Sunday, June 25, 2017
I have this thing that's eating away at me. It's been happening for about a year now. I don't advertise it although it's not a secret; but it's time I do something about it.
The paint on my '94 Miata has failed. The clear coat just fell off. If you look back in this blog to the end of 2011 you'll see I did this paint job myself in my garage. It turned out ok. Not great but ok. For the $500 I spent on it, it was fine. I started to see the first indications of a problem in late 2015, just as we moved from Tampa to Knoxville. There was a single small bubble in the clear coat on the hood. It was the size of a pin head but I knew what it meant. Once in Knoxville, the car had to be parked outside. The damage unfolded quickly from there. By spring of 2016 the car still looked ok from 10 feet away, but the de-lamination of the clear coat was progressing apace. By the spring of 2017 the destruction was pretty much complete. So, my DIY budget paint job lasted between 4 and 5 years. I'm fine with that. I didn't take care of the paint and I didn't expect it to last forever. It was a stopgap measure from the start.
So, a paint job is forthcoming. I will not be doing it myself. I also have a place to store the car indoors now, so once this is fixed the issue should not come back.
RSpeed officially-licensed Garage Vary style trunk spoiler.
Here I've just stuck it on with some painter's tape so I could see what it looked like. I also have some small fender flares from Rev9. I don't have a photo of those so you'll have to wait until they're painted and installed. I'm still debating on color. I'd like to restore the car to the original color, but at the same time I'd also like to do something different. Tough life decisions...
Friday, June 16, 2017
As usual, I failed to take a logical progression of photos during this job, but I did get a few and will include them here. It should give a flavor of what's involved in recovering the Miata seats. I've had slip-on covers on the original seats for several years now but was never happy with how they fit. So, real upholstery was called for. I bought these covers on Amazon for under $150. For that price, even if they don't hold up, I'm not out much. Except for about 8 hours of labor, of course.
One final note - I used a lot of zip ties instead of hog rings. In many cases, it was a lot easier to get a zip tie in place. In some cases the hog ring worked better, though, so be prepared to use both.
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Anyway, as usual I'm not going to tell you how to install anything. Revlimiter has outstanding instructions on the website. Instead I'll just post some photos and make some comments.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
I shot almost 1000 photos on the weekend but since most of the track is surrounded by catch fencing, it was really hard to get unobstructed photos of cars on track. I did my best, though, and here are some halfway decent photos.Flyin' Miata brought their stuff all the way from Colorado. This is the Mazda MX-5 RF with a lovely set of bronze 6UL wheels and a lowered suspension (don't know the details). This car is quite striking in person. There were many MX-5s in attendance.
Friday, April 07, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
So my Cayman has 43,000 miles on it and it's 11 years old. Normally I wouldn't be worried about a water pump at this point but I keep reading the experts on the internet saying you should replace the water pump every 40k miles. I think this is *incredibly* conservative but given the cost of repairs to an M97 engine, I'm ok with erring on the side of caution. So I decided to go ahead and replace the water pump and thermostat. Once I got into the job, I thought the coolant hoses looked a little old so I replaced those, too - or at least the ones in the rear of the car that supply coolant to the big aluminum pipes that go up to the radiators in the front, and to the heater core.
I'd rate the difficulty level of replacing the Cayman's water pump and thermostat as a 3, where my Miata is an 8 and my E46 M3 was a 7. The hardest part is getting all the covers off!this stuff pictured here is essentially identical to the Porsche coolant. It's still more than good old Prestone, but half the cost of Porsche. It's made in Germany, it's pink, and it's available on Amazon. Lift Bars and they definitely make lifting the Cayman safer and simpler. The bars just plug into the factory lift points and you can jack one whole side of the car at a time. Your jackstands go under the liftbars. The lift bars are hand made to order, and well worth the cost for the added peace of mind and safety.
Finally, the hardest part of this project was filling the cooling system. I drained about 4 gallons of coolant out, so there was some still in there, but not a whole lot. I used distilled water in a 1:1 ratio with the Pentofrost E coolant. I found a write-up on how to fill the system here and it worked well. It just takes a lot of repeated burping and topping up. A week after I changed the water pump I put 1100 miles on the car and it performed flawlessly!