Convertible Top Replacement Assistance

I’ve read through the various posts on this topic but didn’t find answers to my questions. I’m refinishing the convertible top frame and replacing the soft top on my 68 XKE… When I removed the old top the rubber tack strip extended around the rear corner and was attached to the car using brads that created holes in the car body. This seems odd and I was wondering if it’s normal (see picture below).


My second question is about the drip rails. My head pillars have rubber molding in them but nothing that looks like the drip molding that is shown in the parts diagrams BD19294 and BD19293 (see picture). I do have a chrome bead that attaches to the edge of the top in that area. Is what I have correct?

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Hi Brad,
It’s been 20 years since I replaced the hood on my '68 so my memory isn’t the best but I don’t believe that the rubber piece is held by brads going into the sheet metal. IIRC it’s held by tacks into the wood and then the chrome strip that goes over it.
Yes, what you have appears to be correct but there is a right and a left one. The part you are showing appears to be BD 19294.
One other thing that stuck in my memory is that you need to measure the width of the canvas/vinyl to make sure it’s wide enough. Mine turned out to be a about a 1/2 inch short on either side which I didn’t recognize till I had it installed. Other folks had similar issues back in the day and it may have been corrected by now. Still better safe than sorry.

… I would have invented an entire new class of cussing…:confounded:


I cannot tell from the pix if it is a roadster or drophead. My drophead had a wood tacking strip that was rotted away, and I had to make a new one. Once in place, it was a snap to put the new top on.

Thanks for the replies. The wood and chrome piece don’t extend all the way around the corner so the material from the top that extends beyond where the wood/chrome ends needs to be somehow be attached to the body. I’ve looked at a number of pictures of other XKE’s and most of them have the top material extending well past the rear chrome strip. I don’t know how they are fastened to the car body.

I don’t have the left and right drip rails that I showed in the 2nd picture.



Here’s a picture of my car before I removed the top. You can see how the top material extends past the chrome strip. So my question is how is the top that extends beyond the chrome strip attached to the body? On my car, this was done usinga tack strip that was “nailed” into the body thus making the holes that I showed in the first picture.


There are Lift the Dot fasteners on the inside of the car that hold a separate flap to keep that portion of the top secured. Simply unsnap the lift a dot fasteners before lowering the top.

Thanks Doug. That’s a more “elegant” solution then putting nails into the body. I’ll fill the existing holes and install the Lift the Dot fasteners.

Thanks again,


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Definitely no brads through metal. It was held by the single screw that goes through the chrome and the body into the wood block on the inside, and the pinching pressure that puts on the rubber strip.

I discovered what I believe to be both the easiest and also the most accurate and effective way to apply the rubber sealing strip. Ultimately it’s more than just a finishing trim. It’s also supposed to ride along the car profile and help it seal out water spray. So I tacked on the top using nails into the wood. But then I glued the rubber seal to the chrome using trim cement, and glued it so that there is very precise contact with the body, no floating uselessly above it. it was glued all the way to the ends which eliminated any concerns about the ends floating loose.


Thank you Erica and Doug. When I order the new top I’ll make certain it has the flap as shown in Doug’s picture.


In FL you might want to consider one with a zip out rear window. I ordered one from Robbins that had one. It’s a special request thing. It makes top up driving in the sunbelt possible, providing awesome air flow.


Erica - I read information on the zip out window and am planning to order one. No a/c in my car.


did they have the boot cover too? Not seeing it on website. And what material did you choose? Vinyl, Everflex or Stayfast.

These guys sell the Robbins hoods and have the top boot covers as well. Unbelieveably (to me) the boot covers are considerably more expensive than the hoods!

I think it’s stayfast fabric? I wasn’t aware of more than canvas or vinyl. It’s definitely not vinyl. Lovely top really.


The insanely expensive boot covers…with the shoulder harness slot…that slot is designed for the factory shoulder harness set up with the complicated reel mount with long bracket and etc. Would that slot be in the right place if one puts a conventional simple harness in…one hole, back up plate?

I’m also planning on buying a boot cover along with the new top and was also surprised at how expensive the boot covers are. I’m waiting to get my top frame back from powder coating and install it before buying the top and cover.



For Jaguar Drophead Coupés that was standard AFAIK from 1938 until 1951, that is SS Jaguar, MKIV and MKV. And I agree, with the MKV DHC it is very pleasant. However I haven’t wanted to get one for the V12 OTS, maybe because it’s less claustrophobic than a SWB? :slight_smile:


Ps. Darn iPhone! :laughing: