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Old 08-18-2014, 05:56 PM   #61
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/Thread drift in total effect
The cowl and windshield area on a Miata are only a few sheets of folded metal held together with spot welds. And ones that get pretty creaky with lots of hard driving. I'd imagine some of the cowl shake and NVH reduction from adding a hard top actually comes from the added weight/pendulum on the windshield header.

Someone swearing by the "totally awesome sauce of the hardtop fixing all the worlds flex issues" go get the door opening seam welded and some of the other seams in the front area done. I'd bet that will do more than a hardtop. Of course that takes effort and a skill level of somewhere above "internet arm chair quarterback". And if you want anecdotal evidence, the hardtop made my 99 seem as good as my 90 with the Hard Core rollbar. Similar suspension setups on them at the time, just 99 1.8 power vs 1.6 powa. But they were both still floppy noodles.

Door bars are going to make the chassis stiffer but not do much for the floppy windshield header. Hence why the hardtop will "seem" to do more. Put 3 corners on jack stands and a jack on the 4th, that were all level. Measurement of chassis flexing by lowering the jack and see how far that corner falls. I doubt you find the with/without a hardtop as it would be better compared to with/without rollbar+doorbars.

My XP, with the windshield cut off, would creak badly if you pressed down on the dash bar, which replicated the factory bolt in with a straight tube welded at the ends, or the cowl area. You could feel the give. Seam welding all the various crap on the transmission tunnel, the cowl, the area the dash bar was, and the shock towers made a world of difference. I could stand on the cowl and it didn't feel like it moved one bit.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:58 PM   #62
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PROTECTOR RT (NA01-R1-864) - $7.27 - NA01R1864

PROTECTOR LT (NA01-R1-874) - $7.27 - NA01R1874

Edit: I should add that I recommend attaching these with a little rubber cement. The one on my driver's side has had two of the three little rubber retaining posts fail and I have to be careful not to tear it off when installing/removing the top.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:23 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asmasm View Post
Sparetire, I don't really follow you. Can you draw it? From your description that sounds like it would be a lot more complicated to make since it has more parts that need to fit together well.

I can draw something. Doesn't mean anyone else will have any clue WTF I am ranting about. But here goes...

You have some fairly trick brackets on the roll bar, right around the bends. They reach forward a tad to secure the 'T-Top'. The forward edge of the T-Top is secured with stock soft top latches. The reach back a bit to anchor hinges for a basic square hatchback. They go outward to the sides for the central 'hoop'. Those same side brackets also anchor the rear quarter parts. Thinking those quarters could anchor to the trunk area somehow as well. The rear quarter parts also include the runners with seals for the hinged hatch back part.

So you have fancy brackets, probably welded onto the roll bar. They hold 5 basic parts. 1 T-Top, 1 central hoop trim piece, 2 rear quarters, and 1 hinged hatch. The idea is that no one piece is hard to fab. The brackets will need to be reasonably good, but if you provide some adjustability to them and make them from steel, they will be fine. Doesn't have to be billet titanium. No huge shell that's hard to ship, and needs a fancy expensive mold and needs to be perfect in order to seal. If one detail is off, it does not ruin the whole show.

If it was a simple solid rear part like a normal hard top, no hinges needed and a lot simpler. It could be like three external parts, all anchored to the roll bar and using the existing hard top mounting points.

This version also does not have those tubes I mentioned running to the windshield support either. No point with this.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:22 AM   #64
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Just picked up one in new england for $900. defroster, liner, some paint chips. A few more chips than I'd like to see, but so it goes. Still about the best deal I have seen regionally so I took it. Getting it painted for about $350. Maybe the upward price shift has as much to do with their age now and the need to start doing maintenance to them. When the core price sticks the expense still grows as paint and seals need touching up.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:00 PM   #65
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I need to make a hardtop out of aluminum. I refuse to pay $1300 for a used hardtop that is just a few molded pieces of fiberglass. Of course assuming I could actually find one around my area to buy.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #66
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Picked one up on craiglist for $600 with liner/defroster and side latches. Sold the side latches on ebay for $125 and bought $30 hardtop brackets... Bam $470 hardtop. Paint is original on it and in good shape
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:40 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gt2560rMiata View Post

Picked one up on craigslist for $600 with liner/defroster and side latches...
aka: a stolen top
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:04 PM   #68
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Or, judging from past props and feedback, someone who is less then truthful.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:18 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gt2560rMiata View Post
Picked one up on craiglist for $600 with liner/defroster and side latches. Sold the side latches on ebay for $125 and bought $30 hardtop brackets... Bam $470 hardtop. Paint is original on it and in good shape
side latches are worth that much? I should list mine up.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:15 PM   #70
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Will trade my rare nardi shift **** from my 96 M-edition for a hard top.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:38 AM   #71
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Paid my hardtop 100$ in a scrapyard and it was in very good shape.

Trolololo
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:34 AM   #72
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Got a perfect black one w/ liner and defrost for $300. Rich nerdy white guy in Manhattan Beach.
Got another in a junk yard for $600.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:45 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Or, judging from past props and feedback, someone who is less then truthful.
Wtf? I have no reason to believe it was stolen, he had repairs he need to get done on his miata (his daily) and needed cash quick, he was asking more but i offered him $600 and he took it.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:05 PM   #74
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So a guy locally posted a hardtop for sale on craigslist today, and posted it on one of the miata facebook pages as well. Wants $900 for it. Scratched to ****, no defroster, and no headliner. Also, the left most corner up by the drivers side latch has been ripped off. I was preparing my response. What a douche.

Then i looked up hardtops on craigslist. NOTHING under $1100. Decent ones are listed at $1600. When the **** did this happen? I sear 6 months ago a decent hardtop was still $900-1000.

EDIT: Pics


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Old 02-15-2015, 06:10 PM   #75
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The no head liner no defrost tops are more desirable than the ones with defrost because they're lighter.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:30 PM   #76
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Hell I have an oem one ready for paint, with all seals and latches, headliner and defrost I'd sell for 1k$ considering the bubble, just needs paint to match your car and an outer rear window seal. Pricing is so crazy I almost can't keep it at this point.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:24 PM   #77
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They're probably more expensive in winter because this is when more people want to use them on the street.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:33 PM   #78
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A grand around here is fairly cheap these days. Last couple I saw advertised were asking north of $1100. But there are very few Miatas on the road in winter around here. Salt eats them up quick.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:02 PM   #79
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I throw my hardtop up on Craigslist every now and then to test the buyer potential. I list it for a little over $1000 and have yet to get an offer over $800...plenty of beggers in the $500 range, though, and they all have a story to go with their offer. After getting the same low offers a few times, I just don't think I'll sell it for fear of never finding one in the same condition again...original black paint with headliner and defrost and nicely tinted black window.
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