Jim Smart
October 1, 2008
Photos By: Mark Jeffrey

Manual and Power Tops
Manual tops are generally easier to repair and adjust because there's no hydraulics to consider outside of the counterbalance mechanisms, which make it easier to raise and lower your top. Power tops are nothing more than a hydraulic system (fluid under pressure) that includes an electric pump, a two-way switch, lines, and two hydraulic lift cylinders (actuators). The pump runs in one direction to raise the top and reverses to lower.

Anytime you are servicing the convertible top mechanism, make safety your first priority. Never remove the counterbalance cylinders with the top down, always disconnect the battery whenever you're servicing the power top mechanism, and keep your hands clear whenever the top is in motion.