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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
4/4/18 7:38 p.m.

The holes in the top could be caused by part of the mechanism wearing against it, especially since you have a second one on the other side.

oilstain
oilstain New Reader
4/5/18 1:19 p.m.

Consider doing a foamectomy on the driver's seat when you take it out. Makes a big difference in comfort since it effectively increases the bolsters. Also, my buddy had those same holes in his top and smeared a little black RTV goo on them. It held up fine for a few years like that (eventually the plastic window cracked and we put a new top on).

 

Also, congrats on getting it back on the road! It was a fun read.

wae
wae SuperDork
4/5/18 2:01 p.m.

They look exactly like holes that would be created through contact with part of the soft top mechanism.  In addition to patching on the outside, I was going to put something on the inside as well to try to take the brunt of whatever is rubbing.

EastsideTim had already mentioned the foamectomy to me in terms of whether or not I would be able to physically fit in the car, but I didn't realize that there were other benefits.  I will investigate that more thoroughly!  I may not do that right away, but I am thinking about recovering the seats -- they make it look pretty easy on TV, after all!  I could do the foamectomy, put in bun warmers, and possibly go to a leather or faux-leather material in the process. 

It is fun to have on the road!  I only wish we'd hurry up and get to some weather that is a little more tolerant of topless driving!!  I've built up a list of things that I need/want to do and I'm trying to set some realistic goals.  Running and driving is a big step, but it's a 21 year old car and it sort of feels like it.  It seems "too nice" to do anything really crazy with, but if I can clean up a few rough edges here and there, it'll be a really nice car to cruise around in and should hold value.  I've got a fairly long list of little things to do so hopefully it only gets better from here!

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
4/5/18 8:39 p.m.

Next time you're over at my place, want to cut some material from the old top off my car to act as an underside reinforcement where your top's holes are?

 

 

wae
wae SuperDork
4/6/18 8:24 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Oh, yeah, that's a great idea!  I still have all your timing belt & seal tools, too that I need to get back to you.  That crank holding tool is a life saver.  If nothing else, assuming it doesn't get rained or snowed out, I'll see you next weekend, but let me know when you want to do the timing belt on your car and I'll come help.  I'm so good at that by now....

wae
wae SuperDork
4/8/18 4:10 p.m.

Using a regular female wire blade connector I was able to fix the temp gauge, so that works now.  I also got a new LED bulb to replace the burned out dome light.  It may have been a little cold today, but I pulled the hardtop off and went topless anyway!  I've smeared a little RTV over that hole in the top to see if that keeps the water out.

I have made a very bad error, though.  Yesterday while I was out with the kids, my wife called to tell me that she couldn't go out to the fabric store because she left the lights on in her 5 and the battery was dead.  I told her to just take the Miata.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get it back.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
4/8/18 4:19 p.m.
wae said:

I'm not sure if I'm going to get it back.

 

Yeah, time to go shopping for another one for yourself.

wae
wae SuperDork
4/9/18 8:23 a.m.

Upside: The trunk is so small that she can't buy too much, so even if I bought her a brand new ND, I'd probably save a ton of cash...

wae
wae SuperDork
4/30/18 5:46 a.m.

I don't know why the previous owner installed these "racing pedal covers" but there is absolutely nothing race-y about them.  My big feet get caught up on the accelerator pedal when braking, they clatter around, they look janky, and they tend to move around a lot.  Exhibit a:

The covers for the clutch and brake pedal are the same P/N, so I ordered them up from Priority Mazda for $13.38 after shipping.  A couple minutes work to slip them on and:

So, so much better.  Now I can get my foot on the brake without also hitting the accelerator.  There's no clattering, and it makes it look so much better.  Although, these pictures are evidence that it's time to get in there with the vacuum again.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/1/18 9:38 p.m.

I think my car was retarded.

So for the first time in I don't know how long I picked up a timing light and set the timing to about 14 degrees advanced.  Where it had a little flat spot between 2800-3500 rpm, it now pulls nice and strong all the way through to 7k.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
5/2/18 9:15 a.m.
wae said:

I think my car was retarded.

So for the first time in I don't know how long I picked up a timing light and set the timing to about 14 degrees advanced.  Where it had a little flat spot between 2800-3500 rpm, it now pulls nice and strong all the way through to 7k.

Hmm.  Perhaps I should check mine.  My 2500-3000 stumble is mostly gone after replacing the O2 sensor, but sometimes I still think there’s a bit of a dead zone in that area.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/2/18 10:28 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

It's worth checking for sure.  Mine didn't cough or hesitate or run roughly, it just didn't feel like it was making as much power as it moved through that part of the tach.  Almost like it was throwing an anchor out the back.

If ya want, bring it over to the workshop and we can do the timing belt service and rotate the CAS a bit.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/18/18 12:00 p.m.

Kinda funny thing happened today.  My wife and I took the Miata to go to a local joint for lunch and as I pulled into my parking space I recognized the car next to us as being identical to the one driven by the lady who sold the car to me.  Sure enough, she was sitting out on the patio and came over to chat.  She seemed pretty pleased to find out that I hadn't parted out or flipped her baby and we had a nice conversation about it.  I'm not sure that she was so pleased when I told her it was "just a head gasket, no big deal!", but still, it was nice to see her happy to see the car back on the road.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/7/18 12:10 p.m.

There is another NA Miata at work that is a 95 in the same red color as mine.  I almost parked next to it earlier this week but it was so shiny and clean-looking, I didn't want to embarrass myself by parking my nearly-matte car next to his.  When I caught up with the owner later that day and asked him if it was a fresh respray, he shocked me when it said it was the original paint and he had just done some polishing.  All along, the plan was to give the paint a little light cut followed by some polishing compound and wax, but I had no idea how stark the contrast would be.  That gave me the motivation to go ahead and get started.  It took me a couple different sessions, but I finished up on Tuesday night.

Before:

 

After:

 

I suppose those are a little hard to see the difference in, but I did one side at a time and it looked like the old Maaco car!  You can see it a little bit better in this picture:

I still need to do the hardtop, but it amazes me how much better the car looks.

A little while ago I did polish up the front bumper and it reverted back to that sort of milky-chalky appearance, so I'm not convinced that it will last for the nose cone, rear bumper cover, and the spoiler lip on the trunk.  The previous attempt was just polishing compound and this time I used Meguiars #2, then polishing compound, and then wax.  Maybe that will make a difference.  But I might need to find new solutions for the plastic bits.

Having the paint all shiny does show off the dings in the trunk lid, doors, and fenders, though.  I think I need a PDR guy for the sides and maybe just a new trunk lid.

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 Reader
6/7/18 1:43 p.m.

Probably won't work long-term on the mirrors either.  BTDT.  But nice work.

The 3-step meguiars stuff i used back in high school was a stunning before/after.  Whatever they painted the plastics with just doesn't hold up to (nearly 30 years of) UV rays.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/10/18 8:28 a.m.

In reply to stylngle2003 :

Yeah, I can already see the discoloration coming back in the curve of the trunk lip.

Maybe some sanding and a fresh coat of clear will bring those plastic bits back.  Or I may need to just pull them off and have them resprayed.

EDIT: Oh, apparently they did a single-stage on the plastic bits.  I guess that's why it fades.  Knowing that, if the current treatment doesn't hold very long, I'll go with a slightly more aggressive pad with a slightly more aggressive cut and see if that does it.  If that doesn't work, wet sanding is probably my next step.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
6/10/18 8:32 a.m.

In reply to wae :

Just park it next to mine for a while, and your Miata will look fine.

wae
wae SuperDork
6/10/18 8:40 a.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Aww, don't be so hard on the little guy!  It looks pretty sharp with that new top!

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/12/18 7:31 p.m.

The color will hold but you have to keep waxing it every six weeks or so.

 

wae
wae UberDork
1/18/21 3:26 p.m.

Well, hello there everybody!  This car has been humming along very well for the last year and a half.  The A/C has leaked back down and I'm smelling the refrigerant when I turn on the heater or vent blower so I'm suspicious of the condenser.  The tires have gotten worn down and are ready to be replaced.  Last spring when I went to put the top down, I guess it was too cold and the window cracked, so that needs to be addressed still.  Even though it has a new trunk seal, I'm still getting water in the trunk after a hard rain.  It was making an irritating chirping noise that I solved with some wheel bearing grease on the slave cylinder rod where it connects to the clutch fork.  The CD changer got pulled out of the trunk so that I could take both beer and bourbon to the 2020 Challenge. 

Before I get to any of those other things, though, it's way past time to deal with the rust on the driver's side:

I went ahead and did some cutting and grinding:

Looks like I can get the whole quarter panel for about $90 after shipping and whatnot from Rock Auto.  I'm not sure how much else I'm going to need yet.  I need to do a little more digging in there to see how much more needs to be cut out.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
1/18/21 3:32 p.m.

Time to come snag my welder for the winter smiley

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/18/21 7:06 p.m.

In reply to wae :

The Rock Auto rocker panels very much do not "fit".  They aren't curved or anything.

Can you get genuine Mazda panels from Mazdaspeed?

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
1/18/21 7:40 p.m.

I recently did this. I'll run out and check the brand of quarter panel I got, it was for such a small area but is a decent fit. I cut mine one 3" piece of tape below the next body line up, to try and get all the rust out.

wae
wae UberDork
1/18/21 10:38 p.m.

Good to know about the RA panels.  I've found Mazda ones for around three or four hundred bucks, but I was hoping to escape for a little less than that.

Any experience with specific brands that do work would be muchly appreciated! It looks like Moss has them available for a reasonable price and I can also call around to the local junkyards to see if they can cut a hunk off for me.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/19/21 6:35 a.m.

I haven't used their patch panels but I have had good luck sourcing other (used) parts from BTDT racing. 

http://isellmiataparts.com/detail.php?item=128

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