Welcome to the Cadillac XLR Forums!

Tonneau Cover Links Needed


Seasoned Member
Jun 13, 2019
Apache Junction, AZ
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Base, Black/Black
I think that's the best description. When you raise or lower the top, one of the cylinders pops the panel up, the one directly behind the roll-over hoops that Top Hydraulics calls the tonneau cover. My top got out of synch somehow (it's fixed now) and the links that connect that panel to the cylinder snapped the plastic ends on both links and they're just hanging there at this point. To make the top work correctly, I have to hold that panel open by hand. Would you say I'm describing that well enough to relate it to a parts person so that they know what I mean and they can then laugh at me and say it's no longer available? Has this happened to anyone else? It doesn't look like there's enough surface area on the plastic parts that snapped to adhere them back together successfully, so I'd like to try to get replacements.

John B.
Hi John,
Ball and socket joint I do believe? If you're a bit handy, well, I got some really nice ones from this place:

Not for the same use: mine used to replace all the sensor links on the suspension as I found the plastic ones were a) open to the elements so I ordered 'sealed' and b) worn! Get enough debris i.e. sand in there and they're no longer tight and that certainly can't help the system read the movement of the suspension accurately.

Handy meaning you'd need to remake the rod or depending on what's truly there in your case, thread up the existing rod...I don't honestly know.

I can say the joints I received are lovely: stainless, sealed and free moving yet without play. One just needs to verify the ball diameter I'd suspect and then obtain some steel or stainless rod to suit the appropriate offering, thread its ends and voila. You'd have something probably much better than original not to mention readily available.


Gord :thumbsup
Already working on a replacement. They have left and right hand threads to make them adjustable these lower and raise the center trim and side flaps and dont really affect the position sensor as it is controlled by the main hinge at the hydraulic cylinder. The only way to get these as they are made onto the main center hinge has been to buy the whole thing. I removed one for this member. It took almost 2 hours laying in the trunk only to find two of the ball sockets where slightly cracked. I inspected 5 other cars at the shop and all had small cracks so this will be a small failure in the future. I will have a replacement that does not require removing the whole hinge (gm labor manual says r&r 5 hours). And not paying a junk yard 400$ for it.
Hi Mickey,
Well, you got my curiosity so I wandered upstairs and dug out that shambles of a linkage to have a good look-see. Are the ones you have the same?
Convertible Top Stowage Compartment link assembly 2004.JPG

They sure appear to be 10mm ball-ends and if it's for the little side covers, one-per and bolted on to whatever, probably with a 6mm Torx fastener. 10mm for the other links of which there's 2, indeed, left & right-hand thread for adjustment on each. What an over complicated contraption! That whole mess in the picture weighed in at about 8 pounds!

So I'm using the above mentioned ball & socket joints for the suspension vertical accelerometers (second pic). They've all been tidied up, cleaned, tested and are ready to go. Nice clip removal method built-in to the ball-sockets to unhook them from the ball-ends too. Stainless and -sealed-. That'll last for some time. :)

Vertical accelerometers.JPG

The original plastic ball sockets I have for the top mechanism seem pristine....Canada, so lower temps on the hottest of days and probably a whole lot less use than what you get to see down your way. I'll -never- use any of this, preferring the XLR as a strict hardtop, but I will keep all the bits around in the event for some very odd reason I change my mind, someone is really in need, or I perhaps decide to sell the car.

Gord :thumbsup
Got to admit thosE suspension position sensors look reslly nice and the stainless is a really nice touch. I take them off and throw them away. Haha i just changed shocks on an 09 and replaced the mag with the z06 . car only had 17,000 miles. Owner is putting the mag on the shelf so he does not have to buy any when he sells the car. Car rode great as its nearly new. No leakage on the mag shocks but the owner said he liked it even better with the new shocks. I did install the rear sway bar so that helped it ride even better.

That hinge is the one we are talking about. The links looked really good on mine until you got it off and looked at it with a 50 power glass. You could see the tiny hairline imperfection that almost looked like a parting line. When i removed and looked inside the crack was starting from the inside out. Most likely due to the jam nut pressure stretching the nylon ball socket. I put just a little pressure on them and opened the crack right up The outers wear on the steel rivot that hold them on. the other end is bolted on but could be replaced with something im sure. Still repairable so at least this is a part that can be rebuilt inexpensively and with less effort than removing that hunk of metal
Hi Mickey and thanks. Yeah, it's kind of fun to try to make things better while I'm going along. It's about to be a 20-year-old car and for sure the plastic sockets were never intended to go that sort of time or distance.

I hope you're pitching all those sensors in a box somewhere! Pricey little devils and no doubt the day will come they'll be obsolete too....Bluetooth! Everyone will want Bluetooth! :lol:

So it sure looks like the offerings from the link above would make perfect replacements for the plastic ones. I just went through their listing, non-stainless to start and they do sell them with a 10mm ball and 6mm threads left and right hand. Check 'em out? The little clip you see around the head of the socket allows the ball to be separated from the socket with zero force so you'd just discard the new ball and snap the socket half back on to what's existing in the linkage(s).

I'll do as you mentioned for fun tomorrow: give the plastic sockets a good once-over with a magnifier and see what I can see. For sure though, just swap them all for steel or stainless and with a little dab of grease, I'd really believe they'd never need attention for the rest of our lives.

Gord :thumbsup
Thanks missed the link i guess. i already have some that will work. Most of the ones offered are for straight inline operation. The ones needed have a pretty good angle and the plastic do bind . several of the metal ones dont offset that much. I the best ones are the ones with the ball made on but they require removing the factory ball and thats just an extra step not really needed.
I received and installed mickeytee's links that he fabricated for this and they work absolutely perfectly. Thanks so much!

John B.

Cadillac XLR Forums

Not a member?  Join now!  It's Free!

Learn more about Supporting Membership

Supporting Vendors

Taput Tunning LLC

Top Hydraulics

Cadillac XLR Registry

Click here to enter the official Cadillac XLR and XLR-V Registry
Top Bottom