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Difficulty of installing a convertible top already on the frame?

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Difficulty of installing a convertible top already on the frame?

 
Old 03-03-2018, 02:51 PM
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Default Difficulty of installing a convertible top already on the frame?



The pic shows my liberal use of duct tape on my 03 top

Installing a new top on my existing frame is more than I want to bite off. I can get a used top in good condition already installed on the frame for a reasonable price. So my question is - how much of a PITA is it to install a new-to-me top already on the frame? I've found a couple of reference points online but was looking for your specific experiences.

Is this a decent guide on how to do it: https://www.miata.net/garage/MiataTop2/index.html

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chp5 View Post
Thanks for your thoughts.
Pretty much.

Installing used top/frame:
1. Remove bolts, remove top
2. Install top, install bolts.

It's really not hard to install a new top on your frame if you follow the directions.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:08 PM
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Getting the rain rail and rain rail retainers back in place is the trickiest part, but you'll have to do that regardless of the replacement path. The mounting bolts in the seatbelt towers are pretty easy, just have to remove the interior panel that covers them. Usually an easier install if you remove the seats so you have more room to work.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Getting the rain rail and rain rail retainers back in place is the trickiest part, but you'll have to do that regardless of the replacement path. The mounting bolts in the seatbelt towers are pretty easy, just have to remove the interior panel that covers them. Usually an easier install if you remove the seats so you have more room to work.
Does chp5 have a rollbar? It's a pain to get around the bars to get to the rain rails back in place. I wish I'd unbolted mine first
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by moocow View Post
Does chp5 have a rollbar? It's a pain to get around the bars to get to the rain rails back in place. I wish I'd unbolted mine first
yes, I do have a roll bar.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:28 PM
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I've done it just about 2-3 weeks ago. Wasn't fun because Miata is so small, but not bad at all. Worst part is getting all washers, and working next to doors if you have roll-bar. Make sure rain rail is good and go over nuts in the order suggested by manual. Also, there are two ways to make sure it's tight and still closes (if it is a vinyl, cloth is less problematic). Removing seats will make this a lot easier.

1) put rainrail, washers, nuts on and then latch the top up front. Then tighten the nuts in the order recommend (i did it this way)
2) install top and tighten all nuts in order, then let the top heat up in the sun or heated garage while you stretch it in order to latch.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 2slow View Post
I've done it just about 2-3 weeks ago. Wasn't fun because Miata is so small, but not bad at all. Worst part is getting all washers, and working next to doors if you have roll-bar. Make sure rain rail is good and go over nuts in the order suggested by manual. Also, there are two ways to make sure it's tight and still closes (if it is a vinyl, cloth is less problematic). Removing seats will make this a lot easier.

1) put rainrail, washers, nuts on and then latch the top up front. Then tighten the nuts in the order recommend (i did it this way)
2) install top and tighten all nuts in order, then let the top heat up in the sun or heated garage while you stretch it in order to latch.
Thanks for the replies. I just picked up this cloth top in good condition. I helped the seller remove it so that was helpful. I can see how the roll bar will make it more fun!
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