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Thread: Cuda's Cars, v2.0

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Nice score! Parts acquisition is always the easy part. Anyone can go nuts on ebay.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2014
    I think they will look great as well - nice find!

  3. #13
    Had a bit of a scare when I noticed they were stamped "5x100" on the reverse side. They're 5x114, though, confirmed with a spacer I had lying around. Strange...


    My door handles are back and painted, but one of them isn't working. Worth a thousand words:

    The handle sticks up/out like that when I get the assembly in place (and thus doesn't function as a door handle). The passenger side went in fine and works properly. I'm not doing anything different between the sides, and there's only one way for things to go anyway. The rods for the lock cylinder and door latch are different diameters, so it's impossible to confuse them. Which is why I'm confused at this problem. I took everything apart carefully, put it back together carefully, and besides, the handle itself wasn't disassembled, I just took the lock cylinder out.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I have had that problem on VWs when the lock cylinder isn't installed properly. I highly doubt the assembly is similar, but maybe the problem is?

  5. #15
    I hadn't thought of that (it's a separate rod for the lock cylinder) but it's something I haven't checked. That was the first handle I put the lock cylinder back into - the second one went faster with the same order/methods as the first.

    Side note: try as I might, I couldn't get that handle gasket to clean up and blacken. It's not available separately either, otherwise I would have definitely replaced it. Ugly!

  6. #16
    Door handle fixed. Turns out the rod in the door somehow sunk down through the retaining clip even though it had a pair of nearly 90 degree bends in it. Its "bad" position looked like it could have been entirely correct. No idea how it managed to get that way. But no matter now. Onward to speaker and door card installation - after some months of the door cards being stored in the living room.

  7. #17
    So, the Miata.

    I bought it from a couple nearing retirement age. They had just replaced it with a Fiat 500E. In orange. Hmm. Anyway, it feels like a pretty solid driver with not much work needed.

    Paint is mostly pretty good, with some clearcoat peeling on the back panel between the taillights. The swirl marks drive me crazy but my sister probably won't care. The dirty engine bay drove me nuts, too, and that was an easy fix so I had to clean it today. It was still a bit wet when I took the pictures.

    - Engine runs well and idles perfectly
    - Transmission feels good. I might suggest whatever flavor of Redline is best for these cars, since it can only improve things (and most casual owners never change it).
    - Clutch is nice and easy to modulate, but doesn't feel like it's super fresh. Maybe 10k-40k left on it if I had to guess.
    - Throttle pedal is slightly stiffer than I expected. Possibly cruise control contributing to this.

    - AC is very cold
    - There's quite a bit more scuttle shake than I anticipated from a car with a roll bar. Seems like more than the last NA Miata I drove, which had no roll bar.
    - Heel toe workable with stock pedals. Score.

    - It doesn't feel great. Rough and sloppy ride. Getting back into my 300ZX felt like climbing into a luxury car. I surmised the Miata was running on worn out original shocks, perhaps one or two was blown. I was going to suggest Koni Yellows to my sister as the first upgrade. But... it already has Konis! [Which I found out after paying for the car. Owner says "Oh by the way there's this screw in the glovebox for the shocks."] I verified after getting the car home that the fronts are indeed at full soft (which on every other car I've driven is a very comfy, controlled ride). The rear adjusters look quite difficult to get to...
    - Squeaky noise from rear suspension. A slight compression of the left rear will do it (ie, pulling away from a stop ).
    - Onramp balance check revealed more oversteer bias than I would have expected, or preferred for my sister first starting out. Hmmm.

    - Brakes feel good. Plenty of pad material left on the outsides. No ABS.
    - Top is in good shape.
    - No tears in the seats.
    - Oil dipstick is missing the handle.
    - Clutch fluid looks dirty.
    - Volume knob on the factory premium stereo doesn't always work. Seems to work better if it's pushed to the right as you rotate it. Would be nice if this was an easy fix.
    - I'm guessing the Koseis are 6.5" wide, based on how the 195/50/15 tires are just slightly stretched.

    - That doesn't look like a Hard Dog HardCore roll bar to me... anyone know what it is? Looks sturdy enough for track use to me.
    - The dome light doesn't appear to have a Door function.
    - Should there be a plastic undertray panel between the radiator and steering rack?
    - Those look like aftermarket plug wires. They also don't seal out water (which is why they're removed...).
    - Should the hood prop rod be insulated?

    The car was reasonably priced (I got a couple hundred off asking price) and already has a roll bar, which means there's budget left over for some refreshing or upgrades. After confirming good fluids and general health, I think first order of business is to sort out the suspension for not much money. Springs might not be too far off, since my sister wants to go drifting too, and faster weight transfer would be great for that. Also the suspension as is really really unloads the inside tires. Will have to look into a lower/stiffer setup that rides very nicely for long highway journeys.

    Based on the roll bar, Koseis and Konis I'm thinking this car was tracked at some point before (I doubt by the previous owners).

    I like it. I would really like it if the ride was fixed and I could sit about 6" lower.
    Last edited by CudaMan; January 18th, 2014 at 08:48 PM.

  8. #18
    mAdminstrator Random's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Davis, CA, USA
    I didn't think a 15x6.5 K1 existed?

    Check the bumpstops. Stock springs on Konis shouldn't be particularly rough. I set mine at about 25% stiff front and rear.

    Get a set of the blue NGK wires. Miatas eat plug wires and the NGKs last as long as anything while being inexpensive.

    Broken dipstick handle is the default condition.

    Stiff throttle probably needs lube. My cc-equipped cars felt pretty similar to the no-cc R.

    Stock dome light (at the passenger's left knee) should have a door function.

  9. #19
    Lube at the throttle body? The pedal? Both?

    NGK blue wires. Got it.

    Check what on the bump stops? (And, um, how, if the suspension is still on the car?) I did check for a spring rubber in the LF. Nothing there.

    No light next to the glovebox on this car. It has a dome light between the sun visors.

    I know I know, I should probably scour a Miata FAQ at some point.

  10. #20
    mAdminstrator Random's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Davis, CA, USA
    Oh yeah, the 97s got a light in the windshield header. Weird.

    Check to see if you've got stock bumpstops...which is hard with the suspension in the car--heh.

    I think you need to lube the throttle cable itself.

    edit: I hthink that's a HD "Ace" bar:

    edit2: "Rough and sloppy" ride might mean it needs new bushings.

    edit3: there should definitely be an undertray. Looks like this:

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