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Thread: Hard Top versus Soft Top

  1. #1
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Hard Top versus Soft Top

    When we bought the car, my wife wanted the hard top. So we got it, and it came installed on the car.

    Last weekend I finally got around to popping off the hard top. I found I really enjoyed driving a convertible! Never had one before.

    Certainly it's easier to get out with the top off, but I also find it's slightly easier with the soft top than the hard top. There's a nice edge on the hard top that can catch the top of your head if you're not careful. I think the hard top is also a little wider. So I was quite happy to leave the soft top installed for now, and maybe switch back in the fall.

    Today there is a forecast for showers and a possible thunderstorm. My wife insisted I put the hard top back on, because she doesn't believe the soft top would be the slightest bit waterproof!

    I know there's lots of owners out there who don't have the hard top. How do you find the soft top works in bad weather?

    Doug

  2. #2
    2008 Roadster #VP27 chronopublish's Avatar
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    There are warnings on the soft top itself that water may enter the cabin if it rains hard enough. I've driven the car with the soft top in the rain and have yet to experience this, so it would have to be raining awfully hard for it to matter, I think.

    Bonus - Maybe it's just me but I think it's really cool that I can touch the soft top with my hand (from inside) and feel the rain drops pelting it from the other side.

  3. #3
    I live in Seattle where we get rain sometimes. I ordered the hard top, but it took many months to come so I spent last winter with only the soft top. I never had a problem, except when I didn't install it correctly (it's a little tricky, and if you get it wrong there's a small gap by the windows).

    If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't bother ordering the hard top. Now that I have it, I'll probably put it back on for the winter, but that's mostly so that I don't feel like I wasted my money.

  4. #4
    Petroleum is for sissies ChadS's Avatar
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    I didn't get a hard top. I've been in some EXTREMELY heavy rain, and not had my soft top leak at all.

    Then again, other times even in light rain, I've gotten a few drops from the corners. It just drips on the frame rail. I got less of this after I had Tesla adjust the windows.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dpeilow's Avatar
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    I've driven the car through an absolute torrent at 70mph - zero water ingress.

  6. #6
    Electrics are back mpt's Avatar
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    No leaks on my soft top; fitted a hardtop though as wifey felt that if I turned it over I'd be safer... I've currently rolled zero cars and have no plans to increase that count.

  7. #7
    2013 Model S 85
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    Only soft top here. I have noticed a few drop of water inside while driving in heavy rain. I did not get much experience driving in wet weather and I would not be surprised if I had not installed the top on properly on a couple of occasions, especially when the car was new (I took delivery in December 09).
    One thing to keep in mind when switching between hard and soft tops: you need to adjust the windows! I forget which way it goes but in one case they will not close completely and in the other they will try to go too high, putting extra strain on the motor and possibly causing some damage. I remember some owners doing the adjustment themselves...

    Greetings,
    David

  8. #8
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I passed the link to this topic on to my wife, who said, "oh sure, blame me for everything!".

  9. #9
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwegmull View Post
    One thing to keep in mind when switching between hard and soft tops: you need to adjust the windows! I forget which way it goes but in one case they will not close completely and in the other they will try to go too high, putting extra strain on the motor and possibly causing some damage. I remember some owners doing the adjustment themselves...
    I remember hearing somewhere along the line that the adjustment depends on your specific car, and in some cases it might not even be necessary.

    I think we might be in the latter category, because I did not notice a significant increase in wind noise when I put on the soft top.

  10. #10
    Driving in rain gives actually less of a chance for water entry (except around side windows). The cables at front and rear edge do a pretty good job. It is STANDING (parking) in heavy or prolonged rain that might be more likely to result is some wetting and water entry. So, once you reach your destination, try to park in a rain-sheltered spot.

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