Items changed to date:
Remove under bumper spoiler - 2/8/03
Doc's in car indicate this was added later.
Some bolts were loose (damage from contact with a steep driveway or parking barrier).
Remove front shipping hooks & license plate bracket - 2/8/03
Add high-flow grill - 2/15/03
Change air filter - 2/21/03, 87450mi
Change spark plugs - 2/22/03, 87485mi
Change plug wires - 2/22/03, 87485mi
Change oil, filter, crush washer - 2/22/03, 87485mi
Remove rear shipping hooks - 2/22/03
Replace valve cover gasket - 2/22/03, 87485mi
Remove locking lug nuts - 3/1/03, 87584mi
Change trans fluid to redline mtl - 3/1/03, 87584mi
This has made the expected very noticeable improvement in shift feel.
Change diff fluid to redline - 3/1/03, 87584mi
Re paint wind deflector on driver's windshield wiper - 3/1/03
Replace glove compartment (latch broken into) - 3/14/03, 87706mi
Color looks a little off here - due to bright flash. Not noticeable in the car at all. Found gc at Mazda Recycling on eBay. Snapped the lock cylinder from the old gc into the new one so the key would work.
Replace center console lid, stop rod - 3/14/03, 87706mi
Also disconnected trunk release latch from under console. Can still release trunk with cable under center console in an emergency, but the release lever itself is non-functional. This makes the trunk more secure, since using door or center console locks is practically useless.
Change timing belt - 3/15/03, 87706mi
Change water pump - was not worn out, but while in for the belt... - 3/15/03
Change coolant - it was pretty brown. Removed, drained & washed the overflow reservoir as well - 3/15/03
Should have done the accessory belts at this time...
Added front strut tower brace - I figure for appearance, mostly.
I painted the end brackets black, since they were a gold-gray primer.
Driver's side (left side), against speed control cable.
Passenger's side (right side)
I doubt the cross bar is braced well enough to really transmit much load.
The brackets appear to be designed for quick assembly at welding, and not for the best loadpath to the attach points. Also, the rod has a pin joint (bolt pinching clevis) at each end, which will allow the brace to rotate about the bolt as the car flexes diagonally. Anyway, I got the rod in with a little preload from side to side by fudging the end links (left hand thread on one end, for no good reason that I could see) to make the overall rod a little longer than the space between the brackets. But the rod was cheap on eBay for a brand new part. Like I said, for looks.
To make up for this added mostly useless weight, I removed the bar from behind the seats. This keeps the passenger seat from squeaking continuously while driving, but the driver's seat has found something else to squeak against. I had a '94-'97 bar on my '93 for a few days and found that ride was unchanged, except for the seat-back squeaking. The bar is there to meet crash regs. I'll take my chances and save the 8 pounds for something else.
Polished tube at valve cover (simichrome) - 3/22/03, 88030mi
Changed side marker light bulbs to 194 long life - 3/22/03
Re glued top to center bow using gorilla snot glue - 3/22/03
Removed misc. cel phone wiring (microphone, power lead) - 3/22/03
In the course of doing this, found that aftermarket stereo was nicely installed with jumper adapter cables, so a stocker would plug right back in. I've been looking for a stocker, so I removed the aftermarket stereo and made an aluminum blank off plate. - 3/23/03
Fortunately the under-stereo cubby was in the trunk, so I put that back where it belongs.
I left the eyeball vents out so I would not have to remove them again when I get the stereo replaced. They were not easy to remove, but must be removed to access the two upper center console retention screws.
Changed front lighting - added twilites to corners, made the corner turn signal mod (with trailer lighting adapter per miata.net), attached both filaments of the old turn signals to the parking light for super white brightness at the old front turn signal location - 3/23/03
Yes, there is a high-flow grill in there, and the non-stock Mazda below bumper spoiler is removed.
View from left side of the corner lights.
Did the only real performance mod - changed timing from stock to about 13 btdc.
Makes just a little burble when shifting. Can't tell if power is really any different.
Found tan 96M boot cover on eBay - better deal than junkyard or new - 3/23/03
Replaced inner shift boot - 4/5/03, 88262mi
Noticed that trans turret boot was bad, ordered it.
Replaced front brake pads - 4/5/03, 88262mi
Noticed that front shock boots were bad, and that shocks are original (dated 2/28/94), ordered a replacement set.
Replaced the power antenna mast. Found 6 broken pieces of the old drive rod inside the motor housing. Pretty nasty, but no more dangling half-up antenna. - 4/5/03, 88262mi
Cleaned out inner front fenders - previous owner collected a good bit of sand and leaves in there - 4/5/03
Replaced center console cup holder with a new one. The old one had one (of two) retention tabs broken off, and was missing the inner bottom part that collects overflows. - 4/5/03
Replaced stock shocks and shock boots. - 4/12-4/13/03, 88364mi. Replaced lower shifter boot and shifter turret fluid. Yes, the old lower shifter boot is CUT off, and the new one will STRETCH over the shift lever (with a little oil). - 4/12/03, 88364mi.
Blank-out plate is gone, but I gave up on finding a stock '94 stereo. Created a semi-replica of the '96-'97 option cd player installation with a unit from a '99 Protege. See Radio page. 4/27/03.
Items on hand, not yet installed:
Used rim from a '97 to replace the one on the right rear. The paint is flaking off, so I found a clean one on eBay.
Still looking for:
Alignment shop - pull to left got a LOT better when I found the left rear tire only had 10 pounds of air. I would still like to put on miata.net street settings.
Overall, I can't believe how many things I'm doing to this car, for a good-looking runner with plenty of life left. The vast majority of what I'm doing is maintenance-based, fixing little flaws, and returning to stock the few things that were modified.
Fixing little flaws - re-glue top to bow, replace glove compartment, replace power antenna mast, replace center console lid, replace center console cup holder.
Returning to stock - remove aftermarket stereo and replace with factory, remove added but broken front spoiler, remove wheel locks and replace with lug nuts, remove cel phone wiring, locate/replace the top boot.
Feature I haven't decided what to do with yet - car has add on attach hardware for tonneau cover, and tonneau residue on dash (tan vinyl on the black dash) showing that a tonneau was used.