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To top or no top, that is the question ...

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Old 07-15-2017, 11:35 AM
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Default To top or no top, that is the question ...

Ok, so my Shakespeare needs a little work.

Anyway, I'm continuing the deconstruction of my 99 10AE for the future LFX swap. Today I took the top off and some more of the interior (it needs a new top anyway).

I've been thinking about what to do in regards to the top (or not have one at all), and wanted some opinions, crazy ideas, etc.

So far my use of this vehicle has only been as a weekend toy. It's garaged and only comes out to play on sunny days. The only rain it's seen under my care is from a lack of planning . I suspect that to continue to be the case once the build is done, but I can also foresee wanting to take some weekend trips (or longer?) where knowing/planning for the full forecast might be a little tougher.

I don't really want a hardtop. I think if I *need* the hardtop, I'm not going out with it anyway.

I'm considering not putting a top on it at all. Would leave me a lot of room to do some custom package shelf/audio kind of thing. But that brings up the big surprise rain/weather issue. How to deal with that?

My top has a glass window/defrost now. I think it looks better when in use than the plastic windows, but it steals a lot of package tray area that I might could do something with on audio if I had a plastic window. But again, I keep coming back to the idea that I really don't want to be driving it unless the sun is out and top is down ...

So, Bikini top? Are they actually useful at all to get home or to cover if you get caught in quick shower?

So, hopefully you can see my conflict and give some thoughts and ideas?

Thanks all.

-Mike
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:19 PM
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How easy would it be to put a soft top in place if you decide to remove it for the near future?
Would it hurt the ability to sell the car if you decide to get rid of it in the future?
If you do remove the soft top and install stereo related stuff, will a hard top still fit without any issues?

Those are the questions that come to my mind.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:57 PM
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I own a car without a top. Trust me, you will want a top.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:01 AM
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The more I think about it, the more I agree with tbone. For all the 'coolness' I might could create on the package tray, the inconveniences of not having a top at all is just too much. While I expect to rarely use a top, it simply needs to be there for those few occasions it's needed.

I think I'll go back with a plastic window (probably zippered) rather than a glass one like I have now. I think that will fold up a little more compact than my glass one and leave me enough room to build a small speaker/sub box for the package tray.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:33 AM
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I have two 8 inch subs in mine with a roll bar & a non-zippered soft top. https://www.v8miata.net/members/tbon...4930-9-101.jpg
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:55 PM
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On the subject of tops, last Sunday I almost put the hardtop on just for something different at the local car show. Then at the last minute decided not to. After the show, we put the top up, cranked up the a/c, and decided to go out in the Hill Country on about a 150 mile drive. An hour from home, in 100+ degree temps, we blew an a/c hose--hose became un-crimped on the high pressure line. Bystanders were startled and I was not amused. Fortunately, my top is a Robbins zip out glass window model, and we were able to zip down the rear window for at least some relief from the heat. This was one situation where we were glad we had the zip down window.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:29 AM
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I know this is an old thread now, but here's my 2 cents:
I have an 1991 with a hard top and no soft top in north Texas and I basically have to be sure that there is 0% chance of rain anywhere I plan on taking it. It is about 50-60 miles to most tracks and at least 40 miles to most shows. Either that or put the hard top on and lose all of the benefits of having a convertible.
The area where the soft top would go has been replaced with custom fiberglass speaker enclosures and a NOS bottle.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:32 AM
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I drive a car with no top at all. I take long drives, sometimes up to a week. I occasionally get caught in the rain. A couple of times in the snow. If I can keep moving along at about 40 or so, I stay fairly dry. In a heavy rain, we'll pull over and hang out under cover until it passes. But here in the west it rarely lasts more than an hour or so. Out in your neck of the woods, it can last all day.

Because I live in the high desert we get very little rain, I don't need a top. Where you live you get a lot more rain, I'd say keep the soft top. It will really extend your driving days, and allow you to take more week end trips. With no top you really can't hear the stereo anyway.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tbone heller View Post
I own a car without a top. Trust me, you will want a top.
Miata=top installed
Out of all, the Cobra replicas I've owned, 8 came with tops, out of those, I can count on my hand the number of times I actually had the top installed. RainX on both sides of the windshield, a rain slicker, and a good pair of old fashion goggles worked just as well. Yes, really
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:29 PM
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Yeah, but a Cobra top is like 1950's technology. Maybe 1940's. With the top up you don't get as wet. There's still that running river down your left leg.

If I had a top that actually worked, I think I'd use it more.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mrmustang View Post
Miata=top installed
Out of all, the Cobra replicas I've owned, 8 came with tops, out of those, I can count on my hand the number of times I actually had the top installed. RainX on both sides of the windshield, a rain slicker, and a good pair of old fashion goggles worked just as well. Yes, really
I actually do have a brand new top for my Cobra that is still unfitted in the box. The only person that I knew that could actually make it fit the car passed away.
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