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Old 06-10-2011, 01:57 AM   #1
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Default Will a Super Cheap Hardtop Work for Track Days?

I have a chance to possibly grab a really good condition aftermarket HT for $225. I know it's not legal for spec Miata, any ideas on it's legality for track days or perhaps Miata challenge? SoCal tracks/events.

Thanks
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:13 AM   #2
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Aftermarket hardtops should be legal for track days. I had a kirklin hardtop before, but it did NOT fit with my hdhcdd, so I sold it for an oem hardtop. I am not sure how other aftermarket tops fit with that rollbar, so test fit it.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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Or you can just wait it out and find a lightly cracked OEM like I did for $250 and glass it, paint... voila. Yeah I know good luck.. right...
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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That's great, pass your luck this way.

Trying to figure out if I should jump on this. Any other input? Cali track crew?
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
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Pics of the top pls.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:22 AM   #6
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you still want a roll bar.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
you still want a roll bar.
I sort of want to roll the shell I have sitting at my house for posterity.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:32 PM   #8
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No pics, at work till Monday. It basically looks like an OEM top, except it stops just forward of the frankinstein bolts, and has some ***** little attachment hardware.

I know about leaking issues, and other drawbacks to some of these aftermarket tops, I was just picking it up for mainly track duty. I'd probably beef up the attachment points at some point.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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It should be fine. We have guys locally that run a 1/2 layer fiber top that's really thin but works. That's for road racing though.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:37 PM   #10
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I think bellwilliam is the one who recently debuted his carbon hardtop which is like one layer at most and only weighs some ridiculous amount, like 8 pounds or something. You can literally flex it by just pushing on it with your hand. If that can be used, you're good.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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where's the video of the HT flying off the miata the instant it rolls over?
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #12
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IIRC Sav was running his CF hardtop skin at MRLS w/o issue. No back window and sunlight pouring through the weave.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:57 PM   #13
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The rules may vary in your HPDE area but yes you can use a cheap non-stock hard top. I have one of the Chaser Aero carbon hard tops on my track car (much lighter than stock) and never get asked about it, even by NASA Tech. As long as it is strong enough to hold on at speed you should be OK.

+1 You definitely want a roll bar for safety. They are required here for convertibles in HPDE.

Also FYI if you are just trying to stiffen the chassis, the hard top will help, but door bars are much more effective in my experience.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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only weighs some ridiculous amount, like 3 pounds or something
FTFY. 3lbs w/o window
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:20 PM   #15
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^ So yeah, "ridiculously light" is an understatement
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:43 PM   #16
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I have a roll bar, see sig.

Thanks for the input guys. I'll try to pick it up.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstn2bdoa View Post
No pics, at work till Monday. It basically looks like an OEM top, except it stops just forward of the frankinstein bolts, and has some ***** little attachment hardware.
If you get this hardtop I'd suggest getting Mazda latches for it. I bought a hardtop with my last miata and didn't realize it wasn't the stock latches. After 45 minutes on the interstate at 68mph it flew off and almost went through the driver behind me. That was an expensive lesson, as it snapped off the rear latch as it came off (was not able to attach back to the car). The root cause was the driver's side front latch slipped and air got under it. It came off as fast as losing your hat at 68mph.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:08 PM   #18
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Yeah, I heard those latches are only rated to 67 mph

I was planning on upgrading the latches.

I just bought a new gun, he said he'd hold it till next paycheck, hopefully he'll hold onto it. I'll post up picks if I get it.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:49 PM   #19
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if you don't want it, send me a link, I will buy it.

you just need to make sure it is bolted down. use those SM hard top brackets, they work.

only thing that matters is that it doesn't fly off when doing 100MPH. Trackspeedengineering installed my super light/flimsy hard top. it worked in the last 2 enduro races. so you might want to ask Sav to install it for you if you have any doubts.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samtheturtle View Post
If you get this hardtop I'd suggest getting Mazda latches for it. I bought a hardtop with my last miata and didn't realize it wasn't the stock latches. After 45 minutes on the interstate at 68mph it flew off and almost went through the driver behind me. That was an expensive lesson, as it snapped off the rear latch as it came off (was not able to attach back to the car). The root cause was the driver's side front latch slipped and air got under it. It came off as fast as losing your hat at 68mph.
Non OEM latches (in general) are just harder to get adjusted right. I rock a snugtop, quality is pretty good on mine. Latches aren't bad. They would be adequate if they had the centering nipple ( ) on there to help you get it lined up right and to keep it from shifting (which isn't a problem if you get it on right.) With some tops you can retrofit OEM latches (I have some laying around I am going to try and fit), some you can't.

For an added safety measure, I have safety wired the side latches closed & safety wired the top to the car. (I don't take the top off much in the summer, and it makes it a bitch to steel lol )
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