Beater Miata Road Trip - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


General Miata Chat A place to talk about anything Miata

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-23-2011, 01:03 AM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit Burbs
Posts: 300
Total Cats: 3
Default Beater Miata Road Trip

Hey Guys,

Here's a little story about my recent road trip that will hopefully lead to a turbomiata project log.

I have a beater '93 Miata that has seen the worst of Michigan winters (prior to my purchase of this POS). I bought it this spring, replaced the "undesirably ventilated" engine (hole in block), and drove it all summer and fall. It is very rusty, and I was wondering what my best plan of action would be to fix it (and put a turbo on it). Well, as fate would have it, I went on a trip from Michigan out to L.A. last week for work purposes. The options were - get back on the plane and fly back to Michigan like a lame ***, or buy a crappy, yet rust free Miata in CA, and drive it back to MI in an epic road trip.

Well, based on the length of this post, you can guess which route I took.

The thought process was - I've got a miata that runs and drives, everything works, needs a new softtop, is rusty as hell, and is worth about $1500 in Michigan. And, I can pick up a miata that runs and drives, everything works, needs a new softtop, has absolutely no rust, and is worth about $1500 in CA

See what I'm thinking here - sell my ****, and get a rust free car for free. Yup, awesome idea right?

Alright, it's December 15th, and I buy a Miata in Chatsworth CA. The car has 153000 miles on it, all stock, is a 1990 car with P/S and A/C (works!) is red in colour, and is in decent shape. The clear coat is pealing in a few places, both front fenders have been crunched, the engine has very low torque below 4000 rpm (suspected cam timing issue), and the plastic rear window is held up with zip ties. The timing belt, and t-stat have recently been replaced. So, I buy it and decide to take it across country.

The trip plan was to take I40 East from CA through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, then head NE across Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, then East Through Michigan to the Detroit 'burbs.

10:00pm December 15th - car is bought - get ready for road trip in the morning. Head to Walmart.

Items purchased:

4 pack Monster energy drinks
1 big *** Powerade - Red flavor (not really sure what flavor is red, but it tastes good, right)
1 package zip ties
1 roll Gorilla duct tape (black)
1 stylish yet not very functional winter hat (apparently functional winter hats are not available in CA)
1 pair work gloves - dual purpose for both warmth and working on the car
2 pair underwear (gotta have fresh skivvies for the ride home - no frontside, backside, insideout for this guy)
5pk socks
1 can WD40 (the doors on the Miata were super squeaky, and were really annoying me)
2 quarts of 5W 30 Oil (you never know, right?)
1 kit of Slime tire flat goo and 12V tire inflator
1 pack of tire chains (just in case of snow? - I really just bought these 'cause I thought they were badass and we can't buy them in Michigan)
1 Giant package of beef jerky (It just isn't a road trip without beef products stuck between the gaps of your teeth!)
1 can of Brakeclean (will become very important later!)

December 16th 4:30am Pacific time - leave Santa Clarita CA.
Fill up with gas prior to leaving. Bend over to check tire pressure. My pants tear, creating a giant rip in the *** of my pants . The chicks in the car next to me discover my exposed underwear, and much hilarity ensues in their car. I am too close to the situation to share the humor at the time...although can appreciate it a little later in the trip.

Sunup in Barstow:



Somewhere shortly after Barstow, I stop for some McD's Breakfast Burritos, and put the new roll of Duct Tape to good use by taping up the *** of my pants. I got very strange looks from people wherever I went after this...

Somewhere in AZ:


Well, the tires on this car were 3 different brands, and the two rear mis-matched tires were also out of balance. This made for a very uncomfortable and shaky ride, and I was really hoping for no snow on the trip home. Well, I got really nervous in Flagstaff where they had more than 2 ft of snow.

Flagstaff, AZ:


So, I caved and stopped at a Discount tire in Flagstaff. I said "I want something round and black that holds air, and has a bit of tread". They said they could put a pair of brand new Falken RE512's on the rear for $150 in 40 minutes. SOLD!

Went to Carl's Jr for lunch during the tire swap - they don't have these in MI, so was looking for a change. The fries sucked, but the Blue cheese burger was actually pretty tasty. Felt much safer after the tire switch, and the ***-end shakes were also gone as well. Much better. Time to put in some serious miles.

Fast Forward to 10:00pm. Decide to get a Hotel in Santa Rosa, NM (about 2 hours east of Albequerque). Put on the brakes to make the off ramp. Holy crap! It feels like someone pulled the line off of the brake booster - major pedal effort required to stop the car. I pull into the parking lot of the hotel to check it out. Large clouds of billowing smoke coming out of the front of the car. UH-OH!

Open the hood to discover engine oil everywhere! Looks like it's leaking out the front of the engine somewhere (most likely the front main seal), and the crank pulley is successfully flinging oil everywhere. What a mess. I check underneath the car, and notice both front brakes are covered in engine oil!

Well, I guess I don't need to worry about looking for a vacuum leak!

Check the engine oil level - down 1.5 quarts - Crap, better keep an eye on that! Hose down the front brakes with my can of Brakeclean.

Get some rest in the hotel, and look for a couple of parts stores on the internet. Sleep in to make sure the car parts stores are open in the morning. Go to both parts stores - a Carquest, and a NAPA - neither is open on the weekends. CRAP!, plan B in action.

Find a truck stop. Buy more cans of Brakeclean, and ask politely at the truckstop for a big-*** cardboard box. Spend some time in the parking lot under the car fashioning some "oil deflectors" out of cardboard and zip tieing them to the control arms and sway bar. Buy some more oil, and I'm off!

Well, stopping every 120 miles and adding a quart of 20W50 oil (thickest viscosity I could get to try and prevent leaking)

to be continued later...

EDIT: Warning - Spoiler in post #10 by TURBOBURKE
Attached Thumbnails
Beater Miata Road Trip-vgqtl0.jpg   Beater Miata Road Trip-t5g5ls.jpg   Beater Miata Road Trip-2nqwk7a.jpg  

Last edited by Frank_and_Beans; 12-24-2011 at 09:27 AM.
Frank_and_Beans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #2
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 672
Total Cats: 20
Default

Did it at least have cruise control?
karter74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 01:22 AM   #3
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
revlimiter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 528
Total Cats: 92
Default

Excellent story! I hope later comes sooner.
revlimiter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 01:34 AM   #4
Senior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 989
Total Cats: 23
Default

Oh man in for the rest of this story
wittyworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 01:36 AM   #5
Elite Member
iTrader: (6)
 
blaen99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,112
Total Cats: 27
Default

This can only end one way. Awesomely.

Subbed for the rest of the story.
blaen99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 02:14 AM   #6
I'm a terrible person
iTrader: (19)
 
FRT_Fun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 7,293
Total Cats: 180
Default

hahahah this is amazing. In for moar.
FRT_Fun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 02:19 AM   #7
Elite Member
iTrader: (10)
 
soviet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 3,518
Total Cats: 258
Default

lol... sounds like you bought the worst miata... IN THE WORLD
soviet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 07:52 AM   #8
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit Burbs
Posts: 300
Total Cats: 3
Default

It's funny that you ask about the cruise control. When I bought it, I didn't happen to notice if it had cruise control or not. I had to wait around a couple hours at the sellers house so he could bribe his son to follow me to the airport so I could drop off the rental car.

In any case, it was dark when I drove the Miata back to the hotel, and dark again when I left for the road trip in the morning. So dark, that I couldn't even tell if it had cruise or not. So, I'm on my way to Barstow, hoping that once the sun comes up, I will magically find that the car has cruise. NOPE. Bummer. That's gonna suck.

Alright, a couple more details before continuing the story.

I forgot to mention that the two mismatched brand rear tires that were out of balance were also completely on the wear bars as well. During the testdrive in CA, it was raining (in southern CA WTF?) and it actually kicked loose in the backend a couple times. This obviously contributed to my nervousness once in Flagstaff.

In the Parking lot of the Discount Tire in Flagstaff:


I also forgot to mention that this car also didn't have a radio to blast out the tunes for the long drive. Well, technically, It did have a radio, but it wasn't doing me much good:



Luckily, I didn't end up needing this, as I wasn't aware that a 6" adjustable wrench could be so highly valued? (this was at a truckstop - I saw this and ran out of there)




More story Later...
Attached Thumbnails
Beater Miata Road Trip-35d9oo1.jpg   Beater Miata Road Trip-s0yjb9.jpg   Beater Miata Road Trip-zkskyv.jpg  
Frank_and_Beans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 08:00 AM   #9
Tour de Franzia
iTrader: (6)
 
hustler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Republic of Dallas
Posts: 29,114
Total Cats: 351
Default

Awesome thread is awesome.
hustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 09:22 AM   #10
Newb
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7
Total Cats: -7
Default

Derp derp...

Last edited by curly; 12-25-2011 at 10:32 AM.
Turboburke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 10:10 AM   #11
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit Burbs
Posts: 300
Total Cats: 3
Default

Patience, young grasshopper, patience. Let the story unfold...
Frank_and_Beans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2011, 06:10 PM   #12
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 279
Total Cats: 2
Default

Reply to derp derp

Last edited by curly; 12-25-2011 at 10:35 AM.
mx594m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2011, 10:28 PM   #13
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Shalimar, FL
Posts: 965
Total Cats: 7
Default

In for more awesome.
messiahx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 12:50 AM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 672
Total Cats: 20
Default

Love the story but when it takes 3 days just to tell it....interest is diminishing....finish it!!
karter74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 01:27 AM   #15
Elite Member
iTrader: (12)
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Springfield IL
Posts: 2,750
Total Cats: 24
Default

Subscribed.
chpmnsws6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 01:59 AM   #16
Senior Member
iTrader: (4)
 
mr_hyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 799
Total Cats: 25
Default

$26 for a Crescent wrench? Where's Harbor Freight when you need one?
mr_hyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 02:14 AM   #17
Junior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 88
Total Cats: 0
Default

And I thought I had problems when my '92 with 170K+ miles developed a little coolant leak in Dallas on my way to Atlanta from Tacoma via LA.........
silver92b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2011, 09:44 AM   #18
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (10)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Detroit Burbs
Posts: 300
Total Cats: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by karter74 View Post
Love the story but when it takes 3 days just to tell it....interest is diminishing....finish it!!
Widespread christianity is messing up timing for the rest of the story...
Frank_and_Beans is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1994 Spec Miata Race Car SM/SM2/SSM For Sale Quinn Cars for sale/trade 6 10-23-2016 08:58 AM
LucaCarMods's Boosted Dutch Miata Build! LucaCarMods Build Threads 11 02-14-2016 07:13 AM
WTB HPDE miata - Texas Voltwings Cars for sale/trade 0 09-27-2015 07:40 PM
Recommended Tire Temp for best friction thumpetto007 Race Prep 4 09-27-2015 06:16 PM


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:20 PM.