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Old 01-15-2014, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default Take 3: mgeoffriau buys a Miata

$1200 got me a black 1994 R-package with straight, rust-free body panels and a strong-running engine that had a recent timing belt change. Nearly everything needs work.

Just to get it back to a reasonably livable condition will require a new soft top, new carpet, new battery and mounting hardware, and quite a bit of work piecing the interior back together. Lots of missing bolts, brackets, and bits.

Then it will undergo a few modest modifications aimed mostly at improving the daily driving experience of the car -- a roll bar, some braces, some sound deadening, eventually a new suspension.

Then, somewhere down the road, perhaps I'll pursue some forced induction.

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Old 01-15-2014, 11:35 PM   #2
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Nice.

But posting a picture of a car under a cover is not cool. Stop being a tease
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:41 PM   #3
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Dude, better pics! Let us see this baby. I have seen a couple of post the the cheap zipper rear window ebay tops are fine. I also found a good thread on sound deadening on CR interior section.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
new battery and mounting hardware
let me know what you do for the battery mounting hardware. Are you going to buy OEM parts? My car is missing all of the OEM battery stuff, and I don't even know what's supposed to be there, or what it's supposed to look like.

Just curious what your plan is.

Nice purchase?!?
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:34 AM   #5
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Cool. Join me in making a 949 racing 95R track car clone?

BTW, for top and seat upholstery, I put E-bay specials on the Silver car. They've held up great for years and 10's of thousands of miles. Glass rear window is a must for a daily IMHO.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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There's a guy parting out an NB locally. Still has a nice OEM tan top...I'd really like it. I thought $250 was a fair offer. He countered with $350 plus he gets the old soft top frame out of my car. Then I offered a straight swap, my 1.8 open diff + driveshaft for the soft top. He said he'd do the soft top for the diff + driveshaft, soft top frame, and $250.

I'll probably end up with an eBay top. I've done that once before and it was fine.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #7
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No way is a used top worth that much. You can darn near buy a new Robbins at retail with that money.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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Yeah when I balked at his counteroffers he told me it's a $500 top.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:01 PM   #9
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Walk away
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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I paid $100 for a decent condition used top with frame

Eff that guy
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
let me know what you do for the battery mounting hardware. Are you going to buy OEM parts? My car is missing all of the OEM battery stuff, and I don't even know what's supposed to be there, or what it's supposed to look like.
Battery mounting hardware consists of:

1 corner bracket that is bolted to the trunk floor
1 anchor plate that is bolted to the trunk floor
1 plastic tray that sits in the bracket
1 top bracket that fits into a hole in a trunk panel
1 threaded rod with a j-hook

Like this: [EDIT] Pics wouldn't copy, just go here and check out sjmarcy's pics.

http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=375549


You probably still have the 2 pieces that are bolted to the floor, so you would need the tray, the top bracket, and the threaded rod. You can get them from Planet Miata or on eBay for about $15-25 usually.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:04 PM   #12
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Mark - If I come across any random leftovers that are cheap to ship, I'll let you know. I can't be bothered to meet people in parking lots and I'm not letting Craigslist types over to my house and ain't nobody got time for eBay, so I can't be bothered to sell most of it anyway.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
Mark - If I come across any random leftovers that are cheap to ship, I'll let you know. I can't be bothered to meet people in parking lots and I'm not letting Craigslist types over to my house and ain't nobody got time for eBay, so I can't be bothered to sell most of it anyway.
Awesome, thank you. I'm hoping Saturday I will have some time to start sorting through what's missing from the interior.

So far I have a battery, battery hardware, and an A/C button/fan selector on the way.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:20 PM   #14
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Couldn't help myself. The car should be pieces now but I wanted at least one short drive before it goes up on jackstands. Weather was beautiful today, about 60 degrees, sunny, and breezy. Stuck the new battery in, pulled as many loose parts and bits out of the car as I could in 10 minutes, checked the oil, and bolted the seatbelts back in place. Drove over to my in-laws house so my father in law could see the car, then drove a little ways down the Natchez Trace to an overlook on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. Nice afternoon drive.















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Old 02-09-2014, 08:05 PM   #15
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Finally got some time to start pulling things apart and cleaning. This car is dirty. Really, really, really dirty.



Battery had been installed with no tray or bracket, so as it shifted around it wore through the protective coating in the trunk. The resulting rust was superficial but widespread. Rusty areas were scrubbed and wiped down, then sprayed with rust-converting primer and then an enamel rust protectant top coat.



Seats and center armrest were pulled, then the tombstone and radio. Dash will come out later when carpet is reinstalled. Floorpan will get similar primer+enamel treatment for rusty spots. Reinforcement via frame rails from Flyin' Miata is upcoming.



Both seat pans are rusty, driver's side had crumbling rust. I knocked loose as much as I could, but between the rusty pans and the stained covers, I'll be looking for replacement seats in the near future.



Buttoned up for the night. This top cover is easier to put on and off than a full car cover.

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Old 02-13-2014, 03:43 AM   #16
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Hit that trunk with some satin or glass black paint. Is it an R package?, its got the rear spoiler and lip.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:21 PM   #17
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Well, poop. I had an extra soft top frame in my storage room, so I figured I'd install the new soft top on that, and then swap it onto the car. Got partway into removing the remnants of the busted soft top on the frame when I noticed that both tension springs are extremely rusty, and both plastic blocks at the ends of the tensions cables are cracked.

So, I guess I'll pull the soft top frame off the car and see what shape it's in.



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Old 02-16-2014, 10:10 PM   #18
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In light of the above discovery, I started pulling the soft top off the car to check out the frame. Looks much better -- tension springs look good, both tension cables look good.

Rain rail retainers had some spot rust so I scuffed them down and then shot them with Rustoleum rust converter/protectant.



While I was waiting on the paint to dry between coats, I decided to remove the Frankenstein bolts/plates. The passenger side was damaged.



Slotted the stud with a dremel, sprayed some AeroKroil down there and carefully removed it.



Decided to remove the driver's side as well, the stud stayed put so I slotted that and removed it as well. Shiny new bolts and plates from eBay are on the way. Got the regular non-Frankenstein bolts since I don't have a hard top right now.

I discovered I was missing these two access panels on the rear deck. Anyone have the correct nomenclature for those (or better yet, have a set they don't need)?

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Old 02-19-2014, 11:01 AM   #19
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You'll need a pick n pull for those.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:24 PM   #20
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New soft top is on. Looks pretty good for a $200 Kees top from eBay. A couple wrinkles that I'm hoping will smooth out as the top stretches into place.

I had forgotten what a pain it is to get the rain rail retainers back into place. I finally figured out that the easiest method is to get the two side retainers in place, then get a couple nuts on the center retainer started, then remove the side retainers to allow the rest of the center retainer to be tightened down. Then the side retainers can be reinstalled.

Got new hardtop plates, the passenger side doesn't sit flush. Apparently whenever the PO damaged that plate he also bent up the body panel slightly. Trying to decide if it's worth trying to hammer it back into place with a piece of wood and a dead blow hammer.
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