazy for quite a while.

    Car is garage kept & driven about 5,000 miles a year. I apply it once a year and It beads so well at that year point - that it’s really overkill.

    I just don’t like the Ragg Top because it’s not locally available and it only comes in aerosol, which means you are always paying more for less compared to anything in a regular spray bottle. Also, the aerosol seems to blow everywhere if you use it outside of I recall.

    You just want to clean it well before you apply whatever. You really don’t need anything special to clean convertible material. Diluted APC or even clothes detergent works fine. Routinely just use car wash soap
    Hey Swanic! I used your method for years (I no longer have a convertible) and for me it works better than Raggtopp. I started off with Raggtopp and hated that I had to tape off everything to control the overspray from the Raggtopp spray can. It is much easier to “paint” on the 303 protectant and you can get better coverage. I did like the Raggtopp brush, but I thought the 303 chemicals were superior. Wether you use Raggtopp or 303 it is important to use one. I have seen too many tops that were not maintained and believe me they are expensive to replace. For professionals this is also a good add on money maker. Just inform your customer that it will be an extra charge for “preservation and protection” and show them the cost for replacement for their model of vehicle.

  7. #7

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    Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    [COLOR=#333333]This thread has resulted in this long time lurker to finally post and hopefully contribute to this Great Forum... contribute also in part to excess Memorial Day online shopping, including 303 Fabric Guard for my 2015 A5 Cabriolet. While prepping the top last week with 303 cleaner, I stumbled across an extra can of Raggtopp I bought last fall. Immediately thought of this thread and the fact of never seeing side by side comparisons of Fabric Protectants.

    So as a small contribution to this site, I have started my own Raggtopp vs 303 Fabric Guard comparison(see pics below):

    After cleaning and fully allowing the top to dry over a few days, I applied:
    3 layers of Raggtopp to the passenger side: 15 minutes of drying in the sun between layers, per can directions.

    2 layers of 303 Fabric Guard, each massaged in with microfiber applicator. 1 hour drying in the sun between layers.

    For myself I consider this equivalent product amounts, as each side used about a half of container. I would normally use one full container to the complete top in my past fall/ spring applications regardless of product. If anything maybe I used more 303; directions said one layer, then more if needed. I have used both Raggtopp and 303 previously but had not noticed any difference in longevity. This test will hopefully give me (and you) that answer.

    The second picture is after allowing the products to dry in the sun for a couple hours. You can see the darkening effect of each and the unprotected strip of fabric separating both sides. I plan on performing a beading test in a couple of days and then reperform on a periodic basis. Unfortunately due to COVID, car is currently garage kept and only released for social distancing. Normally it is my daily driver 50 miles round trip to work, with daily use of the top during the summer. I have had the car for the past two summers, with protection applied in spring/summer and then late fall to get thru the Michigan winter( Quattro plus Nokian WRG4 all weather tires are unstoppable!!!).

    Hope to get a clear winner and then I may consider a Round 2 comparison against Coatings=Crack`s recommended Gtechniq Fabric. Right now I do prefer the 303 due to easier application and less overspray to contend with.

    Comments/ suggestions are welcome.


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  8. #8

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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    So I read on 303 website and just checked to verify it states reduced coverage when applied by brush or paint roller. I read this to mean less quality protection but maybe they mean less sq footage bu ďreducedĒ

    I can tell you the beading is stronger with Gfabric but if i could apply more often with easier application (not having to tape car off) i might give 303 a try again... maybe as a topper ? What do you all use to apply to a fabric top?


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  9. #9
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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    Quote Originally Posted by Coatings=crack View Post
    So I read on 303 website and just checked to verify it states reduced coverage when applied by brush or paint roller. I read this to mean less quality protection but maybe they mean less sq footage bu “reduced”

    I can tell you the beading is stronger with Gfabric but if i could apply more often with easier application (not having to tape car off) i might give 303 a try again... maybe as a topper ? What do you all use to apply to a fabric top?


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    Do you have beading pictures? Here`s a picture with 303. It all blows off easy with the leaf blower. The top dries more complete than the paint does. I never need to use the drying microfiber on the canvas.


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  10. #10

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    Re: Recommendations - New Fabric Convertible Top

    For my applications of 303 Fabric Guard, I sprayed it directly onto the top and massaged it in. Similar to the way Mike Phillips recently did it over on the autogeek forum. Only I massaged it in with a Microfiber applicator (vs. Mike using his gloved hand). I think it applied better than just spraying it on.

 

 

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