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2002 Hardtop: LOTS of NOISE

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by VolleyballJIM, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Just bought a 2002 (First T-bird ever) and noice the hardtop has EXCESSIVE noise from the roof. When I went to buy it, it was OUTRAGEOUS, just noise constantly front to back. Told the salesman I couldn't buy it with that noise and he had his team "fix it", which they did. Still get some sound from the back, but figured, from the quality of the posts on this site, that there would be data on how to address this...Thanks!
    Tee for 2 likes this.
  2. I had the same problem with my 03 and installed the stainless trim for the back area where the hardtop rests on the body.Looks good to with top off.No problem since.
    ChuckH262 and Elaineinwa like this.
  3. Bubblehog

    Bubblehog Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    What kind of noise? Is it road noise, creaking noise, some of each? The most likely reason I can think of is that the hardtop fits loosely. The rear cam locks don’t have an easy adjustment, but there are some posts about that. If you hear creaking from the seal around the back, try some baby powder in the seal area. Make sure the cam locks are fully rotated to the locked position. Check also that the body side pin sockets on either side of the seats have the plastic blocks in place- plain black plastic on the driver side and electrical contacts for the heated rear window on the passenger side. The plastic blocks help lock down the hardtop.
  4. Sometimes the HT is not latched down in the correct sequence by the seller because they are not aware of how to perform this easy task, especially if this car has been on a resale lot.
    The HT after lowered to the car should have the rear latches brought to their center position ONLY. Then the bolts at the windshield header should be started into their receivers and turned until they are just getting snug. Next return to the rear latch & pull them to their full latched position. Return to the windshield header & tighten the bolts completely. The owner's manual also suggests that after a few driving times to check the windshield bolts for tightness. I have found that the bolts on my 05 have never loosened, remaining as tight as they were at install.

    I have had my 05 since new, the HT goes on each late October & off again in late March. Over time as the car has aged some noise has developed. I have installed the wider version of the HT trim package sold by Thunderbirdspecialties.com and the ride is quiet once again. The HT trim package looks great, see my pics.

    Attached Files:

  5. There is a plastic part that fits above the post mounting hole that most of us have lost. Someone should remember the part number.

    Took away most of the noise I experienced.
    Elaineinwa likes this.
  6. Gus Gutz

    Gus Gutz Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Here is the adjustment for the top. There is a small plastic part the fits the driver side post that is often missing. Without that you may here noise.

    Attached Files:

    4PacificBird likes this.
  7. Got all of the above responses to review. Just want to thank this community for the UNBELIEVABLE detailed and technical responses so far. Only owned this car for a month, but with this forum, I'm SET!
    4PacificBird likes this.
  8. TXBluebird

    TXBluebird Active Member Gold Donor

    And somewhere is some forum there is a recommendation to use Napa Sil Glyde Lubricant(https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7651351) on the gasket under the sides and rear edge of the hardtop. The Sil-Glyde is kind of gooey but the application eliminated a whole lot of creaking and groaning that persisted even after I had adjusted the components of the top connections.
    ChuckH262 and stevedaphotoman like this.
  9. TXBluebird,
    What happens when you remove the HT? Is there much residue to clean up? Does the Sil-Glyde gather & hold dirt particles?
    ChuckH262 likes this.
  10. TXBluebird

    TXBluebird Active Member Gold Donor

    I haven't removed the hardtop since I applied the Sil-Glyde, so I can't give you a full answer. When I first applied it and put the hardtop on, the exposed edge of the gasket did pick up some small leaves that stuck. I removed them with a microfiber and a little Meguiar's detailing spray. Since then, there's been no visible buildup. I'll try to remember to comment further when I take the top off for the summer in April. I store my top April-October. I suspect that if I apply a coat when I put it away, I won't need a fresh one when I put the top on in November.
    VolleyballJIM and ChuckH262 like this.
  11. Thanks for the reply. I have heard of using baby powder in much the same way as you are using the Sil-Glyde
  12. Gus Gutz

    Gus Gutz Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    I heard you could use Vaseline petroleum gel. But others have said it may damage the seal. I have use it with no problem and it gets rid of the creaking. I also use a 3m plastic tape along the painted edge. I have very little top noise even on cold mornings when going over speed bumps.
    ChuckH262 likes this.
  13. Mach5

    Mach5 2004 Merlot Lifetime Donor

    I Armor All all my rubber seals a couple times a year - no squeaks. (I've heard that Vaseline should not be used on rubber.)
  14. Gus Gutz

    Gus Gutz Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    The gasket has a cloth feel to it. Is it all rubber piece some type of composite
  15. ChuckH262

    ChuckH262 Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    I got some today.

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