1990 Miata Restoration Process

1990 Miata Restoration Process

Here is the entire process for restoring a 1990 Miata. This car was a 1 owner car that had been loved and used- however being up north it had suffered from rust. Couple with the high mileage and condition of most of the mechanical bit, it was time for a fresh start!

Below are the pictures the customer sent us prior to receiving the car. 


Once the car was shipped to us, we did a full inspection and came up with a build plan for the project. Below are the inspection photos


Next step was do disassemble and catalog all the parts on the car. As we disassembled it, we logged each part and tracked what parts could be reused, refurbished, and which parts were too far gone and needed to be replaced. 

Here the body and the drivetrain part ways. Engine and trans head off to the engine shop for a rebuild, and the body gets rolled over to the fab shop for rust repair and prep for paint!

We'll follow the body first. This body was not terrible compared to some that we've done, but still rusty. Most of the damage was on the rockers.


First, all the cancer needed to be removed. all metal that had any rust on it was removed. The body is on a rotisserie, so it can be flipped over and worked on easily. 

 The entire quarter was then cut out, and new panels welded in. 


 Off to the body shop! All the minor rust areas in the floor and underside are patched, and the new fenders are blended in.

The underside of the car was painted with bedliner, to give better rust protection and durability. And the rest was sprayed in the OEM mazda red. 

Subframes, fuel lines, brake lines and the main body harness are next to go in.


 Now let's head over and follow the engine build. We've covered our engine process thoroughly in other articles, so this will be a fly-by of the process. This engine was pretty grimy, so everything that was reused was hot-tanked, cleaned and powder-coated. We also converted it from a short nose to a long nose crankshaft. 


New pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump, pick-up, water pump, seals, gaskets, valves and a little precision elbow grease and behold- a new engines!


For the subframes and suspension, everything was sand blasted down to bare metal. Many of the pieces were too far gone to save and were replaced. Pieces that we savable were cleaned and repainted. all new bushings installed, with all new hardware. 

Now, eagle-eyed readers will notice that the diff in the following pictures is a finned housing, and this car has a smooth housing diff. Naturally, I can't find the photos from this restoration, so I'm barrowing pictures form a different diff rebuild. so squint with me and pretend the diff cover is smooth ;)

Now the skateboard get mated to the body!

Next the roll bar, dash and interior are installed. for this build, we went with a gloss black roll bar. We get all our bard from Hard Dog, they are shipped in bare steel, and we then powder-coat to match each build.


Final touches, including the soft top, door cards, sound system, seats, engine wiring, brakes, headlights- you know, the REALLY long list of little details, and it's done!


 For more info, give us a call! 

Here's a video of the project.





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