How to Install the Striker Plates on a Miata

by Joan Greylord
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Striker plates on a Miata hold down the sides of the optional removable hardtop. They attach to the car's interior side panels and are positioned in front of the seat belt towers. Striker plates are usually sold in kits containing a left plate, a right plate, and screws. This is a moderately challenging do-it-yourself installation if you are comfortable using a grinding tool, drill and cutting tools.

Step 1

Put the hard top on the Miata, making sure that the rear of the top is positioned correctly on the Frankenstein bolts. Close the front latches that secure the hard top to the windshield. The hard top's side latches should remain open.

Step 2

Line up the striker below the hard top's open side latch. Hold the striker plate in place and mark the position of the screw holes with a pencil or marker.

Step 3

Make the screw holes using a grinding tool, or use a 1/8-inch drill. You should be able to see the screw threads for the striker bolts appear as you make the first hole. If you don't see them, stop drilling. Check to make sure that you put the hard top on correctly and that the side latches are in the correct position. Make adjustments to the top, if necessary, then line up the striker with the open side latch and try again.

Step 4

Hold the striker in place and trace around it to indicate the area on the panel that needs to be hollowed out to accommodate the striker. Trace accurately, and note that the screw holes are not centered as you might expect.

Step 5

Use a grinding or sanding wheel, or a cutting tool that you can comfortably and safely use, to hollow out the area on the panel. Go slowly as you continue to make the area gradually larger. Check often to see if the striker is fitting flush with the panel and that the screw holes are lining up.

Screw the striker onto the panel with the provided screws. Confirm that the hard top's side latch securely connects with the striker.

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