Jim Smart
June 7, 2012

Convertible top replacement looks like a straightforward task. It isn't. Although it's something you can learn to do yourself, it takes years of experience and a lot of patience to know how to get it right. Because we're do-it-yourselfers, we'd like to show you how to do it properly.

National Parts Depot has provided us with everything necessary to top out an '83-'93 Mustang convertible--top, pads, latches, weatherstripping, hardware, rear curtain, and more. Convertible tops don't come as kits, but instead individual pieces and components because you never know what you're going to need or can do without. We did have some worn out parts that had to be replaced in the top mechanism and frame, which were sourced from local salvage yards. In the process, we learned that used Fox-body convertible top mechanical parts are scarce, especially here in southern California

We're working with R&B Classic Style Auto Upholstery in Sun Valley, which is owned by brothers Ray and Bill Griggs. We learned first-hand from Bill that convertible top replacement is not only time consuming (expect at least a couple of days) but also tedious with a lot of pesky details.

If you're going to hire this job out, expect to spend upwards of $800 to $1,200 because it takes a lot of time. National Parts Depot carries just about everything imaginable for convertible top replacement, including the complete hydraulic system, pump, and mechanical components.

Before getting started, you need to measure your convertible top bow dimensions with the top up and locked down. Begin at the header (#1 bow) and measure rearward all the way to #5 at the deck lid. This very important step will enable you to get the new top dimensionally correctly with a minimum of fuss and confusion. It's also a good idea to take pictures inside and out before getting started for reference purposes.

'83-'93 Convertible Parts List

When ordering convertible top parts for '83-'93 Mustang convertibles, remember they aren't all the same. There are running changes you need to be aware of, which means you must be very specific about your model year when ordering. Some model years are stand-alone parts specific to those years only, such as the top, rear curtain, cables, and other pieces. Parts listed below are what we used on an '89 convertible, however, there are many differences including color and model year. Go to www.npdlink.com for specifics for your '83-'93 Mustang convertible.

Convertible TopM-CT-83-A (Black)$169.95('83-'90 only)
Rear Window CurtainM-CW-83-A (Black)$169.95('83-'90 only)
HeadlinerM-51916-15A (Black)$149.95(All)
Pad KitM-52875-1A$34.95('83-'90 and '93)
Tip Set514A00-2AK$8.95(Tack Strip Tips)
Tack Strip51416-1A$19.95(Black)
RH A-Pillar SealM-02626-3A$27.95('88-'93 10/87 up)
LH A-Pillar SealM-02627-2A$27.95('88-'93 10/87 up)
Front Rail SealM-53986-2A$66.95('85-'83)

Photo Gallery

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34 The well liner is fitted, then attached in front and around the perimeter. It is secured at the seat back and around the #5 bow.