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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

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Does anyone know if the locking catches for a cabriolet can be adjusted or replaced?

One side is locking correctly when the roof is down but the other side needs some adjustment or part replaced as it's showing sign of wear and the hook does not lock over the fixing to hold in place (it slips and roof doesnt stay locked in place).

You can see the wear on the silver part in photos any advice appreciated!

This is a picture of the locking mechanism…

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Screenshot_20210112-174049_Gallery.jpg

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probably 1 for carl chortle to look into.. most parts can be fixed its just how. they are in awkward position  and off top of my head i cant think if the are threaded or welded in to place.  look for chortle on here. or brian01234  he may have fixed one in the USA

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On a new to me car that had a similar issue I found that the side wing from the headliner to the plastic surround wasn't clipped (the binder was missing).  



This allowed a Plethora of things to roll off the parcel shelf and in to the hinge area ie: bottle of sunscreen, two tennis balls, and some small toys to pile up and prevent the hinge from closing.  So you might want to look it to that.
The other time was a Strut that was partially frozen when the top was folded or so I thought until I got it out and noticed that it was bent.


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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

How often do you oil all the hinge points?
What often happens is that the plastic spacers that space the frame components out and keep them steady often fall out because no one oils them.
They go dry and brittle then crack and fall out.
This then gives excess play and the once round holes go oval causing the frame to sit incorrectly.
That can cause issues of the frame not sitting down properly or moving forward enough to reach the header.

On the hood latch down you should oil the spring set up of the tab lever.
If the plastic washer has dropped out the frame that pin is on slips inwards and the pin doesn’t reach properly to lock.

You can either grind the back off the weld and tap the pin out and get some longer round bar and weld new length on or weld a small section to the end of the pin to make it longer.
Bit difficult to fully see without having car in front of us as you operate the frame up and down.


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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

When putting the top down you should latch the drivers side first followed by the passenger side.
You need to press down to pop the pin far enough forward to latch.

But I’d oil the lot.
You can easily enough remove the plastic side trims by the seat back rest and inspect further.
Blast some WD40 down there to clean off any old gunk or dirty grease.
The release tabs should depress and  spring back up with no issue.


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Hi everyone thanks so much for your replies.

Couple of questions:

Is there a specific type of lubricating oil you would recommend and should I do all the hinge points?

I will try locking the drivers side first then the passengers, and spray some wd40 inside. Is it easy enough to take the trim by the back bench either side to get a better look (just a case of pulling it off?).

When the release buttons are pressed down the hood does not spring up. Does that mean by gas struts need replacing?

Many thanks, Doug

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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

No not really the struts I believe are to control and help the fall of the hood so not to trap fingers.  I could be wrong.. but you can get new struts , I may have some I know I.can order them .

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On the drive
T25 Diesel…sameoldblueshiŁ (currently under resto)
Rocco gt2….1990 secret 2…(currently under resto)
Mk4 99 1.8t indigo blue Gti with 43k miles
Caster 93 clipper JH Green cabby
Snowy 91 GTi White cabby( sat waiting for inspiration)
Myvalver 89 GTi Grey mk2 16v
Yuppy Flu 91 GTi Flash Red Sportline


 Golf mk1 owner's club on Spotify

Mk1 golf owners club playlist: Golf mk1 owner's club playlist - YouTube

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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

The top should spring up once released. The gas struts help push the top forward so it’s easier and slow the fall when it’s lowered.
I’ve had cars where there’s no gas left in the strut at all.
I can get new or your old ones Re gassed.


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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

Plastic trim requires rear seat removal and 8 screws undoing after you’ve undone the winder handle and popped the door cards off.
Sounds a lot but it’s easy and quick.


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Hi. I have two new gas struts ready to replace the current ones as the hood does not spring up when I unlock the one side that locks correctly. Is it easy enough to do myself, is there a guide at all? I assume it includes removing the whole headliner?

Many thanks

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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

Slide your hand behind the headliner from the side and have a feel.
You’ll find the clip and washer.
The clip is a slide on like a circlip with has a lip so you can remove it by hand.
There’s also the rubber eye cover thug goes over the strut ends either side


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Re: Cabriolet roof locking catches help

chortle said

Slide your hand behind the headliner from the side and have a feel.
You’ll find the clip and washer.
The clip is a slide on like a circlip with has a lip so you can remove it by hand.
There’s also the rubber eye cover thug goes over the strut ends either side


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Thug? Lol… your fingers must be cold..

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On the drive
T25 Diesel…sameoldblueshiŁ (currently under resto)
Rocco gt2….1990 secret 2…(currently under resto)
Mk4 99 1.8t indigo blue Gti with 43k miles
Caster 93 clipper JH Green cabby
Snowy 91 GTi White cabby( sat waiting for inspiration)
Myvalver 89 GTi Grey mk2 16v
Yuppy Flu 91 GTi Flash Red Sportline


 Golf mk1 owner's club on Spotify

Mk1 golf owners club playlist: Golf mk1 owner's club playlist - YouTube

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Thug, bumper, rubber anti-squeal stop, rubber cover, we all call things a wee bit different, but lets see what the ETKA says… Answer is.

Compensating Piece.  
There is also a large thick washer to be mindful of as  it has a tendancy to fall off and keep you fingers on the lock clip as they tend to fall as well usually they end up behind the cardboard boot covers in the nooks and crannies… Still avail at most dealers over this side of the big lake.

Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 7.59.24 AM.png

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What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

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compensating thug

Do not know a lot but willing to help if possible

1989 Sapphire Blue Mk1 Cabriolet 1.8 DX
1985 Atlas Grey Mk2 GTI 2.0 ABF

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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

Can’t beat a bit of thuggery lol!


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chortle said

Can’t beat a bit of thuggery lol!


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Any chance you could advise on correct gas struts to replace current ones? The new ones I ordered seem to be a few centimetres longer that the OEM's therefore decided not to use the new ones I received. I also have a question regarding rear roof cables if you dont mind? It appears they have rusted and frayed. Are they easy enough to replace and independent of the other cables if that makes sense? Many thanks

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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

Have you got wrong gas struts as there’s one for the boot.
They should just fit over the 2 pins.

Cable wise are you talking about the main rear tension cable or the side tension cables?

Side tension cables vary in length by year.
They have slightly different attachment points.
Some are easier to replace than others.


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Hi thansk for reply…these are these are the struts I ordered:

VW Golf Mk1 Cabriolet Roof Gas Strut - 155871997A

They fix over the two pins just fine but for some reason are slightly longer than the OEM *they might be ok but assumed they should be exactly same length*. There is movement in the lower pivot point bracket at the bottom of the strut so I think I need this tightened somehow.

I am also missing the rubber compensating piece for the bottom pin where the strut is secured in.

In terms of the cables I am.talkint about the ones that go round just above the tailgate and have the hooks that attach to the hood cover if that makes sense? It's 1985. The cable is rusted that bad its frayed and probably snapped but the hood seems to be tight and not sagging just yet…

Trying to add images but not working for me right now for some reason!

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Cabriolet roof locking catches help

Old struts can go hard or lose the gas.
So what you have bought should be ok.
The lower hinge brackets will pivot to allow extra length.
Make sure you oil all the hinges too and that they will move freely.

Rear tension cable wise there’s only one which can rust because the hood is porous and holds the moisture against it.
The loops come with the hood and rot off over time too.


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You can replace the side cables, I have done it.  It isn't for the faint of heart, but it can be done.

As for the side cables there is a length for them, and I have figured out how to extend the life of them as I too had them break at the front feed.

There are 2 styles of side cables.  The newer style mounts at the front by a loop that is hooked over a headed stud.

Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 8.13.26 AM.png

The older style is longer and affixes to the front bow for the headliner.

Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 8.13.08 AM.png

For the older style the length is no more than 40 inches middle of the loop to the middle of the loop.

The newer style is 37 1/4 to no more than 37 1/2 inches.

To take the strain off the newer style cable I have found over the years that the cable usually breaks behind the front ferrule. Every one that I have had to swap tops on, or found in the breakers had all broke behind the front ferrule…. I had to find a way to improve on VW if that was possible.

I found that by the addition of flat brass plumbers chain the pivoting motion was take off the cable and placed on the chain which could freely pivot on the mounting stud or teat at the front.  This allows the cable to be straight and not bend when you take the hood up or down. This takes all the pressure off the cable from flexing at the same spot and breaking.

Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 8.21.58 AM.png

I have replaced my top twice on each Cabriolet that I have owned over the years, and I have re-used my side cables after 9 years of service on one top and about 10 on the other after making this improvement.

I have also found that you can replace it if it is broken and your hood is in good condition and hasn't started to show signs of tearing at the fold or shrinking at the sides.  

You will need to create new side cables to the proper length as I will link you to a how to.   

Open the top about half way, and safety it so it can close on you and smash your fingers.

I use 2 Vice grips and a length of broom stick.

Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 8.30.37 AM.png


On the rear frame  in the middle you have to worm your arm between the headliner and the frame you will feel a hook (Look for the punch out on the rear frame face as that is where the hook is).  Carefully pull the spring off the hook finger and out and the cable should come with it. You have to remove the cable of the side frame feed thru but it isn't that hard.

Screen Shot 2021-05-02 at 8.37.11 AM.png

To re-run the new cable you will need a 3-4 foot piece of stiff wire ( the oldie coat hangers work, but you have to use only straight wire no curls or bends.)
You will also need about 6 foot of masons twine.

On the wire you will make a eye on one end and tie the masons twine to it tie the twine loose so the knot is about 1 inch behind the eye  make it as small as you can you are going to have to get it as small as you can and then use some tape one or two raps around the hook to keep it from snagging as you are feeding it in. You can smash the eye flat with a hammer…then tape it.

You will feed your wire from the front of the top near the teat through the top and it will exit at the rear… you will pull this through so you have about 2 foot of twine at the front and at the rear then cut the twine off the feed wire.

Affix the spring and new cable then replace the spring and feed the cable through the eye on the frame  to the twine.  You will tie the twine to the other end of the cable.  Slowly pull the new cable back through the top, then hook it over the front teat.

Take great care.  

Creating your own Side Cables - Topless Rabbit Forums


What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?
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