I grew up one of those kids who didn't really care much about cars. I was more interested in the outside and forests, and later once the late-eighties rolled around, videogames. I started with the Atari and Commodore64 as a young one, but once the NES rolled around, video games really took over my life.
It wasn't until I was a grown man I got an interest in cars and bought a Mazda Miata. Well...the rest is history, pretty much. I'm now a fully fledged car nut and working to build a show car that looks amazing, but also drives amazingly.
Well, the season is rapidly coming to an end with high winds, very wet and cold mornings and tons of rain. Since Bumblebee didn't make it through the yearly checkups (high lambda value) it's time to put him away for the winter. In a few days I'll drive him off to the garage to park him there and get all the necessary bits and bobs in place such as charging the battery, putting him on jack stands and all that jazz. This winter will see me take apart most of the suspension and brakes and a lot of the engine bay, so I've got tons of work to do. But hopefully by the end of winter he'll be freshly refurbished on pitch black control arms, clean wheel wells, bled brake system, repainted undercarriage and chassis bracing as well as having the supercharger installed.
As I look at my garage, none of the pictures in my garage really shows off my car as it looks today. It's a hodgepodge of pictures from it's entire life in my ownership. I maybe should take new pictures of what it looks like now, and rearrange the current pics so that there's some chronology to them.What do you think?Speaking of which, it would be nice to have a "Current" section of photos that show your car as it is *right now*, and have a "general" section with photos covering build, previous looks and stuff. Hey Wheelwell, what do you think?
So I just secured funds for the next step in the build, which is a complete engine and general areas maintenance. This includes new calipers in the rear, new hoses in the engine bay, new belts, timing belt, gaskets and the whole shebang. In the picture you can find everything I'm planning on getting. I included a lot of replacement fasteners, bolts and clips too, because on an 16 year old car, these things need to be replaced.In there are also a fair few upgrades, such as a boot lifter kit to handle the weight of the spoiler amongst lots of other awesome things.Expect videos, writeups and photos of all of these installs later in winter!
I apologise for how quiet it's been here lately. It's just that it's in the middle of the season and I'm mostly taking it easy and going to meets and stuff. There's not a lot of building going on. I've done some small things, like the spoiler and wideband, but the big stuff will have to wait. Stay tuned for the end of the season!
Innovate MTX-L O2 SensorI finally got around to installing the Innovate MTX-L wideband since I now have the proper tools to do it. Getting the upstream O2 sensor out on a MK2.5 Miata is a chore. But now it's in and wired, and the gauge is in the dash. Now I just need to deal with the P0031 code that the ECU keeps throwing because it's looking for the old sensor that isn't there.The spoiler finally got mounted too. It was kinda heart-wrenching to drill in the paint, but it looks great!
Got my wing back from the paint shop today and boy did they do an excellent job. I had to test-fit it and photograph it immediately, in spite of both the car and the wing being dirty.I'm also slowly moving forward on the wideband install. The wires have been drawn and soldered but I still need to figure out a way to get the gauge to securely sit in the dash. As for the O2 sensor itself...well, I still need to get a proper curved and jointed O2 Sensor wrench for that, and they seem to be pretty freaking scarce around here. I'm visiting my fiancée at her parents place up north soon, and according to Würth (a hardware store chain) they have one in the store in their city, so I'm hoping to pick one up while I'm there.Other than that, slow progress is better than no progress!
Well, I guess the brick wall had to hit sooner or later. I've spent eight hours in the garage today, struggling to get my upstream O2 sensor out so I could replace it with a wideband. I've got an Innovate MTX-L waiting to go in. At least I've got the gauge wired up and ready to go, but I just cannot get my O2 sensor out. It's in the stupidest position ever, wedged inbetween the transmission tunnel wall and the transmission with no room to fit a wrench or a socket, and of course it's on top of the exhaust so there's even less room. The downstream one is much easier to get to, but the upstream one, christ.I envy the guys who have the upstream O2 sensor on the downpipe, accessible from the wheelwell. That'd make things *so* much easier. Oh well. I'll be back at it when I have a plan.
Right, since my top was starting to leak, I spent the afternoon taking it out of the car and mounting my hardtop semi-permanently. I also took the time to move the sub-box from the footwell to the parcel shelf now that there's space so my passengers don't have to sit like midgets in order to fit. I also installed the Hard Dog bar.Hard Dog roll barGAS 880A
Going to turn the car over to a body shop today for some rocker panel rust repair. Rocker rust is the death of NA and NB Miatas so I'll be repairing this now once and for all to prevent future issues. It's about $1500 in labor so it's not exactly a cheap thing, but I'm intending to hold on to this car for a long time so to me it's absolutely worth it.In addition I'm starting to build a shopping cart over at MX5Parts.co.uk with maintenance parts. Mainly timing belt and related things, as well as all the gaskets and stuff on the front of the engine and the valve cover. That should hopefully deal with the oil leaks around the valve cover. However, the ignition is flaky as hell, and I know that the ignition coils can go bad on the 1.8 VVT engine, so I'm planning on replacing them as well "while I'm in there". I'm planning on doing all that maintenance this fall when the driving season is over. This will also include new rear calipers and brake lines, as mine are leaking somewhat right now. I'm also planning on cleaning up and painting the valve cover then.The image below is a list of things I'm planning on getting.
About half an hour before I was going to head home last night (friday), a massive accident occured on the E4 (European main road going south through Sweden). This meant that everything going south would have to reroute north then west to the E18 and head south from there on route 55. This meant I had to take a "small" detour of 150km. Bumblebee handled it just fine and didn't miss a beat, except once when I missed a shift and accidently went to 8800 RPM for an instant before I instinctively jammed the clutch to the floor.It was hot, but I was going relatively fast so I kept the roof up and the air circulation did a decent job at holding the temperature from going boiling, but I think that if I had an A/C it'd been a more comfy ride. Unfortunately no A/C on european Miatas.I've identified a weird metallic "grinding" noise from the rear of the car and it sounds like it's coming from straight down the middle back. Somewhere around the centerline on the car. It sounds somewhat like a splash shield touching a rotor. A light, metallic noise. I need to investigate that the next time I get the car up on jackstands.I've also built a shopping list for maintenance parts on MX5Parts.co.uk. I'm planning to do timing belt, water pump, valve cover gasket, camshaft seals, VVT seal, front crankshaft seal, coolant hoses and a few other things when I replace the radiator. Kind of a case of "while I was in there".We'll see when the economy allows for ordering that and when time allows for actually doing it.