Tonneau Cover Fit

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Has anyone had trouble with the tonneau cover fitting? Three of the snaps on my cover do not line up and the cover is not flexible enough to make it fit. Will a Ford service department be able to do anything about this problem? I have not talked to my dealer yet.
My experience (with other convertibles) is that if you let the cover warm up (in the house - in the sunlight) you will be able to stretch it until it fits. The cold weather will cause it to shrink. The longer it is on the car, the easier it will be to get on.

I think that's what your service department will do.
Clebus, another idea is to make sure you are tucking in the sides of the boot. The sides have to fit UNDER the body, not on the top. Some of us made that mistake when we first got our cars.
I tried my boot cover for the first time over the weekend, what a chore!!!

The good news - there is a MUCH better solution on the way. Give it a month or so, definitely before spring time....

Tom M
Talk to us Tom M -- what's the solution? I am POSITIVE we are all interested in this as the boot is another sore spot in the design, along with the visors and lack of some extras that should be on a $40,000 car.

Sorry, didn't mean to be so mysterious, re-reading the post it's not clear what I meant.

Anyway my friend Keith Shelburn is the owner of Z3Solutions, he has lots of products custom made for the Z3. I've been talking to him about the possibility of making accessories for the TBird, and it looks like he is going to do it.

One of the first will be a travel boot like this one:

This is a soft, folding boot cover that takes up about the same amount of trunk space as a big towel. It would snap on the front and probably be captured in the trunk lid on the back and be tucked in on the sides. It should be a LOT easier to put on than the Ford unit - plus it will give you your trunk back.

We spent Saturday AM working on a preliminary pattern, we think we have a pretty good one. Keith sent it to his supplier, let's see what they come back with.

I'm expecting this process to take at least 30 days and probably more like 60, but that will still get us done by spring time. Part of the testing will require me to drive at 100 mph with the top down, probably in February on a back road in PA! The things I do for science! (Honest officer, I was doing research....)

Anyway I guess I didn't want to say too much because I don't want Keith to get flooded with questions. There isn't anything to buy yet, no pricing, no delivery, and no firmer guesses than the ones I gave above. I PROMISE I will let all of you know when there is something to buy!

But I will say this - my best guess is that you will think this is the best accessory you ever bought for your TBird!

Tom M
Sounds great, Tom! One thing that you guys might want to keep in mind while working with the supplier is that the Midnight Black in our interiors is really more like a very,very dark gray (don't know where they came up with that idea). It would be nice if the boot matched. A nice embroidered bird emblem available in the color of the car would really set it off, too! JUst wishing....


#3739 Premium
Torch Red w/matching top
Standard Interior

My interior sure looks black, are you sure? Of course I'm 200 miles from home & the Tbird so I gues I have to take your word for it.

And re the bird emblem, I doubt it, that's a sure way to get a call from a Ford lawyer. Keith even got a threatening letter from another manufacturer about the use of a 3 digit number!

Tom M
Thank you for all of the replys. Tom M: please let me know what your friend comes up with and when it is available. For now, I will just try to heat the cover up on a warm day and try to stretch it as suggested.

I hear you about Ford's lawyers, LOL. Ford has troubles getting things right most of the time, but that's one thing I bet they are real good at.

I'd be interested to hear how others would describe the color of the black in the interior. My car has the standard interior so it is all "black". I had a pair of black gloves in the car today that were definitely darker in color than the interior. Likewise, if you see pictures of the black accent package interiors you will notice the wooden part of the steering wheel and shifter are "blacker" than the rest of the interior. Guess the old song "Black is Black" does not apply here.

Just something to double check before production begins. Maybe I'm "black" blind as opposed to color blind.


#3739 Premium
Torch Red w/matching top
Standard Interior
It's really more like a "Midnight Grey" instead of "Pitch Black". As 2K2BIRD said, the black accents are more like "Pitch Black". We have a Gold Wing Motorcycle with much the same color seat and dash as the T-Bird and they at least call it Grey. Leave it to the spin Doctors at Ford to NOT call a spade a spade!
To borrow a color term from Chevy you might think of it as "graphite" which is a very dark grey.

Courage - and shuffle the cards
I concur, it is not really black. Noticed it the first time I saw it, it is beautiful but not a true black. Charcoal comes to mind, if not graphite.
After picking up my car last Sat today was first chance I had to take the top off. Haven't rec'd the lift yet and it was a struggle for me and my grown daughter. Then the fun began putting the boot cover on. I have had it laying flat in the warm house for 2 days. 20 minutes of hard work and we got all but one snap in place. I had already read on here about tucking the sides etc. this is a MAJOR disappointment particularly since my last convertible was a Porsche Boxster, flip 2 levers, push the button and you are good to go. I hope this thing loosens up or it will take some of the fun out.
My experience with the Tonneau (since August of 2001 in So. Cal) is that it is for long day cruises when you know the top is down for good and luggage is not a concern.

The car looks just fine without the Tonneau and top exposed for short overnight trips. Also, it's simply a pain the rear to unsnap it, stow it, and then go in reverse when you get going again.

I like the fact that it is hard to get on and off because it serves as a pretty decent theft/vandal deterrent for those times when you want to leave the car that way while parked.

In sum, don't be so rough on the Tonneau. It is a luxury piece that adds to the look but it isn't so important to the car that you will want to sacrafice: 1) the flexibility of popping the top on and off at will and; 2) the luggage space gained without it with those short trips.

Triple Black #1049

I tend to agree. The only time I put it on is when I know the top is going to be down all day. For short hops with the top down it is way to much work putting on and taking off.
Since learning the proper technique of installing the tonneau cover I've had no problems. In fact my wife & I have it down to 5 minutes to remove the top, set it on the cart, my wife strap it down and cover it while I'm installing the tonneau. Approximately the same amount of time in the reverse order.

Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
If its like the semi hard boot that came with my Mustang convertible, the biggest problem is storage space if you try to put it in the trunk.

This soft boot sounds like a great idea...Ford sells one for the Mustang and it fits great and folds up to a small package. The Mustang one covers the rear seats too so that I can feel like I've got a 2 seat Ford. It will have to do till my time comes for a real 2 seater Ford!

Hope all you lucky T-bird owners enjoy the cars!

We early adopters are discovering one of the negative aspects of first year production. Sources tell me Ford is working on a superior system for the 2003's, something along the lines of a pull-out cover (like a window shade). Also, heated AND cooled seats will be offered next year.
I just took delivery of my new bird on Friday the 25th. I took the hardtop off on Sunday and attempted to install the tonneau. Of the 6 snaps, only 2 stay snapped ( the two outboard snaps ). And the other 4? 3 unsnap within 5 - 10 seconds and the 4th ( located 3rd over from the drivers side ) pulled the bottom half of the snap out of the back moulding and is stuck in the snap half on the cover itself. I'm not angry, but mostly very disappointed!

" Never Explain, your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe you anyways"
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