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Old 06-25-2013, 06:07 AM   #1
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Default Hardtop Side latchEs??? WTF?!?

Does anyone know why there are no latches on my 91 NA for the hardtop. I just bought a 91 org hard top but I don't have any brackets for the side latches to latch onto.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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They were optional, just like the Frankenstein bolts. Lots of cars didn't have them.

They're easy to install, through you have to cut some holes in the plastic panels.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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so long as your front latches are good you don't really need the side ones...
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
so long as your front latches are good you don't really need the side ones...
THis.

I ran a hard top for 2 years with just front latches and frankenstein bolts. You will get a little more vibrations out of it, but it is secure.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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Side latches help eliminate wind noise and squeaks. I think they also help lock the HT down tighter. Car felt stiffer with them installed.

You can get them from Partsgroup for about 30 bucks including hardware. Well worth it, IMO.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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pro tip: the plastic panels on my 2001 had little molded oval lines on the inside where you cut.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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Ive never seen these side latches. Does anyone have pics? Im thinking of a hardtop to extend the driving period but i dont want to cut anything....
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
pro tip: the plastic panels on my 2001 had little molded oval lines on the inside where you cut.
I took the panels out of my 93 and traced the holes on my 91, then FINALLY cut them like 2 years later.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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The top isn't likely to fly off without them, however it's definately going to be noisier.

My experiance (on a 92) mirrors that of Y8s- after removing the plastic panels from the car, I found guide lines molded into the backside indicating where to cut.

The striker plate covers the cutout completely, so it doesn't have to be a perfectly accurate and clean cut.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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Is there an aftermarket locking system for the HT's? I saw the ones from norcal but I want to keep the top latches quick acting. I don't have side latch brackets so I am trying to secure the top both ways with one solution. Ideas? Problem #1, No side latch bracket Problem #2 People have sticky fingers. I also saw TopLoc one. I would like to DIY this one and not have to spend 100.00. lol Its strange my car had the FS bolts but not the strike plates... Thanks for all the post already! Much appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear204 View Post
Is there an aftermarket locking system for the HT's? I saw the ones from norcal but I want to keep the top latches quick acting. I don't have side latch brackets so I am trying to secure the top both ways with one solution. Ideas? Problem #1, No side latch bracket Problem #2 People have sticky fingers. I also saw TopLoc one. I would like to DIY this one and not have to spend 100.00. lol Its strange my car had the FS bolts but not the strike plates... Thanks for all the post already! Much appreciated.
All of the NAs had the frankenstein bolts, but only cars that came equipped with factory hardtops had the side latches. NBs w/o hardtops came with neither frankenstein bolts nor side latches.

I don't use the side latches (they don't fit with the HDHCDD non-HT roll bar that I have) and haven't really missed them. I don't use a lock, either, but then my car is rarely parked in situations where it's an issue.

--Ian
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidX View Post
Ive never seen these side latches. Does anyone have pics?
Unlatched:





Latched:





Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidX View Post
Im thinking of a hardtop to extend the driving period but i dont want to cut anything....
The amount of cutting is minimal, and precision is not required. It's just a bit of soft-ish plastic.




Quote:
Originally Posted by bear204 View Post
Is there an aftermarket locking system for the HT's?
Locking, as in anti-theft?

I can't imagine that a person who is intent on breaking into your car for the purpose of stealing your top is going to be thwarted by any reasonable "locking" mechanism.
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Hardtop Side latchEs??? WTF?!?-unlatched.jpg   Hardtop Side latchEs??? WTF?!?-latched.jpg  
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:00 AM   #13
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I believe the side latches (strikers) are identical to the front latches (strikers)

At least when I took them off, I couldn't tell which ones were which.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #14
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Bolt that **** down with the Spec Miata plates if you're worried about theft.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soviet View Post
I believe the side latches (strikers) are identical to the front latches (strikers)

At least when I took them off, I couldn't tell which ones were which.
They are similar, but not identical, and I'm pretty sure they are non-interchangeable.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
Bolt that **** down with the Spec Miata plates if you're worried about theft.
And use an uncommon fastener like the 2 pin security, the triangle one, or security torx (not really uncommon any more).
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
They are similar, but not identical, and I'm pretty sure they are non-interchangeable.

They're not interchangeable. The screws that hold them in place are in a sort of L pattern on the front latches and a triangular oat tern on the side latches.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richyvrlimited View Post
They're not interchangeable. The screws that hold them in place are in a sort of L pattern on the front latches and a triangular oat tern on the side latches.
I think he was talking about the strikers, the non-hinged parts which reside on the body rather than the top.

These are all two-screw, and while they appear quite similar, they are not identical.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I think he was talking about the strikers, the non-hinged parts which reside on the body rather than the top.

These are all two-screw, and while they appear quite similar, they are not identical.
Doh, yes your right, reading comprehension fail, sorry.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
And use an uncommon fastener like the 2 pin security, the triangle one, or security torx (not really uncommon any more).
You definitely could. Although unless the thief comes prepared with (IIRC) 13mm and 10mm wrenches/sockets and a cordless power tool to put them in he's not getting the top very quickly relative to latches.
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