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10/21/17 8:42 p.m.

Hi, I am mark, I am 11 years old. I have always wanted a Miata to be my first car. It was cool because it was cheap, sporty, small, easily modifiable, and simple. We have been looking for a Miata for 2 years. My dad found a cheap one on GRM https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/201x-classifieds/1991-mazda-miata-99k-miles-5-speed-has-some-needs-but-would-make-a-great-race-car-ann-arbor-mi/132418/page1/ 

When we went to check out the Miata my sister came and when she saw the miata she agreed  to pay ⅓ of the cost my dad and I split the remaining ⅔.

Miata Maintenance by Phil Kingham, on Flickr" /><a data-flickr-embed="true"  href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/124330916@N06/23752563418/in/photostream/" title="Miata Maintenance"><img src="https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4488/23752563418_226066fa28_k.jpg" width="2048" height="1536" alt="Miata Maintenance"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Not sure if this photo link will work.  We're still learning. 

ebonyandivory UberDork
10/22/17 7:05 a.m.

This is gonna be an awesome experience for all of you!

You'll never forget it!

bkingham New Reader
10/22/17 9:24 a.m.

Hello, I’m the sister, Becca, I’m 13, and I like this car for pretty much all of the same reasons that my brother does. We’ve done the timing belt, water pump, radiator hoses, thermostat, fuel filter, mounted tires, and many other things.

Our biggest problem so far is that the driver side seat perch and floor are rotted out.

XLR99 Dork
10/22/17 3:45 p.m.

OK this should be awesome!!  Triple bonus for siblings working together and not beating each other with breaker bars...


pkingham Reader
10/22/17 4:41 p.m.

Proud Papa here. So far they are working very well together.  They are doing all the work based on YouTube videos, a book, and their own ingenuity. I provide assistance when they ask, though I do keep an eye on things to make sure they don't do anything potentially dangerous. And I take the pictures.


We are in no rush as Becca is still a year and a half from the earliest she could get a permit.  They will update this thread as things happen or if we are looking for some input. 

NOHOME UltimaDork
10/22/17 5:23 p.m.

I would give more thumbs-up if I could. Winning at parenting .laugh

Teaching your kids to do "Stuff" with tools pays huge dividends in the future.

Hal UltraDork
10/22/17 6:37 p.m.

As a former middle school shop teacher, I really like what you are doing.  The problem solving and mechanical skills the kids will learn will help them the rest of their lives.

mkingham New Reader
10/22/17 8:06 p.m.

The car came on a set of summer tires, but they are dry rotted. The car also included a set of good unmounted snow tires. We decided to swap the tires on the wheels, and we also balanced the tires. 

We took up Deadskunk on his offer for free shocks (He lives close to us so we went to his house). While we where at his house we also bought another set of wheels from him. They are bigger so we will use them for summer tires.

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
10/22/17 8:28 p.m.

I like where this is going. Looks like the makings of a new Challenge team! laugh Thumbs up for all of you, and thanks for sharing your build. 

Dirtydog Reader
10/22/17 8:38 p.m.

This is great.  Congratulations to all.   It's nice to see you kids outside, getting your hands dirty, and learning something.   Sure beats sofa surfing with  a smart phone.   Keep up the good work.

thedoc New Reader
10/25/17 11:37 a.m.

You should find out if any of the local clubs will let kids drive with permits.  There used to be a few.  I wish I had a dad like this, and this is the dad I am trying to be.  My daughter wants her mothers fiesta st and my son wants my focus svt.  He is going to win this one.  My daughter loses as mom won't give up the st!  This is an awesome project for these two!!

BlueInGreen44 SuperDork
10/25/17 11:45 a.m.

Thanks for sharing!  I love seeing older needy cars get resurrected back into good shape so this will be fun to watch.  I hope my kid will be this ambitious when she's older.

NOHOME UltimaDork
10/25/17 12:11 p.m.


I am not sure what I am looking at here. I THINK its the DS foot-well, but need to pull back a bit for a broader view. The picture makes it look like the tunnel is rusted pretty much all the way to the top.  Is it possible that I am seeing the bottom of the carpet with a lot of rust stuck to it?


Is there welding equipment in the shop? Who plans to wield it?

DeadSkunk UberDork
10/25/17 1:22 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I've seen the car. I don't remember the tunnel being rusty, but water had been sitting in the driver side footwell. I think you are correct in thinking that's the carpet and attached rust. Dad is also an accomplished welder. Nothing to worry about here, just watch the pictures.

Trackmouse SuperDork
10/25/17 2:09 p.m.

This guy’s got the system worked! Train kids early to do it right. Later in life he has his own pit crew and maintenance program. No fair, sir! No fair! 

pkingham Reader
10/25/17 2:43 p.m.

Yeah, the rust is primarily on the low parts of the driver side floor, though the seat mount locations and seatbelt mounts are bad, too.  When they get the carpet out, we'll be looking for more input on how to attack it.  The funny part is that the rockers are solid.

Mark has done a little welding, but I'm thinking this will be my main physical contribution to the effort.

I like the idea of seeing if anyone will let kids autocross with a permit.  Sounds like something for Becca to research as she'll be the first.  I've followed mazdeuce's lead and told them that part of learning how to drive and getting a license includes autocrossing.

Recon1342 Reader
10/25/17 3:40 p.m.


bigben Reader
10/25/17 3:47 p.m.

Another thread that makes me smile. 

WhenI was 10 or 11 my uncle dropped off two Honda minibike frames and two boxes of parts. My dad answered questions but left us to our own devices. The rest is history. 

If only more kids had these types of experiences.

pkingham Reader
10/25/17 8:11 p.m.

In reply to Trackmouse :

Ssshhhhh!   Don't let them in on my secret!

bkingham New Reader
10/25/17 8:37 p.m.

I'm happy to be the pit crew as long as I get to drive the formula car he's building!

mkingham New Reader
10/25/17 8:47 p.m.

Actually I want to drive that car too!!!

bkingham New Reader
10/25/17 8:48 p.m.

I also made an excel spreadsheet to manage the project and to track what needs to be done on the car. I would post it but it's actually really boring. frown

RossD MegaDork
10/25/17 9:10 p.m.

In reply to pkingham :

FYI: I sent you an email to your yahoo account you have listed here.

jmabarone New Reader
10/26/17 1:58 p.m.

I hope this is what my kids are doing in 10 years.  Good luck!  This is awesome!

Mr. Lee
Mr. Lee UberDork
10/27/17 8:44 a.m.

Yeah, Following. This is pretty epic! My sister would probably of had the car dropped on her if we would have done this.


I kid!!!! Mostly. When I was younger, I didn't let anyone screw with my "baby" sister, but holy hell I could have killed her on a number of occasions.

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