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dherr
dherr HalfDork
2/6/20 8:23 p.m.

Looks like the impact broke the a-arms and the suspension took the brunt of the accident. If the hood shuts and is aligned, that is a great sign that the frame rails are not tweaked. Looking forward to seeing this get back on the road. Beautiful car, such a shame, people are crazy on the road.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/6/20 8:49 p.m.

Core support is where the radiator and headlights and such mount.

All 4 of my miatas had front end hits totalling them.  All 4 had enough mangled on the core support that getting things to line up properly was a damn nightmare. 

Hopefully you get to miss that particular fun.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/6/20 9:08 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Michael - Indeed. This was a VERY localized hit against the front fender. While I'm planning on keeping the front bumper cover, it was far less molested before its trip from the tow yard to the auto auction.

Dave - The hood shuts and gaps on all sides of the hood and driver's door were good. I wouldn't have taken this on if it seemed tweaked. But the more I look at it, the more I'm convinced that it should go OK. 

Robbie
Robbie MegaDork
2/6/20 10:25 p.m.

Hey, totally random question, but you don't happen to work in IT on a product called Cherwell do you?

Apparently my company just hired an expert named Greg Smith (how many could there be?) and I'm meeting with him on Monday.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/7/20 12:10 a.m.

In reply to Robbie :

IT yes, but not that one. There are a couple Greg or Gregory Smiths in Hollywood - one actor, at least onee behind the scenes. Another is a famous author (as opposed to me - I coauthored one IT book and contributed to another). One is an attorney of note. 

Locally, there's a Greg Smith who is a podiatrist. He paid my Internet bill for 3 months (or at least... he was sent it( before the discrepancy was noted. 

I am a generalist in the medium business commercial space, with expertise focused around the Microsoft product lines - Windows, Office, cloud services, Azure, etc. as well as networking and security. Fun stuff!

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 UltraDork
2/7/20 9:11 a.m.

Glad it worked out well getting it home. I think you're in good shape to have a very solid car again without too much effort. 

Robbie
Robbie MegaDork
2/7/20 9:32 a.m.

In reply to Greg Smith :

Hahaha I'm sure there are quite a few Greg Smiths! You're probably one of the coolest though...

Funny about the internet bill. We recently got a gas bill for about 3 months of service (we have autopay and didn't notice them not coming in) because someone moved in down the street and told them our address when they were trying to start service by mistake. Apparently took 3 months for the gas company to figure out the screwup. Crazy that apparently they don't check with the current account to see if they can bill to someone else.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/7/20 4:27 p.m.

Not a lot of news yet. Still waiting on parts. 

Here's a glamor shot of the upper control arm:

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/8/20 12:10 p.m.

I realize what I'm doing here is nowhere close to the level of work and many of the other build threads. I am definitely playing at the shallow end of the pool. But I think GRM has readership including the hardcore fabricators and racers and then those of us who I have much more of a Walter Mitty belief in our own skills wIth far less practical application.

Still waiting on the major suspension parts. Still trying to find an HID left hand headlamp that isn't going to cost me a mortgage payment.

but, the brake line arrived and I figured I may as well get something done because the weather is favorable.

Unfortunately, some of the pictures I took early on in the day didn't say on the phone. This fender support was Bent the rest of the way back into shape, primed and painted. I used in fairly slick pliers that work like a metal brake meant for aluminum siding.

they did a nice job of letting me restore the stamped edges back to their original shape and straightness. More than suitable for a support peace that will never be seen.

And, I swapped out the brake hose and because that was off I went ahead and cleaned and painted the caliper too.

I didn't get it before picture to stay on the phone, but the passenger side one is representative and will also be painted. since I'm in here at about the 40000 mile mark and don't know the history, swapping out fluid and putting in the Napa Adaptive One brake pads that I really prefer for regular driving is also part of this...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/8/20 12:15 p.m.

Also, I've been getting more and more concerned about the upper suspension arm mounts which simply go through mounting tabs that are part of the engine cradle. That's not an adjustable link, while the lower arm is adjustable both front and rear for alignment purposes

(I intend to have the same shop that does the rebuilt title inspection do a full alignment on the car as part of it)

So, the mounting points have to be completely parallel and in line with one another. With the car up in the air, It looks possible that there could be a bit of a lift or twist towards the nose of the car. How to be sure?

Thinking about it further, and knowing that the trailer is not level, and the car is not level I'm more convinced that it's okay.

But I need something to run in line through these points to be positive. Aha!

A fiberglass driveway marker is perfect for this except it's too long, and doesn't clear towards the front of the car.

After a couple moments with a cut off wheel,

It looks like I can start sleeping better at night. Can't wait to bolt the A-arm in when it arrives Wednesday and confirm that it moves freely.

ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek HalfDork
2/8/20 2:29 p.m.
Greg Smith said:

I realize what I'm doing here is nowhere close to the part of work and many of the other build threads. I am definitely playing at the shallow end of the pool. But I think GRM has readership including the hardcore fabricators and racers and then those of us who I have much more of a Walter Mitty belief in our own skills wIth far less practical application.

Don't worry about deep end vs. shallow end. Just be proud of the fact that you can take something that's broken, figure out what is wrong with it, and fix it yourself. And remember just how advanced your skills actually are. You are replacing brake lines, rebuilding calipers, straightening metal, replacing fenders and entire headlight housings, and generally rescuing a car from a junkyard. I have friends (who are mechanical engineers, no less) who are scared to change their own oil.

Oh, and thanks for sharing the story with us. You'll have a car to be proud of when you are done!

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/8/20 2:42 p.m.

I've been doing my own brake jobs for a couple decades now. Oddly enough, this time around I managed to make some really rookie mistakes because I'm doing it differently and her broke in my routine.

For one, with a driver side wheel still awaiting work I left the caliper hanging on the sway bar while I went to do the other side. Since I'm removing the calipers for paint, we had to believe the rest of the fluid out first so bucket underneath the bleed valve, somebody inside pumping the pedal, fluid came out just fine on the passenger side. Unbolted the line from the caliper and realized it would have been much wiser to run my c-clamp first and do it all with the caliper compressed. But no big deal. Compressing the caliper off the car let me just dump a little bit of brake fluid into the dirt.

What I realized a little later on, was that the piston on the driver side where the bleed screw was closed pushed itself almost all the way out of the cylinder. That took a little finagling to return back into its place. 

but now it's together too. In order to prevent other stupidity I also took one of the parts boxes and write a note to myself. "BRAKES NOT BLED" is currently stuffed in front of the speedometer.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/8/20 2:46 p.m.

I also took a look at the side skirt. only two of the clips are damaged. I need to figure out what glue is going to work best to reattach them because they were left on the car..

It looks like the bottom of it has a set of main clips that slide into place first, and then the whole thing pops up onto the body clips. I've worked with those before and can pick up a pack of 50 or so from Amazon for cheap so I'll remove the ones that are currently on the car closer to the time I actually do it just to prevent any weather or rust issues.

After the clips are in place it looks like there is one additional trim clip on the back and one screw at the front edge that basically hold the whole thing in place. I was pretty sure it was salvageable but it looks like it's going to be much better than just salvageable. It should look unchanged from new.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/8/20 3:24 p.m.

Passenger side before and after. New pads and the bolt-pins the caliper slides on are new as well. 

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Dork
2/8/20 4:10 p.m.

It's gonna be better than new! Glad it's working out so well

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/9/20 7:28 p.m.

While I wasn't looking, the struts and control arms arrived - three days early!

But we were headed out for National Pizza aday dinner. 

I need to remove the passenger side strut. I'll hand off both current assemblies and have my local mechanic replace the spring assemblies. They have insurance and the proper tools to do it. I could rent or borrow something, but it's worth an hour's labor to have them swap them out. Then I can install the refreshed strut assemblies...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/9/20 8:40 p.m.

While I wasn't looking, the struts and control arms arrived - three days early!

But we were headed out for National Pizza ay dinner. 

I need to remove the passenger side strut. I'll hand off both current assemblies and have my local mechanic replace the spring assemblies. They have insurance and the proper tools to do it. I could rent or borrow something, but it's worth an hour's labor to have them swap them out. Then I can install the refreshed strut assemblies...

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/9/20 8:51 p.m.

Got home and couldn't wait!

Let's see if my driveway marker test was valid.....

It took a little finagling to get the control arm into its proper orientation but nothing crazy. Still looking very promising.

it took a little more finagling to get things lined up so the bolts would starts reading through the brackets. But nothing crazy there either. Unfortunately my 17 mm ratcheting wrench decided to quit ratcheting tonight. Thanks a lot Kobalt... Hopefully even though those don't exist anymore Lowe's will cover some sort of lifetime warranty, perhaps with a replacement Craftsman piece.

I have not looked up the torque specs to crank it down tight yet nor do I know at what angle I should take it down to get the best preload. But, it moves freely with no binding!!!!!  

As soon as I can get the strut cartridges assembled, it looks like I will be able to get everything bolted together and put one of my summer wheels on to get this sucker rolling! Nice way to end the weekend.

Nitroracer
Nitroracer UltraDork
2/9/20 8:55 p.m.

Progress is looking good!  Hopefully the alignment isn't off much once you get that strut back in place and see it on the ground again.

 

BTW, are the trim clips for the side skirt anything special or do you have a link?  I know a guy that could use a few. 

dherr
dherr HalfDork
2/9/20 9:04 p.m.

Great to see Greg, looks good so far!

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/9/20 9:18 p.m.

In reply to Nitroracer :

The trim clips were a pretty standard Amazon option. I'll see what I used on the silver car (passenger side)

Trim clips for the lower side panels
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M1S8IUD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

Fender liner clips
htps://smile.amazon.com/gp/huc/view.html?ie=UTF8&newItems=C74fb4f94-3949-4617-ac75-8dc453f009e6%2C1 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/9/20 9:26 p.m.

In reply to Nitroracer :

Also if you have an interest in matching the vinyl I had on the bottom skirting, this is what I used:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FXY5I96/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/11/20 6:17 a.m.

Loan payoff was sent from the other driver's insurance company Friday 1/31.

Only 11 days later (but, to be fair, 6 business days) my loan company accept the payment. 

So it's possible that they'll send me the title without lein before the end of the month. 

Then, I still have to go to the DMV and get it switched over to a salvage title to get final payment from insurance.

 

Stampie
Stampie UltimaDork
2/11/20 6:49 a.m.

In reply to Greg Smith :

Are you going to end up with your Miata fixed and no loan?  If so that's a positive outcome. When mine was totaled I held out and got $1000 more than I paid for it 3 months earlier. That was after the buy back. 

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/11/20 7:35 a.m.

Unfortunately oh, I won't be in quite the same financial situation is you but yes. At the end of this I have this car available for commuting and general use for years to come with no payments.

in December I put money down and had a 36-month loan on it. In January I made one payment on that loan.

At this point I owned the salvage free and clear... And for all intents and purposes I should have the car fully functional within the next week.

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