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Mazda MX-5 Miata Soft Top Problems

jrobbinjrobbin Posts: 4
edited January 2014 in Mazda
Has anyone had a problem putting down the soft top on their mazda MX5 (Miata)? Mine sticks around halfway!


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let me think. I have an NA (1993) Miata, but converted the top to work like the NB models.

    When its cold out and the vinyl is stiff, I do have that stop-half-way problem. I reach back and pull that bar down, that helps it go the rest of the way.

    When its warm the vinyl is softer and the problem disappears.

    It's not a big deal for me - I can do the whole operation from my seat, without taking my seat belt off.
  • jrobbinjrobbin Posts: 4
    Thanks for that! I will have a look, but I think my problem may be caused by something else as it jams up in all types of weather! (and has been progressively getting worse). But as I said, thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're welcome. Maybe also dab some lithium grease on the joints of the top's frame (very carefully).
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I have the same problem with my 2006 GT and cloth top. I usually bring it forward then push back again. Would be nice to eliminate though.
  • jrobbinjrobbin Posts: 4
    I took the car into the garage and they showed me that if you push in at the point above the window in the middle of the roof as it is going down, it usually goes down quite easily! (it does sometimes need a little bit persuading, though!!).
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    thanks, I'll give it a try.
  • sownbysownby Posts: 1
    I found about gallons of water in my floor yesterday and was told by a dealer the drain holes were glogged. Not covered by warrenty.Can anyone tell me where the drain holes are and how to unglog them. :mad:
  • jrobbinjrobbin Posts: 4
    we had exactly the same problem - found out when car started to smell! drain holes being clogged were the problem, as you said. will send you a message later when can tell you exactly how to uclog them! (talk to my husband first).
  • pjhaynespjhaynes Posts: 1
    We just got a '99 SE. As top goes back, we lift the forward section of the top skyward and the top seems to fold down more readily.
  • ncrisisncrisis Posts: 1
    When (and if) you find out the answer to the "drain hole" problem, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it. Thanks!!!
  • wljwlj Posts: 2
    I am embarased to admit this, but I have a '91 Miata that I have had for years. I have replaced the top before, but someone else did it. I wanted to to it myself this time, since the cost was $1,000. I took the frame off in the Spring, did not take pictures, and now I am trying to re-attach the frame and I cannot get the holes to line up. I don't remember what it looked like when I took it off. Maybe there was another piece that attaches between the frame and the car? I don't have any extra pieces. Can someone help me? Thanks!
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
  • mtlflakemtlflake Posts: 1
    I vacuumed about 3 gallons of water out of my car after a summer shower here in Florida (3 inches of rain!). Mazda has issued a service bulletin for care of the drains.

    Download the Service Bulletin from here:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Search in the Garage for instructions on top replacement - they include lots of detailed photos that show the frame.

    I've had to replace my top twice - once by a pro, and yes it is expensive, and another on my own.

    I think the pro cost me $900, the 2nd time I did it for $460 (but prices were up to $1100 for a pro). Took me 2 days and boy was I sore. It is *not* easy. Definitely the hardest auto-related task I've ever taken on.

    I think I'd hire a pro if I had to do it again.
  • The drain holes are in the sill or rocker panel. They are located at the jack points. You will see the 2 half inch long notches where the jack goes. Look closely and you will see a slight bump in the metal at the notch. That bump is the drain. Stick a small screwdriver in the hole to clean it out.
  • lordelpuzlordelpuz Posts: 16
    Hi guys, I gave up on this one so I'm hoping somebody can give me some advise.
    I have a mk1 mx5 (eunos), it had a new hood before i bought it, with a glass rear window, some say its a mk 2 hood, quite probable but the problem is, i cant get the hood to go down fully, only about 3 quarters, the window is not zipped, its a fixed one, and the glass its self prevents the rest of the top going down fully.
    can anybody help? please.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if you have the wrong hood and the wrong top as well, perhaps the previous owner didn't know the differences between an NA and an NB Miata.

    I had a 1993 and got a Robbins top with a glass rear window. It had no zipper as well, but it required that I add a couple of nylon straps that bolt diagnocally from one of the top brakes to another, that helped the top slide down. So basically my 1993 top (NA) was converted to a 1999 style top (NB).

    I don't have that car any more, though maybe you could contact Robbins and ask them for instructions for the top that converts from a zipper to a non-zipper style. Unfortunately it was a very complex task. That wasn't the hard part, per se, but you would have to take the top half way off to fix that if it wasn't done.
  • lordelpuzlordelpuz Posts: 16
    Thanks for the reply, Please bare with me on this, I have only had the car a few weeks so i am not well up with.. NA and NB?, or Robbins, I guess its the difference in our countries, I am in the UK, You call it a Miata, here its a Eunos roadster, ok..same thing really a Mazda mx5 lol, but I'm lost with NA and NB, I only assume Robbins is the soft top makers?.
    All i know is I love the car, and hopefully one day i can get round this problem, but....Thanks for the reply!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    NA was part of the VIN that helped identify the model year. Decoding it for you...

    NA = 1990 to 1997 (there was no 1998 model, at least in the USA)
    NB = 1999 to 2005
    NC = 2006 to present

    Some people use NC1 for 2006-2008 and NC2 for 2009 and newer.

    Robbins is an aftermarket manufacturer that happens to make tops for our roadsters. Besides OE they're probably the best selling top in the industry.

    So yeah, see if you can get help from Robbins, I bet the previous owner bought a conversion top, like I did, and didn't do the installation properly, i.e. they forgot to install those two nylon straps.
  • lordelpuzlordelpuz Posts: 16
    Ah thanks a million for that, I understand it a lot more now, at least i know what everyones talkin about now lol.
    as regards the straps, hmm, i must take a look again tomorrow, i am pretty sure i saw one each side the hood.
    Thanks again!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The straps I'm referring to went from one of the top frame/braces to another, diagonally. I think you can see at least a part of them even when the top was up. They would basically pull one of the braces out of the way to let the top fold and make room for the big glass.

    Originally the NA models had plastic windows that you would have to fold in the middle or unzip to get down.

    So the straps are necessary for the later NB-style tops.
  • lordelpuzlordelpuz Posts: 16
    Absolutely brilliant, Ive been searching for a site and info like that for weeks.
    Thanks again, I have solved the problem now and the top comes down nicely.
    I have to thank everyone who helped, you are a great bunch of guys!

    lordelpuz (aka Keith)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Glad to hear you sorted it out.
  • Try butyl rubber caulk or clear silicone instead of "yellow death". U normally need an epoxy & u need 2 take the pressure off the canvas & clamp it alot..weatherstrip is ok 4 moulding etc.. auto glass
  • mikeozmikeoz Posts: 3
    WOW! After reading all those instructions, I think I'll pay somebody to put on a new top!!!
    Not for the faint of heart--or the impatient...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, 2 full days for me, and I was sore as anything for a week afterwards.
  • tikki01tikki01 Posts: 1
    I have 95 miata tan top/glass back window and the sitching is coming unraffled. Can I resew this back togather? And type of tread do I need? Pls help I can't afford a new top right now. Thank you!!!!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Call an Auto-Upholstery shop near you (check the Yellow Pages) for a repair quote. That's gotta be cheaper than a new top.

    I'm sure they use specialty threads, weather and sun resistant.
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