How To: Replace the Soft Top

OK, after managing to find myself a new Toyota soft-top at a fraction of the standard new price I was stuck wondering if I should attempt to fit it myself or put it to a garage/fitter for peace of mind. Toyota said it would take 8 hours to do and quoted me something like £700 inc vat to fit. I managed to get my own hands on a guide of sorts so I thought I might as well give it a go as it was forecast to be a nice weekend. I have not finished the re-assembly yet but I thought I would post pics of the disassembly. From fully fitted to entirely removed took me 2.5 hours on my own – and I am far from a mechanical expert, a year ago I had never even changed a car’s oil or fitted a new air filter.

Here is the car as it looked first thing this morning. I had fitted a perspex window which was fastened on with pop-rivets. Less than ideal but kept the wind and rain out save for a bit of moisture from time to time. If anyone else finds themselves in my boat I would recommend it as a quick fix as there isn’t much that can be done with the old roof.



1. Pop off the scuff plates on both sides of the car. There are 4 clips which hold them on, push them inwards with a screwdriver or similar object to unlatch them. I used a current testing tool, with a pointed end which turned out to be perfect for this and the other steps that require a similar action.



2. Remove the ‘lower rear separator covers’ by pulling out the fastenings marked on both sides of the car. I used my fingers for some and a pair of needle nose pliers for the more stubborn ones. You might want to wrap the latter in duck tape or similar if you’re protective about the condition of your fastenings. Once the fittings are out, lift the whole thing out of the cabin.


3. Remove ‘quarter trim panels’. First step is to undo the bolt which fastens the seatbelt to the floor.


Now pop out the two fastenings at the top of each quarter panel. You just pop the central circle down with a pointy object (I used my trusty circuit tester again) and then you can lift them out. Once complete, pop out the panel and feed the seatbelt through the slot to remove completely.


4. Remove luggage compartment lids. Not much to mention here, undo the 6 bolts which hold them on. The lids are remarkably heavy, I might leave them off once I’ve finished to save a bit of weight.


5. Remove luggage compartment boxes. First thing’s first, undo the 2 screw/bolts on the vertical face of each compartment:

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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5 Responses

  1. mike says:

    help my mr2 spyder top is seperating from the side behind the window. what’s going on?

  2. Hi guys, I just found your website this morning as I’m looking to replace the soft top on my girlfriends mk3 mr2. It’s great to find such a detailed guide on how to replace the soft top.
    You mention at the start of the article that you found “a new Toyota soft-top at a fraction of the standard new price”. would you be kind enough to let me know where you got this soft top
    as I’m having alot of difficulty finding one.

    Thanks alot for your help.


  3. James Osborne says:

    Planning to install a new soft top on my ’01 MR2 next month.. what a great service you’ve provided by posting these pictures & narrative from your experience!! Thanks so much!!


  4. Amy Chavez says:


    I was wondering where you found the soft-top. My dad just bought me a MR2 and the top is in pretty bad shape. And we would really like to know whre you foound the top. Thanks!

  5. Gavin says:

    I replaced mine about a year ago, didn’t need to remove the scuff plates though. What was the reasoning behind that?