Autopower

Autopower Race Rollbar

[3/13/2006] Reviewed by: max S.

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Autopower Race Rollbar with diagonal

Very happy. Easy fitment. Everything lined up. Very noticable stiffening of the chassis. Looks great. No problems with the soft top. Autopower says the hardtop will fit, but I can see the some problems where the side latches go. I definitely feel safer, and I get less grief from my friends about owning a miata now that it looks tougher.

I had it Powdercoated black for $75. The coating that comes on it looks nice, but comes off easily.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Autopower roll bar

[10/3/2005] Reviewed by: Matt - Mbernazzoli@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Autopower 4 point roll bar.

I have an older autopower 4 point roll bar. It is not like the new Autopowers that bolt into your seat belt towers; it bolts through the body and uses back up plates back near the rear shock mounts and inside the fender wells. It is a very very solid bar. I had a custom cross tube welded in for a racing harness buy a pro, it looks like it came from Autopower with it! My bar had a basic black paint job that is chipped up but it doesnít bother me.

The Autopower is a great product for the $$. Very nice welds and tube/bend quality. It also made a huge difference in the stiffness of my car, which is a 1990 that had no cockpit brace to begin with. The bar tied my body together to the point that my 65mph shimmy is gone! I canít say that the new Autopower bars are any better or worse but mine will continue to transfer with me from car to car as needed!!

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Autopower Rollbar

[7/6/2003] Reviewed by: Michel Hoche-Mong

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Autopower four-point single-diagonal rollbar with 1 3/4" tubing.

Solidly built product. I'd certainly trust it in a rollover. Minor issues with the fit under a hardtop.I bought the car with this installed, so I can't say anything about the instructions or the original paint. However, it seems to be an extremely well-made bar with strong backing plates. The OEM belts do not need to be moved and work fine in their original location, although they wrap around the bar a bit. I don't know how much stiffness the bar added to the car, but I was able to take out the stock Mazda brace with no noticeable extra flex. The main issues I've had with it came after I bought a hardtop for the car. The downtubes come too close to the side latches for them to operate. I ran without them for some months, then tried some Harddog side clips and finally ended up just bolting the thing down with plates from Hartzell racing. It doesn't take me much longer to remove the top than before, but now I have to carry around a 12mm wrench to do it.

Another problem is that the bar is a really tight fit under the roof. It fits, but the clearance is about 1mm. When I hit a bump, the bar bangs into the roof. I fixed this by ziptieing some thin sheets of rubber over the corners and so far it seems to've worked. No more banging, and my hardtop doesn't seem to be cracking. Still, I wish it'd been made about 4mm shorter. I have a friend with a HardDog HardCore; its quality of construction is similar. The HD requires moving the OM seatbelt retractors but clears the side latches. After comparing the two closely I'd probably buy an HD next time. The Autopower is a fine bar; the HD wins out in my book solely because the side latches work.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Autopower 4-point rollbar

[4/27/2003] Reviewed by: Neil Nagramp

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

4-point functional rollbar. Main hoop attaches to seat belt towers, two rearward braces, no diagonals.

Unlike the HD rollbars, the Autopower doesn't relocate the seatblet attachment points so there is no hinderance of belt retraction. The rearward bars are set as far apart as possible to make room for a glass rear window. I can see a bit of the main hoop on the top of my rear view mirror but otherwise rearward vision is not impaired. Chassis stiffness is also improved in the rear and the 70 mph "shimmy" that I had is now gone. My only beef with the Autopower is that the rearward braces come off at an acute angle which causes the backs of the headrests to rub and squeak. I may try glueing felt on the bar to prevent the noise. Other than that, I'd recommend it.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Autopower Street Roll Bar

[2/7/2003] Reviewed by: Topless Autoxer - treynolds@actnm.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 '99 +

90-03 Autopower Roll bar. Redesigned to fit glass window tops in the 99+.

Excellent product. Mine was custom powdercoated before I saw it so I cannot comment on the paint issue. Fit easily and was about a 4 hour install including trimming. Becareful because you will likely break several of those plastic push in connectors that hold the carpet in place. They are $1.50 each so try to save as many as you can. It does not interfere even with my AA Best Co cloth glass defrost top. It had enough clearance that adding padding and a leather cover was not a problem. I was also able to retain the factory windblocker but the flap (which does nothing anyway) is permenently in the downward position. It does NOT affect the seat belts in anyway, they work just like stock.

Very pleased with this and so are my local club members that have looked at it. I would definately recommend it to those that do not need a Solo I legal bar.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Auto power 4 point functional roll bar

[3/31/2002] Reviewed by: Bob Sherlock - miatam94racer@aol.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

I live in San Diego so picking up the Autopower roll bar was simple. I ordered it naked b/c my friend can powdercoat it for me for nearly nothing. Welds were decent (a bit messy but they looked better after the powercoating).

The install was a easy. It took about 4 hours from start to finish (going pretty slow - lots of breaks). The only problem was the backing plates had to be modified a bit b/c they were about 1/8 inch to wide. Besides that...very clean install.

Luckily for me, my friend had an angle drill (very usefull for that last hole in the rear legs) and a cutting wheel for his grinder. This made making the cuts in the sheet metal and the shelf very easy. It was like cutting through butter. One piece of advice. I was using a web write up over the Hard Dog 4 pt to help with the installation since the autopower directions are worthless and we cut the rear sheet metal about 4 inches too much. You only need to cut maybe 1-2 inches back (if that). The bar is VERY secure and makes me feel much more secure. Great bar...would highly recommend.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


[9/14/2001] Reviewed by: Jesse Lee - jesseclee@hotmail.com

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

Autopower rollbar, purchased directly from autopower for $245. Weighs 22lb w/ all hardware

I purchased the bar bare, w/ no paint, and spray painted it silver metalflakes. This rollbar mounts onto the seatbelt towers, and does not require the seat belt anchors to be relocated. The 2 rear braces reach into the trunk tunnels. The front outside corner of the right rear brace mounting pad has to be chopped off to clear a wiring grommet in the tunnel. Same w/ the backing plate that mounts from under the car. Other than that the fit is actually excellent. The rear deck trimming is limited to the silver shelf piece that unbolts from the car- there's no need to touch the permanent body sheet metal.

I don't really like the welded in bottom bolts on the main hoop- as you tighten them you can see the mounting pads bend, and you don't know when to stop. But overall, this is a good design. I prefer this configuration than the HD's which mount in front of the seat belt anchors (which need to be relocated awkwardly). Also, the fit is much better than HD, IMHE. Recommended.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


[3/16/2001] Reviewed by: Ken Breza - kenandjanet@gosfgiants.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Auto power 4 point functional roll bar

I worked alone to install my bar. It took approximately 4 hours from start to finish. The instructions stink, read them and then throw them away. The installation is straight forward enough to not be a problem. Planning ahead and having all you tools readily available will make the job go faster.. One special tool that is needed is some kind of metal cutting tool. I used tin snips, however a jigsaw or Dremel with a cutting wheel would do. Every thing else you need should be in the typical Miata owners garage. A suggestion for easier access the rear braces. Remove the shield in the trunk. The access for drilling and tightening the bolts is much better through the trunk. .

The Auto power roll bar is a great addition to the vehicle, the safety margin of having it alone makes it worth while. My car is a 93 and it did improve handling a bit by stiffing the rear end up. The paint was marginal, it I had been installing a bar in a sedan where it would not be seen as much it was fine. In a Miata, it was not up to my standards. I had my powder coated and it looks great and did not suffer a single scratch when I reinstalled it after the powder coating. My suggestion again is to install it then take it out and paint or powder coat and then reinstall. The scratches will occur on the first install but are not as likely on the second

Over 30 minutes to remove completely


[7/23/2000] Reviewed by Tony Chen - thchen@ibm.net

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

Applicable to '99 +

Autopower 4 point 'Street' rollbar

Had a friend pickup a bar on Friday afternoon (from Autopower in SD), installed by Saturday nite. I used 3 mechanics, 2 RX-7 owners, 1 6 pack of beer, 1 case of Coke + other regular tools to install the bar in one night. It took about ~4 hrs and that's not cutting the metal 'shelf', carpet, or the trim pieces. Our Miata is leased so I didn't want to do more than drilling 6 holes. All in all, a pleasant project w/ lots of friends involved. For complete pictorial http//www.tsj-freight.com/jpg/thchen/cars/miata/rollbar

I had no problem with Autopower's paint (I LOVE living in Socal). Took them 3 wks to build the bar. The bar seems VERY strong. The fit's decent. Doesn't block the rear mirror. Autopower was more well known to me than 'Hard Dog'. For $205+tax, it's a STEAL.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely


[4/24/2000] Reviewed by Kevin Chapnick - flytens@aol.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter

I bought a Autopower roll bar use. However, it was in great shape. The roll bar had a few scratches where it had rubbed the metal the the previous car.

I called AutoPower and explained my sisuation. They faxed me the installation instrction within 5 minutes. They were very friendly on the phone. I found the instructions were less than adequate. In fact, the instructions were only about ten, one line sentences and no pictues. I saw the roll bar before it was removed from the other miata. This was a big help.

Otherwise, I don't know it the installation would have been so simple. The places you have to make sheet metal cuts are confusing and unclear. This is an area of trail and error. Finally after 6 1/2 hours over three days, I finished the installation. In reflection, I would install this product again myself.

The aesthetics of the roll bar are very pleasing once I repainted the bar. Two people are needed to drill and bolt-down the roll bar. I had to drill the holes from underneath the car, after drilling the first hole on the top...so I could use the template to guide the drill bit.

I am so tired after this ordeal. It's a big job for anyone. Good Luck

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Reviewed by: jordan normark - normark@ibm.net

autopower 4 point rollbar

installed it myself

The Autopower rollbar is a rigid, well made reasonably priced rollbar. I origionally liked the style of the racing beat twin hoop style bar but it offers no protection. After doing some research over the net I found the best combination of style and protection comes from the Autopower bar. The first thing I noticed after removing the bar from its packaging was its poor paint. It looks like the bar wasnt prepped properly before being painted, with little spots of metal shining through on the main hoop. The instructions should also be more descriptive for the do-it-yourselfer. Permanent modifications include the drilling of three holes on each side of the car just to the inside of the rear fender wells, trimming of the thin sheet of steel under the carpet on the rear deck, and then carpet itself (this is tricky to do well). With attachment of the main hoop no driling is required. The six attachment points on the seatbelt posts use pre-existing holes and seatbelt bolts. Some trimming of the plastic covers should be done to maintain the aesthetic appearance. I found the installation to take approximately 4 careful hours. After installation is comleted the swing of the seatbelts' upper guide is significantly reduced causing some annoyance with retraction, and if you are as tall as I am you will notice the seats don't move as far back as previously. Mine are always rubbing the bar lightly and squeaking. The car does seem stiffer and I believe the pros definately outweigh the cons (all things considered) of the Autopower rollbar.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage


Reviewed by: Shaun Ehsani - mobygold@aol.com

Well made, sturdy. Sharp looking, good price. Comes in black but can be refinished

Installation is everything! Get it done right or the installer will mess up your rear deck area upholstery(like mine was).

I've seen many other companies offer 2-point non-functional roll bars and they're a waste! They don't look as good and they're only cosmetic. So in the unlikely chance that you do roll, you're screwed. This product is functional and adds stability to the entire car's performance.


Reviewed by: Duncan Coolidge - jcoolidg@kear.tdsnet.com

This is an excellent rollbar for those who need a functional rollbar particularly for competition.

It is well fabricated, and when installed is solid. On the down side it does not accomodate the side latches of a hard top which therefore results in squeeking of the roof seal against the body. I have not found a fix other than using a little silicone lubricant on the roof seal. One real beef was that the roll bar was apparently wrapped for shipping with bubble wrap before the paint was dry. It took a lot of time (hours) and patience to pick the wrap off. I really did not have time to ship it back because of a scheduled competition. Oh yes the installation is not simple. It requires cutting of metal and fabric, and Auto Power could have done better by supplying cutting templates.

All things considered, it has served me well, I am pleased with the product, and I would by it again (without the bubble wrap).


Back to Product Reviews 12 May, 2006