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Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 10:16 a.m.

3M Headlight Restoration kit.

I was surprised that I was able to save the deeply scratched passenger side. Those scratches on the bumper went right across the light. It was much worse than it looks in the first photo.

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DaveEstey PowerDork
1/16/15 10:34 a.m.

I'm a big fan of the 3M kit.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 10:35 a.m.

Just ordered a pair of Flyin' Miata sway bars.

Xceler8x GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/16/15 10:39 a.m.

I love this thread.

Go get'em Woody!

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 12:59 p.m.

My truck has been at the Toyota dealer for a frame swap since the day after I brought this car home. I had completely forgotten about that, until I realized that I hadn't been to the gas station this week.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 3:53 p.m.

The car came with a broken tail light. I used red tape for a quick temporary repair but finally removed it today.

 photo MiataLights004_zps25ff7ca4.jpg

The only affordable replacement that I could find had a lot of overspray on it. I was able to remove almost all of it using 0000 steel wool. I used really light pressure and then followed it up with a coat of Meguire's Cleaner Wax.

 photo MiataLights001_zps56162d2d.jpg

Not perfect, but much better and not terribly expensive.

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Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 4:02 p.m.

In the interest of finding free horsepower on old cars, I always check for excess slack in the throttle cable. Not much was happening during the first inch of gas pedal travel and here's why:

 photo Miata004_zps682726a0.jpg

The throttle is still up against it's stop in this photo^. A few turns of the adjusters took up almost all of the slack. That will also translate into more fuel and air getting into the engine when the pedal is on the floor.

 photo Miata006_zpscd14fc25.jpg

chiodos New Reader
1/16/15 4:27 p.m.

Fun fact, they do make bbq paint in silver. I see it at lowes all the time but I always default to black. Ive never used it on a valve cover though I always use it on exhaust parts with good results.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 7:02 p.m.

Another quality of life issue: I did the Parking Brake Mod.

I just barely fit in this car as it is, but the way that the front end of the parking brake lever poked into my right thigh was intolerable. Fortunately, there's a cheap and easy solution.

After removing the driver's seat (which took less than a minute), I was was able to get to the parking brake mounting bracket. I loosened the top two mounting bolts and removed the third lower bolt. I put two washers between the parking brake base and the transmission tunnel, replaced the lower bolt and then tightened all three. It moves the top of the parking brake handle about an inch or so in toward the shifter and it makes all the difference in the world.

 photo MiataLights006_zps8539c101.jpg

Mad_Ratel Reader
1/16/15 9:10 p.m.

use the 3m kit on the taillight...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 10:43 p.m.

Never heard of the parking brake mod before. Interesting.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/15 11:59 p.m.
Mad_Ratel wrote: use the 3m kit on the taillight...

First rule of Italian driving...

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/15 11:10 a.m.

I don't have a "before" shot, but here's what the parking brake lever looks like after adding the spacers.

 photo Miataseatshims008_zps48d0af84.jpg

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/17/15 11:28 a.m.

More Quality of life stuff.

The short seat base doesn't offer a lot of thigh support. I removed the seat, flipped it over, removed the front bolts mounting the seats to the rails, and loosened the rears and the ones mounting the seat belt buckle to the side of the seat. I found a pair of longer bolts for the front in the Big Bucket of Metric Hardware, put five 5/16" washers on each side between the rails and seat base and then tightened everything up. This raises up the front of the seat base, giving more thigh support. It also raises your knees, which effectively yields noticeably more leg room.

 photo Miataseatshims001_zpscaba3d50.jpg

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 photo Miataseatshims006_zps00e6d945.jpg

So the parking brake mod and the seat shimming took me less that an hour combined and cost me the price of two used bolts and twelve washers. The car is now exponentially more comfortable to drive.

The_Jed UltraDork
1/17/15 11:47 a.m.

I love that kind of stuff! Just a little tweak here and there to take a cookie cutter and tailor it to fit yourself nearly perfectly.

johndej Reader
1/17/15 5:11 p.m.

Is a roll bar required for the ice racing? Might have looked at cutting some of the foam out while you were tailoring the seat. Will give you a couple inches if you need them for the broomstick test.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/18/15 4:36 a.m.

No roll bar necessary, and I decided that these seats are too perfect for a foamectomy.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/19/15 12:29 p.m.

The night before last, we had a freak ice storm and none of the roads got sand or salt. I drove the car to work (firefighter) without any trouble. I had trouble walking from the parking lot into the station and spent the first eight hours on duty dealing with car wrecks and people who had fallen on ice. The firetruck slid off the road twice. Eventually, we thawed out, but froze up again overnight. I could barely walk to my car at the end of my shift this morning, but the Miata got me home as if the roads were dry.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/19/15 5:21 p.m.

I finally got around to painting the yellowing wheel center caps (Rustoleum #7271) and gave the car a proper cleaning.

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Harvey GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/19/15 6:12 p.m.

Now I kinda miss doing Miata things.

beans Dork
1/19/15 7:36 p.m.
Harvey wrote: Now I kinda miss doing Miata things.

Buy a Honda. It's like doing Miata things, but worse.

Xceler8x GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/20/15 8:39 a.m.
Harvey wrote: Now I kinda miss doing Miata things.

Would "doing Miata things" be anything like this tumblr blog?

Just Girl Things.

..I know...I know...so cliche.

kylini Reader
1/20/15 8:50 a.m.

I'm digging the interior mods and might have to steal a few.

Let me know if you decide to stud up some tires! I'd love to know what I can safely get away with and not destroy what's left of my fenders!

If for some mysterious reason you want another passenger taillight (seals are damaged from...uh...fire), I'll snap up some photos and send it your way for shipping only. Ditto a Mazdaspeed stock muffler (sounds better, still heavy) and a '99 sport strut bar.

Harvey GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/20/15 9:37 a.m.

They are just easy cars to work on and everything is dirt cheap.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/15 11:40 a.m.

In reply to kylini:

You've got some mail.

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