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[OT] Member's other Modded rides

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jumbosrule, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. jumbosrule

    jumbosrule Premium Member Premium

    2,832
    52
    Redondo Beach, CA
    2003 FX35T
    Brad
    Garages:
    2
    A few guys here on the Scene that have been following my turbo build also know that I had to buy a DD while the FX is in the shop. Since I'm me, I can't help but work on this car, which I bought for $1700 off craigs list.

    So in case y'all want the full story, I'm going to post a mini build thread here and invite others to do the same with their own. Feel free to make your own Non-FX thread but since I don't plan to maintain this thread like I would the on-topic FX thread, I thought it would be a good place for everybody to post up their own mods to other cars. You never know what type of ideas those mods can spark in the FX. A lot of what I am doing on the FX came from the Z and G forums. For the Miata there is no shortage of long term owners out there. Very helpful for fixing and maintenance items.

    SO. When I bought the car, the previous owner told me it had been in a wreck. I could see the bumper was a little out of shape on the passenger side. The signal light was broken and the headlight had been replaced with one from a junkyard - it was white. Other issues: the top did not latch on the right side - bent soft top frame. The stereo head unit and door speakers were aftermarket, but not working at all. The Speedometer was noisy and not working. Seats have holes and obvious wear. Car has 194,000 miles on it and was being used as a DD by the PO. Car was on stock rims with four different brands of tires. Clutch was slipping and radiator leaking, crank pulley was wobbling. Brakes were loud. Rust on both rockers. Point of this car is to keep me busy so I'm not thinking about the FX as much. I think the list of items above qualifies this car for that purpose.

    After two weeks of ownership I replaced the radiator and all the hoses, the crank pulley, timing belt & tensioners, water pump, , clutch, master brake cylinder, pads and rotors all the way around. All fluids. Every part was available from Advanced autoparts. Had to include this photo of one of the rear brake pads. This is from the PAD side.

    IMG_7203.jpg

    Now that maintenance has caught up, the mods begin. First I did was rattle can the passenger side headlight cover black. Found a set of smoked signal light and smoked side markers off eBay for cheap. First shot I took:

    IMG_7277.jpg

    Next I got some super cheap seat covers off eBay (budget build going on here) and covered the worn, torn OEM seats. I also got new floor carpets, Arm rest cover, a new shift boot, and EB boot and a shift knob (all ebay, all cheap). I get hateraid on the covers all the time but I really don't care.

    IMG_7362.jpg

    Next I pulled the head unit and found that the PO had run a trigger and signal line to the trunk for a second channel or a sub. I cut all the twisted connections, restripped the wire and soldered everything in. The radio fired up immediately - flawless. I had an extra POS model amplified sub sitting around in my garage so I threw that in the trunk and cut a hole in the parcel shelf to port the bass into the car. Covered it with a speaker grill. Awesome upgrade - zero dollars spent.

    After that I decided to attack the soft top. Looks like the frame was bent so the top would not latch on one side. In this photo, the far side of the top won't latch.
    IMG_7206.jpg

    So I found the frame member that was bent and rigged up a floor jack against the house:

    IMG_7204.jpg

    Here's a shot from the inside of the car - you can see the gap at the top. By pushing out on the frame, the gap began to close:

    IMG_7205.jpg

    After a couple tries, I got it to latch. Not perfect (heavy rain gets in) but at least I still have a car to drive when it rains instead of calling in sick! In this photo the closest side is the one that I just got to latch.

    IMG_7207.jpg

    Pulled and painted the valve cover:

    IMG_7249.jpg

    Then found a really cheap silicone hose kit to replace all the vacuum lines in the bay. Most of the old hoses broke apart as I tried to remove them. 200,000 miles in Texas will do that to rubber. Lots of hate mail on these as well - again, I really don't care how it looks to others - I think it's bad-ass.



    IMG_7290.jpg

    Soon after I did a charcoal can delete and painted the overflow reservoir (like I did on the FX).

    Hardware removed:

    IMG_7302.jpg

    IMG_7297.jpg

    Solved some door rattles by throwing down a layer of Dynamat:

    IMG_7304.jpg

    Removed the factory steering wheel and replaced with a Momo hub and 330mm Sparco suede wheel - used. Got a "matching" gauge bezel and a new pedal cover set.

    IMG_2805.jpg

    Replaced the speedometer cable after receiving a speeding ticket. Boo.

    IMG_7368.jpg

    Junked the old sway bar

    IMG_2854.jpg

    Replaced with an upgraded Racing Beat bar - parted out for my win.

    IMG_2855.jpg

    Found all new wheels and tires off tire rack for $700. One inch wider and one inch larger than OEM. 13.5 lbs each. Yoko S-Drive. Lower suspension will be a future mod.

    View attachment 223860

    Next I attacked the front bumper. Here it is - obviously not lining up. And yeah - the car is clean. That's actually the paint.

    IMG_7337.jpg

    I found that body kits are a lot cheaper than the OEM bumpers. So I picked one I like and once again - I get haters from the Miata forums. Oh well - my car.

    Removed the bumper and found the wreck damage. Made a couple simple iron brackets to span the damage gap so everything is still secured:

    IMG_7344.jpg

    Then hit the whole area with a rust converter:

    IMG_7347.jpg

    The new front bumper does not have mounting holes - you have to match the bumper to the existing holes on the car. That's probably a good thing for this car because otherwise it would have been slightly off due to the bent frame. Doing this for the first time, it took me about 8 hours. The bumper had to be trimmed it a couple areas but the Duraflex material is pretty easy to work with.

    IMG_7348.jpg

    I was pretty proud of myself after finishing this.

    IMG_7350-1.jpg

    IMG_7353.jpg

    IMG_7351.jpg

    IMG_7359.jpg

    And got in on a group buy for tow hooks - just for fun, really.

    IMG_2830.jpg

    IMG_2838.jpg

    IMG_2835.jpg

    Cut out the metal around the rocker rust and hit with the converter. I have the body kit side skirts but think they kind of look ricey. Might try to mod them and then install. Not sure yet if I will try to repair the metal or cover the hole with the kit.

    IMG_7372.jpg

    IMG_7373.jpg

    One evening I heard a clunk and the motor got ridiculous loud. I figured the muffler fell off. I was almost right. The mid pipe separated from the muffler.

    IMG_7496.jpg

    Mid pipe was obviously a re-work - and a bad one. I could hear an exhaust leak only after I fixed the squeaky speedometer cable.

    IMG_7497.jpg

    So I cleaned it up with a hand file and high temp exhaust repair goop.

    IMG_7500.jpg

    Put in a new gasket and put it all back together. I actually got power gains after doing this, lol.

    IMG_7501.jpg

    My first meet with the Miata - Houston Coffee and Cars this past month.

    IMG_2840.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. ocal21

    ocal21 iS VIP iS VIP

    7,763
    243
    Boston, MA
    2012 FX35
    Oscar
    Garages:
    2
    you did a good job fixing it up :tup:
     
  3. StuLax18

    StuLax18 Staph Moderator

    21,888
    172
    Dallas, TX
    2007 FX35 RWD
    Garages:
    1
    Haha love the build! Not sure why people are hating on some of your stuff, I think the seats look pretty damn good. I guess they also don't know how you love red. Hope you update this every now and then, it's fun to follow. :tup:
     
  4. bleedingsujit

    bleedingsujit Premium Member Premium

    ya, i was gonna say you have red fetish...;) damn good job though. donno how you find all that time for your cars but your effort clearly shows up. A+
     
  5. AlohaRacing

    AlohaRacing Member

    104
    0
    San Diego
    2006 FX35 AWD
    Nice thread....enjoyed the descriptions and pics. There's a huge miata following, especially for track guys (as you already know).
     
  6. OP
    OP
    jumbosrule

    jumbosrule Premium Member Premium

    2,832
    52
    Redondo Beach, CA
    2003 FX35T
    Brad
    Garages:
    2
    Thanks all - it is a lot of fun.

    I also like "modding" my house... currently getting the internet connected house locks, digital security cameras and programmable thermostat - all of which can be manipulated with an app from anywhere. Cool stuff.

    The time I spend on this stuff is a funny thing - I seem to be motivated to tinker in the garage with three girls in my house. No matter what age they are, each of them talks more than anybody else I have ever met of the same age. I do most of my work on the weekends when everybody is home.

    Lol, it's not that bad just joking. But they do talk a lot. Working on the car is not really a necessity - given what I am doing to them. It's really just a hobby and what I enjoy doing right now. I'm an enthusiast! I'm also really looking forward to my performance driving course within the next few weeks. Auto-X is in the Miata's future. I already have an agreement in place with the shop building my FX - when I come to pick it up, I'll be driving the Miata and leaving it with them for a custom cat-back, cam gear swap and valve cover mods, along with a roll bar install. Then I'll be ragging on it around the track till something breaks or until I feel like I'm driving the car to it's limits.

    Been looking at a Flying Miata turbo kit that about doubles the OEM power, as a starting point.

    http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?dept=32

    My Miata is "pushing" close to 100whp right now. With the FM kit, it will be closer to 180. Above 225 whp or so, forged internals are required which takes the build to a whole other level. The longblock package for the Miata is more than I paid for the VQ35DE longblock!!! The FX taught me a lesson about custom builds vs proven off the shelf kits.

    I'll learn to drive the heck out of the smaller turbo kit, then worry about upgrades later on. That's the plan!
     
  7. HumbertoCALI

    HumbertoCALI Premium Member Premium

    3,868
    0
    South Gate, CA
    2003 FX45 AWD
    Garages:
    1
    WTF?!?!?!?

    Goodness man.. You and I are so alike...

    Can't leave stuff alone until you put in some elbow grease to make it stand out from the heard.

    Good to see that you are making progress on it.
     
  8. "LittleGagne"

    "LittleGagne" Member

    982
    0
    Pot Falls
    Garages:
    1
    wow. coming along big time. please put coil overs and slam her. would look so hot! good work man. always impressed.
     
  9. Logan

    Logan iS VIP iS VIP

    14,182
    116
    Seattle
    Garages:
    1
    Are the bumper vents functional? If so does the air flow hit the brakes pretty well? I like it. Hah, from what I read you are stirring up some s**t on the Miata forums =)
     
  10. Fire0nic3

    Fire0nic3 Guest

    Looking good Jumbo!
     
  11. OP
    OP
    jumbosrule

    jumbosrule Premium Member Premium

    2,832
    52
    Redondo Beach, CA
    2003 FX35T
    Brad
    Garages:
    2
    Oh yes, coilovers will be mine. Won't totally slam it tho - the bumper already scrapes on some driveways! I was thinking of a splitter up there, DIY style...

    Who me? Naw, couldn't be. Seriously some of those guys have little car complex. Really combative on subjective things, which is just silly to me.

    I can understand hating on body kits that change the look of the car. Gotta admit as an FX guy, I've never really seen a full kit that appeals to me. The OEM stuff doesn't count IMO - and doesn't exist for the first gen anyway. But on the Miata there are soooo many options and I for one think that my new bumper looks like a 350Z and an S2K had a baby. I love the shape and think it fixes a weak aesthetic on that generation of Miata. I accept I'm in the minority but what doesn't surprise me at all is that most of you guys like it too. It speaks to a general taste a lot of us seem to share about the look of a car. Now the side skirts and rear bumper might be a little much without some modding. Here's a site that shows different views of the whole kit. Use the "image viewer" to see each bumper and side skirt:

    http://www.customautotrim.com/bodykits/extreme-dimensions/mazda/miata/1990-1997/110616/

    Notice the price? That's exactly what ONLY the OEM bumper costs, new. Since I get sides (to cover rocker rust) and a rear bumper (current one is dented and not lined up well) the purchase was a no brainer.

    Yes the bumper vents are functional in that they allow air to reach the rotors more directly, but they are not ducted or anything. I doubt it's that much of an improvement over the OEM bumper's vents.

    I do plan to fully prep the car/bumper for paint. I'll fill, sand and mask, then trailer the car to have a local shop prime and paint it. Excited to see the bumper blend into the car better.

    Oh yeah, I got a great deal (I mean like - a really, really great deal) on a Carbon Fiber Hard top (one that should seal against the elements unlike my current soft top) from the same company that I got the body kit from:

    http://www.aerokits.net/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=75_194&products_id=5862
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  12. Logan

    Logan iS VIP iS VIP

    14,182
    116
    Seattle
    Garages:
    1
    The hard tops on the miatas are nice, big difference in winter weather.....
     
  13. Dr.2K

    Dr.2K iS Doctor on Duty iS VIP

    11,683
    9
    Santa Clarita, CA
    2005 FX45
    Garages:
    1
    Great work Jumbo! Now I see where the patience has come from for the sidelined FX.
     
  14. jbaker1121

    jbaker1121 Im in touch with humanity iS VIP

    8,930
    119
    Westchester, New York
    09 FX50
    Garages:
    1
    never really liked the miata, but I know about their autox potential and they handle great, and weigh nothing. With double the hp itll be a fun little car! I also like that its black, with a nice sleek skirt and rear, a drop and maybe a lid spoiler and diffuser, youll have a nice little DD
     
  15. OP
    OP
    jumbosrule

    jumbosrule Premium Member Premium

    2,832
    52
    Redondo Beach, CA
    2003 FX35T
    Brad
    Garages:
    2
    Even after getting the soft top to latch, it still leaks when it rains, around the side windows. The soft top with frame weighs in at 70lbs and I decided I wanted to step up to a Carbon Fiber hard top. Removed the soft top (not exceptionally easy).

    IMG_2862.jpg

    I removed the parcel shelf carpet and the soft top with rain rail. With the hard top on I don't need the rain rail, but that's how the carpet attaches to the car so I ended up putting it back in.

    IMG_2861.jpg

    First shot on the car. You can see the lexan window sitting on the trunk. The hard top weighs in at 24 lbs. Easy to take on and off alone.

    IMG_2863.jpg

    Lines up very well - you can use the factory latches or some lightweight brackets that came with the car. I went with the brackets for a more permanent install. All the holes are slotted in the brackets so you can get it perfect if you take the time.

    IMG_2864.jpg

    The top will have to come off one last time to install all the weather seals around the side windows. Hopefully I can finish it up today.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. myl168

    myl168 Member

    503
    3
    Dallas, Tx
    2003 fx45
    Garages:
    1
    nie work! i've been thinking about starting a similar project also. looking for something with better gas millage. I like the idea of a miata, but being 6'3" 195lbs, not sure i'll fit. What are your thoughts on the quality/reliabilty of the motor, tranny, and overall build of the miata?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    jumbosrule

    jumbosrule Premium Member Premium

    2,832
    52
    Redondo Beach, CA
    2003 FX35T
    Brad
    Garages:
    2
    I'm 6'1", 215 - so you should be ok.

    Go lurk on Miata.net and get everything you need to know about longevity and DIY maintenance. Their, "Garage" section has all maintenance articles and it's the first place I go when I need to do something for the first time on the Miata.

    There are three generations of Miata, the first one being NA - what I have. It is generally accepted the "best" years are 94 & 95 (before OBDII and after a few production years). The NA is easy to recognize because of the flip-up headlights. The NB shares many parts with the NA, but has the standard permanent headlights (Starting in 1996). The NC looks more like an RX-8 to me - more sporty looking. Bottom line is the motor lasts for freakin ever. The only way to kill it is to let it overheat, from what I have read. The known recurring maintenance items are very well covered by the community. Mine has just about 200,000 miles on it.

    30 bucks to fill on premium. About 28-30 mpg. Hard to beat that for a cheap used car.
     
  18. Logan

    Logan iS VIP iS VIP

    14,182
    116
    Seattle
    Garages:
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    That top looks very nice, should look great with the black.
     
  19. aiya

    aiya First Genner iS VIP

    5,058
    193
    NYC
    Garages:
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    I like the way it's comign together. Nice!
     
  20. "LittleGagne"

    "LittleGagne" Member

    982
    0
    Pot Falls
    Garages:
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    Hard top looks sick


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