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Old 02-07-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Total cost of soft top vs HT

Hey peeps, I have been on the search for the right OEM ht top. I really don't care about the defroster or headliner, i just want a reasonably priced top. With that being said I have been looking at just replacing the soft top, due to lovely individuals whom slashed my back window and stab the soft top. After compiling prices, I see that for a good glass soft top i would spend $350, plus possibly $120 on new weather seals and rain rail, and about $200 to install. totaling around $720, a used HT could be had at around that price.

Is this somewhat accurate? I'm reaching out to the owners whom made the choice of making their miata a permanent coupe, or anyone who went through this same scenario.

Thanks
Frank
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Not sure if I'm much help, but I'm one of those people with only a hardtop. I still go topless for summer evening drives and whatnot with the lady friend, i just pop it off and leave it in my driveway while I go hit some boosts.

90% of the time i'm rocking the HT though. No regrets on the softop delete, because i don't have anywhere to store my hardtop anyways other than on the car. Plus weight reduction, yo.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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Hardtops vary depending on location and the amenities instilled... a stock NA hardtop w/o defroster will vary from 400 to 700 depending on condition/paint.

IMO, fix your soft top. If you have an opportunity to get some local help try and install it yourself and save some money... I own a hardtop and use it occasionally, but if it was an awesome spring/summer/fall/winter day or I was making a fun road trip to Tennessee, I'd be real salty as soon as I saw another convertible car pass me by.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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It's pretty easy to install a new soft top. I've done a couple. Rain rails are a crapshoot. I've parted out seven and maybe 2-3 have been usable so you will likely need one.

I've been sans soft top on my current car and the HT has never been off. The soft top and frame is 37 lbs complete FWIW.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Hardtops vary depending on location and the amenities instilled... a stock NA hardtop w/o defroster will vary from 400 to 700 depending on condition/paint.
I'd like to know where. Shitty hardtops in odd colors go for $700 in California. Perfect black tops are $1200+.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:52 PM   #6
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Damn I feel lucky then, I paid $650 for a black NA HT with no defroster that was repainted just before I bought it.

OP your question really depends on where you live. I like top down driving when it's warm enough, so I would say if you're in a place where it will be warm enough ~30-50% of the time, go with a soft top.

The HT really does cut down on road and wind noise though.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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I sold a mediocre black top for $1250 in under 12 hours on Craigslist a few years ago. Posted at midnight, had ~12 offers before 8am the following morning. Even faded red tops with no defrost/headliner will fetch $700 pretty consistently.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I sold a mediocre black top for $1250 in under 12 hours on Craigslist a few years ago. Posted at midnight, had ~12 offers before 8am the following morning. Even faded red tops with no defrost/headliner will fetch $700 pretty consistently.
This.

A hardtop is between $700 and $1200. Most are sold right around $900 here in PA.

A soft-top, with rear glass (buying plastic is pointless for most buyers), rain-rail, and install is about $900. This is for professional installation, and an OEM quality top which will last a decade.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I'd like to know where. Shitty hardtops in odd colors go for $700 in California. Perfect black tops are $1200+.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
I sold a mediocre black top for $1250 in under 12 hours on Craigslist a few years ago. Posted at midnight, had ~12 offers before 8am the following morning. Even faded red tops with no defrost/headliner will fetch $700 pretty consistently.
Easy... California doesn't count drift/flush tax I presume.

I got mine for 650, there's an nb one for 850 with def for sale now in Hillsboro. I've seen them as low as 400 with some work needed though.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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Damn I haven't had any luck Finding a black hardtop for under $1k in chicagoland.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:28 PM   #11
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Come to ohio. Why does it have to be black?
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Damn I haven't had any luck Finding a black hardtop for under $1k in chicagoland.
I think I've seen one hardtop in 2 years below $800 in any color.

Still can't believe how lucky I was to buy a running car with a hardtop for $1200 before those BTDT guys could get it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:30 PM   #13
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I don't think I've ever seen a hardtop for under a grand in any condition in the Chicago area. They only made so many and loads of them have been destroyed over the years.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:12 PM   #14
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I had to buy a whole car to get mine lol

I actually use both my ht and soft top, I'd just get a cheap zippered vinyl window top and look for a ht.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:33 PM   #15
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I bought my HT 2 years ago for $950, and that was a good deal. It was a repaint, and not even a very good one at that.

But your price comparison is a bit off, in my opinion. You shouldn't have to replace seals when putting in a new soft top, unless they're in terrible shape. I got new ones because I found a bargain I couldn't pass up. However, you probably should replace the cables with a new top, as they tend to break by the time the top is shot. Rain rail is a good idea as well, but that can be had for less than $100. So, top for 320, rail for 75, cables for 35. That's well under half the cost of a HT.

That's for non-zippered glass window. Factory style plastic (zippered or not) are under $300, easy.

Oh, and if you're paying someone to replace the top, you're just throwing money away. It's not that difficult, just a bit of a pain-in-the-***.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:59 PM   #16
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Hesus... Have you guys ever heard of craigslist?
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:57 PM   #17
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I've bought 3 hard tops. All of them came with cars attached to them.

The first was a white hard top that I picked up on a beater car. Paid $1700 for the car then ended up scrapping it after I realized what a PITA it was. Sold the HT for $700.

Second HT I bought was on a black '99. Paid $3500 for the car, sold the car 3 years and 20k miles later (sans hardtop) for $4200. That HT is still on my car.

Third HT I bought came on a very nice red car. The guy bought the car brand new in '93 with the factory HT option, then stashed the HT in his basement. I paid $1300 for the car and the guy accepted my $400 offer for the mint red hardtop. Replaced the driveshaft in the car and gave the car to my mother for her 50th birthday. Made mom and dad fork out $400 to keep the hardtop though.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:08 PM   #18
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Black Hardtop - $900 - Dallas
2001 Miata Part Out! Please read first!!

I never tried to ship a hardtop, but I did get a roll bar shipped. About the same size.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:35 PM   #19
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I got a custom color hardtop, sans defrost, in very good condition for $300. It was my lucky day, I guess.

My plan is to remove the soft top, it's a piece of garbage anyway.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #20
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Those $45 cheapie rain rails on eBay work fine. It's still more expensive than it needs to be, but at least you aren't paying $100 for a bit of molded plastic and rubber.
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