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P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 12:54 p.m.

Since the old forum got axed, and the new reader's ride section isn't very conducive to a build thread: Old Thread: Days 1-10 http://archive.grassrootsmotorsports.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=35720

New Thread

Day 11

More bondo. Vodka/Rum Coolers > Beer, that is all.

You can see evidence of previous damage to the rear quarter judging by the yellow (some sort of filler). Looks to be properly fixed, so it doesn't worry me.

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 12:56 p.m.

Day 15

USA Address Pickup run,

Picked up a new set of 225/45/15 Hankook RS2's, and a new to me second set of 225/45/15 Hoosier R6's.

Day 25

Back from FSAE, time to work on my car for a change.

More bodywork today working on the fenders and checking out the rust, got a bunch of good hours in. The fenders should be finished tomorrow so I can start working on the other parts of the car. I still need to see what is going on with the bottom of the fenders, they may require new metal. The rockers definitely require new metal.

I hope to start primer this weekend, but that may not happen. After primer things should progress quickly, and then suspension install before the trackday, and boost/diff after.

In other non bodywork news, My 15x9 wheels shipped today. :nice: Still need to order napa rotors, and axxis ultimate pads and I should be good to go for the track.

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 12:57 p.m.

Day 26

More Fender work.

Much thanks to John's buddy Brad who came down and showed me how blocking and finishing is done.

I would be so screwed if it wasn't for people like Brad and Brent who have bodywork experience, I would still have next to nothing done and have wasted a bunch of material.

One fender is basically done, and the other is getting there.

After this time to pull them off, and worry about the rust issues, take care of door dings, and the slight damage on the driver side rear quarter and then pull everything off and primer!

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 12:59 p.m.

Day 27

Pictures from yesterday's work:

Pictures from today: (Solid 5 hours of work.)

Pretty beat to be honest (me, not the car).

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 1:02 p.m.

Day 28

Got some well needed rest, GTA4.

Day 29

Lots of work done today.

Nice to do some wrenching for a change vs the usual bondo + sanding.

Pulled off the bumper covers, bumpers, taillights, trunklid, rear finish panel, towhooks.

Pretty much finished sanding the trunklid, and rear quarters. Found a tiny crack in the rear bumper cover that was fixed with what looks like bondo on the back. (wtf?) So I will either fix up my spare one, or properly (fiberglass) fix this one.

Found some rust on the metal plate that goes on top of the bumper reinforcement that holds down the cover, so I took care of that. (First new paint woot!)

Picked up 2 sets of tire totes. Basement is starting to look like a racecar paddock!

I had forgotten how much a PITA taking off the front bumper cover is, especially not jacked up and having 8 inches of forward space to work with, and not fitting under the car with the R-lip. Sigh.

Too tired for pics, will take some tomorrow.

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 1:08 p.m.

Day 30

Another solid 6-8 hours.

Beginnings of an F1 Team? Haha, Not quite. Funny thing is I have 6 more outside, plus the 4 mounted on the car, and I currently own ONE car. Yes, I know that 2 of the Michelin logo's are upside down, I put them on the wheels backwards.

As for work, mucho work done again. Taped up the trunk, except for the main opening. Need to find some plastic that will work to cover up big things like that.

Worked on the front bumper cover, there has gotta be at LEAST 50 fasteners on that biatch.

Found some slight surface rust on the back of the rear bumper reinforcement mounting, so I took care of it before it becomes a problem 5 years down the line.

Johnny D dropped by to pick up his tire totes, and drop off the CNC'd part(s).

Tomorrow start work on the fenders again, but I am basically out of work other then 2-3 dings in the hood, so gotta finish the fenders.

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 1:09 p.m.

Day 31

Tomorrow start work on the fenders again, but I am basically out of work other then 2-3 dings in the hood, so gotta finish the fenders.

HAHAHAHA. What was I smoking when I posted this? Rust issues duh, which will be the biggest PITA for sure. As well as some other slight (biggest is the previous damaged picture to the drivers side rear quarter between the flare and taillight.) bondo work, and finishing the flares.


Got 5 hours in today. D'Arcy (Local Hamilton Miataphile, Red JRSC 90) stopped by to drop off my PBR/Axxis Ultimate pads, and check in on the progress. Shot the shit with my dad for a bit about his rear brake noises.

Hit up Canadian tire for some rust reformer paint. Goes on glossy, dries matte.

Anyways, todays work was mostly on the rear fenders, front bumper, and the slight rust on the rear frame.

Pictures: (Summary of all the work the past few days)

Depending on how the rocker issue turns out, and what is going on, on the bottom of the front fenders, I honestly believe I can be in primer this weekend, and POSSIBLY paint before the trackday on the 6th, but it will be a mad scramble, and I will have to install suspension beforehand (after primer), and make sure it is properly covered up before paint.

Still lots of work before then though.

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 1:13 p.m.

Well, that's it until tonights update. Hopefully a good read.

Woodyhfd HalfDork
5/27/08 6:42 p.m.

Nice work!

If you happen to open up that hole in the rusty rocker a little more, can you post a pic of what it looks like inside? I've got a little rust bubble on one side of mine and I want to know what I'm up against if I start to get into it. Thanks.

jdmae92 New Reader
5/27/08 9:11 p.m.
Woodyhfd wrote: Nice work! If you happen to open up that hole in the rusty rocker a little more, can you post a pic of what it looks like inside? I've got a little rust bubble on one side of mine and I want to know what I'm up against if I start to get into it. Thanks.

Don't mean to hijack the build thread but here is a picture of what my rocker looked like when i opened it up.

before cutting into it


Hope that helps.

P90Puma Reader
5/27/08 9:20 p.m.

Rusty rocker = http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=227702

Best writeup by far.

Day 32

Summary: Me getting schooled/owned by my dad. Basically did all the bondo work on the rear fenders, 10x faster, and 10x better. They actually look almost factory now, and they are not even finished.

I am reallllly thankful he helped out today (or rather, he worked, and I had my head down in shame) otherwise the car would have looked like shit, or I wouldn't make it to the track.

Called it quits early today because he said so, apparently can't do anything without proper light, so I am going to get some sleep as there is alot of work to do tomorrow to prep for welding in replacement plates for the rockers and finally finishing the fenders.

Woodyhfd HalfDork
5/28/08 7:20 a.m.

Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for (and what I was afraid of!).

P90Puma Reader
5/28/08 11:06 p.m.

Day 33

List of thanks for today.

My dad, words cannot express gratitude. Billy J (Miataphile ~40min away), thank you so very much coming all the way out here to pick up my slicks for the trackday. Hopefully I can return the favour somehow. If you want to bolt them up for a session to compare to the azenis, I will gladly pass them over. The advice was great too. MRC - Namely Evert, for letting me borrow the teams bubblegum machine welder that we call our spare one. My dad hated it, but it didn't burn through the thin metal.

So much work done today, evening up the rear fenders, and most importantly taking care of the major rocker rust on the passenger side. Dad welded it like a champ. Was pretty ugly, but should clean up nice.

Basically going to call quits to the bodywork on saturday, and prime it on sunday. Should get pretty close by then. I will resume bodywork after the trackday, but hopefully by then it will be just 220 grit finishing to ready it for paint/clear.

On Monday I have to jack up the rest of the car and install the suspension. Tuesday = picking up and getting the 6UL's mounted. Wednesday = alignment, final prep. Thursday = no work, heading home to pick up little brother straight from work and leaving for the trackday pretty much.

Here's hoping nothing goes wrong.


P90Puma Reader
5/29/08 10:56 p.m.

Day 34

"One step forward Two steps back."

Got more work done on the fenders, but unfortunately they are not finished yet. Getting there though. I had forgotten that originally I had serious crackage in the paint at the drivers rear quarter near the taillight. If it hasn't been pictured here, I will dig one up.

My dad air grinded it all the way down, so we had to rebondo / shape it. I don't think it will look pretty at the trackday. Should be close, but will look off for sure unless we finish it quick.

I started finishing up the fenders and the rocker panel repair. As well as some work on the drivers front fender.

All in all, good day. Started work just now on assembling the suspension. Should be good to go for Monday.

If anybody is willing, I could use a extra pair of hands (or multiple) to help out on Monday after 6pm to install the coilovers. Beer (limit 1 if driving) provided!


P90Puma Reader
6/2/08 11:48 a.m.

Day 35 & 36

Second patch panel welded in. One front fender off, and rust taken care of on the shell. Wasn't too bad, will post pictures tomorrow.

Going to have to weld in a new plate on the bottom of the front fenders. After that, minus a few micro rock chips on the windshield surround the car will be rust free!

Started hitting the good paint with 180 to scuff it up for primer, working on the fenders, front bumper, hood, doors, and so on.

At least 20 hours put in the past 2 days.

Picked up the 2K urethane primer with reducer and hardener, as well as some self etching 1K primer for the places I went to aluminum on the hood.

120$ worth of primer :shock:

Started assembling the suspension. I have pushed the primer back to the never ending nature of bodywork to Tuesday, so I will be installing the suspension tomorrow instead, I think I will leave off the racing beat sway until after primer.

I foresee limited sleep on Wednesday night for final assembly.

I have a request, can someone measure the gap from the middle of unmolested stock fenders to the center of the wheel, stock or lowered is fine, as well as the measurement from the bottom of the pinch weld frame (not the big rails, the thin metal that you are supposed to jack up the car from) to the ground. Has to be a 90-97.

I need it so I can set a proper ride height.


Day 37 "Huge Success" - Sasha Cohen "Borat".

Great day today. So much work done. Suspension assembled and installed, swaybar installed!

I would have taken it out for a test drive to see how the new suspension felt, but there are 2 broken 10mm's that hold the bottom of the fender to the frame that I snapped on the drivers side. Can you believe I have only broken 3 fasteners on the entire car? One was holding together the top seal on the front bumper, the screwdriver (and operator) owned the screw.

Anyways, suspension went together really well. I installed the rears first, went in super nicely, but forgot the damn telfon gasket on top. I actually forgot it separately on 3/4 shocks when assembling. The original gaskets were in great shape, so I used those, otherwise I wouldn't have used anything.

I think I finished the rears in under 40min, from start to final torque on the ground. The fronts on the other hand, I spent a good hour trying to get them out without taking off that bitch of an upper a-arm bolt, I had done it without removing it on the parts car, but it just wasn't working out for me. After removing it, it went pretty quickly.

The racing beat tubular swaybar is pretty awesome, but for what it cost me after all the brace and the endlinks and crap, it had better be. It took longer then expected to install, probably 1.5-2 hours, mainly due to the mounting reinforcement blocks and adjusting the endlinks.

Tomorrow back to bodywork!

Picture montage of this weekends work. NOT FCM PARTS. Just the coilover kit, the mounting solution is unique. It is so much cleaner then the other hackjob ways of doing it, and it was cheaper then the FCM shock hats for me. JD designed CNC shock nut.

P90Puma Reader
6/4/08 9:35 a.m.

Day 38

Got a little done, time consuming. Rust is taken care of on the front frame. Started work on the cracking paint on on the channel that runs between the trunk lip and the rear quarter's.

I called off the trackday, I was planning on running a rental, but the organizers of the trackday were not too happy about that. So I passed up my spot.

It was a hard thing to do, I could have rattle canned the bondo with some cheap primer, but the E36 M3ty weather the next few days, I was starting to get angry, making mistakes and what not. Smarter choice was to call it off, rather then ghetto it, or damage some of the bodywork at the trackday (not an off, just rain/sun on uncompleted work)

Day 39

Took half a day off at work to go pick up my new 6UL's. Sweet wheels, there are a few blemishes on one wheel that I have inspected, looks like it wasn't prepped correctly for the nickel paint. I don't think they are major enough to warrant paying for shipping them back to cali.

And I don't want to be without them either!

Well worth the wait.

Felt like E36 M3 after I got home, some food poisoning or something, got nothing done on the car.


P90Puma Reader
6/10/08 9:50 p.m.

Day 46

Back to work after a weekend at the cottage and the trackday. (AWESOME TIME)

Pulled the door panels, and locks. Up to 4 f'ed up fasteners. Some damn ape torqued the E36 M3 out of one of the of the screws holding in the drivers side mirror, so I have to either slot the head or drill it out. Passenger side came out no problem.

I found out why my window kept hitting the door on the passenger side, when closed, and slammed, one of the 17mm nuts holding it in, wasn't even on, was barely hanging on with some of that black sticky goo.

Taped up the holes, started removing the seal on the drivers side door, but turns out you need to remove the window, so I dunno. Anybody got a writeup for removing all the seals on the doors/rest of the car?

Worked on the hood, and some other small sanding. Out of 180 grit, and tired so only 4 hours in today.

P90Puma Reader
6/11/08 10:01 p.m.

Day 47

Day 47, when you say it like that, holy crap. I suppose a 2 weeks of FSAE work / couple days of trackday stuff really set me back, but don't regret either as they were amazing times.


Came home late, and little brother passed on the message my dad welded up one of the fenders while I was at work, sweet!

Only 3 hours in due to starting work on the car late. Picked up that sandpaper I needed and some finishing putty. Finishing putty is honestly the easiest thing to sand EVER, makes it so easy to fill pinholes and small rock caused chips in the front bumper and hood. Amazing stuff.

That was pretty much the 3 hours there, and some bondo/rust-reformer on the fender.

Hood is almost ready for primer as per the note.

P90Puma Reader
6/12/08 11:17 p.m.

Since there is no view count on the new forum, ANYBODY READING THIS? Last response was a while ago.

Day 48

5 hours put in.

Lots of work done, both bodywork and wrenching. Up to 5 fasteners toast.

Number 5 is the 12mm holding in the exhaust clamp at the bellhousing mount. Manifold and EGR came off nice. Speaking of which, how do I block that SOB off, I know FM has a plate that doesn't look difficult to fabricate by myself, but where does it go, I see the tube goes around the back of the motor but I had other things to work on, so didn't complete the trace. (Intake manifold?)

Mocked up the intercooler setup, the piping setup that I have now will have to be modified as I knew when I purchased it, so hopefully that won't be too expensive, looks like most tubes/couplers can be retained.

In bodywork news, spent a long time pulling off the rear badges on the finish panel and prepping it for primer. The stupid goo on the back of the miata badge took forever to get off, even using isopropanol. Spent some time working on the rear fenders/quarter and the pax side door.

D'Arcy dropped by again to deliver my new rotors. Dad also welded up the second fender today, so done with the welder when it comes to bodywork! I am sure one will be required soon enough for turbo stuff.

Looks like rain for 5 days out of the next 7. :\

pigeon New Reader
6/12/08 11:23 p.m.

Still reading... keep up the work, looking good so far!


Rangeball New Reader
6/13/08 3:44 p.m.

Definitely been reading. Great inspiration and good progress.

P90Puma Reader
6/14/08 11:13 p.m.

Thanks guys. Always nice to know somebody is reading.

Day 49 / 50

Lots of work put in today and yesterday.

  1. Bottom of front fenders
  2. Rockers
  3. Rear quarter getting really close
  4. More work on rear flares
  5. Rear finish panel ready for primer.
  6. Hood ready for primer.
  7. Front fenders remounted.
  8. Wings West r-package replica spoiler temp mounted and holes drilled in trunklid.
  9. Idiot exhaust bracket off, dp unbolted from cat. Almost out.
  10. Drivers side mirror off.

Put in 12 hours today, 5 or 6 yesterday. Starting to look much much much better. Considering running out of time, it had better. Dad helped out a bit.

Going to have to hire some autobody guy on the side to finish off everything to 100% as I don't have the skill nor the time to. Gotta find one asap.

P90Puma Reader
6/15/08 4:13 p.m.

Pictures (from the last couple days of work)

Midday update: Day 51

Exhaust from the cat-back is out. Rear bumper needs some bondo in a place or two and it is ready for primer, spent couple hours on the bitch. Used the one from the parts car that was in rough shape, but no cracks.

Going to get back to work in a bit.

P90Puma Reader
6/30/08 10:58 a.m.

Day 64 - June 28th

Got my wheels and tires mounted, and test fitted one of them. I have 2 owners of bodyshops coming by this afternoon to tell me how much I have to spend.

Yes, the pictures suck. I know. I think the blue lugnuts match the wheels really well, I could care less if they are 'ricer'.

Hopefully will have news to share by the end of the day.

4 psi wastegate spring came in earlier in the week, but I don't think I will bolt up the turbo stuff until winter. I miss driving my car. Especially after driving a FFS 94R on friday. Awesome, awesome ride.

One guy bodyshop guy showed, the other didn't, but he mentioned either today or tomorrow.

2700$ That is with me reassembling it, and towing it to the shop. If the other quotes are similar, its either 300$ Maaco, and me quickly finishing off what I started, or driving around in primer with the same quick fix until the winter where I will have the time to properly do this.

I want to keep the car for a long time, but I simply don't have that kind of cash right now lying around for a paintjob. I mean, damn, that's more then what I paid for the car originally in USD.

I am worried about the primer though, worried about rust, primer is primer. It isn't designed to be driven around in, I am worried that I will mess up the car completely driving around in primer.


Stuff like that thread scares me.

Ryan9118 HalfDork
6/30/08 12:50 p.m.

I say just get Maaco or something for now. You've done too much work to leave it primered or flat black. If the Maaco paint job starts to peel off in a few years, you'll have had a few years to save up for a quality paint job.

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