Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Guide to Choosing the Right Top for Your Miata

When shopping for a replacement top for your Mazda Miata, there are many things to consider. But don’t let the process overwhelm you, as we’re here to help. We have provided a breakdown of the options for each model. And yes, you have options, as many makes allow options. You can choose to replace your top with glass or plastic window options; each has its own benefit. Some options are desirable for the easy install process and larger window; others may be appealing for the longevity that glass provides through scratch-resistance. Below, we will guide you through the process so you can narrow your choices down to the products that work with your Miata, your budget and your personal taste.

We'll Break Down Each of These Options:
  • Windows (Glass/Plastic)
  • Materials (Vinyl/Cloth)
  • Colors
  • Rain Rails
  • Zippered or Non-Zippered Rear Window

1989-2005 Replacement Top With Plastic Window

The 1990-1997 Miata was originally released with a plastic rear window and had a two-piece convertible top, with the top section and rear window section being two separate pieces. This is called factory style. All of our two-piece factory plastic window tops include the zippered window. To make the install easier, we ship the two pieces already put together.

From 1998-2005 , the Miata originally came with a glass window. However, if you are looking to save, replacing it with a one-piece plastic window is a good choice. This also increases the size of the rear window since the glass version is smaller to fit inside of the boot. The one-piece designs do not include a zippered rear window option.

1990-2005 Replacement Top With Glass Window

The factory-designed Miata convertible through 2005 originally offered a two-piece top design. If you have chosen to go with the two-piece model for replacing your top, this includes a glass window and the option of either a zippered or non-zippered rear window that can easily fold down when the top is still up. The non-zippered option offers a lower price tag for those looking to save.

The 2006 Miata soft-top design was switched over to a factory-designed one-piece style, and you have the option of choosing which design you prefer.

Choose From Two Designs:
  • Factory-style original two-piece design
  • Newer one-piece easy-to-install design
Choose Material Type:
  • Vinyl
  • Cloth
Lastly, pick a color.

1990-1997 Replacement Tops With Glass Window

When selecting a top with a glass window for your 1990- through 1997-model Miata, it is important to know that installation will require two additional bow straps to allow it to fold down into the boot correctly. The bow straps and additional install instructions are included with your order. Please also note that 1990 models are not equipped with a defroster wire and connecting the defroster glass for this model is not recommended. For models 1991-1997, you must purchase the Mazda 3-Wire Connector [Part Number N007-67-060A] in order to connect the defroster to the glass. Connecting the defroster is optional.

2006-2014 Mazda MX5 Tops

Shopping for and replacing the convertible top on your 2006 and newer Mazda Miata MX5 is worlds easier but with fewer options: They’re all one-piece designs with no zippers, rain rails or other options. Simply decide on your material type and color.

Rain Rail

Now, lastly, you should make the decision as to whether you would like the optional rain rail add-on. Simply put, this is added protection from the elements to prevent moisture from entering the vehicle as you open your doors and trunk. It is a U-shaped ABS plastic piece that will be pre-attached to the rear bottom of the convertible top. It has been designed to direct water through drainage holes to prevent it from entering your interior cabin and trunk. Please add one day to your expected delivery time when selecting this option.

Glass Windows Warranty

At AutoTopsDirect, all of our glass window convertible tops come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Download the two attachments if you need more information about glass tops.
At, most of our products are in stock and ship fast. All of our Miata convertible tops are superior quality and 100% guaranteed to fit perfectly. If it doesn’t, we will either replace the item or refund your purchase price. Nearly all of the products we offer are in stock and can ship today! Don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team with any questions.

Friday, November 15, 2019

What Is the Best Glue for Repairing a Convertible Top?

When you’re making convertible top repairs, you need maximum bonding strength and extreme heat resistance. We recommend the aerosol contact adhesive that has been designed specifically for bonding vinyl and canvas topping material: 3M Yellow Super Trim Adhesive. It’s a tough adhesive, made for the job.

Your vehicle must withstand weather and strong winds, which means that you should take extra care and consideration when choosing your adhesive for making upgrades and repairs. This 3M trim adhesive is resistant to heat, moisture and plasticizing oils and creates a secure weatherproof bond between a wide variety of materials, including metal, padding, rubber, vinyl, insulation, foam and much more.


  • Headliners
  • Car Hood Silencer & Installation Pads
  • Vinyl Convertible Tops
  • Heavyweight Liners


  • Metal
  • Padding
  • Rubber
  • Vinyl
  • Insulation
  • Foam

Features & Benefits:

  • Fast-acting, high-strength aerosol contact adhesive
  • Resistant to heat and plasticizing oils
  • Excellent for attaching vinyl, insulation, foam, padding and rubber parts to metal and other surfaces

Directions (read fully before beginning):

  • Clean and dry the surfaces you are joining.
  • Apply three coats of adhesive to each surface, spraying the third coat in the opposite direction of the first two applications.
  • Wait for the adhesive to begin to dry and become tacky, which generally takes about five minutes.
  • Join the two surfaces with firm and uniform pressure.

At, we know convertible tops. The 3M convertible top adhesive is our choice for your adhesive needs for many reasons. Known for being fast-acting and providing a strong bond, this high-strength aerosol contact adhesive is ideal for all of your automotive repair and restoration project needs.

We stock superior parts and kits for replacing and upgrading your convertible and are happy to answer any questions that you have – contact us with any questions or feedback.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

How To Protect a Soft Top in Winter Months

Properly maintaining your soft top in the winter is essential for longevity and efficiency. Keeping your soft top looking its best and performing like new requires a bit of effort, but you will be glad you did when spring rolls around and you are able to cruise with the top down, worry-free.

Proper storage of your vehicle can make a world of difference. Garages and carports can both help to extend the life of your soft top and prevent wear and tear.

Cleaning and conditioning are essential. It is pertinent that you do this regularly with a vinyl or fabric soft top. This cannot be understated. It is even more important in the winter months as the air tends to be drier. Allowing dirt or sand particles to remain in any crevices will slowly begin to wear down the material, causing seams to break and holes to form. If you only plan to do this once a year, it is best to aim for the end of fall/beginning of winter.

Test it. If you are unsure of how your top is holding up, a simple way to check would be a bead test. A tablespoon of water should bead up on your soft top and easily run off. If any of the water soaks in, you know it is time to clean, moisturize and protect your top (in that order).

Our suggestion for cleaning and protecting has been selected through years of testing, trial and error.

Potential seasonal hazards and the practices that amplify them are many, and winter months are no different. - Besides your standard maintenance and care, there are some common practices that should be avoided with soft tops:
  • Do not allow snow and ice to pile on top of your vehicle. The weight combined with the cold and moisture will wear your fabric down and cause it to sag over time. Of course, you also run the risk of your top completely giving in under the weight, which could prove disastrous.
  • Do not raise or lower your top in temperatures that are below 41 degrees F.
- Plastic Vinyl Windows have hazards of their own in the winter months. There are some common practices that must be avoided:
  • Do not use an ice scraper on these windows – this will cause cloudiness, cracking and eventually leaks, leading to a needed replacement.
  • Do not attempt to lower or raise vinyl windows during winter months – they can shatter like real glass when temperatures are low enough and the air is dry.
  • Do not pour water, hot or cold, on your vinyl windows to clear ice – they can crack.
  • Do not hit your windows to break ice free. Again, they can crack.
  • DO allow the ice to melt by warming your car up and turning on the heater. Sure, it takes a bit more planning but will make a world of difference when it comes to the longevity of the fabric.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Should I Swap my Vinyl to Glass? Your Questions, Answered

Updating the windows on your 986 Boxster will not only provide a visual improvement but also ease of use and improved longevity. In 2003, when Porsche began designing this whip with glass windows instead of vinyl plastic, they got everyone’s attention. Many car enthusiasts still prefer the vintage models and for good reason – they are classy and offer a vintage feel when compared to their younger sibling.

Thankfully, the convertible top aftermarket has designed something just for you – an option for a glass window upgrade that fits the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 models. These aftermarket windows have been designed with a smaller window that fits nicely into the top boot. Since the vinyl windows fold to fit into the boot, upgrading to glass requires a smaller window, just as you will see in the newer Boxters. This means the entire soft top will be replaced with this kit, along with the rear window. Other highlights to note:
  • DOT Approved
  • Measurements are 35.5" wide by 12'' tall
  • Tinted minimally to a level that should match the factory front and side windows
  • Includes:
  • Safety Emblems
  • Embedded Defroster Wiring
  • Wire Harness Kit to Connect Your Vehicle's Electrical System

With AutoTops Direct, you can make this switch at a lower cost than you think. All of our Boxster glass window options are under $650 and can be a DIY project – just utilize the detailed instructions complete with pictures that are provided in the installation guide with each purchase.

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