Last weekend, My Special Lady Friend and I did a bonzai run to just South of the TN/GA border, and got this:

It is a '94 Miata auto (hence the tragic part) that I acquired from HoserRacing for the princely sum of $250 and a bottle of Jameson. It has no title, but I may or may not have driven it the two hours home. 


So I've seen the questions here before-"What do I do with an an auto Miata?" " What do I do with a free Miata?" While this wasn't quite free, I'll add "What do I do with a Miata that can never be street legal?"

The answer is lots of things, but I'm not just going to tell you what they are. Suffice to say, there is a clue to one of my many nefarious plans in the title.

The day of pickup, Should have gotten a picture with Hoser:


In reply to wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) :

You're going to build a deer-themed crapcan racer with it?

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Nope, but that's an excellent guess. 

This thing was pretty nasty.

The trunk and passenger floorboard were both filled with dessicants (Do Not Eat!)

First, I gave it a good pressure washing (no pics- lame), then got it up on stands,

and started pulling the interior.

This was all just to get it clean enough that it wasn't disgusting to work on. Although a southern car, and outwardly clean, I'm guessing years of a leaky top had taken quite a toll. I had to drill the screws at the center console and a few seat bolts.

The first role this car is going to play is a parts donor for my M Edition.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/6/21 7:18 p.m.

There is but one answer for this answer.  That's a LS swap backed by a manual valve body TH400.  Then Challenge.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Nope on the LS swap, but this will be a backup challenge car (shooting for DFL, if I take it).

I'm counting the change left in it, just in case. Gonna need some corrosion removal. If the horrible funk ate away some coinage, can I still take it out of the budget?

There was just a touch of rust under the carpet.As it is pretty clean underneath, I suspect years of a leaky top. That, or it was often left out in the rain topless.

The driver's floorboard actually looks okay. Pictures above are the passenger's

HundredDollarCar New Reader
1/7/21 9:27 p.m.

"What do I do with a Miata that can never be street legal?"

Obviously, you're going to gut the engine and transmission and mount the chassis to the bottom half of a mechanical bull ride you purchased from a failed Houston honkey-tonk and make a Miata Rally-X simulator.  I mean, "Buck"? 

fornetti14 GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/8/21 4:22 p.m.

The price was right!  The rest can be fixed in time.  There's just something about a Miata that makes me smile when I drive one.  Even the crapped out sub $1k cars.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/30/22 5:57 p.m.

Things may be happening.


wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/30/22 6:07 p.m.

Now we're talking.

Did I mention the eye-popping deal esteemed colleague Calteg gave me? Two miata 5-speeds for $100 (ok, and a significant investment in fuel and hotel rooms over a 51 hour bansai run from East TN to Austin TX).

Just goofing now.


wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/29/23 6:06 p.m.

Soooo, yeah, Things have been happening. I can't seem to get the garage clear enough to work on my primary challenge hope, the X1/9. The weather has been nice, and I keep accumulating Miata parts. Lets back up a bit.

Challenge Champion NoCones sold me a NB shell for 200 bucks. That's it in the last post. I like it, and it has a title. Part of the master plan involves Buck donating parts to the NB to make it superawesome. A detour on that route that seems rational is to finally get my ass to the challenge. A 250 dollar Miata like ole Bucky seems like my best bet. Once I have gotten all the bugs out, the hope is to build a nice/hot street car from the two. The 5 speeds Calteg sold me should help in this endeavour.

I have been working on the NB, trying to see what's what. 

That's the same fender as pictured above. Daniel (NoCones) straightened it some, and my English Wheel and I kept approaching straight, without actually getting there. 

Flush with my new metalshaping knowledge, I thought I'd straighten ole Bucky out some. 

That meant pulling panels, and as long as I was in there, pressure washing, and all kinds of other rabbit holes.

Buck's beaten up fender came out OK, so I started in on the hood. Things didn't go so well.

I got some E36 M3 straight, but had a massive low spot at the front of the hood. I worked it with the shrinking disc for hours. 

This is somewhere in the middle of my struggles:

I just couldn't get it right, so I admitted defeat.

While all this was going on, GRM has been supplying me parts.

There's that^^^, one of Whiskey Business's famed turbos, and this>

A Plug and Play Mega Squirt that just happened across the board for a 94-95 Miata. Only problem is I don't know how it interfaces with the auto. I'll have to start another thread to address my ignorance of turbos, MegaSquirt, and stuff in general. 

Any advice is appreciated.


AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/29/23 7:39 p.m.

Exocet donor!

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/29/23 10:53 p.m.

Ahhh. I missed this thread. That is the potential home for the MSPNP. Awesome project.

So funny story, I bought a new used motor for my MSM since my factory one was smoking like a grandma at the casino. 

The day after I sent that to you, it showed up. I was just expecting the engine with no extras. I go through the box that came with it and what do you know, A MSPNP 3 Pro sitting in the box. So one left and another one showed up. It would be a haha moment but it was the second time I sold a megasquirt and a new one came in my life shortly afterwards. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/29/23 11:08 p.m.

In reply to bmw88rider :


Anyway, Cool! Best wishes/luck.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/4/23 2:36 p.m.

I've been straightening ol' Bucky out a bit.

Turns out, things are much worse than they initially appeared. The core support is bent to E36 M3, the passenger's headlight mechanism is much the same, and, generally, this is a $250 car. No Problem.

While I had everything at hand, I wanted to answer a question: How does an NA hood look on an NB?

Answer? Actually, really good.

I guess it is pretty obvious where this is eventually going after humbling defeat at the challenge...I plan to meld NA and NB into a pop up headlight, broad shouldered, bare knuckled fightin' Miata. At the moment, all signs point to "Yes".

For now, Buckie will keep moving Challengeward. 

There is a thread I started to learn about turbo stuff/standalone computers, and the like very much germane to the topic here.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/25/23 3:30 p.m.

It doesn't look like much, but the following photos show quite a bit of work.

Good enough for me.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/4/23 8:06 p.m.

And Start a thread about turbos and such, I did.

Learn Me

I've been polluting my brain with various images in the meantime

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/12/23 6:34 p.m.

Whoops! Apologies for the redundancy. Yes, I'm learning about Megasquirt and turbos. Precious little to report there, but progress is being made, and I understand some things.

For now, I have been straightening the nose cone. It is very high tech stuff.

Basically, it has been sitting in front of the downstairs heater for a few weeks. I've beet tracking the temp, and just letting it relax. Today I said berk it, and got after it with the heat gun, wood blocks, dollies, weight, and wait.

03Panther PowerDork
12/12/23 6:59 p.m.

If this contract in ga continues to go well, I'd be interest in some na parts for a couple of future project. I need front suspension for one project, and rear for a different. Crusty in between maters not! If ya end up with extra, keep me in mind!

Ando GRM+ Memberand New Reader
12/12/23 7:28 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:

For now, I have been straightening the nose cone. It is very high tech stuff.


I saw this pic and I thought you were mocking up turbo placement.....

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/12/23 8:16 p.m.

In reply to 03Panther :

There may be body parts left over, maybe a roof frame or two, maybe even a gas tank or two, but all the suspension and drivetrain is accounted for. Metalman, who posts here from time to time is a Miata breaker in Atlanta, and often has shells/suspensions available for pretty darn cheap-bonus, he's a pleasant fellow to deal with.

In reply to Ando- I thought I might mount it on the exhaust somewherewink

03Panther PowerDork
12/12/23 9:11 p.m.

If money ever does recover a bit, I'll keep him in mind. 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/17/23 10:54 a.m.

I'm running up against minimal info on my ECU/auto harness conundrum. One account says the only difference between auto and maunal 94 ecms is that pin #10 needs to be grounded to use the manual. 

I'm contemplating the purchase of this:

, a 94 wiring diagram manual, but it is almost 200 bucks (nearly the price of the car!), and I have yet to confirm that that manual has diagrams for the auto as well. ...Thinking.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/25/23 4:04 p.m.

In the last week, I've been using the heat gun, clamping, and walking away from this a lot. 

I got it close enough that I thought anything further would need to be on the car anyway, so I made a little bracket to fix that tab I got frustrated with and hacked off with a cutting disc.

And had to do a trial fit.

Plenty of fit up yet to be done, but it is much better than it was.


wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/30/23 5:41 p.m.

I went to the Pull-A-Part today for the first time in some while, and got this:

An intercooler off  a 2013 Volvo S-60. 

Like I said, it has been quite some time since I've been there, and I ASSumed stuff was still sort of reasonably priced. Well, after fees, core charge, and purchase price, that thing came out to $70. I can get a Maxpeedingrods 27X7 X2.5 or thereabouts unit for $56 +$5 shipping. I may still do that, but this piece is sized well, A factory design, and, well, in hand. 

Surprisingly enough, there was a Miata in the PAP. A 2001 auto that was very badly wrecked.So badly, I couldn't come up  with a single thing I could use from it. The rearend and subframe looked good, and the front suspension might've been, but VVt and interior stuff was gone. The body panels were toast.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/12/24 6:55 p.m.


post is for nothing but...Dayum, Those Flyin Miata guys make nice cars.

When did 15" 50 series tires start looking Meaty?


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