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Old 04-23-2015, 09:41 PM   #1
Angie11
 
Drives: 2011 ss rs convertable
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: WI
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fix your 5th bow for $200

Ok guys, if you have hand tools and any mechanical skill you can do this for $200 and 2-3 hours of time. You DO NOT have to remove the top. I didn't take pictures but its pretty straight forward. I will spell it out and if anyone has questions Id be happy to answer them.

You will need to buy the 5th bow assembly because good ol GM wont just sell you the parts you need. You get the aluminum 5th bow with the 2 metal brackets bolted on each end, these are the parts you need. with tax $200

First remove the body trim around the deck lid, the third brake light can be removed by gently prying it up, its held on by 4 push in pins. Then the 2 surround pieces can be removed, open the roof to get access to 12 10mm nuts, you need to push back a bit on the waterbag to get the side ones but they are not hard to remove. once nuts are off remove 8 screws in back and gently lift up the pieces and set them aside.

Now with the top half way open, basically straight up, use a
flat blade screwdriver and where the top cloth is inserted in the weatherstrip that goes over the rear side window, put screwdriver in space and twist to pry out the plastic tab that holds it in. pull it out to about 2 inches from the top of that area. Now pull up on the weather strip that is along the 5th bow where it is suppoed to seal against the trim you removed, then pull the top cloth out of grove, again about 5-6 inches, you can see where the waterbag is held in the inside of 5th bow channel, pry it out about 5 inches back.

Now you can see in and see the brackets that you need to replace, look over your new part and it is obvious. There are clips that are on the ends of the pin that need to be removed. Now it takes a bit of pulling but pull the pins out of hole so you get the 5th bow free of the mechanism. Now you can lift it up enough to get a wrench in there to remove the 2 bolts. There is a metal bar inserted in the aluminum end that the bolts thread into, be careful so it dosent slide back into the bow.

Remove the new brackets from your new part

Now you have the brackets free from the old bow, drill out the rivet that holds the strap and stretch cord. and rivet it back on to the new bracket.

Carefully bolt the new brackets to the bow. On mine I had to adjust it once, the brackets have oblong holes so I put it right in the middle but top was to tight so I had to slide brackets as far back as I could and it was perfect.

Once you have the brackets bolted back on and installed back into holes in mechanism just reverse steps and your in business.

This might sound complicated but its very straight forward. Sounds like lots of guys have taken their cars to shops and spent a lot, or been without their car for a long time. If your 5th bow has failed and your on the fence on what to do, trust me, if you have basic skills you can do this. The top looks great now!!

Hope this might be helpful to someone
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:52 AM   #2
OrangeVert
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Angie11, thanks for sharing.

Would you happen know where I can find general top adjustment procedure steps? I'm getting outside noise in the cabin, and am sure a top adjustment is needed.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:43 AM   #3
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Nice instructions, do you have Part numbers for the upgraded parts?

I'll be doing this myself too if issues ever come up, far too many stories on the forums of dealers making top issues worse instead of better, no way I'd let them work on it.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:42 AM   #4
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:46 AM   #5
Shazbatt79
 
Drives: 2012 2SS/RS Vert
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Americans don't read instructions, a YouTube video would be awesome!
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:17 PM   #6
Angie11
 
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Orange vert, there seems to be little to no adjustments. A few bump stops are threaded but thats about it. Mine is WAY quieter inside now! You could try on the back decklid there are two bump stops that can be adjusted to let the seal come up tighter......mine were very rusted but some WD-40 and patience working it got them turning again. Worth a try
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:18 PM   #7
ToddB

 
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Ya I think they only beefed up the ends of the fifth bow so this should work. When I did mine my dealer covered it under warranty for the parts and I did it my self as they had no experience. They gave me the brackets and the entire aluminum fifth bow all as one piece. I did not know until I took mine apart to find out only the brackets wear bent. No way you could remove the whole fifth bow without removing the top.I had to return the old parts to the dealer. It makes it a lot easier just changing the brackets. Mine cost me nothing. Lol
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:26 PM   #8
OrangeVert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angie11 View Post
Orange vert, there seems to be little to no adjustments. A few bump stops are threaded but thats about it. Mine is WAY quieter inside now! You could try on the back decklid there are two bump stops that can be adjusted to let the seal come up tighter......mine were very rusted but some WD-40 and patience working it got them turning again. Worth a try
Thanks, Angie11. I think we're finally going to hit 60F sustained next week, so will check that out.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:25 AM   #9
hworth18
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This is great news!! Thanks for figuring it out although I am with Shazbatt that a how to vid or pictures really would've helped us understand what you're looking at. Just a suggestion for next time.

Congrats and Good job!!!
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:32 PM   #10
DanielW
 
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Will be doing this tomorrow.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:41 PM   #11
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Finished a little while ago. Not too hard. Will be posting a new thread expanding on instructions and showing pictures. Might take a couple of days to get all the pictures set up and make sure I give the best and easiest to understand info I can.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:38 PM   #12
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Have a question maybe dumb question or asked before so early apology.

I purchased my 2012 used, from a high end classic car seller who sold to me on consignment so I have not had contact with the owner. He was the original owner and only put 2300 miles on the car this car still smells and looks brand new. My top looks ok but a 9/2011 build date, is there anyway to tell if the problem has been taken care of by examining the top? IOW is there way to tell if the parts have been replaced by looking at them? Not so concerned about the water bag leaking it will never be driven in weather but the wearing of the canvas worries more.

Sorry also wondering if it has been confirmed Angie11 fix has solved the problem looks like this was an old post from 4/2015?

Thanks
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielW View Post
Finished a little while ago. Not too hard. Will be posting a new thread expanding on instructions and showing pictures. Might take a couple of days to get all the pictures set up and make sure I give the best and easiest to understand info I can.
Thanks, Daniel - much appreciated if you can please do that!
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:38 AM   #14
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Thank You (OP and everyone who contributed in this thread).
I have a 2014 but always wondered if there was an easier way to fix the early tops.
Thanks again,
-s
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