Fuel-fill Door “Stop” + Stirrup

fuel door stop

photos courtesy of duke8253

[edited 9/24/2018, 8/31/2020]
The hinge of the fuel-fill door contains a “stop”, for lack of a better term, that is pressed into position, and has been known to pop out of position on a few MX-5 and 124 Spiders, to be found as a mystery part(s), in the fuel fill cavity (presumably near the fuel overflow drain hole that is clearly shown in the bottom photo) upon opening the fuel door.  The fuel-fill door will function fine without the stop, but will be subject to blowing around in the wind, while open, as the purpose of the stop is to keep the door in the open position, while fueling.

Hmmm, my fuel-fill door on my Toyota doesn’t stay put, maybe for a similar reason.  (Research has since revealed, that Toyota didn’t incorporate any device for holding the fuel door open, at least in 2004; only a spring to pop it open.)

So, this is how duke8253 has reassembled the stop (John is wondering if the white piece (bushing) is oriented correctly, as this orientation may explain why a few stops are popping out in the first place)…

fuel door stop1

This is the correct orientation of the white bushing

I gathered my information for this article from an informative thread in the Miata.net forum, solving the mystery of what this part does, and where it belongs, and this Mazda diagram illustrates the removal procedure of the fuel-fill door assembly, in order to return the stop to it’s intended function…

fuel door stop2

… by removing the two bolts that fasten it to the car, and pressing the stop back into position.  The painted nub of the plastic block needs to be pushed into the square hole in the fuel door arm.

  • I just confirmed that the orientation in the second photo is how mine looks, and since it’s been fine for four years now, it must be “proper”.
  • The top photo also does a great job of showing the stop properly installed, prior to bolting the entire assembly back into the vehicle.
  • The next photo shows the other end of the stop, where the the white tube nests into a stop that is formed into the hinge…

fuel door stop3


On a side note, there is another part built into the fuel-fill door (not shown in the Mazda diagram above) that you may not be aware of – a stirrup to hold your gasoline cap while refueling that keeps it from swinging in the wind, and possibly marring your paint.  So while refueling, both the fuel-fill door and the fuel-fill cap both remain where they belong, thanks to the stop and the stirrup.

fuel cap

courtesy of T.A. Bell

7 thoughts on “Fuel-fill Door “Stop” + Stirrup

  1. I just finished reinstalling my door spring assembly the way it came off, also as illustrated – and also in the way that matched up the body paint overspray on all parts. I’m pretty sure it will detach again, perhaps soon. The white plastic tubular bushing is inserted from the bottom up into the steel sleeve on the hinge with the spring already in it. But I observed that when the door opens, the white tube “walks” downwards out of the steel tube. After a couple of operations, it was halfway out, having slipped down to the curve of the spring. Makes me wonder if perhaps it was designed to be installed from the top down with the spring then inserted from the bottom up rather than the way it came from the factory.


  2. I’m not personally familiar with the part, but it seems to me that if oriented as shown in the photos, the white tube would have to ride up to separate from the spring. I’ve added another view to the article, and in addition, here is another photo by Mark Booth from the aforementioned thread…

    Let us know, if you find a better orientation, but I would operate the lid a few times before reinstalling into the vehicle, to establish that it will maintain it’s position.


    • This is difficult to explain and impossible to photograph in action. My parts are oriented exactly as shown in the photo. What is happening on my hinge is that the white plastic bush moves downward on the spring toward the curve at the bottom when the hinge is operated. The length of the white part is exactly such that, if it remained fully inserted up into the hinge from the bottom (in the direction shown), it is the exact length to fill the length of steel tube on the hinge when the wider base of the plastic touches the bottom of the hinge tube. But from that position, it drops down the spring part way out of the hinge. The spring does not drop. The result is that the upper part of the spring is then not supported by the plastic bush and tilts a bit when the hinge operates. Which allows the plastic bush to move slightly deeper down the spring. I went through this cycle many times with the door off the car. But I put it back on the car as shown in the photos anyway in part because I know that’s how it was assembled as built. I also know that when mine came off the hinge while operating the door, there was unusual resistance in the door followed by an obvious loud “snap” – and there was the spring assembly in the bottom of the fuel recess with the white bushing still on the wire spring. I’m no mechanical engineer but it does rather look like if the white plastic bush was in the hinge tube with the wide part at the top, it could not move downward at all and the spring, inserted from the bottom as usual, would stay fully supported through the hinge. I kind of expect mine will come off again so maybe I’ll turn it around the next time.


      • Since color doesn’t matter, my first choice would be from those parting out their “totaled” vehicles, perhaps buying the whole fuel filler door assembly.


  3. Oh, I get it now – you’re suggesting that the white tube itself should be inverted. You could be correct…

    Would be nice if someone with a working fuel door could verify. I have a feeling that the stops that are popping out, are doing so because they are assembled incorrectly – and your observation is about the only thing that could be altered.

    I’ve folded your theory into the article, and perhaps a final decision will soon be declared 😉

    [EDIT 1/3/2021 – To clarify once and for all, I’ve just confirmed that the orientation shown in this photo is not correct, or at least it’s not how mine is installed, which hasn’t budged out-of-place since I bought the car (4½ years now). The photos in the article show the proper orientation]


  4. To clarify once and for all, I’ve just confirmed that the orientation shown in previous comment’s photo is not correct, or at least it’s not how mine is installed, which hasn’t budged out-of-place since I bought the car (4½ years now). I’ve made the determination that the photos in the article show the proper orientation.


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