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Old 11-23-2015, 10:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track resto-build

l'll begin to document my first Miata "resto-build" here. For the last several years I haven't had what I would call a fun street car. I currently have a pretty well built up 2004 Land Rover Discovery 2. I love driving it, getting out and camping and wheeling it as much as I can. It is a ton of fun, but I have recently getting the urge to build a fun street/track car. I live 10 minutes from Barber Motorsports Park just out side of Birmingham, AL.

I thought about getting back in to Subarus. I have owned quite a few cars, but my favorite was my 99 Impreza 2.5RS I built. I swapped the stock NA 2.5 motor with a JDM V5 STi EJ207 turbo motor. It was a blast!

But I've always liked Miatas and I thought a rear-drive car would be a lot of fun out at Barber! So I searched for a few months for the right car within a reletively small budget. After looking at a few I found this one right here in Birmingham. I got a very good deal as the seller dropped his original price because it was hit/scraped slightly on the drivers side qtr panel, door and fender. The price came down even further because the seller wanted to keep the wheels he had on it and i happened to already have a set of 14" RPF1's and Falken Azenis RT615's waiting to find the right car.

Enough background...on to a few pictures.


The car came with Skunk2 coilovers that were set too low for my taste and seemed like it scraped on even the smallest pebble in the road! Looked really cool, but not functional for my future uses. This is how it sat when I picked it up.



The first mod was to replace the NRG steering wheel, NRG hub and quick release that I didn't really like to something that IMO was better looking. I replaced the current setup with a Momo hub, NRG slim quick release and a Nardi Deep Corn 330mm wheel.

Next up I begin removing all of the spray tint from the marker lights and turn signals. I used acetone to remove the paint and then progressively sanded the lights starting with 400 and stepping up to 2000 then finally finishing with polish and wax. Turned out pretty good I think!

Next up: Suspension adjustment and other adjustments...

Last edited by cosmiccharlie; 03-07-2016 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Edit: Auto-correct screwed my title into "rest-build" instead of "resto-build"!

Next I replaced the generic leaky intake with a stock intake from Treasure Coast Miata.



After a few calls I found a guy/shop close to my house who knows Miatas. The mechanic drives an NA and was recommended by another reputable shop. I dropped the car off to have the ride height raised and also to get the timing checked/set. The car idled very high around 1500rpm and just didn't feel right. I don't have the space/tools to do this where I live now, so I asked him to check it. Turns out the timing was WAY off! Something like 40* BTDC instead of 10*! I am surprised it would even run and I am also surprised that it didn't grenade itself!

Pics of the ride height now. It is at 13" hub to fender all around. I think I will eventually adjust the front down a little more, but it's ok for now. Doesn't look as cool as it did when slammed, but it rides/functions much better.





Next up was to address the drivers side damage. I found a guy locally parting out a red 93 Miata and I bought both doors (manual windows), trunk lid, and drivers side fender. They were straight, but the clear coat is coming off. I plan to paint the whole car next year so I wasn't worried about that.

Here you can see the damage to the drivers side. Not too bad, but easier to replace the panels than pay for body work.

"New" door and fender on.


Also rebuilt the shifter with new bushings and boots. And replaced the missing gauge hood/bezel.



Next: Hard Dog Hardcore M1 Roll Bar

Last edited by cosmiccharlie; 11-24-2015 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 12-07-2015, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Installed my HDHCHT roll bar. Pretty straight forward install.


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Old 12-07-2015, 06:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Next I found a red hood to replace the black-plastidipped one I had. The PO told me that the hood had been "sanded" before they put on the plastic-dip. Here is what it looked like underneath. I am not really sure why they sanded the hood or what they were trying to accomplish.

The car looks much better all red I think!

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Old 12-07-2015, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Coming along swimmingly! Get a DA polisher on that red paint, it should improve.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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Coming along swimmingly! Get a DA polisher on that red paint, it should improve.
Thanks! The clear coat on the fender and door I put on is peeled off badly, about half of it is gone on both. The rest of the car is ok, but it is in my plans to paint the car at some point next year.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

first off.... winlowe, humming and I say welcome to CR.

Secondly.... nice find. I love what you're doing with her. Definitely heading in the right direction.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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first off.... winlowe, humming and I say welcome to CR.

Secondly.... nice find. I love what you're doing with her. Definitely heading in the right direction.
Thanks! I need a mod to change my title to "resto-build" not "rest-build". Auto correct doesn't know what resto is!

Next up! I made my own shorty console and replace the boots with cheap eBay red stitched versions.


Ohh and the cheap eBay white delrin shift knob also! Why spend more that $20 on a shift knob? I actually bought that before I bought the car!
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

This update will finally get the thread up to where I am currently with the car.

I cleaned up the dirty trunk and painted with Dupli-Color Trunk Spatter Paint Grey/White (DM100). Luckily I found zero rust in the trunk, except for on the battery brackets. I think it turned out great!

Removing the sound deadening tar board with dry ice.

Starting with the paint.

Refurbed battery brackets and tray

Finished Product and new Marathon Battery!



And a shot of the Miata with my Disco II. Life is too short to drive boring cars!!
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Picking up an OEM hardtop on Saturday!!
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

I like this quick pace. I wish I has the $ to do this. Subd.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

More of the DII please! Very nice. '03 or '04?
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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More of the DII please! Very nice. '03 or '04?

What?


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Old 12-17-2015, 12:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

I believe the OP owns a Land Rover Discovery II does he not? It appears to be either an '03 or '04.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Ohhhh. Ya ur right. Didn't catch the discovery in there.


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Old 12-17-2015, 09:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

My D2 is an 04. Lifted, Safari Gard Front Bumper, Superwinch, Voyager Full Roof Rack, ARB Awning, Cannibal V8, etc. Lots of fun. I just need to get out in the woods with it more this coming year than I did in 2015.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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I like this quick pace. I wish I has the $ to do this. Subd.
Thanks! Most of what I have done so far hasn't cost a lot of money. I am trying to save money for the paint job!
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Nice work so far.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Paint looks a lot better in 1 color! Keep it up!
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Another miata being restored and brought back to life. Looking good!
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

I was very excited to find this hardtop locally! It may be the worst color combo out there, but I got a great deal!!

BRG and Classic Red
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Better!!

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Old 12-22-2015, 09:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Added a couple of stickers to the roll bar for +10hp!!

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Old 12-22-2015, 10:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

I really like the mazda sticker on the roll bar. I also like the temporary hardtop paint job. Key word, temporary. Looks better than BRG tho
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:29 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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I was very excited to find this hardtop locally! It may be the worst color combo out there, but I got a great deal!!

BRG and Classic Red
At one point in my life I ran a Sunburst yellow hardtop on my merlot NA...
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:45 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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I really like the mazda sticker on the roll bar. I also like the temporary hardtop paint job. Key word, temporary. Looks better than BRG tho
I am hoping to have the whole car painted around April.
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:42 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Your car is looking great so far. Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:10 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

Nothing really exciting today, but a little progress.

I painted the seat belt towers satin black since I don't plan to put this part of the panel back in the car.


After this picture i removed the plug for hard top defroster and stashed it under the carpet behind the drivers seat.

Next I cut a piece of carpet to cover the trunk/gas release mechinism and the two holes in the carpet.



Like I said...not exciting, but progress.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:19 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

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Like I said...not exciting, but progress.
believe me when i tell you it's a lot more exciting than the usual cookie cutting shit seen nowadays. This is quite refreshing.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:23 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: cosmiccharlie's 96 NA Street/Track rest-build

^^^Agreed, great work so far! RPF1's are such a "timeless" look, i want to pick up a set one day. Really like the 330mm deep corn Nardi as well, many do not like smaller steering wheels but i really like my 320mm Momo.
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