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RazorWind
 
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RazorWind's questionable purchasing decisions (Miata-related content inside)

I sold my MR2 about two years ago in order to give motorcycling a try. I'm kind of over that now, and I feel like I should probably stop doing it before I crash and seriously injure myself. Furthermore, I've always fancied myself a "car guy."

So, I bought a really worn Miata. At $2K (and 259K miles on the clock), I probably paid a few hundred too much, but I needed the seller's help taking it home, and turning wrenches is like 50% of the fun for me, anyway. The good news is, everything but the air conditioning and the radio work (and the radio is a crap one anyway), so the car is totally restorable to at least "drivee is probably not a criminal" state. Even in its rather haggard state, the car drove 50 miles back home without issue.

Here it is after I brought it home. I neglected to take a photo of it before I started work, and this one is the next morning:



That dirt on the hood, not primer, or oxidation. The car had a bra on it originally, which I promptly removed and chucked in the trash.

In the photo, you can see that the passenger side door card has been removed. When I bought the car, the passenger side window regulator was all gummed up, causing it to fail to roll all the way down. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the regulator just needed some grease. One of the guide bushings has perished, though, so I ordered these new ones from Ebay. I'll get around to installing them later this week.


When I brought the car home, it was dirty inside, and had a strong mildew smell. Having dealt with such an issue before, I knew exactly what I was dealing with, and wasted no time in gutting that shit like a fish. Here it is after being relieved of its interior:



The black crud on the floor is the remains of some of the original jute carpet padding. Suffice to say it was... fragrant.

After an hour or two of sponge bathing, the bare interior is looking much better. Before I reassemble it, I'm thinking I may just drive it out in the driveway, remove the ECU from the footwell, and wash it with soapy water.



In that photo, you can also see the two replacement covers I made for the fuel pump and fuel filler hose. The originals were rusted through in some spots.

More to come - I'm waiting on various parts at the moment. I'm hoping to have her roadworthy by the end of the summer - it's so hot here in Texas that the spring and fall are really the prime convertible driving periods.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:44 PM RazorWind is offline  
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Sup
 
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nice
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:48 PM Sup is offline  
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Colonel Sanders
 
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Obligatory "when is the LS1 swap happening?" post.
Old 06-15-2015, 08:39 PM Colonel Sanders is offline  
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lol
 
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i dont understand the question
Old 06-15-2015, 09:53 PM lol is offline  
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lol
 
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and i won't respond to it
Old 06-15-2015, 09:54 PM lol is offline  
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GhEttOrAiD
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nice, dude

what are your actual plans longer term

I wish I had a second parking spot

(need a non-roachy hovel first, tho)
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:12 PM GhEttOrAiD is offline  
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RazorWind
 
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Originally Posted by Colonel Sanders View Post
Obligatory "when is the LS1 swap happening?" post.

I'm in the minority here, but I'm personally of the belief that V8 swaps into Miatas are heresy. I can totally understand why most folks think they're cool, but I'm more of a "slow car fast" kind of car guy. I know, I know, I'm a huge dweeb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhEttOrAiD View Post
nice, dude

what are your actual plans longer term

I wish I had a second parking spot

(need a non-roachy hovel first, tho)
I sympathize with your roachy hovel living plight. I would seriously consider moving out of California, though, if I were you. WAY better opportunities and standard of living elsewhere, given your skills and experience.

Anyway, back to the car, long term plans are:
1. Get the car back into actually drivable trim - the soft top skin, steering rack and shifter turret are the only really critical repairs that it seems to need immediately. Everything else is basically just maintenance.

1a. Reinstall the interior - I'm waiting on a couple of parts before I do this.

2. Suspension work - I'm thinking of using one of the Flyin' Miata kits; simpler and cheaper to order, generally regarded as a pretty good setup for weekend joyriding and hardparking while talking about all the autocrosses I don't have time for.

3. Brakes - The brakes seem kind of weak. I want to drive the car a little more before I decide how best to deal with this, though.

4. Repaint the bumpers - Sort of a low priority, but they're kinda ugly. I might just find clean ones on ebay instead, or something.

5. Power? - I dunno, intake/headers/exhaust maybe? This car isn't really supposed to have a bazillion horsepower.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:34 AM RazorWind is offline  
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gribly
 
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Miata chassis' hate v8's. Not strong enough. The cars are so flexible you notice the difference with the hardtop on with a bone stock car without sticky tires even.
Old 06-16-2015, 01:37 PM gribly is offline  
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RazorWind
 
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Miata chassis' hate v8's. Not strong enough. The cars are so flexible you notice the difference with the hardtop on with a bone stock car without sticky tires even.

This is hardly uncommon with convertibles. The MR2 Spyder is like this as well. I remember there being a dude who went by "Corky" in the MR2 club who sold this bigass reinforcement plate that would bolt to the underside of the car that made a HUGE difference in how well the suspension worked.

It appears Flyin Miata makes a similar part for the Miata, although it also looks like it requires drilling a bunch of holes to install it. The Corky breastplate used holes that were already there, as I recall.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:23 PM RazorWind is offline  
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tegandje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorWind View Post
This is hardly uncommon with convertibles. The MR2 Spyder is like this as well. I remember there being a dude who went by "Corky" in the MR2 club who sold this bigass reinforcement plate that would bolt to the underside of the car that made a HUGE difference in how well the suspension worked.

It appears Flyin Miata makes a similar part for the Miata, although it also looks like it requires drilling a bunch of holes to install it. The Corky breastplate used holes that were already there, as I recall.
Those butterfly frames for miats are beautiful.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:40 PM tegandje is offline  
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RazorWind
 
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Those butterfly frames for miats are beautiful.

The pictures of it on Flyin' Miata's site certainly look pretty. Have you driven one? Does it make as big a difference in the car as they say?
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:00 PM RazorWind is offline  
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gribly
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorWind View Post
The pictures of it on Flyin' Miata's site certainly look pretty. Have you driven one? Does it make as big a difference in the car as they say?

If a fiberglass hardtop that weighs a couple of pounds that hooks in two spots and clamps in four is able to make a noticeable difference, I'm willing to bet that sort of kit is what the doctor ordered.
Old 06-19-2015, 08:30 PM gribly is offline  
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The Unflushable Turd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorWind View Post
I sold my MR2 about two years ago in order to give motorcycling a try. I'm kind of over that now, and I feel like I should probably stop doing it before I crash and seriously injure myself. Furthermore, I've always fancied myself a "car guy."

Don't pussy out. Lets ride bikes.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:07 PM The Unflushable Turd is offline  
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RazorWind
 
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Originally Posted by The Unflushable Turd View Post
Don't pussy out. Lets ride bikes.

Well, only one person has come to look at my bike since I put it up for sale, and he was spacey as fuck. For the moment, I'm both a car guy and a bike guy.

I'm not in any particular hurry to get rid of the bike, so I guess I'll just keep it if no one wants to pay me what I think it's worth. <shrug>

Anyway, I did several hours' worth of work on the car today.

I ground off some rust spots caused by water that got in through the failed soft top, and painted them with rust converter (hence the black). This will be under the carpet, so it won't be visible normally.




I also did the disassembly portion of the timing belt service. Compared to a transverse mounted engine, this was a piece of cake. Disassembling an MR2 down to this point would have taken me twice as long.


It appears that either this engine is not original, or it was very well maintained for most of its life. This cylinder head looks cleaner than my BMW, which has less than half as many miles and is fifteen years newer.



One of the things you do when doing a timing belt service is replace the crankshaft oil seal. I was all set to tap the new seal in, when I realized the one that came with my timing belt kit is WAY too big. I suspect that this part is meant for a "big nose crank," which Mazda switched to about 6 months after my car was built. Fack.

Luckily, all the parts stores seem to stock the correct seal, so I'll just go buy the proper one tomorrow.

This one didn't come out so hot, but while I've got the cam cover off, I need to change the seal for the cam angle sensor. The black that you see in the background is grime that appears to have come from oil leaking past the seal and down the side of the engine.


I also removed the old disgusting soft top skin from the frame, only to discover that I need a couple of extra parts. Here's the frame, ready for the new skin to go on.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:27 PM RazorWind is offline  
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IcW@teR
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i will always view these as cars for teenage girls due to being in high school when they came out
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:46 PM IcW@teR is offline  
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