Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Beater street Miatas......

The quarter million mile Miata is dead!  At just over 255,xxx miles, the motor decided it had enough!  MAYBE it had something to do with the fact four different drivers did 30+ runs at the O'Reilly Auto Parts/QA1 Summer Nationals Auto-x (hosted by SCCA-LOL).  <shrug>  The next day driving over to the other side of the cities, I coasted to stop light, and noticed I could hear the motor "ticking".....I drove to my parking spot, put the clutch in, I could hear the motor hunting at idle while sounding like a sewing machine.  I opened the hood, came back in an hour, confirmed the oil level was good.  Started it up, it sounded horrible, hunted, and quit. what......the shell is "clean"...for a '97 that lives in MN and has 250k on it...but clean enough to warrant a motor swap?  meh......we will see. I went shopping and purchased another Miata from an auction.   This one was purchased sight unseen (pictures only), I was told it runs but not drives.  It is a 1997 with 136k on it, it lived in Texas until 2015 when it moved to MN.

I discovered it had zero resistance at the clutch 1st step to replace the clutch slave cylinder, only to find out the hose also had a leak.  Charged the battery, attempted to start it, and only the flashers would go off, spent an hour removing the aftermarket alarm. 

First start up, and it sounded really clicky and didn't get any quieter after 2 minutes.  Did front brakes, blead the brakes, vacuumed it, swapped the driver seat, pulled out all the wet trunk carpeting, removed "hot air ghetto intake and put the OEM air intake back on.  Took it for a test drive....not to noisy, power seems decent, brakes felt horrible.  Got to the gas station 2 miles away and I can see a bit of smoke coming out of the tail pipe (this is no good).  However, I did wash the engine bay a bit before working on it, and it is covered in oil so....who knows.

Did the rear brakes and found the passenger side caliper wouldn't slide, had to use a BFH to remove it from the car, turns out the sliders were bone dry.  Removed the valve cover (the gasket was dry and brittle), squirted some Mystery Marvel Oil around each lifter, and few ounces down each spark plug hole.  New valve cover gasket, PCV.  We will take it for a drive tonight, wash the motor off some more, change the oil and re-access.


  1. Update...150 miles on it so major issues....the motor is really ugly from oil leaking...still not sure if it from the past and has been repaired and not cleaned up or is still leaking, but doesn't seem to be marking its spot. I took it to the self serve car wash to try to clean some of it off. Swapped the sun visors, shift boot, and soft top latches for less bad ones.

    I find the glass rear window nice, but cumbersome. Can't fit any of the SCCA/NASA roll bars on it, and one must zip/unzip the windows whenever raising/lowering the top.

  2. I also know that the transmission has been off, so maybe it has a replaced clutch? How do I know that? Well two of the bolts that hold the transmission to the motor are missing!!! DOH! Heater hoses have been replaced.

  3. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the excellent work. PowerBore Cylinder Sleeves