Tuesday, May 5, 2015

99 Miata Build, Part 13

Another awesome night for breaking in the clutch a little more.
Today is the 7 month anniversary of owning my 1999 Miata.  I've put right about 3000 miles on it and it's almost ready for track time in two weeks.  Last week the car was back up and running with a lot of upgrades.  This weekend it was time to sort out a few of the little remaining items.

New hose from the radiator at the bottom left to the thermostat housing toward the top right. 
The hoses that run coolant from the radiator to the engine and from the engine to the heater were showing their age and there was a slight leak from the thermostat, so it was time for new ones. This is another really easy job on the Miata.  Once the car is in the air, you just need a few wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.

Old hoses on the left, new hoses on the right.
Drain the coolant into a bucket for safe disposal, remove the old hoses, and plug the new hoses on, and re-fill with fresh coolant.  My pro-tip of the day is to let the new rubber hoses heat up in the sun for a bit before trying to install to make them more pliable and slip on easier.  As a stand-by, I have a little heat-gun for the night-time or chilly-day installations.

Passenger side interior trim panel.  One big rectangular cut made at the top for the bolt-in brackets for the hardtop, second more horizontal rectangle cut-out to fit where the rollbar mount sticks out.
The final effort this weekend was replacing the plastic interior trim panels in the car.  They needed some cutting to fit around the rollbar and some cut-outs made for the brackets to bolt in the hardtop.  Even the factory wind-blocker went back in after removing the little flap that folds up...we'll see if it stays in the car or not.
All the tan interior trim is back in place.  Not the best to look at, but it feels good to have it all back together.

Just when I thought the car couldn't get any better, the new clutch slave cylinder went on today and now the clutch engagement is hugely improved to match the buttery smooth shifts.  It's like driving a brand new car for WAY less money!
New clutch slave cylinder...it's 2 bolts and unscrewing the metal line carrying the brake fluid.  Inside the little silver cylinder is a piston, pushed by fluid when the clutch is depressed to actuate the (new) clutch.  
That leaves some cracked radiator fan mounts to fix up, an alignment appointment on Wednesday, a final shake-down autocross with CCR in Charlotte on Saturday, then wrapping up next week by putting track brake pads and rotors on the car, bleeding the brake fluid, and installing a borrowed hardtop.  Track time is almost here!

Up next: repair these cracked plastic fan mounts.

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