Boot Tie-down

by Brian Bousman

Do you have trouble with your boot billowing up as you drive? This problem keeps getting brought up on the Miata e-mail list so it's worth a bit of time to try and straighten out.

First off, your boot should have two straps on it to hold the lower portion in place. Some people have reported that these straps are missing. If Mazda made your boot without straps then you can probably count on it billowing up as you drive. If you do have the straps then there's two things to check.

Using The Right Bracket

The first problem is getting the boot straps around the correct bracket. When you look for a place to loop the strap around, there's a bracket that appears to be shaped just perfect for the task. Now that you've found that one, try looping the strap around the correct bracket below that one. [drawing from manual]
[picture from car]

Size Does Matter

The other problem is the strap length. Quality control on the boot strap doesn't appear to be up to the usual Miata standards. When I loop the second strap around the frame, I have to exert a fair amount of force in stretching it to get the snap in place.

What you want to do is measure the distance from strap loop to strap loop. I don't have a picture of this ready so I'll try and describe it here. Take the boot off the car and turn it upside down. Take each strap and snap it in place. Now measure the distance from the end of the loop on one side to the end of the loop on the other side.

On my car this distance is almost 43 inches. Another Miata owner who also doesn't have any billowing boot problems also reported a 43 inch distance. However, one owner who does have a billowing boot measured his as around 46 inches. Those extra inches appear to make a difference.

Note from Tidmarsh Major:

Rather than simply passing the strap around the bracket, loop the strap an extra turn around the bracket so that it takes up the extra length and the boot will no longer billow.

Another solution was provided by Ron Koval

BootProblem1.jpg (45619 bytes)First the problem. Even if you get the back edge into the rail, a short drive, wind, and the back edge comes out. I tried some small plastic clips from my local hardware store, but a clip would need to be designed specifically for this application to work.

BootCord.jpg (44101 bytes)Solution: Add a small brass eyelet, centered and next to the ribbing of the boot. The eyelet kit at my local craft/fabric store cost about $4 (included anvils to hammer attach the eyelet). Also purchased, about $1, the smallest bungee cord I could find (about a 6 inch cord, not allot of tension will be needed).

CordOnBoot.jpg (44885 bytes)Simply attach the bungee cord to the eyelet and depending on the length of cord, wrap it around the horizontal brace (just behind the seat head rests). Depending on the length of the bungee cord you may just wrap it around the horizontal brace and to itself, around the brace several times and back to the eyelet or as shown. Note, there does not need to be allot of tension on the boot to make this work. Just the extra tension in the forward direction keeps that rear portion of the boot from coming out.

The finished job. No more boot popping out.

BootwCord1.jpg (41113 bytes)

Back to the Garage

09 April, 2001