Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cozy Car Cover

I got a cover for the Miata.  I even washed the car before installing it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Shabby Shifter

This project started when my buddy, who I now call the Miata Whisperer sat in the car for 30 seconds and declared my shifter operation felt rough, so I had to investigate.

This project gave me an opportunity to remove the shifter extension the car came with (Weight Savings:  5.7oz).

With the extension and knob off, I moved the center console, which is held on by 5 screws.  I then had to remove the upper boot.

This revealed the lower boot, which you can see in the top photo.  It was badly torn.

The shifter "cup" is supposed to be filled with 3 oz of gear oil, and it was bone dry.  I didn't have any on hand, and I figured it had been fine like that for a long time, so I didn't add any.

The shifter looked a little rough when it came out.

So I took out the trusty brass brush.  Here it is half done.

And now it's completely done, with the new boot installed.  That lower plastic bushing is actually cracked, so I should probably replace it soon.

And here it is all buttoned up, with the original Nardi wood shift knob.

I'm not kidding when I say this; I was thinking about the shifter in bed that night and I got really paranoid about the lack of oil in it, so I went out the next morning and bought the recommended gear oil, pulled everything apart again and added the oil.  Fun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Glove Box Gone

The glove box was not only missing the handle, but the left side hinge was not connected properly.  I unscrewed the hinges with the intention of fixing it, but after realizing how heavy it was decided I didn't need a glove box.  The hinge was just missing a screw, which I happened to find in the center console, so it is ready to go back on if we ever want it back.
Weight Savings:  2 lb, 12.2 oz

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pedal Problems

The Miata's pedal arrangement was not ideal for heel and toe shifting, so I had to do something about it.  I ended up just bending the gas pedal down and to the left.  To bend it down I put a wood block beneath the top part and bent.  To go left, I just pulled it over.  It appears this is a common project.
I also lowered the clutch pedal using the available adjustment.  This gives a little more legroom and makes the engagement better.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coax Continued

Ever since getting the new roof, our sweet attic antenna hasn't been connected to the TV.  I didn't want to cut a hole in the new vent screen and run a cable over the new roof.
My plan was to take the existing cable that was already out of the house and take it up to the attic.  The difficult part would be making the hole and fishing the cable through.  When doing the ceiling fans, I finally sacked up and wedged myself into the very front corner of the attic.  I drilled a hole from the inside with a masonry bit and had Chrissy feed the wire through.  I hooked it up and everything worked perfectly.  Success.
I was in that far, scary corner.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stripping Stickers

The Miata came with some sweet stickers.  I estimate they were good for an extra three horsepower, but they were a little "ricey" for me, and I think they would attract the wrong kind of attention from police.  There's enough to attract police on this car without the stickers.
They peeled off pretty easily, but they left the typical residue.  A little acetone took it right off.
There was also a Mazda sticker on the driver side window.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shifty Shade

The sun shade/cowl for the instrument cluster was moving around because all the clips securing it have broken off.  All I needed to fix it was a little tape.  Notice how I used black electrical tape to match the dash.  If this isn't sufficient, I might get some of the black Gorilla Tape and go nuts.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welded Watering Wand

Our watering wand was attached to the hose for a long time.  After a while I couldn't unscrew it any more.  It wasn't a big deal because we didn't need to take it off, until the valve stopped working the other day.
The hose itself has been in need of a new connector for some time, so this is actually a twofer.

The first part was easy.  I cut a couple inches off the end and installed the new connector.  I even sprung for the fancy metal one.

The next part was much more challenging.  Try as I might, I couldn't unscrew the old hose connector from the malfunctioning valve or the rest of the wand from the valve.  They all seem to have become welded together over time.  I soaked everything in vinegar, hoping it would dissolve the minerals holding everything together.
I tried to get the old connector out of the valve until the connector ripped apart, then I tried getting the wand off the valve, which worked.  So I managed to salvage the wand, but now it doesn't have a shutoff valve.  Good enough.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Keys and Knees

Knee interference, before
There was one more thing hitting my knee--the key in the ignition.  This would require a creative solution.

The first step was going to Lowe's and getting a copy of the key for $2.17.  Thank you 1994 and your lack of expensive "smart" keys.
I inserted that key into the various locks and marked the depth.

I then removed the plastic.

Drilled a hole.

Trimmed off excess material.

 And rounded it off, for a sleek, efficient key.

Here it is in the ignition.
Here's the original again:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Knee Knocking

We've had the Miata fewer than 24 hours and I'm already modifying it.  The first task was removing the steering column cover (shown above), which was hitting my right knee when braking.  Sorry I don't have a before picture.

I also removed the dash panel under the steering column that was hitting my knee as well.  It doesn't look so bad from normal eye level, and remember, it doesn't have to be pretty; I just have to fit.

Weight Savings:
Steering Column Cover:  7.4 oz
Lower Dash Panel:  1 lb, 9.4 oz

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Patio Paradise

When we started house hunting, one of our must have items was a decent yard. We really enjoy spending our free time outdoors, and although we found a nice yard, it was empty and boring. If you are a loyal reader, you know we have put in some serious effort; yet it needed a little more love. We previously added the dining set and an umbrella, but now we have added some cushions, and a couple potted plants, making it a much more comfortable place. I have a few more ideas for finishing touches but this is a really good start.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Miata Madness

Yes, I am that big. And yes, it is that small.  Also, I didn't Hulk smash the steering wheel off.  It has a quick release...because racecar.
Huge news at Pekema Project HQ!  We have a new subject for projects--a 1994 Mazda Miata.

We have recently been doing a lot of fun drives in Malibu and on Angeles Crest using borrowed cars (mostly an FR-S; thanks Chris), so it was time to get a fun car of our own.

I was originally looking for something with a back seat, but I finally came to my senses and remembered
M.I.A.T.A (Miata Is Always The Answer).

After a brief search on Craigslist I found one I couldn't resist.  Expect to see some posts about this baby in the future, although there won't need to be too many because most of the potential projects have already been done.

Instead of me listing everything about it, I will paste the contents of the Craigslist ad:

1994 Miata m edition- 116k miles

Oem hardtop with headliner
Blackbird fabworx gt3 4 pt roll bar
Buddy club wide racing seat
Schroth 4 pt asm harness
Momo Monte Carlo 320mm steering wheel
Nrg short hub and quick release
Garage star shift extender and Delrin shift knob
Jvc head unit and pioneer speakers

Vmaxx track coilovers
Racing beat tubular front sway
949 end links
Stainless steel brakes lines
Porterfield rs4 brake pads
ATE super blue brake fluid
Jackson racing intake
Hps silicone hoses
Buddy club spec 2 exhaust
Ryoku rob front and rear tow hooks
Rear bumper cut
Torsten diff
Rep gv lip

All ac components have been removed as well as power steering

The bad-
Paint is shit <---Editor's Note:  My favorite line.
Buddy club seat is fading and has couple cigarette burns.
Passenger seat has a rip

WILL NOT COME WITH 6UL's wheels. Stock daisies will be put on
Perfect car for a dd/track toy. That's how I used it. Just passed smog today and paid registration

Editor's Note
Here it is with the wheels he removed.  It looked a lot better.  I will be looking for some reasonably priced aftermarket wheels now.