303 Top Protection - First Time

Reddirocket27

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First time protecting the top, and after 2 years, any factory spray had worn away completely. While some choose to paint it on with a foam brush, I used the 303 Fabric and Tonneau cleaner as described, with a little going a long way. Soft bristle brush in circular motions. Luckily, it wasn't soiled too badly so it washed off easily. The cleaner bottle will last forever, while the protectant can be emptied in just two quick layers. After a day to dry, I taped off the rubber and plastic moldings, vacuumed the top of lint, then sprayed one way until saturated and parked in the sun (70 degrees). Although it say 6-12 hours, mine was dry as a bone after 4. I re-vacummed, then spray the remaining half of the bottle in a perpendicular direction. Wiping it off the paint and glass right cannot be said enough, since it begins to dry very quickly. Some quick-detail wax or Windex will go a long way. Some say it beads water for 3 weeks, and others 3 months or more, and I've even seen a full year. Truthfully, I just want UV protection for the top, versus water protection. I'll keep updated over the next year!
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jimbabwe

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I regularly use 303 on my top as well and am satisfied with the results I've gotten. Ironically I just sprayed the protection on it today!
 

Tim_

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Wait, you vacuumed it after you put 303 on?
 
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Reddirocket27

Reddirocket27

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Nope, although it will attract pollen like a MF. I vacuumed before applying the 303 cleaner, then once that was washed away and dried overnight, vacuumed again since a lot of stuff will settle. Unfortunately, I don't have a garage so a carport will have to do. Once dry, the 303 Fabric Guard goes on.
 

CVCashmere

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Sunday I cleaned and treated my top with Raggtop brand products.

There are several good products out there. My other go-to brand is West Marine Canvas Protector.

The most important thing is to just do it!

CVCashmere
 

ORRadtech

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Sunday I cleaned and treated my top with Raggtop brand products.

There are several good products out there. My other go-to brand is West Marine Canvas Protector.

The most important thing is to just do it!

CVCashmere
I used the Raggtop cleaner and protectant two weeks ago.
I liked the cleaner well enough. I followed the directions exactly for the protectant. I got two decent coats and a final very light coat and allowed it to dry completely for 12 hours.
I've been less than impressed with its performance. It's rained a couple of times since and there is absolutely no beading, none. It makes me wonder if there's any ultraviolet protection at all either.
When I had boats I'd always use the 3M 303 to protect any canvas and it did a good job. I've since ordered some of the 303 to apply to the convertible. I suspect I should have just done that in the first place but the Raggtop came as a kit and had good reviews.
 

Tim_

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I find 303 beads for about 3 weeks then stops, however the dirt does sit on the fabric and is cleaning is noticeably easier. When the 303 wears off it’s much harder to clean the dirt out the fabric.

I’ve yet to see anyone say they get beading for the full 12 months it’s supposed to last for...
 

Johnnybee

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303 will bead under certain conditions and not under others. I saw somewhere (maybe the 303 website) that to test it you should mist the top with water (they were using a spray bottle) and if that beads it is still good. Do not expect it to bead if you are hitting it with hose. For example, over the winter I was concerned the protection had fallen off. One day there was snow in the morning and then it warmed up. When I came out to the car, all beaded, some the size of small marbles. And I put the coat on probably in mid-October last year. I also use the brush method, I find that I get more even coverage and know where I have put it on. I have the big spray bottles, which I think are 32 oz and used about half.
 

Tim_

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Good to know, I’ll try mine with a spray and see how long it lasts.
 
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Reddirocket27

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I'll def be brushing mine on probably in the autumn. I feel there was a lot of overspray and wasted product just spraying from the nozzle.
 

CVCashmere

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I'll def be brushing mine on probably in the autumn. I feel there was a lot of overspray and wasted product just spraying from the nozzle.
Important Tip For Vert Owners!

Save some of your Raggtop, 303 or West Marine treatment for the summer! After your vert has been sitting in the sun and driving with the top down, the exposed fabric that makes up the visible flat part of the top gets dirty and beat up from the sun.

Clean that one square, and then reapply the top treatment just to the one square. the rest of the top sits protected inside the trunk and does not need it.

In addition, I neatly fold a black towel down between the top and the rear seats so that dirt and dust does not lodge in there. Periodically, pull the towel out and wash it. Your folded top does NOT accumulate junk while driving with the top down.

Lastly, if you do not use the tonneau covers, then obtain smaller black towels and push them down onto the top of the mechanism. this will prevent dust and dirt from getting into the mechanicals and the side of the top. This is my third vert, so i have picked up some tips over the years.

Enjoy!

CVCashmere
 

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