A former line worker from Mecca has posted the following story from an early issue with Solstices (many the first 1000).
Story Time: The Water Test Booth
At the Wilmington Assembly plant they had a road course out back to test the cars and they also had what they called a water test booth (water torture testing). Imagine an automatic carwash on steroids without the brushes. It was designed to test the vehicle for leaks so that problems could be identified in the factory and corrected prior to delivery. The soft tops on the solstice and sky continually failed this test. Water would enter the vehicles through the edge where the windows met the convertible top and through the trunk seals. Turns out that the first batch of window seals they received needed a few revisions to be able to seal completely. Problem was that this would take quite some time to make this change and use what was currently in stock. A team of engineers was put together to make a decision on what to do. They first decided to see how to competition faired in the test. An unnamed individual went out picked up a Miata for an extended test drive. Headed straight for the water booth and ended up flooding the Miata. They had to take the Miata back to the car repair area of the plant and disassemble the interior. The Miata sat in the Car repair area completely gutted… seats out, interior carpet out, trunk carpet out…gutted. Once it dried out with the help of fans and the summer heat the vehicle was reassembled and returned to Mazda. Many important lessons were learned that day, most importantly was the fact that, as bad as the engineers thought the issue was with the Kappa cars, it was MUCH worse with the competition!
Back to the seals. The temporary solution was decided upon to apply Aquapel (a form of Rain-X) to the edge of the window glass to repel the water and punch a small weep hold in the leading edge of the seal to allow it to drain. This was enough to get the vehicles to pass the water torture test. The person tasked with this new job just so happened to be my friend. He was told that his job was now to apply Aquapel to the top few inches of both the driver and passenger windows (inside and out). As well, he had to open the top and use a hand hole punch (yes the kind found in offices) to punch a hole in the rubber seal to allow water to drain properly. This went on for months, all the while they were waiting for the redesigned seals to arrive. The new seals eventually arrived and water was no longer an issue. So at your next meet, compare convertible top seals and see if you can spot my friend’s handy work with the hole punch.