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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2003, 07:16 AM
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Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Nick's unsolicited Cloth Top Tips & Tricks

Disclaimer: I am not a professional detailer nor an expert on cloth top care. I’m just a charter member of the ARZOA who has owned several canvas topped cars over the years.

Cloth Top Care

Do not wash the cloth top except when needed, and then use only RaggTopp Cleaner. Vacuum the top before washing your car. be careful to not get any car wash mixture on the top as it will remove some of the protectant (dish detergent will remove all of it!).

Routine cloth top cleaning is vacuuming with a brush attachment. This should be done before each car wash and after driving in dusty areas. Washing should be done only if the top has become dirtied with bird droppings, tree sap, soot fallout, mud, etc.

Cloth Top Washing

Vacuum the top with a brush attachment, then rinse thoroughly with low pressure water to remove loose soil. Spray RaggTopp Cleaner evenly over the entire top and scrub lightly with a soft nylon brush. Then rinse thoroughly with low pressure water until no remaining soap foam is seen. If any difficult soiled areas remain they may now be spot cleaned by applying RaggTopp Cleaner directly, letting it stand for 10 to 20 minutes, scrubbing with a soft toothbrush, and then thoroughly rinsing the entire top again. Do not attempt to remove contaminants by scrapping with any sharp edged tool. When the top is clean dry it with a microfiber towel. After washing the top the car must be washed to prevent spotting or filming.

Leave the top up until it is completely dry. This may take an hour in direct sun, or as much as 24 hours in cool, humid weather. After the top has thoroughly dried its water repellency must be renewed with RaggTopp Protectant.

Cloth Top Protection

RaggTopp Protectant is a water and oil repellant and provides UV protection. It is a polymer which allows layering for added protection. Since it is a polymer the top must be clean before using to prevent bonding contaminants to the cloth. Vacuuming is all that is needed unless the top has become dirtied with bird droppings, tree sap, soot fallout, mud, etc. RaggTopp Protectant is only effective when applied to completely dry cloth.

Apply RaggTopp Protectant after every top washing. Application should be done as needed to maintain water repellency. Routine application should be done every 3 to 4 months.

Shake the can well before and during application. Spray lightly using a sweeping motion and using a cardboard shield to minimize getting overspray on the paint and plastic window. Allow to dry 15 to 20 minutes between coats. Multiple light coats are much more effective than fewer heavy coats. Apply no more than three coats to allow proper bonding. Additional coats may be applied after 24 hours. Drying and bonding will be accelerated if done in direct sun. Immediately after application wipe the surrounding paint with quick detailer and the plastic window with Plexus or Novus #1 to remove any overspray. After the last coat has dried there may be a white residue which should be removed by vacuuming with a brush attachment.

Links

The cloth used by BMW for its tops is supplied by Haartz who recommends using RaggTopp products for top care. RaggTopp is available from CMA. Haartz has cleaning info here.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2003, 08:15 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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I'm going to "sticky" this thread.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2003, 07:07 PM
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scottn2retro scottn2retro is offline
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Raggtopp is great stuff The only things I would add would be:
a) when using a brush with the cleaner make it a SOFT brush
b) when using the protectant, do a very good job of masking for the overspray because that stuff is a PITA to get off of the things you don't want it on
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2003, 12:25 AM
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The first time that I used RaggTopp I left the overspray until the next day, and it was definitely a PITA to remove. My next time I opened the top slightly, draped towels over the windshield and side window, and closed the top - masked off the rear areas and the rear window. I still got a little overspray on the paint and rear window, but found that if dealt with immediately after finishing the top it came off easily with a little QD. So, now I just use a small (maybe 6”x16”) piece of cardboard as a shield while I spray - and make sure to deal with any overspray promptly.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2005, 11:17 AM
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Is it a good idea to spray the protectant on a cotton towel and apply that way, rather than spray?
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2005, 11:23 AM
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zentenn - -

Give it a try and let us know your results.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2005, 11:28 AM
Boile Boile is offline
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It just occurred to me...
If you own a ragtop, you can't take it to the automatic car wash or do it yourself power wash bay?
Yeah, washing the car by hand is fine and I do that, but there are times when you're just not in the mood. And how about in the winter? You can't get the salt and other sludge out with a quick power wash spray?
What a hassle!
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2005, 07:27 PM
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zentenn zentenn is offline
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Here's what I did. I first sprayed the protector on the top making sure not to get overspray. To do this I just made sure not to get too close to the edges. I let that dry and then did it again. On the 3rd coat, I sprayed the protectant onto a cotton cloth and gently rubbed it into the fabric. I made sure to follow the grain of the fabric and used very few circular motions. For some reason I felt this would be the best thing to do. In any case, after it dried, everything looked good. This method seemed to work very well with out all the hassle of dealing with overspray.
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2005, 07:29 PM
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zentenn zentenn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boile
It just occurred to me...
If you own a ragtop, you can't take it to the automatic car wash or do it yourself power wash bay?
Yeah, washing the car by hand is fine and I do that, but there are times when you're just not in the mood. And how about in the winter? You can't get the salt and other sludge out with a quick power wash spray?
What a hassle!
I would never take my car through an automatic car wash. Cleaning these cars by hand is not that hard, especially since we don't have to wash the top very often.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2006, 03:04 PM
alfromuk alfromuk is offline
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Washing the Z4

My local dealer said it was OK to take it through a car wash as long as it had the "soft" brushes.
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  #11  
Old 03-27-2006, 08:38 AM
Philip Philip is offline
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RaggTopp Products

RaggTopp Products are available at www.firstplaceauto********

First Place Auto LLC is an authorized dealer for RaggTopp and Meguiar's Products.

Fabric kit $25.00
Vinyl kit $23.00


Thanks,
Phil
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2006, 09:42 AM
Carnag Carnag is offline
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I was hoping for some help if anyone has any ideas....I have a hole in my top which is about the diameter of a pencil. I went to a "top shop", and they said they couldn't fix it, only replace the whole top. My top is only 2 years old, and in great condition otherwise. Any ideas on how I can repair this (other than the Macgyver method of duct tape)?
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2006, 09:54 AM
dboy11 dboy11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnag
I was hoping for some help if anyone has any ideas....I have a hole in my top which is about the diameter of a pencil. I went to a "top shop", and they said they couldn't fix it, only replace the whole top. My top is only 2 years old, and in great condition otherwise. Any ideas on how I can repair this (other than the Macgyver method of duct tape)?
Most all vert tops are hard to fix holes and rips....I would call your local dealership and talk to the service manager about who they use for this....chances are they will have a mobile or shop that they use....I find it hard to believe that they would replace the whole top on a trade in with a small pencil hole in the top....The higher end used car lots would also be a good call.....Locally for me there is a guy that can patch from the underside of the top....depending on how bad they are I've seen some real good jobs
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2006, 10:01 AM
Carnag Carnag is offline
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Thanks for the ideas. The hole isn't bad, it's quite small. The guy at the shop who said I would need to replace the top suggested I try an innertube repair kit maybe??
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2006, 08:30 AM
BMW Detailer BMW Detailer is offline
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Good tip. Never heard of it. Any ideas on how best to remove the yellowing in the back plastic window?
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2007, 05:48 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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Rear Window:
The fogging on polyvinyl occurs when the plasticizers in the material evaporate due to UV radiation and heat exposure. The plasticizers maintain its softness and flexibility; a good plastic polish (Plexus) will remove scratches and the fogginess and maintain its flexibility.

Place a 100% cotton cloth (front and back of rear window) when the top is down, this will help to avoid any surface friction scratches and prolong its durability. This will also avoid any transfer of product to the rear window from the tops fabric dressing. Avoid putting the top down when the material is damp or wet as this encourages mould and mildew to form

The material used for the 'plastic' windows in convertible tops, soft-tops, is a specialized type of vinyl called 'Pressed Polished Sheets'. This material is actually composed of two layers of non-colour vinyl laminated together under intense pressure and high heat; this process squeezes out all the impurities and renders it optically clear.

Acrylic plastic - wipe with a damp towel, then spray a clean a damp 100% cotton Alpine DF'M Microfiber towel with Plexus® use a light to medium pressure on glass surface, finally buff with a dry Autopia ConcourseTM Buffing Towel

Glass- wipe with a damp towel, then spray clean, and damp 100% cotton Alpine DF.''M Microfiber towel with StonersTM Invisible Glass, finally buff with a dry AutopiaTM Concourse Buffing Towel

Removing Oxidation (polycarbonate):
The rear window starts to exhibit an opaque appearance and then a yellow hue on the outside. Original equipment material (OEM) suppliers started to add a UVR protection to the surface in an attempt to reduce this condition and prolong the usable life of the polycarbonate.

While most of the cloudiness is on the surface, severely discolored polycarbonate cannot be brought back to optical clarity. If you live in a southern state, this discoloration can become noticeable in as little as two-years.

Novus 1 - gently cleans all plastics without scratching, leaves a lustrous shine that resists fogging, repels dust, and eliminates static.
Novus 2 - removes fine scratches, haziness, and abrasions from most plastics (exceptional for removing scratches from Plexiglas). Use repeatedly and restore faded and discolored plastics.
Novus 3 -removes heavy scratches and abrasions from most acrylic surfaces. Contains abrasives, not for use on eyeglasses, polycarbonate, or coated plastics, final finishing also requires the use of Novus 2 http://www.modernplastics.com
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2007, 06:37 AM
1phatm3 1phatm3 is offline
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Great Information.....Thanks!
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2008, 10:33 PM
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gotoschoolhere gotoschoolhere is offline
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Coincidentally has anyone used or seen this product for cloth tops?

If so, please give us some feedback. This guy just seems so genuine. I much rather pay a guy like him $20 bucks for a product that he has developed and perfected over the years than some corporation that has developed just another product to add to their line.

I guess this depends on IF this guy's product is actually good or not.
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2008, 05:47 AM
Boile Boile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotoschoolhere View Post
Coincidentally has anyone used or seen this product for cloth tops?

If so, please give us some feedback. This guy just seems so genuine. I much rather pay a guy like him $20 bucks for a product that he has developed and perfected over the years than some corporation that has developed just another product to add to their line.

I guess this depends on IF this guy's product is actually good or not.
Your statements are so illogical that I couldn't let it slide...
Are you saying that even if the product is good, but developed by a big corporation, you wouldn't buy it?
Big corporations have real scientists developing things in the lab, not some part time guy mixing things in the kitchen or garage.
And where does it say that the guy in the video developed it?
Young people are so gullible?
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2008, 03:06 PM
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gotoschoolhere gotoschoolhere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boile View Post
Your statements are so illogical that I couldn't let it slide...
Are you saying that even if the product is good, but developed by a big corporation, you wouldn't buy it?
Big corporations have real scientists developing things in the lab, not some part time guy mixing things in the kitchen or garage.
And where does it say that the guy in the video developed it?
Young people are so gullible?
No, I would use a product if it was good. For years I paid for Zymol products and used that. I am not against big companies in anyway. But if a company's focus is (say...) wax, I have a heard time believing that the same company can also produce carpet cleaner that is of the same caliber.

If you go on his website, you'll soon realize that the guy is the developer. I guess, its the gray hair that got me.
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  #21  
Old 02-18-2008, 12:02 PM
ggn112 ggn112 is offline
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Hello Dave!?
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2009, 06:39 AM
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Laslonimne Laslonimne is offline
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Raggtop Cleaner Question

Will the Raggtop Cleaner remove my carefully applied Zaino finish on the painted surfaces? I'd hate to sacrifice several days work. I know, I should have cleaned the top first. But I didn't. So does anyone know if the Raggtop Cleaner will remove the polish? Or is it more like a Z7 wash?
Thanks much,
Don
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2009, 08:07 AM
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Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Keep the RaggTopp off of the paint.
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2009, 08:25 AM
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Laslonimne Laslonimne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick T. View Post
Keep the RaggTopp off of the paint.
Thanks for the quick reply. But my question is about the Raggtop Cleaner, not the Raggtop Treatment. I know the spray needs to be kept off the paint. But I'm wondering if the cleaner acts more like Dawn or Z7 when it runs down the car as I'm rinsing it off.
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  #25  
Old 11-04-2009, 11:43 AM
avertes avertes is offline
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duck tape

I use duck tape rolled into a ball to get the little cotton peices off the top you get from using a cotton towel to clean your car. it works great.
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