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Gunchsta HalfDork
9/11/20 8:38 a.m.

I think one will have to genuinely fall into my lap, but I'm open to it if it does. 

Also I should admit some shame in not knowing your katakana title - I took Japanese for like 4 years in highschool. I remember virtually none of it other than I find Japan wonderful and fascinating. 



infernosg New Reader
9/11/20 9:14 a.m.

This has been a more-than-amusing read. Great story-telling!

Quick comment RE: tow dolly. While I have zero experience with Miatas I'm unfortunately well-versed in RX7s. The N/A models and Miatas essentially share transmissions. My understanding is one should always remove the driveshaft when using a tow dolly. My knowledge from rebuilding exactly two transmissions suggests to me the rear bearing is lubricated only really when the input and output shafts are connected (i.e. in gear). If you're reverse driving the transmission maybe the rear bearing isn't getting lubricated. It kinda looks like the bearing is siezed to the driveshaft in the pictures on page 1. At a storage place I once helped an older women unload a early 2000s Ranger off a tow dolly but it would not go into gear (auto). Maybe it's an automatic transmission thing...

accordionfolder SuperDork
9/11/20 9:56 a.m.

In reply to infernosg :

I'm glad you're enjoying the ride as well! 

I appreciate the comment! That's one of the "great internet debates." Can you flat tow/rear wheel down tow a miata/rx7? One camp says you'll damage them the other says you're fine. I've towed my high strung exocet ~2000 miles at interstate speeds rear wheels down with the driveshaft in and then beat the snot out of it at track days for the last ~3 years. And that's with the weakest of the miata transmissions, the na6 trans (and one with like ... 200k miles on it too). I think the red car was flat towed before I got it in gear, which has dire consequences to the engine and trans it seems. I also towed our tiny silver friend rear wheels down with no bad results, but of course YMMV! I'll probably keep doing it that way, though I hope to get a super light trailex trailer some day so it's not an issue - tow dolly isn't my favorite way of moving cars, but you work with what you've got!

TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
9/11/20 10:33 a.m.

  The trialex aluminum trailer is very expensive, but I am glad I got it.  So light you can easily pick up the front and push it around.  Also you don't need a big truck to tow, a steel tow dolley might weigh as much.

accordionfolder SuperDork
9/11/20 10:46 a.m.

In reply to TED_fiestaHP :

I've been eyeballing them for a while now, just  haven't found the right time to destroy the budget getting one :( Tow dolly is ~500lbs, trailex with brakes is quoted on their website as being 700lbs. So light!

TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
9/11/20 10:58 a.m.

    Yep about 700 lbs, my first tow vehicle, was a 850 Volvo.   

       To move it around, I pick up the front end, and the front tires come off the ground, easy to push around.

   That trailer is one of the smart things I have done.

      Sadly I don't have any pictures of the bright yellow Volvo towing the yellow fiesta.

accordionfolder SuperDork
11/2/20 10:30 a.m.

AAAaaaaaaaand we're back!

Big, slightly difficult to install parts have arrived! A rollbar! From Flyin' Miata! That thing that you realllllllly don't want to test, but if you ever have to test it you'll be very glad it's there! The install went about how you would expect. Difficult to fish your hands around and marking parts to be drilled is always nerve-wracking. I bolted and removed the silly thing at least a dozen times, but once it's in the miata suddenly looks like it had a purpose! It was around this time that the front hubs informed me they were old and likely to disentigrate, so I ordered some blue printed hubs from FM and installed some exteneded studs. A quick alignment on the paco stands and we were in business!


And now, time lapse!



Bent-Valve Dork
11/2/20 7:42 p.m.


Trade ya one silver car for another silver car ..... one with a proper dorito powered engine ..... wink Better yet we could take them to the track this next year and waste some time, gas and rubber.


accordionfolder SuperDork
11/3/20 10:47 a.m.
Bent-Valve said:

... Better yet we could take them to the track this next year and waste some time, gas and rubber.

Yissssssssss, there's one more club day this year at NCM. HMMMMMM.

accordionfolder SuperDork
11/16/20 3:53 p.m.

When you look at this driveway, I bet you too said: "there's not enough miata in it" - didn't you? I know, there's another 1/2 a red car hidden off screen, but really the exocet is only like .... 1/3 miata at best. So when some people say "You already have 3 miata." I reply, "it's really only 1.8333 miata!"

This argument, to my surprise (and presumably yours), worked on my excruciatingly understanding better half when a fantastic deal on miata and parts came up. Naturally,  I leaped off the "dibs" cliff before looking where I would fall - turns out driving from TN to the northern border of Minnesota is quite a trek. I saddled up my well traveled CX-9, hitched up the tow dolly of questionable decision enablement, spun up the mix tape,  and headed out.

There wasn't a great "half-way" point so I decided to drop by Dad's place in Missouri (Bent-Valve on the forum) on the way north (Cheap hotel room! No bugs!). We played with drones, ate bbq, drove heavy equipment, and generally had a merry time! Some of the other highlights include sliding "Gurdy" (spl?) the Grand Marquis around on the gravel, goofing around with Dorito-power (see above), and playing in the creek that runs by their lovely abode. 

1 lovely stop off completed of my planned 3 day sprint to the northern lands and back. I headed out again, tow dolly bouncing merrily behind me (it really keeps people from tailgating you). I made it all the way to the MN and met up with another forum member, Keethrax. We chatted for a bit, but then I was heading south again. I got in a bit over 14 hours of driving completed the second day.


The third day of driving - only a 12 hour stint - was a blur. I made it home with my hoard of parts w/ sanity and cars intact. Another crack-brained idea turned successful! Or some version of successful? Depending on how you count I now have 4 miata or 2.8333 miata.

Either way my driveway is full. I have a MS3, CX-9, a red 1990 miata, a silver 1990 miata, a silver 2001 Miata, and an exomotive Exocet. Only a fool would buy any more cars. A fool I tell you....

Bent-Valve Dork
11/17/20 7:40 a.m.

I didn't know you got that incriminating picture! LOL. It's hard to fly a drone and sit still at first, you want to lean or look because of the first person view. Sadly that drone has died, one to many 60 to 100 foot falls through the trees.

I did question your sanity about that trip, but I can understand.

I wonder what is the farthest anyone has road tripped to get a car / parts / $2K fodder?

accordionfolder SuperDork
11/18/20 12:01 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

lol, who knows! Alls well that ends well!

And when I said the tow-dolly was boucning around, I wasn't kidding. The MN roads did a number on it while it was empty:

It shattered the brake pad - which led to an awful noise the whole way home, but no real reduction in braking capacity! The pad and it's pieces were captured agains the rotor so it still was stopping fairly evenly! Magical!

accordionfolder SuperDork
11/20/20 10:37 a.m.

La Cucaracha, a fazda-tastic side story.

My parent's neighbor's son (phew) decided to crash this here wee white truck (not really his fault - it had DIY slicks à la Lewis Hamilton). The damage didn't appear to be fatal, and we helped them swap the radiator to one without a hole and "re-ran" the trans cooler lines. There was debate whether the hole would provide additional cooling, but we landed on "probably not" and swapped it out. The world may never know....

Fast forward a few weeks and it "appears" to be leaking trans fluid - we think cracked transmission case and they park it for many months. I get a text from el padre, did I want to buy the ole' white truck? 250? - I give them 300 because it's definitely worth at least that and we jerry-rig a battery and fire the mean girl up. She stumble and grumbles to life and I gingerly drive her the 5 minutes over to my house - it's not exactly the smoothest ride, but it runs and drives. It squeaks any time you touch a bump or turn the wheel in a comical fashion (I check, it's only got 1 sway bar end link, lol) and shudders hilariously when you touch the brakes. Note the cardboard to keep the battery we shoe-horned in from grounding on the hood. Very classy.

First things first - I throw the battery on the trickle charger for a few days and then the big charger for a few more and it appears to have survived - a christmas miracle! I get it fired up and give it a bath, after driving away the sleepies it's not going to be mistaken for a brand new truck, but it runs and drives for 300 bucks! Can't beat that. The interior was well used across many owners and the steering wheel in particular was starting to disintegrate, ebay to the rescue with a NOS steering wheel - 30 minutes to install and I not only have a running/driving truck, but the cruise works again. SWEET.

New shoes are next on the menu, after install fee, etc. I have more than the cost of the truck on its feets, but whatever. If you can't tell from this thread I love making bad automotive investments. It now has traction and won't try to kill you in the rain anymore, so another solid win.

It does still appear to be "leaking" trans fluid, but I can't really tell from where. I did some dump runs, etc in it and then magically - it stopped leaking! I think it was way overfilled? Maybe someone tried to top it off while it wasn't running? Either way - it has trans fluid and shifts fine. So I'll consider that a win? I'll even take credit for fixing it, good job me.

While this is all happening over a few months I get down to ordering crap for the truck. Some EBC yellow pads for it because why not?? Non-fogged headlights. New rotors + front bearings. A full front end rebuild because, eh? They have a weak spot in their timing gear, so a motor-craft one of those thingies is also ordered. No kill like overkill.

Here's why it was vibrating under braking as it turns out:

At this point it needs an alignment and me to find seat covers or new front seats, but it now runs and drives SMOOOOOOOOOOTH. The wife named it Ferdi - Hopefully Ferdi will serve me many more miles.

Bent-Valve Dork
11/20/20 1:16 p.m.

Oddly this last post REALLY reminded me of fixing Gerti.

Both Fords, both with parts worn out past safe sane limits, sway bar links broken, needing new discs.

Both cheap vehicles that now have more in parts than the original purchase price.

Both now worth more than what we have in them.

I will say I am jealous because you now have a truck.

Lets see, without a truck you drug how much stuff home? laugh

accordionfolder SuperDork
11/20/20 1:59 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Lol - don't be too jealous, it's the 3.0 v6 and has a bit of trouble getting out of it's own way. I'm hoping to do the rear gears and give it a bit more go with 4.11 or 4.56 gears, both are available.

It is rather Gerti like isn't it? I'll change the spelling to "Ferdi" to honor our goodest driving barge Gerti.

accordionfolder SuperDork
3/29/21 1:13 p.m.

Hmmmm, 4 months since the last update.

Let's try to get this thing up-to-date.

Around this time last year the Silver Track Miata of absolute win was together as a suspension package, but still had the old 1.6 motor in it. The OG plan was to stick a VVT motor in it, but what have we learned from the earlier posts in this thread?

Plans are made to be just completely and utterly ignored.

Soooooo, I had an extra JDM 1.6 engine laying around (I ordered it for my exocet, and then used my "built" motor instead). I ordered a million gaskets, hoses, and belts - POOF - now we have a mostly working 1.6 that sounds a bit .... squeaky.

And thus begins the saga of timing belt hell. I set up the timing belt best I could, engine ran happy - but alas ... it was squeaky and the belt was HELL to get on. I take it off, I don't like the sounds it's making - the belt is all but disintegrated after maybe 200 miles. WOOF. What's going on here? A bad belt?

New belt ordered - still hard as hell to get on and exact same size as the current belt. What else can it be? Well ... as it turns out apparently crap water pumps exist ....

Bing bang boom, I swap the water pump and we're good to go so far as I can tell.

Now ... why did I build this slow, overpriced silver car? Oh right! To track it! I am a part of the driving club at NCM in bowling green so OFF I GO. Time to get some quality laps in!

I drive it up to BG. First time on the track - it feels good, but what's this? I'm getting a miss after one lap. Damn, well, I drive the backup exocet. Driving back home the miss goes away - and thus begins THE SAGA OF THE MISS.

Take two - we're feeling good again, I checked over everything and the miss seems to be gone? Sticking injector? Bad coil? I drive back up to BG - I get a single lap in again and ... missing. Damn. I start the once over again, turns out you need to have your injectors plugged in ALL THE WAY to make this work. Ha.

Alright ... where does that get us? Well. A 2:45:xx.... That's slow! Turns out I'm not very good at this. Pickup the throttle too late? That's a second down. Overslow? That's another. I jump in the exocet to make myself feel better.

All these are on Federal 595-RSRR tires, they're actually getting "worse" throughout the year, I'm just getting faster.
07/17/20 - best time 2:45:31 - shake down day, only 3 laps
07/20/20 - best time 2:45:71 - hmmm, getting worse, only 3 laps
07/22/20 - best time 2:42:24 - getting better!
08/10/20 - best time 2:41:55 - LET'S GO SUB 40
08/26/20 - best time 2:38:83 - Yissssssss
09/23/20 - best time 2:37:73 - The tires are falling on their faces here, I can get sub<40 pretty easily, but PB only happen after cooling the tires and then going for it
10/02/20 - best time 2:37:02 - got new tires again! Times drop! - SO CLOSE.
10/19/20 - best time 2:37:39 - It's HARD to get this car <2:36! You blow a single braking zone, get on the throttle a microsecond too late and you're not getting it!

Then it comes... I've pushed ALL YEAR. I have literally one club day to get this done in. I NEED a 2:36 with every CELL IN MY BODY. NCM is, and always will be a "power track" with the best of them. The back and middle straights, especially in a car with a bone stock 1.6 and a 4.1 diff HAS to get a perfect entrance. My brakes are Hawk blacks, terrible for modulation. Excuses aside. Here's the last lap of the last session of the season:

That's 2020 in a nutshell!

Mission Accomplished:)

accordionfolder SuperDork
3/29/21 5:22 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) said:

Mission Accomplished:)

Stage 1 has been complete! Congratulations Player1! 

Stage 2 loading.
Stage 2 loading..
Stage 2 loading...
Stage 2 loading....
Stage 2 loading.....

accordionfolder SuperDork
3/30/21 12:38 p.m.

Trying to get this caught up to the present - time for a bit of fast forwarding through the terrible winter of 2020!

So I managed a 2:36! Yeeeeee-haw!

What's next? I should leave this hammer reliable beast alone right?.... Right???

 I DO love squeezing every millisecond out of the 1.6 I can, but as TTNats demonstrated- the 1.6 is a complete non-starter in any of the "lower" interesting classes. I'm not particularly keen for forced induction or slicks in my reliable training car, all my driving friends are on VVT cars, and you can driver mod pretty far, but I jumped in my friends VVT NB w/ a similar mod list (but better tires) and in 2 laps hard already gone easy 2:33.xx - ha. I had terrible driver position since he's shorter than me and I was driving it easy because ... you know, not my car. Oof, power is king here.

At some point in the year I got a smoking deal on an 1.8VVT complete w/ MSPNP2 ECU/Header/Exhaust/Intake - what every growing car needs. The - super friendly/helpful/patient - guy who I bought it from was going K-series like all the cool kids for GLTC in 2021. 

Here's what his car on spec miata slicks/aero did with that very same motor:


... yeah ... that's fast.

edit, giggity:

Bent-Valve Dork
6/14/21 7:11 p.m.


Accordianfolder has been working hard on his car and driving.

This weekend he won third in his class and the workers choice award at the SCCA Time Trials Nationals!

He's the bearded one at the right! laugh

Kudos to the Bearded One!

accordionfolder SuperDork
6/15/21 8:47 a.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Oh hey, that's me!


accordionfolder SuperDork
8/22/21 1:13 p.m.

How about another Ford based side story? I've been looking around for a truck and trailer and came to the odd (stupid) conclusion that I'd prefer to have them both be the same object. My wife needed me to recover her grandmother's beetle and I decided the best way to do it was a rollback.... Yes a rollback. I won't go into my various and expensive missteps but I finally found the one for me in a large, red, medium duty truck we call CliFORD. Har har har. 

The fun thing about buying a rollback is when you go pick it up you can do it with one person and drag whatever you bought it with back yourself. 


More to come....

accordionfolder SuperDork
8/23/21 9:53 a.m.

With Cliford firmly in hand (on driveway) let's talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

The Good:
The paint is mint.
Can carry cars.
Is named Cliford.

The Bad:
leaks oil something fierce
a/c doesn't work
cruise control doesn't work
speedo doesn't work
Has a tiny gas tank (20 gallons)
Radio doesn't work.

The Ugly:
The seats are nasty.
The driver.
Makes a noise on decel.

So what do you do with this bag of fun first? 

Drive 7 hours round trip to GA and recover your wife's grandmothers Beetle. A highly sentimental task, she and her family grew up in the car. We'll be fully restoring it, but first we have to get it out of the side of the hill where it was taking a breather for the last decade. The brother, the wife and I loaded up the snacks, wished we had a radio, and sweltered in the 90* heat through the mountains in GA. Cliford is geared like all tow trucks, so he CAN run 70, but prefers to run 65 and the tiny gas tank means stopping once before we even get there! But get there he does! And the proceeds to idle for next 3 hours as we winch out the beetle, all four wheels locked up. We used every bit of the chain we brought to get it hooked up. I'm very thankful for the hand of god that is a hydraulic winch, I think we'd have burned up most electric winches by the time we were done. Several trees had to be removed, and we fought it every inch of the way:

We did finally prevail!

As you can see, the beetle has seen better days, but we'll get her on her feet again. 

The way home is the reverse of leaving it. Chattanooga slowed us down to a crawl, and besides the constant drip-drip-drip of oil Cliford never missed a beat (it holds 15 quarts so it didn't even register on the stick after all of that). He drives with the beetle on his head the same way he drove empty and got the exact same gas milage: 11mpg.  A surprising number of thumbs up and "Fix that up!" calls from random passerby as we crawled through traffic or stopped for gas. 

And home:


accordionfolder SuperDork
8/24/21 11:30 a.m.

Cliford, having completed his primary operative in life has now gone on to do lots of truck like things. Mainly ferry around my various track cars, but also other things like scrap yard runs, unloading huge piles of steel, and shrubbery removal. 

I did make the rather expensive decision that the dealership can deal with some of issues. They fixed the oil leaks, they changed to a single mass flywheel and new clutch, speed sensor, and a/c as well as replace the only bad tire on the truck. It was nice to show up and have a truck that drove like (almost) new! Though my wallet hurt something fierce after that. 

I changed a hand full of sensors trying to get cruise control to work and patched the wiring some, but it's still reporting the brake pressure switch as "always on" so I need to dig through the wiring harness to find out where the wire is broken. So really the only major things left to fix are the slop in the steering, the cruise control, and the radio. 

I decided to attack the slop in the steering by ... well pretty much replacing the entire front end of the truck:

The last few parts from RockAuto supposedly arrive today (new steering box, wheel hubs, drag link), so I should be able to start putting parts back on finally! 


accordionfolder SuperDork
8/24/21 5:17 p.m.

The last volley hath arrived! Instillation is the reverse of removal!

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