How to Install Miata Soft Top | Step by Step Guide

Do you own a Miata? Why did you choose to buy it? Like most people, it might be the beauty and functionality of Miata that attract you. The good news is you can keep it more attractive with a soft top. The good news is you can easily install convertible topWhat if you don’t know how to install Miata soft top?

This article aims at teaching you the installation process of the soft top. Let’s dig into the article to know how to replace the Miata top.

Miata Soft Top

How to install Miata soft top

Do you get the new rain rail along with the top you buy? If yes, use that one. Otherwise, you can use the old rain rail by drilling out the rivets.

What do you need?

  • Miata soft top
  • Miata Rain rail
  • Phillips
  • A pair of pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Ratchet set
  • Rivet gun
  • Drill
  • Wrench
  • Floor jack

Steps to install a new top

  • At first, place the new Mazda Miata convertible top above the frame such that it best fits the frame.
  • Secondly, Install the cable.
  • Start the top’s installation process from cable. You’ll find the strings on both sides of the strings, using which you can attach the cables.
  • Attach the cables firmly through the rivets
  • Thirdly, attach the set plate. Install them carefully. Otherwise, you may have to experience leaks.
  • Move inside the car and connect the soft top back to the car.
  • Lastly, you must attach the fabric to the bows.
  • Attach the fabric by making sure the bow ends have firmly grasped the fabric. Now pull the fabric such that it is fully tight.
  • Make sure there is no wrinkle on the top fabric.

How to replace Miata soft top

Does your new top get damaged? Or is it leaving? So, you might want to install a new convertible top. Hiring a professional is expensive for you. Therefore, we have come up with a step-by-step guide to teach you how to remove and install Miata soft top

Remove the carpet

  • First of all, secure a broken zipper or window so that it doesn’t interfere with your task.
  • Secondly, remove the Philips screws and plastic clips to remove the carpet. You will find the Philip screw on the rear deck.

Remove the rain rail

After you have removed the carpet, you will find 10mm nuts. These 10mm nuts hold the car’s top from the back. Besides, you will also find some plastic clips there. These plastic clips actually hold the Miata rain rail.

  • Firstly, lower the car’s top.
  • Secondly, remove all the nuts and plastic clips.
  • Thirdly, remove the rear plate sets and make sure you don’t disturb their order while placing them on ground.
  • Lastly, take out all the metal bars, known as rain rails.


The rain rails of Miata are fragile, and you can easily damage them. So, you should handle the rain rails carefully if you want to use them later.

Remove all screws and rivets

Philip screws attach the top fabric with the top frame front. All these metal screws also get into the Metal strips known as “set plate.” There is no need to remove the handle or latches

  • Firstly, remove the two screws on both sides of the set plate to detach the rubber molding. You can use a Philips screwdriver to remove the weather-strips mounts.
  • Now, it’s time to remove the rivets that hold the top. These rivets are there to hold a cable to the top frame on each side. You can use a drill to remove these rivets.
  • Lastly, get out the rivets that are connecting the top fabric and top frame


Try to place all the pieces that you remove from the car in order. It will make your top’s installation process quick and easy.

Pull the old top

So, you have pulled out the rivet that holds the cable to the frame end. Now you have to pull out the cable from the other end. A screw attaches this cable to the frame. This cable is also connected to a spring.

So, you can also unscrew the cable rather than pulling out the rivets. However, drilling the rivets out is easiest.

Now, you will notice that your old top is totally disconnected from the top bow. Now, you just have to peel off the top.

Take a screwdriver and start separating the top bows. Make sure the tops are apart enough to pull the old cloth out.

What is the cost of Miata top replacement?

The Miata top is expensive. However, its actual cost depends on the quality of the top. What does mean by premium quality? Well, the quality of the top depends on its window and the type of material used to construct the top. To sum up, a high-quality Miata top means a high price. The total cost for a premium Miata top replacement is around $800 to $1000 including labor cost. The fabric of such premium tops comes with seals that resist heat and polyester threads.

Likewise, if you’re expecting any other feature in your Miata top, you must be willing to invest higher.


1. Are there any chances for leakage of Miata soft top?

No, replacement top doesn’t leak. However, there could be rare chances for it when there is strong wood. It could cause the leakage of water through the window.

2. How hard is it to replace a convertible top?

It is tough to uninstall and then reinstall the convertible top. The more you get indulged in the DIY process to install the top, complicated the process will be. Moreover, if you don’t proceed with this process smoothly, you will damage the window. Consequently, there will be leakage.

3. Which one is better, a soft-top or hard-top convertible?

It is a common perception that soft tops can’t replace hard tops. The reason is the weather insulation and the higher noise of the hardtops. Here’re some features of the hardtop that make it superior

  • Higher resistance to weather conditions
  • Less noise
  • Higher resistance to wind

Ultimately, the hard convertibles are cost-effective. However, the latest technology in soft tops makes it equally beneficial to the hardtop convertibles.

4. Are Miata soft tops waterproof?

No, all soft tops are not waterproof. Some of them are just water-resistant. These soft tops feature vinyl or polyester/polyacrylic canvas. All these materials are durable.

Soft tops made of vinyl are waterproof. On the other hand, canvas tops are just water-resistant.

5. What are the tips for maintaining a hard-top convertible?

Here’re some tips that help you maintain the hardtop

  • Avoid putting the top down immediately after washing the car. Otherwise, water will start collecting on the roof, which will leak in the car interior.
  • Try to use wax rather than washing.
  • Clean top at proper way.

Final thoughts…!!

So, you have learned how to install convertible top. I know this process seems pretty challenging to you. But, if you follow this process step by step, you’ll be successful in installing the Miata top like a professional.

The good news is that you can save some of the cost for Miata convertible top installation. In other cases, you may have to pay up to 1000$ based on the experience of the professional you have hired.

To sum up, it’s worth learning how to install Miata soft top.


Mr. Rubel is an Engine Mechanic. He has more than 15 years’ experience on repair and maintenance of different kinds of vehicles. He is also providing training to mechanics and works as a Senior Mechanic of a well-known organization. He is sharing his knowledge to support the car lovers to solve the vehicle issues.

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