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#1
Lowlyslows

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Hey all!

I found a 99 Miata with a LSD diff. I’m pretty sure it’s not a CA car. However, it’s in the rust belt. Owner says it doesn’t have any rust as it was a garage kept car.

I’m heading out on Tuesday to pick up the car. Where should I look for rust that would be a big no go? I did some searching and found that I should look at the rear portion of the rocker and inside the front wheel wells are the frame rails.

Other than rust, anything else I should be looking for?

Thanks!

#2
Alberto

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on an NB, I think the greatest concern is the front frame rails.  Beyond that, you're list is accurate.

 

My car was a NY car originally.  Besides the extra $ I had to pay for bodywork, I wound up having to replace the control arms since the shocks were rusted to them and the subframes b/c they were nasty as well and the front one was bent.  I'd sooner buy a car not from the rust belt.  Much better starting point.

 

Why not buy a car that is built already?  You'll save a fair amount of $$$$

 

 

Also, check out the SM constructors manual: https://www.advanced...ta-constructors


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#3
Lowlyslows

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Part of the fun is building the car.

So major point is the frame rails? Should it be rusted is the repair simple? I have done a ton of metal work on old mustangs and am not afraid of patching. Can you buy patch kits for the rails?

#4
mdavis

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Unaware of patch kit availability.

 

 

 

 

on an NB, I think the greatest concern is the front frame rails.  Beyond that, you're list is accurate.

 

My car was a NY car originally.  Besides the extra $ I had to pay for bodywork, I wound up having to replace the control arms since the shocks were rusted to them and the subframes b/c they were nasty as well and the front one was bent.  I'd sooner buy a car not from the rust belt.  Much better starting point.

 

Why not buy a car that is built already?  You'll save a fair amount of $$$$

 

 

Also, check out the SM constructors manual: https://www.advanced...ta-constructors


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#5
38bfast

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don't start with a rusty core. you're going to put way too much time and money building out the car. You don't want the core compromised to start with. 


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Ralph Provitz
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#6
Bench Racer

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Ralph, was just typing the same message as you posted. Another several hundred SM owners would say the same thing.

 

38bfast, Ralph Provitz is a Spec Miata shop owner who hauls cars to track and cares for cars at the track.


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#7
Nathan Pring

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I just recently bought a car for parts, wasn't looking at the body really.  But I thought it was fantastic, didn't have an ounce of rust, except until I took out the seats and rust all on the floor pans.  Looked immaculate everywhere else, pinchwelds were even dead straight!


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#8
Lowlyslows

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Hey guys! Thanks for all the replies. I picked up the 99 NB. Checked all the known spots for rust and it was clean. Once I got it in the trailer I got a good look under the car. Not even the exhaust system was rusted! Owner only drove it during the summer and kept it in a garage.

Now comes the fun part! Need to locate a hardtop, pick my seat and helmet, and then roll cage.
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#9
Bench Racer

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Now comes the fun part! Need to locate a hardtop, pick my seat and helmet, and then roll cage.

Also before roll cage, a quick release steering wheel hub and a steering wheel. 

 

Have Fun :bigsquaregrin:


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#10
Lowlyslows

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Out of curiosity, why do you need the hub and wheel before the cage?

 

Can you tell I'm new yet?? haha



#11
Steve Scheifler

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Out of curiosity, why do you need the hub and wheel before the cage?

Can you tell I'm new yet?? haha


You don’t really. It is generally a good idea to first fit a steering wheel and seat so the cage builder doesn’t place bars that interfere with your seating position. But it makes little sense to pay for a “custom” cage in an SM. The rules are specific with regards to limits on attachment points to the chassis and even mounting plate size, and there is so little room to work with your goal should be as tight to the car as practicable. There are several good kits that optimize space and can always be beefed up if you want extra protection, or send it to a very experienced SM cage builder. The one specific suggestion I would make is to get a “shelf mount” main hoop rather than a floor mount. Even if you aren’t over 5’10” or don’t want a full containment seat, the added space will make the car easier to sell later.
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#12
Bench Racer

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Also before roll cage, a quick release steering wheel hub and a steering wheel. 

 

Have Fun :bigsquaregrin:

 

Out of curiosity, why do you need the hub and wheel before the cage?

 

Can you tell I'm new yet?? haha

 

You don’t really. It is generally a good idea to first fit a steering wheel and seat so the cage builder doesn’t place bars that interfere with your seating position. But it makes little sense to pay for a “custom” cage in an SM. The rules are specific with regards to limits on attachment points to the chassis and even mounting plate size, and there is so little room to work with your goal should be as tight to the car as practicable. There are several good kits that optimize space and can always be beefed up if you want extra protection, or send it to a very experienced SM cage builder. The one specific suggestion I would make is to get a “shelf mount” main hoop rather than a floor mount. Even if you aren’t over 5’10” or don’t want a full containment seat, the added space will make the car easier to sell later.

 

For a bit of laughter there seemed to be an oxymoron involved. 


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#13
Steve Scheifler

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For a bit of laughter there seemed to be an oxymoron involved.


Did you miss the 3rd word of my first sentence, or the 3rd word of the second and the entire point of the rest? There was no contradiction between my statements, only a clarification of why the general rule isn’t particularly relevant. But get your giggles where you can find them! ;)
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#14
Lowlyslows

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I am 6'3". Thanks for the tips. I'm still trying to source a hardtop for the car. What a PITA



#15
Brandon

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I am 6'3". Thanks for the tips. I'm still trying to source a hardtop for the car. What a PITA

 

The HT won't be difficult to find, just expensive. Be picky with it though as you don't want to have to deal with cracks in the fiberglass or have to source the bottom seals (no longer available (NLA) I believe).

 

Do NOT forget the floor drop.

 

Signed,

Another 6'3" driver with 2 concussions from Miatas


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