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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone attempted to make a tonneau cover? I assume there isn't a commercially-available option, I've looked around a little. I've used two different covers on as many different Miatas, and I really like them. Those probably influence my idea of what will / won't work.

I'm taking a hard look at it, as in "I might have something usable in the next few days", but I'd love to hear if anyone has solved a few of these problems so far.

1) I'm not drilling any holes or making any changes, apart from those which are easy to undo.
2) I'm not a particularly tall guy, but I need to be able to see over it; the top of seat is too high, but coming straight horizontally off the dash looks like it'll be OK. 5'6" drivers might not be able to see the side mirror too well tho.
3) it needs to stay put at 80mph

Currently I'm looking at anchoring on the center windscreen brace, the passenger seatback (at the bottom of the headrest section, on my 2016.5 seats), the side mirror, and the exposed frame under the mirror and at the bottom near the "oh shit" handle. The driver's side will be the same. I don't currently have plans for a zipper; I haven't got that far yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In the winter, it may help hold some heat in. Summer, keep some sun out. Also keep the seats cool -- they get *hot* here in SC.
 

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I've thought a bit about this, but haven't tried to make any thing. For best fit, I'd think something that fastens to the side tubes, along the dash and along the rear deck with gaps for the seats. By making it so the driver's side can be opened w/o removing the entire cover, maybe rolling it backwards and securing it, leaving the passenger side in place, might make cold weather operation a little more comfortable. I think going to the top of the roll hoops would over-complicate the design, making it harder to make and fit and also wouldn't look as good.
 

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Has anyone attempted to make a tonneau cover? I assume there isn't a commercially-available option, I've looked around a little. I've used two different covers on as many different Miatas, and I really like them. Those probably influence my idea of what will / won't work.

I'm taking a hard look at it, as in "I might have something usable in the next few days", but I'd love to hear if anyone has solved a few of these problems so far.

1) I'm not drilling any holes or making any changes, apart from those which are easy to undo.
2) I'm not a particularly tall guy, but I need to be able to see over it; the top of seat is too high, but coming straight horizontally off the dash looks like it'll be OK. 5'6" drivers might not be able to see the side mirror too well tho.
3) it needs to stay put at 80mph

Currently I'm looking at anchoring on the center windscreen brace, the passenger seatback (at the bottom of the headrest section, on my 2016.5 seats), the side mirror, and the exposed frame under the mirror and at the bottom near the "oh shit" handle. The driver's side will be the same. I don't currently have plans for a zipper; I haven't got that far yet.
Take a look at the site allthingsthree I have the cockpit cover they sell there.
Easy to put on at a motel to keep dry and sun off during the day.
price is quite high but very well made.
 

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Take a look at the site allthingsthree I have the cockpit cover they sell there.
Easy to put on at a motel to keep dry and sun off during the day.
price is quite high but very well made.
To clear things up here, I believe that the OP is talking about a cover which remains in place while riding, correct?

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The dutch oven approach is interesting, but not really what I'm after ;-) I do intend for something which would remain half-fitted while riding.

My first attempt was connected at the hoop (near the bottom), with a little pocket for the seat. Running from the top of the seats, or at even the bottom of the hoops, blocks my view of the side mirror. I wouldn't be able to drive with the passenger side enclosed. The tallest I can tolerate looks like a horizontal line from the top of the dash across to the shoulder area of the seat (the bottom of the headrest section).

The cockpit cover at allthingsthree looks great, but in current form it stands too high -- it would catch the wind while driving, and will obstruct view of the right-side mirror. And obviously it doesn't work while moving ...

I did some testing yesterday, and found some issues billowing -- there's negative pressure behind the windscreen (pulls it up) and I think there's air coming in under the seat through drain holes, and around the sides. I'm out for a week for spring break, and have some materials on order for more support.
 

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Does the 2016.5 have a vented windshield, I don't remember when that was changed?
My 2016.5 SL came with a standard blade (non-vented) but the blue lightning 2016.5 SL LE came with a short ripper (which I think is vented?). So I guess it depends which Slingshot model you're talking about. I think everything from 2017 onward has rippers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quick update. I've fitted a few different ideas with bungee, safety pins, and cotton. This one attaches with a loop over the seatback, a loop over the mirror, and a clip on the windscreen center support and one on the "oh shit" handle (passenger grab handle). A quick test-ride and this seems to work pretty well. It rides under the glove box hump. There is significant airflow over top of it, which makes the whole thing want to puff up under the lower pressure. I have an order in for a few yards of silver sunbrella, I'll make a real one with better material and will see how it goes. I like the shape and lines of this one, it matches the rest of the car pretty well.

I'm torn / still thinking about how to cover the whole cockpit, and specifically what to do with the driver-side cover while riding. One option is to make a complete tonneau and fold the driver side under (onto the passenger seat), but I think the wind will blow it all over. Another option is to make a two-piece cover, which means there's a seam between the halves. Probably not a big deal. I got enough material to make a few options and see how they look.
 

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Good start.
I think if you want to try and keep any heat in under the cover, you need to seal it along as many edges as possible. I had originally thought about a 2-piece cover that would allow the driver's section to be removed completely, but it could probably also be rolled and tied. I would also assume that the cover, when installed, needs to be as taut as possible to minimize flapping while moving. While I've never owned a vehicle with a tonneau cover, I seem to remember them being installed tightly and securely so they don't flap or allow a lot of air to come in underneath. Obviously, with the low open sides of the Slingshot, this will be harder to achieve.
Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the feedback. I've had two Miatas with tonneau covers. They fit pretty snug, and can keep rain out (as long as it's parked to let water drain off, instead of pooling in the middle). These covers come in pretty close to my shoulder, just about up the centerline of the car, and there's obviously a door on my other side. It does help keep airflow down in the cabin, which translates to heat / AC staying in the footwells better.

I did try a fit with the sides covered a lot more closely, including that little corner way up under the mirror. I didn't like it as much (aesthetic), and it billowed a lot more in the wind. Given the openness of the slingshot, "keeping heat in" is a relatively low priority right now. I'll spend the Spring seeing if I can get a design I like well enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
quick progress update: I need to hit the freeway and run at 80+ for a bit, but the current version is looking pretty good for me. It's currently held temporarily with safety pins so it looks wrinkly, but it's very stable at speed and doesn't billow up significantly. The only remaining change is a lighter color: sunlight reflects off the bright color. I'll use what I have for a permanent (sewn) half-cover, I'm gonna get a few yards of darker material.

I *really* like having this in place. Airflow is down a little, but it helps the whole thing feel more enclosed. And I think it looks cooler. It's easy to add and remove: one loop over the seat, one over the mirror, and clips on the windscreen support and "oh shit" handle.
 

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Looking good. Definitely want to see how it holds up during your speed test. Also would like to see a diagram of your pattern (unless you plan on selling these, in which case I might be a customer, depending on price).I'
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I hadn't thought that far ahead, honestly. My general inclination would be to have a local seamstress make a few and turn them over at cost (e.g. materials + shipping + whatever he/she charges). I figure I'd hand-sew one for me in this wrong color, then take that to someone to have re-done "correctly." Getting 2 would be as easy (if not easier) than just 1. I'll keep you posted with details. If you want to make your own without waiting, I'm happy to share the pattern & materials.
 

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I'll wait and see how your experiment turns out. If I were to try to fab one, I'd be tempted to try and enclose as much of the cock[it opening as possible. (I've sometimes been known for overkill in my efforts).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you're interested in trying it on your own I can give you specs etc. The clips are 3D printed; if you have access to a printer I'll send over the STLs, otherwise I can mail you some parts...
 

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I'll wait and see how your efforts turn out. If I try to make yours, I'll gladly pay the 3d printing costs.
Is it your 3D printer? Have you ever thought about trying to print a model of the Slingshot? I'd imagine a lot of owners would buy a 3D model for their desks at home or office.
 
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