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joesurf79

Joe's Answer: The "NBeater"

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1) Shifter rebuilt

2) Oil changed

3) Replacement airbag computer eBay'd

4) Top finally Delivered

5) Valve cover gasket sitting on the workbench

 

And most of important-

6) This Koala hat wearing, lump of unbearable cuteness finally showed up :)

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And most of important-

6) This Koala hat wearing, lump of unbearable cuteness finally showed up :)

 

Congratulations!!

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Congratulations!!

 Thanks! I'm super excited, getting less nervous, and will eventually get sleep I assume. The toxicity limit for caffeine in an average human is roughly 10 grams from what I read. Challenge accepted, random Internet medical site!

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I have same car, same cheap goal, little taller at 6” and same roll bar except mine has padding that I swear has such a high durometer it’s no longer legal to call padding. I defoamed the seat bottom a good 1.5” and with one click forward on seat it’s safe to drive now-ish with helmet on. By that I mean my helmet doesn’t touch roll bar and I’m def lower. Comfort on street is fine for me but it is less comfy. Without helmet I’m now low enough to survive flipping over I think. Plus the mod only cost time and a couple zip ties.

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Changed the gear oil in the transmission today. Capacity according to the internet seems to be 2.1 qts. After a quick blast around the neighborhood to warm it up, I got maybe 1.25 qts out of the trans! Maybe that has something to do with the crunchy shifts ;)? 2.1 qts of amsoil 75-90 and it's way better. Who knows what damage lurks down the road to discover, but it shifts better for now.

 

While the front pads had some life left, the rotors were close to the wear limit. That plus the pads having WAYYYY too much initial bite for street use saw we swap the whole shebang up front for some cheapie advance auto rotors and pads. Stops way smoother and now people behind me dont all assume I'm brake checking them at every stop ;)

 

It drips a little engine oil which I though was just a bad crush washer on the drain plug, but several of the oil pan bolts seemed looser than they should have been. Trq spec unknown, I gave the loose ones a bit more twist.

 

And lastly, a little silicone in the rails of the rearview mirror to make it an interference fit cured the annoying rattle over every bump.

 

Shaping up to be a fun little street toy :) the novelty of blasting the heater with the top down hasn't worn off yet ;)

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And most of important-

6) This Koala hat wearing, lump of unbearable cuteness finally showed up :)

 

 

Congrats!!!!

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Dropped in some newer NB2 seats that were in way better shape today. New air filter, valve cover gasket, and CAS cap at the back of the head also went in. Hopefully the horrendous oil leakage is cured once the rtv dries!

 

Also got a new, watertight rear tailight housing installed - no more fishbowl effect! :)

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Not sure where the oil goes, or more accurately is escaping the crankcase...doesn't seem to smoke at all. Not a startup, not at 7K rpm, not cruising on the freeway...but I changed it again over the weekend to get a sample, and got 3.25sih qts out of it. Was never low on the dipstick, no signs of any problems. I wonder if it was all pre-valve cover gasket and CAS cap leakage? While running it was seeping out that fast? It no longer leaves any huge drips on the concrete, but still seems to want to coat the bottom of the oil pan / transmission with a fine mist of oil.

 

Either way, going into this "beater Miata" plan - I was NOT planning on a ton of maintenance. But now...a full on, engine / transmission out service fest weekend is in the works. Looking at clutch swap, valve clearance measurement, timing belt, water pump, cam seals, F/R crank seals, oil pan re-seal, hose replacement, with new engine mounts and clutch master/slave cylinders. I'll order shims once I get the clearances measured and the new sizing worked out.

 

I want this thing to be healthy / last for a long while. Be that in it's current state as fun ratty looking street cruiser, or it's next life as an SM competitor or Exocet donor !   

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Bam! Improved looks and ride quality. After a few attempts at getting the 14s rebalanced to eliminate the "65 mph shimmy", I said screw it. 15 x 8s it is. 5c6f44e107e68_20190221_173647.jpg

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those wheels look good on a red car..

Thanks Matt! These got balanced perfectly. It rides so much better... they transformed the car in more ways than one :)

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Reposting for effect post wheel upgrade.

 

Good choice btw ;)

haha! Thanks :)

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That is some sexy garage right there...They look good in red for sure. Any and all of the 3 different shades of red mine wears look good ;)

 

Yours have Infinitely cleaner paint and body than the NBeater, but hey that's part of the charm;)

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15x9s would have been even bettaaaaa

I know, I know...the plans for this one aren't straight to the track though, and lighter. Cheaper tires for 8s...

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8s keep the miata feel on the street, 9s remove it just about entirely.  Storms are a great wheel choice, looks awesome.  

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8s keep the miata feel on the street, 9s remove it just about entirely. Storms are a great wheel choice, looks awesome.

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So I think I found part of the water entry problem. Pulled the soft top and frame out in the effort to replace the ancient vinyl / silicone plug job I had going on.  There are rumored to be supposed to be drain holes under those piles, consisting of:

1) Leaves

2) Mud

3) A carpet scrap?

4) Plastic pop clips

5) BOTH plastic seatbelt guide covers

6) Part of a Wristband...hoping it was at least track related.

So as per usual car work protocol, a job that the internet said would be 3 hours, that I then instinctively budgeted 5 hours for, took all day. Finding rusty covers etc took time to strip, prime, paint, etc. Cleaned up the top frame, pained a few tiny rust spots. The random trim pieces had some small rust bubbles. All corrected.

This was supposed to be the rented mule of cars. Gotten for a song and beaten mercilessly. Why can I not actually do that? Why do I have this innate need to find problems, struggle with them, solve them? Why do I love this plucky little salvage title red roadster so much?

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A story of Joe's Miata Monday:

Hop in the car, it doesn't want to start. Guess I left the dome light on, dangit! Line up the truck behind it, jump start, battery connections are tight, all should be good. Park truck, hop in Miata, drive off.

"the gauges are flickering some, that's strange" I think to myself. Must just be the dead battery charging I think.

40 mins later in traffic, temp gauge seems to be a little higher than normal. "that's odd..." I think to myself. Get moving again, temp drops to normal. Scan it every few seconds - temp needle is in the normal spot...

Hit the parking garage downtown, as I notice the needle has moved warmer. I decide to make a run for the NEVER occupied roof level in case I need to work on my 20 y.o. toy car (more likely retrieve it with trailer), so I can do it in peace with no one looking at me like I'm nuts. My delusional self only gets to floor 6 of 10 before the temp needle is in territory I don't like :( Hit the first compact car spot I see, shut it down. Increased load, and low speed / no flow over the rad - that's what my overheating car needed! ;)

Halfway through the walk to the building I remember the same belt drives the Alternator AND the Water Pump. Betting on loss of belt or at least all belt tension at this point. Flickering gauges + dying battery + no cooling...has to be related?

Go to the car at lunch and poke around some...tensioner is on there, tensioner bolts are tight...hmmm....press on belt - WHAT the...did the alternator Move when I pressed on the belt? Yep. The lower alternator mount pivot bolt had come free of it's threads, slid from the the boss on the block it passes through, and WAS HANGING IN THE REAR MOUNT TAB OF THE ALTERNATOR! Well, if nothing else, I know why I lost belt tension!

You know your wife loves you when you send her diagrams of tools and where they are located in the toolbox, and she then swings by work and brings you them in a bag with coolant  on her way to a pediatric baby checkup :) (didn't need coolant, car never boiled over, and the levels in rad and tank were good).

Sadly, my blind bolt grabbing / sizing skills have slipped. The lower mount bolt is a 14mm, so per my tool retrieval request I had semi hosed myself. Miraculously, the threads on both bolt and threaded alternator ear were still good enough to get 3-4 turns by hand, so I gripped like hell and got the bolt as tight as I could. Re-set belt tension with proper tools to the higher side of calibrated-elbow-shade-tree-good and crossed the fingers.

I feel like I dodged a bullet - from everything I read these engines do NOT tolerate getting hot well. But the thing ran like a top all the way home, temp needle was it's normal stoic self just below half gauge, and the car never burped a drop of fluid. WHEW!

Tools 1.jpg

Tools 2.jpg

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Also, after much fiddling, I have the new top on and working like a champ lol...at least the thing is convertible AND water tight again :laugh:

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