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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Current Mod List

Exterior
Racing Beat Type II nose
Racing Beat rear bumper
Garage Vary finish panel
Track Dog Racing front splitter
Depo clear indicators
Hella E-Codes with 55w ballast and 5000k HIDs
LED License Plate Lights
OEM Hardtop with defrost and liner
GarageStar front and rear tow hooks
GarageStar Type 1 license plate bracket

Interior
NC Miata seats on custom rails
Custom door panels and door pulls
I.L. Motorsports center console
Momo Competition 350mm steering wheel
LED visor plates
Complete LED interior light swap
Rear view mirror from some GM vehicle
Custom silver vent rings
Pioneer AVH-P3200BT
SoftTop Delete
Chrome Vodoo shift knob

Chassis
Boss Frog Clearview Rollbar
I.L. Motorsports engine bay strut

Suspension/Wheels
Bilstein HDs with Fat Cat Motorsports coilover hardware and Eibach sportline springs
Summer
949 Racing 6UL Tungsten 15x7 wheels
Toyo R1R 225/45/ZR15 tires
Winter
Black Steelies
Bridgestone Blizzaks
Ikea cutting board mudflaps

Engine
Protege Valve cover in wrinkle black
GarageStar wiper cowl cover with finish bolts
Futomo quick drain oil drain valve

Future Mods
Brake pads
RevLimiter Warbird gauges
DIY Arduino headunit
Racing Beat Tubular front sway bar
Paint job



I bought my first Miata in 2012. It was a single owner, 50k mile gem. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction in the world of Miatas. The day I brought it home.



I kept it stock. I was a university student at the time and was only able to afford the infrequent maintenance required.



Next to a young Denim Demon at Minnesota's Cars & Coffee.



I couldn't afford a second vehicle so I daily drove it through a MN winter.





I decided to sell it fall 2013 for something more "Minnesota practical".



That car ended getting rear ended pretty badly fall 2014.



I had been missing my Miata since I sold it so I decided that a Miata was going to be my next car.

I managed to win a Miata on eBay for cheap. It had a lot of miles but also some interesting parts. The main standouts on the car were the Garage Vary rear finish panel, RB type 2 nose, RB rear bumper, 6UL's, new Toyo R1R's, Track Dog front splitter, Bilsteins w/ Fat Cat coilover conversion kit, NC seats, LED interior lights, HID headlights, IL center console, and most importantly the hard top. This one had a defrost which I really missed on my first Miata. The downfalls were the mileage (175k), the paint/exterior, the gaudy interior, the blended GV finish panel, damage to front fenders, and small amounts of rust.


It was located in New York so I hopped on a flight right after class on Friday to go pick it up. I stayed at a friends place in NY and we ran into some trouble early Saturday morning on the way to pick up the car.



I had class Monday so I headed back to Minnesota right after picking up the car. After 22 hours of driving with two extra front fenders and a Garage Star wiper cowl in the passenger seat, I made it home.



First thing I did was replace the damaged front fenders with the replacement fenders and installed the Garage Star wiper cowl.



I then picked up a set of steelies wrapped in Blizzaks in preparation for the winter.





Still attending college, I ended up daily driving it through the winter…





A few weeks into winter, I was driving down the highway and heard a loud banging from the front of the car. To my relief it was only my front splitter flapping in the wind. It turned out that a few of the plastic bolts that held on the Track Dog splitter had been destroyed by ice and were no longer present. I replaced the plastic bolts with stainless steel ones.



As spring rolled around, I got to replacing some of the things that had been irritating me. The biggest eye sore was the horrendous aftermarket steering wheel. It appeared that the designer had studied all potential steering wheel materials and unable to make up his mind, combined them all.



I shopped around for a bit and picked up a 350mm Momo Competition from a CR member. I wanted to start moving the interior toward a black theme and this fit right in.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
The previous owner had replaced the eyeball vents with aluminum RC car wheels. They weren’t adjustable and looked a little too flashy for me so I picked up some OEM eyeball vents. He also had chrome metal vent rings that I kept for the time being.



The PO had an intensive sound setup with two amps and two subs. To monitor all the energy sapped up by the system, he had replaced a center eyeball vent with a voltage meter. I sold the subs and an amp and replaced the vent.







Around the same time I removed all the acoustic weight, I removed the softtop. I didn’t use the soft top much and liked the way the car looked without it. I also liked all the extra interior room when the hard top was on.

I was really happy with how the interior was starting to look. Next on the interior list is warbird gauges and a simplistic Arduino head unit.



 

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Discussion Starter #3
I picked up a Boss Frog clearview from an NB that Adam and Bront were parting out. I had been shopping for a roll bar for awhile and was ecstatic to find one local and avoid shipping costs. I couldn’t have been happier.











 

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Discussion Starter #4
Next up was the second biggest eyesore, the paint and the unpainted fenders. I weighed my options, skill, the car I was painting, and budget. I concluded that it would be best to paint it myself. I had never delved into autobody work or automotive grade painting and was increasingly intimidated the more I read up on it. I ended up deciding to plastidip it. I know how frowned upon plastidip is and I really wanted to avoid a cheap looking paint job. I couldn’t afford to take it to a shop, couldn’t risk spending the money on professional paint and messing up, and didn’t know if I should spend the value of the 200k mile car on paint. I wanted to do the best job I could with the plastidip. So i picked up a gun, decided on a white base, and a pearl top coat to make it look a little more professional.



I sanded down the rust areas and primered them to avoid spread. I took the body parts off (I really shouldn’t have), cleaned everything up, and masked it off.



Next time I won’t take off the trunk and hood. That made the coat uneven when it was all assembled and I didn’t even do a good job inside the fender edge of the engine bay so it was all for nothing. I was very happy with the results. The car had a really nice satin look to it.

















I attended my first autocross this spring. I had a blast.







Attended a couple more throughout the season, not as many as I would’ve liked to make.



Rigged up my DSLR to the rollbar.



The footage was a little too shaky to use. Stills from the video looked good.





I finished school in spring and really didn’t have any money to put performance mods for the car. I saved up for maintenance and in preparation of the 200k mile turn over, I replaced all the belts, waterpump, camshaft seals, plugs, and all corresponding gaskets.



Garage beers easing the frustrations of working on a 200k mile Miata.



Working in my very small and painfully primitive garage.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is where I'm at now, busy saving pennies for a winter/daily vehicle.



The current to-do list for the car is

Interior
-Revlimiter Warbirds (Black/White)
-Arduino head unit

Suspension
-RB tubular front sway
-Endlinks
-brake pads & fluid

Engine
-Replace the 200k radiator & hoses (neither leak or overheat yet)
-Manifold
-Test pipe
-Exhaust
 

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^^^Agreed! $2k seems like a fantastic deal considering the mods, good foundation. The Garage Vary taillight panel looks great blended, imo. :icon_cheers:
 

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Beautiful car for the money and great work! love the plasti. what kinda gun is used for that? also great job with the double din it looks so perfect in its home! keep up the great work!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I didn't end up getting a second vehicle before winter. I really like this car but it's not perfect. I don't think it deserves to be babied. It has 200k miles, crap paint, and a little rust. So I decided to drive it through the winter again. I threw on steelies with winter tires, raised the coilovers, and made some mud flaps.

It was nice and sunny today so I went for a little cruise and took these.



 

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Man, I'm jealous of winter Miata. Mine did pseudo winter duty (just random commutes back and forth from Madison to the Twin Cities) for two years but I'm glad I stopped when I did for the sake of the car, but it was a hell of a good time. Cool backstory and hope to see you out at some more MOWOGs this year.

edit:
Bonus points for Denim Demon & Colditz cameo in your post :v
 

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may i ask whereabouts in New York did you find this gem? Absolutely awesome find btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
may i ask whereabouts in New York did you find this gem? Absolutely awesome find btw.
I believe it was the Glendale area. I got it from a nice middle aged man who had another NA at the time.

Man, I'm jealous of winter Miata. Mine did pseudo winter duty (just random commutes back and forth from Madison to the Twin Cities) for two years but I'm glad I stopped when I did for the sake of the car, but it was a hell of a good time. Cool backstory and hope to see you out at some more MOWOGs this year.

edit:
Bonus points for Denim Demon & Colditz cameo in your post :v
Thanks! Yea the salt is pretty detrimental to the life of the car. However, the enjoyment outweighs babying a 200k mile, pseudo beater, miata. Looking forward to more events!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
NC seats on custom rails. They came with the car. The previous owner made the rails. I like them a lot more than the NA ones just because the backs go up a lot higher and the headrest area actually supports my head. I'm 6'2'' and NA seats end at the base of my neck. If I was rear ended in NA seats I'm sure they'd snap my neck.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I picked up some GarageStar tow hooks and a license plate bracket. The PO removed the baby teeth and driving this in the winter, I was concerned about getting stuck without a means of getting out.



 
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