NOHOME UltimaDork
July 21, 2017 11:16 p.m.

Photobucket is out of the photo hosting business.

22much New Reader
July 22, 2017 1:55 a.m.

Yes, a Miata after all who could pass up a Miata listed for $750 on craigslist. When I met the guy to check her out he tried to crank her up and nothing happened, he suggested a dead battery and he would go get the jumper cables. I told him don't worry about it $600 and I'll hall it away. 10 minutes later I was pulling away and headed home.

Condition:

How bad of shape does a Miata have to be in order to sell for $600, and well not bad. After a new battery she fired right up and sounded perfect, mechanically perfect. Physically was another story rust, rust, rust. The low price was due to not passing inspection because of rust, I was not scared off and felt as if I could bring her back to the road.

Here is a picture of when I first got her:

Not bad looking at all, but I knew I had to start fixing her right away. There were only a couple of places where the rust needed to be addressed. Both quarter panels and one of the frame rails and I found a few more spots after getting into the project.

Fixing the Frame Rail:

I wish I could go back in time to take more pictures of this part but I can describe all of the repairs. The rust had set in where a previous owner had jacked up and bent one of the frame rails. So cutting a section out of the front of the frame rail was required. After creating a piece to replicate the rail it was welded in and properly seam sealed and both frames were then painted in a rust preventative paint. After thinking about the structure of the car for awhile I opted into getting frame braces to make the car stiffer than stock and putting my head at ease.

Enjoy this low qulity pic and try to look past the steering and engine components, Oh look a shiny frame brace.

More Rust Repair:

Basically the same steps as the frame rail cut out rust, get new metal, weld back in, but of course a lot more work involved than that. We all knew it would happen, more rust was found. The drivers side fender was beyond repair, there was surface rust on the floors, the driver door was rusted out too and there was a hole beside the trunk (Pictures will describe better)

Here you can see some floor surface rust and the hole beside the trunk

There was a lot of rust here that needed to be cut out

You may be wondering what in the world have you got yourself into but, my dad was a huge help in this build and with out him it would still be a rusty Miata.

Rusty fender off, "new" door on, quarter panel cut out

The other quarter panel cut out

here is a picture of the new metal in the place of the quarter panel (best picture I have at this time)

I decided to take a little break from rust repair and do a little bumper cutting, also notice the new rust right above the bumper

I wire brushed the floors and put a few coats of Rustoleum on them. P.S. is that a roll bar?

On top of adding unnecessary weight I needed to add some comfort into my life so here is some sound deadening

Body Work

Now that the rust was completely gone I needed to start on getting the body prepared for paint. A little bondo here and there, lots of small dints to fix, and a lot of sanding and stripping the paint. Here is a picture of the paint stripped off the rear of the car and some bondo work. you may be wondering by now why there was so much rust on the drivers side of the car.. In one of its past lives it had some type of collision and they put a new door skin on and a new quarter panel piece in and did not seal it correctly, causing all of this rust.

A nice coat of primer was needed over the bare metal

The hood was after market as well and not aluminum, so the blue donor car saves the day again. Also a lot more sanding and a little bondo (ignore the white top that is for another project)

Primer & Wet Sanding

Some taping up and some wiping down and some primer.

Ignore the bitmoji lol

The primer was sprayed

During this time I got a hard top! No headliner no defrost but in pretty great shape (except for the rubber around the rear window)

Now for the wet sanding (oh boy)

Engine Maintenance

Who knows when the last time the timing belt or water pump are replaced so I decided to go ahead and change all of that out along with a few other things.

What an ugly looking engine bay.

There was a few complications getting the timing gear off the crank shaft...

Okay so a lot of complications...

But it did come off!

Everything went together great and I even painted the valve cover. During the time of having the radiator out I lost the plug that goes in the bottom, a good excuse for an aluminum radiator.

Shiny..

Where She is Today

The paint just came in and it should be sprayed next week. I got some used coil overs to put on in the future and then all I have to do to put her on the road is put the interior back in.

The rims cleaned up pretty nice

Questions, Comments, Concerns

Feel free to ask whatever, I will be updating as the project continues.

NOHOME UltimaDork
July 22, 2017 7:36 a.m.

Fun to watch this kind of work done by someone who knows what they are doing. I am assuming you either work or own the bodyshop where the work is being done?

22much New Reader
July 22, 2017 7:59 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: Fun to watch this kind of work done by someone who knows what they are doing. I am assuming you either work or own the bodyshop where the work is being done?

Yes, my dad owns the shop and I have grown up inside of it, I am 18 so he helps.... a LOT

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem HalfDork
July 22, 2017 8:55 a.m.

In reply to 22much:

Nice work, young grasshopper. So what are longterm plans? DD, AX, TRACK DAY?

22much New Reader
July 22, 2017 9:09 a.m.
Ovid_and_Flem wrote: In reply to 22much: Nice work, young grasshopper. So what are longterm plans? DD, AX, TRACK DAY?

Hopefully this will just be a street/get me through college car that I can drive to a cars & coffee every once in awhile to look at all the Lamborghini's with.

With that being said I do have a miata you can watch me at the autocross with this Sunday @ RIR; With plans of hopefully becoming a ChumpCar.

einy HalfDork
July 22, 2017 11:43 a.m.

It's probably already been said many times in this forum, but I'll never stop being happy when a younger person like yourself jumps into a project like this! You, sir, appear to be a somewhat unique fellow these days! Keep up the awesome work please.

22much New Reader
July 22, 2017 12:46 p.m.
einy wrote: It's probably already been said many times in this forum, but I'll never stop being happy when a younger person like yourself jumps into a project like this! You, sir, appear to be a somewhat unique fellow these days! Keep up the awesome work please.

Thank you, Thank you, is now a good time to ask for donations for a turbo or supercharger (sarcasm)? I'm hoping to get around 30 mpg when I put it on the road, for me that is most important right now.

22much New Reader
July 23, 2017 11:24 p.m.

Update on the autocross I did pretty well but not the best, I beat my friends that came along so that was all that I needed.

click to watch > Autocross Video

Two_Tools_In_a_Tent New Reader
July 24, 2017 11:22 a.m.

Pretty terrific resurrection ! I'm trying to hate Miatas, but it's getting REALLY hard. The bright red and that rich blue are my favorite colors for these cars and you have both, and they both have hardtops as well.

Lucky ! ! !

johndej HalfDork
July 24, 2017 11:41 a.m.

Good to see another Richmonder on the board. VMSC is a great group to run with for local autocrosses. Once you get that roll bar on can find your way out to Dominion/Summit Point/VIR.

22much New Reader
July 24, 2017 3:30 p.m.
johndej wrote: Good to see another Richmonder on the board. VMSC is a great group to run with for local autocrosses. Once you get that roll bar on can find your way out to Dominion/Summit Point/VIR.

They did run a good show, I had a lot of fun but, they did not seem to take jokes too well haha.

We have metal to start making a full cage for the blue Miata, but that project is a little further away.

22much New Reader
July 25, 2017 12:36 p.m.

More Sanding

Of course the mirror (On the drivers side) had its clear coat peeling off requiring more work than necessary to strip down.

Also I don't know if it will be painted this week due to the shop being very busy, so she sits like this.

22much New Reader
July 27, 2017 6:08 p.m.

The mirror got some primer

The car is in the paint booth and has gotten some final touches on sanding the edges and cleaning up over spray.

22much New Reader
July 29, 2017 9:35 a.m.

Prep for Paint

taped and wrapped

22much New Reader
Aug. 15, 2017 10:28 p.m.

Paint

Picking the color was a daunting task but I decided on a two-tone scarlet and grey

Wet sanding and buffing is up next, also put her together some

Hard Top

I had to do something to make her stand out so naturally you put a rising sun on the hard top...

Lots of wet sanding and buffing to come (Just painted today)

Comments and Questions appreciated

Opti HalfDork
Aug. 16, 2017 5:29 a.m.

The two tone makes me think of an elan

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