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Thread: Soft top latches repairable?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Soft top latches repairable?

    Is it possible to tighten up a latch for the soft top? Not only did I get a tear in the original top on my '99 today, but the passenger side latch kept popping loose on the way home today. It seems that the small safety button you press to release the top is no longer touching the main latch. This is after, on accident, I left the top down last night and had to run outside a few minutes after the downpour started at 3:30 in my boxers to put the top up.

    It has not been a good day for me to say the least.

    Second question is there anyone that has any in there garage for sale? Top or latches?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    Rydal
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    Default

    Here's a link that may help you.


    http://www.miata.net/garage/top_latch/index.html

  3. #3
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    Default

    NB latches are notoriously crappy that way. They often get replaced with good working early NA latches. Let me know if you need some.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

  4. #4
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    The procedure is, 1) unscrew three bolts holding NB latch 2) Discard NB latch 3) attach superior NA latch with the three screws 4) step back and admire your craftsmanship!
    Red '91, MSM longblock/BEGI-FM hybrid turbo w/2871r/3"Enthuza/Hydra2.7/700cc/Ohlins/
    RacingBrake11"BBK/SS HDDD/Nakamae everything/KGWorks/Zoom/We're done!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrayfrog View Post
    The procedure is, 1) unscrew three bolts holding NB latch 2) Discard NB latch 3) attach superior NA latch with the three screws 4) step back and admire your craftsmanship!
    I don't disagree, but there is a way to repair your latches if you want.

    Take the latch off the car and examine it. The failure is easy to see. The lock tab is made of a metal that is too soft and wears over the years. As it degrades, the latch is able to open without the lock tab striking its retainer. You can fix this by adding material to the lock tab. Mix some JB Weld. Allow it to sit until it starts to get thick. Apply the thick JB to the tab. Shape it and allow it to set. After it's completely hard, you can file/grind away excess JB until the tab is the shape that you want. Then you can paint the latch assembly black to hide the repair.

    Free repair if you have JB, a dremel, and an hour or so.
    Much easier to replace the latches with ones from an NA.

    DIYAutoTune.com Technical Support
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  6. #6
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    They are not expensive from Kurt. I'd just suck it up and have a nice top again.
    Red '91, MSM longblock/BEGI-FM hybrid turbo w/2871r/3"Enthuza/Hydra2.7/700cc/Ohlins/
    RacingBrake11"BBK/SS HDDD/Nakamae everything/KGWorks/Zoom/We're done!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2010
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    I am just gonna have to suck it up and get a new top, really want the money to go elsewhere on the car but I am not to fond of a duct taped top. Only question is it I tackle it myself or not. Does a new top usually come with new latches as well?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lavarocs View Post
    Does a new top usually come with new latches as well?
    No. A brand new top must be installed on your frame as well.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalman View Post
    No. A brand new top must be installed on your frame as well.
    Ok. Well I have the passenger latch off right now attempting the JB weld method on the safety latch. When I looked closer it was almost a 1/16 off from even touching the main latch. Both are fairly worn.

  10. #10
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    I drilled and tapped a hole in the engagement surface and put in a small screw to let the head of the screw take up the space. I have done several like this, even NA latches.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the input. I got the JB weld on yesterday and filed it down a little this morning and it seems to have worked fine. Now I can keep a look out for some NA latches.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lavarocs View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I got the JB weld on yesterday and filed it down a little this morning and it seems to have worked fine. Now I can keep a look out for some NA latches.
    It should hold up fine.

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  13. #13

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    Where can i find this NA style latch? looking all over with google and coming up with nothing
    thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisl View Post
    Where can i find this NA style latch? looking all over with google and coming up with nothing
    thanks
    I have some available.
    http://www.mx5atlanta.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=13&dateline=123560545  3

  15. #15

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    In my moms NB she just puts the sun visor in the way to hold it in place, as a temp fix

  16. #16
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    kennesaw ga
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    that could work unless like me you decided the sunvisor is utterly useless. since if i flip it down to block the sun it blocks 80% of the windshield. so i unscrewed them and pulled it out.

  17. #17

    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by engled View Post
    I drilled and tapped a hole in the engagement surface and put in a small screw to let the head of the screw take up the space. I have done several like this, even NA latches.
    Followed your suggestion and it is working beautifully. Saved me a pretty penny and it took about 15 minutes.
    Thanks again,
    Ken

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