Soft Top Repair

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Supporting Vendor
Jan 31, 2003
"the whale's vagina", CA
Got a rip in my softop last weekend on the trail. Was wondering if anyone has tips/tricks to fix it? I was thinking that there must be some type of vinyl patches that one could apply to a rip. My top is a kayline fastrac type with the denim black type material. Not the smooth vinyl yet the more durable “denim” black type of material. Anyone know where to get some type of patches I mention above? I don’t want to take it to someone as the top is getting old and not worth it getting it professionally fixed, not concerned with looks either, just want to stay dry and keep it from ripping further. I did find these at JCwhitney: patch

not sure if these would work? What is vulcanizing fluid? Can you get this at any hardware store? Anyone used these type of patches before?

I guess there is always duct tape......

Any help appreciated.


Hi All:

Noah, do you have any pics of the damage to the soft top?

I have done some damage to the Fast Trac on my FJ40 over the years!


i just have local shop sew a patch panel in. they've already patched on side of my i need to have them patch the other side. then i need to remember to let air out of the tires before pulling out of the garage :doh:
I have an early Bestop softtop (vinyl) that I managed to acquire a rip in on my first Moab trip :frown:

I went to a local auto upholstery/cabriolet softtop shop and ordered new material through them (thread as well). They were able to match the material precisely. Then I used my own sewing machine to sew patches on. Not the prettiest, but like yours, mine is old, and for wheeling, I didn't want a new top only to have to cringe at every new scratch from branches..........

Anyway, if you use your sewing machine, make sure to get the strongest needles you can find. An older manual model is better, as the newer automatic thread tension control systems really don't like the thick stuff. The Kayline fabric may be thinner.

Also, maybe STC (the company that bought Kayline) can send you patch material. According to the softtop shop, I talked to, the glue-on patches don't hold very long, and looking at the tension on the softtop at higher speeds, I had to believe them.
If you can, put a patch on the inside that holds the rip closed. That'll lessen the wind effect on the patch.
Glueing could work but a good strong duct tape would be simpler. They make it in all sorts of colors now.

"i just have local shop sew a patch panel in. they've already patched on side of my bikini..."
Got a picture of you in the patched bikini, Inge? :D
My best post: Outdoors stores... I have worked in them for years. We sell all kinds of patches, tapes in all colors. Find a good shop and your set
As said, but here is more specific, go to a camping store and look for the Gortex branded patch kit. Water proof Gortex that is cut to size and sticky back. great seal, strong sticky back, water proof and several colors.

BTW, I have used this exact product to repair a buddies soft top and nice as no sticthing required (breaking needles, seal the stich hole, blah blah) and pretty bomber stuff as it is made for repairng jackets and tents in the back country that NEED to hold up.
I ripped a huge gash in an old Kayline softtop years ago. I took it to a shoe repair place -- they usually have heavy-duty sewing machines meant for stitching such things. They put a piece of scrap vinyl under the rip on the inside of the top, stitched it on all four sides, and it was like new. You couldn't even tell it had ever been ripped without looking closely.

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