Fitting guide for spider soft-tops


With the soft-top in the up position, remove the rear seat trim or carpet (depending on model) at the back of the soft-top. This will reveal a row of 8mm headed nuts which locate the three retaining strips & trim for the bottom of the soft-top.

Be very careful undoing these nuts, which are often rusted on earlier cars! Remove the three metal bars & their trims.

Release the front of soft-top in order to remove the rear of soft-top from the studs (see photos 1 & 2)

Photo 1

Photo 2

Next cut away the soft-top from the soft-top frame with a trimming knife. Remove vertical side rails from behind windows and remove front soft-top seal and drill out the seal’s metal retaining channel (photo 3). Leave original trim & soft-top retaining clips on front rail, as they do not interfere with the process of replacing the soft-top itself.

Carefully prize old tensioning wires over the top hat rivets, but DO NOT remove from soft-top frame yet! Remove all trim from soft-top frame bows and clean off all traces of glue.

Clean up & re-use or replace front seal channel. Carry out any necessary refurbishment to the soft-top frame itself. You are now ready to start fitting the soft-top.

Photo 3


With the soft-top frame loosely in the up position lay the soft-top over and fit holes over the studs at the rear. Refit the 3 metal bars with the trims over the studs (chamfers to the top) and do up the nuts. Fit the new tensioning wire and thread it through the frame using the old wire as a mouse.

Place the front of the soft-top over the front rail making sure the front edging points downwards towards the screen (photo 6 & 6a) and glue to the underside of the rail (photo 7). Pop rivet channel in place and fit front seal to it. Pop rivet sides and secure front sides of soft-top by the top of the A pillar (photo 8).

Photo 6

Photo 6a

Photo 7

Photo 8

Now clamp the soft-top down in the up position. This is going to be very tight and is designed to be so in order to retain it’s shape over the years and reduce wind noise. As you are doing each clip up have someone push down on the outside of the frame rail to make it easier.

Finally position the rear floating rail so that it can be glued to the trim on the soft-top and similarly glue the 2 other rails.

Refit the side rails behind the windows and tension the wires for a good fit of soft-top to side windows (photos 9 & 10).

Photo 9

Photo 10


  1. Fit soft-top in a cool environment out of the sun.

  2. Once fitted leave in the up position for a week and let it get wet

  3. Never put the soft-top down when wet

  4. Keep soft-top up when the car is not in use

This soft-top was expertly fitted to our Series 4 Spider by Chris Adams of Classic Car Interiors (tel. 01803 732454).

If you require a soft-top fitting or perhaps one of our superb Italian seat covering kits fitted why not contact him?

Fitting Time

This soft-top, fitted by a professional, with no parts requiring refurbishment took 6 hours. A gifted amateur would complete it in a day, but allowance must be made for broken studs, rusty frames and worn parts.