Tuesday, February 3, 2015

99 Miata Build, Part 9

After just under 4 months, the Miata's maintenance plan is complete!  Time to start saving for some upgrades.  Here's a quick recap of this weekend's work:

A new fender is about $150, so I decided to keep the crunched one and paint it to keep it from rusting.  Step one was to sand down the impacted area to remove chipped paint and smooth out the whole surface.
Starting with the Dremel, the major paint flakes were removed from the more damaged area, then followed up with 320, 600, and 800 grit sand papers for a very smooth finish.
Using the trusty Ranger's paint booth mode, the fender was masked off and painted and then left out to dry.
I decided to go ahead and paint the whole front area to make sure to thoroughly cover it.
 The color wasn't a perfect match, but I already had the paint on hand from covering the rust in the trunk and it kept it cheap.
After masking off the initial area and painting with primer and color, I removed the tape, backed it off  half an inch to add a layer of red and primer, then moved the tape back one more time to add another layer of primer.  Hopefully that will prevent the edge from flaking.
 While the paint was drying, it was time to replace the driver-side rear brake caliper.  The one on the car wouldn't come free and made it difficult to swap out the pads and rotors awhile back, so it was time for a whole new caliper.  Thanks again to Kyle for picking up the new-used caliper for me over Thanksgiving weekend.
Old cruddy rotor and original caliper that would not come free despite liberal use of a large hammer.
 Both the rear brake pads and rotors were swapped out and driver side got a bleed to make sure there aren't any air bubbles left in from the new caliper.
New happy caliper, rotor and brake pads.  The old pads were significantly worn and looked as if they had not been replaced with the other rear brakes indicating this might have been an issue for a long time.
The next day the dry fender was bolted back on and I did a complete clutch bleed for good measure.  The summer tires went back on and everything was test driven.
Big reservoir on the left is the brake fluid, the smaller on the right is the clutch.  The clutch fluid was black before now.
Since the last event the Miata was at it has improved brakes, spark, air intake, fuel flow, and is a few grams lighter from the pile of dirt that's been removed. The car is completely ready for a two day weekend with SCR-SCCA in Darlington. Let's just hope the driver didn't get rusty over the winter break!

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