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Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/29/24 6:32 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

That sounds...cramped. I've spent a bit of time in 914 seats (in another vehicle) and I don't recall them being terribly heavily padded either.

Is wasn't that bad. First of all I had all the gear they told us to carry during snow season. I wrapped myself up in fairly warm mummy bag and ski parka. I had a pillow. I had a portable radio dialed to KOA where their all night talk show guy kept me company along with frequent weather and traffic reports all the way up I-70. I even had some food that I picked up at my parent's house in Denver to stock the kitchen of my mobile home in Edwards. Whenever it got a little cold I could just start up the engine and run the heater for a while. I had plenty of gas.

The 914 has a ton of footroom. More than some SUVs I have been in. I guess it is because Germans are tall. I used to be able to put both of my huskies in the passenger's seat, one on the seat and one on the floor, and drive them to the park. People would be surprised when I opened the door and I would pop out with two large furry dogs.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
2/29/24 7:03 p.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) :

If Germans are tall then that doesn't explain the gigantic knee bolsters that Mercedes used to use that made it impossible to actually reach the pedals unless you sat straight legged, which requires hooves instead of tall-guy feet because of how low the pedals were to the floor.

The first thing I did to my Golf was rip out the knee bolster.  At least VW had an excuse: they had some crazy idea that if you had a knee bolster then you didn't need a lap belt. (which was the second thing I did)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/5/24 12:29 a.m.

So here's a photo of something you've never seen before: a 35 year old Miata.

338's official birthday is actually April 6 - Saturday - but I'm busy that day and the weather is supposed to be gross. So we were celebrating today. Why April 6? Because that's the day that we brought it home in 1999, and the car was built in April 1989 so there's a 1-in-30 chance it was built on the 6th :)

It's a dual anniversary this weekend, 25 years since lil ol' 338 joined the family, and 35 years since it rolled off the production line.

I had to drive out to the FM shop today and it was beautifully sunny and around 70*, so I pulled the hardtop and put on the tonneau cover. Might as well enjoy the perfect weather while it lasts. Unfortunately, while I was in meetings some high altitude cloud rolled in so you don't get the really pretty pics.

10 minutes down the road, I could hear a high pitched squeaking that was driving me nuts until I realized it was coming from the disassembled NC taillight sitting on the seat beside me :) Otherwise, it was just the slightly snarly and surprisingly deep OG Miata exhaust note and the engine's purr. No rattles, no squeaks, just a little cowl shake to remind me that they're a little wobblier without the hardtop.

Having the car sitting in the house garage - the one we use all the time - means I get to see it constantly. And while I celebrate the fact that the car is a real driver and not a garage queen, I think I'm going to call the local PDR guy and see if I can get a few little owies popped out. Just because we all deserve to look our best.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/18/24 7:54 p.m.

Apparently David likes pictures of cars at gas stations. I had to go inside to deal with a pump issue, and there it was all cute when I walked out. So here you go.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/9/24 11:11 a.m.

My old university roommate and best man was out to visit for the first time since 2007. I was living with him when I bought my first car, that other red Miata you've occasionally seen in this thread. He was here to clear his head after getting himself in a bad place. We had no particular plans, so we dropped the top on 338 and took a drive to Moab. Talking about music and films and family and laughing. Mission accomplished.

The road itself is about 44 miles of twisties along beside the Colorado river and under towering red cliffs. You can't capture the scale of it on camera.

338 was perfectly well behaved during the trip as you'd expect, but the small crack in the top meant a lot of wind noise on the interstate portion of the trip - especially the 80 mph section with a 20 mph headwind. I rarely use the soft top, but if we're going to take longer trips in this car I should do something about that. It's an almost perfect top by most aged NA standards, but it's not as good as new.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/9/24 7:46 p.m.

One thing we did learn on the trip - the soft top latch locks that I replaced in Jan 2023 (as can be seen a few pages ago) need some adjustment. They don't pop up flush, I need to grab a small allen and adjust them. I'm not sure if I can do that when they're on the car but it's not all that difficult to pull the latches if necessary. This didn't seem to cause any problems on the highway, the latches do go over center and into their fully closed position. But obviously the locks should work as intended or there's a chance the latches could let go. Good thing 338 doesn't have a super-harsh suspension that would put a lot of shock loads through those latches :)

We did also manage to ground out something at the back of the car on a high speed dip. My friend is a hefty fellow so we had a fair load in the car and I've put different bumpstops in the rear. I suspect it was the rear subframe based on my extensive testing of grounding out the rally car. No harm done. Probably.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/14/24 7:17 p.m.


A fellow was selling a complete AC setup from a 1994, so I picked it up. Hard lines, compressor, evaporator, condenser, receiver/dryer, some sensors, even the bracket for the compressor. The nice thing about the 1994 setup is that it uses R134 instead of R12.

How different is it from a 1990? I guess I'll find out. One of my coworkers may remember. I'm sure I can make it work. One difference is the fan setup, which has the secondary fan controlled directly by the AC on a 1990 and by the ECU on a 1994. That should not be a challenge because I have factory wiring diagrams and I'll duplicate the factory setup. 338 already has a secondary fan installed (non-AC 1.6s only had one, AC cars had two) so I don't need to source one of them.

I actually have parts from a NOS factory AC installation kit for a 1994 that was kicking around FM when I got there in 2001, I think it's a new compressor and a few other bits. I'll have to dig out the box. 

Anyhow, this will make the car more pleasant to drive in our summer heat. Wasn't a big problem last summer but it's a good project and I don't have to actually turn it on :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/21/24 6:19 p.m.

It's been hot. I need to get 338 on the lift and start the AC installation.

But last weekend was the FM Summer Camp. 338 wasn't on display this year for logistical reasons, but I did use it to run sweep over the Grand Mesa as part of the Sunday cruise. 120-ish miles, 70+ cars, some great roads. Some freshly paved, some a little rowdier that worked out the suspension. Not many pictures because  I was driving, but it was good fun. I did have to pass a pickup truck on the way up at one point and we were probably at close to 11,000' - I had the car at redline in 2nd and it was still a very slow pass. There's just not that much power in a 1.6 :) It did get me thinking about maybe some minor modifications like a header, though...

Nice and cool in the mountains, not so much when I got close to home. The tonneau cover did at least give me a bit of shade. Even in an event run by a major Miata modification shop, the near-stock survivor vibe was much appreciated.

I did notice the next day that the reinstalled hardtop had a big of a clunk over big bumps. I'm going to have to take a look at the adjustment of the rear mounts, this is a new trick. It only did it a couple of times but we do not tolerate such noises in this car!


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/10/24 12:27 p.m.

I really need to get into the garage and install that AC. I was running errands yesterday and decided to take 338 because it was just sitting there looking so cute. I left the hardtop on because it was 99F and there was not a hint of cloud in the sky, so the high altitude sun was brutal. Yeah, I really need to get the AC installed.

But it still put a smile on my face when I walked up to the car sitting on the street amongst all the forgettable normal cars. Parked in the shade with the windows down :) It just popped because it was interesting and full of personality and painted a fun color.  So I had to take a picture.


That is all.

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