convertible top, 1996
We have a 96 GT convertible and the top needs to be replaced. Before replacing it, however, we are curious about what caused the top to get sliced open on the sides toward the rear, on both sides. We are wondering if there is something in the framework that needs to be repaired before we put a new top on. We have heard divergent opinions from friends and mechanics. Some say that something needs to be repaired in the framework but they don't know how to figure out exactly what/where the problem is, nor do they know anyone who works on them. Others say that the top simply experienced abrasions so many times through the years from being opened and closed, combined with the fact that the fabric became brittle through the years, that the top simply was scraped/cut from the inside by the frame, but that this is simply a function of the age of the top and nothing is mechanically wrong. Our fear is that a brand new top may get quickly damaged if something actually is mechanically wrong. Any thoughts from anyone about this based on your knowledge and/or experience? Many Thanks!