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Scott in PA

Hardtop roof maintenance 1925 10C

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Hi Folks! Well I'm bringing my new-to-me Franklin home in two days! I was trying to ask about roof maintenance in my last post but I obviously wasn't specific enough. The car is a 1925 10C 4 DR hardtop sedan. What do I need to do to: 1) clean the roof and 2)seal/protect the roof material? Here is a link I found from another guy I think was asking the same thing, there aren't many responses:

http://forums.aaca.org/f120/1929-canvas-roof-care-324909.html

Thanks,

Scott

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Scott, From the 20's up to the 60's "top Dressing" was sold in every automotive store in the contry including JC Whitney, Warshawsky, Western Auto, Pep Boys etc. Then it seemed to loose favor and dissapeared. I recently found it being sold again at MACS Auto Parts under the same old name of "Top Dressing" Part #RSP70 in their Model A Ford section. their website is www.macsautoparts.com . I have no personal experience with the product so I can't endorse or condem it. But it is what was used for years on the soft section of hard top autos.

Bill

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I still have a full 8 OZ can of top dressing I found in my '29 Franklin back in the early 70's. The brand was

made by the Permatex Co, Sheepshead Bay, N.Y. and is called "Anti-Storm dressing".

Funny the things people save- lol

Edited by myold88 (see edit history)

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I would like to follow up on this thread. My 1928 Victoria Brougham roof is not waterproof in a hard rain. It does OK in a light rain, but a heavy or prolonged shower soaks the fabric through and water starts to drip onto the rear passengers. I am pretty sure it is not a leak or tear, but is soaking through the fabric. It appears to have been coated with something at one point in its life, but not sure with what. I admit that I have not done a lot of research - hence my question to the Franklin community, who has a good idea what to put on it? I have found the following options, and there may be more.

A. Simple lacquer paint with plasticizers in it. (Franklin Q&A)

B. Rubberized black paint used on blackwall tires, if it can be found anymore (Franklin Q&A)

From the FordBarn blog:

C. "Black top dressing" from Mac's Antique Auto Parts, part # RSP70 - doesn't say what its made from. (also mentioned above in the Franklin forum)

D. "Top Dressing, Black for closed cars" from Bob's Antique Auto parts, part # M0255 - doesn't say what its made from. (also mentioned on AACA Packard forum)

E. "Black Tire Paint" from M.E.Miller tire, part # E844Q - doesn't say what its made from, but is apparently water based, and claims to soak into tire and can cover white walls, or raised white letters.

F. Black oil-based enamel paint.

G. "Black Vinyl top reconditioner" from Griots Garage, part # 15570

H. Dykes Encyclopedia has the following formula that it describes as a dressing for leather tops: one part liquid asphaltum to two parts castor oil to which 1/2 ounce of ivory black is added to each pint of mixture. (Asphaltum appears to be available from printing suppliers such as Takach Press Fine Art printmaking, and ivory black from artist supply stores.)

Further Googling brings up the following options:

I. The Autoglym Cabriolet Fabric Hood Maintenance Kit consists of two products, fabric cleaner to remove soiling, stains & traffic film & a fabric protector to re-proof & preserve the hood from the effects of water absorption & traffic film soiling. Suitable for use on mohair, double duck & fabric / canvas car hoods as well as boat canopies, tents & caravan awnings. (Comes from England, therefore hood = convertible top.)

J. Finally someone I thought I overheard said that you could mix linseed oil and carbon black to make a top dressing.

What's your vote? As an aside, I thought that I also recall someone telling me that the original roofing fabric had a grain to it. If so, the dressing/coating that is on it now is so thick that any graining on the original fabric is covered up. That being the case, would it make any difference which of the above choices that I made to recoat the top?

Thanks,

Bill Eby

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Bill,

Since your top is old and in need of recovering (it should have grain) any of your solutions might work. However, personally I would steer away from any paint or vinyl products. Some of the items might just well be talking about convertible tops and not the soft section on hard roofs. The tire paint might also eat into your existing fabric. My vote would be for the two products that are specifically designed for your type of top. Those two are your items "C" & "D" which by the way are both the same product but sold under different names (Bob's puts his label over the MAC's). Hope this helps

Bill Joline

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My sister has contributed the following alternative that comes from an 1883 treatise written to provide helpful instructions for the surveyors of the public domain. Along with surveying instructions it contains information on outfitting, etc.

"The following is a cheap and simple process for rendering tents, wagon-covers, etc., water-proof, without stiffening them :

Dissolve soft soap in hot water, add a solution of sulphate of iron (copperas). The sulphuric acid combines with the potash in the soap, and the oxide of iron is precipitated with the fatty acid, forming in soluable soap. Wash and dry this precipitate, mix with linseed oil, and with or without the addition of dissolved india rubber, a paint is obtained which renders all fabrics to which it is applied, impervious to moisture."

For your amusement...

Bill Eby

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I am going to use SEM 15233 Gloss Black aerosol made for vinyl on my excellent but faded and stained long-grain top. Tough and can even change colors with it--surely there has been technical formulation advancement in the last 30 years with vinyl paint !!! Type into google if you are curious about it. MIGHT USE # 15243 that is Satin Black--more than likely since gloss is too gloss for this application.

Edit: might want to also consider SEM 77723 XXX Adhesive Promoter undercoat.-- upholsterysupplyonline.com has both.

Edited by Franklin31 (see edit history)

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Bill,

I think that formula your sister found is great! Just don't let it touch your paint. Oh yea, wear three pairs of gloves and three pairs of glasses just in case the first two melt off befor you get clear!

Bill

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I would be very leery of using a product designed for vinyl on rubber. If not option C or D above, look at Miller Tire black tire paint. Have you tried a good cleaner on the top? Once you start with something there is no going back. If you spray you will have to do extensive masking.

Gordon Howard

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post-51030-14314224773_thumb.jpgMy top is Long Grain Cobra Vinyl like you get from Haartz, etc. Original rubber top material would be rare indeed.

post-51030-143142222536_thumb.jpg

edit: Today {10/23} I sprayed top with Dupli-Color Gloss Black Vinyl aerosol; absolutely beautiful--this is the way to go. Looks brand new. Get 2 rolls of the 1-mil plastic-10'x20' at Lowes--about $3.50/ea to go all around car. Note: that I did not put the top on otherwise it would have better padding !! Photo on top shows sprayed top; wish I had taken a 'before'.

Edited by Franklin31 (see edit history)

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It sounds like what you have is in very poor shape already. It may be better to just have the top replaced. If you substructure is in good shape it my note cost as much as you think.

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