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Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 1:42 p.m.

After about a year's daydreaming, idle searching, then more serious searching, I found my unicorn. 

My daily silver 2006 NC Miata Grand Touring was getting long in the tooth, and after having some electrical issues around the #2 cylinder (that came back) I decided I wanted to move on from that specific car. It had rolled over 200,000 miles and the clutch had reached the point of obnoxiousness. Likely a full refresh of the clutch hydraulics would solve the issue... but I was getting tired of the idiosyncrasies piling up. 

The unicorn was a 2009 (first year of the NC2 updates, with improved driveline and interior ergonomics. I've been driving NC's since 2008, forst with a 2007 Sport model, followed by the 2006 Grand Touring. Both have a door mounted cup holder that digs in to the driver's thigh. The NC2 recesses it and smooths out the door panel. From 2009-2015, with the run of the NC3, only a few hundred were made in Competition Yellow. I've seen a few of these around my work area and it turns out one was available at a dealer for what seemed to be a reasonable price just as I was getting unhappy with the silver one. 

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
2/5/20 1:43 p.m.

Congrats. As a long time miata owner (NA,nb,msm,nc2), I hate the NC1. 
 

love the nc2 prht gt  we have. 

 

Congrats on the competition yellow. I recall at dealers when they were new 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/5/20 1:46 p.m.

Giggity!

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 1:49 p.m.

I think it showed up on AutoTrader or cars.com. I stopped by the dealer on a rainy Friday after a meeting at work, then agreed to come back Saturday to work out details. 

I will say I was bitterly disappointed in the dealer process. From adding on a "reconditioning fee" not in the ad, requiring me to do registration because I don't reside in state or in a neighboring state, and then the finance person first unsuccessfully trying to "lower my payment" by adding an auto warranty (not mentioned: the term would have increased from 38 to 48 months) and then successfully switching loan providers at the last minute (wnd increasing my rate over 2%. Shady, for sure. And technically, it didn't match the offer i had signed earlier. They also hit my credit with hard requests 3 times. I didn't find out about either of those two things for a couple of weeks...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 1:56 p.m.

As purchased. There's some "custom" vinyl on the car that I started removing the next day. 

Otherwise, it has heated seats, Bluetooth integration, and MOAR POWER. Nice! 

I'm very satisfied and start getting a lot of positive feedback about the car.  At this point, it seems like it will be christened "Buttercup" like the princess in The Princess Bride... But the car feels more masculine than feminine.....

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 1:59 p.m.

The silver one listed for sale here https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/cars-sale/for-sale-2006-mazda-miata-mx-5-grand-touring-2000/162309/page1/ and was rapidly snapped up by Nitroracer. H3e has since resolved the clutch issues, made a new key, and is enjoying daily use. 

Goodbye silver NC!

At the PA title place...

By this point, I've got the 16" wheels from my first NC shod with 2 year old Blizzaks ready for their last winter season. I definitely prefer the look of the new wheels, but like the 16" wheels with more sidewall for winter use. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
2/5/20 2:05 p.m.

Looks beautiful 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 2:09 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

I had an NA, then a VW Passat, then 2 NC1's.

I still get to drive NA and NB versions from AWSX1686 and CSmith from time to time. 

For me, as a bigger guy with lots of highway commuting, the NC2 is the perfect car. It feels solid and bigger than any of the others, but doesn't lose much in the fun factor. Compared to the NA (which has the creature comforts of a British car from the '70's... albeit with a good convertible top design and functioning HVAC, The NC has an EVEN BETTER top design and enough modern creature comforts to be a very comfortable daily driver. 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 2:13 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Just setting you up for the pending disaster...

See about halfway down https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/minor-rant-thread-post-your-rants-o-the-day-here/39151/page1121/

 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 2:20 p.m.

Over the next few weeks, I drove, enjoyed, and grew to love the car even more. 

A day before my tags were due to expire, I called the dealer and was unable to get details on picking up new tags. Out of state registrations commonly mean anothe rset (or sometimes two) need to be issued before the final tags arrive. 

The dealer redeemed themselves slightly as I was surprised to fined a FedEx envelope when I got home. They had already generated another 30 days and sent out to me. 

The PA metal tag arrived the next Monday and was bolted on Monday night. 

Then Saturday night I had overnight work down in Virginia (to end early Sunday morning) Driving home, I was northbound through Leesburg in the right lane of Route 15 when another driver who had missed his turn decided to turn right - through me to make it at the last minute. He pushed the car from the right lane to just in front of the median / island for the road coming from the east. 

This was unexpected! I hit my head on the door glass, thumb on my keys(?) and something hit my right calf. Maybe part of the center console... still haven't figured that out. 

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
2/5/20 2:25 p.m.
Greg Smith said:

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Just setting you up for the pending disaster...

See about halfway down https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/minor-rant-thread-post-your-rants-o-the-day-here/39151/page1121/

 

OMG 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
2/5/20 2:26 p.m.
Greg Smith said:

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

I had an NA, then a VW Passat, then 2 NC1's.

I still get to drive NA and NB versions from AWSX1686 and CSmith from time to time. 

For me, as a bigger guy with lots of highway commuting, the NC2 is the perfect car. It feels solid and bigger than any of the others, but doesn't lose much in the fun factor. Compared to the NA (which has the creature comforts of a British car from the '70's... albeit with a good convertible top design and functioning HVAC, The NC has an EVEN BETTER top design and enough modern creature comforts to be a very comfortable daily driver. 

No clue about top design. In 19 years, and 9 miatas, never took top down 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 2:27 p.m.

The side skirt was nearby and I put it in the car. 

The turn signal wasn't working anymore, but headlights still did. At the time I thought I tried to put the car in gear and pull it forward to the shoulder. Now I'm not sure if I still had the parking brake on or what. But at the time it didn't seem like it would move.

Unfortunately, even though I have AAA, the police department required it to be towed immediately because it was blocking the intersection. The officer was kind enough to let me clear my work bag and tools and drop me off at a nearby IHOP to wait for a ride home...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 2:38 p.m.

Sonic was kind enough to weigh in on the rant thread and made himself available to talk through the process. My initial hope was that the damage was isolated enough that it would be a minor fix. Clearly, suspension parts and the wheel are damaged beyond repair and will require replacement

Within 24 hours, the other driver's insurance company accepted liability and rather than having a paid claim on my insurance policy, I opted to work through the other one.

Fortunately, I was working from home that Monday, and they were able to get me set up with a rental car in short order. The Ford Fusion I was provided is comfortable and solid, and has an Ecoboost engine with paddle shifters. A decent ride for now, but far from what I'm accustomed to. 

(Pro tip on the Fusion - there is a hidden menu for more options in the HVAC screen which controls the heated steering wheel. Only took me 3 days to find that & turn it off! It's nice on a chilly morning, but not running full time.) Sweaty palms, bleh. 

Monday night my GRM New Years' Game box arrived... that was a positive moment in a tough time. 

I called the towing company and popped by to grab all remaining stuff from the car. In the event it's totaled, I want to keep everything not bolted on. 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 2:41 p.m.

While there's damage to the nose, it (may?) be repairable instead of requiring a replacement. 

The fender is done for, no surprise. But I confirmed that the door seam and hood seam are good and the sheet metal damage appears at this point to be isolated to the fender itself. Which is a bolt-on replacement, same as the earlier models. 

I begin negotiation with the insurance company whi o is quick to take the wreak off the tow company lot, (I assume they took it directly to the auction lot)

 * Tip here - the car is still mine. I should have found a way to tow it home at this point. There would be possible issues with towing and short term storage bills though. 

Initial offer from the company comes through late Friday and I find it to be thousands too low. 

 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 3:13 p.m.

Once again, I spoke to Sonic and went with the following approach

1) negotiate the total value first before talking about keeping the car. 

2) Establish value using the actual documented sale price from 5 weeks prior. That was huge. The online price (WAY lower than the "out the door price" was used to establish a value lower than actual. By having the documentation, we got to a reasonable amount. Still less than I'd have preferred, but my plan was to stay in their good graces through the next step...

3) Once the final value is agreed on, explain that as the owner, I want "Owner retains salvage". Since we have an agreed dollar amount for replacement, we can subtracet a salvage value for the vehicle based on auction pricing and get toa total price. 

Since I had put money down on the sale, the total - salvage was still higher than my loan payoff. Two Fridays after the incident, their insurance company cut a check for loan payoff and released the salvage yard to allow me to pick the car up. All costs to be covered by them (other than the actual transport)

This is a good deal for me because I'm familiar with the damage, and I know this is a solid drivetrain with only 40,000 miles. 

This is a good deal for the insurance company as they have less expense (auction fees, storage, etc) 

So even though my son has a trailer, he was also having cell phone issues. I reached out th o the hive...https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/ny-way-for-me-to-rent-or-borrow-a-flat-trailer-for-232020-waynesboro-pa-culpeper-va-and-back/163259/page1/ bur eventually we worked out using a borrowed truck and his trailer. 

As expected on that thread, the car was at IAA in Culpeper, VA. They loaded the car onto the trailer carefully, but it had taken some more damage on the nose somewhere in transit :(

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 3:19 p.m.

The balance of the settlement (About $1200 is waiting on paperwork.

The car has been de-tagged and I am awaiting the title release from the lender (to be mailed directly to me)

When it arrives, I get to work with PennDOT to get a salvage title and send a copy of that the insurance to release the remaining funds. 

So as of the day of the tow, I'm likely at least a couple weeks away from the next step, paperwork-wise. 

Now it's time to start removing broken bits and looking for replacements.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/5/20 3:25 p.m.

Trailering the car home was drama- free. Since my garage is currently occupied with another project that can't move, as long as the weather holds out, the trailer is a good platform to work on this.

This photo doesn't show it well, but the grille is damaged in multiple places, the front bumper substantially marked up, and the tow hook cover is gone. 

Basically, the wheel and spindle are being held on by the tie rod and amazingly, the brake hose.

The lower control arm looks intact to begin with but the ball joint basically tore out of the bottom.

The upper control arm shattered into three pieces. Because both of those are cast aluminum, it appears that they acted like fuses breaking before there was more significant damage to the suspension pickup points.

Still, the wheel and tire and spindle and brake are a substantial amount of mass that did bounce around some, it seems mostly in the transport from the wrecking yard to the auto auction. 

 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/6/20 11:03 a.m.

Started disassembly Tuesday. The weather was remarkably great for early February.

Skipping to the end of disassembly. I didn't take a photo jacked up before starting to pull panels. 

Wheel and spindle were only attached by the steering tie rod and the surprisingly intact brake line. The brake line will be replaced for sure. Tie rod still TBD. 

The spindle hung on to the ball joint from the lower control arm - basically ripped it our if there. You can also see the two parts of the upper control arm. For that one, the sides of the arm failed before the ball joint  And the strut which will be replaced (both struts will be swapped out).

It does appear that the upper control arm mounts are still in line together and may not need further adjustment. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/6/20 11:06 a.m.

How bad are the core support and inner fender?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/6/20 1:42 p.m.

I'm just dropping in a reminder of www.car-part.com which is an online marketplace for jys to post their inventory and can be sorted to find used parts near you

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/6/20 7:54 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Much appreciated as HID headlight units are insanely pricy!!

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/6/20 7:56 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Let's see... The inner fender liner had sheet metal folded over at the rear. I'm currently inclined to leave that as is...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/6/20 8:00 p.m.

The support for the front of the fender was pretty mangled, but it's sheet metal. Bent steel can be bent back at least once. I picked up a neat tool to do it too :). 

By "core support" is that the official name for the engine cradle that the suspension mounts are part of? So far that seems to be intact. 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/6/20 8:02 p.m.

Here's the current state. Initial parts order was placed yesterday. Keeping shipping costs low, the ETA is 2/12.​​​​​​

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