Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Sneak Peek

Not too much to report this time out. The car is finally paid off, but apparently I owe the Commonwealth of Kentucky because I forgot to give them back Junior's custom MD2REV plate (if you're reading this, the plate is now available!). Yay...

On a more humorous note, I decorated Edgar for Christmas:

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Good News!

I was able to sell my seat today! In case you're curious, I was talking about it here. Brian, I hope you like the seat as much as I did!

Oh yeah...one half payment left :-D

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Not too much to report...

Not much done this week...at least not with the car. I was really busy this week with work, hosting friends on Monday, a church committee meeting on Tuesday, and teaching a class on Wednesday. My folks were in town last weekend (see our blog for more about that). All in all, it's been a busy time, and I'm just looking to relax this weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Almost There!

As an aside from the project with Junior, I am happy to say that I am only 1.5 payments away from having the little guy paid off ahead of time! This will be the first time I've actually paid off a car on my own (I paid off Junior's predecessor Monty--but that was only after he'd been totalled; the money came from my insurance settlement).

It'll sure be nice to be able to put the money I was spending on payments towards something else--like getting Junior back on the road!

Speaking of money, I've decided to try once again to sell my Axis Power Racing full carbon-fiber race seat:

The seat by itself is good for about 9lbs and does a very good job of holding the driver in place. It also allows the lowest seating position I've ever seen on the stock seat rails. If you look at the following picture, you can see the difference between the Axis seat and a de-foamed stock seat:

For reference, my friend Shenna (sitting in the passenger seat) is about 5'3", while I am a leggy 6'1"! Imagine the difference if I gained another inch or so by taking the seat off of the stock rails!

In the end, I'd like to get about $400 for it. Its MSRP was $900 and I bought it from a friend for $600 a year or so ago. I have one person so far who has inquired about it, but let me know if you're interested!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Musings on the Next Step

Today I went over to Chad's house hoping to reclaim the 90-93 "Daisy" alloy wheels that I had given him after moving up here from Kentucky. They had been in use during the winter holding my winter tires that Junior rolled on last winter:

Once I got Harvey (my 99 Civic DX), I had the bright idea of putting the alloys on him. This would require having the hubs bored out an extra 2mm to accomodate the Civic's slightly wider diameter setup. Once that was done, I was going to paint them and replace Harvey's ugly steelies with these bad boys...

...Well...not so much, it turns out :-(

The machine shop I had paid to do the wheels did a wonderful job, and I got exactly what I asked them for. The wheels were bored perfectly--which was the problem. I hadn't accounted for the fraction of a millimeter of rust on the hubs. Thus, the wheels would fit only if I forced them down (by bolting them), and while fitting just fine, would need to be hammered off...no fun. In addition, the paint I had selected was going to come out way darker than I planned. Staring at paying more money to have the hubs re-bored and more money on paint, I decided that it really wasn't worth it.


In any case, it was nice to see Chad and Linda again. I hadn't seen them since before the wedding, so it was good to spend time with them, the cats, and Yasmina. I also got to see Junior (who is spending time at Uncle Chad's house until he gets an engine transplant). It was the first time I'd seen him since Christy and I got home from our honeymoon. Needless to say, I'm more antsy than ever to get my boy back on the road!

To that end, I really need to start thinking about what I want to do. Here are the options as I see them:

1.) Buy an engine and plop it in along with all necessary parts (with all necessary hoses, seals, etc.)
2.) Buy an engine, have it rebuilt with stock parts (pistons, rings, seals, oil pump, etc.)
3.) Buy an engine and add non-stock parts (for example a 97 block with 01+ pistons and MBSP)

The 1st approach would be easiest, but is risky--especially if the history of the motor is suspect. At the very least, all hoses and front and rear main seals would need to be replaced. Optionally, I could replace the oil pump as well. The 2nd and 3rd approaches would require me to pay a shop to take the engine apart (once I buy it) and reassemble it. I'd like to mess with it myself, but I would have to borrow someone's garage time (which I'm already going to have to do to remove and replace the engine) and tools that I don't have--and let's not think of how much time it'd take me to do the rebuild! However, doing things like overbore or higher comp stock pistons will have more risk built in than going with stock parts. It sure would be nice to lighten the parts up while I'm in there, though!

I guess we'll just have to see!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bad News...

In the spirit of bringing everyone up to speed, Junior has been laid up at my friend Chad's house for about a month or so now. By about the end of June I was sure Junior was suffering the beginnings of an oil pump failure. This was evidenced by slow to no change in oil pressure on the first start-up of each day. The gauge (a "real" one that I salvaged from a wrecked 1992) would then read relatively normal values for every subsequent start. As Junior has already suffered a crank nose failure (yes, it can happen to a 1.8 liter car!) and is over 125,000mi old, an engine rebuild/replacement is in order.

For reference, here's what his engine bay currently looks like:

For my rebuild, I'd like the end product to be a near perfect stock engine. I'd love to have a high-compression rev monster with IRTB's, etc. but right now, it's neither in the budget nor really where I want to be. I haven't driven Junior in anger in several months now (including passing on bringing him to Miatas at the Gap this year), and his crankiness was really just getting on my nerves. I miss just being behind the wheel! Sure, he may not be as fast as the other kids on the block, but, with the engine woes out of the way, I can concentrate on making up for that lack of power, eh?
I really want to do this right, so I'm spending the time now to do the research and budgeting ahead of time. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to drop a comment!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Introduction: A Boy and his Car

Just to give some introductions, my name is Bryan and the little green paperweight--and star of the show is Junior, my modified 1997 M-Edition Miata. For the three years before I met my darling wife Christy, Junior was my main mode of not only transportation but entertainment, excitement, and friendship...ok, as much as a car can be!

Why "Junior"? Well, I bought Junior on July 1st, 2004 to replace his "father" and predecessor, Monty. Monty was my first Miata, a 1997 Montego Blue car. He unfortunately suffered from what I like to call an excess of bravado and a shortage of common sense:

I decided that Monty's replacement would be either "The Batmobile" (if I got a Black car) or Junior if I bought another 97. As you can see, I got Junior ;-)

In three years, we've been to seven states: from the frozen north of Wisconson (where Junior's rollbar came from) to the humid heat of North Carolina, we've autocrossed, roadtrip'ed, and otherwise caused general automotive mayhem:

This was my first post, and it took quite a lot of time! I apologize for the not so hot layout...as I have more time, I'll post more. Until then, take care :-)