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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I got my Miata I was told that .net was the defacto standard for miata forums. But, after finding this one and reading both, I think both places have potential. I will see how it goes with both. So, I will copy my build thread over here so you all can read it to. Maybe then I will get more pointers and ideas on what I can do.

So, last summer I purchased a 93 Miata. It rear ended another car. The front frame rails are bent down pretty good in front of the suspension mounts.
I know some of you might think this is not very cost effective, but it is going to be a somewhat slow build and will probably entail driving it with bent fenders for a while. So, if you don't want to see me build the car, don't follow the thread - it's as simple as that.
For reference here is the Scion tC I rebuilt, just so you know I have an idea what I am getting into: Scion tC RS 1.0

Here is the Miata on the way home.


Here is a look at the engine when I got the hood off. As you can tell I have already started taking it apart.


Here is a close up of the radiator and core support damage:


Here is the crank pully. I am not sure how close the sway bar is supposed to be, but it looks to close to me. At least it did not hit - hopefully.


Messing with the rearend it appears it could be a LSD. Is the only way to tell by both wheels turning the same direction. Most other cars I have seen had a tag on the diff, specifying LSD fluid.

I will get some more pictures of the frame rails and nasty tan color interior
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is what I have to deal with on the frame rails. They are both kinked downward. driverside picture is first.





Here I am taking the bumper apart:



And, taking the plastic covers off the underside:



Got the bumper off. I had to rip it off the upper screws. The support bar for the cover was bent back and down so I could not get a screw driver in there to get the screws out.



You can kind of see how the bumper support is pushed back and the core support is pushed back and down.
Here you can see that the hit was a little harder on the drivers side causing the front to shift to the right a little.

 

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Wheels in the air trick won't work for spotting the LSD. If its the 1.6 vlsd it's not worth a whole lot either. Check the differential spotters guide on miata.net for more details.

Good luck with the rebuild! Beat Miatas are sometimes the most enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here you can see that the AC pump is touching the sway bar. It makes a horrible smell when the engine is running. I started the engine after I got the radiator out so I could verify that the crank pully ran straight. A friend told me I should look at that to keep the timing belt from breaking if there is a problem.



Here is a look at the drivers side inner fender with the light out. Pretty smashed up.



Here is the passengers side.



Here is a better view from the front.



Side view of the engine.



I think I will need to get a different front clip to weld in. Hopefully someone will let me bring a sawzall over and cut the front off their car. And, I have to sell my Contour SVT to be able to pay for parts.

It would be nice if these post windows were a little bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A little change in direction

The project took a little turn and some delays at this point.

I was having a hard time finding frame rails and core support. Then, I sold my Contour SVT immediately upon listing it. So, I needed a car to drive.
Another trip to craigslist and I found a 90 miata for 2500 with a hard top. We went and looked at it. It was in rough shape. I offered him 1500 and we settled on 1720.
I was planning on using the parts off of the 90 to fix the 93. But, when my father saw the 90 and that it just needed a little work to get going, he wanted to have it.
Luckily someone did not show up to get the only front clip (minus a couple parts) that was available. We paid the guy 350 for what he had left. Well, my dad paid it this time, since he is now interested in the project.

So now the spend is:
  • 1993 Wrecked Miata: $800
  • 1990 Driveable Miata - needs work: $1720
  • 1996 Miata tub and front parts: $350
  • Still need: DS fender, Radiator, Condensor, Power Steering Reservoir and misc.
  • Grand total: 2870 for 2 Miatas

The 1996 was wrecked on the drivers side quarter panel. Then, the guys daughter drove it through a large water hole and destroyed the engine.
I will post the pictures of the two additions to the project tonight
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here are the pictures I promised for the 90 and 96 Miata's:
90 Left Rear:



Left Front:



Engine:



Trunk:



Interior:





96 Left Side, wrecked in quarter panel:



Right Side:



The next step is to take the engine out.
I am thinking about what colors to start painting it. I found a green color that I might like but could not find the picture. I will have to look some more
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Moving to more progress in December 2011

Hey, I finally go other projects finished up and got some work done on the Miata.
The first task was to finish taking the engine out.
Done:



Next I pulled the frame to get some of the bend out of the frame back by the firewall.




Here is a look at the kink in the frame rail.



Next was the hard part cutting the frame. We used a laser line to mark where to draw the line. (I got my father to come help with the frame work) This worked nice for drawing a straight line but we didn't think about all the lazer alignment details. This is causing more welding.



Here is a look in the frame tube.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Adding the new front structure

Now that this piece is off and we got the front off the red doner car, we can start fitting and welding.



Don't look too close or you will see the irratating alignment gap that I have to fill.
Here is a close up of the weld on the outside of the frame. It is amazing how thin the metal is in some places. It was nice being able to bolt the subframe in place to help possition the front section.



I didn't think about it till we test fit the finder that this was going to be the Captain America car till it gets painted (someday).





Here is a closeup of the fender gap. The bolt hose line up nicely.



Now I have to get back to welding. I will be using my TIG welder on the thin spots and a MIG welder on the gaps. I will also fit in some fill pieces where possible
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Engine Rework

I am finally making some more progress on the Miata.
I am working on the engine. Add another $600 to the running total for parts (gasket kit, oil, clutch, filter, engine paint, clutch master cylinder).



I have it mostly appart now, but I can't find my 12 sided 12mm socket to get the head bolts off. Guess I have to go by another.

I will get some more picutures up later.


I have decided on a green color to paint it. I am working on getting the engine compartment cleared out to paint it. I got a pint of the green so I could try it out on the engine bay and see if I like the color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Engine Rework part 2

More pictures of the engine rework. I did not replace the crank/rod bearings or rings. It sounded good when it was all together. It was oil and nasty all over so I am replacing all the seals and gaskets.
I'll start with pictures of taking the engine apart.









I need to replace the valve stem seals so I had to take the valves out. This was a little challenging with the holes for the followers to block normal valve spring compressors.
Here is the head completely apart.


Next Cleanup.
I pressure washed the block and cleaned all the oil and grease off it. I then painted it with flat black paint. Here the paint is still wet, so it looks shiny.



Other side of the engine block.



Then, I cleaned and painted the head silver/aluminum color. I also put the valves and springs back in.



Here is how I ended up working with the valve spring removal/replacement.
I bolted a board to the bottom of the head.



Then, I made a compressor tool to put in the drill press. Proped the head up at an angle and the springs came in and out without much fuss. I do wish I had a lock to hold my drill in the down position.
Here it the tool.



Next I put the cams in and bolted the head on. I found the head bolt torque spec to be 56 - 60 foot pounds. If that is not correct please let me know.
Here is the engine with the head on.



I will try to use the real camera from now on. My phone pictures did not turn out too hot. If you notice in 2 picture it shows some weird freeze plug thing I need to look into replacing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tonight's work on cleaning up the chassis

So, tonight I spend some time taking about the chassis including the interior to make painting the engine compartment easier and nicer.








I still have a ways to go on the clean up, but I think it is looking pretty good. I also have to do a little more grinding on the welds and put on some putty to smooth things out. I might add bondo to fill holes and weird contours.

If anyone know how to get the throttle and cruise control cables out of the firewall please let me know.

I am also thinking about some ways to do some wire tuck. Is it hard to get the wire bundles back through the firewall? I was not able to find a lot out about tucks, does everyone that does it use a megasquirt or some aftermarket controller?

Is one of the objects of a tuck to put as much in the fender area as possible?
 

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Wow great work and dedication! I wished someone bought my wrecked miata lol Saw the work youve done on the Scion, looked awesome as it transitioned from mangled to original. Good luck with the restoration and welcome to Cr.net!
 

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nice man!
 

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Why did you chose to cut the frame rather than weld the white quarter panel on to the red tub?
 

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this scares me. i give you props for doing it yourself, but the execution scares me. that is definitely not the way to replace the frame rails.
By using a solid bead it will create a stress point. also you will run into legality issues if you ever sell it
 

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:eek: fail point. why didnt you just cut it before the pick up points and tube the rest??




 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yep, I understand it can cause stress points in the chassis to have it welded. I am planning on putting in some fish plates and stiffeners, just have not gotten to that yet. I was planning to make some z brackets that fit on the inner and bottom of the frame rails.

Here is a quick paint sketch of what I am thinking about.



The red is the shape of the stiffener and the green would be the welds.

I debated for a long time if I could replace it in front of the pickup points. The car had previously been in an accident where the did just that. Do to the 2 accidents and a really bad repair job the first time the pickup locations, shock towers and other metal around them were bent and messed up.

I thought about switching to the red tub, but it is a 96 and was completely parted out. I was not sure how all my 93 interior, rear suspension, wiring, would fit. And that seemed like a lot more work.

I did think about a tube frame as well, but I was not ready for that much work and money. I built a tube frame gokart last year and it was a money pit. It did not end well either when I had an accident, went off the road and hit a tree. No weld broke but my face did. The tree hit the upper roll bar and my helmet.

Here is a picture of the cart before it was finished.



Thanks for the info on my diff. I will probably change it out someday. But, at least I know where I start.

Thanks for all the comments - good and bad. It helps me do a better job and helps make sure I don't forget something.
 
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