How To: Fix Ears or Install a Top Strap

Alright, I have never been satisfied by the write up in Spyder Magazine, so here is my more detailed and picture intensive write up on how to fix your cars ears.
Now we have your spyder, with the top up, it doesn’t quite look right. So lets put it down

But whats those folds over the back of the top sticking up? Those my friends, are the dreaded ears.

Ears happen because the top strap is missing. A top strap is a bit of nylon with snaps on both ends that was supposed to come with your car. It appears that many peoples cars were supplied without this part, or it was not installed during the dealer prep. I found my OEM strap in the toolbag, so check around your car for it, often it simply becomes disconnected, and at worst, the top assembly crushed the snap while being closed and needs to be replaced.
Here’s the OEM Top Strap

So lets say you’ve found your OEM Top Strap, have gotten a aftermarket Top Strap, or have made your own. Here’s how you would go about installing it.

First prop the top up half way with a book, box or something similar. Prop it up on the lower bar that runs across the top, if you use the upper one you’ll pinch the tunnel that you need to run the strap through.

Now here’s the connector strap, there’s one on each side of the top. Connect the top strap to this, if using an Outofthebox Top Strap, bend the other end of the strap in half and tape. (This will make threading it through the strap tunnel easier.)

Here’s the strap connected

Now thread the strap around the back curved beam in the soft top assembly.

Now insert the other end into the small stretchy tunnel that runs across the top of the soft top. The finger on the left is pulling the larger tunnel aside, and the right finger is on the smaller tunnel. The white tape is the Outofthebox Top Strap end halfway inserted into the tunnel.

Now using a broom handle and GENTLY push the strap through the top, it should come out the other side.

Remove the broom handle and step to the other side of the car. Here you can see the end of the strap out of the tunnel and the connector strap that it needs to be connected to. If using an Outofthebox Top Strap, remove the tape.

Run the strap through the curved beam as on the other side, and connect.

Now remove the support keeping the top halfway up and lower the top, making sure everything is connected properly and clearing any parts. Step back and enjoy never tucking the ears in again.

This documentation in no way replaces the Toyota MR2 Repair Manuals. The purpose of this content is only to provide supplementary information to fellow MR2 enthusiasts. Midship Runabout and its contributing authors will not be held responsible for any injury or damages that may occur as the result of practicing any of the methods or procedures described within this website. Article and photo submissions are property of the contributing author.

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1 Response

  1. Garret says:

    Every person responsible for having made this article viewable to the world gets a spot in the credits when I die. Thank you.

    The morning dew just melted, and the weather’s perfect… Let’s go for a ride.