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March 19, 2022
My first twelve months of NB Miata ownership

I've been writing a lot of posts about my NB Miata. This is a less content heavy and more photo heavy post about my first twelve months of owning my NB Miata. I purchased it in late March 2021, so that's where this post starts. A single photo is included for each month of ownership, along with a short description.

March 2021: Getting my NB Miata

I purchased my 2000 Mazda Miata on March 19, 2021. Below is the first photo I took of my NB Miata after bringing it home. From the moment I first sat in and drove the Miata I knew it was something special. They may not be fast (at least in a straight line with a stock engine), but they are very fun and can be modified to do pretty much anything. I think a lot of it comes down to the size and weight of the car, a small and lightweight platform is a really good starting point. My NB is also old enough that you still have a lot of the rawness you don't see in modern cars, but without some of the downsides of really old cars. [Read More]

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March 6, 2022
NB Miata project - Engine out work: Rear main seal, coolant reroute, and more

One of my goals with my NB Miata over the winter was to pull the engine to fix a few lingering issues I have been having. With just a single one of these issues it probably wouldn't make sense to pull the engine, but the combination of these issues makes it worthwhile to just pull the engine to make the rest of the work easier. In this post I cover pulling my NB Miata engine along with what all I did while it was removed from the car.

Here are the factors that lead me to pulling the engine:

  • Leaking rear main seal that was slowly getting worse.
  • Stripped oil pan drain plug.
  • Desire to install a coolant reroute to improve engine cooling performance.
  • Needing to replace the two coolant lines that are hard to get to with the engine in the car.

Pulling the engine

I was able to remove and reinstall the engine in my Miata by myself without too much difficulty. Removal was super easy, you really just need to disconnect everything and lift the engine out of the car. Installation was a little trickier since the engine needs to be aligned correctly for the engine mounts to slide into their mounting points, but it was still doable. [Read More]

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February 20, 2022
NB Miata project - Suspension refresh: Supermiata Xida Race coilovers, IL Motorsports bushings

In a previous post I wrote about some of the plans for my NB Miata while it's put away for the winter. One of the things I wanted to work on was refreshing the suspension That's what this post is all about. These upgrades include stiffer control arm bushings, replacement hubs/bearings, replacement ball joints, Xida Race coilovers, a Torsen differential, and differential bushings. I wanted to get this done early on in the winter. A lot can go wrong when it comes to potentially rusty suspension components. [Read More]

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January 7, 2022
NB Miata project - Gauge overhaul: RevLimiter gauge faces, CANchecked multifunction LCD

In a previous post I wrote about some of the cosmetic modifications I have done to my NB Miata. One of those modifications was the installation of a triple gauge pod A pillar so I could keep an eye on sensors while driving. It worked well, but there were some aspects that pushed me away from that gauge location. In this post I cover the CANchecked multifunction LCD gauge I replaced my gauge pod with, along with new RevLimiter gauge faces.

Stock NB Miata gauge cluster

NB Miatas have a pretty simple stock gauge cluster setup. On the left is a small fuel gauge, on the right is a small coolant temperature gauge, and in the upper middle is a small oil pressure gauge. To the left of the oil pressure gauge is a large tachometer, and to the right is a large speedometer. The problem with these gauges is that the oil pressure gauge and the coolant temperature gauge aren't actually all that useful. [Read More]

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November 28, 2021
NB Miata project - Future plans after six months of ownership

In my last several posts I covered my first six months of ownership of my NB Miata. This post focuses on what my future plans are for my Miata, mostly in the short term (the next six months), but also some thoughts on what I'd like to do longer term.

I had a lot of fun, and have done a lot to my Miata during the first six months of ownership. It has been a great car, and the mods I've done so far have already improved the car. My main priority for the next six months is to do what I can to better prepare my car for track days and autocrosses next summer. Things like the braking system, chassis bracing, safety, cooling, and suspension can be improved and allow me to have a better experience racing my Miata. [Read More]

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October 9, 2021
NB Miata project - Experiences during my first six months of ownership

Over the past few weeks I've been covering my first six months of ownership of my NB Miata. I covered buying the car, performance and cosmetic modifications I have done, along with problems I've encountered with my car.

One of the reasons why I purchased my Miata was so that I could enjoy it. I didn't just want something I could tinker with in a garage, I wanted something I could use. During my first six months of ownership I had a lot of fun experiences with my Miata that I'm going to cover in this post. These experiences include things like car shows, as well as track days and autocross. [Read More]

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October 9, 2021
NB Miata project - Problems I've had during my first six months of ownership

In my last couple of posts I covered the performance and cosmetic modifications I have done to my NB Miata during my first six months of ownership. I was able to improve the experience of my car. Things like improving the exhaust and intake sound, along with changing the color of the car from silver to yellow using a wrap.

My Miata has been very reliable overall, but you can't expect a 20+ year old car to be perfectly reliable. While none of my issues left me stranded, I thought I'd share them anyways. Some of them have been resolved, while others still need to be fixed. [Read More]

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October 4, 2021
NB Miata project - Cosmetic modifications after six months

In my last post I covered the various performance modifications I have done to my NB Miata during my first six months of ownership. I didn't do anything too crazy, but still managed to improve the experience of my car. Things like an exhaust and intake for sound, along with engine mounts, tires, and chassis bracing to improve the driving feel of the car.

This post covers NB Miata cosmetic mods that I have done to my car during the first six months of ownership. I explain what I did, why I did it, and what my experiences were with various different mods. [Read More]

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October 4, 2021
NB Miata project - Performance modifications after six months

In my last post I covered my experiences looking for and purchasing my current project car, an NB Miata. I also covered preventative maintenance work to get the car up to a known reliable state so that I could move forward with other mods and really enjoying the car.

This post covers NB Miata performance mods that I have done to my car during the first six months of ownership. I explain what I did, why I did it, and what my experiences were with various different mods.

Full exhaust system

When I first got my Miata it had an engine code related to the post-cat O2 sensor. My car was originally a California car so it originally had two cat system. A pre-cat built into the exhaust manifold downpipe, and a secondary cat downstream from there. O2 sensors are placed before and after the pre-cat. The secondary O2 sensor is just for emissions, so it didn't impact the use of the car. I still wanted to fix it, but wasn't in a rush. [Read More]

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September 19, 2021
NB Miata project - Purchasing a Mazda Miata

My last post covered my experiences with my first project car, a 1987 Honda Accord. At that end of that post I mentioned that I purchased a NB Miata to replace it. Today marks six months since purchasing my Miata so I thought I'd start a series covering my experiences owning it.

This is an introductory post where I cover what a Miata is, why I chose it, the original condition, and how I prepared the car for what was to come. I have several other posts that I'll be publishing in the near future covering the first six months of ownership. [Read More]

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