Hardtop seal strips

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I picked up my new T-bird on June 6th, 2002. When the salesman was giving me the "tour" of my new car, he found something in the trunk he had never seen before (and he had sold 12 T-birds before mine). It was a thin, cardboard package that contained 4 sets of clear seal strips that you are supposed to put over the rear deck before you put the hardtop back on. According to the directions in the box, the strips last for 3 months with the hardtop on (thus 4 sets covers 4 winter seasons for me). The salesman believes that Ford discovered the hardtop can leak a tiny bit and they came up with the strips as a solution. Indeed, I drove my new T-bird home in a heavy rain (yikes) and when I took the hardtop off a few days later, there was a tiny amount of water on the softtop underneath.

I thought I would mention this to anyone who got an earlier T-bird -- with no strips -- and who might have the hardtop sitting in their garage until winter comes around. If you didn't find these strips in your trunk, you might want to ask your dealer -- or maybe someone else on this forum knows more details about this.

Happy birding,

2002 Thunderbird #17889
Premium. Removable hardtop.
Blue/blue. Partial color interior

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First off, welcome to the Forum. Unfortunately your salesman isn't up to date on whats happening. If you will search back in the archives of this Forum you will see answers to both things you have stated. First it is suggested that the hardtop be removed as soon as possible to check for water puddled on the folded soft top. Some gets through the seal and rests on the soft top after the water testing at the factory. Second, the strips were added starting about two months ago. The reason was that it has been found that the top moves or vibrates while driving and small amounts of dirt & dust work their way under the seal turning it into sandpaper and scuffing the paint up on the rear deck of the car and on both quarter panels where the seal rests. This is Fords cheap way of fixing the problem. Once you run out of the strips, Ford proposes that the customer buy the kit with 4 sets of strips for $50. Word is from insiders on this Forum who work at the Wixom plant that the 03's will have a thin chrome strip on the body where this seal rests. So instead of fixing the problem right on the 02's, Ford is sending all of us a set of bandaids and then it is up to us to keep buying them. Members of this Forum have been trying to make sure that Ford hears us saying this is not a satisfactory fix.

Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
thanks Lon, you saved me the trouble or time of going into this again. Called my dealer about the strips the other day and they know nooothing about them.

02 T-Bird 9293
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150 4x4
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
Live Long and Prosper!
Thanks a million. I will be sure to tell my dealer about this and also to call Ford customer service to request a more permanant solution than the bandaids. I appreciate your help.
Was at my dealer today and he was aware of the Mylar strips - also has the Part Number. I did not order the kit at this time. I asked the dealer to check whether Ford would voluntarily arrange for at least one kit for all prior buyers.
This is for all you folks who have just recently received you Birds. Please voice your concern about this make shift fix for your Bird. If you are concerned about the abrasion problems being experienced tell your dealer that you want Ford to retro-fit the chrome strips that are rumored to be on the 03 Birds onto your Bird. You will probably not be able to get this done but if enough people complain about the problem then maybe Ford will listen and offer the retro-fit to it's 02 customers. I think Gobird and many others would second my suggestion.

Courage - and shuffle the cards
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