Project Miata Update

The plan is to tow the Miata from my dad’s house to my house after Thanksgiving so that instead of hibernating in a cold garage all winter long, it can stay cozy and warm in my garage where I can begin the painstaking process of tuning the ECU as time permits. Our winters are generally much more mild and thus more conducive to working on cars. Also, we have a lot more dyno facilities in my area. The goal is to street tune the car. Then once the car is generally drivable and I better understand the ins and outs of Megasquirt, I will book half a day on the dyno to really dial in the tune.

To get the car for transport ready we replaced the old radiator which had sprung a small leak.


New Koyo radiator courtesy of @goodwinracing. I know everyone loves crossflow triple pass radiators for their high horsepower turbocharged track monsters, especially in hot climates. But my car is a 150hp naturally aspirated (mostly) street car that will only ever see 20 min HPDE sessions at most so this down-flow should be more than fine. I decided it was easiest to stick with what I had before for plug-n-play compatibility with my stock fans and custom coolant reroute hard pipe. My previous Koyo lasted 10 years. I expect to get another decade out of this one. It’s even got a more efficient “Hypercore” now with greater fin density than before. Contrary to Brian’s ad copy on the website, it isn’t made in Japan. Box says made in Indonesia.
Installed the hood (bonnet) and all new clips, elbows, hoses, etc. for the Suzuki Cappuccino windshield washer bottle that was relocated to the cowl area.

Installed new 949Racing end links to replace the old ones that had seized solid and adjusted them accordingly.

Drilled another vacuum port in the Golden Eagle vacuum manifold and ran a vacuum hose to it from the fuel pressure regulator vacuum reference port per Garry Polled’s advice.

Most 2000 series regulators are not manifold referenced. If it’s hollow and has what looks like a hose barb on it then it’s a vacuum port, otherwise not. If you have a vacuum reference port add a hose to it to direct any fuel away from hot engine parts in the event the diaphragm fails. See my previous comments about routing any fuel resulting from a diaphragm failure. The diaphragms are 99% reliable. It is not a rising rate unit which would only be for forced induction as you correctly surmise.
– Garry Polled

Even though I eventually plan to install a new M2-1001 front bumper, that is still a ways away. In the meantime, we installed a new OEM front bumper air guide and retainers to replace the old broken one. We also reinstalled the OEM engine splash tray. My dad drilled out and replaced all the old/broken/rusted hardware so the splash shield and front bumper supports work as they should now.

As part of my ongoing effort to spruce up the interior I purchased these RM Door Pulls – Flat Face Edition without raised center boss portion.

Thanks to @retromodernusa for accommodating my special request. It seems they used to regularly offer this style but the one they advertise now has a raised center boss.

Both styles look good, it’s all just a matter of personal preference. The more plain style works better for my current interior plans since I’m trying to visually de-clutter the space and go for a less-obviously-decorative clubman/ M2-1028 look.

Also, that’s got to be the world’s smallest set screw. He even included a tiny allen wrench for it. I appreciate the attention to detail. There is a left and a right piece so that the set screw is normally hidden from driver/ passenger view.

Now the only question is do I leave them as is or do I hard anodize or powder-coat them black? I’ve read that it can be difficult to get a UV stable, long-lasting deep black color when doing it at home and that many commercial anodizers even have trouble with black parts subject to high UV and fluorescent lighting exposure. Powder coating could be problematic due to the surface thickness that might interfere given the tight fit between the two pieces. I’ve even considered paint but am worried about durability. Revlimiter has some nice black HVAC eyeball vent trim rings available in gloss black and satin black. Not sure how well I can get all the different blacks to match.

My plan is to get some “Forever” door panels retrimmed in black vinyl with holes for the OEM door latch release lever, single-point door pull strap and manual window crank.

I will pair them with my new door panel top rails as mine have been beaten and battered over the years (like that time I removed my passenger seat so I could transport a Honda CB350). I got my new door panel top rails from Moss Motors. They get them from Acme Auto Headlining Co. They specialize in soft trim restoration. The top rails are decent quality and come with new self-tapping door panel mounting screws. I will look into getting new window felts.

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