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Old 02-18-2014, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Noob from Maine, Stock 91, Knowledge (and Boost) Wanted!

Hello all,
I have been lurking here since last June when I bought my Miata. I'd like to start by thanking all of you existing MT members for the threads you've made and the knowledge you've shared. I've learned a great deal by reading this forum and I am looking forward to joining the action, instead of just watching from the sidelines.

A bit about me: I am a life long car enthusiast from Portland, Maine. I've worked in various facets of the auto industry since I was 14 and along the way I have owned a very diverse collection of cars. Most of my car experience centers on the Mitsubishi 3000GT/Dodge Stealth platform and I've owned 8 of them. I currently have a 92 Stealth twin turbo, which I love, but will likely be selling to further the Miata project.

A bit about the car: It's a bone stock 1991 Mariner Blue NA with the 5 speed manual. The only option it has, from what I can tell, is AC. Which doesn't work. It has 112k on the clock and it runs and drives awesome. I bought it on an impulse last June and I absolutely love it. It's the first car I have had in a long time that makes me take the long way home every time I drive it, simply because it is such a joy to be in.

For your enjoyment, here is a picture of the car the day I took delivery:

....So yeah....That's chrome fender trim, rocker trim and your eyes do not deceive you, those are indeed 14" 3 spoke rims. The fender and rocker trim were peeled off the second I got the car into my garage. The tri-spoke wheels, however, had good rubber on them and I rocked them all summer.

The wheels are sold now and here's how the car sat before I put it in winter storage:

I look forward to sharing more and learning more as I go forward with this project!
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:38 PM   #2
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Welcome from the other Portland (OR).

You've definitely made it look far better than it was.

I vote the next step involves removing the rear wing. I also wouldn't be opposed to you pulling a very CR move and plasti dipping the windshield frame if you plan on keeping the soft top.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:07 PM   #3
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I fully agree that the wing has got to go. I don't like it at all. I've toyed with the idea of dipping the windshield frame, I've even done it in PS, but as soon as Spring happens (sort of feeling like "IF" Spring happens at this point) I will dip it and see if I like the look.

I am not sure if the wheels are staying, I had them laying around and tossed them on after I sold the 3 spokes. If I keep them, they will be painted gunmetal or dark silver. I'm not a fan of the black wheels.

I am trying to balance the cosmetic stuff I want to do with the cosmetic stuff I need to do and with the turbo stuff. That's sort of the point that I am at right now, just trying to figure out where to invest my time/money to make the car what I want.

I suppose I should mention my goals for the car, as I neglected to do so in my first post. This car has been my introduction to the Miata ownership experience and it is safe to say that I am hooked. It's easily the slowest car I've owned, but I absolutely love it. If I can be in love with it at 90whp, then I don't NEED to make crazy numbers to be happy. My number one priority with the car is reliability. I will not be daily driving it, but I want a car that I can get in and drive cross country at a moments notice.

Keeping in mind the "cheap, fast, reliable" triangle, cheap and reliable take precedence over fast. This car will not see track use of any kind under my ownership. I don't drag race, I don't auto X, I don't drift...and I don't care to. It will be a street car 100% of the time. I do not wish to spend money over engineering it to run flat out for hours on a track, since I will never be doing that, but I am not afraid to spend the money to build a reliable street car.

I've got a few more months of cold weather to nail down my exact plan of attack and mod list. I have a rough idea, but I have a lot of reading to do still.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:20 PM   #4
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Nice starting point. Holy god was that chrome hideous, i can't even comprehend who would have thought that actually looked good. Glad to see there was no fading/rust/etc underneath em.

+1 on removing the wing. Those wheels don't look too terrible, but the offset is kind of lame. Maybe look into some miata specific fitment wheels if you replace them.

Working on a miata is going to be so easy coming from a vr4. Those things give me nightmares.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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I was very happy to find no rust what so ever under the chrome trim. It's fortunate that the car never saw winter use here, as I am sure salt would have built up under the chrome and rotted things very quickly.

The offset on the wheels is lame. This is one of the few cars I have owned where I can get away with aggressive offsets and I love concave wheels. My plan is to pull the car out of storage this spring and list the wheels for sale. If I get them sold, I'll get something in the +20 range. If they don't sell, I'll paint/dip them a lighter color and run them for the season at least.

Working on a VR4 is definitely daunting at times. I definitely love how roomy the bay in the Miata is by comparison.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
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Welcome, PatrickM!
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