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Old 04-10-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default Hard top stiffens chassis?

Does the hard top stiffen the chassis much? Has anyone ever tied it in with the roll cage and body to do this?
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:17 PM   #2
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I would say that it does stiffen the chassis IMO, although I dont have one....
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:32 PM   #3
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You must mean making the hardtop a permanent fixture. I think my roll bar stiffened up the car a bit, but my hardtop does not use side latches because they would hit my roll bar. Besides, the hardtop is fiberglass. I think if you would rely on it to stiffen up the car, it would crack. If you don't believe me about it being fiberglass, ask my dog. She chewed on it the day after I got it painted. I laid it on the garage floor cause I was removing the soft top hardware completely, and she was about 4 months old at the time. She walked up to it and nibbled the passengers side corner off it, teeth marks all over it, and fiber threads hanging out everywhere. Needless to say, she will think twice about that, cause now she sits outside the garage and won't come in until I give her a command to do so.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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Stiffens the car pretty well when used with side latches, but a roll bar stiffens the car much more then a hardtop.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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hardtop is not worth it..go with a nice roll bar
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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I have a slight bit more noticeable flex with my hardtop off, and that's with a harddog. The rollbar does much more to stiffen than the hardtop though.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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I don't believe the hardtop is structural. It quiets the cabin, but I don't believe it to signifigantly reduce chassis flex, even bolted in.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
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With as much as my top rattles/creaks/makes nasty noises it would be extremely hard to believe it does *anything* for chassis rigidity.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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I noticed a difference with the hard top on. Not as big of a difference as the roll bar but noticeable.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:50 PM   #10
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The hard top definitely makes a difference in chassis stiffness IMO. But definitely, the roll bar/door bar combo I installed stiffened the chassis much more than the hard top does.

If you just want added chassis stiffness, and do not want the quieter ride and added security of the hard top, then just get a roll bar.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:07 PM   #11
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Don't know why but my HT makes my shimmy go away.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenzo42 View Post
Don't know why but my HT makes my shimmy go away.
Same here.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:48 AM   #13
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+1 for HT & RB, I liked mine even more when I went from no side latches to latch plates like the spec guys run to secure their tops.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyV View Post
+1 for HT & RB, I liked mine even more when I went from no side latches to latch plates like the spec guys run to secure their tops.

Where do you purchase the latch plates from? My side latch doesnt clear my hard dog roll bar, trying to find something to secure it down properly
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:16 AM   #15
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I had to grind some metal off of the latch plates (the lower static part) to get them to fit. It took a few tries with a bench grinder, and some cooling water to dip them in, but I got them to fit.

I have the stock latches installed and working. But it is a bitch to get the top off as the upper part of the latch (the part that swings open) hits the roll bar when the top is slid backward to unhook the Frankenstein lugs.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenzo42 View Post
Don't know why but my HT makes my shimmy go away.
x3
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:11 PM   #17
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stupid thread.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:12 PM   #18
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Want to stiffen chassis? Try here:

https://www.miataturbo.net/forum/t33378/

I know the hardtop reduces noise, but not sure it will do much in the way of vibration or harshness. To me the purchase of a hardtop also depends on locale, but since you can't seem to put your location in your profile, I can't deduce whether you live in the south or not.
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