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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2012, 10:06 AM
manoweb manoweb is offline
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Top maintenance

Hi, my top seem in good condition but I wonder if there are products or so to keep it in top condition. Finally I now have a garage so I can leave her inside during the night, but many times during the day she brings me to work... and she has to stay outside the whole day.
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2012, 10:19 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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There are various top cleaner and treatment systems.

I use the BMW product.

Others swear by Ragg Topp. And there are others.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2012, 10:43 AM
silverado02 silverado02 is offline
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The site many of us use for car care info and products is Autogeek.net. Buy a fabric top cleaner and water proofing kit such as 303 or Raggtop. It is important to keep the top water proofed. If there are spots on your top where water is not beading up, then it is time to treat it.
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2012, 01:57 PM
manoweb manoweb is offline
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So do you confirm I need to get the "fabric" cleaner and not the "vinyl" one?
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2012, 02:33 PM
manoweb manoweb is offline
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Well I guess it's a "fabric" top. Now, I see there are two products, one is an aerosol spray, the other is a pump spray... which one is best? I'm very confused
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2012, 03:34 PM
silverado02 silverado02 is offline
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Yep, it is a fabric top. I have only used the 303 product which comes with a pump sprayer.
Either way you will need to mask off all the windows and painted surfaces below the top as this stuff is hard to remove if the over spray gets on them.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2012, 05:29 PM
DaveBZ3 DaveBZ3 is offline
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Ragg Top

I just bought a 2001 Z3 and the top was pretty dirty. I used Ragg Top and was very impressed with the cleaner. It took maybe 1/3 of the cleaner but I used the entire spray can of the sealer. Cover the plastic window and metal.

I know that 303 is also a high quality sealer...I've used it on my sailboat sail covers.

Going forward I'll probably use the Ragg Top cleaner and 303 sealer. The car is now a garage kept weekend car so hopefully the top won't require much maintenance.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2012, 06:25 PM
FredR FredR is offline
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Autosol makes a kit that has top shampoo, protectant, and plastic window paste that works well. BavAuto has it. One trick I use is to vacume the top prior to washing. This gets the big chunks out.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2012, 07:37 PM
manoweb manoweb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado02 View Post
Either way you will need to mask off all the windows and painted surfaces below the top as this stuff is hard to remove if the over spray gets on them.
Hmmm... but I saw a youtube video where they said not to worry about windows etc that it comes away easily from those surfaces...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=k3ikT9InF9U

Last edited by manoweb; 02-24-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2012, 07:45 PM
manoweb manoweb is offline
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Well I am confused by these options:

RaggTopp Fabric Protectant Aerosol
RaggTopp Fabric Convertible Top Protectant Pump Spray

Which one should I take? It would be the first time for me to take care of the top.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2012, 04:17 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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One thing I like about the BMW product I use, you mix it with water, then apply it with a sponge. No worries about having to mask the windows.

The difference between the two products mentioned seems to be whether you have to pump to spray or not. Same basic prodcut, just different containers.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2012, 06:44 AM
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WINDonSKIN WINDonSKIN is offline
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Have only used Raggtopp and it really made my black top come to life. Its more about sun damage where you live.Not so much up here in storeage 6 months a year-
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2012, 08:53 AM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manoweb View Post
Well I am confused by these options:

RaggTopp Fabric Protectant Aerosol
RaggTopp Fabric Convertible Top Protectant Pump Spray

Which one should I take? It would be the first time for me to take care of the top.
I use the 303 products. The 303 fabric protectant goes on well, wicks into the fabric well and seems to bead up well. I wish the 303 top cleaner was a little more aggressive. I used Simple Green last time and it really cleaned up the top well, but I wouldn't recommend that on a continuous basis, just for stubborn spots/stains. I'm going to try RaggTopp cleaner next based on the feedback above.

I use a soft nylon-bristle back brush on my top (works well for working leather conditioner into the seats too). Vacuum it first to remove any large particles, and never spot-clean the top. It's all or nothing. If you spot-clean you will leave rings at the edges of the cleaned area.

Anyway, on to your original question. I like using the pump sprayers because the overspray is more controllable. I masked off the windows and the flat metal surfaces of the car and used a piece of cardboard along the edges of the top as I sprayed close to the edge. I did two coats just to make sure I had even coverage, allowing 15-20 mins. between coats. It took about 24 hours to dry in a 65-degree garage.
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2012, 09:15 AM
golferguy golferguy is offline
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When I park outside a work in the spring and summer, I cover the convertible top with a cover, such as shown on this page. Keeps the top looking newer, cuts down on sun damage (here in Texas that's the main problem) and keeps the car much, much cooler.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2012, 09:29 AM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferguy View Post
When I park outside a work in the spring and summer, I cover the convertible top with a cover, such as shown on this page. Keeps the top looking newer, cuts down on sun damage (here in Texas that's the main problem) and keeps the car much, much cooler.
I use a California Pop Top. Small, lightweight and really prevents sun damage with the top up or down. C11 is the right size for the Z3.

http://www.capoptop.com/home.htm
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2012, 11:18 AM
manoweb manoweb is offline
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Very informative thread. I realized I do not have a brush to help clean the top, but also the rest of the body of the car. What would you suggest? On Autogeek.net it seems people like the "Montana Boar" brush... is it worth almost 80 bucks?
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  #17  
Old 02-26-2012, 03:27 AM
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I have the OXO car brushes that I got years ago from Bavarian Autosport. It looks they do not carry them any longer. But Autogeeks does.

Car wash brush - http://www.autogeek.net/carwashbrush.html

They also make a wheel cleaning brush and a small hand brush that I use for the top.
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2012, 11:55 AM
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Mein Auto: 2002 M roadster
For cleaning the fabric top, I use the RaggTopp horsehair brush.

http://www.autogeek.net/convertible-top-brush.html

For protection, I've gone back and forth between 303 Fabric Guard and RaggTopp Protectant. I prefer the 303 Fabric Guard and don't see myself using RaggTopp again. The 303 is less expensive (esp. in larger quantities) and easy to obtain locally, and works just as well. I like the 32 oz. spray bottle, but there's no problem applying it with a sponge or foam paintbrush. I actually prefer the foam paintbrush method because it means no mess at all. The Chemical Guys Fabric Guard is a good product too; I use it on my carpets because it's truly odorless and it's likely that I'll be using it on my ragtop once I run out of 303 Fabric Guard.

Boars hair brush is very handy for washing parts of the car where mitts don't easily reach. I've been using the Griot's one for a very long time (more than 10 years). But it doesn't replace a good quality wash mitt and microfiber, especially if you're in an area where waterless washing is your best or only option for regular cleaning.

If fussy, you really want multiple brushes and wash mitts. At a minimum I like to keep tools for wheels, wheel wells and undercarriage (typically covered with brake dust and other nasties) separate from those I use for body panels. I have the Mothers Tire, Wheel and Wheel Well brush kit to deal with those parts of the car; good quality, inexpensive, and I like the reach of the wheel well brush. I keep separate microfiber mitts for body versus wheels and undercarriage. Griot's has a set of two different-colored microfiber wash mitts that are handy for keeping one for body panels and one for wheels/undercarriage. The Chemical Guys wash mitt is also very nice. I also really like lambswool mitts for washing, but they require more care.

I've recently switched to buying all of my microfiber from Chemical Guys. They have a huge selection, some very nice towels, and are priced lower than Cobra and others.
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