Total cost of soft top vs HT - Page 3 - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 04-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
^This.

In fact, it's been my experience that the expensive tops can actually fail sooner than the cheap ones. The first top which I put on my '92 was a nice Robbins top with a glass window. After two years, the window started to de-laminate and fall out. I made the mistake of thinking I was buying something that was built like an NB top, but no- it was just a cheap top with a piece of glass literally glued into the fabric.

On the '90, I installed the cheapest no-zip plastic window top I could find. It was still in near-perfect condition when I abandoned the car in a parking lot in Santa Clara 3 years later.
I get what you're saying, but it also depends on the usage of the car. By your own admission, you rarely put your top up living in So Cal. By contrast, those of us living in places with weather will put ours up and down much more frequently, and I think that's where most of the wear and tear on a top comes from. The OEM top on my '99 looked near-perfect when I bought the car in 2011 because the previous owner used it as a fair-weather car and rarely raised or lowered the top. Within a few months after my daily-using it, it was developing tears where the rear bow slides across the vinyl, and it's not because I wasn't gentle with it.

That said, I'm not convinced that you necessarily get what you pay for with the pricier non-OEM tops. I took a gamble and bought the pricier OEM-style NB Robbins one. We'll have to see how it holds up if the weather ever turns nice enough to install it. If it survives its 6 year warranty without any issues I'll consider it money well spent.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:23 PM   #42
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My hardtop was $750 in my paint color with a few paint chips.

I've got a receipt from the PO for replacing the soft top. She spent $950 for a sub-quality glass window top and a poor installation. I had to replace a bunch of the soft top parts like the rests on the floor, the rests on the top, rubber bits, the guy didn't even reinstall her rain rail, so I had to cut out my rusted through package tray....

I love the hard top, but I do miss just getting the urge to have the wind in my face and dropping the top. One day when I get a garage.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:04 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TalkingPie View Post
I get what you're saying, but it also depends on the usage of the car. By your own admission, you rarely put your top up living in So Cal.
Exactly, by which logic it should have taken far longer than average for the glue holding the rear window to the top fabric to fail and allow the window to de-laminate from the top.

Or, don't bother spending money on glass rear windows for NAs, unless you are doing a full NB conversion, frame and all. They are less durable than plastic, and also afford far poorer rearward visibility owing to their small size.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:04 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Or, don't bother spending money on glass rear windows for NAs, unless you are doing a full NB conversion, frame and all. They are less durable than plastic, and also afford far poorer rearward visibility owing to their small size.
I think this is the answer. I have never seen a NA frame with a rear glass window not fall out within 2.5 yeas. On the other hand I have seen high end Robbins tops with zippered rear windows last longer then the cheap ebay tops. I use a mix of both types between my miatas. I have no problem recommending the cheap ebay tops as long as you don't want a rear zip down window.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:12 PM   #45
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<<--- must be anomaly

I've had a Robbins soft top with zippered glass window in my NA frame for about 3.5 years. Perhaps it will fail soon? No evidence yet that it's giving out.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:02 PM   #46
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I bought a ebay plastic window top and it has been good for over two years
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:05 PM   #47
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My glass window lasted an easy 10 years. It was on the car before I bought it.

I'm not sure what you zoo animals are doing to your tops but take it easy.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:19 AM   #48
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Have anybody had an experience with Chinese HTs?
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:58 AM   #49
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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.
I've been considering the same route, deleting the soft-top and rocking the hardtop only. If I do it I'll most likely go with the Carbon hardtop because its an exact replica of the original design.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:40 PM   #50
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I've been considering the same route, deleting the soft-top and rocking the hardtop only. If I do it I'll most likely go with the Carbon hardtop because its an exact replica of the original design.
Where are you planning to get one?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:02 PM   #51
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^^^ Hardtop, I hope this helps.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:11 PM   #52
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My glass window was installed in 2009 in a NA frame, so it's been five years. The inner liner is a little messed up from having Robbins rests installed on a non-Robbins top, and the top bow delaminated from the top when I had the hard top on for almost a year. Other than that it's in great shape.

Be careful with the aftermarket hard tops. I haven't read anything about CarbonMiata's (and I want to buy their shorty bumper and his upcoming dual light conversion) but the other ones on the market don't fit like OE, and a lot of sealing and ingenuity is required. The aftermarket tops are also a no-go at any racing facility. It's OEM hard top or no top.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:39 PM   #53
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At least SCCA Time Trials allows non-OEM hard tops, as long as you are in a class that allows hard tops to not be factory (still required to be within an inch of the factory ones dimensionally). Some lower classes only allow factory ones to avoid the super lightweight ones.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:57 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my97miata View Post
^^^ Hardtop, I hope this helps.
Curiosity:

Are you planning to equip this top with a glass window and OEM-style weatherstripping and mounting hardware?
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:07 PM   #55
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^^^ Hardtop, I hope this helps.
How much do you think the shipping is on that? Gotta be another 300$

EDIT: asked him $700 USD for just shipping. Comes from china.

Last edited by natedawg; 04-28-2014 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:59 PM   #56
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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
Moss Miata has good selection of soft tops and great folks to do business with. Prices on HT go all over the place. dave

FYI. Consider selling a very Good to near mint (Black) Hardtop with electric defrost in glass back window - and which has a rolling HT carrier and cover which is new.. had on 92.. which garage trashed.. now own NC PRHT so don't need the removable one (from research, top fits all years,, just need hardware specific to your year and situation. Turned down $1k a couple of times as I liked having HT for the 92. Have a lot of NA parts which seem to be redundant. Don't have any idea about shipping , but it would need to be crated if you don't have transportation to Florida Territory's
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:04 PM   #57
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The best way to ship a hard top across the country is bolted onto a miata, be that miata driven, on a trailer or in a trailer. Find someone near you going to a racing event near the buyer, and boom, hard top shipping service.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:47 PM   #58
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The best way to ship a hard top across the country is bolted onto a miata, be that miata driven, on a trailer or in a trailer. Find someone near you going to a racing event near the buyer, and boom, hard top shipping service.
Thanks... for info.. I don't understand the part about watching me test compression.... haven't a clue what that is , much less test it. After 30-years in construction.. working to solve problems with buildings.. IF two people want to do a deal on a hardtop or anything else.. they will find a way.

ps: If I'm doing something wrong on this site, let me know.. I've gathered you need to do a lot of posts over a long time before selling anything on the site.. so I've left that alone until it's okay.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:09 PM   #59
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Mine would rattle and squeak if the latches weren't adjusted tight enough. Eventually I ran out of adjustment. I'm not sure what changed, but I just couldn't get one of the latches tight anymore, which is why I went to the bolt-on brackets. Now I own a coupe.

But, even when loose the top still killed cowl shake. Rattles and squeaks I can live with (my Subaru is worse than my Miata!) The cowl shake I couldn't cope with. I have experience with only this one Miata; maybe it's worse than others, I dunno...

I will add that after removing the soft top the rear shelf is actually useful. Stuff slides around a lot... I don't put anything that'll kill me back there.
When I first got the NA ('92) which had both a new rag top and the hardtop... had to re-tighten EVERYTHING.. waxing the gaskets helps with squeaks.... and having everything aligned and tight,,, there were NO rattle, groans or other noises related to the hardtop. Hardtop had new gaskets which might have helped.

Lifted off the car by myself.. it may not weigh MORE than 50# but it's an awkward 50# or close to it.. long enough to get onto a wheeled car with a strap to keep in place when moving. Covered until needed again.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:18 PM   #60
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I'm still extremely curious as to the motivation behind purchasing an aftermarket top (such as from the CarbonMiata link which my97miata posted) as opposed to using an OEM top.

It seems like this introduces a lot of unknown variables, and increases the cost, without providing any immediately obvious benefit.
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