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Premium Member
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937 Posts
This task will take several hours.(5 or 6 hours). Even with someone helping you out.

Its a wise idea to clear a whole day for this job.

Don't buy a cheap'o on Ebay. Get one from the Miata.net vendors.

Remember, you get what you pay for, don't cheap out on something as important as your top. (unless you have a hard top on standby)
 

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Esteemed Member
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1,794 Posts
I would advise the opposite; as long as the top has a zip-out window, go for the cheapest possible. All of them these days are computer cut and decently seam welded, so initial fit is nearly as good as factory (I have seen lots of tops over the years, and NO aftermarket top fits as well as the Mazda original). I figure a Mazda factory top will last 8 years before showing signs of age (shrinkage, splits). "Premium" quality tops such as Robbins and Duetto will last 5 years max (Duetto top I had in Haartz vinyl had to be tossed after 3 years due to shrinkage, forget the 5 year warranty, its worthless, and the factory will insist you go without a roof for 6 weeks while they examine it). On the other hand, I had a SFT-TrimInternational top for a fraction of the price of the others (£150, that would translate to $150 if ever sold in the US); same vinyl, extra generous over the doors, to extend the life out. The main difference with factory was the rear window design; its larger, so looked a bit wierd at first, but works so much better than ther factory design if you have a rollbar (you can actually lay the window flat). I could be replacing a top every 2 years, and it would still be cheaper than buying a factory top. Plus, in any case, the SFT hoods seem to last really well. You can get them even cheaper if you want a different ("trade") grade of vinyl (its a little thinner, and has a leather-look grain).

I visited the factory that makes these; they are original equipment suppliers to Jaguar, Lotus and NATO (!), so to me, it does sound like some of these other makers are gouging consumers.

They do the tops in Mohair as well, plus commissioned a batch of NB rear glass windows to be made, to offer a Mk2 version, similarly cut-price.
 
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