How to Remove a Vinyl Top on a Cadillac

by Brenda Priddy

Removing the vinyl cover from an old Cadilac is a time-intensive project, but the removal procedure itself is simple. Removing a vinyl roof will help improve the appearance of a vehicle, and can also make the Cadilac look modern and classy. With the right tools, this task should take about one day to complete.

Step 1

Cut out the windshield and the back glass. Use a utility knife to cut through the rubber holding the glass in place. Remove any metal pieces and clips holding the glass in place. Have someone push the glass out from the inside, and catch it as it comes out. Set the glass and supports aside so that you can replace them when finished.

Step 2

Clean away any remaining rubber or adhesive with a putty knife.

Step 3

Use a chisel and hammer to pull the tacks holding the vinyl roof away from the car frame. Pull the tacks out with pliers. Throw the tacks away, as they will likely be quite rusty. You may have to twist them a little to separate them from the vinyl and frame.

Step 4

Remove the trim pieces holding the vinyl top in place. Most of the trim pieces should either screw or clip onto the frame, which you can either unclip or unscrew to release. If the screws are rusted into the frame, you can drill the screws out to release the bond.

Step 5

Release the gutters and moldings around the windows with a chisel or putty knife. Simply pry the pieces away from the frame of the car. Set the pieces aside to reinstall later if they are in good condition.

Step 6

Put on a dust mask. Pull the vinyl cover off of the car. If the adhesive is still sticky, you may have to use a putty knife to help break the bond between the vinyl and the top of the car. You can also heat the adhesive with a heat gun to loosen it enough to remove the vinyl. Discard the old vinyl roof cover.

Step 7

Sand away the remains of any padding under the vinyl roof. Sand the roof of the car until the bare metal is exposed. Wipe any remaining glue residue with an adhesive remover and a soft cloth.

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