My 1992 Mazda Miata and how I got started in auto body!


#1

A long time ago in a galaxy far away I bought a beat up 92 Miata for $1200, I fell in love with these cars during a free open house Skip Barber track day at LimeRock Park in Connecticut and knew I needed a Miata.

I picked up the car not knowing a lick of auto body and very little about mechanical repairs as well. I slowly started amassing an army of tools and knowledge to complete this project and of course it blew up out of control…

I took ownership in the winter of 2011 as a Red Miata with 112K miles all 4 rocker panels had some sort of rust or full blown rot, the bottom of the fenders were done, but the car ran great and it had a brand new soft top…woot

This was day one

All the rust and rot


Cutting out the bad metal and going back to what I can salvage


Starting the repairs with my bad welding




And painting for the first time




I didn’t know about color sanding and painting well so it ended up looking semi-gloss


Then this is where things got out of hand…
I started upgrading my tools and bought my FLG4 to paint better
I decided to overall the car complete and respray it…get ready…

First

Stripped the car down to the very last nut and bolt and resprayed all the parts under the car


Upgraded bushing, suspension and added an LSD

Next, I painted the engine bay and trunk, I thought going gray would make it easier to find bolts and work in the engine bay and it ended up looking meh, the trunk is black

I painted the engine black I was also building this for Auto Cross so might as well turbo it



Finally…I don’t like the color… Always wanted a blue miata and the smart thing would be to sell mine and get a blue one right? nope

Back into paint



Cabin was also painted black I did a full color change…what a pain in the ass!


I have a completed picture on my work computer I will post tomorrow

If I was to do it all over again I would have never sprayed the car with lacquer paint and would have gone straight to Urethane, I also would not have tried to get into the hobby with cheap tools, some things you can get away with using cheap tools but other things like welders are tough especially for someone starting out.

Since I started this project I upgraded my air compressor to a 2 stage [email protected] unit and picked up a Hobart 110V and East wood 220V welder, they work way better than the HF welder I learned to weld on.

I only do this got a hobby and I don’t have the room or shop to do this for a living, also can’t keep painting cars at my house, I try to take all the precautions but Im sure my neighbors don’t enjoy the smell of paint all the time.

Well that is my story


#2

Awesome story and pics! @f575gtc - The second paint job came out glossier. But hey, what I did like about the first one was the way you did the black taillights and the black tail panel black. I like that look and it looked good. What did you put into that motor $$? I personally love Miatas. Many of my friends used to give me shit about them, but I always liked them.

Did you ever see my Miata paint job vid? I would like to do the engine. I am still on the fence. lol. - so many projects I have :smile:


#3

Absolutely watched the video, that help me with the clear coat sanding and what steps to take, what sand paper to use, etc.

The motor has about $1500 into it in turbo parts, got a kit off Craigslist someone decided to not install, the engine block is stock as I will only run 5-7psi through it and it makes about 160whp which is plenty for the car considering it made 90whp when I got it

The Miata now has a carbon fiber rear finisher so it still has a black insert in the back