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Thread: Rust Bucket Miata

  1. #1
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    Default Rust Bucket Miata

    I need a cheap daily to use while my Jetta's motor is getting rebuilt, so I picked up this 1990 Miata today.



    It's got rusty rear quarter panels and some rust on the rockers, but otherwise it's pretty solid for a 24 year old car. It's on racelands... but at least I can work with that to some extent. It was the PO's autocross toy that he built up and then mostly parted out. High mileage, but runs strong. It has a full OBX exhaust with stainless header, which is probably worth close to what I payed for the car...











    The plan is to make the car a decent daily driver, but still have some fun. I have wanted a miata for quite a few years, and honestly, I wanted one in better condition. At the same time, I NEED something else to drive (I can't daily my M3 during the winter, and my '02 isn't even back from the welder...) so this miata can serve as "practice" and allow me to make mistakes and accumulate transferable parts. My dream is to do a Monster Miata conversion with a 5.0, but that is a ways down the road. I'll have my fun on a budget for now!

  2. #2
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    I've already ordered a few minor parts, and I'll order some larger things after work today. I plan on having it on the road within the week.

    My to do list so far is:
    Registration and everything that involves
    Remove stripes from front bumper at least... (I like the stripes for the 1990s essence, but their in evenness bothers me...)
    Sun visor delete
    Remove baby teeth
    Replace "air guide"
    Fix center console latch
    Install cheap front lip
    ...I don't want to get too far ahead of myself on here at least...


    I'm trying to decide if I want a front mesh grille, not so much for looks, but for protection.

  3. #3
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    I may have gone overboard ordering things... At least all the stuff for this car is relatively inexpensive... I guess I've gotten used to the price of "German Engineering"...

  4. #4
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    Jan 2014
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    A hole in the Netherlands
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    I love how this went from ''I ordered a few parts'' to ''I may have gone overboard'' in like a few hours. I love NA miatas so I'm clicking that subscribtion button
    Quote Originally Posted by aLaFleur View Post

    I've decided the best way to deal with rust is to just embrace it.

  5. #5
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    Haha, yeah, that escalated quickly...

    I picked up the car for way under my budget. It seems like the PO had a number in mind and started subtracting the dollar amount for the parts he was selling, and he didn't take into account how much more people are willing to pay for a roll bar, corbeau seats, and wheels when they aren't attached to a rusty Miata...

    Anyway, I'm going to the DMV today to get a temp plate, then hopefully VIN check and new snow tires on the stock daisys later this week. I'll need snow tires for the roads I drive for my commute, if not just for my own driveway. I'll be getting proper wheels and tires for the spring, or as soon as I don't need to daily it...

  6. #6
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    Got the temp plate, so I finally got to drive the car for a decent while. I put it through its paces, and I like it, which is good since i did buy it. Yes, I test drove it, but not long enough. It looks like the fuel gauge is busted... The power steering needs to be topped off. I definitely want to get a lower seat by the time the top comes down in the spring, the wind hits just the very top of my head, which is just annoying. It's going to take a while before I'm used to the exhaust, but I like it. The CD player is very touchy.. I probably will replace it sooner that i had originally planned. That's today's update, tomorrow I'm off to get emissions tested and get some tires. I might be able to make my first modification tomorrow if any of the parts come in.

  7. #7
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    Well, I'm waiting for some parts to arrive, but I took my sun visors off. I'll put the delete plates on when they come in, but it looks better already.


    After and Before...

    I also took a look at my baby teeth, and the bolts are rusted on pretty solidly. I'll get some pb blaster, but I feel like I'll still need to take the bumper off, which will make a bunch of other installs a lot easier. I'll wait until I have all the parts I'll need for that.

  8. #8
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    Iowa
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    man, I want a rusty cheap miata to daily. sub'd for shiny parts or drifty pics.
    l ig:coltondk l youtube:coltondk I DD: Tundra I Projects:l 06 STI I 87 S10 l I 57 Chevy Belair I I 48' International KB-2 I 07R6r l

  9. #9

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    good stuff!

    I love miatas.

  10. #10
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    Passed emissions
    New snow tires
    Stubby antenna installed
    Drivers side mirror fell off
    Para cord steering wheel cover in progress, pics tomorrow
    Moss Miata order delivered
    Plates tomorrow
    Drove it to work tonight, gas gauge started working again!

  11. #11
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    Feb 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJereMoose View Post
    Passed emissions
    New snow tires
    Stubby antenna installed
    Drivers side mirror fell off
    Para cord steering wheel cover in progress, pics tomorrow
    Moss Miata order delivered
    Plates tomorrow
    Drove it to work tonight, gas gauge started working again!
    A post containing great victories and grave losses (R.I.P. D/S mirror, you will be sorely missed)
    '93 Jaguar XJ6 4 liter.
    '85 GMC S15 Sierra long bed.
    '01 BMW 740iL
    Instagram @bennkishh

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennkishh View Post
    A post containing great victories and grave losses (R.I.P. D/S mirror, you will be sorely missed)


    Indeed

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    I was expecting more simple parts than this today, but here's some progress..


    This weekend's goals are:
    Remove Baby Teeth
    Install Project G Front Plate
    Replace Air Guide
    Install Skid Plate #1
    Install Front Grille
    Install TSIs
    Install Minimalist Door Pulls
    Install Windshield Mount iPhone Holder (big job, I know...)

    Hopefully all the bolts and fasteners that are supposed to be under the car are all still there... I'll see when I'm under it tomorrow with a wrench and parts. Man I wish I had a garage... although my basement has double doors....... :devil

  16. #16
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    ...power steering fluid all over my driveway...

  17. #17
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    power steering issues aside, I got a lot taken care of today. I didn't get around to the skid plate because the gar did not have the bolts I needed to mount it. I'll leave it off for now since I'll be bringing it to my local auto shop next week so they can give it a once over and maybe they can figure out my power steering problems.

    I did install my new factory cup holder and my iPhone bracket.

    I tried to install the grille, but it didn't fit with the plate bracket even after I trimmed a bunch... Now its kinda worthless anyway... $100 down the drain; I should have just made one myself to throw out.

    anyway...

    TSIs



    Mirror!


    Door Pulls, it's amazing how much room the stock arm rests took up!

    I'll find something to cover the hole in the door panel, I don't need to spend money on new ones just so they look nice.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    The weather today was amazing! In the 50s! I drove around with the top down for a while, and then drove around some more.

    A few more pictures for you




    ...and the obligatory Miata owner "I can fit under a semi trailer" photo...

  20. #20
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    Really enjoying this so far, the first stages of a new car are always the best

    Sub'd for more.

    E36 318iS Clubsport : Build thread coming soon

  21. #21
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    My lip was delivered late today, and I wasn't quite able to install it before the sun went away for the evening. I screwed it up a little bit on the install, but for $50, It will do fine considering I'll be scraping it up and probably ripping it off sometime soon... anyway, here's a picture.


  22. #22
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    And I don't know how much of a difference the front lip actually makes, but it does a lot for the aggressiveness of the car.

  23. #23
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    Roll Bar Update! Too bad it's raining so hard today...





    ...and the car feels so much more solid now!

  24. #24

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    Builds like this are the best.

    Simple, low-buck, don't-really-care-what-it-looks-like, and fun to beat on.

    Throwing this thing sideways in the snow will be a riot.
    BB6 Prelude . . E36 ///M3 . . VA WRX Limited
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie View Post
    We all love to turn heads. Sub-consciously we're all materialistic attention-craving dickheads.

  25. #25
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    I yellowed my headlights today. I'm still not sure if I like the look on a white car, but it cost me about $12 so it's not a big waste. I'm eventually going to get new headlights anyway... The idea had been in my head for a while, just because I wanted to know if it really made any difference. People say that it cuts through fog and rain better, which makes sense since fog lights tend to be yellow. I couldn't really change normal visibility too much; Le Mans tend to have yellow lights. So far, they work fine, but it's been clear. Anyway, here's a photo.
    Thoughts?

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