The premium vinyl top should last longer in our Florida climate, which is hot and sunny most of the year, with afternoon rain showers nearly every day during the summer. Additionally, the glass rear window won't discolor like a plastic one, which is not only more aesthetically appealing, but safer as well since we'll actually be able to see out of it when the top is in the up position. This is also a good time to check the window seals around the perimeter of the side windows, and replace the seals if necessary. Our seals were still pliable and soft, so we chose not to replace them at this time.
Once our new parts from Hydro-E-Lectric arrived, we installed the hydraulic cylinders and new hydraulic lines ourselves, and then took our car, top, pads, and rear window to nearby Anthony's Custom Restyling II in Tampa, Florida, to have the parts properly installed. We know you're likely asking why we don't perform the work ourselves like most technical projects here at Mopar Muscle, and there are a couple of distinct reasons. Installing a convertible top is one of those procedures that combines skill with a certain amount of experience, and since we don't perform the procedure often enough, we decided that trusting the experts at a professional interior and upholstery shop like Anthony's would better ensure a quality job.
Additionally, a shop like Anthony's has the specialty tools, like pneumatic staplers, and special glue guns (a paint gun with a special nozzle), as well as new tack strips and hardware in case they need to be replaced, like the tack strip on the rear bow of our Newport. There's also an amount of trial and error necessary to get the top installed in a symmetrical manner without wrinkles. Steve at Anthony's reduced the number of times our top had to be re-positioned and re-stapled, thanks to his eye for detail and plentiful experience installing tops. Since it's easy to screw up a new top and render it unusable with a misplaced staple or two, we considered the expense of having Anthony's install the top money well spent, especially since we plan to enjoy driving this car for many years to come.