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Old 03-27-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default hardtop latches

After taking my car out of "storage" I noticed that at 60mph it was making awful wind noise. I attributed it with my HT latches being on the loose side. I used to have a bit of rag stuffed between the latch and hook to take up any slack, but my dad removed the HT sometime before the weather got bad and was cruising top down, lost it when the HT was replaced for winter.

anways. the latches are as short/tight as I can make them and they barely make any contact with the hook on the a-pillar. I also adjusted the read frankenstien mounts on the HT so that they positioned the bolts closer in, acutally all the way in. So I'm out of adjustment and it's still not tight enough...furthermore, the drive side latch does not lock anymore, it just falls open over bumps.

should I replace all my latches and recievers? or at least the front two? or should I just go to spec miata style mounts while I have the HT installed?
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #2
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Something's not right. I've got my HT clamped down tight, and I still have quite a bit (1/8"?) of adjustment left in the latches.

Are you sure the hook parts on the car are screwed down tight? Have you tried adjusting them? I believe they are slotted to provide a little play.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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I'm in the same boat as Brain. The slots are all pushed outwards, the adjustment screws are all tightened, and I still have loose latches. I'm going with spec mounts FWIW.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Something's not right. I've got my HT clamped down tight, and I still have quite a bit (1/8"?) of adjustment left in the latches.

Are you sure the hook parts on the car are screwed down tight? Have you tried adjusting them? I believe they are slotted to provide a little play.

I have not tried messing with the hook part, but everything is tight. The HT never fit well on this shell, but it mated perfectly to the 93 it came with new, but it used to hold well on this shell, just seems to have loosened up over the last year.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:32 PM   #5
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There is a seal over the windshield header that may have collapsed. Try bringing it up.

One of my car and hardtop combos didn't fit well together. I put a thin strip of self adhesive foam weatherstrip on the leading edge of the top where it sits against the windshield header seal. That helped seal it up good n quiet.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
There is a seal over the windshield header that may have collapsed. Try bringing it up.

One of my car and hardtop combos didn't fit well together. I put a thin strip of self adhesive foam weatherstrip on the leading edge of the top where it sits against the windshield header seal. That helped seal it up good n quiet.
I'd love to see a pic of this. Both of my cars are crazy loud...so I used clear duct tape on the daily, lol.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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I believe I read it over on M.net, but there was a thread on repairing the seal. The trick was to open it up near the end, and stuff a piece of that foam they use as caulk backing. Sort of like those pool noodles (same kind of foam, I believe), but about 1/4" diameter. It fills up the air pocket in the seal which has collapsed over time.

I still think something is up with either the latches or the catches. I have mine so tight you can barely close them, and I have plenty more to go on the adjusters.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I'd love to see a pic of this. Both of my cars are crazy loud...so I used clear duct tape on the daily, lol.
I no longer have either that car or that hardtop any more. My current NBs both fit hardtops like bosses (with harddog rollbar padding removed on the turbo car).
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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hardtop brackets ftw.
can't the hooks slide a little bit?
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
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Regarding the top latches falling open - there's a writeup in the m.net garage that describes working a couple of the internal parts with a file to re-establish proper engagement so they stay locked. IIRC it looked really similar to a hammer & sear (firearms) type of mechanism. I need to do this to my HT but in the mean time I've used racer's tape to hold them closed, like a bauce.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
I believe I read it over on M.net, but there was a thread on repairing the seal. The trick was to open it up near the end, and stuff a piece of that foam they use as caulk backing. Sort of like those pool noodles (same kind of foam, I believe), but about 1/4" diameter. It fills up the air pocket in the seal which has collapsed over time.

i thought that was the hood seal, i guess you can do it to all of them. ill take a look at the seals, but for now the top is has been installed in the basement.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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I was having the same problem with my latch popping open on bumps, but there is a writeup somewhere (m.net I think) about filing the button so it catches better, and if that doesn't work, you drill a hole and put a small screw in there to catch the latch. This is what I had to do because for some reason mine just would not stay closed.

Found it: http://www.miata.net/garage/top_latch/index.html I guess it doesn't mention the screw thing, so I don't know where I came up with that idea.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
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y8s has the screws on his acutally. im less conserned about that at the moment, more concerned about the top not being close to being secrued down even with 4 latches.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #14
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run spec brackets and bolt that mother down. Never worry about your isht unlatching again
profit
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:55 PM   #15
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Kinda hard to drop the top that way.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:33 PM   #16
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Guess I'm one of the few that doesn't give a crap about driving topless all the time.
I have literally lowered my soft top maybe 10 times total.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #17
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i rocked all last year with the HT on, i was removed by my dad after i left it at his house for winter. (he proceeded to scratch the ---- out of the turnk lid putting it back on by himself...sigh)
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:09 PM   #18
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18psi, I agree. Just stating a fact. Personally, I don't even have the softtop frame in my car anymore. I'm sitting on a brand new Robbins glass window canvas top, that I just can't be bothered to install.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyb View Post
hardtop brackets ftw.
can't the hooks slide a little bit?
+1

My HT would rattle, make wind noise, ect.

I bought used latches to replace mine. Did wonders but I then got spec brackets and all my problems were solved.

No soft top now either.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:56 AM   #20
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I was thrilled to adjust my turbo car brackets so the snapped shut and were hard to open, went to the silver car thinking I had found the answer to the latches not clicking locked, only to find the screw adjuster was wound in all the way too.

This is the wifes car and we do like to take the HT off for summer cruising, are replacement latches the only option or anyone know of a fix...?
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