Thanks to J_Man on Miata.net for this great set of alternate directions.
- Install the struts in the opposite direction the manual says.
Install the strut body on the fender side and the strut shaft on the
hood side. If you do it as the manual says the struts will be touching
the fenders and bending thus pushing the closed hood up and deflecting
it - you don't want this.
- Install the the hood plates as the manual says (L and R are left and
right side if sitting in the car). The picture at R-Speed web site has
it wrong (they have the R one on the left side of the car) - if you do
this the plates won't fit properly and the balljoints on the hood side
will be touching the fenders when the hood is closed. Also the hood
bolts are not long enough to accept both washers as the manual shows -
I just used the locking washer between the plate and the hood and put
no washer between the nut and the plate.
When you remove the rear set of fender bolts (to clear space for the
struts), DO NOT install the included with the kit replacement bolts.
Just leave it with no bolts there. If you install the replacement bolts
(regardless these being lower profile) the struts will still be
touching the bolts when the hood is closing and it will make the hood
deflecting up thus opening a bad looking gap.
- You might want to add an extra washer or two under the ball joints
at the fender side. The kit includes only 1 washer per side there. If
you add an extra washer or two - this will give you more strut
clearance and make the struts push in a better direction when the hood
is closed. Make sure you don't add too many washers so the balljoint
does not touch the closed hood - I just used a piece of shop paper
towel to test for clearance with the hood closed.