Total cost of soft top vs HT - Page 4 - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 04-30-2014, 02:59 PM   #61
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Used OEM hardtops are usually hard to come by, that's why.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:09 PM   #62
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And, if found, are usually pretty expensive. I paid around $950 for mine, and that was a steal. Finding one in this area for less than $1100 is unusual.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:14 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
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.
It took me a minute to realize you were talking about after market hard tops verses OEM hard tops. I was thinking soft tops at first and was really confused. There are only 3 reasons that I can see getting a non OEM hard top.
1. You are a carbonfiber fan boy.
2. You are using it purely for the track without seals and rear window and it comes in as weighing slightly less.
3. Someone wants to trade you their non-oem hard top for a crappy ebay soft top and frame. (This almost happened to me, would have done it just because I would have been out of pocket $200, which is probably worth it for a crappy hard top)
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:49 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
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.
Personally I would not invest what they are asking for Aftermarket hardtops as I've heard way too many horror stories. I would either come up with the cash to buy an OEM hardtop or 'suffer' along with my ragtop until I get enough money. Never found shortcuts to be worth what it costs in the end.

Bitter lesson to learn... my 92 horror story is a good example of what 'saving' some money can cost you. davzway
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:21 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiend View Post
It took me a minute to realize you were talking about after market hard tops verses OEM hard tops. I was thinking soft tops at first and was really confused. There are only 3 reasons that I can see getting a non OEM hard top.
1. You are a carbonfiber fan boy.
2. You are using it purely for the track without seals and rear window and it comes in as weighing slightly less.
3. Someone wants to trade you their non-oem hard top for a crappy ebay soft top and frame. (This almost happened to me, would have done it just because I would have been out of pocket $200, which is probably worth it for a crappy hard top)
The whole business of hardtop lust confuses me as well. But that's mostly because if I wanted a hardtop car, I'd have purchased something other than a Miata.

I did consider point 2, and as you said, I could perhaps see this for a race-only application, presupposing that non-OEM hardtops are permitted by the series in question which, as TheScaryOne pointed out, is not often the case.

Point 3 doesn't really make any sense to me. Presupposing this is a street car, once you add up the cost of shipping, obtaining an OEM glass window, along with all the seals and hardware, putting it all together, ******* with it to make it fit, etc., it's just not a winning proposition. Doubly so if, like my97miata, you're talking about buying one new for between $600 and $1600 (plus shipping, plus glass, plus hardware and seals, etc.)

It's gotta be Point 1, but that makes about as much sense to me as getting a tattoo on your forehead that says "Rapist" and then subsequently complaining that you can't find a decent job as an elementary-school teacher.




Quote:
Originally Posted by davzway View Post
Personally I would not invest what they are asking for Aftermarket hardtops as I've heard way too many horror stories. I would either come up with the cash to buy an OEM hardtop or 'suffer' along with my ragtop until I get enough money. Never found shortcuts to be worth what it costs in the end.
That's pretty much why I asked in the first place- I find it difficult to believe that any cost savings is possible when you're starting with a top that costs $600 in the cheapest version, and that's before shipping it, painting it and making it ready to go on the car.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:57 PM   #66
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Joe, most won't go with a piece of glass in a carbon top. Usually a nice piece of lexan, which then needs liberal amounts of sealant to get it to maybe not leak. I think total weight is ~20 pounds with lexan and sealant, so a total weight savings of ~30 pounds.

I've seen a TON of horror stories with aftermarket tops. Most won't use the frankenstein bolts, so there's usually a daylight gap at the back. It must be retained by front and side brackets, as most I've seen don't allow the OE clasps. I've seen huge amounts of gap between the windows and the window seals, the rear window area and the lexan glass, etc.

The way I see it is that it can only be point one. If I had $1200 to spend on a seal-less, glass-less, misfitting top (not talking about CarbonMiata's, haven't seen any reviews on them, but $1200 is the general after-shipping price) I'd definitely have $1200 into a topless road trip to the nearest good looking top on Craigslist or eBay.

I picked mine up in good shape for $750, in my color. I've seen my color go from $800-$1000 on eBay and Craigslist, and at 30 mpg freeway, at $3.50 a gallon, $200 in gas would get me almost to Dallas, Texas, and back. (850 miles one-way) For an $800 top, I could go all the way to Atlanta, Georgia and back.

I got my hard top because it actually gets cold here in the winter, and it keeps the heat in better. The interior also gets cooler with the A/C on in the middle of summer, too. I don't have a place to store it, so I do dreadfully miss flopping the top down and going for a cruise during the four weeks per year we get of spring and fall.
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