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Author Topic: OEM Hard Top vs Snug Top Identification - the definitive thread
Brian Benthin Verified Driver
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On a recent hunt for an OEM hard top I spent some time searching and came up with the following things to look for.
I though it'd be nice to have a tidy thread containing everything someone needs to make sure their getting a proper hard top for their SM.

Please feel free to add any additional tips you have. [thumbsup]

quote:
It's tough from the outside, but a look inside reveals that the Snugtops use a different stamped steel latch assembly instead of the Mazda cast pieces. Also they use a glued in liner instead of the stamped one(I think it's metal)that Mazda uses. All other aftermarket ones I'm familiar with use a different back window that is obvious.
quote:
Look for the soft-top hold-down brackets on either side in back -- they're where the soft top latches would be when it's folded down and hold the folded soft top in place. The SnugTop doesn't have them.
quote:
Hardtop and Snug tops (aftermarket) are the most common. The best tell tale (not a guaruntee) is if you see a one inch tab at the top center of the back glass where the weatherstrip meets it is a OEM top. If the weather strip comes together at the bottom center with no tab it is most likley a Snug Top.
quote:
The easiest way to identify the Snug Top is by its latches. The factory top has latches that appear identical to those on the folding soft top. The Snug Top has latches that look more like those on a surplus ammo can. They are rectangular in shape and are made of stamped sheet metal. The factory latches are cast and oval in shape.

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Brian

J.D.
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Good info!

One point though, what and how the shop manual describes the OEM top is the reference. Like many parts, when vague it becomes hard to tech. If it "looks" OEM is the only thing tech can do right now.

Maybe the replacement new top we can get today, less hardware, needs to be weighed and that weight made the spec? Easier for tech to check, might help lower cost for the racers if a substitute top, like other parts, can be used. Obviously needs to not be a performance advantage.

Plenty 30 pound tops out there. Split outer skins, remove metal weaved frame and lighten the material, fiberglass the two halves back together, paint, -15 to 20 pounds well above CG. Tech legal, not spirit or intent legal.

The parity fight need not only look at HP and weight but how both are obtained compared to what can be inspected.

[twocents]

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I have some buddies with an autoclave and CF experience here in Austin...for that matter, Brad Sawyer, if you're reading...get started on a mold for a CF top if they allow non-OEM tops.

--------------------
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Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
I have some buddies with an autoclave and CF experience here in Austin...for that matter, Brad Sawyer, if you're reading...get started on a mold for a CF top if they allow non-OEM tops.

There is already a guy in Maryland making CF tops. I have only seen pictures but they are for sale on eBay sometimes. Good price.

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Mike Collins
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J.D.
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There is CF top hanging in my garage. The good ole days (of Motorola Cup racing).

The GT3 Miata with the rotary can run it. But, they use an even lighter version than we "used" in MC.

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I saw the CF thing on ebay, but it doesn't look like an OEM HT.

I have seen some CF hoods that weigh more than the stock hood (and cost a lot more too). Kids...

--------------------
"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Check this one out. No affiliation, but it looks OEM to me without glass

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mazda-Miata-90...tem?hash=item280206228328

--------------------
Mike Collins
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Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Very nice. I wonder how much it weighs.

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

Brian Benthin Verified Driver
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So what has to be done to clarify or fix the rule to allow aftermarket tops? It certainly would make life easier.

--------------------
Brian

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
Very nice. I wonder how much it weighs.

I sent them a message tonight asking that same question.

--------------------
Mike Collins
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Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by bbenthin:
So what has to be done to clarify or fix the rule to allow aftermarket tops? It certainly would make life easier.

Weigh a bunch of OEM hardtops, get data on the average weight, then set that as the minimum weight.

I weighed an OEM '99 top this morning (with headliner, defrost, stock latches and everything) and it came in at 46.6 lbs. The Snugtop I have with one of my other street Miatas weighed in at 49.4 lbs.

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Chris T Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
quote:
Originally posted by Antonio Garza:
Very nice. I wonder how much it weighs.

I sent them a message tonight asking that same question.
I emailed them about 4 months ago asking them how much it weighed and they could not tell me. I suggested to them that they would probably sell a lot more if they weighed it and advertised that weight. Poor Marketing.

--------------------
Chris Tamburo
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Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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They emailed me back. 25lbs as it sits. Anyone know what the glass weighs?

--------------------
Mike Collins
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Derek Luney Verified Driver
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quote:
Weigh a bunch of OEM hardtops, get data on the average weight, then set that as the minimum weight.
Pat,

Assuming a normal distribution of weight, are you advocating making 50% of factory hard tops illegal?

disquek Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
They emailed me back. 25lbs as it sits. Anyone know what the glass weighs?

I'd guess it's 10-15 lbs.

A side window weighs 6.

-Kyle

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Derek Luney:
]Pat,

Assuming a normal distribution of weight, are you advocating making 50% of factory hard tops illegal?

Nope, just yours. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
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Derek Luney Verified Driver
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Just like all the kids in Lake Wobegone and everything else in my car, except the size of my restrictor plate (46.4mm), I'm sure the weight of my hardtop is "above average". [Wink]

planet-miata.com
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quote:
Originally posted by Kyle Disque:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
They emailed me back. 25lbs as it sits. Anyone know what the glass weighs?

I'd guess it's 10-15 lbs.

A side window weighs 6.

-Kyle

the rear glass weighs over 20 pounds. our old F prod ran with the top and a lexan window. saved about 18 pounds!

i have one of these CF tops on a street car of mine. it's a fiberglass top with a single sheet of cf over it. complete with glass all the seals and factory latches, it weighs more than an OEM top.

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Marc Cefalo

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