This example is for a Mazda mx5, but should be a similar process for other soft roof top vehicles. Always remember to follow the instructions on the manual when installing the new soft roof top. This is a meticulous job with many fidgety parts, so make sure you remember where you took each screw and clip from.
Estimated time: 2-4 hours Difficulty: Medium/Hard
You may want to begin by taking out the seats to give yourself room to work inside the vehicle. You could also remove any rear parcel shelf or carpet to gain full access to the soft roof top. The carpet is held down by clips, so you will need to unclip these.
There will be some screws or clips holding the side panels in place, remove these and then un-clip the panels.
The front rain rail on the soft roof top should be unscrewed or unclipped and removed from the roof. There will be rubber seals around the front and window areas which you should be able to pull out; if not then get a small flat head screwdriver to help prize them out. You will need to take the caps out which run along the steel mouldings underneath the rubber seals. You may want to mark these caps.
You will need to unscrew the steel mouldings and remove from the vehicle. There are retaining clips at each side which will need removed.
Around the rim of the soft top are rivets which will need drilled out. Drill out all rivets and beware as some of them are tucked away under the soft top, just remember to check all the way round the rim.
There are two clips, one at each side, hidden underneath a piece of plastic trim next to the doors and the front of the soft top. Remove the plastic trim and unclip the clips at each side.
Peel back the soft top a little to reveal the tension cable, holding it to the frame. Unscrew the screws holding the tension cable which releases the tension on the soft top.
The last step to fully remove the soft top is to move the retaining clips on the frame which allows you to remove the soft top from the frame.
Fitting the new soft roof top
Now you are ready to fit the new soft top to the vehicle. Begin by fitting the rain rail to the new soft top, screwing it or clipping it in place. Feed the tension wire from the old top through the new one, you may need to feed this through with a knitting needle or something similar. Do this for both sides.
When putting the soft roof top onto the frame you must hook the retaining flap onto the rear bar and pull the Velcro over. To fit the sides you will need to put the retaining clips back in place. You will need to fit the rivets with a rivet gun and clip in all remaining clips.
Use some rubber cement to put on the front corners and pull the soft top over the front edge to hold it in place.
The mouldings can be screwed back in place and the rubber seals can be put back along the edges.
There are tension brackets at the rear which have a nut that can be tightened by hand to put the tension back on the roof.
This should complete the installation of your soft roof top.
You can now refit the panels, carpets and seats to the vehicle.