Hello, I'm Ryan from the Milwaukee, WI area. I've been browsing these forums for awhile to research and come up with a realistic plan for the car. I'm figuring I'll probably swap in a 1.8 with a modest turbo for around 220whp (no band-aids either).
About a year ago I picked up a 205,000 mile 1991 Miata A-Package (SU red) from a friend for free since it had a clutch master/slave problem and wouldn't move. I ended up towing it back to my place, did a little research, and about $50 later I had a moving car. The car was in BEYOND rough shape. The front and rear rockers were rusted out severely on both sides of the car, and the floor had a hole from moisture caused by a ripped top.
I removed the rust from the rockers with a sawzall and later a plazma cutter. Ended up buying new metal (1/2 a Miata tub and some good rocker metal) for a great deal from BTDT Racing (awesome guys btw and 15 mins away!)
I treated all of the underlying metal properly for durability. After which I cut and welded the new metal in and treated it in the same fashion. After that was done I tore the interior apart, took the old top off, and began to patch the floor with new metal and stitch weld the entire floor/tunnel. I also added some plate steel to the areas above the frame/floor rails to practice welding and maybe add some rigidity (doubtful). Once the floor was complete it was treated and the seams were sealed with seam sealer.
After the above was done I took the dash out and coated it with SEM black Color Coat. (Super durable and flexible finish for plastics) Removed the entire HVAC system, re-installed the dash, installed new carpet, installed the seats, and finally installed the new-to-me top w/ zip-out non-defroster glass.
Completed the body work which involved fixing dents, smoothing the rockers, ect. Took it to a friend's shop for a free paint job. The color is Red Rock Crystal Pearl.
I'm currently in the process of ripping the front and rear subframes/a-arms out, wire wheeling, sandblasting, prepping, treating, and painting them. The energy suspension bushings will go in after.
Bought new 16x7 Rota Slipstreams, Tokico Illuminas, FCM 46mm bump kit, Borla single outlet cat back, upper/lower shift rubber, shift boot, R package springs, two front fenders, a front bumper cover, rear trunk lid, new carpet, FM solid front sway bar, brake rotors/pads, rocker and floor steel, stainless steel bolts/hardware, various coatings and paints, supplies, new tail lights, new top... the list goes on and on.
All said and done I'm almost $3000 into the project. There is more to come (including an engine from a 1994 Protege, and a Garrett GT2554R (GT25R) turbo!