FAQ: Hard tops and fitting, hardware required, compatability

Useful information and Frequently Asked Questions on tops, covers and the MX5 roof.

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FAQ: Hard tops and fitting, hardware required, compatability

Post by zorruno » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:36 pm

Some points about MX5 Hard tops, if you are wanting to buy one, or install one:
MX5PWR wrote:Hardtops will fit all cars from 1989 (NA series I) to 2004 (NB series II). i.e the year of manufacture of the hard top does not have to match the year of your car. It is only the new NC models that the previous hardtops will not fit.
Some have heated rear windows and some do not. Either is fine as it is easy to clear the rear window by just putting the blower on.
Further to this:

- Firstly, you don't have to remove the soft top to fit a hard top. The soft top folds out of the way (yes I have been asked this).
- As MX5PWR said, all models can support a hard top. (well, except for the NC with factory folding hard top I assume)
- You might want to get a hard top cart, or hoist to store your hard top. They get scratched easily.
- I can fit one by myself, but it is not that easy, and you have the potential to damage the top or your car. You should really fit the top with two people.
- Yes, the hard top has a nice big glass window (which is breakable!). It gives great visibility and is usually more waterproof than a soft top (not that my soft top has ever leaked...)

- some tops have a lining (which is better for noise reduction) and some don't.
- some come unpainted, which is a black matt finish. Most need to be painted, so you are lucky if you can find a second hand one to match your car.
- You need at least one item, and preferably two to mount them. You need as minimum the 2 'frankenstein bolts' at the forward part of the boot section. Some cars have them already, some just have plain flush 8mm bolts in those locations which will need to be swapped. You should really also get the clamp receivers for the hard top side clamps, which mount behind the seat belt towers. I've used a top without these, but I wouldn't say it is a great idea.
- Part numbers for the products required to mount them are NA01R138XB and NA02R1310G. It may be different for an NB model however?
- Last time I looked, a new hard top from Mazda was about $3-4k. A second hand one should cost between $1000 to $2200 depending on quality. $1500 is pretty common. (don't forget to allow a few hundred for the cost of a paint job for it though if needed!)
- If you wand a rear demister, you need three things. The hard top has to have an inbuilt demister, your car has to have the socket for it behind the passenger seat belt tower (which will mean the wiring loom is installed) and you will need a demister switch which fits into a panel on the dash to the right of the steering wheel. You may need to buy a switch and then remove the blanking panel which comes in most models.

Some previous discussions that may help are here:

A howto on fitting the side latches is here:
(credit to 'Miata95M', Tequesta, Florida)

A definitive FAQ on hardtops from the US miata.net site showing most things you'll need to know...
(credit to Stephen Foskett)
alternative site: http://slf.gweep.net/~sfoskett/miata/hardtop/index.html

Some pictures gleened from the internet are below, showing the fitting kits which include side latches and bolts, and the frankenstein bolts.

Please add your other comments or experiences (including photos) below.
Plate Kit.jpg
Side latch kit with fitting bolts
A fitted side latch.
One side latch with bolts, and a frankenstein bolt
htopfittingkitsml.jpg (2.77 KiB) Viewed 16710 times

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Post by sprsta » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:15 pm

i used some top catches on the sides.
they needed to be ground down and the void needed to be deepened but it is possible to use them

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Hardtop hardware

Post by GRUVBB » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:15 pm

I tried to load link to car domain for fitting striker plates but it will not load. Is there indentations on rear of plastic trim where the striker plates mount. Do I remove the plastic and drill bolt mounting holes or is there another technique. I have a English/Japanese fitting instruction but the pics are a bit blurry to see clearly. Does,anyone have a clear set of instructions or a good link or some constructive advice. Can i fit frankenstein bolts and then fit hardtop and position strikers with reference to where the clips sit??? Thanks. Appreciate your help.
Last edited by GRUVBB on Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by brownie » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:59 pm

Black inner plastic trims beside the seatbelts?...
Yes ,whip them out and you will see 2 ovals you need to cut out to mount the striker mounts

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Hardtop strikers

Post by GRUVBB » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:09 pm

Awesome Brownie. Thanks for confirmation. Plus 1 for you.

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Post by Timmo » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:39 am

In my case, due to my roll bar install, I couldn't remove the plastic side trim completely, but removal of the metal top trim which sits at the meeting place of the door and frame allowed me to pull the side plastic and seatbelt tower plastic out slightly to verify where the bolt holes were (although I also marked the outline of the latch in pencil with the hard top on as well- this was also sufficient to get the first drill hole in approximately the right place)

I then drilled though the plastic and then using a sharp stanley knife trimmed out the holes so the side latched sat in the correct place.
Ex: 1991 BRG NA6, 1998 White RS, 1997 Wine Merlot M Edition

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Hardtop and tonneau cover

Post by GRUVBB » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:21 am

Is it ok to leave the tonneau cover over the folded down soft top while a hardtop is fitted???? Do they rub and deteriorate or are they designed to work together. Now i have two hardtop cars I dont want two sun weakened soft tops.

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How to stop my Hardtop rattling?

Post by personoid » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:34 pm

Help! My hardtop rattles when I drive.
Very annoying when going over roughish roads, joins in the road, and the like.

The noise is coming from the back.
I think it is the frankensten bolts rattling inside their recievers.
(by frankensten bolt recievers, I mean the two chrome pieces that stick out the read of the hardtp, that the frankensten bolts go in to )
Is there any way to stop this?
The recievers are acking the rubber protectors, these bits:
http://parts.arlingtonmazda.com/product ... 74%29.html

Any idea where I can get these in NZ, or with reasonabe postage from overseas? They want US$ 40 for postage.

In any case, the hardtop doesn't seem to fit well at the back. All the interior latches lock ok, and it fits well at the front, but there is a bit of a gap between hardtop and the car body at the back. The frankensten bolt recievers sit a bit above the car body, not flush with it.
Has anyone else had this problem, and have you fixed it?

Thanks a lot!


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Post by Angreal » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:31 pm

I think the rubber bits stop the hardtop moving. I didn't have any originally and I think I got mine from Germany of all places. Tracking down the old rubber things are expensive.

If you take the top on and off frequently you will probably break them off again. Mine are dangling if the hardtop comes off.

Other thing to try although you probably have is tighten the front two latches which may pull your hardtop a bit further forward.

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Post by MrGrey » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:16 am

I would try going to a specialist plumbers shop and see what is available in the range of rubber grommets and see if you can make your own replacement bushes.

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Post by Donovan » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:07 pm

Yes, I have had the same problem, rattles from the back of the hardtop.

To resolve this, there is a little phillips screw to the side of the chrome parts of the hardtop that go over the Frankstein bolts. Undo those, and the top cover slides to one side. There you will see two bolts (think they are 12mm) loosen them a bit, and with the hardtop in place on the car and fasten down, basically push forward the plate that slides underneath those two bolt so that the plate is hard up against the Frankstein bolts. Then tighten up the two 12mm bolts again and that should hopefully end the days of rattles.

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