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02 WS6 Vert

This is a discussion on 02 WS6 Vert within the Convertible forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Lookin at possibly buying an '02 WS6 Vert. Besides the normal stuff to look for when buying a car, anything ...

  1. #1
    Member Badass WS6's Avatar
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    02 WS6 Vert

    Lookin at possibly buying an '02 WS6 Vert.

    Besides the normal stuff to look for when buying a car, anything in particular I need to keep an eye out for on the convertible 4th Gens?

    I've owned two t-top 4th gens in the past but never been in or owned a 4th gen vert.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    2002 Trans Am WS6 Conv

    Examine the top material and stitching for damage, stains or dry rot. A good shop can do some limited stitching or cleaning on a cloth top but nothing will cure dry rot except a replacement. Look carefully at the back window area. The material should be snug but not actually affixed to the sides and top edge of the glass but firmly attached at the bottom edge to create a proper seal. If you are not sure what I mean, check again when the top is part way but not all the way down (the material is looser at this point allowing you to see how the glass is installed). It is very common for the top material to loose adhesion to the bottom edge of window glass causing a leak into the interior. It can be fixed (see other postings) but should be taken into consideration if it already exists (that means it has already been leaking and may have caused damage you can't see).

    Look at the top from all angles trying to see if any of the supporting bows look bent or out of square. If the top looks loose or appears to be ballooned out it may be that the owner liked driving with the top up and the windows down at highway speeds. This is very tough on a top and can lead to other issues like flapping material that will eventually tear itself up or a mechanism that binds or squeaks. If the mechanism or top seems to be sagging it could be from someone setting something on top of the roof or a heavy snow load that caused the material or mechanism to become concave. Replacing top material is one thing but replacing the whole mechanism is an entirely different game (figure up to $2000) if you can source a good used mechanism to have it installed.

    Definitely run the top up and down at least twice to see if it moves freely without binding anywhere and that the motor runs smoothly. I recommend that you only run the top up or down with the motor running to ensure that there is a good electrical charge to the motor. May be just my worry but it does pull a lot of juice while running. These tops do not move fast but should be constant. If they pause during the movement or make any kind of grinding or popping noise in the mechanism you need to find out why. Look on each side and the weatherstrip to see if everything sits evenly on the glass when all the way up. Any gaps will result in wind noise and water leaks. Check the condition of the weatherstrip all around the sides and windshield header. It should be pliable with no breaks. Replacement sets from the dealer are very expensive and it is not easy to find good used sets.

    With the top in the fully down position, use a flashlight to look down where the lift cylinders on both sides sit and look for signs of leakage. Now look in the trunk on the drivers side under the cover to examine the pump for leaks or other damage or signs the pump has been messed with (cut wires etc). The cover is a bit difficult to remove but do it. You can't see if there are leaks otherwise. Look at the fluid. Chances are it is Dextron ATF. It should have a clean red color. There was a late service bulletin that recommended switching from Dextron to mineral oil. Very few were ever changed but if yours was it will then be a clear fluid with maybe a little pink tint since it is almost impossible to get all the old ATF out of the system (see sticky on filling the system).

    If anything is seriously wrong with the top you need to decrease your offer by $800-1200 to handle what it will cost a good shop to repair. If not sure, take the car to a specialty shop for an estimate. You need to deal with a shop that specializes in convertible top work, not someone who just thinks they can do it and wants to try it out on your car. These are very complicated mechanisms and take specialized tools and experience.

    Check to see if the car has sub frame connectors installed. These DO help on a convertible to stiffen things up and reduce creaking and squeaking. If the car doesn't have SFCs plan on installing a set ($300).

    Finally, ensure that the 3 piece plastic tonneau cover and bag are present. They were included with every convertible and lots of owners of convertibles try to make a few extra bucks by forgetting to include them with a sale. When you ride around with the top down you need to use the cover to keep dirt and junk from getting into the underside of the convertible top. Besides it really makes the car look a lot better. If not present, subtract $450 so that you can source a used replacement set. Grey and ebony are pretty common but tan or taupe are harder to come by and white is almost non-existent.

    Good luck with your purchase!
    Last edited by sjgreen6; 07-28-2013 at 11:57 AM.

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    Member Badass WS6's Avatar
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    Thank you!

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