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Old 06-21-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default Got my 1990 this weekend...take a look!

So I went and picked up my blue 1990 Miata this weekend. This is my first Miata, but I got 2 1/2 hours of drive home to try it out. The car has a 1.8 swap from a 1997 car in it, a 2001 transmission and a 1999 diff. And no air conditioning, which, given the 95-ish heat in Tennessee and Alabama this weekend, was not the most pleasant thing in the world.
The car has a Flyin' Miata engine swap kit. It's also running a 190 lph fuel pump and had a Fidanza flywheel and a ACT stage 2 clutch.
It's a little dinged up, but it runs very well. It needs some new tires.
I'm a little torn on the car. I was looking for an early daily driver (BRG or black), but sort of fell into this car. I like the Miata experience, definitely, but I'm trying to figure out if I want to turn this "car on the way to the racetrack" back to boulevard usage or find someone who's looking for a race car to swap with me.
Anywhoo, here are the pictures. If anyone sees anything interesting under the hood, I'd love to hear it. I know I've got an O2 sensor to put in it--it's showing the check engine light and I know the O2 sensor is out of the car. And it needs a parking brake sensor, which I'll be prowling the boards for fix-it instructions. My Haynes manual doesn't have any info on that part (anybody recommend a less crappy repair book?)





More pics here: MobileMe Gallery
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
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Congrats.

The line coming from the intake, running over the rad hose, where does it go? I see the VC breather port is plugged...
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:29 PM   #3
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Default Line...

Well, I walked outside and checked it out. That line goes...nowhere. It's tucked under the big radiator hose and is just hanging there. I suspect this is going to get interesting...
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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that's whats supposed to be hooked up to the valve cover, right above the exhaust header. At least that's what I remember, it's been a while since I've dealt with a stockish miata.

here ya go, you can barely see it, but there's supposed to be a chrome hard line going from the valve cover to the intake. Since the PO cut the valve cover, the hard line has nothing to be bolted to, so it was apparently replaced with a single long line, which disintegrated by the looks of it. I think that's the remains of the end of the hose still on the valve cover.
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edit: never mind, it really looks like a cover on that valve cover hose barb, DEFINITELY take that off and connect it to the intake, that's a fairly large intake leak you have right now. Also their should be a rubber grommet in the firewall where the speedo cable passes though, currently you might rub away at it and destroy it. Oh, and your brake fluid looks a little low for my taste.

As for tracking it, if you do, I'd honestly stay away from a turbo, you already have the 1.8, turbo's are a huge hassle on the track and I'm not entirely convinced they're worth it.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:27 AM   #5
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As for tracking it, if you do, I'd honestly stay away from a turbo, you already have the 1.8, turbo's are a huge hassle on the track and I'm not entirely convinced they're worth it.[/QUOTE]

Wow, its funny reading this from someone who has turbo in thier sig

But i understand what he is saying, there are a lot of things that could go wrong with a n/a car on track and a heck of a lot more devastating things that could happen with a turbo car. However, i think that anyone would realize this when deciding to go turbo.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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Blowing down the straights at terminal velocity is great fun, don't get me wrong. But its a close call deciding whether or not those 2 straightaways a lap are worth all the hassle of the over heating, extra gas usage, the extra wear and tear on the engine, and all the stuff you have to upgrade to keep it from breaking.

My miata's been down for a month or so while I do a coolant reroute and a few other things, and now all of a sudden when I start it up again it's leaking like crazy. Sitting there doing nothing and two of the damn manifold bolts are now finger loose.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:42 AM   #7
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Thanks, Curly. This is good info. You know, the brake warning light was on when I drove back, but the PO had told me the parking brake sensor was not working. I'm wondeing now if it's that fluid being low that's the problem. I'll top it tomorrow and see if that clears it.
Notice I'm missing the fuel recovery canister, too--the part to the left of the block that looks like a black can. I'm beginning to realize that a lot of the emissions parts seem to be disconnected or gone. Anyone notice any other surprises for me?
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:42 AM   #8
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Wow, I'm kinda surprised an AFM'd car is running at all with a leak like that!
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:45 AM   #9
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Anyone notice any other surprises for me?
Yeah, speaking of your brake fluid, see all that rust on the booster and the missing paint beneath it? I think I know where the fluid went..
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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I'm beginning to realize that a lot of the emissions parts seem to be disconnected or gone. Anyone notice any other surprises for me?
Alabama = who gives a ***....don't worry about that stuff, it not being there is no problem for you with where you're living.unless B'ham has some crazy local emissions stuff going on I don't know about. As for that line from the intake just hook it back up to the VC or cap it off either way is fine.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:49 AM   #11
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I actually think in Birmingham they fine you if you're NOT emitting heavy particulates into the atmosphere.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:50 AM   #12
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It definitely runs with the current setup--I'll hook that hose up and see what happens.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I actually think in Birmingham they fine you if you're NOT emitting heavy particulates into the atmosphere.
I love this state, only been here a few months but I never wanna leave.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:56 AM   #14
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So here's a question. It's throwing a code right now, but there's no O2 sensor on it at the moment. What's the chance that replacing the sensor isn't going to do a dang thing to clear the code since most of the emissions parts are funky?
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudduck View Post
Thanks, Curly. This is good info.
yeah, I know.

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The brake warning light was on when I drove back, but the PO had told me the parking brake sensor was not working. I'm wondeing now if it's that fluid being low that's the problem. I'll top it tomorrow and see if that clears it.
either one would do it, the e-brake switch (it's not really a sensor) is a very simple device and easily accessible, it's probably just bent a bit. That's if topping off the brake fluid reservoir doesn't help. And yes, you probably need a new master cylinder, but it does look dry...

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I'm beginning to realize that a lot of the emissions parts seem to be disconnected or gone. Anyone notice any other surprises for me?
Keep in mind the 1.8 has a lot of emission stuff that the factory 1.6 didn't come with, and therefore won't (shouldn't) be hooked up. The 1.6 did come with a charcoal canister but a few of us remove it without issue.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:04 AM   #16
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One thing I really love about the car already is the vast amount of space under the hood. Everything is shoehorned into the Mini engine compartment--the Miata feels more like my old '67 Mustang 6 cylinder, where you've got a little room to maneuver.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:25 AM   #17
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Congrats on the new car

I'm fairly new to miatas but here's something that caught my eye. 94+' use a Mass Airflow sensor (Hotwire MAF) while 90-93's use an Airflow meter (Flapper AFM). What ECU are you running?
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:57 AM   #18
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I would find an alternative to that hot air intake the previous owner installed. Not having the charcoal canister won't hurt you any, I haven't had mine installed for almost a year, and have had zero issues. Did you say the car has no O2 sensor? That could be your light issue. I suspect your low brake fluid could be the cause of the brake light.

Edit: Your headlight covers need to be adjusted.

Quote:
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I'm fairly new to miatas but here's something that caught my eye. 94+' use a Mass Airflow sensor (Hotwire MAF) while 90-93's use an Airflow meter (Flapper AFM). What ECU are you running?
1.8 swaps will re-use the 1.6 factory AFM and ECU.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:27 AM   #19
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I actually think in Birmingham they fine you if you're NOT emitting heavy particulates into the atmosphere.
I love watching MAXX buses go by at work blowing clouds of thick black smoke. Find you some OEM tail lights and your golden. I have a small collection of parts that you may find useful. Let me know if there is anything you need, I may have it. What part of Birmingham are you located? I'm in Leeds.

Also, I would imagine with the funky emissions setup, you are going to have to live with some codes. I broke a nipple off of something near the charcoal canister and now I throw a code. Didn't seem to hurt the way the car runs though. I just plugged it and kept driving. Charcoal canister is gone anyway.

If you decide at any point that you don't want the car, I will take it off your hands. I love mariner blue and I love the 90-93 interior. You have my ideal Miata.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:13 PM   #20
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NA6C-Guy, I'm down in the Hoover area. I might need some parts, for sure--I'm still sorting through what I've got and what I don't have on this machine. I probably need someone with more Miata experience to give it a once-over and tell me what I've got!
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