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Thread: My name is Zico, and this is my Chaste White NA8 build

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    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! zco's Avatar
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    My name is Zico, and this is my Chaste White NA8 build

    Hi everyone, my name is Zico, I am from Australia, and this is my daijuku build, Daijuku meaning, 'The 19th' in Japanese, being the 19th car I've owned, but also my 1st non Honda car!

    Apologies in advance, but this post will drag on a bit, but I think this first post will give some context as to the path I've chosen to go down with my build.

    Going back to July 2018, I started looking for a NA8 MX5/Miata. I tried to take my time in finding the right one, trying to take the approach of doing it right the first time. I searched every few hours, yes, multiple times a day, across multiple sites and channels, for every single day for a few months. I wanted a white NA8, and only a white one. It had to be low mileage, and as close to original condition as possible. No irreversible modifications.

    After what felt like an eternity, I woke up one morning to an alert for an NA8 advertised on Gumtree. It was interstate, over 11 hours away. A 1994 Chaste White Mazda MX5 Clubman Edition, or as you guys might call it, the R Package. Manual steering, Bilstein PSS9 suspension, BBS wheels, aftermarket sway bars and roll bar, and optional Air Conditioning.

    I gave the seller a call, and had a detailed discussion about the car. According to the seller, the car was straight as can be, no accident history, all panel gaps lined up well, original paint, and had approx. 224k kms (140k miles) on it. I initially wanted a car with low mileage, but I got desperate after waiting for so long to find one. I settled with the fact that the car had high mileage and that I was able to fix any mechanical issues that came with it.

    Fast forward to a week later, being October 31st 2018, exactly one year ago from today, I fly interstate and meet up with the seller, and this is what I'm presented with.



    The car had been parked outside for a few days, and had a layer of dust and dirt on it. Apart from that, it seemed pretty clean, paint seemed to be in fairly decent condition. The seller had some old vintage cars that he was restoring and seemed quite trustworthy. I was so excited, I didn't even check over the car properly, handed over the cash and made my journey back home, a long 1100 kms away.

    Almost 11 hours later, I arrive home and eagerly gave the car a wash, and of course, notice all of its faults. So... this is where the story goes south.

    The first thing i noticed was my shirt and face felt very greasy with a strong gasoline odour. I didn't think much of it, but after spending some time outside the car washing it, when I had re-entered the cabin, I realised the car stunk of gasoline. Thoughts began to run through my head as to how I was going to remove this odour from the carpet and seats, and all of its interior trim.

    Paint. I'm not a fan of repainting cars, I was after a car with original paint. Paint wise, majority of the car was pretty good.





    However, some grazes in the paint work were found next to the two chrome footings of the hard top. Seemed like removal/reinstallation of the hard top had caused it. The rear mudguards had been removed, and left some deep grooves in the rear quarter panel. Hardtop was painted from red, to Crystal white instead of Chaste white, and thats when i realised, this hardtop didn't originally come with the car.





    A huge patch about 10x5" of paint had come off on the front bumper, with a DIY home paint job to cover it up. Might be a bit hard to see it..



    Having put so much emphasis on wanting a car with decent paint work, I don't know why I was so foolish not to look closely. Amongst the fuel odour and paint issues, some other problems i also found include:
    -Loose shifter
    -Speakers didn't work properly
    -Centre caps didn't come with the car
    -Leaking rocker cover gasket and oil leaks around the front and rear of the engine.
    -Noisy rear wheel bearings
    -Leaking aftermarket muffler
    -Alarm system doesn't work properly.
    -Slow power windows
    -Leaking turn signal indicators
    -Broken dipstick
    -Bubbling rear tint

    The closer to the car I got, the more issues I found. The sum of all the issues was just simply too overwhelming for me. I went from being super excited about this car, to frustrated and annoyed (at my self more than anything) and I go to bed unsure of whether I had just made a massive mistake or not. Most likely, yes.

    The next morning, I take a closer look at the car's service history. The seller told me the timing belt was changed at 200k kms. It had all the service receipts from new until about 190k kms, and then some hand written notes about its service history after that. I became skeptical of whether or not the timing belt was actually done, so decided that I would have to eventually book the car into the workshop to have it all changed, sooner rather than later.



    After owning the car for a few weeks, I quickly realised that owning a high mileage car not only had its own issues with the mechanicals, but also other components I previously overlooked, being interior wear and tear, rubber seals and mouldings on the car that may have aged and weathered, paint work that has been exposed to the elements more often. All my previous cars have had less than half the mileage of this car, so I never paid attention to these things.

    Being motivated by the fact that this car was full of issues, both internal and external, mechanical and non mechanical, and also seeing the Mazda Japan restoration program, I decided that this car needed a full restoration. A complete tear down style rebuild.

    I pushed on with owning the car, and committed myself to fixing it. I booked the car in to have its timing belt service completed, got new OEM rear wheel bearings replaced, fixed the slow power windows and replaced a whole bunch of weather seals and gaskets, trying to freshen the car up.

    Throughout the next few months, I ordered a plethora of OEM parts to freshen up the vehicle. Taking advantage of the fact that the Miata was the most produced sports car, I knew there would be a tonne of New Old Stock lying around in Japan, including the reproduction of discontinued parts from the restoration program. I found myself not only searching for parts online, but also randomly looking at other Miata's for sale. I never realised it until my partner questioned why I was browsing for another Miata. Yes, I do sometimes browse for fun, even at cars I cant afford, or cars I dream of owning, but why was I still looking at Miata's for sale? I was lying to myself that I was actually happy with my purchase of this vehicle, and was too proud to admit that I had made a huge mistake. Deep down inside, I was unhappy.

    I decided to put a hold on installing any more parts, but still continued to browse online for parts, knowing that one day, a mint condition example will come up, and i would get my hands on one.

    April 2019, I see a post on a facebook group from a user that owns a pretty minty Chaste White NA8. He mentions he was considering selling his car in the coming months as he is expecting a second child. I strike up a conversation with him and take note of when their child is due (August 2019). I assure him that I'm committed to a purchase if he was committed to a sale. July 2019 comes around, a month before his wife gives birth, and I receive a message from him, wanting to sell his car. We come to an agreed price, and I arrange a meeting time with him in a week's time. Clash of our schedules meant that we couldn't meet up any earlier, but for that entire week, I was a nervous wreck, hoping he doesnt sell the car to someone else. A mutual friend of ours, Stephen (IG: 96BRG), actually helped convince the seller that he wasn't just selling the car to some young kid that was just going to destroy it. I guess it put him at ease for the next few days.

    The day of purchase comes around, I bring my cousin Tony along (IG: tonesgarage), who's a lot more level headed than I am, to help inspect the car. Everything checks out. It's a 1995 Chaste White NA8, 87k kms (54k miles), 2 mature aged owners (1 being his dad), paint work is mint, and the car drives so tight and firm. The car comes with an original Crystal White hardtop, 14x6.5 Type B RS Watanabe wheels, 60mm RS Factory Stage exhaust, Tein Flex Z coilovers, and a CAMS approved Roll bar.

    Safe to say, the start of something amazing was about to happen. Here is a photo of the new car (right), with the old (left).



    After owning the car for a few weeks, I still found myself smiling every time I drove it, or even walked past it. Having purchased what I think is an absolute gem of a car (compared to other examples that are floating around in the Sydney car scene), I needed the final confirmation from a fella by the name of Mick, the owner of a well respected paint/workshop. Mick has had his fair share in painting Miata's over the years. I brought the car down for him to run his eyes over it, along with a paint gauge and we found that all panels had paint thickness between 32 - 38 microns. According to Mick, 'A complete virgin of a car'. He mentioned that i should clear out the fender linings from dirt and debris that had accumulated over the ears, and to give the car a nice polish and wax. Something I will look into getting done shortly.



    It's been a rollercoaster of emotions over the past year owning a Miata (or two), but safe to say, its definitely been an enjoyable journey so far. I have since sold off the Tein Flex Z coilovers to Stephen, along with the Watanbe's that were on the car, since i already have my own Tein Monoracing coilovers and a brand new set of Watanabes!

    Here's a photo from yesterday! I barely get the chance to drive this car so it was awesome to take it out yesterday.



    Remember how I was collecting parts since the first Miata? Well here is a sneak peak.














    I look forward to posting more about my journey over the coming months with all these parts I've got lying around

    Thank you to those online that have reached out for your kind comments on instagram already, you know who you are! If you would like to follow my progress on IG, feel free to find more pics IG: daijuku
    Last edited by zco; 10-31-2019 at 09:05 PM.

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  3. #2
    Supporting Member John J's Avatar
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    t looks like someone is going to have a lot of fun.

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    zco (10-31-2019)

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    Super Moderator atank's Avatar
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    Welcome to MazdaRoadster.net !

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    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! LagBlu's Avatar
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    Welcome to MazdaRoadster - I like the photo from yesterday. The car looks so clean.

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    zco (10-31-2019)

  9. #5
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! MaRcOp01o's Avatar
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    Hey Man, I am super happy to see you on MR. I follow you on Instagram and I am super jealous of all your OEM stuff haha. Please post updates because I love your build!

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    zco (10-31-2019)

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    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift HarryB's Avatar
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    Welcome; off to a great start too!! Super jealous about the condition of the second NA, although well deserved after all the frustration. Cool parts too, guess hanging out with Stephen does not help much when trying to be reasonable regarding parts!
    Last edited by HarryB; 10-31-2019 at 11:01 AM.

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    zco (10-31-2019)

  13. #7
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    that is an insane amount of parts!!!!

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  15. #8
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! zco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John J View Post
    t looks like someone is going to have a lot of fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by atank View Post
    Welcome to MazdaRoadster.net !
    Quote Originally Posted by LagBlu View Post
    Welcome to MazdaRoadster - I like the photo from yesterday. The car looks so clean.
    Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaRcOp01o View Post
    Hey Man, I am super happy to see you on MR. I follow you on Instagram and I am super jealous of all your OEM stuff haha. Please post updates because I love your build!
    Thanks Marco! It might be cool to have all this new OEM gear, but definitely way cooler to own a B Spec! Love your cars!

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryB View Post
    Welcome; off to a great start too!! Super jealous about the condition of the second NA, although well deserved after all the frustration. Cool parts too, guess hanging out with Stephen does not help much when trying to be reasonable regarding parts!
    Thanks Harry! It's definitely not good on the wallet having someone like Stephen around, he probably thinks the same about me haha

    Quote Originally Posted by Phatmiata View Post
    that is an insane amount of parts!!!!
    Safe to say, the amount of money spent on parts has exceeded the value of the car lol I occasionally wonder if I should have just saved my pennies for a FD3S Spirit R

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  17. #9
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! MaRcOp01o's Avatar
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    Thanks Marco! It might be cool to have all this new OEM gear, but definitely way cooler to own a B Spec! Love your cars!

    Haha Thank you very much!

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    zco (01-31-2020)

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    Supporting Member vote4pedro's Avatar
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    You must live near a Mazda Parts Distribution Center.

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    zco (11-02-2019)

  21. #11
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! zco's Avatar
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    Fixing the old Miata

    Looking back in hindsight, the first Miata was actually a great car to get my hands dirty and become familiar with the car. Knowing that I would eventually find a cleaner Miata, I had to fix all the issues before offloading it to someone else. I guess it would be easier just to sell it as is, but after owning and buying/selling so many cars, its just much easier to sell a car without any issues. I don't like dealing with the buyer after a car is sold, once its sold, I don't want to know about it, so this saves me from that headache.

    So here are some old photos of things I fixed on the old Miata, prior to me buying the new one. I prioritised all the small, cheap, and quick fixes first. Ticking off all the smaller issues first would mean having less to worry about, and would make owning the car for the next unknown months, less stressful and a little more bearable.

    Crusty old rear view mirror was replaced



    Change pedal rubbers. I didn't have time to paint the accelerator pedal, and found out that they're also discontinued.





    Rebuilt the shifter



    Ripped out the window regulators, tracks cleaned and re-greased, bushings replaced. Cleaned up the contacts on the window switch as well.





    Hazard switch wasn't working, so I changed that out for the 96-97 model one, fitted a new OEM HVAC panel, and replaced the split crash pad







    I finished off the interior by ripping out the old non-functioning central locking/alarm system, what a mess.



    Next to go was the leaking muffler, so in the bin that went.



    Then I focused on the door seals that were a major eye sore





    Did some rear brake light seals while I was at it..







    And fixed the front leaking turn signal indicators. The original bulb harnesses were so brittle and cracked, water was leaking into the light. Previous owner had taped it together so that was easily addressed with a new harness.



    I relocated the license plate back to the centre with a slimmer bracket and got rid of the terrible lug nuts too..





    Last edited by zco; 11-02-2019 at 03:49 PM.

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  23. #12
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! zco's Avatar
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    Fixing the old Miata part 2

    Continuing on from the previous post with fixing the old Miata, the only things left to do were to address the fuel issues, and have it's timing belt / water pump service completed.

    I did the fuel system overhaul myself. All new OEM hoses, gaskets, and valves were used.











    And that was the last of the fuel odour issues!





    I booked the car with the workshop to have the rear wheel bearings replaced, and a timing belt service completed.



    The car was now problem free, and ready for it's new owner. All I needed to do was wait for a low mileage Miata to come along, and then find someone to buy the car.

    I eventually sold off the hardtop, BBS wheels, the Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and returned the car to, or as close to, original as possible.



    It served its purpose as my delivery car for a few weeks as well haha



    But the day finally came, I found a buyer, a father was looking for a 1st car for his son. I ran him through all the issues I had with the car, and pointed out all the paint issues.
    We exchanged details and this was the last day I had with it. I was a little sad letting it go as I really enjoyed driving it in stock form. It was comfortable, no strange smells or noises anymore, the car's body roll and front end lift upon acceleration made it so fun to drive. Nevertheless, I knew there were much more enjoyable times to be had with the new Miata.



    I guess that wraps up everything about the Old Miata

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  25. #13
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! Greasemonkey2000's Avatar
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    Zico! Nice looking NA and looking forward to your progress! Wats and Volks!
    '01 NB2 aka MisF1re: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....218#post207218
    '97 M aka Warbird, gone but not forgotten: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....B&goto=newpost
    Instagram: @greasemonkey2000

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  27. #14
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power BRGNA8's Avatar
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    Welcome!! Bout time you got your ass on here

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    zco (11-03-2019)

  29. #15
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! zco's Avatar
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    A visit to Car Make Corn's

    I was in Japan earlier this year and had a chance to drop into the Corn's workshop. I had already been chatting to Tomoyo (she's such a pleasure to deal with) regarding some orders so it was pretty cool to arrive and see my name already written on a box, with parts ready to ship home! I couldn't exactly carry a huge box with me for the rest of the holiday and then onto the plane lol. In the box were some plain Nakamae pocket less door cards. They're leather and a little more plump than the OEM ones. I wanted a clean and simple interior so these were a good choice. My car being a first generation NA8, has the same tombstone as the NA6, so I also picked up a second gen NA8 tombstone, allowing aftermarket stereos to sit flush with the fascia/tombstone.













    Of course, I had to test pilot the seats. The fabric was soft and seemed quite delicate. The back and lumbar support were sufficient, although, I don’t know how they'd fair on extended drives. Thigh supports were low making it easy to get in and out of the car, would be great for a street car. I did find that my rear lats dug into the seat and made it a little uncomfortable, but that didn't happen when I used the optional cushion, which raised my seating position ever so slightly. Corn's have the regular and slimline cushions, and it actually made all the difference to my comfort. I guess we all have different shaped and size bodies, so you may not have the same issues, but if you do, give the cushion a try, it might help! Here's a photo of me in deep thought about the seats, trying to decide if I was comfortable or not haha



    A few weeks later, the seats arrived. Charcoal suede + punching centre fabric. I also bought the slimline cushion and some seat belt holders. Tomoyo also sent me some Corn's seat covers from their first batch run as well, they were still being finalised when I dropped into the workshop so I didn’t get a photo of them.











    I managed to get my hands on a Brand new KG Works Panel from Tomoyo as well, and I found a set of Brand new OEM meter gauges to go along with it, check out the mileage!



    To be honest, I don’t even know why I bought the KG panel. It was definitely an impulse buy. You don’t see them come up for sale often, let alone a brand new one so I just thought…. well, I wasn’t thinking LOL They’re pretty cool panels, well built, tough, and definitely a sexy addition to any retro themed car. The clarity of your cluster is second to none, but I think it was one of those parts that every nice car has, and I felt like I needed to have one as well. Anyway, I worked with Adam from REVlimiter customising a full gauge and HVAC set. Turnaround time was amazing, and quality of gauges turned out pretty good too.. but the joy of owning it quickly wore off.

    The entire Corn’s seat setup along with the KG Works panel were all sold off to Kevin, a friend of mine who I met through owning a Miata. I’ve been asked countless times why I sold the seats.. they’re seats most people have on their wish list, and they’re pretty perfect for the Miata. Not many seats fit in the Miata without modification to the transmission tunnel, and/or hit the door trims with doors closed, so they’re the ideal seat to have. It was another case of settling for second preference because I couldn’t find the seats I really wanted, I wasn’t honest with myself and eventually, let them go. As for the KG panel, that was just me getting carried away haha But after installation, it just looked too busy for my liking so back to the OEM setup I went.
    Last edited by zco; 11-03-2019 at 04:28 AM.

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