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Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/14/17 7:53 p.m.

So, after they cut me the check for the miata being totalled, i buy it back and put a new rear under it, ill have some money left. 

After being hit by an elantra being driven by mrs magoo, im thinking more about safety. Her hood was above my quarter when she sideswiped me and tried to do a full on pit maneuver. 

Looking at around 500 bucks, there are TONS of options. All with more options. 

Im looking for the unicorn. 

Most room in interior. Farthest from my fat, balding head. Works with glass or plastic window. Best rear visibility.  Dont need harness bar, but not opposed to having one.

Car is a pure mileage sponge. May get autocross or track workout someday, but seriously doubtful.

What one do i want? Seriously, seems like the autopower woody had is the droid im looking for, but dont know how it impacts the factory seat belts. Open to any suggestions and experience though.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/14/17 8:12 p.m.

Hard Dog Sport is the go-to for this use. You could go with the Ace if you're short, but it's not a tall bar so I rarely recommend it. 

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/14/17 8:18 p.m.

Which options would you suggest?

And it'll be coming from your company. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/14/17 8:56 p.m.

I didn't like the Autopower bar. It was way too far forward. It was easy to install though and didn't interfere with the factory seat belts.

I've had three different Hard Dog bars. If I were doing it just for the street and only using the stock seat belts, I think I'd actually get one of those little Hard Dog Ace bars, even though they're short, narrow and kinda goofy looking.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/14/17 9:01 p.m.

Click the Application Guide on the right side of the Hard Dog Miata page and then click the individual Schematic links. That's the best way to compare their bars. It's still no easy choice though.

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/14/17 9:32 p.m.

It's determined by the geometry of the top. The taller the bar, the further forward it has to sit. The Ace is way back but really low. The Sport is a good middle ground. The Hard Core is tall but awfully close to an unhelmeted noggin. Mazda just didn't give us any room.

The favorite street bar at FM is the Sport Fat Boy, also known as the Hard Core Hard Top. Sport geometry, 1.75" Hard Core tubing. Usually with double diagonals. Get the vinyl cover which comes with nicely formed SFI padding for noggin protection.

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
9/14/17 10:27 p.m.

I know most people will blindly go with Keith's suggestions for anything Miata, and generally for good reason, but have a slightly different preference. Of course, there really isn't a 'wrong' answer here, but it is kind of a personal decision that's a bit different for everybody.

Since I'm fairly tall and rear enders are far more likely than roll overs, I'm more concerned with unimpeded cranial proximity to heavy steel objects than rollover height for a purely street roll bar on a low slung sports car. 

If we're talking an 01-05, with the high back seats, I would (and did) go with something taller and further forward (and better looking) than the Ace. Like the 'Sport fat boy (Hard Core Hard Top) that Keith recommends.

However, for 91-97 (and 99-00?) with seats that your neck can much more easily let your head over/around, I would (and did) go with the Ace. Personally, I wouldn't have wanted it any closer to my head than it already still was.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/14/17 11:32 p.m.

 I don't expect anyone to blindly follow my suggestions. That's why I described the various options. I figure that if you're going to put in a roll bar, it might as well be tall enough to do something. But the Sport does have downsides, and if rear enders are your main concern then you should certainly consider something further back. Which means it will be lower, so that's just the tradeoff you have to accept.

My daily driver Miata has a Deuce in it because that's what my wife wanted when it was her car. Same dimensions as an Ace and it's comically low for me. One of these days I'm ripping it out for a Sport.

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
9/15/17 5:05 a.m.

Don't worry, I meant that as a compliment, not a criticism. You do offer great advice and honest opinions, that come from lots of first hand experience... So especially people without that are wise to listen.

In my opinion, either was almost 'comically low' from a true rollover protection (let alone helmeted broomstick test) standpoint, but are all also both much better than nothing. If the infographic above is correct, it seems to be whether one inch vertical is worth two inches fore/aft, as well as how much appearances or seatbelt interference matter, to each individual. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/15/17 6:03 a.m.

This is the Hard Core Hard Top Keith is referring to.  Stock '96 seat on the passenger side, old crappy Momo on the driver's.  With these high back seats, there is no chance my head would ever hit it.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/15/17 6:48 a.m.

Mines a stock 2000 with seats that are closer to the na than the later nb. Stock 2000.

The ace sounds like most head clearance. Head clearance is primarily concern for me. Ive already had a few too many concussions. Secondary is least impact to top operation and factory seat belts. 

Woody: thanks. Your autopower install is what caused me to create the thread.

Duke: that install looks pretty good.  Your passengers seat appears to be roughly the same location as where my drivers seat is for driving position. 

Keith: im 5'8, 220lbs. Mostly leg. The top of the seat hits me at mid head when i lean my head back. So that should give a good idea. 

joey48442
joey48442 PowerDork
9/15/17 8:34 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

Hey duke, how tall are you and how long is your inseam? (Hey now...) just wondering as it's time for a new seat for me. 

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/15/17 8:54 a.m.

Ooh. Didn't think about listing inseam for size descriptor.  30 inch inseam for me.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/15/17 9:32 a.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

Duke: that install looks pretty good.  Your passengers seat appears to be roughly the same location as where my drivers seat is for driving position.

 I used that pic because it shows both stock and non-stock seats.  I have since removed both those seats and gone with Corbeau FX1 Pros on both sides.  These are mounted on adaptors and factory sliders.  Both are not quite all the way back on the slider in this pic:

joey48442 said:

In reply to Duke :

Hey duke, how tall are you and how long is your inseam? (Hey now...) just wondering as it's time for a new seat for me. 

I'm 5'-10" with a 29"-30" inseam.  I weigh north of 250 and these seats fit pretty comfortably, but I carry most of my weight above my belt buckle, not in the hips.  Daily driving, I leave the bottom cushion in, but pull it out for autocross.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/15/17 9:42 a.m.

Duke, you can do a few things to drop those seats down if you want. Easiest is to replace the bottom pad with an inch of blue Confor foam - the same stuff sold by Pegasus as "Backsaver". Makes them more comfy and snuggles you down. You can also trim the bottom legs off - the threaded portion is fairly high in the seat, the legs just act as spacers.

FYI.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/15/17 10:39 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Great to know, thank you.

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
9/15/17 10:11 p.m.

Dusterbd13,

You're in Charlotte, right?  If it helps,  I have a 99 with an Ace bar installed you could check out in person if we can coordinate schedules - I'm out of town through Wed next week.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/15/17 10:27 p.m.

Man, that would be fantastic! I work in Charlotte a few days a week. And im in no hurry. 

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
9/21/17 6:55 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

just sent you a PM with contact info.  I should be able to meet up next week.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
9/21/17 8:14 a.m.

In reply to sevenracer :

Got it and replied!

Blaise
Blaise Reader
9/21/17 8:32 a.m.

Blackbird bar on my car. I've heard some horror stories (both from real friends and online) on the fit/finish on the HD bars. Price was almost identical after shipping anyway and the harness bar ended up working out pretty nicely. And the fit/finish were both perfect. I just kinda wish I splurged for the GT3 for the sweet X-brace.

https://i.imgur.com/BOavut8.jpg

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/21/17 9:10 a.m.

Fit and finish on my Hard Dog were great, but it's at least 10 years old at this point.  Can't vouch for newer units.

My buddy recently installed a Blackbird GT3 in his NB, and it looks like a very nice piece.  I don't know how hard it was to install but I didn't hear him complaining.  The finish is very good.  The X-brace with gussets looks like it might interfere with rear view a bit, but I haven't sat in his car.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/17 10:16 a.m.
Blaise said:

Blackbird bar on my car. I've heard some horror stories (both from real friends and online) on the fit/finish on the HD bars. Price was almost identical after shipping anyway and the harness bar ended up working out pretty nicely. And the fit/finish were both perfect. I just kinda wish I splurged for the GT3 for the sweet X-brace.

https://i.imgur.com/BOavut8.jpg

How did you get a BFW bar as cheap as $550 shipped? Hard Dog Hard Core single diagonal is $455 plus $95 shipping.

As you can imagine, we're the first people to get a call if there's a horror story about fit and finish on a HD bar we've sold. It's very uncommon. 20 years ago, they needed a little more finagling to get them in but not anymore. The BFWs do have some nice looking touches like the decorative gussets, but they're not in the same price range that I've seen.

Blaise
Blaise Reader
9/21/17 10:24 a.m.

Keith - I wasn't looking to put you on blast.

The HDHCHD (now known as the Fat Boy) is $505 plus $95 in shipping plus $150 for the harness bar and addl shipping. That put me at $750 so paying another $50 for the blackbird seemed trivial. I'm well aware that there's lots of folks who are very happy with their HD bars, just sharing what I've personally heard from friends. If it's truly that rare then it's good to know.

I do believe my friend who had a large gap on one side when he went to install his HD bar got his refund handled appropriately. Never said FM had poor customer service!

(in fact I had to set a local guy straight via FB last night when he said FM told him to 'shove it' after he tried to buy a single V-max coilover for his wrecked car. He didn't understand that 'sir, we don't have a spare set in stock that we can split up for you' doesn't mean 'shove it' in any sense)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/21/17 10:50 a.m.

I don't know what it is about V-Maxx owners, they're always wrecking coilovers. We don't get those requests from other suspension customers. Which is awkward, because the V-Maxx are the only ones we get in sets. We will split up a set to provide warranty and repair parts for our customers, but if you wrecked a shock you got from a cut-price vendor overseas, well, we recommend you go back to that vendor. I know the case you're talking about and it was a coilover set sourced elsewhere.

On your car, you don't need the M2 HC because there's no roof and thus no glass rear window. You could use the M1 (aka NA) version which is $455 with a single diagonal and integrated harness bar, or $465 for the Hard Top version. That's the direct equivalent of your bar.  $550 or $560 shipped, which is 2/3 the price of what you paid. Just trying to correct a misperception on the pricing before it becomes internet "fact".

If you did get the Fat Boy with the additional harness bar, there should be no additional shipping if ordered at the same time.

I'm not going to claim the HD bars are flawless - nothing is. But problems are few and far between, especially considering the number of bars they ship and how long they've been shipping them.

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