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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems the convertible mechanism is fairly complex, and as such I would like to know what kind of preventive maintenance one should be doing for max life?

Thanks,

Justin
 

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1. Lub all the hinges.
2. The canvas top should to be cleaned and treated with water repellent/UV protection spray.
3. Don't operate the roof when the canvas is wet.
4. Don't operate the roof when there's even a little bid of wind.
5. Don't operate the roof when it's cold (< 4 degrees centigrade)
6. Don't operate the roof with the engine off.
7. Don't operate the roof while the vehicle is moving, however slow.
8. Don't operate the roof while the car is on a slope.
9. Operate the roof at least once a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lube? What kind?

Thanks Rotate for your reply! Any suggestions on what kind of "lube" to use? Would you just stop the mechanism in mid close/open and then look for places to lube? As you can tell this is my first convertible, but not last!

Justin
 

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I use silicon grease only because it doesn't have any odour and it doesn't stain.

The hinges are only exposed during the retraction, so you need to work quickly with somone controlling the switch. Don't open/close the roof too often, as the motor is rated only for very low duty cycle.

On other thing. Do not operate the roof while the engine is not running. The motor will have to work harder since the voltage is lower.
 

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rotate said:
Don't open/close the roof too often, as the motor is rated only for very low duty cycle.
Totally disagree with this one.
Why buy a vert if you aren't going to use the top very often? Sacrilege Rotate. Pure sacrilege. :cheesy:

If you are going to lube everything (which I haven't ever done) you can open the toneau cover and leave it at a 90 degree angle for a few minutes. It won't hurt anything.

Only piece of advise I can add is to not leave the top down overnight. This is how permanent creases form.
 

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CleveSaab said:
Totally disagree with this one.
Why buy a vert if you aren't going to use the top very often? Sacrilege Rotate. Pure sacrilege. :cheesy:
How often is often? I would imagine the units are designed for 10 years use at 3 - 4 cycles a week, so if you go through 3 - 4 cycles a day all summer then after very few years they may need some work
 

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I use my top about 10 cycles a day because I do a lot of parking in a bad area. I asked my SAAB tech and he said nothing about half of the stuff you say earlier (never using it while moving, etc).. It won't let you.. and if it does, you have ot be under 10 or something like that

Maybe we could explain these reasons so I have a better understanding?

-Avinash
 

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CleveSaab said:
Totally disagree with this one.
Why buy a vert if you aren't going to use the top very often? Sacrilege Rotate. Pure sacrilege. :cheesy:
You're absolutely right. I take every opportunity to drive top down, even for a short trip to the convenient store. I think you read my comment out of context.

Rotate said:
The hinges are only exposed during the retraction, so you need to work quickly with somone controlling the switch. Don't open/close the roof too often, as the motor is rated only for very low duty cycle.
I was referring to not opening and closing the roof too frequently during the greasing of the hinges. The roof will automatically collapse if left in the middle of the cycle, so you have to keep opening it. Electric motors are engineered based on their duty cycle requirement. Your garage door opener is a good example. If you try to open and close the door consecutively for 10 cycles, you'll find that the motor won't operate anymore. That's because the motor has overheated and thermal protection has kicked in. It's the same for the motors that operate the roof. Yes, you can use the roof 10 times or even 30 times a day, but just don't do it in a span of 10min, no matter how much kids in your neighborhood want to see if open and close one more time :cheesy: .
 

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avixcore said:
I use my top about 10 cycles a day because I do a lot of parking in a bad area. I asked my SAAB tech and he said nothing about half of the stuff you say earlier (never using it while moving, etc).. It won't let you.. and if it does, you have ot be under 10 or something like that

Maybe we could explain these reasons so I have a better understanding?
It is possible to operate the roof while the vehicle is moving very slowly (10 sounds right). The danger is that even at speed of 5km/h, if you have to brake suddenly or you go over a bump, the hinge mechanism can bend or warp. When the roof is at its highest, there's considerable moment exerted on the mechanism even with a little jolt or wind. Think of your roof as an umbrella. They may keep opening and closing, but if your not gentle with them, the joints will eventually buckle and twist.

Most Saab techs don't really know anything about the roof. I don't know a single dealer that will actually tackle roof repair (except for replacing motor and mount assembly).
 

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Yep. Misunderstood.


Raggy, some weeks it's 7 days a week.
"I've got a convertible, and I'm not afraid to use it!"
hehehe
I would certainly hope Saab knows people are going to use thier tops more then 3-4 times a week. Even if your scenario were true, since I can only use it a few months a year, I should get twice or three times as long out of it. :cheesy:
 

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Top down overnight?

" Only piece of advise I can add is to not leave the top down overnight. This is how permanent creases form."

That caught my attention. My vert inspired me to clean out the garage that has not seen a car in it for nearly 4 years just so I could park it overnight with the top down thinking minimizing cycles was better.

What should I be looking for relative to permanent creases?
 

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rotate said:
It is possible to operate the roof while the vehicle is moving very slowly (10 sounds right). The danger is that even at speed of 5km/h, if you have to brake suddenly or you go over a bump, the hinge mechanism can bend or warp. When the roof is at its highest, there's considerable moment exerted on the mechanism even with a little jolt or wind. Think of your roof as an umbrella. They may keep opening and closing, but if your not gentle with them, the joints will eventually buckle and twist.

Most Saab techs don't really know anything about the roof. I don't know a single dealer that will actually tackle roof repair (except for replacing motor and mount assembly).
After reading so many threads on the issues relating to the ownership of convertibles, I fully understand why I have always prefered moonroofs to convertibles--they are too bloody technologically finicky too be fun:( Friend of mine has a convertible BMW, and most of his concerns are inevitably associated with the workings of the bloody roof. I would think that after so many decades of experience, the car companies would come up with low maintenance convertible system; and for some reason they haven't succeeded yet. Wonder why?:confused:

Ta-ta, janusz
 

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philosophicaldreamer said:
...
would think that after so many decades of experience, the car companies would come up with low maintenance convertible system; and for some reason they haven't succeeded yet. Wonder why?:confused:
You could ask the same question about an umbrella which has been in use for at least a couple of hundred years. It's a technical compromise between weight, cost, and durability. Where cost and weight is less of a concern, auto makers have made hard top convertible with aluminium parts.

I think Saab and German auto makers have done a remarkably good job at make cavas top convertibles. I have parked my car outdoors during the past 5 years through storm, snow, rain, and intense heat of the summer, and it still looks almost new.
 

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rotate said:
You could ask the same question about an umbrella which has been in use for at least a couple of hundred years. It's a technical compromise between weight, cost, and durability. Where cost and weight is less of a concern, auto makers have made hard top convertible with aluminium parts.

I think Saab and German auto makers have done a remarkably good job at make cavas top convertibles. I have parked my car outdoors during the past 5 years through storm, snow, rain, and intense heat of the summer, and it still looks almost new.
I don't know about the umbrella technolgy. Umbrellas are cheap enough that one does not notice when they malfunction. I know that there are many examples of convertibles working relatively flawlessly. However, considering how many problems a lot of people have with convertible technology, I always wonder whether these cars are worth the aggrivation. I guess if I were living in Florida or Hawaii, I would entertain a convertible, since I wouldn't have to work the system so much. Oh, well . . .we all choose our own crosses to bear.:lol:

Ta-ta, janusz
 

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Ya, dreamer, but you must remember people usually only come here to say "My top doesn't work! Help".
No one comes here just to say "hey my car works great!".
..and really. As many Saab verts as there are in the world (and vert owners here at Central), there is a very very small number of posts here about bad tops.
Saab knows convertibles. ;)
 

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My hood works great! :cool:

My only complaint, the time it takes! this is the one advantage of a manual roof.

Current trends in europe is to hardtop convertibles, not just premier brands, tat by Peugeot amongst others, sold as a convertible coupes [IIRC] this will be more robust but lack that certain something - an elegance that comes with a well fitted fabric roof - that is then stashed under an auto tonnaeu when down not even Jaguar have caught up with that yet :cheesy:
 

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wait a minute ... philo ....

"workings of the bloody roof." since when do people in TN use "bloody" as a descriptive like someone from England??

you cannot be from TN :nono;
 

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2003FXSTB said:
wait a minute ... philo ....

"workings of the bloody roof." since when do people in TN use "bloody" as a descriptive like someone from England??

you cannot be from TN :nono;
O.K. You got me.:cheesy: I am not from Tennessee. I trace my roots back to Europe even though I do call Nashville my bloody :Dhome. More ironic is that I don't even care for country music, for people who write country music whine to much in their lyrics for my taste.

Ta-ta, janusz
 

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I'm a convert to converts

Converts are great :cool: . Ive never greased mine and it works fine everyday like a german band. In fact the only drawback is getting caught at a just turned green light with the roof half up/down and getting irate :evil: honks from the jealous hardtoppers.

Actually apart from sunburn ;oops: the one drawback is its squeaky with the roof up and 1 or more windows down, I noticed a few little rubber squares (shim/fillers?) fall out every now and then. Anyone know an easy fix?

Oh and I cleaned inside the headlights. What a vast difference, looks new and bright lights like this :eek: !
 

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Bad news:(

CleveSaab said:
Ya, dreamer, but you must remember people usually only come here to say "My top doesn't work! Help".
No one comes here just to say "hey my car works great!".
..and really. As many Saab verts as there are in the world (and vert owners here at Central), there is a very very small number of posts here about bad tops.
Saab knows convertibles. ;)
My toneau motor gear is going out. It sucks. A new motor is ~1200usd a rebuilt one ~600 and the gear alone is ~200. I wanted a boat this year, not an expensive replacement part. Oh did I mention you have to have the top recalibrated after fixing the motor, a SAAB mechanic here in Omaha, Ne, gave me an estimate of $150:eek: Good thing I have a few extra grand lying around:lol:
 
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