Hard Dog Bars

Hard Dog Deuce Rollbar

[1/19/2010] Reviewed by: Fadi Tarapolsi

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a roll bar for those people who don't want a cheap style bar, but are willing to sacrifice the safety of an actual rollbar for the style.

I would never trust this bar in an accident. It came installed on my '96 M when I bought it last year. It does not allow the seat to travel back. This bar will not pass any tech inspection at any track unless you're 5'0" since the helmet of any driver of average size will stick out above the bar. This bar is also a lot narrower (~8") than the real roll bars which will not allow the seats to recline. As far as safety, having the legs come down behind the seat will sacrifice side safety.

I had a Hard Dog Hard Core from my '91 that I scrapped. I took the Deuce out, and put in the Hard Core.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Deuce Rollbar

[1/9/2007] Reviewed by: Drew Collier - chesapeakesails@gmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99-'05

This is a "Cobra" style double hoop rollbar. It can be ordered with side or center mounted braces. There is no structural safety difference between these options. It is available in Black powdercoat or Chrome. It is a real functioning rollbar, not a useless stylebar, but you pay for it. Mine is Black and was $475, Chrome is around $700.

Product arrived in a little over two weeks after order, packaged well, undamaged, and with a free hat! A mechanic friend and I took it to his garage to install it. The install was fairly difficult. It took over 7 hours, and we had some tools not listed in the instructions, foremost of these being: a trim tool for removing those annoying carpet stays, a 90 degree drill for the tight spots (very helpful), a numatic wrench for tightening the bolts, and a grind wheel instead of a hacksaw. This last tool is is imperative, you MUST have a grind wheel for this installation. You will kill yourself if you try to use a hacksaw, the space is too small and there is alot to cut. Without these tools I would estimate a first time installer to take 9 hours or more on the install. Of course it's always faster if you've done it before. Once installed it looks GREAT. This rollbar adds an element of classic style to your roadster, while also adding real safety and boosting driver confidence.

This is a great looking rollbar, but it is also an important piece of safety equipment. Unless you are confident in your abilities as a mechanic, you are best to shell out the extra cash and have it profesionally installed. And if you do install it yourself, Please use the backer plates! They are provided for a reason. If you don't use them, the rollbar will just rip off of the car in a rollover. Bonus: If you rollover your Miata, Hard Dog will send you a new bar free if you send them pictures of the wreck to go on their site. Bonus: Allows driver easy one handed operation of top from seated position. Bonus: Acts as a rear anti-sway bar, stiffening the rear of the car for incredibly tight handling. Drawback: Not compatible with your stock windblocker.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Deuce

[2/21/2005] Reviewed by: rami

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

I chose the side diagonal as I have a 95 with an aftermarket glass window. I was not sure if the window would have cleared the center diagonals as I have to unzip the window when lowering the top.

Installation instructions provided with the product were "pretty" good. Not all info was there - but much of the pertinent info was. This was my first rollbar install and I was very apprehensive - but, over the course of a week, working a bit at night after work, I installed it by myself. Tools that are handy (that I bought) are: a dremel tool for trimming the metal shelf in the car (use the fiberglass reinforced cutting wheels). A 10" bit was needed for the rearmost hole on the bar. An right angle drill helped a lot. 3/8" drill bit was needed for the holes for the mounting plates. Mechanic gloves so you don't slice your hands on the metal. The following websites helped: http://www.madracki.com/miata/modrollbar.html http://www.urbanracer.com/articles/anmviewer.asp?a=101&z=13
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/tanya.mann/Deuce/Deuce1.htm http://www.coneslayer.org/~baj/miata/hard_dog_deuce/

One thing that was not mentioned anywhere was that on mine at least (ABS equipped), the rear mounting plates interfered with two rubber grommets going through the body. They ended up being ABS sensors. Unplug the connectors (behind where the rear seats were) then pull down under the car and the grommet will pop out. Then, you need to buy a 3/4" holesaw and drill a new hole in between the new mounting plates (do that last) and reconnect after mounting the bar. Do not tighten all the bolts until you are complete and be sure you check that you are not pinching any of the wires or you will have to unbolt again (ask me how I know). Cutting the fuel tank cover was pretty easy - I used a sawzall for the big parts and then a dremel again for the smaller cuts (just line it up and cut - it will be pretty obvious). The duece also did not interfere with the seat belts or the ECU brackets - a bit easier install in my opinion that what I read about in those. Take your time and it will go in. Email if you have any questions at caffe_capri@yahoo.com. I called Hard Dog for the ABS sensor and they answered my question right away so product support is great from them.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/4/2004] Reviewed by: John Littlefield - john.littlefield@mci.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Double Hoop Roll Bar

I installed in a '99 and I have a hardtop. The bar installed without any major problems. But the instructions could be more descriptive and more pix always helps. A couple of helpful tips...after removing the fuel tank cover, you have a nice view of the wires/connectors on either side of the package shelf. Take a digital picture of each side so you know what went where, specifically the ground wire on the passenger side and the sensor on the drivers side. You will need to re-fit these after installing the bar. Step 4 describes cutting the package tray 12" on each side. It's much easier to use a sawz-all and cut the 4 tack points and just remove the lip completely, after removing the bolts. Step 5, installing the bar is much easier if you have removed the seats first. Step 7, rent the angle drill at Home Depot for approx $16/day. Having a short 3/8" drill bit is also a plus for drilling from within the car. Step 10, use a Dremel tool to cut the Trim Pane! ls, and take your time.

The bar looks great installed, and tightens up the body. If you want to make sure it doesn't get scratched, wrap every square inch of the bar which doesn't bolt up with rags or such; I was careful with mine and still managed some small scratches, but at least mine isn't chrome. All in all a great addition to my car. Total install time of 8 hours (4 solo, 4 with a helper).

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[5/9/2003] Reviewed by: Frederick W. Winter - rickwinter@earthlink.net

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Double Hoop Rollbar

Product went in as advertised without too many problems. Directions seem difficult in the beginning, but once underway, with the roll bar and the car, everything is pretty clear. I did almost all the installation with the exception of bolting down the feet which I had a body shop do for $80, but with an angle drill, I feel I could have done it all. I spent about 6 hours at various stages. Made a few mistakes and this took extra time, but job was interesting and sometimes fun!

Tom at Hard Dog was great and patient about answering questions. Appears to be a high quality product and I recommend it. I feel much better driving with this added protection.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Core Double Diagonal

Hard Dog Hard Core Double Diagonal Roll Bar

[1/18/2009] Reviewed by: Gregor

Applicable to: '99-'05

Roll bar for safety and some style. I bought mine with a matte black finish, dense foam padding, and vinyl padding cover.

Cutting into the metal around the back mounts and drilling the back holes is difficult; you really need a long bit. A second person is helpful because I put the bar in and out to minimize cutting and minimize the chance of drilling bad holes. You can do it alone, but you increase the risk of damaging your car like I did (scratch).

I add this review to the plethora of existing reviews because of an issue that I had with what I am told is an ABS breather that dwells in the front side of the passenger's side rear wheel well. The breather has a plastic mount that goes through a hole in the chassis. Guess where? You got it: right where the roll bar's rear mount goes. During test fitting, the bar popped the breather out and broke the plastic mount. This information was NOT in the directions for this particular bar on the NB (I told HD about it and I think that they added it). Had I known, it would have been easy to pop out the breather and drill a new hole for it. I have been unable to find a replacement breather, so I left it the way that it is (unmounted) and it has been fine as far as I know: no thumping around or noticeable side effects in well over a year. The paint is okay. There are stickers on it, but they come off and are not obnoxiously located. If I could justify the expense, I would have gott! en the polished finish (yes, even with the padding). The style looks sporty, but buy this one more for the safety than appearance. It is a nice bar that looks safe and I still have a good rear view.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Roll Bar

[8/1/2007] Reviewed by: Pete Adams - adam8905@bellsouth.net

Applicable to: '99-'05 1.8 liter

Hard Dog Sport Roll Bar Double Diagonal, cutting quarter-panels, http://www.bethania-garage.com/install_instructions.htm

I installed the Hard Dog Sport Bar several years ago on my 2001 LS. Yesterday, I finally took on the task of trimming to fit the quarter trim panels. Half a day of experimenting cuts for the drivers side and about 2-3 hrs on the passenger side. Needless to say, the passender side panel turned out easier, nicer and quicker.

I checked the installation guide (templates) under Hard Dog Bethania Garage Inc. to review the template for cutting the quarter-panels. the templates are not to scale but, are good to reference. I have had the panels out of the car for several years and decided to take on the task of completing the job. Fig#4a, I took the panels turned them upside down and traced the outline (top view) onto cardboard, cut-out the traced outline to use as a template for cutting the top-of the quarter-panels. I used the cardboard template and cut out around the top plate, seatbelt and roll bar. Laid the cardboard template onto the quarter panel traced the outline with a pencil and removed (cut) the necessary material. I used tin snips. I would purchase the left-hand, straight and right-hand cutters, comes in a 3-pk. I have also read a dremel tool works good also. On the vertical cut, follow the inside 90 degree and cut the quarter panel in half. Mark the bottom of the cut to a point below the carpet, if desired. For the 90 degree vertical cut (fig #4b) Bethania Garage Inc template, I used a fine mitre handsaw, in order to cut a straght line. Now that you have (2) pieces, it is much easier to trim the excess for a close fit. The tin snips are great to use for trimming. Also had to cut-out the hard top side latch. there is a perforation in the insulation material but following the outline (perforated) insulation cuts out a larger than needed hole. After all of the trimming and the pieces fit nicely, I used door edging on the visible edges, (vertical cuts) on both pieces and the outer semi-circle for the roll bar. To follow the semi-circle, I sliced part way through the door edging for relief cuts. Note; FYI; each time I made a cut or trimmed I took the piece to the car to check and recheck before cutting, like some of the previous write-ups have stated you can't put back what has already been removed. I can take pictures of the completed job, upon request.

Not an installed item

Hard Dog Hard Core Double Diagonal M2

[5/4/2006] Reviewed by: Alan - raen419@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Awesome!!! The welds and overall fitment of this bar are impressive. Definitely makes me feel great about spending the money on it.

Install was easy, eventhough it took 4 or 5 hours. The instuctions provided at www.Bethania-Garage.com were great, and easy to read/understand. The pictures for trimming the rear shelf and quarter trim pieces were very helpful too. Once the bar was in, the overall feel of the car was much smoother during transitions, not to mention the roll over protection makes me feel perfectly safe now (this is my first convertible).

If I buy another Miata, ever, it will have this bar. The change in overall feel of the car during cornering and transitions during slaloming is great. The car feels more controlled and smoother. I can't recommend this bar enough!!!!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[2/14/2006] Reviewed by: Donovan Lee - killaeecs@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is the Harddog rollbar for hardtops.

This is the most poorly documented DIY "bolt-on" product I have ever purchased. When you receive the product you will look inside and find some parts taped to your rollbar. NOWHERE inside is there an invoice to confirm that you got what you ordered, neither is there a parts list for you to quickly check that all the correct parts were included. There IS a page that refers you to Bethania Garage's website, but I mean, give me a break. Is including 4 pages of instructions going to break the bank? I ended up having to print out the instructions on my own, a very bitter minute was spent waiting for them to come out. When the instructions finally come out you see that there are no detailed pictures! Especially since you are going to be cutting the package tray, you would expect a template, a picture, or some reference points. Nope! A pencil-drawn drawing was scanned and uploaded to their website giving you approximate dimensions of the cuts you will need to make. The dimensions they quote are much too small, by the way ... maybe they are trying to calm people's fears about cutting their car? Then comes the installation. Yes my car was on flat ground. But the bolt hole above the seat belt guide just wasn't lined up right and I kept cross-threading the supplied bolts. After spending an hour trying to get everything to fit without modifications, I busted out the Dremel and started grinding away! I had to grind over 1/4" of material out of the pre-existing seatbelt hole and by that time my old woman was calling for dinner, and for me to shuttup with all the racket. Everything went together but not perfectly.

I was not impressed by this product due to the lack of instructions with the kit and a parts list. I also believe that the fit is not perfect and they should at least drill their holes with some slack slots so that everyone can have an easy time. I also bought the pre-formed 40$ high-density foam and I was not impressed with the shoddy workmanship of the double-stick liner inside the pad as well as the thin nature of the pad.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[10/3/2004] Reviewed by: Kyle Towles - kyletowles@sbcglobal.net

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Hard Dog M2 Sport Double Diagnal w/ Harness Tabs


The install took me a little less than 3 hours with the brief help of some extra hands setting the bar in. A 12" bit and an electric impact made it a ton esier. The fit is excellent. The only problem is I smashed the trunk release cable between the bar mounting plate and the body of the car, so beware of that. I am very happy with it and it looks awesom. I hope I wil never get a chance to use it though.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[12/2/2002] Reviewed by: John Nicholson - heyimlaffinatyou@hotmail.com

Applicable to: 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Hard dog hard core roll bar with the double diagonal and hard top options.

The new roll bar has slightly reduced rearward visibility despite the double diagonal option, however chassis rigidity was noticeably increased. I have no suspension upgrades right now, but the roll bar signifigantly tied in the middle of the car resulting in handling increases. The bar weighs about 50lbs and i am confident in its ability in a roll over. I havent tried the fit with a hardtop yet. It took a while to install and it took some creativity (im a novice) but it was well worth it. Installation was at least twice as easy as replacing the top

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[9/7/2002] Reviewed by: Roy Dietsch - roy2003_wasc@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

double-diagonal Hard Dog Hard Core Roll bar

Easy Directions to understand. Took 8 hrs it install with help from a guy with a broken leg. Anyone can do this!

Looks tough! It is super stiff, and beefy. I 'would' trust it in a roll-over!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[5/27/2002] Reviewed by: Jeff McPhate - munitor@bellsouth.net

Applicable to: '90 - '97

SOLO I speck roll bar compatible with stock hard top latches. Main tube angles rearward of Hard Core tube location for more rear head clearance, so requires trim panel cutting.

Special tools that are useful: Dremel w/ small & large sanding drums, tabletop belt grinder. Be sure to read the provided instructions (especially the seat belt reel mounting). Route the electrical wiring JUST before bolting down the bar, as it fits best behind the tube where the seat belt reel bolt attaches ('92). If you have a hard top, pay attention to where the defroster cable routes. Carefully lever the spring clips out of the body where they hold the trim panel in to avoid cracking attachment at trim panel. Spacers for the seat belt tower bolts were long (about 0.040) and trimmed to fit. The hard top latch plates interfered with the main tube and were milled 3/16" narrower on the tube side to give some adjustability. The hard top fits VERY snugly (have to bump the front down to pop it in place) and is tricky to get on and off. It did require a complete re-adjustment at all attachment points. Extend seat belt slot in trim panel to maximum width to improve belt operation.

Would not choose this bar for my next Miata. Instead would install regular Hard Core, which is taller, does not require cutting trim panel, but would require designing and machining new hard top side latches, or buying the ones from Hard Dog. The use of stock latches isn't worth cutting up the trim and having a shorter bar.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[5/26/2002] Reviewed by: Anonymous

Applicable to: '99 +

Hard Dog Roll Bar, cost was $195.00 plus shipping. My car is a 2001 LS. Black powder coated welded steel bar with a decal on it. Extra decal included

The bar came in a large box. Remove from box and you can transport it in your Miata behind the seats. The instrucions were poor but I was able to follow them. Excellent write ups and photos exist in this forum. Check them out for better instructions. I did this by myself, bar has 4 bolt points, top of the seat belt retractor towers and behind the seat at the seat belt take up reel.Install employs larger bolts and spacers to attach to existing strong points on the car. No need to remove seas, jack up the car, or drill anything. You have to take your time, in every way this is a slow process. Whole process took about 7 hours in two shifts. With this bar I can use the existing wind blocker, seats and top work just the same. No obstuction in the rear view mirror. I may go back and redo the panel edges to make for a cleaner install. Recommend using a dremel tool and sander to remove materials on the trim panels. I recommend this part, it is not a style ! bar.

Purchased this from Finish Line, I would purchase from them again. If you have a weak back forget this, you do alot of bending

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Hard Core Hard Top D/D

[4/24/2002] Reviewed by: Tina Csomo - tinabee3@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Four point Solo 1 Legal rollbar

I am very pleased with the way the bar looks in my car, and also like the added security of knowing I have a bar that will be there for me if I ever have an accidental oopsie. (None are planned!!) I got the bar "raw" and had it powdercoated white to match my Miata. After that was done (took the powdercoaters FOREVER!) I had the president of the auto-x club I frequent install it for me, as he does lots of autobody work. He did a fantastic job of the finishing work, and it looks like my car was put there by the factory. He did tell me working with the trim pieces, and getting things to fit just right was a time-consuming chore. I like the fact that this bar bolts down into the body of the car, rather than just the seatbelt towers. Appearance notwithstanding, I now have to get used to how my car handles all over again. My bar did not come with backing plates, so I had to wait a week for new ones to be shipped.

If I ever get another Miata, this will be the first mod it will get!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[3/18/2002] Reviewed by: Ross E. Rudolph - rer@rfpj.com

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Black powdercoat with double diaganols and harness tabs

This takes/develops patience; the end result of which is extremely satisfying

I dealt directly with bethania-garage.com. Cost with s&h and harness tabs was $405. Product arrived in 5 days (including weekend). Most difficult part was lining up top roll bar bolts and spacers to fit former seat belt bolt. Cutting interior trim was scary, but in hindsight much ado about (almost) nothing. Carpet and tonneau cover likewise. Owners of Bethania Garage were ready, willing and able to help. The black powdercoat with tan/black interior looks great.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[10/8/2001] Reviewed by: Steve Austin - stevemaustin@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 +

The roll bar has a double diagonal brace. It's finished in black, and weighs about 50 pounds.

Installing the roll bar was straightforward, but time consuming. It took me about 15 hours total to install it, but I had to go to the store to get tools. Anyway....I reccomend getting a drill with and angle attachment...so that you can drill at a 90 degree angle. Or get a very small drill. The car is stiffer now that I installed this roll bar. I think Hard Dog did a great job manuafacturing this product. When I first saw the bar I didn't think it was going to fit in the miata, but to my amazement, it fits well.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[9/2/2001] Reviewed by: Charles Campbell - Bassmaster790@cs.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

4 point Solo 1 approved roll bar. Made for use with your hard top. Provides for an extra cross brace for sturdiness and improve aesthetics.

The people at Hard were very knowledgeable and helpful with their product Hard dog roll bar appears to be of high quality construction, Directions okay, instillation time consuming but not considered difficult.

I had read up on previous HD installs and reread the direction provided. Everything seem to follow suite. I would suggest taking out the seats beforehand, as this would provide for more room to move about. Before drilling make sure the seat belt mounts line up. I had to elongate the top mounting holes in order to line up properly. I used a Dremel tool with a steel cutting wheel to trim the package tray...I could see how a jig saw would work faster here. Trimming the 1/4 panels will just take time, In order for a a professional installation look. It took me about 8 hrs working at a causal pace. Bar really looks good, makes the car handles better and chassis feels firm. I think this modification with the added roll over protection. give you more peace of mind when cruising.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[8/28/2001] Reviewed by: Nam Tran - nttran1@scu.edu

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Hard Dog Hard Core Double Diagonal, the biggest and beefiest rollbar Hard Dog makes.

This bar is real nice. Gives the little Miata a very aggressive look (from the back at least). Try to do the installation yourself. I was going to bring it to a shop to do, but I'm sure glad I didn't. You'll kick yourself in the butt for wasting $300+ to have it installed.

Installation was very time consuming. Not hard. It took me and a friend with no rollbar installation experience 7 hours to do. 45 minutes was wasted on the passenger side selt beat reel. It was constantly locking up. Stupid, huh? We used a jigsaw to cut the sheet metal. Easier than using tin snips. And yes, do take out the seats. It will make your job a WHOLE lot easier. Believe me. You'll be surprised what you find under there. I found a Macy's card. Contrary to what others have said, I still get the 65mph shimmy. It's not as evident as before I installed the rollbar, but it's still there. I guess I'll have to replace the OEM shocks. All in due time. I bought SFI rollbar padding, but I don't need it because I sit straight up so my head won't hit the bar. It sits about an inch or two above the top of the seat. I'm a safety freak, so I might just put it in anyways. Bottom Line: Buy this and install it yourself. You will not regret it.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[1/20/2001] Reviewed by: mike lam - mlam@aol.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

This bar is very well made with nice welds. It looks quite substantial and gives the car character. I've noted two issues, the seat belts no longer retract normally (it requires hand feeding now) also it renders useless about 3/4" from the top of the rearview mirror. Due to the bar, the handling has changed in feel but necessarily in the level of the car's performance. The car is substantially tighter on bumpy roads. And yes it did help 'exorcise' the 65mph shakes (note: along with the roll bar I also had installed f/r chassis braces and SP8000 tires-so I'm sure these other mods helped too).

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[1/12/2001] Reviewed by: Robert Arance - roberta@uvdi.com

Applicable to:

Hard Dog Hard Core Hard Top with double diagonal braces. I ordered my HDHCHTDD from Flying Miata while they were running their "free shipping" offer before the holidays.

I received notification from Teri at FM that it had shipped from Hard Dog in New York two days later. The roll bar arrived in five days. It was well packaged with no scuffs or scratches. All of the hardware listed in the excellent instructions was included. I was impressed with the quality of the welds and powder-coating (even the backing plates). I installed the bar by myself in seven hours spread over two days. The bar fit very well, but I had one problem that I caused by not following the exact assembly instructions order...I cross threaded one of the bolts that is inserted into the upper seat belt mounts and had to clean the thread of the mount from inside the seat belt retractor pocket. I had no further problems and having all the right tools at hand helped considerably.

I was familiar with the Hard Dog product, through comments here and in others places as well as seeing many installations on fellow club members' cars, and knew they made an excellent product, but I was still impressed with the item when I bought my own. I would buy one again and strongly reccommend it to others. Excellent product...unquestionably the best of the three major roll-bar products available for the Miata.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[1/9/2001] Reviewed by: Gene Matocha - gmatocha@yuroka.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

SOLO I approved roll bar designed for '99+ Miatas.

Although designed for '99+, I installed it in my '96 because the diagonals are spaced wide enough to allow a factory glass (not Robbins) window. Installation: 5.5 hours working alone. The instructions that come with the bar seem confusing at first, but once you're in the car and see what's going on, they become quite clear. Tips here and on the web help too. For the record, I did mine w/ the seats in and didn't buy a long drill bit. As far as the SOLO I 2" over-the-helmet rule...I'm 6 foot, and in my normal driving position my head is less than 2" below the bar. I have serious doubts I'll get 2" clearance with a helet on.

So the question is: Other than safety, how does a RB affect performance? Answer: A few months before installing the roll bar I installed a set of JR sway bars. They made a really noticable difference in the car, but there was a bit more oversteer than stock - especially when applying throttle out of a turn. I figured I could tune it out of the bars (they were set to inner hole front, mid hole rear), but I never got around to it. Much to my amazement, with the RB installed, the oversteer is COMPLETELY GONE! I couldn't believe it. I expected the car to feel a little more sure-footed, but I am really amazed at the results. It's much more solid feeling than I expected. Not being a racer, I can't interpret what is going on with the suspension...but I never would have guesses frame flex played such a huge role. Overall, I'd say the roll bar is the best SUSPENSION upgrade I've made yet.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[2/19/2000] Reviewed by Jeff Worthington - jeffworthington@worldnet.att.net

Applicable to '99 +

I purchased the black powdercoated Hard Dog Sport with Double Diagonals from MM Marketing and picked it up from Tom Berouth at Bethania Garage.

This is an incredible product! I am very pleased with the look this roll bar gives the car as well as the added safety feature.

 I arranged for Tom at Hard Dog Fabrication to install the bar for me. It took about 5 or 6 hours to complete. He did an outstanding job! What a perfectionist. My car looks much better having the bar professionally installed by the artist himself than by anyone else. He took the time to make sure both he and I were happy with the installation. The conversation made the day go by, and I am sure it slowed the installation at times. A couple of his customers/friends even dropped by and added to the flavor of the company. What a well-spent day! If I had another roll bar to do I would go up there again. He has all of the proper tools, knows the tricks to get it in right the first time, and it looks great.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Double Diagonal

[10/6/99] Reviewed by Tim Wood - funboy0@hotmail.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is the new design of the Hard Core roll bar by Hard Dog. In this design the diagonal go from the middle of top hoop to the rear braces without crossing each other(an upsidedown V.) It includes the harness bar, and all hardware.

It gave relatively good instructions, however this is the hardest bar to install. Instalation was difficult due to the tight fit and regitity of the bar. It took about a weekends time to install but I took longer because the car was already down. Most of drilling is easy but alternative methods can be used that they didn't describe. Because of the inflexablity of the bar some of the holes have to be filed out to get the bolds to go in at the right angle. You do need two people at certain times. After instalation, the carpet needed to be cut and that wasn't to hard. The stock seat belts are relocated to a different hole on the bar and this makes them not want to be retracked but a little gently lift does work very well. It doesn't interfer with a three window top except for putting down the window but you get compensation by the rigidity.

A great product, but a difficult do it yourself job.The bar does get hot when the tops up in the sun and it burns alittle when putting window down but oh well. The bar also adds much safety, and makes you feel safer too. It add a little more comfort at high highway speed and when theres a big frecking suv on your tail. The Bar does add a little wind noise but if the radio is on and at listening volume you don't even notice. If you have a k&n cone filter, supercharger, or turbo you probably wouldn't hear it anyway. Gets plenty of comments an is great for needed sticker space. The car feels stiffer and the door and body didn't have the old tendency to rattle, flex, and shake by about 99%. An overall plus, except for a little difficulty installing. If any questions or comments for other then my spelling e-mail me.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Single Diagonal

Hard Dog Hard Core Hard Top Single Diagonal Rool Bar

[12/7/2005] Reviewed by: Russ Bowlus - rcbowlus@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

1.75" dia tubing, single diagonal, blank painted 4-point roolbar.

Installation was fairly painless and took about 6 hours, spread over two days. Cutting the car was a bit scary, but I got over it. We did have one problem with the driver's side top bolt: the big metal support sleeve was too tall by a teeny bit, we had to grind it down ot get the bar to fit in the car. Prior accident damage? Car not sitting completely level on the jackstands? No idea. Installing a hardtop with the padded bar in the car is somewhat of a pain...takes some fiddling and running back and forth between the two sides of the car. My padding squeaks on the hardtop, but that would be solved if I would buy the formed padding that Bethania Garage sells. Visibility out the back is somewhat decreased due to the single diagonal and the extra bulk of the roolbar padding.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Hard Core with singal diag

[6/20/2004] Reviewed by: Driftwood MX-5

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Hard Dog roll bar with singal diagonal. Bar is powerdercoated black.

The instructions were sometimes unclear, but adequate to get the job done with some interpretation. The bar arrived as expected, although there was a minor blemish from shipping. The quality is good with the exception of some bubbles under the finish on the top of the bar. The installation took about 6 hrs working by myself patiently. It fits in the car well and presented no real problems while installing it. The bar feels very solid and stiffens the rear of the car a lot. My tires are worn out to the point that before the bar was installed, the 65 MPH shimmy went from 60 to 75 was very strong. It is now gone. The rear sway's effectiveness rose considerably. The car does feel a little more top-heavy now though, but I think that it is worth the extra rigidity. I am about 6'2" and my head will hit the bar if I lean back, so padding and a lowered racing seat are in my future.

Bar is solid and I have no doubt that it would protect in the event of a rollover. The bar fits under the soft top well, but hits my head when I lean back. Definitely helps handling way more than it hurts. Eliminates shimmy and stiffens the rear up nicely.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Hard Bar

[5/7/2002] Reviewed by: Bob Vandenberg - mrwizard@prodigy.net

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Single bar roll bar available from manufacturer and other distributors on line or in catalogs

Great. Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent to the roll bar manufacturers that pretty much sums up my experience: I just installed my Hard Bar this weekend and it could not have been more simple if you had been there coaching me. The fit was right on the money, the instructions were clear, understandable, and greatly assisted in making this a true DIY project for two people.

I especially liked how all of the parts were fitted together for the seatbelt connectors. Made it very easy to just slip on and tighten down. It was a fun experience and I enjoy how the car handles stiffer as a result. And my girlfriend and mother are happy that I have the protection provided by the bar given the weather conditions up here in the North Oregon/South Portland area. I would only make one small suggestion. That maybe you provide in your literature, templates for the sections that have to be cut out of the side panels. This will make a job that involves some guesswork and redoing, into a much smoother process. And my assistant likes the hat that was included. He now has his own hat to wear when driving in the car with me.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/9/2002] Reviewed by: Evan Wenzler - Evan123@att.net

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

HardDog Hard Bar (single bar style) For all miatas with or without hard/softtop with glass.

Over all I love the bar. The installation was a real pain. Derections were a little hard to understand at first but everything that you do to the left side of the car, you do to the right. So, this was basicly a mirror image project( great for 2 people, Thanx Dad.) Luckly I haven't had to "test" the bar. I can reall tell how it makes the car feel tighter around corners. Thanks a lot Hard Dog. Evan

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[4/26/2000] Update by Tim Wood - funboy0@hotmail.net

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

I installed  nother rollbar, same make, model, and style, on my other 90 miata, I have two. However this time I had the luxury of a wizard power rotary tool and my fingertips. It did fit a little better, and the drilling out of the holes was much easier. Last time I spent about two days with a rat-tail file to get my holes to line up, this time I used the little rotary tool and only spent a few hour. Did notice, the instructions changed a little, for the better, but they still leave out that it's much easier to take out the seats. Also on the seat belt reels, before they wouldn't retract very well, because a weld was keeping them at an odd angle. This time I used a little washer to put the reels up a little over the welds and it works much better.

On my other '90 I have a three window top and it works much better with the roll bar, because the main window unzips directly around the window and then it slips right under the harness bar. This time I have the normal top, and am very thankful they give you the little window bar free. For the other one I didn't even know why they send it, but now I do! Also I know somebody was taking all their speakers in their back shelf out to put in their roll bar. I found it doesn't matter. I am now installing two 6.5 inch kickers in the shelf and they fit fine no problems with the roll bar. The bar has made it easier to put them in because I had the back all a part. as before if questions, e-mail me to ask. My other e-mail is timw@forteisp.net .

[10/22/2000] Reviewed by KEVIN RICHARD - RICHARDkev@aol.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a solo 1 approved bar (if you meet the 2" over the helmet restriction). Mounts in 4 points and has one diagonal.

Installation went relatively easy. I took the suggestion off of one of the other reviews on the net and used a jigsaw to cut the rear parcel shelf. It took only seconds to do! A 12" or longer 3/8 inch drill bit and tin snips were the only other special tools I used. Total installation time was 6 hours - with my 3 year old daughter "helping" me. Reading info from the garage at miata.net, as well as the other reviews were very helpful. I had read and re-read often enought that I felt I could do the installation in my sleep - I'm sure that helped.

I bought to allow me to hit the track. Together with a 4 point harness and a Snell 95 helmet it worked as a terrific stress reliever! One other comment - get some padding for the bar. I bought from Classic Motor Works in Winnipeg. Anyway, I was rear ended and suffered a minor concussion when my head hit the bar. Both miata and I have now recovered fully.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Hard Dog Hard Core Hard Top Roll Bar

[10/14/2000] Reviewed by Bob McCouch - bob@mccouch.com

Applicable to '90 - '97

A 1.75" diameter DOM-tubing, 4-point bolt-in rollbar.

Upon ordering the HCHT from Team Miata, I was informed that it would take 3-5 weeks to recieve the piece. Just as they said, about 3.5 weeks later, UPS knocked on my door. The product was well packed and protected, and all parts, hardware, and instructions where included.

I thought it would be prudent to check out a few more installs on the 'net, and I found 3 good articles detailing others' experiences on Miata.net. They were very helpful.

Installation was actually very straight-forward, with nearly half the effort going to prepping the car for the install and making everything look nice when you're done. Installation of the actual bar was completed in just under 4 hours using basic tools and a lift. Actually pretty simple, and with the help of a couple friends, it went very smoothly. The car looks "racier" and will help protect my brain during any unforseen incidents. Overall, I'm very satisfied and suggest this bar to anyone looking for the ultimate in safety.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[8/1/2000] Reviewed by Rickie Garcia - Lovers1525@aol.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is the rool bar designed for the 99 and above Miata. It has the main loop with two additional supports from the back.

The bar was designed and made to fit the 99 and above Miata. I installed the newly redesigned Robbins Sunfast top with the glass rear window that folds down seperatly from the top and is slightly larger. I called The Dealer Alternative and they told me there was no bar for my top. I then decided to take out the middle man and called Hard Dog directly, the gentleman was very kind and told me that the 99 bar would fit my 92 with the window. So I ordered it and they didn't send it out when they told me so a week later when I called them and told them I haven't recieved it they sent it out, no ig deal I was too busy to install it anyway.

The install took me awhile to do but oh boy was it worth it. TAKE YOUR SEATS OUT, and have the top down like he says. With the seats out you have plently of room to walk around. My install took longer because I have two different seat belts and the bolt wouldn't go through one. The bar made a huge difference in the car. Many of the vibrations are gone, all of them would be gone if it weren't from the 40 series tires on the car. I would go the the trouble again and again if I had to just to get the result TRUST ME, BUY IT!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[5/30/2000] Reviewed by Bill Aldrich - bamtg@pacbell.net

Applicable to '90 - '97

Hard Core Double Diagonal Roll Bar

I followed the instructions, with the exception that I removed the seats before starting. Many thanks to a prior post recommending removing the seats. I did the entire installation by myself. It took about 6 hours at a leisurely pace. I never removed the bar after putting it place the first time. The instructions are pretty weak. The should include better information about where to drill the holes for the rear plates. Hint the first drilled hole, which goes thru the inboard elongated hole should be put as far outboard as possible in the slot, otherwise the bottom plate won't go in because of frame rail interference.The holes in the rear plates seem backwards. The slots should be on the opposite side from which you are drilling. This would give you more leeway for drilling error. Instructions on how and where to trim the carpet would have been helpful.

I like the bar, looks good, car feels stiffer. I'm about the maximum size for a Miata and moving the seat all the way back and reclining to the full angle the top/side of the seat interferes with the bar and squeaks likes crazy. I'm going to put something slippery to try to quite it down. I'm going to add roll bar foam ASAP as my head could easily hit the bar in a collision.

I have the tools for this type of work and paid for a mechanical engineering degree by being a racecar fabricator, so my experience may not be typical.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[5/14/2000] Reviewed by Stuart Jones - stu@carolina.rr.com

Applicable to '90 - '97

4pt (with diagonal) rollbar, SCCA Solo I legal, fits under both tops

Install is a pain; not technically difficult, but it took me several tries to get the package shelf trimmed correctly, and the constant lifting of the bar in/out of the car wore heavily on my back that day.

What can one say about a rollbar, something that essentially just sits there and, with any luck, is never really put to use.

Does it stiffen the car? Undoubtedly so. The difference was somewhat apparent when driving, but much moreso when jacking the car. Put the jack under the front position, and both wheels on that side will come off of the ground, pretty much at the same rate, and the other front wheel comes very close to lifting fully off the ground too!

Rollbars make Miata look kewl. Seatbelt extension & retraction suffered, but you get used to it. I bought a set of 6pt harnesses to go with the bar (NEVER use harnesses without a REAL rollbar!), I end up using those as much as I do the factory seatbelts. The diagonal will be very prominent in the rearview mirror, but you get used to that, too. It bothered me for about a week, but after that, I barely notice it being there.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[9/1/99] Reviewed by: Kevin Morrison - kevin@sunriders.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

This is a four point roll bar, single diagonal, with harness bar.

Overall, this is a very well-made bar. Welds are good, bends are nice, powder coat finish is good, and there's no doubt that this bar will save your bacon in a rollover. It is very substantial. I had very little trouble with the installation. All the holes were in the right place with the exception of one at the base of the seatbelt tower that had to be elongated about 1/4". After trimming the sheetmetal in the car that has to be trimmed, I just lifted it up into the car, lined up the holes (elongated the one hole that didn't line up), then drilled the new holes and bolted everything down. Pretty easy.

I got the hardtop model not because I have a hardtop, but because I'm short and don't need the extra height. Comparing mine side-by-side to a regular Hard Core bar, I can hardly tell the difference. Mine just sits a little bit farther back so as to clear the place where the hard top side latches would mount (if I had them).

This is a hand-made product and as such is prone to slight differences in fit. If you are going to install it yourself, be patient, and think things through very thoroughly before you go drilling more holes or fabricating spacers or other such work-arounds. Mine required none of that. Also, on the hardtop model there are tabs that are above the seatbelt towers. These are intended to be bolted to the seatbelt towers, but on at least 4 bars that I looked at, none of the tabs lined up well enough to be bolted to the towers. Don't worry about it - you've already got 4 mounting points with 14 bolts.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Hard Core Hard Top Bar

[9/1/99] Reviewed by: Peter Allendorfer - pallendo@netscape.net

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a 4 point Roll Bar with 1 Diagonal Brace. It is made to fit under your hard-top if you have one. There is also a regular Hard Dog Hard Core bar that does not fit under the hard-top, but both will not interfere with the soft-top. (Except make it hard to do without getting out of the car....)

This is a very easy to install MOD. Just takes LOTS AND LOTS of time to do it right. The bar itself is fairly light for the amount of protection it provides. And it is rated for quite a bit of protection. This Roll Bar is SCCA SOLO I approved. Meaning that it is approved for use at large road-racing circuits for roll-over protection. Much more protection than the "sport bars" can provide. This bar also has a bracing bar accross the bottom that lets you connect 5pt. seatbelts to it.

Overall I am very happy with the looks and the extra protection that this bar provides. I have gotten comments about it from all sorts of drivers on the road. From, "Wow, that looks nice" to "Do they make that bar for MG's?".

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Hard Bar

[9/7/99] Reviewed by: Jesse Lee - jesseclee@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 +

Single hoop roll bar w/ no buttress bars or diagonals; $195 from PBC

1. Product: The bar weighs 13lb together w/ all the included hardware.

2. Installation: It would have been a simple and fun bolt-on exercise were it not for the TERRIBLE fit. The top bolt holes were well located, but the bottom holes were well off. Do not attempt this without some power grinding tools. BTW, the powder coating is very easily scuffed, esp. during the grinding & filing exercise (guess how I found out!) The best way to install this bar is to bolt the bar on using the top bolts only, and then checking the bottom holes to see how much grinding is required. Also, the bottom bolts are so close to the bottom plate and the bar that it is almost impossible to tighten: I had to use an open-end wrench gingerly, and even then I could not tighten down the right side bolt all the way. So, best thread the bottom bolt all the way through the bolt hole first to ensure it turns free all the way, before attempting to mount the bar.

Very frustrating due to 1. poor design of the bottom mounting bolt, which makes it impossible to turn a wrench on. 2. Poor fit for the bottom holes requiring extensive grinding and filing and bending of the rollbar (Yes, I said bending). 3.relocated seat belt brackets has lots of friction, and is likely to fray the seat belts prematurely due to all the rubbing. Unfortunately, when it comes to roll bars (ie. not style bars) Hard dog is the only game in town. I guess there's no real incentive to improve. C+: good idea, good design, lousy execution.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Hard Core 4 PT Roll Bar

Reviewed by: James Liang - james_oceania@yahoo.com

Solo I legal roll bar with rear brace and diagonal.

I did the installation myself. The following is a list of problems I ran into when installing the rollbar in my car.

1. The rollbar has four legs that must be anchor to the car. Unfortunately, one of the rear brace shorter than the other rear brace. It is like a table with a leg that is shorter than the rest. The only way to make the roll bar sit flat on all the legs is with spacers. The difference in height is about 1/4 inch. If you ignore this and just bolt the rear brace down, you will very likely distort chassis and the sheet metal that the rear brace rest on. Not to mention creating a constant torsional load(twisting) on the chassis. Furthermore, it also screws up the transfer of force in case of real roll over since one of the leg does not sit flat.

2. The main loop slant slightly backward toward the end of the car. This causes the main loop to crushes against the trim panel on the top of the seat belt tower. Thus making it impossible to reinstall the trim panel. That needless to say makes the interior very ugly. Again the solution here is to use even more spacer at the rear brace to compensate for the rearward incline! The height of the spacer I had to use is about 3/8"

In the end, one of rear brace sits on a spacer that is about 3/8" high and the other rear brace has to sit on a spacer that is 3/8"+1/4=5/8" high! I had to custom make the spacer from aluminum slabs. I could have stacked some washers under the rear brace but that would have seriously compromised the transfer of force in the case of a real roll over because of the small surface area of a washer. If you value your life enough to buy a rollbar, absolutely don't use washers for this purpose.

3. Each legs of the main loop is welded a small flat metal bracket. After the roll bar is installed, the position of the brackets are slightly above the top of the left and right seat belt. There are two holes drilled into the brackets. The documentation makes no mention of the purpose of the brakets. But one thing is clear, the brakets made it impossible to mount the seat belts! I thought the bracket is perhaps suppose to be bolt on to the top of the seat belt tower. That was not the case at all since the holes on bracket is off center from the seat belt bolt hole by at least one inch! Not only that the hole is considerably smaller then the seat belt bolt. At this point the only thing I can do is to saw this bracket off with a hand saw and file thing smooth. You can probably just imagine the amount work and the number of times I cursed. Right now, the main loop is anchored to the the car at the bottom. Some day, I will custom design and make a bracket that will attach the middle of the main loop to the top of the seat belt tower. I do think that does offer an extra degree of safty.

4. The rear backing plate for the main toop is too long. I had to again saw some material off before I can install it underneath the car.

5. This last problem is ridiculous. All the bolt holes on the roll bar are the exact diameters of of the bolt. Because of this, after the roll bar is black powder coated, all the bolt holds became too small! I had to to enlarge every single one of holes with a file! As a member of a family of engineers, I can assure you this is truly ridiculous!

In summary, it took me 4 days of trial and error to figure out exactly what is wrong to install the roll bar properly. I had completely lost track of the number of times I had to lift the bulky 50LB rollbar on and off the car(SERIOUS PAIN)! While the instruction did not suggest the removal of the seats, just do it. In the end, I had to change in one way or another every part that is send to me with the exception of the bolts and nuts! I even had to replace some of the bolts because they are now too short because of the spacers I had to add. Right now, there are a number of places that is scratched on the rollbar because of the amount of work I had to do on it. So, now I had to repaint it again. I probably will paint it silver. Other advice I have are:

1. Don't drill any holes until you can fit all the trim panels and the two seat belts back on the car.

2. Pay extra attention to the properly operation of the seat belt with the rollbar installed. This is not a place to cut corners.

3. If you have some one else did the installation, you can check the installation of the rear brace by removing the spare tire and the protective metal plate near the car jack. You can check front anchors by removing the carpet on the rear deck.

In my opinion this is a poorly made product.

Reviewed by: Jim Thill - jthill2@ix.netcom.com

This is a Solo I qualified 4 pt. roll bar made of 1 3/4" steel tubing.

I won't go into detail on installation since step by step instructions are included. The instructions can be a little confusing however because they cover all the different Hard Dog Bars and not every step applies to every Bar. I installed the bar myself and feel that anyone with reasonable mechanical skills and good tools can complete the work. You do have to have the courage to cut several panels. (The covers for the seat belt retraction assembly, the fuel tank metal cover, and the package shelf upholstery must be modified).

The people at Hard Dog were helpful and answered all questions that arose. This bar is serious protection and also looks good. I would highly recommend it for anybody who does any track or driving school events, regardless of whether this level of protection is required. The bar also does a remarkable job of stiffening the chassis and reducing vibration.

Reviewed by: Larry Alster - Larry@miata.net

Having decided to install a rollbar I wanted to get one that was Solo I approved in case I ever wanted to move up to this class of racing. I ordered the bar through Bill at Dealer Alternative and it arrived about 1 week later as promised.

After reading over the directions a few times I decided the only thing was to jump in and get started and figure it out as I went. The directions are pretty good, but the templates leave a little to be desired. This is about my only complaint with the product.

I did a few things different and will cover the differences and the problems I had with the job.

I decided since I was working alone I would start by removing both seats from the car so I could test fit the bar easier. This was well worth the 10 minutes it took. I would also recommend removing the bar between the seatbelt towers at this time if you have one. You can reinstall it later if you want to leave it in the car. It would seem to be unneeded though.

The next step is to remove the carpet and then fold down the top. The directions cover what to do about not unzipping the window. I rolled up a beach towel and put it in the window for it to fold around so it would not crease. The one thing I did not do and would recommend is to lay a towel on the rear deck before folding the top. The window ended up with a few impressions in it from the metal panel on the rear deck. I think this probably occurred from the sun and the heat but why chance it. If you take longer than I did to do the job it may end up with the marks from the time the top is folded up.

After measuring, cutting and test fitting I finally dropped the bar in place. Next you are supposed to attach the bar to the car with the bolts that hold the seatbelt retractors to the frame. The directions mention that these 16MM head bolts may have different size spacers on them. What they fail to mention is they may be different lengths. In the case of the drivers side bolt it was to short to reach through the rollbar. Off to 3 different part stores trying to find a bolt to fit. The end result is that this bolt with a METRIC size head on it has a SAE thread. Go figure, it was 9/16-20 threaded!!! After wasting an hour on finding a bolt of the right size I was able to bolt the bar in place.

The next step is to drill a hole on the rear brace from the top using an angle drill. Found that on both sides these holes lined up with rubber plugs in the sheet metal so I just popped them out. I filled the holes with sealer as they were bigger than the bolts and I didn’t want a leak.

After bolting the backing plate in place they tell you to drill the other holes from the bottom of the car. They do not tell you that one of the holes is a slot and where to drill that hole to line up with the top hole. Line the bottom plate up with the frame rail before you tighten it down then drill this hole as far to the outside of the car as the slot allows and it should line up fine.

I must admit that I did not reinstall the carpet myself as I wanted to get my boot modified to fit. I let the upholster reinstall the carpet and do the boot for me. Not doing this part of the job but including the time it took to find the right bolt for the seatbelt mount I spent 6 hours doing the install. I did do this by myself. I think a 2nd set of hands would help but would not necessarily speed up the job.

I think the HARD DOG HARD CORE rollbar is a fine product. The finish is good, the service by Bill at Dealer Alt. and Hard Dog is excellent. Everything needed was included or mentioned in the directions. The diagonal takes a little getting used to since you see it in your rearview mirror. Also since the passenger seat is moved farther forward than the drivers seat now, I see it in my peripheral vision. I’m sure I will get used to both of these items.

Would I buy it again?? YES!!


[12/15/2001] Reviewed by: Aaron Skeen - akskeen@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

This is a four-point, functional roll bar that has two humps above the seats and is made with heavy duty tubing to provide some amount of rollover protection.

This install took about six hours and really required no tools other than what are recommended by the installation instructions. Mine is black and looks great!! It not only provides me with an added measure of security, but it also allows hassle-free movement and access to the top, even with my robbins top/glass rear window. The product arived right on time from Hard Dog and the kit included everything required and went in without any modification. I would recommend this product to anyone interested and commend Hard Dog for a well designed kit. (again this is a great looking, functional, dual-hoop rollbar)

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Extreme

[1/26/2003] Reviewed by: Anonymous

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

This is a double "hump" or "hoop" behind the seats. The thing which sets this product apart from the other hoop "style" bars is that this is a 4 point roll bar. The bar has a cross between the seats which facilitates the four point installation. The front sections of the bar connect to the seatbelt towers (similar to the other hard dog roll bars). The bar itself is constructed of mandrel bent tubing used in the construction of Hard Dog's other roll bars. The quality was first rate.

My experience with Hard Dog was very good the product was shipped on time and in good working condition. The installation process straightforward, and did require two people at several steps along the way. Of all parts of the installation process (spanning 2 days) the worst part of this was when it came time to fit the backing plates used on the rear supports. These backing plates didn't fit quite right and had to be ground down to fit correctly into position. The grinding process took quite awhile. The other process you will want to take your time with will be the trimming of the rear seatbelt "trim" pieces. This is the most visible part of the installation and if you don't do it well it will show, so cut small and increase size if needed. I also recommend caulking along the trimmed pieces where they contact the roll bar, it lends a finished look.

I would recommned this product to anyone who wants the look of a style bar but the protection of a roll bar. Strongly recommended.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

[6/25/2002] Reviewed by: Icehawk - icehawk@attbi.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 +

Hard Dog Double Extreme rollbar in black powdercoat.

No problems with the bar, it installed in about 6hrs with some teamwork and looks great. All the needed hardware and OK directions were included.

The bar works in all models of Miata, glass windows, hardtops, and some windblockers (my Oris works fine unmodified). Rear visibility is barely impaired, the very lower corners of your rearview are occupied by the diaganols. You will also have your chassis brace from '94+ models left over due to the bar location. Stiffness seems to have increased but it is marginal. The seatbelts no longer work smoothly, but they are functional and safe and with some creative plastic trimming I believe I can further improve it. Some trim and carpet needs to be cut but is behind the seats so even a poor job is not too noticeable. Pictures of it installed can be seen at http://miata.cardomain.com/id/icehawk Price: A Installation: B Overall: A

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Sport

Hard Dog M2 Sports Bar

[8/25/2010] Reviewed by: Jim McLean - nmscot@live.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

M2 Spaorts bar with Dual diagonals and harness tabs.

Excellent fit and finish. No issues installing in my '90 NA. Excellent instructions and pictures on WEB site. I few minor alignment issues at top belt mounts and belt reals but easy to adjust. I did pull seats as I was installing a Corbeau seat at same time. Since seats are easy to remove and reinstall I'd advise taking the extra time to pull them to give extra work room. Even doing that it took about 4 hours to install the bar by my self.

Excellent product and give extra protection and security on both street and autocross. Does tightening chassis and improving handling.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Hard Dog, Sport Double Diag

[11/26/2006] Reviewed by: Greg - miatals1@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '99-'05 1.8 liter

Good quality. Fast shipping from FM. Did notice the difference in ride quality and rattles went away.

If you are taller than 6'2" you WILL hit your head unless you plan to sit totally upright. I would suggest the Duce it appears to sit behind the seat no matter the position.

Very nice product with beautiful welds. NOT for someone taller than 6 foot.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Sport w. Double Diagonals

[8/13/2006] Reviewed by: Doug Thomson

Applicable to: '99-'05 1.8 liter

Roll bar with 1.5 inch tubing and double diagonal supports. Also ordered the harness tabs and eye bolts to mount our dog's seat belt - yup, seat belt and harness for man's best friend. Also ordered leather cover and padding for the bar.

Received the roll bar in excellent time and condition. It was very well packaged. One of the mounting pads was slightly bent, but it was not of any real concern. Had to download installation instructions from the internet, but to be honest, the installation is so straight forward that we only used them at the outset. Fit was perfect.

My wife and I had a lot of fun with the installation. We piddled along, and did a bunch of other stuff (fuel filter, painting brake calipers, cleaning road tar from the inside of the Helium's, etc.) while the car was on jacks. Some Miata owners suggest you don't have to remove the seats to do the install. Technically true, but you'll be much happier if you do remove them. You'll have lots of room and a wonderful opportunity to clean up all that "stuff" that has accumulated (if not growing) under the seats. Having a 12" - 3/8" bit was essential and a door panel removal tool was super for taking out the carpet buttons - Tom suggests a hammer, but it really would be a pain. Just buy the right tool, you'll be thankful. Cutting the quarter panels was simple and when trimmed with rubber door trim looks quite professional. Cutting the carpet and boot cover was also straight forward. The leather roll bar cover and padding fit like a glove and finishes the product quite nicely. I'! m 6' tall and have no headroom problems. Excellent service from Tom. All and all a great addition to the Miata.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Hard Dog Sport M2

[4/20/2006] Reviewed by: Ricardo Martinez

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Hard Dog M2 Sport with harness tabs, no diagonals. Supposed to fit M1 Miatas as well as M2. This roll bar is designed to work with glass rear windows, whereas the original M1 Sport will not.

Hard Dog has much better installation instructions and photos on their website now, so the complaints about horrible instructions is a thing of the past. Installation took me a few hours, and I was painting and vacuuming things during the install, so it could have been quicker. I did not remove the seats, and I don't think it is necessary, and I did the installation by myself. The bar weighs around 35 lbs and was easy to lift and manipulate in the car. The installation hardware was excellent quality. The whole package arrived in top notch packaging. The bar finish is excellent. I chose to get the vinyl padding with the bar. A 12" long 3/8" drill bit is helpful with the installation, an angle drill is not necessary. I followed the Hard Dog instructions over all the other instructions I found online and it worked out quite well. I made sure I used some rust inhibitor on all the areas I cut or drilled. I sprayed some undercoating on the undercarriage when I was do! ne to prevent rust. Bled the rear brakes while I was there since the rear wheels were off. The M2 bar is probably about the same difficulty to install as the M1 Sport. The same panels needed to be trimmed, just a little less here and a little more there. I still have to reinstall the carpet and side panels, and I am considering taking the car to an auto upholstery shop so they can trim the carpet and stitch it and the top boot cover at the same time. I will do the side panels when I get up the courage to cut them. I am going to add some rubber door guard strips to try to make it look factory.

Just driving down the road to a local store after the install showed me how much the bar has transformed the car. The suspension seemed to be doing its job better, the car felt more stable, there were fewer noises from the interior and I haven't even installed the carpets yet. I have only driven to the store and back and I feel the bar is going to make a large impact on the handling of the car once I get to the track.

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Hard Dog M2 Sport Single Diagonal

[4/13/2003] Reviewed by: Steven Johns - mx5johns@aol.com

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

M2 Sport/Single Diagonal/Harness Tabs

No problems at all.Installation took about 6.5 hrs.If you do this yourself take out the seats first.That way you will not damage them,or just plain make hard on yourself.I did ,made it alot easier and plesant.Bar went in as per instructions,a little tugging here and there,but not much.I haven't put to many miles on it yet,but already I notice 65mph shimmy is almost gone. Handleing is tighter,can't wait tell the next autocross. All the hardware was there,and the instructions were clear after I took the time to look and handle them and try them out.I would recomend this Bar and DYI if you take your time.

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Hard dog sport roll bar

[12/23/2002] Reviewed by: Dono Royal - donorazor@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

hard dog roll bar for glass windows, no diagonals

After carefully perusing all internet descriptions of the installation procedure, and the instructions included with the product, I decided to re-read everything one more time while the product was in transit. Incredibly, it showed up within four days! Since there are several competent installation descriptions available, I'll just expound on a couple of areas: 1 - read everything there possibly is about this bar before you begin. 2 - do the prep work before the bar arrives. just don't forget which bolts go where!! 3 - I never could figure out exactly what had to be cut in the upper deck area. however, once I attempted to reinstall the silver metal fuel tank cover I discovered what needed to be done! 4 - cutting the trim panels was surprising easy; just take several measurements, and make certain where they need to be cut - I chose to cleave the panel in two as suggested in the hard dog instructions.

5 - once you remove the seat belt assembly, and you think it is jammed - don't worry! the mechanism has a built in gravity sensor. i freaked out, and tried to fix something that wasn't broken!! fortunately, no harm done. 6 - I never could figure out how to reeve the wires around the roll bar, so i just left them where they were, and covered them with the carpet, which by the way, was very easy to trim as well. that's about it. I found that the bar matched right up to all stock holes, and my bar needed no modification at all. Of course, if your vehicle has been in a wreck, this might account for some deviation. I'd say it took me around two days to finish, but i had to work around a tight schedule. I think it was around four hours total, without help! Make sure you bribe a friend.

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Hard Dog Sport M2

[6/8/2002] Reviewed by: Steve Jackson - sjackson1@jam.rr.com

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Black Powder Coated Roll Bar without diagonals

I selected the Hard Dog Sport without diagonals because visibility to the rear is not compromised. The product is well constructed and has a good finish.

I left the windblocker in the up position which it where it stayed before the bar was installed. The Hard Dog pad and vinyl cover looks great, but the padding is rather thin-not too big of an issue if you are 5`10" or less in height. Black plastic door edge guard was used to trim the cut edges of the interior plastic trim panels.The only complaint I had was regarding the installation, which I did not do myself. My installer left two of the twelve mounting bolts out. I strongly recommend If you have someone else install your bar, that you supervise the installation. Make sure the entire install is done according to the manufacturer`s recommendations. Other than that, I am happy with the bar and feel much more secure with it.

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[4/15/2002] Reviewed by: LeGreatOne@aol.com

Harddog M2 Sport Rollbar w/Robbins Top

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Dimensions. In my '95 with stock cloth seats the dimensions are: (1) 10.5 inches from top of cockpit brace upward to main hoop. (2) Seats back, with limited recline allowed 4.25 inches from the top center of headrest to main hoop. (3) With seat back and reclined, closest point to main hoop is 2.5 inches from headrests. (4) There is 33 inches between the rear supports, 11.5 inches from the back of supports to back of deck. (5) My Robbins glass window is 15 inches high, about 36 inches wide at the bottom, 31 inches wide at the top, leaving an inch of fabric on both corners of the window before contacting the rear supports. The material BELOW the window is another 5 inches of top fabric. That 5 inches folds down near the rain rail area at the back of the deck. With the window unzipped, the fabric sort of wraps up and around the rear supports, so there is no glass-to-metal contact. It fits!

I installed a HDM2 Sport Rollbar, non-diagonal version, in my 1995 M1 with Robbins glass rear window top, over a weekend. It Fits! I removed the seats to allow for working room. Lots of Dremel work for the rear side panel trim pieces and then the end caps on my stock side impact/cockpit brace. Also had to cut a piece off the ECU mount bracket; an easy task with a Dremel tool. The rollbar was just a little off on the angle of the flat of the passenger side door jam mount. A few whacks with a sledge hammer bent it just enough. Overall, the install went very well. This rollbar is a quality piece! The improvement in chassis stiffness is remarkable. The rollbar looks good! I'll have to go with thin padding at the top of the hoop for clearance, but think I can use heavier padding on the sides. The hoop fits without interference raising or lowering.

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[3/30/2002] Reviewed by: Adam Wilcox - adamiataebay@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Hard Dog Sport Bar with double diagonals. No harness bar.

Excellent product. Pros: added safety increased chassis rigidity awesome looks Cons: I have yet to find any in a year of ownership. What's not to love?

This was the first modification I made to my '90 Mariner and is my favorite. I would do it again in a second. Best bang for the buck mod that I know of. IMHO the Miata should have been equipped with rollbars like these from the factory. I consider it a neccesity for a convertable sports-car. Do yourself a favor and get one, before you buy the tires, springs, rims, exhaust...you get the idea.

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[2/13/2002] Reviewed by: Marc Wesseling - M_edition94@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

This is a black powder coated 4-point bar with two cross beams.

Does not interfear with seat travel (im 6'1") and it has just enough head room. This is a good looking product, especially with the top down. If you are purchacing a sport go for the DD, it adds protection, and looks hot. I was suprized with the added rigidity the bar gave, the rear end seems to be more stable during high speed cornering, and the car is over all much stiffer. I had no problems with proper bolt alignment that others have experenced (purchaced in december 2001) perhaps they have improved their construction. During installation you are requierd to cut back the metal pan below the carpeting (USE A GIG SAW!) A buddy and I spent over two hours cutting with tin snips & the saw only took about 5 minuts for both sides with a much cleaner end result. Also take your time when cutting the carpet, i cut too far foward, and now have a hole in the carpet around the bar.

This seems to be the best role bar out right now. Evin if you don't autoX or race, this is a needed upgrade for every miata.

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[1/4/2002] Reviewed by: Shane de Burca - debushau@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Powder coated rollover bar.

Decent product, not too expensive, fits in relatively easily once you set aside a good amount of time and patience. Looks well and feels rock solid.

Takes a good weekend to install fully. The instructions with the kit are detailed and adequate for the job. Modification required to the rear parcel shelf - it's a good idea not to use a jigsaw for this - I broke numerous expensive blades. Tin snips are more than up for the job and easier to handle in the confined space. For cars equipped with ABS, the sensor needs to be moved. The convenient thing about this is that I ended up with a predrilled hole for the mount where the ABS sensor went! With a hole saw, it is easy to relocate the sensor. The hole nearest to the frame rail at the rear is hard to get. I eventually drilled a set of small holes with a long drill bit, punched it out and used a tap to get it to the right size. Oddly, the most time consuming part was cutting up the quarter panels to fit back. I followed the instructions' template on the first one and was not happy with the gaps. On the second, with a bit of trial and error, I achieved better results.

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[10/26/2001] Reviewed by: Jason Hirst - jwhirst@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '99 +

Hard Dog Sport with double diagonals and harness tabs, black powdercoat.

We made product, nice finish, no missing parts, well packaged. I installed the M2 version of the Sport Bar in a '99 with ABS. The beauty of this bar was that I did not have to cut the package tray or relocate the ABS harness. This saved A LOT of work! The only grinding required was on the upper bolt mounts into the old seat belt mount location. The passenger side mount was 1/8" too high so I had to add a washer there.

Definitely remove your seats to install. The lower bolts from the seat belt retractor that you no longer need match up perfectly with the harness tabs for harnesses without clips. Don't worry if the bar mounting plates appear slightly off, they will bend once torqued into position for a flush fit.

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[10/19/2001] Reviewed by: Jeff Lipschultz - jefflipschultz@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Black Roll Bar (no diagonals); true protective version.

Looks great. Everything operates as normal, although stock "windblocker" had to be removed.

I took the easy rode on this one. I had Tom McGrath of Miata Technologies (Dallas area) install it. He was great--came and got the car during work and came back with the job done later that day.

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Hard Dog M2 Sport Bar

[4/16/2001] Reviewed by: Evan Andersen - sctrialsin@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 + 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

The latest issue from Hard Dog. Designed for the M2, it allows use of a glass rear window on the M2 or M1.

I got the single diagonal version. Installation was a real chore, as any serious bar would be. The results were worthwhile--I would certainly do it again. Fit and finish were perfect. I would advise mounting the bar with all the factory-drilled and tapped points first (seat belt tower and seat belt reel bolts) before drilling the body. My install manual may have been missing a page, so I missed this part. Also, grind off the top left mounting stud for the ECU which is behind the pass. seat, before putting the bar in the cockpit.

The bar looks great, the powder-coated finish won't chip off. Makes your Miata much more sporty looking, and chassis stiffness for the rear end is a bit improved. I had a little trouble deciding between the Hard Bar (no rear braces) and the Sport Bar , because of price, and ease of install (the Hard bar installs in about half the time). Even though the dealer assured me that Hard Dog does not make any mousetraps, I felt much more secure with the braces. The extra cost is certainly cheaper than a burial plot.

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Hard Dog Sport with Double Diagonals and Harness Bar

[8/22/2000] Reviewed by Carol Donaldson - health4u@icubed.com

I am associated with a company that sells or manufactures this product.

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Hard Dog Sport Roll Bar with Double Diagonals and Harness Bar

I ordered the roll bar from The Crazy Red Italian in Florida, Jane handled the order. I received the bar within 10 days from the order date, it was shipped directly from the manufacturer.

The bar arrived without any damage in shipping (except maybe the UPS man's strained whatever). I read the instructions a couple of times to familiarize myself with the work to be done. I also read all the reviews and downloaded additional instructions from some of the sites that had them. I spent about 1/2 hour organizing my tools which included the recommended ones with the instructions and also a few pneumatic ones ( saw, rachet, drill, hammer). At this point I have to say it took me about 5 1/2 hours from start to finish. That included a few short interruptions. It all went together without a hitch. Bravo to the manufacturer for a superior product and more than adequate instructions. I would recommend this to everyone who wants a roll bar and they should consider the install themselves. All it takes is time, patience, and understanding what is involved and doing it! I have no previous roll bar installation experience.

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Hard Dog Sport with double diagonals & harness tabs

[7/15/2000] Reviewed by Daniel Vandeputte - vandeda@nycap.rr.com

Applicable to '99 + 1.8 liter

Hard Dog Sport rollbar with double diagonals and harness tabs for M2 Miatae.

This product is very well constructed, but did not line up with the seatbelt tower very well. I had to do some grinding with my dremel tool to get the holes to line up. I also had to cut the provided spacers because they were too long. Cutting the interior trim and carpet was the hardest part of the job since it requires a trial and error process of cutting then fitting until it fits right. Unlike most people's installs, I had 1 additional step before mounting the bar of painting the newly drilled holes in the chassis to prevent any possible rusting.

But once the product is in it looks great. There is a tad less noise from the convertible top when driving over rough. I get lots of good comments and questions on the bar. I haven't installed SFI certified rollbar padding yet because I'm short and sit a fair distance from the bar, but I highly recommend installing SFI certified padding to protect yourhead and any friends/SO's who are riding shotgun.

If I were to do it again, I would opt for the Hard Dog Hard Core because this bar doesn't require modifying the interior trim, making the installation process simpler. And the additional height provides a little extra space for protection (I have complete faith in the sport bar's strength).

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Hard Dog Sport Bar for hardtop with double diagonals

[7/18/2000] Reviewed by ron mirabile - raceme@san.rr.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

M2 4 point Roll bar with double diagonals. This unit was made for hard tops (my Miata is a convertible, explain below.

Ordered directly from Bethania Garage (Tom). Very nice people, GREAT product, arrived with all needed parts and instructions. Instructions were simple to follow, very solid product, bolts down in 3 locations. After discussing my height 6'2", and I wanted to be able to have seat as far back as I could and recline without hitting my head on the bar, he recommended the M2. Rear bolts holes were a pain to drill, after drilling first hole, use metal file to round and shape holes then use bracket on underside to drill remaining holes.

Highly recommend the leather wrap and also getting a Dremel tool to cut interior pieces, looks like it came from the factory when installed. Took 2 days as I took my time and did the install without a 2nd pair of hands. Remove seats for easier install. Looks GREAT!

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Hard Dog (Sport) Roll bar for M2

[8/1/2000] Reviewed by Anonymous

Applicable to '99 + 1.8 liter

M2 Sport Bar with double Diagonals, black with leather cover

Difficult to install. Did it myself. Took all of last Saturday and half of Sunday. Difficulty came from 1) tightening the 3/8" bolts and 2) trimming the quarter panels. The 3/8 nuts are special with "teeth" on end to grip bolt. This is good to ensure they never loosen but bad for tightening. Just tightening one would "wear" me out. Doing three on one leg was cause to rest for awhile. Otherwise I would have finished in one day. Since I am not a perfectionist, I just cut the quarter panels in half but even then, it took more triming to get them to fit. And the result does not look OEM but is fine with me. Also I was disappointed with the leather cover. It is not wide enough and the velcron strips are barely attached.

Great product. Solid. Looks great (except for the quarter panels). For my bar and my car, only the two top bolts over the seat belts were difficult to bolt on. I only hand-tight the lower seatbelt bolts and then force the top bolts in. Grade 8 bolts must be hard because the threads did not strip. Tips 1) remove seats 2) wedge a 14mm wench with a rag/block of wood on the inside 3/8" bolt/nut; then as you tighten the other end, the wench will be wedge against the sidewall and the bolt will hold for the 40 ft-lbs of torque; at end, turn in other direction a bit to loose the wench 3) I spray-painted in each hole I drilled and applied silicon sealent around back bracket

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[6/15/2000] Reviewed by Armand Aquino - armand_aquino@hotmail.com

Applicable to '99 + 1.8 liter

Hard Dog Sport Bar without any diagonals, but with vinyl padding

I had a lot of reservations buying the HD Sportbar. I've researched and read many reviews about how the fit and finish were questionable. After getting assurances from both Dealer Alternative and Bethania Garage that any alignment issues were resolved, I eventually made the purchase.

I decided to install the bar myself - what a pain! I decided to do the job myself since I didn't feel that any one else could do the job better. It took me about 1 full day. In hind sight, I would remove both seats to make the installation a lot easier. The instructions were ok, but I was able to leverage the numerous pictures of other people's installations on the net.

After the installation, I must say that I was VERY happy with the product. The car was noticeably stiffer. The car also looked great with the addition of the optional leather/vinyl padding ($85 and $45, I believe).

Next time, I'm having Apex Automotive in Massachusetts do the installation for me. I saw a car that they did and was quite surprised to see that it looked like they did a GREAT job - for example, the rear deck carpeting was cut PERFECTLY around the rollbar. This attention to detail would lead me to believe that they did a great job.

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[5/15/2000] Reviewed by Russell Rudez - EunosRoadster99@aol.com

Applicable to '99 +

The HD Sport bar is a rollbar that mounts in 6 places for support. Thats about all I can say good about it...

I have SOOOO may complaints about this bar, it literally wont fit int he space provided. Email me and I'll gladly run down the list for you!

I shouldve bought an Auto Power roll bar. I had one in my 98 Eclipse and it was a work of at. This thing just flat our SUCKS. I will *NEVER* purchase an HD bar again!...LOL..Safe....HOW WHEN YOU HAVE NO SEATBELTS!!!!!!???????

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Hard Dog Sport Bar w/ diagonal

[1/20/2000] Reviewed by Anonymous

Applicable to '99 +

Roll Bar for M2 Miata (MX-5).

Incredible product! My '99 sport bar looks incredible! My car is so solid now it feels like it has a roof! It looks as if it came from the factory with it! Well worth the $285. I recommend you spend the additional $85 for the custom fit leather pad.

To everyone Get a Hard Dog brand roll bar and if you can, get Tom Beroth (Mr. Hard Dog himself) to put it in.

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[1/12/2000] Reviewed by dee.w.k.hicks - dwhkc@bellsouth.net

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Single loop roll bar

Easy.. I was prepared for the worse and got the easiest Ive had on aftermarket rollbars. One small flaw on the paint, and when shock tower was tightend the paint did blister up on both sides. It did take 2 people to do the job. Most of the time was spent by me when I had to cut the trim peices.

I have placed roll bars in 3 cars, a bug, a camaro, and MGB. This was the easy one. I would also go to say that it did tighten up the rear end of the Miata. Corners are like riding a rail. NOw all I have to do is tighten the front up.

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[12/3/99] Reviewed by Bob Brackett - RJBMTNBKR@aol.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Sport version. Single hoop with 2 rear braces. No diagionals. Leather cover. Ordered through Team Miata.

Fantastic! This is a win-win-win product. The bar was initially purchased by my fiancée for safety reasons (was she trying to tell me something?). I got the added benefit of a great looking roll bar. Plus, it has really "tightened-up" the handling. I didn't realize just how much my '97 chassis was flexing until I installed the bar. Wow. Both low and high-speed handling have improved immensely (much more than I expected). Bottom line safety, handling and looks - every Miata should have one.

 The key to installation was preparation. Two things really helped out - research & tools. First I printed out several installation instructions (verbiage & photos) from the miata.net/garage and reviews in miata.net/products/wb. Referring back to a photo made cutting & drilling my Miata more palatable. Second key to success was having the right tools. I took the $250-$300 shop installation fee and bought $300 worth of craftsman tools (hey-it was Christmas). Specifically for the installation, I got several heavy-duty dremel cutting wheels (to cut sheet metal, ecu bolt, etc), a dremel metal grinding bit (to auger out bolt holes), a long 3/8"; drill bit and a pair of tin snipes. After doing my homework, there were no surprises. I ran into the same basic problems as everyone else (mostly bolt holes not lining up). All were fixed by auguring out the holes with the dremel and/or realigning everything (I tried to leave as many bolts as I could loose to allow the bar to shift as necessary).

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Reviewed by: Keith Tanner - keith@miata.net

A roll bar with rear bracing that fits under both hard and soft tops. Optional harness bar and leather cover were also purchased.

I ordered directly from Hard Dog. They're a pleasure to deal with, and very friendly. The installation instructions have recently been rewritten, and were quite helpful. Also useful were the instructions provided on the Team Miata website. I was able to install the bar by myself in an afternoon, including trimming the side interior panels. Tip: take the seats out first!

For drilling the three problem holes on each side at the back, I used a combination of Hard Dog and Team Miata methods. The first hole was drilled with a 12" long bit from above, then the backing plate was used as a template to drill from below. This worked quite well, and there were no real problems with the installation. The bar fits perfectly, with the exception of one backing plate that sat too close to the frame rails. A short bit of work with a grinder was sufficient to shorten the plate. A Dremel tool was useful in cutting the slots in the rear deck.

I also have the leather cover sold by Hard Dog, and it's a beauty. It fits perfectly and is both functionally padded and finishes the look aesthetically.

The bar has proven to be very easy to live with, requiring almost no change in my habits. My tonneau no longer fits, unfortunately. Overall, I am extremely pleased. It's a much more satisfying modification than the Racing Beat Style II I had on my car briefly as it is better looking and functional.

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Reviewed by: david hembree - mary4talbutt@earthnet.com

protective roll bar

The bar came within a week and a half after being ordered from the Dealer Alternative. They were helpful taking my order over the phone after losing a previously sent internet order. At first, it appeared that the incorrect bar had been sent when I set it into the car. There were not any points (exposed) to mount the roll bar. After breifly skimming the instructions, I, along with the roll bar, headed to my father's tire shop for installation. Installation went smoothly with the instructions provided, however a few step-by-step pictures could have helped. We also installed a bulkhead brace pirated from a 1994 wrecked Miata. The entire process took about 6 hours.

The results are hard to argue with. The car now possesses a distinctive style with the added bonus of rollover protection. If the added protection isn't enough, it also create a more rigid body and prevents squeaking. If you race your Miata (like me), or if you don't, this item is a must have. A rollbar is alot like car insurance; you don't need it until you REALLY need it.
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Reviewed by: Toby Weir-Jones

Hard Bar Sport with neither the diagonal brace nor the harness bar, powder-coated in black. Installed in a '96. Supplied by Ken Freeze of Team Miata (http://www.teammiata.com) who  also provided invaluable assistance with the installation!

There are already some excellent directions published in the Details, Details section of Tips  From The Garage, so I will only discuss points of the install that deviated from what is already  known.

When we were cutting the passenger-side rear deck (NB: no modifications were needed on my  removable aluminium parcel tray) we used a reciprocating saw. Unfortunately, we didn't notice  that a big wire loom runs underneath that area, so the saw cut into it slightly and shorted out  some power lines. Much smoke, bad smells, and general consternation. In the end we were  lucky and none of the wires were actually severed, so we re-insulated everything with electrician's  tape and all seemed fine. However, a casualty was later discovered: my power antenna had  stopped working. The solution was very easy. There is a fuse holder right next to the antenna  which contains fuses for both the antenna and the rear defroster, even if you don't have one.  Both of those fuses had blown, so I replaced them with fresh ones, and all was happy again.

The hardware used to mount the bar to the seat belt towers all has 17mm heads on my car.  I believe Aaron couldn't quite remember if half of them were 19mm or not. We never needed any  19mm sockets or wrenches for my install. Just 17mm and 14mm.

I was able to modify my ECU bracket to fit around all the bar hardware. Ken took photos on his  digital camera and will probably put them online if he hasn't already. If not, email him and ask  if they're available. We managed to avoid removing the upper mounting stud for the ECU by  simply drilling a small hole through the bar's mounting plate.

Cutting the plastic trim panels that cover the seat belt towers is a complete nuisance. We were  able to do it successfully but it took several tries. Just take your time, and completely ignore  the templates supplied with the bar. They are misleading and difficult to understand.

The bar definitely tightens up the whole car. It seems to be very well-made, though I can only  assume it's as strong as it looks. I really don't want to find out the hard way! The price ended  up being a little higher than I originally expected, since Ken has all the bars drop-shipped from  the fabricator to the customer. In my case, it was shipped to his house, but I still had to pay  for s&h. I originally thought he kept a local inventory. The assistance provided by Ken and Jim  was greatly appreciated, and certainly worth the premium I ended up paying. The whole install,  including removing carpet, disassembling car, fitting and fastening bar, reassembling car, trimming  plastic, and all the rest of it, took about 10 hours, including a break for lunch and occasional  ogling of Ken's cars. We weren't really pushing hard, however, so it probably could have been  done a bit faster. Sacrifices to the car gods included a few broken plastic fasteners, the wire   loom incident, and a couple of lost connectors. No blood! All in all, well worth it. The difference  between this and the style bar I had previously are incalculable in terms of strength and safety.

Reviewed by: Maggie Johnson - magsjohnson@cfanet.com

The product was well made. However they need to change the mounting plate on the front struts. It was a chore to get proper alignment with the seat belt bolt. Hard Dog really needs to take the time and write instructions for the installation of the Sport Bar. Having two sets of instructions just added to the frustration.

I would not recommend this type of bar to anyone who is not willing to accept the interior changes. I am planning to have the carpet and boot altered by a good trim shop. I definatly like the looks of the bar and the extra protection it offers. Installation is a two person job, and allow at least six to eight hours.

Reviewed by: Daniel Cohen - daniel@facetime.com

Hard Dog four point roll bar w/ diagonal brace.

The product and installation:

I asked some Miata parts retailers their opinions on various roll bar options and the response was always that "you want the Hard Dog". My car is an ongoing project and I recently de-installed my supercharger to make way for a turbo. I thought that this would be an appropriate time to install the roll bar as an extra measure of safety and for the added rigidity the bar would offer. I ordered the bar on a Friday and received it on the next Thursday. My initial impression was that the bar was well made, nicely painted, well packaged for shipping and quite substantial.

I read the instructions a couple of times and began the install solo. It may just be me but, the parts of the instructions that seem to be the easiest turn out to take the most time. The first step is to remove the carpet from the back deck. There are round fasteners that hold the carpet down. It took me several minutes to break the code of these little "buttons" but after mutilating three of them I improvised with a tool in the tool box left over from a from a home improvement project. Next, remove a panel on the gas tank, remove trim pieces, remove seat belt hardware and trial fit the bar. The first bolts screws into the lower built-in nut of the seat belt unit. The fit here is perfect. Remember, nothing in between the bar and the car. Nothing. The Hard Dog bar is an exact fit that tolerates very little in between it and the car. The instructions specified an angle drill for the drilling of the holes in the rear braces that attach to the rear deck/trunk space. I went to the Home Despot to ask for an angle drill and they had to point me toward the Senior Hand Tool Specialist to advise me. I bought a right angle drill piece and an extra chuck. Both of which ended up not being used. I improvised again. The two front "feet" of the bar rest on the area behind the seat. The drilling and attaching of the backer plates was simple. A partner to wrench or ratchet would be welcomed at this point. These went in easily. Now, back to the rear braces. As I said, I improvised. That means I drilled on faith and a lucky estimate. I was able to drill the forward most hole of the rear brace from the top of the bar, attach the backer plate with the one bolt/nut and drill up from the bottom to find the other two holes. At this point, it's ratchet and wrench time.

The final assembly was replacing the metal cover on the gas tank, trimming the moldings around the seat belt hardware and the bar. Nothing fancy, just taking the time to do it right. The molding goes back into place, re-attach the seat belt hardware with supplied bolts, put the carpet back, trim the carpet for the bar and put those "buttons" that hold the carpet in place back (much easier to put in than take out). Then you are done. Except, of course, for the first aid on your cut and bleeding hands.

The bar gives the added rigidity that I was expecting. The soft top in the down position seems to shake less and therefore that annoying squeaking noise over bumps is greatly reduced. The most noticeable change to me was the suspension seems to be better able to keep the rear wheels positioned around a hard turn. I am not sure how else to explain that. The overall feel is about the same as when I have the hardtop in place only a little more "buttoned down" in the rear suspension. The fit is excellent. The quality of the parts is excellent. The instructions are a two part affair (hard dog and hard dog sport) that are easy to understand. The appearance of the Hard Dog Sport installed in the car changes the Miata's profile. It looks to have purpose, now. The rearward visibility is not substantially effected. My car has been lowered so I am used to looking in my rearview mirror at the license plates of Ford Explorers. I would recommend the diagonal. The benefits far outweigh the added cost and minor change in rearward visibility.

High marks go to Performance Buyers Club. I had stopped shopping there (which is a tragedy being that they are 5 miles from my house) until I found out that PBC was under new management (Pete). My pre-Pete and Khoi experiences with PBC left me unwilling to spend my money with PBC even if they were in my backyard. However, Pete and Khoi have been both helpful and tolerant of me and my numerous questions. Pete even offered to stay passed closing to allow me to pick the bar up and begin my install. Pete and Khoi also put me over the top about the diagonal and the ease of installation. I will continue to, gladly, give them my business. feeling

Hard Dog - Side door bars

[8/6/2007] Reviewed by: C A Cambell - rollyy1@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99-'05 1.8 liter

Side door bars / roll/stiffening bars

Easily installed if you have fabrication and or good mechanical skills. 6 hours total over two days on a 97 STO. The install was fun, and the seat travel is the same. Has to gring off one stud where the ECM mounts, no biggie!! Kit is straight forward and fits great, no problems.

I am an Industrial Engineer B.S and a Materials Science B.S. major, the structural rigidity has been significantly increased. I really notice the steering and handling responsiveness. My suspension kit Tokico springs/struts actually works!! The front / rear strut tower braces that most places sell are junk, little aluminum things. I would like to see somebody make one out of steel tube in a triangular configuration bolted to the firewall that would really finish off the Miata structural integrity and compliment the door bars. Then add supercharger!! Anyway, I think the bars have completely changed the way the car handles and performs on bumps.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Back to Product Reviews 30 September, 2010

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