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Old 04-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #1
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Default Repair a hardtop

Hey guys, I just got back from my shop working on my miata. My hardtop fell about 2 feet today onto one of the back latches and broke it good. Completely took out a chunk and about 2 good cracks. Needless to say im ------- livid right now - of course its my own goddamn fault but still.

Anyways I guess I get to try to repair it ( i just deleted my soft top too, so im fucked there) . Anyone with first had experience repairing a hardtop here? If so any suggestions?

On top of that yesterday I broke the oil pickup on my 1.6 when pulling the oil pan off it. I'm so over this car right now.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
Hey guys, I just got back from my shop working on my miata. My hardtop fell about 2 feet today onto one of the back latches and broke it good. Completely took out a chunk and about 2 good cracks. Needless to say im ------- livid right now - of course its my own goddamn fault but still.

Anyways I guess I get to try to repair it ( i just deleted my soft top too, so im fucked there) . Anyone with first had experience repairing a hardtop here? If so any suggestions?

On top of that yesterday I broke the oil pickup on my 1.6 when pulling the oil pan off it. I'm so over this car right now.
Now tell the truth. Did you drop it?

Post pictures of how bad the damage is. Repairing it is probably dependent on the extent of the damage.

So long as its not completely broken off, I don't see why it couldn't be slapped back together.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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Damn that sucks man. I drilled a hole through my hardtop trying to replace a bracket! Even tho it was my fault, I was pissed.

Anyway, I hope it's repairable.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vashthestampede View Post
Now tell the truth. Did you drop it?
Truthfully, I basically dropped it. It was sitting on my hood while I worked on my rollbar install. Then shortly after i put the rear on jackstands gravity did its work, and bam. Structurally i think its fine, the mounting point didnt snap off per say, its a little weak beacuse the FRP cracked around where it mounts though. A whole 2 inch chunk came out smack dab in the middle of the rear, and 2 good cracks were formed on either side of the mouning point.

Of course this happens RIGHT AFTER i decided to delete my soft top. Man I'm an idiot.


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Damn that sucks man. I drilled a hole through my hardtop trying to replace a bracket! Even tho it was my fault, I was pissed.

Anyway, I hope it's repairable.
Honestly I don't know if I would be more or less pissed if it wasn't my fault. In this case it was 100% my fault, causing anger I haven't felt since I took a poor line on my mountain bike and injured my shoulder. In that case it wasn't the pain, it was the poor choice I made. Same in this case, its not the repairing of the item, or the price (although expensive as ---- to replace). It's the fact that I did not move it off my hood before jacking up the car. I feel like such a moron.

At this point however I've finished beating myself up about it - and now I'm going to work on fixing it.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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show it to lightyear in his time attack car thread. he probably repairs that kind of stuff often.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:36 PM   #6
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I fixed my hard top a while ago, just a small crack and after about 10 months it's starting to show again. I used the best stuff I could find for the application (the hard tops are made of some weird glass, and not everythign adheres to it).
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #7
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From what I've read just searching it looks like i need to use something special, like this.

http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/fus-t21.html

Not all resins will stick to an oem hardtop because of the releasing chemical that is injected into the mold.. or something like that .

I'll get pics when i start on this new hardtop project. Man, and I just had a perfect hardtop yesterday. =/
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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When I got the top for my '93, it had flew off a miata on the highway - amazingly didn't get totally destroyed, but in the process of flying off, tore back both rear tabs. The whole area around both tabs where badly cracked/shattered. I dropped it off to a guy who repairs fiberglass boats and he miraculously made it like it had never been damaged. There was a lot of grinding, resin injecting, laying glass, more grinding - it's possible to fix, just depends on how good you or the repair guy is.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
From what I've read just searching it looks like i need to use something special, like this.

http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/fus-t21.html

Not all resins will stick to an oem hardtop because of the releasing chemical that is injected into the mold.. or something like that .

I'll get pics when i start on this new hardtop project. Man, and I just had a perfect hardtop yesterday. =/
yeah exactly. some special voodoo ---- and it should be OK. Mine was just a crack so I didn't really get much in there. It was more of a bondo type job (but with fiberglass filler) which is why it's starting to crack again. I'll have another go at it in a few weeks when it gets nice outside. Time for a repaint anyways.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:02 AM   #10
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There was a small cracked off piece of my hardtop when I got it. I fixed it the way they fix knicks in composite airplane propellors. If its a small missing piece, rub some arm and hammer over and into it. If the baking soda fills the missing area completely, wet the filled in area with thin superglue or hobbyists ZAP CA adhesive. The thin cyanoacrylate will wick in and the baking soda will act as an accelerator and the repair will harden immediately with perfect adhesion. sand it flush with the surface right away as it is easier now than later. you could do a second application if it wasnt a perfect skim of powder.

I dont recommend this method for long cracks or pieces broken off larger than an inch in diameter.....those require more in depth composite work. Still, its worth knowing and effective.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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Post up some pictures when you get a chance!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:46 AM   #12
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Which mount broke - the chrome shiny thing that goes over the Frankenstein bolt, or the latch that goes near the seat belt mount?

Last year I unlatched my hardtop (which I never, ever do) to run the antenna for my Traqmate to the rear trunklid. I was dumb and forgot to relatch it - took the car for a drive and the car very suddenly became a convertible at about 55mph on an interstate entrance ramp.

Carnage is below. I can't believe it wasn't worse - the rear window was $200 shipped from Mazdacomp; still need to patch up the fiberglass and repaint.

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Old 04-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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Damn Nick, I feel for you man. Mines not that bad by far. I'll get some good pics of it on wednesday when i go back to the shop. Went mountain biking yesterday after work and today I'm doing the same. Wed-fri i'll be working on the car, and hopefully on sun I'll be swapping my 1.6 back in and driving.

Really it only pissed me off so much because I am doing so much work on my car right now - the last thing i needed was a fiberglass repair project.

To give you an idea i just pulled the motor/trans/diff, I did front/rear main seal, timing belt, water pump, oil pump mount seal, cas seal, etc while the engine was out. Then I'm going back together with a newer 70k mile 96 car tranny, 70k mile torsen(which i had to swap into a new housing, but that's why i got the torsen so cheap), new mazdacomp motor mounts. I also installed a rollbar and front lip while the car was apart. As well as new steering wheel, shift ****, etc.

At this point I'm 80% done with all this ----, then I drop my hardtop like a total noob and have one more project. It makes it worse because i deleted my soft top and my hardtop is all i've got.

Ha! Anyways I'll get some pics and update this thread later this week. Keep the comments/ideas coming.
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