Author Topic: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado  (Read 1240 times)

Offline joeinbcs

  • Posts: 242
  • CLC Number: 26069
  • Name: Joe Northrop
Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« on: September 13, 2016, 10:27:25 AM »
I'm taking my '70 Eldorado to the top shop tomorrow to have the incorrect Elk Grain top  replaced with the correct Tuxedo Grain item.
In researching this, I've learned that the top is padded, and only glued at the edges.  My question for anyone who may have done this or had this done is this.  Is there a pad attached to the roof?  Is it simply a matter of removing one cover and replacing it with the correct one.  There is no padding in the Tuxedo cover that came from SMS, so I'm assuming that the pad remains when the Elk Grain skin is pulled off, as it should not be glued to the top material, only around the edges if I understand the body manual.  If anybody has done this, I'd be interested in your experiences...thanks, Joe
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 10:34:41 AM by joeinbcs »
Joe Northrop
9633 Whispering Ridge
College Station, TX  77845
joenorthrop@yahoo.com
979-324-6432

1976 Eldorado, 35K miles, one owner (before me), Firethorn/Firethorn/White

Offline RobW

  • Posts: 583
  • CLC # 24676
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 07:59:44 PM »
what was considered "padding" in the 60's and early to mid 70's is actually a fuzzy backing on the vinyl. My 73 has the fuzzy backing but I had to request SMS to add it to the original style vinyl. Yours should have it too. It's not thick, but it's just enough to hide normal imperfections. If I didn't tell you it was padded you'd probably never know. Real padded vinyl tops started I think in 73 on the eldo with landau and became popular during the 75 model year. I pretty sure by 76 all were thickly padded.
As for gluing, I've never seen a vinyl top that wasn't completely glued over the entire roof. I started working as a body man in 1978 so we did them for quite a few years.
The white coupe is my 73. The 75 Fleetwood has a padded elk grain.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 08:04:34 PM by RobW »
Rob Wirsing

Offline joeinbcs

  • Posts: 242
  • CLC Number: 26069
  • Name: Joe Northrop
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 11:53:50 AM »
Here's what lies beneath the vinyl top of a 1970 Eldorado. There's a factory installed pad, and the top is glued only around the edges, as the Factory Body Manual implies but doesn't explicitly state.
A lot easier than if it had been glued down!
Joe Northrop
9633 Whispering Ridge
College Station, TX  77845
joenorthrop@yahoo.com
979-324-6432

1976 Eldorado, 35K miles, one owner (before me), Firethorn/Firethorn/White

Offline V63

  • Posts: 1410
  • Name: W Link
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 01:33:03 PM »
That's not a 'factory' job. The preceding reply by Rob is correct. The factory 'padded' tops were later...1973. Many Customizers were padding them earlier however. The tops MUST be glued with 100% coverage, otherwise it will balloon.

Offline joeinbcs

  • Posts: 242
  • CLC Number: 26069
  • Name: Joe Northrop
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 03:38:34 PM »
I don't want to argue with anyone, but I would refer you to the 1970 Body Manual, which describes exactly what I have depicted in the pics, only for Eldorado's and one other model, a pad that is glued only around the edges.
Joe
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 04:29:53 PM by joeinbcs »
Joe Northrop
9633 Whispering Ridge
College Station, TX  77845
joenorthrop@yahoo.com
979-324-6432

1976 Eldorado, 35K miles, one owner (before me), Firethorn/Firethorn/White

Offline Highwayman68

  • Posts: 631
  • 68 Fleetwood Brougham
  • CLC Number: 29574
  • Name: Mark Demyan
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 11:14:44 PM »
I am having a new top put on my 68 Fleetwood this week. The original is being removed. There was cotton padding about 3/8" glued to the body.
1968 Fleetwood Purchased in 1981

Offline V63

  • Posts: 1410
  • Name: W Link
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 08:41:01 AM »
That's an interesting observation! I had a 70 Eldo too, factory sunroof car. I also replaced the vinyl top on it. I do know i totally glued it! no pad, Been so long ago that's about all i could tell you.

I wonder what the reasoning for this is on the Eldorado???

Offline cadimec

  • Posts: 15
  • Name: Tim Stephens
Re: Vinyl Top Question, 1970 Eldorado
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 10:51:41 AM »
Hi Gents,

In my 30+ years restoring Cadillacs, the 1970 Eldorado used the "Cross Grain" pattern - a larger grain version of "Tuxedo" which appeared on Cadillacs in 1977 until 1979, then re-appeared on the front-drive Cadillacs in 1985-93 and the 1993-96 Broughams.  "Tuxedo" is supplied today because nobody has been supplying "Cross Grain" which was used from 1966-76 on Cadillacs. This material is termed in the trade "woven-backed" meaning the white fluffy backing integral with the vinyl.  "Non-woven" has a plain cloth backing, and is extremely un-workable due to lack of stretch.  The 1960s Sixty Special and Fleetwood Series 75 cars used a type of felt pad, with non-woven vinyl fitted over the top, and glued into all openings, or, where a "halo" roof was used, fully glued right to the perimeter of the vinyl-covered area.   The 1970 Eldorado used woven (fluffy) backed vinyl without a pad, because it has this "halo" top that does not run into the window openings, but stops at the row of weld-on studs which hold the mouldings around the edge of the vinyl about 1" from the drip rails & windshield opening.  Fitting a pad PLUS vinyl top makes it too thick to nicely go under the roof mouldings, so they used the self-padded vinyl instead.  You will see these mouldings have the Cross Grain pattern embossed into them.  The photo showing the pad on a 1970 Eldorado shows white, "closed-cell" foam, which only became available in the 1980s - and thus, is not OEM, but a later top; this foam is available in a few thicknesses.  Hope this is useful.
1963 Buick Riviera
1974 Fleetwood Talisman
1974 Coupe deVille
1974 Eldorado Coupé
1976 Seville (RHD)
1979 Seville San Remo Convertible
1990 Superior Crown Sovereign Hearse
1993 Sixty Special

 

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