All posts categorized Project Cars

First Autocross in the Miata

With great trepidation I took the Miata to my local SCCA club autocross event today. I was number 919 in the E-Street class (Figure 1) and ended up chatting with other E-Street racers and their Miata configurations. One of them had upgraded his Base trim 1999 NB Miata to the Performance Package trim by adding all the required Mazda components that would form that trim including a Limited Slip Differential. It is something I might consider in the future.

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Car passed inspection!

The Miata successfully passed inspection today. It took me nearly a year (364 days) since the purchase date to get the inspection done. Changing the O2 sensors was technically easy but I did not have the confidence to do it a year ago. Now I do ! Cannot explain how happy I am today that whatever hard work I have put in to make the car inspection-worthy has worked out well without any serious hiccups.

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Fixing the Parking Brake

The Miata’s hand brake (or e-brake or parking brake) did not keep the car still. The car would move anyway, so I used to keep it in gear when I parked it. It was time to fix the parking brake before I took the car to the DMV for getting the emissions inspection sticker later this week. Fixing the parking brake is quite easy, but it requires removal of the rear wheels.

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Replacing Oxygen Sensors

Since I purchased the Miata it has had a check engine light (CEL) code P0140. One of the solutions among many is to replace the rear Oxygen (O2) sensor in this case. Having experienced bad O2 sensors in my truck in the past and looking at opinions on the web, I decided to replace both the sensors to be safe. My car is a California emissions car and the location of the O2 sensors are different from the rest of the USA (Federal) emissions versions of the same car.

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Mounting the Painted Wheels

The wheels that I had painted almost two months ago finally had the Dunlop Direzza III tires mounted on them. I had gotten it done at a local Mavis Discount Tire store for about $70.

However, I did not get them to mount the wheels on the Miata so that I could learn to do it myself. The reason I waited this long to get the wheels on was that I wanted to replace the brake pads and also buy a portable 20V DeWalt high torque impact wrench for about $250. But today I decided that it was time to mount the wheels and drive the car in those performance tires. Good weather makes you do that !

Without an impact wrench, you can use a 21mm deep socket, a socket extension, a breaker bar, a ratchet and a torque wrench to do the work. You also need a jack and jack stands, but since I have a mid-rise lift I used that. It took me about 2 hours to do this as it was the first time.

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