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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been lurking around here observing the forums for a while now and have decided to share what I do to my miata. Now I don't exactly have any crazy plans for it in my mind, just fixing the small issues that the car has.

So I was doing my usual craigslist browsing for miatas for sale one night and found this '91 miata was added an hour ago, at the time I had very limited knowledge at the time and didn't even know this was a special edition. It was listed for $2200, price included hardtop, he mentioned in the ad that it was an automatic with a transmission that wouldn't shift from 1st gear to 2nd gear until 4500 rpms, I immediately texted him to schedule a time to look at it. I thought it would be perfect for a 1.8 with manual transmission swap. He answered me the next day saying he sold the hardtop and that he would discuss a new price in person if I was still interested. I went and saw the car, owner took me for a drive, didn't let me drive because I am a young adult and he wasn't sure if I was serious or just kicking the tires. After my first insoection of the car and the test drive I offered him $900 cash that day for it.

Deal, he accepted my offer and I was officially the proud new owner.


Now what would this thread be without some pictures?

:smile10:

First day at home after a well needed wash..



I took the car home and got it on jackstands to pull and inspect the transmission.



*Sorry for the poor quality on this one* :rice:

When we began to drain the transmission fluid so we can pull it we saw the original fluid from factory, this transmission fluid was solid black, the dirtiest thing I have ever seen come out of a car. We drained it, flushed new oil through it, then filled it with new transmission oil. Problem solved, so I now have a healthy 1.6 with an automatic transmission.. :suicide:

I have decided to keep the automatic transmission in, I'm sure most people reading this are clicking away in disgust to hear that, but my plan with this car now is to get the car back into reliable condition, up to date with all maintenance and replace worn parts, after seeing the fluid that came out of the transmission this car has been neglected far too long. This will not be a full on restoration but fixing and cleaning up the issues on hand, My little brother is turning 16 in April 2018 and I have decided that I am going to pass this onto him as his first car.



Back home from my Stepdad's garage with fresh fluids. Yes, the stock exhaust is off, The muffler and catalytic converter were rusty and full of holes. I replaced them with the ISR, formerly ISIS, catback exhaust for 1.6.




Next I got a very good deal on some old 15x8 American Racing wheels from a guy my stepdad knew. He said he had them on his mk1 VW Caddy and MK2 GTI. For $100 and a quick 10pm spray job, this is what I ended up with..




And a pic with the new wheels on with a lovely PA autumn backdrop.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Picked up a new softop to replace my old one that was on it's way out.

Glass window w/ defroster is defintely a lot nicer than my old ripped plastic one. And I think black looks more proper on BRG than the tan did.


 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Those mesh wheels look super classy on BRG.
I'm actually looking into other mesh wheels, I don't like how heavy these feel.


How badly does the car smell with the ISR exhaust?
If I let it sit for a couple days then the first drive smells, but usually I don't notice anything. But it is a very loud exhaust. That might get changed in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bought a black carpet to replace my tan one just for personal preference and my old soft top leaked a little and made the tan one smelly and damp..

Decided to try my luck in saving some money and sanding down the old seat belt tower covers and painting them black using Rust-Oleum Satin Black Paint & Primer to go with the new carpet.







Turned out decent. Good enough for me!

The old carpet:





And the new carpet is in!

Here's the lower main piece in, with my stepdad helping me remove the old radar detector one of the P.O.'s installed.





The lower deck piece, not sure if thats the correct term for it.. Had to reuse the old tan pins because the new carpet didn't come with any.. Anyone know where I can find them?



Here are the painted black seatbelt towers installed, the tan seatbelts look really good contrasting the black carpet and towers.

]

With one of the seats bolted back in. I really like how it came out.

 

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Nice find! :) Is a 1.8/5spd swap still the plan? :dunno: I'd go ahead and spend a little more money/time to do a vvt (01-05) swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice find! :) Is a 1.8/5spd swap still the plan? :dunno: I'd go ahead and spend a little more money/time to do a vvt (01-05) swap.
It's a possibility, but it's very likely that I'll be giving this car to my brother for his first car and if that's the case I would save the money and labor that a swap would take on a new miata. But if I end up keeping it and do the swap I will definitely look into that. Thanks, I've seen a lot of people doing the VVT swaps on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Picked up a lightly used set of coilovers from a local partout. (1500 miles) :haiguyths:

Tokico Illumina shocks and springs (500F/300R) with ground control and NB top hats.





Now I know why the ride was so rough.. Looks like the original suspension from '91. :fp:

Old vs New:



anddd installed up front:



Height with the coils before they settled:



I have the dampening set at 2 up front and 3 in the rear, feels good for the roads around me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Grr... Photobucket..

I guess I should update some more things I've done while I fix all the pictures that Photobucket wants to charge for... So update soon, until then here's an iPhone pic.
Went on vacation to my grandparent's house in Cape May, NJ early July during the 4th of July weekend. The miata is the perfect beach cruiser. : 3gears:

 

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Picked up a new softop to replace my old one that was on it's way out.

Glass window w/ defroster is defintely a lot nicer than my old ripped plastic one. And I think black looks more proper on BRG than the tan did.
Fully agreed on the black. Are you planning to add wiring for defrost? I've got the same (BRG with an aftermarket glass window with defrost grid), and I've never found good instructions for adding defrost wiring to the 90/91 cars - Mazda didn't add defrost wiring until '92.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I haven't updated in a little while, I haven't done much but here are the little updates that I haven't posted;

Ordered a pair of clear reflectors for the front.





Also when I took out the stocks there was a lot of dirt and grime built up so I took the chnace to clean it out.



Pretty happy with how it came out, not sure if it's ricey but like the look of the all "clear" front end.



:rice:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I also decided to get tints, I didn't want anything crazy dark, just something to help keep the sun glare down.

I went with 35% on the sides, on the soft top glass, and a windshield strip.

Side profile before tints:



And after: (Don't mind the dirt, the miata often gets used for daily activities even though that's what the purchase of the jeep was for)



I've also painted the stock wheels a dark metallic gray and put them back on for the winter. Trying to sell my old wheels and get a whole new wheel/tire set up for next year.

At the last cars and coffee of the year parked next to my buddies NB. After a month of trying to make it work he decided he can't fit and needs more power. (came from an RX-8.)



 
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