Soft top convertibles are a popular choice for drivers who love the open-air driving experience, but sometimes you may want a more permanent solution.
You may be wondering, “Can you convert your soft top convertible to a hardtop?” The short answer is yes, but there are some important factors to consider before making the switch.
Understanding the process and potential costs can help you make an informed decision about whether a hardtop conversion is right for you.
- It is possible to convert a soft top convertible into a hardtop, but it is not a simple process.
- A hardtop roof offers better durability, insulation, safety, and handling than a soft top, but it is heavier and limits open-air driving.
- The cost of converting a soft top into a hardtop varies depending on the make and model of your car and the cost of the conversion kit.
Can You Turn a Soft Top Convertible into a Hardtop?
If you’re wondering whether you can turn your soft top convertible into a hardtop, the answer is yes. However, it’s important to note that the process can be quite involved and may require a significant investment of time and money.
Pros and Cons of Turning a Soft Top Convertible into a Hardtop
If you are considering turning your soft top convertible into a hardtop, there are several pros and cons to keep in mind.
One of the biggest advantages of upgrading to a hardtop roof is the added safety and security it provides.
Hardtops are generally more durable and offer better protection in the event of an accident. They can also help reduce road noise and provide better insulation, making your ride more comfortable.
Another advantage of a hardtop convertible is that it can be more stylish and luxurious. Hardtops are often made of high-quality materials like leather and glass, which can add to the overall aesthetic of the car.
Additionally, hardtops can make your car look more like a sports car, which can be a plus if you’re looking to make a statement.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a hardtop convertible is the cost.
Hardtops can be significantly more expensive than soft tops, and the installation process can be time-consuming and expensive as well.
Additionally, hardtops are often heavier than soft tops, which can affect the handling and overall performance of the car.
2. Open-air Limit
Another potential downside of a hardtop is that it can limit the open-air driving experience that many people enjoy with a soft top. Hardtops are often sealed and may not have a retractable roof, which can make it difficult to enjoy sunny days with the top down.
3. All Convertibles Can’t Be Converted
Finally, it’s important to note that not all convertibles are suitable for a hardtop conversion.
Some cars may require significant modifications, such as the installation of a roll cage or the replacement of hydraulic lines, which can be costly and time-consuming. I
t’s important to research your make and model to determine if a hardtop conversion is even possible before you begin the process.
Cost of Turning a Soft Top Convertible into a Hardtop
If you’re wondering whether you can turn a soft top convertible into a hardtop, you’re likely also wondering about the cost.
The process of converting a soft top convertible into a hardtop can be costly, but the final price tag will depend on several factors.
In this section, we’ll discuss the factors that affect the cost of converting a soft top convertible into a hardtop and provide an average cost estimate.
Factors that Affect Cost
Several factors can affect the cost of converting a soft top convertible into a hardtop, including:
|Factors Affecting the Cost of a Hardtop Conversion
|Make and Model of the Vehicle
|The cost of a hardtop conversion will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Some vehicles may have more expensive conversion kits or require more labor to install the hardtop.
|Manufacturer and Market
|The cost of a hardtop conversion will also depend on the manufacturer of the conversion kit and the market in which you live. Prices may be higher in some regions or for certain brands.
|The cost of installation will vary depending on the complexity of the process. If you’re converting your soft top convertible into a hardtop yourself, you’ll save on labor costs, but you’ll need to purchase the necessary tools and equipment.
|New or Used Parts
|If you’re purchasing new parts for the conversion, you can expect to pay a higher price than if you’re using salvaged parts from a salvage yard.
The cost of converting a soft top convertible into a hardtop can vary widely depending on the factors listed above. However, on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 for the conversion.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs involved in converting a soft top convertible into a hardtop:
|$1,000 – $3,000
|$500 – $1,500
|Labor (if hiring a professional)
|$500 – $1,500
It’s worth noting that converting a soft top convertible into a hardtop can be an expensive upgrade, but it can also improve the safety and handling of your vehicle.
Additionally, hardtop convertibles tend to hold their value better than soft top convertibles, so the upgrade may be worth the investment in the long run.
How to Turn a Soft Top Convertible into a Hardtop
In this section, we’ll discuss two of the most common methods: replacing the soft top with a hardtop and installing a hardtop conversion kit.
1. Replacing the Soft Top with a Hardtop
One way to turn your soft top convertible into a hardtop is to replace the soft top with a hardtop. This can be done by removing the soft top and installing a hardtop in its place. The process will vary depending on the make and model of your car, as well as the manufacturer of the hardtop.
If you’re purchasing a new car, you may be able to order a hardtop from the dealership. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you may be able to find a hardtop at a salvage yard.
Once you have the hardtop, you’ll need to install it on your car. This may require some modifications to the roof and handling mechanism, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you may want to have a professional mechanic install the hardtop for you.
2. Installing a Hardtop Conversion Kit
Another way to turn your soft top convertible into a hardtop is to install a hardtop conversion kit. These kits typically include all the parts and hardware you need to convert your soft top into a hardtop, including a new roof and handling mechanism.
The installation process for a hardtop conversion kit will vary depending on the make and model of your car, as well as the specific kit you purchase. Some kits may require more extensive modifications than others, so it’s important to carefully read the instructions before you begin.
If you’re not comfortable installing the kit yourself, you may want to have a professional mechanic do it for you. This will ensure that the conversion is done correctly and that your car is safe to drive.
Ultimately, the decision to convert a soft top convertible into a hardtop depends on your personal preferences, budget, and intended use of the vehicle. It’s recommended to consult with a professional mechanic or car specialist before making any modifications to your vehicle.