DIYRoadster Door Bar Review by mrmonk7663
Over the past few months I have been on a mission to increase my 2002 NB’s chassis rigidity. This time around, I opted to install a set of door bars. There are a few different options of door bars available on the market, and each is useful in its own unique way. After evaluating what I wanted out of a door bar I chose the DIYRoadster door bars. When comparing door bar options I was concerned with a few things….PRICE, SHIPPING, CLEARANCE, and INTEGRATION with existing Hard Dog Roll Bar.
The price of the DIYRoadster door bars was phenomenal. At $250 shipped to my door (group buy price) it proved to be a great value in comparison to other available options.
Shipping was next up, and actually involved a few sub factors. First, availability. Narek had the bars ready to ship at the time of my order. I didn’t have to wait a long period of time after placing my order before I received them. This was a plus since I was operating on a time table. Second, since the door bars are rather large items, and they have a finish on them, I was concerned about possible in transit mishaps that would mar the bars or damage them. I was pleasantly surprised when the bars arrived. They were packaged wonderfully. Lots of bubble wrap around each individual bar. The bars were then taped together to prevent them from knocking on each other. The small parts (nuts, washers, bolts, and backing plates) were all in plastic and the sets of bolts/nuts were labeled so you knew exactly where they went. Installation instructions were provided as well. The bars arrived in perfect condition.
Clearance was the next thing I was looking for in a door bar. The DIYRoadster door bars have a slight bend to the outside around the seat bolster area. Even though the bars were designed around a NA door card, I was confident I could make them work in my NB, and that is exactly what I did. There is a separate write-up on my personal installation process in the NB that I have provided to Narek should you be interested in doing the same. With the bars installed, I was easily able to install the factory seat without the bolster being squished or compressed. Full sliding of the seat is retained with no additional effort or interference. The bars do not make it cumbersome at all to get in or out of the car. In actuality, it is easier to get out of the car now as the door bar provides a stable place to help push myself up without dragging on my seat.
My final concern was integration with my existing Hard Dog Roll bar. Fortunately, the DIYRoadster bars mate up perfectly to the HD roll bar with no modifications necessary to the existing roll bar mounting points. Longer hardware is supplied as well.
Overall installation was very easy for the door bars themselves. Since I had a roll bar already, all I needed to do was drill 3 holes at the front of the door bars, and then bolt everything in place. The door card modifications were a little more involved, and again, that information is available separately from Narek.
Communication from Narek was great. He promptly responded to all pre and post purchase questions I had via Facebook and email.
The result of the door bars, combined with the roll bar, frame rail braces, and fender braces I already had in place, has resulted in my car being much stiffer and tighter feeling. Flex in the chassis is reduced greatly. The creaking of the hardtop that I had when backing out of my driveway has now subsided, and the car feels better entering and exiting turns.
For those curious about what the door bars did themselves, here we go. First, I installed the HD Roll bar. While the roll bar is a very nice piece, it serves as a safety mechanism more than a chassis stiffening piece. The roll bar eliminated a couple creaks, but it really did not stiffen the car up as much as I expected.
The fender braces were next. These did tighten up the front end a bit, and they help make sure the car doesn’t shimmy at highway speeds.
The frame rail braces added a small amount of noticeable stiffening. When jacking the car up it did not sag as much on the opposite end.
The door bars made the most significant increase in rigidity. The entire car feels more stable and stiff, and jacking up the car the opposite end droop is all but eliminated. Many folks on various forums suggested that door bars offer the best increase in chassis stiffening; I did not listen; it turns out they were right and I should have bought these a long time ago. Better late than never.
In conclusion, my overall experience from beginning to end with DIYRoadster has been nothing but positive, and I would not hesitate to recommend the company and its products to my friends. I hope this review helps some of you who might be on the fence regarding purchasing these door bars. You will not regret it.
Narek at DIYRoadster is currently running a group buy. He can be contacted at DIYRoadster@gmail.com
and also on Facebook under DIYRoadster.
Take care and happy racing,
PS. I have included a few pictures for reference. The 1st three pictures show the door card modifications, which are only required on the NB Miata door panels. NA guys don’t have to deal with any of this! Also note, I have a much more detailed writeup with around 40 pictures that I have provided to Narek should you need it. Any questions you all might have concerning the install process I am more than happy to answer.