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Old 11-02-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default NB1 Hardtop on 2004 NB2 confusion

Hopefully someone here can enlighten me on this topic. I am genuinely confused, and looking for advice from someone with first hand experience.

I am about to purchase a NB1 hardtop to install on my 2004 NB2 Miata. I have thoroughly read the Miata.net guide, but I am a bit confused, and I don't see why there aren't alternatives(other than using rennenmetal brackets).

One option I am trying to figure out is why everyone says you have to buy the 2003-2005 front latches for putting a NB1 hardtop on a 2003+ NB2 car. I don't see why I can't just buy the 1999-2002 front striker plates. If the 1999-2002 front striker plates obviously worked perfectly with the 1999-2002 front latches, I don't see how this won't work unless the mounting locations for the front striker plates changed as well. The newer front latches are over $120 a piece, whereas the 1999-2002 front strikers are like $20 each. The price difference here is the motivation.

The other option is, I have seen some people saying that 2003-2005 NB2 soft top front latches will mount to any year hardtop and work perfectly with the 2003-2005 front striker plates, but others say this does not work and don't mention why.

I do not plan on keeping my soft top in the car, so I do not need to retain compatibility with the 2003-2005 soft top latches, I just want to get this hardtop properly mounted for as cheap as possible, and I would prefer to do it with Mazda latches rather than bolting the hardtop in and messing with sealing issues with the brackets. I also want to be able to easily take off the top when it's nice outside.

Can someone tell me if I am right, wrong, or missing something obvious and why? I trust members of this site WAY more than others.

Last edited by Dustin1824; 11-03-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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I'm really surprised noone has responded to this, 100 views, no response!

I have ordered the side striker plates, frankenstein bolts, and supporting hardware from Mazda. I am going to test and see if the 2003+ soft top latches will bolt onto the hardtop, and allow me to use the front striker plates already on the car.

Just in case it doesn't work, I have ordered the Rennenmetal brackets. Worst case scenario, I will have to bolt the forward portion of the hard top, not a big deal.

Maybe one day I will order the 1999-2002 front striker plates and see if those work on a 2004 miata with 1999-2002 hardtop latches. I still don't see why this wont work, but I am not going to try it at this time.

I'll update this thread when I get the parts in and install the hard top.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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Sorry I missed this one.

You don't want '99-2002 latches because they suck. The cam lock fails and the latch will start to open going over bumps. Scary at 100mph on the track, ask Mobius.

'90-'97 latches don't seem to have this issue, as I put the front latches from my '93 hard top (with strikers) on to my '01 soft top when I put rennemetal brackets on the hardtop.

You'll need to keep the striker plates with the latches they come with, I know for a fact '03-'05 latches aren't compatible with anything but '03-'05 strikers. Not sure if the '90-'97 latches are compatible with the '99-'01 strikers, or vise versa.
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:51 PM   #4
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I can vouch for '99 - 02 latches sucking. My passenger side one pops loose every time I get on the interstate...
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Sorry I missed this one.

You don't want '99-2002 latches because they suck. The cam lock fails and the latch will start to open going over bumps. Scary at 100mph on the track, ask Mobius.

'90-'97 latches don't seem to have this issue, as I put the front latches from my '93 hard top (with strikers) on to my '01 soft top when I put rennemetal brackets on the hardtop.

You'll need to keep the striker plates with the latches they come with, I know for a fact '03-'05 latches aren't compatible with anything but '03-'05 strikers. Not sure if the '90-'97 latches are compatible with the '99-'01 strikers, or vise versa.
Thanks for the reply!

Yeah, I know that the '03-'05 latches aren't compatible with '99-'02 strikers. Do the '99-'02 side latches have a problem popping open, or just the '99-'02 front latches?

I was planning on using the '99-'02 side latches with the '99-'02 side strikers I ordered, is that a mistake?

I guess it's a good thing I decided to not buy 1999-2002 front striker plates to go with the 1999-2002 front latches on the hardtop!

Hopefully my 2004 soft top front latches will bolt on to the hardtop, and allow me to use the 2004 front striker plates on the car. If this doesn't work, I will just install the Rennenmetal brackets I ordered, but I have heard those brackets can be tricky to get a solid seal.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
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Is this just an NB2 weirdness thing?

My hardtop came from an NB1. Worked great on the NB1. Works great on my NA8. Didn't have to do any weirdness.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
Is this just an NB2 weirdness thing?

My hardtop came from an NB1. Worked great on the NB1. Works great on my NA8. Didn't have to do any weirdness.
That's correct, well, kinda. It's a '03-'05 weirdness, Mazda changed the latches and striker plates for those years, but it seems that they are actually a better design. So it's not a NB2 problem because the '01 and '02 Miatas are fine.

I can see why many here just go with bolt-on brackets than screwing with the Mazda latches though, they aren't cheap.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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Hardtop latches are generally ok from 99-00, as their used less. ESPECIALLY the side latches, hardly used at all by most. Just when removing and installing the hard top, not up/down/up/down on a daily basis like a lot of soft tops.
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