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Nice install! An interesting alternative design, if it could be made big enough, would be to make a triangular box right in front of the passenger seat. That would give you some of that leg room for when little gets big

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I might have to look into that but I'm not sure if it could be made big enough. Fiberglass would probably be the best option there. I haven't worked with fiberglass and don't really want to though. Really messy!
 

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Jake beat me to it. I ran those exact Aura bass shakers and man, I loved them before I sold them. I miss them now but I'm going for more of a motor build instead of daily creature comforts.

My setup was a bass shaker in each seat, two 3.5" speakers in the NA headrests, and 6.5" Kicker speakers in the door on a Pioneer head unit. I didn't have a sub, but the small enclosure of a Miata really didn't necessitate one IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
On a closed road in Mexico...

I’ve not had the chance to take a 100,000 mile shot for a long time. The last was when Sharka’s 97 chassis hit 100k in 2005 or so.

It’s a little ritual for any Miata owner who truly loves their car. When 100k rolls around, you plan ahead and cross the milestone at 100 mph. Taking a photo seals the deal. It guarantees that your next 100,000 miles will be as good or better than the first.

It worked for Sharka in 2005. Bucky deserved the same ritual.

From the closed road


I decided to do a small photoshoot to celebrate the occasion. Bucky doesn’t get as much blog-love as he should. No better time for some attention than at 100k.

Bucky even got fresh wax a few days before.

100,000 miles young


14" RPF1s > *


Control Center


Team Gurren!


Version Redline


I’ve been planning this 100k post for a while. I designed and installed a fresh set of gauges for Bucky. I call this one Version Redline. It’s the first all-white set of gauges I’ve designed. For some reason, the 90s nostalgia is starting to grow on me. It seemed like it was time for Bucky to have some white dials again.

They’re of course, in the store and for sale.

And then there’s the horn button. That’s how Team Gurren rolls. (If you haven’t seen the Gurren Lagann anime, fire up netflix and binge it now. It’s fantastic.)

Zoom-Zoom


Happy 100k Bucky! Here’s to another hundred.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Does Bucky have sport brakes? Curious if sport brakes fit under 14" RPF1's.
Nope. Bucky is a base model. Standard brakes.

That horn button is amazing. I'm actually doing a Kamina/Yoko couples cosplay with my girlfriend at Naka-con here in a couple weeks. I'll have to show her that.

Any plans to do MSM-style black-housing headlights?
I have an extra headlight housing set actually. I was thinking of cooking them and blacking them out, but they came with a lot of tabs broken. I've kinda lost interest in that project since then.

Kamina and Yoko cosplay? Post pix! And, of course, believe in the revlimiter who believes in you.

sorry if I'm backtracking too much but, did you really notice a bug improvement with the door bushings? My NB doesn't have many squeaks or rattles so I'm a little skeptical.
Yeah. The door bushings really helped get rid of a lot of chassis flex on the NB. The suspension began to work over the bumps rather than the chassis flexing so much and then the suspension catching up.

It's not a magic bullet, but it adds some short sides to the box that weren't there before.
 

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Discussion Starter #70


It was bound to happen sooner or later.

I made it almost 17 years without breaking a Miata oil pan.



I guess technically, I *still* haven’t broken an oil pan. My wife was driving at the time.

See, we were driving home from the gym. She took our daughter to school and I met her there. I was driving Stormy, she was driving Bucky. We worked out and then left.

It was a nice morning cruise home. No traffic in front of me. I made a light she didn’t and she ended up about 3 huge trucks behind me.

There’s been some construction and there’s many huge trucks moving earth between our house and the gym. I’m guessing that’s where the huge rock came from. It was probably 7-10″ in diameter. Really sizable. Not enormous, but pretty big for a Miata. It was just laying in the middle of the lane.

No one in front of me meant I had plenty of time to see the rock and dodge.

One of the trucks between me and Sarah kicked it up. It rolled. She couldn’t dodge.

BAM.



She pulled over when the road allowed. Fortunately, it was just a small crack in the oil pan and the dipstick still had something on it after she shut off Bucky’s engine. I’ve read horror stories on the forums about engines bleeding out in 20-30 feet. But Bucky’s tough.

At least I hope Bucky’s tough. I’ll find out soon enough. But there was PLENTY of oil left to dump out all over the road after she parked.

We pushed Bucky back to give room for a tow vehicle.



I called my dad who lives very close by and asked him to bring his SUV and a tow cable. A few minutes later, there he was… but his turbo Hyundai had no way to tow. Apparently the little tow eyelet that all modern cars have was not present on his. It’s actually an OPTION from the dealer, not a standard piece.

Stormy had two tow eyelets.

You can see what happened next.

This is, for the record, the largest thing I’ve transported with a Miata. I thought hauling 4 wheels and 4 tires (both separate) was a good trick… but that was nothing compared to hauling a whole Miata with a Miata.

Yo Dawg, I heard you like…



And why did I do this and not just get Bucky home with a tow truck? Something was going on in the city and there was a 2 hour wait for a tow when we called them. AAA was an even longer wait. And we were under 2 miles from home.

It was an unforgettable two miles. I’ve never tried to tow ANYTHING behind a Miata. Bucky was a first. I drove Stormy and my dad drove Bucky. Take offs from lights were fun. Braking for lights with two cars worth of weight and no vacuum assist was apparently fun as well. But we did it.

Bucky got home.

So next thing is to yank the engine and get that pan changed out. Bucky needs a new clutch too, so it's a good time to pull the engine. The pilot bearing in there now has been getting noisier and noisier. It'll strand me one of these days. I was putting off changing it out of laziness, but I have no excuse now.



Notice the big dent in the subframe? It used to hang about an inch below the oil pan. Now it’s about an inch above. And the corner of the pan has a lovely crack.

Poor Bucky.
 

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Yikes! Poor Bucky, indeed! I have to admit laughing a bit at your description of towing with a Miata. My 1993 Nissan Sentra destroyed all of its thrust washers and crankshaft bearings and had to be towed 10 miles behind my NB through town to get it somewhere more permanent. That was a very interesting time with a very short "tow rope" that was actually a small Harbor Freight ratchet strap.

Please don't resist the urge to vastly improve Bucky's engine while it's out of the car. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
 

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I worry about random stuff being in the road all the time driving my car around.
I'd say the scariest thing I've come across was a dumbbell of things just hanging out (luckily) in a left turn lane.

You gonna try and hammer that subframe back down/replace it? Or just live with it and hope the exposed pan isn't exposed too much?
 

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Discussion Starter #74
Yeah, hammering the subframe down is definitely on the list. If it looks crazy after I get the engine out, I'll just get a used one and swap it. But I'm pretty sure it's just a dent knocked into it.

Years ago, there was a cardboard box in the road in front of Sharka. I didn't think much of it since it was flat and not scary looking. I drove over it.

*insert tearing plastic noise here followed by scraping*

I basically lost the front airdam. The box was sticking up juuuust enough to grab the airdam as I drove over top. That was at least 15 years ago.

I go around everything now. lol
 

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coming from vws I'm no stranger to seeing this happen to oil pans but it still makes me cringe every time. Good luck, maybe with the motor out you can go overboard with the upgrades
 

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really nice way of modding your cars. and really dig the job u do on your gauges and other parts. such a bummer that the oil pan went but on to better things i assume. :)

But may i ask what suspension u are running ? Cause it looks at a nice ride height for daily driving but low enough to get rid of the wheel gap.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Bucky is on an ancient set of TEIN Basics. Not Basis, Basics. They're old but they're really comfy for street driving.

At least I think they are. I've not driven the little guy in so long I forget. ha!

I got an oil pan on the engine and I changed all the small hoses. Gotta finish hammering the subframe and get things back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
Bucky's back baby!







Nothing like pulling an engine. Except for when doing it on a fancy diamond plate plastic floor. Ugh. That floor is truly horrible for actually doing much in the way of garage work at all. It doesn’t really allow things to roll over it… and if that THING weighs a few hundred pounds, it doesn’t want to roll at all. It’s comfortable to work on, sit on, lay on, etc. But rolling engine stands or hoists? Nope.

The floor doesn’t hold up to oil laying on it either. I had a puddle of oil under the car for a couple weeks without thinking anything about it. And that part of the floor is now permanently wrinkled and stained. Sigh.

I’ll worry about the floor later.



I hadn’t pulled an engine for a while and couldn’t find my old load leveler. I went to Harbor Freight and bought a new one – this one. This is the “small” load leveler. They had two models – one for $30 and one for $40.

This is the $30 model. It sucks. Do not buy it. It binds up without much load on it regardless of how much you lubricate things. It’s just not meant for leveling a whole Miata engine/tranny combo. Just too small.

The attachment method sucks too.

Just say no. Get the $40 one. It’s blue, longer, and works great. (I own it now too.)





Doesn’t look bad from outside but you can see the damage from the inside very well. At least all of the metal appears to be present. We’ll find out if a big chunk is hiding inside the block somewhere.

You know... if the engine seizes a few months down the road. I didn't take the block apart to search for chunks of metal.







Yup. Claw hammers – two of them. It takes a bit of leverage to get the oil pan free. The thing is pretty well sealed with the RTV around that pan. Lots of force needed.

Advice on MT was pretty much “Pry until you think it’ll break, then pry more.” And that’s what it took to get the pan free.



01-05 engines have a Main Bearing Support Plate, or MBSP. It’s different than all of the other Miata motors and requires a unique oil pan to make it work. The spare 94-00 oil pan I had didn’t work. That meant buying a new pan from Mazda.

*sob sob sob*


Pre-cleaning


Post-cleaning


Crazy clean.

Since I only needed to change the pan, I left the windage tray and MBSP in place. No need to get them out anyway.

An hour of careful cleaning with a nylon brush got the engine ready for more gasket goop.





The gaskets only go on one way. Pretty pleased about that. No chance on screwing it up. Though they go on the windage tray and not on the pan as seen in the top pic.

I went to the auto parts store and got a new tube of ultra grey gasket goop. I was rewarded with a new silver Matchbox Miata for my efforts! Pretty glad I decided to not just use the unknown-age gasket good that was in my storage locker.

One unbroken string of goop later…


New pan!

The whole pan replacement procedure was only about 90 minutes of work. Most of that was removing the old gasket goop from the windage tray. It was actually very easy. I can kinda see why folks do this with the engine in the car and just wiggle it from around the subframe.

I needed to do a few more things though…


Bucky’s coolant hoses were all original. I think I replaced the top one when I did a timing belt change, but all of the rest were 15 years old. 16? Pretty old. Those tiny ones were worrying me. So out they came and on went new ones.

Props to Treasure Coast for selling a full set of Miata coolant hoses. No struggling with multiple part numbers, just one stop shopping. (I found this after discovering Mazdaspeed Motorsports no longer sells them.)


Bucky’s nose bearing was noisy. And… it had been noisy for like 2 years. At first, I could only hear it at like a drive-through ATM at first with a lot of stuff for the squeak to echo off of. But over 2 years it grew louder and louder. Any time I was driving next to a curb I could hear it screaming. It was going to eventually seize and strand me on the road somewhere.

Fortunately, a reason to get the engine out of the bay presented itself.

Might as well throw another stock clutch at Bucky while I had things out.



New rear main seal


New clutch
 

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Discussion Starter #79

DONE!!!

Though I managed to not take a photo, Bucky also got a nice new CSF replacement radiator from Goodwin. It’s something like 2.5x the thickness of the stock unit and has no plastic end tanks. That was another part that was causing me stress. 16 years on a stock Miata radiator is pretty good.

So the total work included…
1 new oil pan
– including oil pan gaskets
– gasket goop
– Matchbox silver ND Miata
1 new OEM clutch kit
– including pilot bearing and throw out bearing
– new slave cylinder
– new small OEM shift boot (old one was trashed)
– new rear main seal
Big box of OEM water hoses
– 4 small hoses
– 2 large hoses
– 2 firewall hoses
CSF 42mm 2 row radiator
and some fluids
– 3 quarts of Ford Motorcraft transmission fluid ($$)
– clutch fluid
– which was also shared with the brakes, which got bled
– fresh 70/30 water/coolant
– fresh oil and filter.

And after all of that, Bucky drives like a new car. It’s astounding how well he runs. I’m ashamed to say there was probably a lot of overdue maintenance that got done with this oil pan job.





Welcome back to the road Bucky!
 

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Yay! Bucky's back! Great photos as always, Adam. Isn't it weird how a car runs better after a big maintenance even if you didn't really notice anything wrong with it before?

Ugh, this is reminding me of all the maintenance I have yet to do to my car.

Also, has the new clutch solved your bucking issue?
 
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