Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Blowing my top!

 

So Mr Miata came with a little problem in the ‘top’ department – it was torn and useless at it’s primary function – keeping the interior dry. A new top costs a couple hundred plus installation, and a used hardtop runs about a grand. I needed to find a cheaper solution.

 

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Luckily I found a junkyard Miata with a good top. So I handed over $150 in hopes of ending up with a Miata I could actually drive in the winter. Winter is far too long to go without driving a Miata if there’s one available! While I was there I also scored a number of other nice parts, like good doorpanels (Mr Miata has had most of the fasteners broken on his doorpanels), M Edition sill plates from the 94 M Edition parked behind the red miata, and some other bits and pieces.

 

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I clamped up my torn back window and got to work. Mighty is assisting by keeping the top from blowing away Winking smile

 

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Step 2, remove the seats so there is room to work in that tiny little car.

 

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Remove the carpeting and try not to panic as it tears apart in your hands…turned out 23 year old carpeting gets a little dry-rotted after all those years in the sun.

 

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A few more trim pieces, a few bolts, and tah-dah – topless!

 

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Lesson one – even on a tiny car, tops are significantly bigger and heavier than you might expect! Plus that frame makes this the finger-pinchiest repair job I’ve ever taken on!

 

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The new top goes on (Dave had to help me wrestle it into place), and Mighty is happy to resume her top-holding-down duties

 

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It’s not perfect, there’s a little loose seam on the driver’s side.

 

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And a little wear on the passenger side. But it kept the junkyard car nice and dry, so I think it should last the winter for me.

 

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Dang, I managed not to pinch my fingers in the frame, but the metal on the rear shelf got me while fastening down the top. No job is complete until you bleed and swear. This job was definitely done!

 

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One thing that was very different from previous car projects – bringing the ipad out to the garage to both play music through a little portable speaker, and act as instant reference material. I did most of this job with the help of documents and advice from Miata.net.

 

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All done, top looks tight at all the seams, just needs a wash to get rid of the junkyard dirt. I’ll just have to drive it in the rain to see if it’s water tight.

 

 

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