Brokeback (Matt)
Brokeback (Matt) HalfDork
8/9/19 3:53 p.m.

This thing popped up on my Facebook Marketplace 2 weeks ago, and I happened to be one of the first to respond - lots of people interested in cheap miatas!  The seller said she had 5 other people call within minutes of me.   They were light on details - selling for a sick family member, the mechanic they took it to said it needed $2k of work on fuel system to fix it all.  I drove down the next morning, checked out the car and decided it was worth it, and paid.  Called AAA (didn't bring the truck/trailer to pick it up) and had them tow it back to my house.  The wife found out when it got home on the back of the wrecker....oops!! laugh  Pics from the original ad: 

Brokeback (Matt)
Brokeback (Matt) HalfDork
8/9/19 3:58 p.m.

I took a better look at things later the next day - a few dents in fenders which are not ideal, but it should have a LSD according to Mazda (and the Cruise Control/leather seats).  I did a quick once over with the pressure washer, and cleared out all manner of crap from the interior.  Not shown in the pictures - my beat up NA and much nicer 01 LS - my neighbors are probably super glad they live next to me cool

Brokeback (Matt)
Brokeback (Matt) HalfDork
8/9/19 4:04 p.m.

After being gone on vacation for a week, I took a bit of time to actually look in the fuel tank - mechanic was correct, it does not look super great in there.  I think the real reason it doesn't run is the huge split in the hose on the fuel pump output, though!  I drained the gas out after these pics - next step is try to clean it enough to see if it runs.  Preferrable without removing the fuel tank, because I'm lazy.  

And now we're up to date.  Final goal - probably fix it up and sell it.  I like it, but 8 cars is a bit much for right now.  I also will probably sell my NA - it's not worth much since it's been in a few accidents, but runs great, so I've been ignoring the fact that I have a much nicer, low mileage NB miata that I should be driving! 

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy SuperDork
8/11/19 8:55 a.m.

I see a lift in those atrocious photos. It was so close to being loved.

Nice score.

Brokeback (Matt)
Brokeback (Matt) HalfDork
8/16/19 1:50 p.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy :

The mechanic they took it to told them $2000 to change the fuel tank and clean out the fuel system - I guess that was too much for them.  Not that I'm complaining!

 

I ordered a used fuel pump/assembly, and did a bunch of flushes of the fuel tank with water, pressure washer, water, vinegar, water/baking soda, and water.  It cleaned up pretty well - there's still some surface rust, mostly in areas I couldn't get the pressure washer to, but no new flakes floating around in the last flush.  With the new (used) fuel pump, with some new submersible fuel line on it, I added a bit of ATF to the cylinders, cranked it over a bunch, and got it to run!  Rough at first (plugs looked really bad before I added the ATF) but it settled down to a nice idle after 30 seconds or so.  I made a nice dent in the mosquito population with all the ATF smoke, but it seems to drive great - feels about right on power, revs fine, etc.  Next up is timing belt/water pump/fluids - I got parts ordered.  After that, i'll have to decide if I sell or keep it.  hmmmmm...decisions.

Hard to tell, but it's running in this pic!  I was able to get almost all of the blue paint off of the intake - it looks much better to me.   

Brokeback (Matt)
Brokeback (Matt) HalfDork
8/25/19 10:45 p.m.

Quick update on this - I got the timing belt/water pump/cam and crank seals changed out, and it’s running about the same as before. The old parts looked pretty good, but parts are relatively cheap and should make it easier to sell since they’re all new. 

On the test drive, I found one of the heater core hoses was leaking - Dangit. Ordered those and got them swapped out, no more leaks. It still was really hard to start cold - I’m talking like 15-20 seconds of cranking and it still won’t start until the third or fourth try of that. I changed the fuel filter - that didn’t help. I then tried jumping the fuel pump to run with ignition on, and that took care of it. So, gonna be putting another fuel pump (new instead of used this time) in. 

I also picked up a new passenger fender - the paint is not quite perfect, but the no dent looks a lot better. I think if I wet sanded it down a little bit I could make it blend in a bit more, but we will see if I actually do it. Old fender in these pics - too dark for new pics tonight  

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