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Facelift For My Old Miata!
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ctom3
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Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 1538
Location: Clear Lake, The Best Part of Houston, TX, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Facelift For My Old Miata! Reply with quote

Well, I'm on the home stretch. Performed full timing belt change that includes the full set of parts required for the MPV. However, I have to say that the Miata is ten times harder. It is so tight under the hood, you have to follow a very precise order of assembly and disassembly, plus some fasteners have to be done by feel. You can't see them. Thank goodness Miata.net has a membership base of over 100k people from whom you can get instant answers to problems, or I would have been screwed. For instance, even if you have the cams and cranks perfectly aligned, if you count anything other than 19 belt teeth between cams, you've screwed up. There is no way to know for sure if its right if you do not count them. This does not show up in any manual.

It took 9 hoses to do a coolant/heater hose job. Two of them require ripping flesh and spilling a pint of blood. Vacuum hoses were easier, but it took 5 different sizes and I had to go to 5 parts stores to get them all.

I replaced everything in the a/c system except for the hoses and lines. New compressor, new evaporator and condenser coils, new expansion valve and dryer.

The good news is that the car, with 143k miles on it, runs perfectly. The bad news is that I cannot pull a vacuum on the a/c system, so it has a leak. I give up. The car is now in a shop to find the leak(s) and charge the system.

My goal was to do everything possible to make the car last at least another 60k miles mechanically without more than basic maintenance. I have accomplished that and plan to never do this level of work again.

Overall, I'd call myself 90% successful. Here is a photo of it put back together and me unsuccessfully trying to evacuate the a/c.





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Hangman
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The man without a plan!!!
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Joined: 31 Aug 2002
Posts: 1719
Location: Wild Wild West

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Facelift For My Old Miata! Reply with quote

Looking good Tom! I haven't been on this site for awhile, then I saw a maroon Miata drove by this morning and it reminded me of this build of yours, so I logged on to check. Smile
If you see spelling mistakes in my posts, its because Engrish is not my native language...

Hangman,

2015 Toyota Sienna L - His
2011 Toyota Sienna XLE - Her's
2007 Crossfire Limited Roadster 6spd - His
2005 Ody EX Sage Brush Pearl - The Grandparent's

2010 AMG S63 - Gone
2002 Mazda MPV - Gone
2002 Acura TL-S Gone
2001 Mazda Miata LS - Gone
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ctom3
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Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 1538
Location: Clear Lake, The Best Part of Houston, TX, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Facelift For My Old Miata! Reply with quote

Thanks Hang! I have a couple of small issues to take care of, but all in all, it's working well. I put almost 400 miles on it yesterday on a drive from Houston to Hemphill, a small town in east Texas, then back home. During the return, I spent more than an hour at 75mph. She just purred and got on down the road. I have always had coolant loss problems for the 12 years I've owned the car; gone! My biggest hassle was with the a/c. I replaced all of the major components on it, but couldn't pull a vacuum. I simply didn't want to mess with it anymore, so I took it to a good shop close to me. It turns out that both the new evaporator coil and expansion valve were defective. There is no excuse for that since both can be easily checked before they leave the factory. Anyway, because of that, I spent an extra $500 to have the shop do the replacement and adding refrigerant. It blows cold now.

All of the work I've put into it at this point makes it reliable for very long drives and it also looks really good. Future work will be to sand and repaint the hard top, which I want to try doing. It's too hot and humid to do it right now. I also plan to change all bushings to tighten up the suspension and do something about the heavily worn leather seats. There's no rush on that.





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Hangman
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The man without a plan!!!
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Joined: 31 Aug 2002
Posts: 1719
Location: Wild Wild West

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Facelift For My Old Miata! Reply with quote

Very Cool. Very Cool indeed ! spplause
If you see spelling mistakes in my posts, its because Engrish is not my native language...

Hangman,

2015 Toyota Sienna L - His
2011 Toyota Sienna XLE - Her's
2007 Crossfire Limited Roadster 6spd - His
2005 Ody EX Sage Brush Pearl - The Grandparent's

2010 AMG S63 - Gone
2002 Mazda MPV - Gone
2002 Acura TL-S Gone
2001 Mazda Miata LS - Gone
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vkc
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Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 5574
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: Facelift For My Old Miata! Reply with quote

I shared this thread with a colleague of mine - he's upgraded a couple older-gens Miata (supercharger, suspension, exhaust, etc). He's "moved up" since then....I think his current ride is a BMW Z4M

His response after seeing ctom's Miata, "I want another one."

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW); '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW)
Now: '18 Hyundai Tucson - Silver (DW), '10 Honda Civic Si - Polished Metal Metallic blake
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