About 18 months after selling Sleepy (Miata with LS1 V8) I caught the fever again and purchased another V8 Miata. This time it had a 383 stroker motor in it. I hardly have any information about the car because the previous owner has been rather tight lipped about it. I believe he might be a little upset over the incredible deal I got on the car but I am not sure. Hopefully I will eventually get him to open up to me and tell me something about what has actually been done to the engine, suspension, etc. For now, I'll just record what little info I have on the Miata.
A quick video of the car starting/driving. After recording (and taking some pictures that you see below) I found that I had a fingerprint or something on my camera lens. Ugh! Anyway, you can see the video here:
The car was purchased off Ebay and was a 2400 mile round trip drive from my house. There was no way I was going to spend 4 days driving to pick it up so I decided to try a vehicle transport company. I paid $710 for the transport through Tropical Auto Carriers. The driver said he got $600 (paid him in cash) and $110 went on my credit card to the middle man (TAC). It was delivered four days after I placed the order for the transport. When it arrived it was covered in dust and the rear window was not zipped up so the interior was a little wet. The PO had stated in the ebay ad that the rear window zipper was broken but should have mentioned that it could not be used at all (meaning it was unzipped and laid down) and would have to be repaired. The car smells very moldy so the carpet will be pulled and cleaned. One of the first things I did was remove the mounting bracket for the front license plate. I was ecstatic to find that there was no damage to the bumper and no visible mounting holes.
The paint looks great except in a few places. Both front fenders (right along where the hood closes on the sides) have 1' long cracks in them. I could take my fingernail and pull a long 1/4" strip of paint off. So I'm thinking I can pay maybe $200 or so to respray them. The Miata has had the pax mirror deleted (done nicely) but the drivers side mirror is very loose. I'll have to pull the mirror off and tighten the center bolt a bit. There are aftermarket carbon fiber headlight assemblies (no barn doors). Both high beams work but only one low beam. It is a wiring problem not a burnt out bulb. Wiring and relays are right by the pax light so it should be an easy fix. The exhaust sounds nice but it is pretty loud. The side pipes are done nicely but they are low to the ground so the car scrapes pulling into the driveway unless I enter at an angle.
The alternator is not charging the battery (not gel cell) and I am not sure if the battery isn't also bad. My charger is a little funky and is being very slow to charge the battery. I'll pull the alternator and take it to the parts store to have it tested to be sure. I'm not sure but there could be a switch somewhere that needs to be flipped before charging will take place. I know that sounds strange but the wiring on this car is definitely suspect. The car has a four barrel Holley 650 carb and it is tuned horribly. I'm not sure why the PO sold it like this because I thought he was a hot rod builder. I know nothing about a carb but spent 5 minutes on it and it runs better now. I have the mixture screws about 3/4 the way from bottomed out and I'm guessing that the jets are too large but I have no idea. I'll probably have to spend some $$$ for a tune/dyno in the near future.
The interior is not in the best shape. The front carpet looks very nice but did not come with mats so the PO must have pulled them before shipping the car. The rear carpet looks ok. Both are OEM and probably came out of another car. The steering wheel leather is worn. The center console has some sort of silver skin put over it. I have never seen this accessory before and it looks like a thick sticker that was formed to go perfectly over a Miata center console (covers the drink holder forward). It is not glued down very well so I'll have to redo this in the future. There is no ventilation or heater. I'll have to buy one of those hair dryer type 12 volt heaters at some point so I can defog the windshield. The radio has been removed and replaced by a set of switches and gauges. There are two water temp gauges but only one is working. I'm guessing he bought a plate that had 5 holes and just needed to fill the last one. There are several unknown switches and LEDs in the car. If I cannot get the PO to talk to me about them I'll have to pull the dash and trace everything myself. An example is the CAL button and light in the middle of the control panel. I have no idea what it is for. I also thought it was strange that there is no thermistor to turn the radiator fans on. There is a toggle switch for that. I can see me burning up the engine when I forget to turn it on. The gearshift has a rattle but I think it is just rubbing against the DIY shift indicator. I'd like to take a closer look at this when I pull the interior out:
There is a bad oil leak in the front. I'm not sure if it is coming from the crank seal or oil pan. I checked the oil and found that pulling the dipstick pulls the dipstick tube out as well. It is like they are hooked together or something. After fixing all the oil leaks in Guzzler I thought my days of keeping cardboard and newspapers on my garage floor were long gone. I guess I was wrong:
Note - You are probably seeing missing links to some pictures above. I still use Notepad to create the html code and have a template with plenty of extra references to pictures to save on typing. As I continue the page I will add pictures and descriptions and these missing links will disappear.