New car!



As per protocol, my sister had to name the car.  'Mia' Miata.  I could explain the name, which has very very funny roots, but it would come across rather racist, I'm afraid, even if it was not intended that way.  In the last picture, you can see that Mia has made a friend!  (special friend??)  Whoever that is started parking next to me last week.

SpecList(tm):
  • 1993 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) w. 152kms on the clock
  • 1.6L inline-4, redline@7k
  • 5-spd transmission
  • Viscous LSD (according to miata.net peeps, doesn't really work as an LSD that well)
  • C-package = power windows/steering/antenna/mirrors, tan leather interior (seats) w. tan soft top (aftermarket, unzippable vinyl window), air conditioning, etc
  • 'MPSS' or something radio...supposed to increase volume with vehicle speed, but it's old and on its last legs.
  • ABS (I'm told a rare factory option)
  • Matching hard top (w. defrost!)
  • Pop-up headlights (are awesome)
  • Aftermarket front/rear lip (rear lip has been removed)
  • 16" NB Miata wheels w. winter rubber
Yup, we traded the Forester straight-up for this, and to be honest, it's turned out to need more work than I'd anticipated, but at least all the big pieces are okay (engine runs great, trans should just need a fluid change, diff doesn't whine).

Also, if you couldn't tell, I've researched Miata stuff...rather a lot.  It's an odd hobby of mine at the moment.

IssueList(tm):
  • Radiator is original, needs replacing (along with all hoses, thermostat, radiator cap, 'cursed' water plug)
  • Transmission fluid being replaced with Ford's Motorcraft synthetic manual transmission fluid
    • Supposed to be the best for NA/NB Miata transmissions
    • At $25/quart, it better be! (needs 3)
  • Motor oil was changed recently, but better to be safe than sorry
    • Mobil1 10w30 synthetic, and filter
  • Air filter needs replacing
    • Just paper for now - K&N apparently offers no performance improvement for the NA Miata
    • Proper cold air intake is only useful if you do it right (expensive), and use forced induction, stock engine no point
  • Diff fluid needs replacing
    • Redline 75w90
  • Timing belt was done, along with water pump, but no indication accessory/AC belts were changed
    • So need to replace them (visual inspection says they should be replaced, do not look new)
  • Cam Angle Sensor (CAS) o-ring needs replacing (leaking oil at the moment)
  • Valve cover gasket needs replacing (I think when CAS o-ring is done)
  • Leak-down test needs to be done (set a benchmark)
  • Vacuum test needs to be done (same)
  • Shifter bushings/boots need replacing, and transmission turret needs to be drained/re-filled
  • Antenna mast needs replacing - does not raise (although you can hear the motor winching)
  • Shocks need replacing (advised that 20 year-old shocks are no good regardless of mileage)
    • KYB GR-2
  • Shock bumpstops as well 
    • Went with Fat Cat Motorsports 54mm kit; expensive, but should offer significantly more suspension travel
    • In theory easing the pressure on the chassis
  • Plugs/wires are supposed to be new, but will replace anyways
  • Run injector cleaner through system
    • Apparently putting two bottles in at 1/4 tank, then doing an 'Italian tune-up' is the best method, just using as directed doesn't really do much for old crud
  • Stereo rather sucks (even though the headrest speakers are pretty cool), and is being completely replaced, already have the parts! (just need speaker wire...another blog post on the stereo to come)
  • Seat heaters will be coming as well (maybe not even necessary, but can't hurt)
  • 16" wheels are rather large for this car, so I picked up a set of 'semi-hollow' 7-spoke wheels off Kijiji
    • 16" wheels weigh 15.3lbs, these are 14" and weigh ~10.75lbs
    • Less bling, but better handling and efficiency will follow
    • I will be doing a polished lip/bronze paint combo
    • Will keep the 16s, but probably take them out of rotation
  • Bodywork...um...a lot
    • Dents/dings on every body panel (not huge, but should really be pulled)
    • Chips/scratches on every body panel (even mirrors)
    • Rust on the door sills (someone thought electrical tape would cover it up...)
    • Rust starting on one rocker panel (common Miata rust point), needs some cutting/welding (not really, but probably best) and re-spray
    • All chrome trim is in sorry shape
    • A full cut/polish/wax for the entire body
    • Some pieces like the bumpers/hood/trunklid/fenders I may re-spray
  • Alignment needs doing for sure
  • Wheel balancing can't hurt either
You get the idea.  Needs some loving to get back into 'new' shape, and back into the maintenance window.  Don't get me wrong, the car drives well enough, but better to nip things in the bud.

Next steps:
  1. Get speaker wire and install stereo (priorities, people)
  2. Create logical install list
  3. Get fluids (shop in Concord sells RedLine fluids)
  4. Double-check that I don't need any other seals/gaskets
  5. Go out and get other seals/gaskets that I forgot to order
  6. Wait for parts to arrive (suspension, engine, cooling system)
  7. Install parts
  8. Replace fluids & filters
  9. Enjoy fresh car

Stuff I'd like to do if money fell in my lap:
  1. Boss Frog arms & Flyin' Miata butterfly brace (help reduce cowl shake)
  2. Full body fix-up and re-spray, change colour to a nice metallic royal blue (another 20 years here we come!)
  3. MegaSquirt v3 with full gauge/sensor set, to see if any more efficiency can be gained
  4. Lightweight exhaust system (lighter is better!)
  5. Data-logging setup

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