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Soft Top
Our 2002 in Thunderbird Blue with Performance White TopThe Hardtop
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Hardtop | Hardtop Liner | Hardtop Instructions | Hardtop Tool |
| Hardtop Cart & Cover | Hardtop Hoists | Where to find Hardtops | Leaks |

The Facts

The hardtop is the same for all years of this model so is interchangeable with any year, 2002-2005.  The lining color is lighter on the 2002s than the later years. The 05 cashmere top lining is also different than the lining of any of the other models. 

Any year hardtop will fit on any year T-bird whether it came with a hardtop originally or not.  Adjustments can be made at the header to make a better fit for each individual car

Hard top weighs in at about 84#

All hardtops come with a porthole on each side of the top.  The Neiman Marcus edition is the only hardtop with an etched logo (Thunderbird) in the porthole glass.  All other hardtop portholes are "plain".   Owners have customized their porthole glass with etchings or stickers.

Judging from a TSB that came out on the early 04 models, there might be a slight difference on the interior of some 2004 hardtops as some have been known to scrape the softtop when in place on the car.  This'll have to be researched some more ie - I'll need to make photo comparisons someday.

Just about all of the body colors have been available with the same color hardtop.  The only exceptions have been the Special Editions for 2002 to 2004.  The Evening Black Neiman Marcus came with a Satin Silver hardtop, the Coral 007 Edition came with a Performance White hardtop, and the Monterey Mist Pacific Coast Roadster came with an Ash hardtop.

Most of the standard body colors have also  been available with a Performance White or an Evening Black hardtop.  There have been exceptions to that, too.

      * For 2002 and 2003 - the exception was Whisper White which could be ordered with a Whisper White Hardtop or an Evening Black hardtop - no other color even though any of the other body colors would have looked good with the Whisper White color such as the 02 yellow, red, or 02 Thunderbird Blue or 03  Mountain Shadow Grey or 03 Desert Sky Blue.
      * For 2003 - The Performance White was not available on the Mountain Shadow Grey
      * For 2004 - The Performance White hardtop was not available on the Merlot, nor the Light Ice Blue, nor the Platinum Silver.
      * and the Evening Black Hardtop was not available on the Light Ice Blue - the first main color that the black has not been available on.
      * For 2005 - The only colors that the Performance White hardtop is allowed on is the red or the black bodies and Inca Gold.
      * Inca Gold - white hardtop only available with the partial white interior.
      * The Evening Black hardtop is limited to the Red, Black, and Silver on the 05s - none of the new 05 colors.  [ed note - I thought it's weird that the     black is not an optional color for the gold looking bronze color - would have looked sharp especially paired with the light sand interior.]
      * Other hardtop exceptions were due to interior color choices such as the Performance White top was not "allowed" on the 03 Desert Sky Blue IF it had the partial whisper white seats.

On the bright side though, the Platinum Silver hardtop was available on the Evening Black 2005 T-birds but very few were ordered with this option.

I will be adding photos to this page -- of the hardtops, the handles, the "shelf", the header,  and the liners, and where it fastens down to the car. 
There is a  soft top page now.

Hard Top Liner
For most hardtop colors, the liner is either Midnight Black(02s) or Black Ink (03s-05s)
The special edition Cashmere 05 hardtop comes with a Medium Stone liner to match the interior.
Part #s for the Hardtop booklet

2002: 2W6J-19G17-AA - quick reference guide

2003:3W6J-19G217-CB - quick reference guide
........3W6J-19G421-AB - hardtop interactive guide

2004: 4W6J-19G217-CA - quick reference guide

An online version of the Hardtop booklet (quick reference guide) is available for a FREE download from:
http://www.motorcraftservice.com >owners guides (left hand column) > select year and model (2003 or newer - manual works for all years) > select qquick reference guide #1 (1.5MB download) or select quick reference guide #2 - 4.5MB download so will take a bit to download

Hardtop tool:  4W6Z-76502F08
or use this less expensive replacement:  T40 torx driver
Sears Craftsman #41477 Torx Tool

OEM1 Tool:
2002 - long shaft with red handle
2003 - short shaft with red handle
2003 late - short shaft with plain black handle
2004- short shaft with plain black handle - early production
2004-2005 - short shaft with Thunderbird logo on black handle.
Hard Top Cart:
2002-2003 - have straps to hold top to cart,
2004-2005 - no straps with cart - Ford made a change here.  Not sure why? though have heard a few reports of straps damaging paint of tops.

             http://removabletops.com carries a hardtop cart
             http://www.calcarcover.com/product.aspx?id=2238&cid=  California Car Cover carries a hardtop cart
Hardtop Cover - fabric cover to protect top from dust when off the car and stored on the cart.

Hardtop Hoists or Lifts:
These are the manufacturers of the hardtop lifts you find on the market
(1)   http://www.eztop.com 
(2)   http://www.topcaplift.com - to view a couple of installations go here to the photo files of the newtbirddata site >Accessory hardtop (must be yahoo member of the group to view ) 
(3)   http://removabletops.com 
Where can you find a Hardtop for your 2002, 2003, 2004, or 2005 Thunderbird?  Most common resource has been the auction site www.ebay.com.  Prices may run from $800 to $2000 depending on color and bidders for a particlar auction.  Ford dealers will ask for much more than that if they have to order one.  Shipping will add more unless you can get a hardtop relay going but don't count on getting a relay going across the country, may be regional.  Best to look for a local hardtop you can pick up yourself if at all possible.    Also, check with Ford dealers in your area to see if they have one in storage that is no longer wanted by it's owner.  You might get a decent price that way too.
The hardtop was a $2000 to $2500 option when originally ordered with the car, depending on year.
Leaks?  This one is a hard one to mention - If you have tried everything - such as replacing rubber seals, adjusting windows, doors and above all, making the screw adjustments at the header, there are a few hardtops out there that do leak, no matter what kind of adjustments have been done.  Best suggestion is to get rid of that hardtop to someone that doesn't need to drive theirs in the rain at any time, and buy another hardtop --- or just go without a hardtop.

If you have bought your t-bird used, do check to see if there has been any bodywork done to the car due to an accident - that can cause the hardtop to not line up correctly with the windshield header or the windows.  Most of these hardtops do not have a leaking problem.  The softtops don't seem to have the problem that some hardtops have.

I received this question on my blog:

In your site, you stated the hardtop was a $2500.00 option. How come I keep hearing people saying the hardtop was a $5000.00 option. Which is correct?
Thanks    Posted by: Henry Hsu | September 19, 2009 05:50 PM 

My answer:
When the Thunderbird was ordered new, the hardtop was listed as $2,500 on the order sheet and window stickers. If the hardtop is ordered "after" the car has been delivered to the dealer, it's not considered an option with the car but an accessory part. Dealers have charged anywhere from $3500 to $7000 to order a hardtop separately. The average being around $5000.  Do be aware that new OEM hardtops are getting scarce to buy.  The company that made the original hardtops went out of business in the spring of 2005 as the production of the Thunderbird ended.  However, about 88% of all Thunderbirds built came with a hardtop so there should be no shortage of hardtops as T-birds considered totaled, usually have been wrecked without a hardtop installed, which was probably safely tucked away in a garage.  There are many owners that took their hardtop off with no intention of using it again, and these too, may come up for sale.

To buy one from an owner that has decided they do not want the hardtop, the price generally runs between $1200 and $2000 - just remember that it's considered used and may have blemishes. Always wise to check it out in person if possible.

 *1-OEM = Original Equipment Manufacture


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