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Old 10-28-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Hard Dog Door Bars Installed - Pictures

I quickly installed the Hard Dog door bars this morning. I thought the picks of the fitment on their site sucked *** so I thought I would post these as an aid for others who might be trying to decide if they wanted to add them. They tie in to the lower rollbar mount so adding them is quick. They are much less intrusive than I thought they would be.
















On the passenger side I had to move the harness protection tube and switch the mounting tab to the right hand side of it. I still used the same stud to hold it down.

















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Hard Dog Door Bars Installed - Pictures-dsc_0143.jpg  
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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They should put that last pic up on their site.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:23 AM   #3
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How's the car feel now? Is there a marked difference in stiffness? What about NVH?
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
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I wanted these, and I bought them. I have yet to put them in, but I "test fitted" them in my car. Looks like a pain in the nuts to get in and out of, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for added stiffness/ safety. Someday I will put them in. Nice photos! What year is your car/ what roll bar do you have?
Mine is a '99 with a Harddog Xtreme roll bar.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgen View Post
I wanted these, and I bought them. I have yet to put them in, but I "test fitted" them in my car. Looks like a pain in the nuts to get in and out of, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for added stiffness/ safety.
Hah! Try getting in/out of a car with door bars designed for side-impact.

Sixshooter - how hard was it to drill through the floor for the bolts for the front mount?
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:47 AM   #6
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Interesting, so they turn on of the bolts into a welded stud and weld the tube over it? Just don't damage the threads on that one bolt I guess.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdesigns View Post
How's the car feel now? Is there a marked difference in stiffness? What about NVH?
I climbed in and out of the car on both sides but did not drive it yet. I don't predict any change in NVH but chassis stiffness should increase. I already have Stein's stainless frame rails which helped as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgen View Post
I wanted these, and I bought them. I have yet to put them in, but I "test fitted" them in my car. Looks like a pain in the nuts to get in and out of, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for added stiffness/ safety. Someday I will put them in. Nice photos! What year is your car/ what roll bar do you have?
Mine is a '99 with a Harddog Xtreme roll bar.
I have the Hard Dog M2 Sport DD with their padding/cover kit and my car is a '96. This bar provides no noticeable impediment to ingress and egress, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to post the pictures. I predicted it would be much more difficult when looking at the pictures on the Bethania Garage website.

I would have actually preferred them to be about two or three inches higher at the front to make me feel a bit more secure about side impacts but then people with manual windows would likely have interference with their hand cranks. The front bumper height of a stock F-250 is roughly even with the outside door handle so make sure you get hit by a PT Cruiser.

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Hah! Try getting in/out of a car with door bars designed for side-impact.
This. A Spec Miata race cage is hard to get into. These are not even a nuisance. I am really pleased to say that they really are no difference to me.

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Sixshooter - how hard was it to drill through the floor for the bolts for the front mount?
That's the only real problem I had. The flooring sheet metal is thin and too easy to drill through. There are multi-layer sections within a few inches of where this bolts in but not right where this bolts in. I am thinking of making a couple of pieces of thin plate to go under the foot and under the backing plate to spread the load a bit wider at the front and tie into the foremost bolt that holds my Stein's frame rail stiffener and a couple of other bolts to spread the load even better for good measure. Hard Dog probably doesn't do it to keep from being too intrusive but let's face it, the Miata is a sheet metal car and there isn't much structure to it to work with unless you are in the front or rear subframe areas anyway. Even the framerails are a joke. That is why it needs these bars in the first place.







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Interesting, so they turn on of the bolts into a welded stud and weld the tube over it? Just don't damage the threads on that one bolt I guess.
I thought the same thing after I broke one of the grade eight bolts with my "Earthquake" impact gun set on #2 of 6 settings. I'm glad it wasn't a stud. I should be more careful.
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Hard Dog Door Bars Installed - Pictures-004975.jpg   Hard Dog Door Bars Installed - Pictures-004976.jpg   Hard Dog Door Bars Installed - Pictures-004977.jpg  
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewdesigns View Post
How's the car feel now? Is there a marked difference in stiffness?
I am 99.9% confident that Sixshooter will be reporting a big difference in chassis stiffness based on my own experience with the same door bars. It is a bigger improvement than frame rail braces, and a much bigger improvement than a hard top.

Also +1 on egress not degrading much. I had a set on my DD and they did not bother me, definitely not to the point of wanting to take them back out.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
I am 99.9% confident that Sixshooter will be reporting a big difference in chassis stiffness based on my own experience with the same door bars. It is a bigger improvement than frame rail braces, and a much bigger improvement than a hard top.
You've got me wanting to go home and drive it. I can't wait for Road Atlanta, my next track day, to see what differences I can feel.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #10
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What seats are you using? When I test-fitted my door bars in my car (2001 w/leather seats), they were extremely tight. I made a 1/8" spacer for the front inside two bolts to rock the bar over closer to the door. The bar made slight contact with the door when closed, and significant contact with the seat (read: side bolster was significantly compressed and seat was a pita to re-isntall). Ingress/Egress didn't bother me, but my wife hated them, so I sold them.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #11
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I really enjoy my hard dog door bars too.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #12
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I have the Kirkeys that are pictured. There are several inches of free space on either side of them and plenty of room between them and the bars. It isn't an issue.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:01 AM   #13
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I had the Boss Frog version in the black car before I put the '90 together. They bothered me for DD but did stiffen things a lot. On that car I had a full butterfly, door bars and frog arms. I put the car up on jackstands once (pinch welds). I was off on tooth on one corner and the car tripoded about the length of the errant jackstand tooth. The car was STIFF for an open top.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
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Thanks for the pics.

I never understood the front mounting. Turning down and bolting to the floor always seemed silly compared to going forward and tying in up higher. Then I tried to figure out how to do it and Hard Dog's solution made sense.

Still, a straight bar between the rear bulkhead and the front frame rail seems like the thing.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:39 PM   #15
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Bolting to the floor makes it easy to install for your average DIY'er. Blackbird Fabworx 6 point bar uses the rocker panels which are quite a bit stiffer but you'll need to weld a plate first to accept the bars.
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