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Thread: Shin Kaeru 神カエル-My build(-ish?) thread

  1. #1
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    Cool Shin Kaeru 神カエル-My build(-ish?) thread

    How's is going Mazda Roadster? I'm a little new to the whole build thread thing. So I guess I'll start off by telling everybody a little bit about myself. Well, here it goes.

    I'm Nic and I own a 1991 British Racing Green Mazda Miata. I've really enjoyed both anime and videogames for almost all of my life.(I blame Pokemon) Once I grew a little older I found a show called Initial D which introduced me to cars and drifting. I quickly found a passion for older Japanese cars and began my hunt for a Ae86 Corolla. Sadly after nearly a year of searching for an example of a not destroyed 86 I lost hope and decided to call a quits to my dream of delivering tofu.


    This was the best condition 86 I found through my search. Too bad it was in a shopping mall parking lot.

    This is when I stumbled onto a 1987 Mazda Rx-7 literally sitting on the side of the street I lived on. It ends up that a guy I lived near had it in storage for years and decided to take it out because needed some extra cash. Sweet! I bought it that day for $1500!







    The Rx-7 was a first for a lot of things for me. First car I wrenched on, first second car, and first manual transmission. Since I was so new to everything with this car I did a lot of research into taking care of the 13b sitting under the hood of my new Mazda. I ended up only doing a bunch of maintenance for a while. Both because I was a little nervous about my ability to drive the car and funds to fix anything I broke. After I felt the car was in good shape mechanically and I was skilled enough to drive stick I ordered a few parts. I got Mazdatrix short shifter, Koni shocks, Eibach springs, Greddy boost gauge, and a Racing Bear turbo-back exhaust. I got really into the drift scene and I then decided I'd build the Rx-7 to be a street/drift car. I stripped the trunk to make room for a roll cage, and reduce weight. Next on my list was a set of wheels and front mount intercooler. I was soon on my way to a car I could be really proud of.

    But sadly that's when reality hit, and I lost my job. I no longer had the ability to own two cars so I made the decision to sell my Rx-7 so I that could make "ends meet" until I could find a new job. Shortly after I departed with my beloved Rx-7 I found a new job but wasn't able to work enough to pay the loan on my car and go to school at the same time. I then decided to search for something I could buy cash, use as a daily, and have some fun with.







    After a little bit of searching(and watching drift videos) I decided to get a Nissan 240sx. I found somebody to sell my daily to and hit Craigslist immediately. I found a super clean 1995 240Sx that was for sale. I quickly bought the car and I absolutely everything about it. I felt like a total badass in it, but for some reason everybody wanted to race or at least ask if I drifted. Another problem I had with the 240sx was that it was automatic. I didn't let any of that stuff get to me. I quickly decided to start saving to do a transmission swap. I didn't do too much saving though. The car had a lot of problems that kept coming up. After about 6 months of using the car as a daily I decided to sell it to try and find something that I wouldn't have to worry about leaving me stranded so often. I was heartbroken to sell my 240sx, but I felt I didn't have much of an option.



    I decided I was a little tired of the negative attention from people thinking I was some sort of hooligan and that I needed something more reliably and fuel efficient. I then went looking for something like a Toyota Yaris or Honda Fit to get me to work and school. After a lot of researching I decided I wanted to get a Mazda2. Both because of the love for Mazda I acquired from my Rx-7 and the sheer fun the car was to drive(even though it was fwd) I felt the car was right for me. I ended up joining a Mazda2 forum to get an idea of what I was getting into and really began to fall for the little hatchback. I became really excited about the potential to take a Mazda2 to an Autocross event or to a track day.



    All though while doing research into the Mazda2 before buying I found myself looking into nb Miatas. I grew to really love the nb Miata, but I'd convinced myself that my only option was to get a Mazda2.(for some reason) On the day I arranged to purchase my Mazda2 my mom spotted a very nice 99 Emerald Mica for sale on Craigslist with low milage at a great price. She then proceeded to convince me to give the car a look before I took the dive into the Mazda2. Thank God I did, because I loved everything about it. I told the guy I'd buy it the following day because my bank was already closed. The next morning I attempted to contact the seller, but he didn't answer any of my calls or text messages. That evening he finally called me only to tell me that he sold the Miata that morning because he didn't feel I was "serious." Needless to say I was upset but I didn't let it get to me too much. I decided to pass on the Mazda2 and search for a Miata. A day or two later while on Craigslist I came across a 91 British Racing Green with 44k miles and an oem hardtop. Up until that point I hadn't even considered getting anything nearly that old after the troubles my 240sx had given me. I felt that I couldn't pass up that type of mileage and a matching hardtop. I was still sceptical of the situation, but after mentioning to my family that it was a 91 British Racing Green they said I had to at least check it out being that I was born in 91 and Green is my favorite color. They even offered to drive me the hour and a half long trip to check out the car.



    I was stunned when I saw the little green roadster sitting in the owner's driveway. It was clear that it had been taken care of. The paint was very shiny and apart from a few dents and dings the body was perfect. Under the hood was a little dirty, but nothing too scary. I then found out the guy selling the Miata was the original owner and that he rarely ever drove the car because of medical conditions. After years of it sitting in a garage 90% of the time he decided that it was time to pass his Miata on to a new owner to enjoy. I was very confident with the Miata, but when the owner offered to take it to a Mazda dealer and have them check the car out for me before he sold it(at his expense) I couldn't pass up the deal. That day we I dropped the car off at the Mazda dealer to hear that day just what I expected. Everything this the vehicle was perfect. Compression was perfect, no leaks, cold a/c, and the list goes on. The head mechanic said that he owned two na Miatas himself and would love to add the soon-to-be-mine 91 Brg to his collection.

    I really wanted to name the Miata, but nothing really stuck for me. But on one of the first nights I had my car while it was sitting in front of me in my driveway I noticed how my Miata looked like a frog with its mouth open. Both because of the green color and the round bulging eye-like headlights. It then dawned on me what to name my car. Kaeru(カエル) means frog in Japanese, but I wanted something a little more impressive. Shin(神) means powerful or god-like in Japanese so I tacked it to the front of Kaeru. My Roadster was then names Shin Kaeru. I feel it has a bit of a nice ring to it. A little otaku, but not over the top.

    For reference on the frog similarities I provided a few examples.

    Example:1


    Example:2


    I bet you can't tell which one is a frog and which is my car.

    Welps, I guess this wraps up the intro to my Build(-ish?) thread. Sorry about how long this was, btw. I thought because of the inevitable lack of content this thread will have I'll stuff the beginning with as much content as possible.

    Please excuse my terrible grammar and punctuation. I am by no means a writer, so I could only imagine that that was a slightly crappy read. I'll try and hone my writing skills as this thread progresses.
    Also I've never been a big photo taker and neither is anybody I know. So along with writing better I'm going to try and take on the task of learning to take quality photos.
    I really enjoy the build threads with nice photography so I'll try and provide my very own nice photography. Wish me luck~

    Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed my story.
    Last edited by Ihatecars; 06-25-2013 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Felt like adding some Kanji

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator atank's Avatar
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    More to come?

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    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    A lot more.
    I haven't slept yet so I'm calling it a night right now.
    Once I wake up I'll try and post everything else. I also need a picture for my Motm submission.
    Last edited by Ihatecars; 06-25-2013 at 07:04 AM. Reason: I'm too tired to type correctly.

  5. #4
    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
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    Awesome story! I'm glad you took the time to write it all out. Your Miata is fantastic! But... I have questions on the Rx7


    YOU BOUGHT IT FOR 1500!?!?!?! Was it a Turbo or NA? The thing looked beautiful!
    1990 Miata, she was red but now she is Spirit Green!

    http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....d-a-love-story <--- build thread!

    Also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IHeartFlippyHeadlights !!! Its a facebook page dedicated to the awesomeness which is flippyheadlights! Not me, but the actual headlights! High time someone noticed how awesome these things are; check it out!

  6. #5
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot. I put a decent amount of time and thought into intro. I'm glad you enjoyed my story.
    And the Rx-7 was the turbo model. I got an amazing deal. Sometimes I dream about the sounds it would make as I drove it to the red line. I loved to hear the warning buzzer go off.

  7. #6
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone etikoner's Avatar
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    Awesome intro, it's funny sometimes how life happens and you end up getting something you didn't even think about. Lol

    I love BRG roadsters. With the kind of taste you have I'm sure it'll amount to something real nice. Just have patience, save money and buy quality stuff and it'll save you the headache of having to re do shit later on..

    Nice FC, as well. Love those damn cars lol

  8. #7
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot. I'm really determined to make my Miata into something special. I'm definitely going to take my time with this build and make sure everything is high quality.

  9. #8
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch Jammers's Avatar
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    Where dem pics at? lol
    99' White NB
    96' Black NA

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    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    Ask and you shall receive!

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    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    Dash refurbishing!!!

    I'm going to start off by saying I only have a handful of pictures for the section of my build thread. And as for the few pictures I have they were taken with a potato. Now that that it out of the way...

    So Shin(my Miata) was in really great shape for the most part when I first got him. That is except for the interior. My little Roadster was plagued with the notorious "sticky dash", like most of the Na6 Miatas without a solid black interior. After doing a little research I found that just about my only option was to remove the dash entirely, strip it, then repaint the dash. I was a little hesitant of the project, but after nearly a month of looking at the hideous dash I decided it was time pull that stick damn dash out. I also took the opportunity to buy a few items to liven up the interior. I ordered a gauges face set from Adam(RevLimiter.Net), L.E.D.s from Super Bright L.E.D.s to go along with my new gauges, vent rings from R-Speed, and a replacement gauge hood. The old hood Shin had was absolutely terrible. It was sticky all over, but had somehow started to crack near where it meets the steering column surround. I actually wish I had some before pictures of the interior, just to show everybody how nasty the dash was.

    I received all of my parts on a thursday so I decided I'd tackles to project on that upcoming weekend. Everything went pretty alright as far as the removal of the dash. My only problem was the wiring job done by the people that installed the aftermarket alarm. Wires and tape were just scattered all over the under portion of my dash. I was able to get to everything I needed under the dash. The only problem was that most of the wiring for the alarm system was wrapped the steering column. I didn't want to start cutting wires so that I have to make do. This severely limited the steering columns range of movement. Making dash removal process a little bit more of a challenge. But who doesn't like a challenge? Luckily once i got everything read and I was ready to take the dash out my dad came home and gave me a hand with the actual lifting the dash out of the car. I couldn't imagine trying to remove the dash all by myself. It was tough enough trying to maneuver it around the shifter and e-brake with two people.


    Don't mind the bucket of shoes. I didn't have anything just the right size to hold the steering column up so I rigged it.

    I was halfway through and finally at the "fun" part, the painting! Woo. Well, almost there. I first had to prep and clean everything before painting. I first used some Goof Off along with a bit of scraping from a putty knife to remove the paint. I then cleaned everything off with some T.S.P.(trisodium phosphate) I picked up from Home Depot. After reading a few threads I decided to use a product made by Dupli-Color called Vinyl & Fabric Coating. According to a few sources I read the product should hold up very well. Not fading, deteriorating, or anything else you would worry about happening to your dash. I also painted the crash pads on the lower portion of my dash. The pads had became slightly discolored over the years and I felt instead of trying to find dye that matched the tan color of the interior I'd just paint the pads along with the dash. After about twenty sheets of newspaper and a roll of painters tape the dash was completely prepped and ready for me to spray on the paint.The paint I used has a really handy nozzle that allows for you to change the angle of the sprayer from a horizontal to a vertical spray. This insures that you can get as much coverage and as even of a coat as possible. I'm not sure how many coats of the paint I actually used, but i think it came out to be something like 4 cans including the painting of the crash pads.



    I called it a night and left the dash and crash pads in my garage to dry fully overnight. The following morning I decided to install my new gauges into my gauge cluster. The gauges were very high quality in every aspect. Adam provided all the necessary materials to install the gauges. Adam also has a thorough write up on the installation process on his website that aided me along my gauge installation journey. I went the extra mile and painted the gauge needle on my tachometer with a red acrylic paint. I felt with the bright yellow of the gauge face a red needle is necessary. I also followed Adam's write up on how to paint the needle. I followed so closely that I got the same paint brush and Guard Red paint the he used in his write up. Oh, and on a side note, it really sucks trying to get every last bit of paint off those needles. That's actually the reason why I only painted the single tachometer needle.

    I'm sorry, but I don't have any pictures of the installation or needle painting process. Don't worry though. It wasn't that exciting anyways. I do have a single picture of the gauges before I installed them. Here it is for everybody to ogle over.


    I really love these gauges. The Sunstorm gauges from RevLimiter.Net have been at the top of my mod list since the night I got Shin Kaeru. I think they add a major cool retro element to my the Miatas interior.
    And they totally make me feel like I'm driving a Ferrari!

    If only...

    After making sure all of the interior pieces were allowed adequate allowed drying time my dad and I reinstalled my dash and everything that goes along with it. It took about 1/3 the time for me to install the dash that it did for me to remove the dash. Mostly because I knew what I was doing instead of me blindly removing bolts. I was finally starting to see things really come together.


    I feel like I look very young in this picture. I'll never shave my beard again!

    After a quick trip to the gas station and around the block to set/adjust all the gauges I put the gauge hood on along with the vent rings. I was finally done and super happy about the way everything turned out! I definitely feel it was worth most of a weekend to do everything. I'm really proud of the way things ended up turning out.


    And the final product!

    P.s. A few days later I painted the crash pads on the door also. I don't have any picture of the process, but it was super easy to do. Maybe took me 20 minutes to remove paint and reinstall the pads, excluding drying time.

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  13. #11
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone SM16RMSM's Avatar
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    Not bad. I like how it coming out. So you like anime? Good, I'm not alone. I still watch some stuff that comes out but I haven't kept up with what out. Are you a xBox follower or PS fan? Kinda odd seeing a Evangelion character as the avatar but it all makes sense now.
    “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the BS story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort

    The Daily Driven Warrior - A MSM Build Thread

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    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
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    Car looks good, mang!

    Too bad I'm never checking this thread ever again. Why? Because you got rid of a turbo II Rx7 that was MINT!


    Infinite amounts of sadness are coming over me as if I'm drowning in a never ending ocean.
    1990 Miata, she was red but now she is Spirit Green!

    http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....d-a-love-story <--- build thread!

    Also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IHeartFlippyHeadlights !!! Its a facebook page dedicated to the awesomeness which is flippyheadlights! Not me, but the actual headlights! High time someone noticed how awesome these things are; check it out!

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    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    wow that is a great looking 91 BRG!!! You stole it for that price and with a hardtop too!! wow nice job!

  16. #14
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power maharaj's Avatar
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    Good looking car! I like how the gauges came out, I think this is the first I have seen that look in a Miata. nice.

  17. #15
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Ihatecars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SM16RMSM View Post
    Not bad. I like how it coming out. So you like anime? Good, I'm not alone. I still watch some stuff that comes out but I haven't kept up with what out. Are you a xBox follower or PS fan? Kinda odd seeing a Evangelion character as the avatar but it all makes sense now.
    Anime fans unite!
    I don't have a Xbox, but I do have a Playstation 3. I don't play it very often because of work. I have a 3ds that I love dearly. I play it as much as possible while at work.

    Quote Originally Posted by I<3flippyheadlights View Post
    Car looks good, mang!

    Too bad I'm never checking this thread ever again. Why? Because you got rid of a turbo II Rx7 that was MINT!


    Infinite amounts of sadness are coming over me as if I'm drowning in a never ending ocean.
    Don't remind me. I regret selling that car so much. The guy that owns it now is treating it well from what I've been told.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phatmiata View Post
    wow that is a great looking 91 BRG!!! You stole it for that price and with a hardtop too!! wow nice job!
    I feel very lucky that I was able to get such a nice Miata. It's just a major plus that it's a 91 BRG.

    Quote Originally Posted by maharaj View Post
    Good looking car! I like how the gauges came out, I think this is the first I have seen that look in a Miata. nice.
    Thank you. I was really worried they'd be a little too bright, but I think it's just enough to add a little to the interior without screaming "Hey, look at me!"


    And I'm working on another update. Should be done sometime today if not tomorrow.

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