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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a perfectly good black cloth top that has had the plastic window cut out. Before I go out and buy a new top and go through the instal process,,, I was wondering if there are any options to replace the plastic window. If anyone has attempted this or knows if there is an option to do so, please let me know. Regards, Eddie
 

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Sorry to hear that.
I haven't had a replacement window done but a vehicle upholstery place where I had seat covers done told me they could do it, and quoted about £100. The rest of the hood wasn't great so I had the whole thing replaced instead, but it sounds like your hood is worth repairing.
This particular place also does interiors and other stuff for small boats so they are used to working with tough canvas type materials. Maybe something similar near you?
 

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You would think that to di it they have to take the top off. If that is so, then I would replace it.
 

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I tried to raise my top on 15 degree weather one time, and the rear plastic window sort of exploded.

So, I tried to see if I could just get the window fixed, but no one could do it. And once the top is removed, it cannot be put back on again. The way that new tops are installed apparently involves some sort of stretching process and once they are on there, that's it.

You will most likely have to replace the entire top.


A certain person on this bulletin board may in fact remember lending me a hand in applying alot of tape on my shattered rear window as a temporary fix :D
 

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This IS a possibility, depending on skill level and if you are really resolute. I have a friend that ruined his spider rear window, raising the top in his unheated garage in winter. The next summer, he bought a "Deluxe handi-stitcher"* and window material. With the top up, on a hot summer day, in the sun, he inside the car, and his wife outside, used a "seam-ripper" to unstitch the old window, and the "Handi-Sticher" to resew in a new rear window.
It took them several sessions over several days due to the heat, but the end result looked a l m o s t like machine stitching, the window was taught, and the top saved.
I am not young enough to withstand this type torture, but it did work for them.

* the Deluxe Handi Stitcher is available from various mail order sources and consists of an awl with a sturdy sewing needle, fed by a spool of thread in the handle. The Deluxe included a similar device used on the outside of the car, by (wife) to run a lock stitch through the loop provided by the victim inside the car. The result is a sewing machine type stitch.
 

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Gordon, I put my own top on and folding myself into the back just to do up the nuts and trim was torture. I can't imagine sewing in the window. YIKES!!
 

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EXACTLY my thought. I'm amazed they are both still alive. I can ABSOLUTELY guarantee he will never damage another soft top rear window. I visited them as they completed the job.
Beautiful job, but they were not happy.
 

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This seems the perfect opportunity to try installing a zip-in rear window. Having the window out should make it a lot easier (possible) to sew on the soft-top side of the zipper. The problem will then be properly sizing the new window, and figuring out exactly where to sew on the window side of the zipper.

With a zip-in window there's no more having to remove /reinstall the soft-top - just replace the window and add new zipper. I'll be doing this within the next couple of months and will report back the results.
 

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Velcro anyone?
 

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I have a never used tan vinyl top with 2 small holes in it. The window is perfectly clear. $30.00 + shipping if you want to give it a try. I live near Boone NC if you want to see it and avoid the shipping.
 

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i have a new canvas top at home, but i do not want to instale it untill i paint my car.sooo...... i did this untill then... not pretty.. but it works... sence the the photos where takin, a few weeks ago i re-did the top,, worked from the centre on out, came out cleaner,, these are the old photos...:):)
 

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This seems the perfect opportunity to try installing a zip-in rear window. Having the window out should make it a lot easier (possible) to sew on the soft-top side of the zipper. The problem will then be properly sizing the new window, and figuring out exactly where to sew on the window side of the zipper.

With a zip-in window there's no more having to remove /reinstall the soft-top - just replace the window and add new zipper. I'll be doing this within the next couple of months and will report back the results.
I have a brand new quality canvas top that came with my '81 cruiser. The zipper rear window sounds like a nice idea, but I am loathe to cut out a new and perfect window. Hmmm. Maybe I'll call my local top place and see what they say.
 

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Could you stick him on the ceiling? Just a thought.
 

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Certainly not a pro job, but it worked for a Miata owner:

Mazda Miata Replacement Rear Clear Vinyl Window: $49 www.eMiata.com

TestimoniaL:

So.. my car gets stolen, and a week later it comes back with a cracked window. A crack shaped like an inverted V. Gee, thanks. The plastic was already fogged and scuffed but still, the top was in decent enough shape. I checked out this kit because the cost difference between having the window replaced by a shop was frighteningly close to the cost of a new (uninstalled) top ($400-500). The kit was 59 bucks total. A decent sheet of instructions came with it. The plastic window sheet came rolled up and included were two bottles of 'glue ingredients' to be mixed. I followed the instructions as closely as I could, SOOO careful not to botch anything. I was encouraged by another reviewer of this product, but my own experience was frustrating and at times hopeless. I was careful to mix the glue to the proportions suggested, but it never took a strong hold. Maybe I didn't add enough, I don't know. After a day, I checked to see how secure the parts were that did stick. They tore away sort of easily. So, off to Home Depot to grab a tube of something else. After much reading, decided on Goop (Plumber's type, for it's flexible and watertight qualities) for about 4 dollars. At this point all I wanted was SOME-thing to cover up the hole where the previous window was. Pretty straight forward after that. The Goop held. I put plenty on and found the most satisfying bond was one where I could see a bead of glue seep out up onto the plastic as I pressed two surfaces together. This sounds much worse than it is. That little bead was a nice water-proof wall of confidence. A lot of glue is good. From the inside, the overlapping edge of the window you've cut is visible but it really isn't a big deal. Anyway, if you're in a Miata and you're facing rearward, you've got more immediate problems. You could cover it with some black fabric tape if you wanted to. Strong advice: Cut the window at least an inch and a quarter bigger all around than the window outline of the t! op and sand the extra edge area well.

The best part of this is that I got a nice clear window on my car for $59 bucks and that priceless 'did it myself' feeling (as well as being able to thumb my nose at those who'd have taken hundreds of dollars of my money for something slightly more sightly). Physically speaking, the best part of this was the plastic. The Goop is what I'd use first if I did it again. My strong recommendation to anyone attempting this is to first prepare a nice flat, solid surface on top of which to lay the window as well as lay the part of the top that glues to the window. MUCH of my frustration and initial feelings of failure were due to the fact that the window "frame" doesn't completely lie flat on the back dash. It kind of hangs a from few inches above it. This makes it tough as hell to center the window, avoid glue-smearing, and place pressure from above and below. I ended up stacking books on the back dash, then put heavy magnets on the top of the border. Don't be surprised if you! don't get it totally even and flat. Few will. I have a subtle (and quite frankly, perfectly acceptable) ripple. Also, I'd not be worried about getting it all clamped down at one time. Work on the toughest (the lower) edge first. Then take your time and Goop in on. Oh, and have some clean rags for the drips here and there. Also, clamping the glued surfaces together wherever possible is a big bonus. I had two black plastic clamps like big clothespins that could reach a few inches down the side of the window and squeeze things tight. Would I do it again? Yeah. And if you've got coffee and you're in New England, I'd even help you.

UPDATE to my review below, after two years. Everything above stands. I'm writing because I continue to get asked or see questions about glue in windows on the forum. After 2 years the plastic is the same. The glue smudges turned yellow, so avoid making those smudges. Parts that I didn't glue well have come loose. I don't blame the e-miata glue, most of it has held quite well. It all comes down to how well you do this job - excellent glueing with good overlap of window to top, with dead straight placement, would give OEM results I'm sure. Less care will provide, well, less nice results. It's still quite reasonably priced.

HTH - Dickson
 

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My 87 Quad came with a newly installed top with a zippered rear window. My mechanic, who knows the car and the PO, tells me that the zippered rear window was a custom installation done by a local shop. Don't know how expensive it was but is a sturdy and clear plastic material. My problem is pulling the **** zipper with my arthritic fingers.
 

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there are pictures of the top on a post in "parts for sale & wanted" on 12/7/10 titled "spider vinyl top"
 
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