AWSX1686 New Reader
July 18, 2015 12:41 p.m.

So I bought a Miata... I bought it about 3 weeks ago but have been too preoccupied fixing my motorcycle to get much done on the Miata. Anyway, it's a bit of a project, so I'm going to continue to post updates to this build thread.

It's a 1997 Mazda Miata that I found on craigslist. The good things about the car are, a very clean interior, nice convertible top, and almost new tires. Now the bad, he advertised that it ran, but smokes a bit because of burning oil. His diagnosis was that the cylinder 3 rings were bad, but I wouldn't trust his diagnosis. He also said the oil pan gasket leaks, and the key it broken in the ignition. I does run, but smokes a bit and is a bit sluggish. Once mechanicals are in order I may take it over to a lock smith for the key issue, we'll see. I noticed that the brakes need done, pads and rotors, no biggie. He "upgraded" the springs to some aftermarket coilovers that aren't my preference, more details later.

So here's what it looked like when I got it: Yes, a sparkly pink vinyl wrapped miata. Apparently it was originally a deep red vinyl, but faded in a year and a half because he bought the cheap china vinyl, not 3M.

That weekend my family and I took most of the vinyl off, it looks much better now. While the paint is definitely beat up, there really isn't much rust. Just a little bit in the rocker panels, which may be replaced with side skirts anyway. You can't quite tell from this picture, but the front bumper doesn't sit quite right. Apparently it was in a small accident while it was parked and they replaced the bumper. (Not a salvage title though.)

classicJackets New Reader
July 18, 2015 12:45 p.m.

Nice! Looks like a good platform to start with. What are your goals for it? Dd?

AWSX1686 New Reader
July 18, 2015 12:47 p.m.

Would like to make it reliable so that I can turbo my BMW e28, but I also want to turbo this... Maybe both. Also looking at GRM challenge possibilities, given I picked it up super cheap.

AWSX1686 New Reader
Jan. 27, 2016 7:51 a.m.

A quick update here: I have now replaced the motor with a used junkyard engine, unknown miles, but runs really well. I replaced all brake pads and rotors as well as both rear calipers since one was missing the cylinder boot and was pretty rusty. I installed new (used) suspension. Shocks and springs from an 04 MB miata, with top hats from Flyin Miata That got her pretty reliable, I've been driving her since.

I found a lock set, and have replaced all the locks so that I actually have a working key now. I also had to replaced the thermostat 2 weeks ago as I found it was stuck open and not letting the engine get up to temperature in this cold weather.

Then last week I rear ended someone with it. Fortunately no one was hurt, and the other guy's car didn't have any damage. My miata on the otherhand does. It messed up my bumper, which I was already planing to replace, and crunched my passenger fender a good bit. Drives fine though. Took it over to the shop and put it on a lift and found that the frame got bent. Fortunately is was bent in front of the suspension, so its mostly cosmetic. We hooked the tow hook on that side to a big truck and back it up in reverse a few times, and it is much better now. Still bent, but very drivable. New bumper and fender will probably come in the spring when I do something about the horrid paint.

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