ClubRoadster.net banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, my name is Harrison, I am a 17-year-old kid living in Ontario Canada, and I have a 1991 Mazda Miata (what a surprise). I have been posting a lot on Miata.net since getting the car, but I want to be more active on this forum, hence my build thread being here not there. I figure you guys will be a little more open to my low budget, and me being a teenager with a cool car. They have been good to me, but I am liking this forum more and more!



Okay, so I have wanted to do a build thread since the day I bought the car, problem… well I wasn’t really building anything. I didn’t have the money, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t have enough experience with the car to know what it needed.
The goals for the car are in this order:
- Fun to drive
- Looks cool
- Fast in autocross (not really that important as long as its fun!)

The fun is really the most important though, I am a function over form kind of guy, but in this case the function is being fun first most, not fast, and the form is going to be a good old second.
I’m thinking the build will start with cheap things and good learning experiences as well as maintenance, then move on to things like rims, tires, suspension, style, and then power. Somewhere in there will be performance driving lessons too, those sound really fun and might make me less likely to do what my parents and friends seem to think I am going to do, crash it into a ditch.

Lets introduce the car!
This is my 1991 BRG Limited Edition, here in Canada they made somewhere between 500 and 1000 of them, no one really knows, I like to say 500 because it makes me feel more special! I bought the car almost exactly a year ago, found it on AutoTrader. From the pictures it looked good, it was the first car I went to look at. In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have bought the first car I looked at but it turned out well. He was asking $5000, I got him down to $4400, I think it was a great deal for a low KM’s, Hardtop, new soft top, well maintained example with ALL records since the original receipt of purchase in 1991, and never winter driven (we will get to that later, maybe quite a bit later in another post). I bought the car, it drove like a dream! I was loving it, But as a learner permit driver only able to drive with my parents, and the winter coming up soon, I was hit with the sudden realization that it was time to put it away until spring!


^ Picture from ad

^ First interior shot

^ Ew snow!


The first winter it was away I knew nothing about working on cars, so I did what any kid with no money and too much time could do, I cleaned everything. I took things under the engine bay apart one by one and degreased, scrubbed, and waxed it all. It was the cleanest example of a stock car I had seen by the end of that winter. Scratches where filled with touch up, the old faded single stage was buffed to a shine, and the car was looking good. Spring came and with taking it out of storage I decided to tackle my first real maintenance projects, oil change (only the finest synth for my baby), gear oil, diff, coolant, basically anything liquid is changed out. Got it Etested, in my name, insured and on the road! That was the beginning to my incredible season with my first car! More to come in the next post, which will probably be really soon… Like maybe and hour from now!


^ Before and after of oxidation on wing

^ Look at that shine!


Like I said this build will be a slow progress, low budget, wordy, and I can sometimes be a perfectionist kind of build. If you don’t like it then don’t subscribe, if you really don’t like it then please yell at me in all caps, it makes me feel sad… Do you really want to make me feel sad? But in all seriousness, your feedback is appreciated, and like I said more to come, and more exciting stuff too! Not too exciting... But venturing from maintenance and stockness... a little... Don't get too excited, but do stay tuned!


^ Sneak peek of when the snow melted!


Final note… man I wish I could write this many words in this short of a time period for school… I would have a good mark in English, darn my only being interested in stuff I enjoy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Post #2 What happened during summer #1

Where we last left off the BRG was out of storage, clean, reliable, and fun… Time to make it better looking, and a little more fun!

First things first, gauge hood was ALL scratched up! Looked ratty and ugly, cheapest solution, RedLineGoods leather cover, in black with tan stitching to match the interior, while I was at it I did the radio surround to match, and then after the order got delayed they gave me shop credit with which I added the center console! Instillation was fun but challenging, you can kind of see it in this picture:


After that came some more low budget mods, first things first, painted Daisys, cost next to nothing, and changed the whole look of the car, at some point new rims and tires will come, but all the rims I like cost $$$ and will have to wait a wee while, this will tide me over! Duplicolour rim paint, 2 cans silver, 2 cans graphite, 1 can clear, paint chips easier than I would like, but touches up easy!


Last mod of the summer, R package style front lip, I love the look and the way it lowers the front end a little, got it from Advan Emotion on the cheap, but the quality is just as I expected and just as I like for a piece of plastic that will be scraped off the ground everywhere I go.


Next up, maintenance, she needed new brakes in the rear, may as well do all 4! Napa disks, and Stoptech street performance pads, should be enough for me to never fade, even in the most heated of autocrosses! Neighbour (who has a insane AWD Turbo DSM that he races, man that thing is cool) helped me out as I didn't want to mess up the thing that makes my car stop!


That’s it for work done to the car over the summer, slow progress but it should only get better from here! As for fun experiences with the car, I went to 2 autocrosses which where incredible fun, an open lapping day at the local Shannonville racetrack a town away. Enough performance driving to ruin my crummy all seasons, something will have to be done about that in the spring! Also went to the Daves Garage Miata meet up in Toronto, met some awesome Miata owners there, and even some Clubroadster and Miata.net members!





Also over the summer I started my own little detailing business, did many family and friends cars. But most notably of all had a neighbour call me up to help him out with his cars. It wasn't a full detail, and we washed them his way not mine, but I thought you might like the pic, running a mobile detailing business is hard from the back of a Miata trunk, but I managed to make a couple extra bucks from it!



Thats it for now, next up... Rust... Maybe he lied about it being never winter driven... it isn't very bad, definitely not regularly winter driven... I will fix it just you wait and see! More stories to come as I order parts over the winter and have some fun! Now that it is in storage and I am not dropping all of my money on insurance and gas, some mods and more fun work may come!



Oh ya, and I removed and sold the style bar... Thats a thing, now I won't die in rear end collisions and all that stuff people yelled at me... A real rollbar will come eventually!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
That's an awesome colour combo! Are you welding in new metal to fix the rust?

Thanks! Welding is the plan for the rear quarter panel bottom, if I am gonna fix it may as well fix it right! Not sure when it will get done though as I have never welded or done bodywork before, we have a friend out in BC where we are moving this summer who has restored an old Studebaker and a Nash Metropolitan, he is awesome at welding and bodywork and I am really hoping he is willing to teach me how! All the other rust besides that part will probably be fixed in the next few weeks but that spot may have to wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Time for a little update...

Haven't tackled the rear quarter panel rust yet, too complicated to take on in my garage in the freezing cold, but I did take a peek under the front fenders...





Like I thought... rust, my worst enemy, but its time to get rid of it!

Fenders where taken off, existing rust ground down a little, and POR15 coated anywhere that I saw rust, near rust, or that I thought may be at risk of rust, as well as the lower areas of the back side of fenders.





That rust shouldn't be back for a while, but of course I will clean the areas out a few times a year as I know they can collect more dirt and grime, and rust again!

The rust under there was not the greatest, but my control arms and subframes look pretty clean, like a never winter driven car should, so I am not too disappointed in the condition of car!

Almost more fun and rewarding than fixing the rust was getting to tear the entire front end off of a car for the first time, this car has and will continue to be a learning experience for me!



On a side note, radio is out as I have booked a time to get Jeff Anderson to work his radio magic on it, soon my OE radio will be fully functional, have an aux in, and sound better than ever. I considered hidden amp as an alternative but ultimately decided this is the best route for me, I really didn't want a the bling of a modern head unit in this car, as the styling theme will hopefully be going vintage to match the BRG and leather theme.



Some maintenance parts are being ordered this weekend, and some fun parts will probably come in the new years! Having Miata withdrawals already but thats what I get for being too chicken to winter drive my car, it would be fun, but I hate all the salt they use here!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,345 Posts
Jeff Anderson is an overpriced hack. Stop trying to polish a turd of an OEM radio and find a nice, period-correct Nakamichi or rock the blanking plate+hidden amp option. Good progress dude!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
Very clean miata. I was in the exact situation as you when I was 17. I got lucky and stumbled across my brg and after almost 4 years and extensive rebuilds I'm still in love with my car. Great progress so far. Best of luck man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Jeff Anderson is an overpriced hack. Stop trying to polish a turd of an OEM radio and find a nice, period-correct Nakamichi or rock the blanking plate+hidden amp option. Good progress dude!
I understand what you are saying, but I still think this is the right choice for me. It will look OE and work better, and then in the long term I plan on possibly getting another Miata as a DD and turing this one into a special occasion car, when this car turns into a more dedicated weekend/race car, the modded radio will go into the DD (or be sold if I don't get another Miata) and a hidden amp setup will come into play. I didn't want to go hidden amp yet, as with this being a DD I want the option to still play radio on lazy days when I haven't set up a playlist, or am only driving a couple blocks, here in Ontario with the amount of time I have had my license, if I so much as pick up my phone to change the song or volume at a red light and am caught, I loose my license 6 months+, and when I get it back, my insurance would be un payable! So its either a pre setup playlist and hide in the glovebox, or radio.



Also, thanks for the kind words on car everyone, means a lot, I think a order to Mazda for maintenance items, and a little order to Revlimiter.net are going in in a couple of mins!

Edit, Revlimiter order not happening yet, shipping here is obnoxious, and he is bogged down with orders from his thanksgiving sale it seems, that will wait until the big order of stuff in the new year when I am getting a bunch of things shipped to U.S. PO box and going down to grab!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Is the autocross pic from Picton? I miss my BRG na. I should get another one.
Yeah its from Picton. Great club and great place to test out autocross for the first time, had a lot of fun, went out 3 times, once for ride alongs and twice with my car. Really fun, learned ALOT, but man is that runway surface rough on tires, I estimate that the 2 days of runs I did took a whole year of life off my all seasons, oh well means I can get nicer tires in the near future! (anyone have any comments on 185/55/r14 S Drives on stock Daises?)

Great progress man keep it up. Nice to see you that you didn't equip a SWAG PACK
A Swag Pack? Does it include Racelands, XXR's, and a swagarific sticker that blocks my front window view?! I will be so hella flush mad JDM yo, and I won't need to roll my fenders right?! :blaugh:
Swag packs are not for me, I want a functional car, and a fun car foremost, and a good looking car second. A balance off all 3 is hard to get but I have seen many inspiring builds here that I will try to emulate a little in mine, and I know that cheap parts and stickers are NOT the first step! I also don't want to loose respect from older guys in the car seen, if I look like a silly ricer then the people at the local classic car meets will no longer think it is cool when I show up, I won't get the guys running up to me telling me about how it reminds them of their old MG's or Triumphs, and a lot of the things that I like about this car would be lost in the stickers, and the sparks over every other bump in the road. Though some of those classic muscle car guys are still stuck in their old fashion ways, I still think that respect from all of the car scenes is cool, and some of those guys have some awesome rides!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I love your car. I've been looking for a clean BRG to replace my tired red 94' (plus the 1.6 tan interior is much better than my tan 1.8) Also love the way your going about everything, coming from another young guy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
DIY Short Throw Preview

Okay, today I took apart the shifter turret and ripped old boots out to prepare for the new boots and bushings on the way! Then after taking it apart I ran into this: http://gearheadsmiataclub.net/vB/showthread.php/73-DIY-OEM-short-throw-improved-shifter-project
So I took the inspiration, like I said earlier, at my age, I don't have much money, but I do have a lot of free time. So a mod like this that costs a total of 0$ plus the parts I had already ordered is my kind of mod. Smoothed out the parts that actually do work when shifting to get a better smoother shift feel, and then also took it a step further and polished the rest. I may get a console delete at some point and run just the rubber shift boot, so this mirror finish will look cool! Tomorrow at school auto shop I am going to use a die to make threads go down further to make the shift knob sit lower, making that Short throw effect happen, and maybe sandblast parts of it then re polish, so I get that perfect look even in the cracks and crevices.
Thought I would get some really good pictures of it when all of the sudden my DSLR fell apart, literally raining out pieces of the shutter. Luckily its still under warrenty, but pissoff because I took so much caution, never dropping the thing, cleaning it, taking it in for inspections by pro camera cleaners, and it still broke. Hopefully they will fix or replace it, as I have invested a lot of money into it, but until then, all you get is a crappy Iphone preview pic. More to come once it is actually done!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Not too much has happened in the last little while, got the Revlimiter Calender and Tire money for XMas from my parents! Cant wait to get both (Calendar is on way and tires will be ordered in spring) Here is how the shift knob sits now that its reassembled and in:



And how she sits for now:





On a side note, have been working on a buddy's 86 FC Rx7 in auto class, thing is a non turbo base model with 330,000 km on its original rotary, and is rusted from years of winter driving, and then more years sitting in a field, currently re doing EVERYTHING in braking system, and exhaust, in hopes to get it street able some time in the late winter/spring! Glad to have convinced some of these small town kids that real sports cars are as cool if not cooler than their dam muscle cars and lifted trucks!



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
(anyone have any comments on 185/55/r14 S Drives on stock Daises?)
I have some on my Jetta, I would say just go ahead and get some, because I think they are a discontinued size, and the performance tire market for 14's has been all but abandoned

Edit: I can post pictures of how they fir on my wheels if youd like
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top