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Thread: Inspired by history

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  1. #1
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    Inspired by history

    First off, I don't currently have a Miata. I want one. I want one so bad I can taste it. I had one once, a NC, and regretted selling it the first nice day thereafter. When I traded it in, I thought,"it's only a car, and I don't use it like a Miata deserves." oops.
    Grumpy's Roadster as it was:



    So the quest for a new Miata has begun. I've scoured craigslist. been dealing with flakes from all over the country, california, New Hampshire, Ohio, and all sorts of other places. Ideally in silver, or white, followed by Mariner Blue. Why silver or white? It would provide the best base for what I want to do.
    Before any mods though, I plan on ensuring it's in top running shape, then the performance mods, and lastly the cosmetics, that will complete the look I have in my head.

    My grandfather was the most influential person in my life. He's a very large part of why I am the way I am, My Honesty, Integrity, straightforwardness, all came from him. He also gave me my love of new technology, and respect/affinity for Firearms. He died in 2005 and I've wanted to do something to Honor him in some way ever since. I think an NA Miata set up the way I've got in my head will be just the ticket.

    He served onboard the USS Ranger CV-4 during WWII. So I thought aircraft themed Miata. Yep it's been done before, any number of times. I have however a very specific design in mind. During the war, one of the major events for the Ranger was operation Torch, The invasion of North Africa. The Ranger lead the Naval attack on Casablanca. The Ranger's own flight squadron (not counting the additional groups onboard for the assault) was vf-41 and they flew Grumman f4fs at the time. I've found several pics of the planes from the squadron, in many different paint schemes. There was one specific to operation Torch however:



    I then had to discover the colors used. Thank god for Modelers!




    My quickie version of what I'd like to do on the exterior:



    The aviation theme will extend to the cockpit. I will not however be painting the cockpit and maintenance areas green as in the planes. LOL!



    Interior Mods-
    Roll bar- possibly double hoop, possibly Blackbird Fabworx
    Driver's seat- Considering Bride Exas III w/5pt Harness. Car will not be a DD but will be street driven frequently. some autox too!
    KG works Cluster/ revlimiter warbird gauges
    Revlimiter window switches (if applicable to car) and Hazard toggles
    Considering replacing door panels w/ aluminum, but may be too hot in the sun!
    I'll be replaceing the steering wheel with something and a quick release hub. Something for driving and then this would be cool for shows, but don't know how it is for driving:



    not sure of any other interior mods at the moment. maybe a custom made shift knob/handle to replicate the control stick in the plane.

    mechanical/performance mods:
    coilovers
    sways
    frame rails

    any engine mods are up in the air at this point. i have no experience running anything with FI.

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  3. #2
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    I got a car yesterday! It needs some care, but it was in good mechanical shape with no apparent rust in the rockers, some surface rust in the engine bay. a 92 smurf!


    Before any mods can start, I've got to fix a few things I noticed on the way home, and during the inspection.

    power antenna- I may not fix it, since I'll likely do a radio delete, just run an amp/mp3 player as some have done.
    Cruise control not working, don't know why
    door locks are picky and drivers side won't lock from outside with any of the 3 keys
    both front fenders and the hood have some dents/ dings, and need pdr or replacement at some point.
    replace brake fluid and adjust brakes... very little travel on brake pedal, stops ok, but not how I think it should... of course I don't have another NA to compare it to.

    All told, I'm a little giddy to be back in the Miata Owners Club, and I giggled a bit the first time I popped the lights from the driver's seat.

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    Agent☣Orange (08-05-2014),Benbrg (08-04-2014),Dandy (08-04-2014),Mexican_Guy (08-05-2014),tsingson (08-07-2014),WASABI (08-03-2014)

  5. #3
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Golden Stallion's Avatar
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    can't wait to see this build once it goes to cosmetic. Have you thought about wheels yet or waiting till you get there

  6. #4
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    not a clue as to wheels, my thought was something resembling the 3 bladed propellers of the plane, but that seems unlikely to find.

  7. #5
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Malibu Q's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    Something for driving and then this would be cool for shows, but don't know how it is for driving:


    Not recommended for driving. I built one for shows ages ago. You mustn't let go of the wheel. If it starts to spin you can't grab it again. Mine hurt my hand and I would never try this again.

    Good luck with the build. It sounds like fun.

  8. #6
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! riefdaddy's Avatar
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    Are you going to put the squadron emblem on the car? How about incorporating a nice set of gold aviator wings on your radio blank to honor him?

    I found a cool book for you. It would be good research material and also could include photos of your grandfather. http://www.capricornbooks.ca/?page=s...oduct_id=40518

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  10. #7
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Rogue's Avatar
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    My father-in-law, and former owner of our '92SE, went overseas for Operation Torch.
    He was in the 33rd Fighter squadron with P-40Fs flown from the USS Chenango into Port Lyautey.
    http://www.asisbiz.com/il2/P-40/33FG...-Ranger-01.jpg

    I also have been considering painting up a NA in USN Dark Sea Blue and Intermediate Blue, since I have some paint left over from a F4U.
    Also considering a A6M Zero paint scheme since that would be more appropriate for a small Japanese sportscar.

    F4F-4s used a wheel cover that could be duplicated with Moon/saltflat spun disks.
    Later FM-2s lost the disk, and had wheels like this.
    mcMMCv6k5Dn0A3yBE9SyXXQ.jpg

    As I'm sure you know F4F/FMs didn't have yokes and control sticks are not that hard to find.
    The switches could be used for 'flash to pass" and the horn, etc.
    You could use the speedway aluminum wheel and have it powder coated yellow on the rim like the trim wheel.
    That would also nod toward the yellow "Torch" surround on the roundel.
    http://www.speedwaymotors.com/15-Inc...Dish,7415.html

    Blue Skies, and Good luck with your project.
    Last edited by Rogue; 08-04-2014 at 09:26 AM.
    1992 BnT, 93LE #737, 94M, 95M, 96M, 97PEP, and a few 90s

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    Grumpy (08-04-2014)

  12. #8
    Supporting Member Dandy's Avatar
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    Great start to a build thread! I love the theme. This should be a very rewarding project. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. Good Luck!

  13. #9
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    Some fantastic info here guys, thank you! Rogue, I may hit yu up for info on the paint!

  14. #10
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Mexican_Guy's Avatar
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    nice charlie! keep it up!
    2010 NCII TR

  15. #11
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    While looking for the fuse for the power antenna, I discovered that the battery retaining unit was... not quite stock. The top piece was perfect, however, the wingnut and j hook were missing in action and were replaced by a bungee cord... the problem? The fabric had parted and 2 of the 4 elastic pieces inside were broken. Father-in-law had some old jhooks, so we grabbed the best one, found a wingnut the same diameter, and used his tap and die set to change the threading on it, and extend the threading on the jhook which was too tall. 1 hacksaw and some judicious use of the grinder, and we have a much more secure battery! ( picture was taken, but... disappeared somewhere... very strange.)

  16. #12
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    With the paint being all original, I had this on the front bumper..

    Looks great, doesn't it? What a PITA to get the remains off, and once you get most of it off, you still have the adhesive residue! To remove it easier, a heat gun and a plastic blade is a must!


    after more heat, and work with the blade, and a combination of wd40 and bug and tar remover ( I don't have any goof off or goo gone to use.) I finally was left with a clean bumper!


    to which I promptly affixed a sticker that I never put on the NC.



    I also removed the original dealers sticker that was on the trunklid... Thompson Ford-Lincoln-Mazda from Tullahoma TN Begone!


    The faint outline of it is still there... while trying to capture this, I used the flash, which definitely didn't work the way I planned.


  17. #13
    Stalled - Fire it up!
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    Oven cleaner is the best thing to remove that nasty sticker residue. Spray it let it sit for 5 minutes and wipe away you will be amazed. It doesnt damage paint or anythimg I use it for nasty pinstriping on cars where its a pain in the butt to remove that sticker residue thats been there for years. It also does wonders on crappy plastic head lights that fade.

  18. #14
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! HELLIONMX5's Avatar
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    Looking forward to this build. I love the ones that look like old fighter planes.

  19. #15
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Grumpy's Avatar
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    So I finally got around to installing my Hella Supertones that were on the NC. I wound up using the existing brackets, but bending the heck out of them so they'd work. On the NC, I just used the stock wiring, and upgraded the fuse to a 20, but the NA's wiring was pretty thin and most folks don't trust it to run the additional load of the dual horn setup. I used the 30A relay that came with the Hellas, and ran an inline fused wire to the bolt where the battery line comes in on the fuse/relay box on the passenger side. Reconnected the battery, and the car has found it's voice!



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