It was raining buckets this morning as I drove it in and it didn't leak a single drop. Getting the new top to latch was quite a chore. I finally accomplished it by letting the car sit in the sun all day with the top "up" to stretch it out, then turning the heat on high for about 20 minutes to make it more pliable, then Daisy basically laid on top of the roof to push it down will I pulled it forward and latched it. Once one side was finally latched the other went pretty easily. I'm going to leave it latched for at least a couple of weeks to let it get nice and stretched before I even attempt to put the top down again.
On the plus side, the cheapest Miata top on amazon is actually pretty damn good. It fits correctly, it seems to be made of exactly the same material as the factory top, and at the time I bought it, it was $159 with free shipping with Prime. I really have zero complaints. If you want a cheap NA top, go buy it...but maybe wait until it's warmer to put it on if you want to be able to actually close it.
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It was surprisingly not bad at all considering it was my first soft top install and I used literally the cheapest Miata top on amazon. The top came off pretty easily, the B pillar clips were a massive ass ache and drilling out the rivets is always exciting, but overall it worked out fine.
Putting the new top on was a little bit more challenging but still totally doable. The main issue was trying to get the tension cables and B pillars on correctly, we finally figured out that you need to fold the top up to make those easy. I managed to salvage the existing rain rail. Now it's just sitting in the garage with weights on the roof to stretch it out so it can close. Naturally it got cold as soon as we decided to do the top.
Here's a video of the install process, but it's definitely not comprehensive. It should still you a good idea of how it goes though.
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I got the fender on last weekend and drove it on the little a bit, just enough in fact to determine that the brakes were not in good shape, and there's no way in hell I was going to drive it off the lot at all.
I ordered a Centric 4 wheel kit off of rockauto.com and threw them on today. Much better!
Now all I have left to do is install the comically cheap convertible top I purchased on amazon. I'll make sure to do a video of that, since I've never done a convertible top before. I'm also going to do it at home so I can do some heavy drinking if it's as annoying as I think it will be. Here's a quick video of the car in it's current state.
I replaced the oil pump pickup tube, got an AN10 fitting welded on the pan and finally put everything back together. I’m just waiting on lift time to put it in.
Meanwhile the white Miata is just waiting on the fender to come back from the paint shop. It should be back today and I’ll throw it on early next week. I also have a new convertible top sitting in my garage waiting for the title to come in so I can drive it home and then install it. It will be my first soft top replacement, I’ll do my best to document it here.
Pretty boring update this week but next week should be fun.
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