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Road trip in V8 #1

Old 01-08-2014, 08:51 AM
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I'm a glutton for punishment, we (Deb and I) fly out of Philly (delayed two hours sitting on the runway waiting to be deiced) this past Sunday morning (after getting up at 4am), miss our connection in Atlanta by 10 minutes, get the next flight out 2.5 hours later. By now we have been up and out of the house since 4am. Arrive in Sarasota at 4:30pm, get off the plane, grab our bags and rental and head out to pick up the blue V8 Miata. One hour later, just as the sun is starting to set we arrive at the car, I find a "fast and furious" rear wing ( a small wing was in the pictures posted on the web), tires and rims that are all out of alignment (but appear brand new), and a car that barely starts (this had me worried), and an empty tank with the warning light on (I did not know there was a low fuel warning light on a NA Miata, never had one go off before). I'm now starting to wind up, I keep my cool , throw our plates on, and head to the nearest gas station (thankfully less than a mile away). Throw super unleaded in, check the air pressure in the tires, and head out to see friends in Sarasota for dinner (again 2.5 hours late). I'm thankful it is now dark out, as I would normally not be seen in car with all of this added Tupperware...Park the car and pray that it will start when we get out of dinner, it does . 3 hours later we drop the rental back off at the airport and head toward Beverly Hills, Florida, (185 miles) make it within 40 miles when I have had enough, and at 11pm roll in to a Hilton Express....10am the next morning we get back on the road and make it to our friends house (same friend I helped drive his wife's Mazdaspeed Miata and FFR Cobra replica down from PA in the early fall.), we proceed to go over the car and find that there is no engine ground strap, we run down to the local auto parts store and grab a short starter cable (they were out of ground straps )....Install that, adjust the timing, and the car now fires right up....Thank god........Now I drop it off at the local mechanics shop, tell him to do a four wheel alignment, fluids and filter, lube job, then let me know if there is anything else major that needs to be done as we have another 1,300+ miles to go in the next 7-10 days.....Get a call a few hours later, car is done, come on down and I'll show you everything we had to do (now I am worried, especially since he did not want to tell me over the phone).....Drive down, do a walk around, all of the mechanics (my age (50's) no less) are telling me what a cool car it is, etc.....So we go in, he tells me he did oil change, oil filter, transmission top off, rear end top off, coolant top off, four wheel alignment (it needed it as I was white knuckles the whole way from Sarasota on RT75), balance the tires/rims, tightened some minor items just to play it safe.......My total for everything $90.34....... I was expecting him to hit me up for $400+......Today I ripped the "fast and furious" wing off, and took the side skirts off, I now like the entire look and feel of the car, minus of course the front bumper and hood scoop, which are both out of character for me.......I've got to scrounge up 4-10mm nuts so I can reinstall the stock steering wheel, guess I'll end up doing that when I get home next week. Attached are some of the pictures I took today (one shot showing the side skirts and part of the rear wing if you look hard enough).......Let the adventure continue

Bill S.

PS: Our plan is to clean this one up, make sure all is at 100%, then put it on the market in the next few weeks. Before then, we'll just enjoy the ride, as we usually do........

Last edited by mrmustang; 04-22-2015 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:21 AM
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Sweet, a Smurf with an attitude. I'd have to agree on the front bumper, it's called an invader or some such. Happily there are lots of blue OEM bumpers around from 90-93. I'm going to guess the hood scoop was non functional? I might be interested when you get her ready for market. My dream would be a V8 in a Laguna, but Smurf is starting to look cool all over again.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:21 AM
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618 miles yesterday, only causality is the drivers side header gasket, which now has a nice, tick, tick, tick to it. When the rest of civilization wakes up this morning I'll see if I can find a shop to install the new ones I picked up yesterday on my way past the Summit headquarters and distribution center .........


Bill S.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:00 PM
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I used to live in Akron and used to go to Summit about once a week. If anything just to look around the showroom. Cool place to go.

That hood scoop almost looks like a Subaru WRX scoop. IMO, doesn't really go with the car. But to each there own.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:43 PM
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I had the opportunity to fly out to New Mexico with my brother in law last year and buy a v8miata for a customer. The drive back (2000 or so miles) was pretty epic and about $500 cheaper than having it shipped. We did it quick in only 4 days. Other than getting stuck in a freak blizzard for about 300 miles and dealing with a bad clutch the trip was awesome.

Sorry about the issues you ran into. Picking up a modified car from a distance is a real risk and I was lucky to have had it work out. I actually had plans to get the car towed and buy a plane ride back should things go south.

I like the hood. If you end up replacing it and want to unload it I may be interested at some point.

Good luck with the rest of your journey,

-Jason
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:57 PM
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Wow great adventure! Thanks for the write up.

So what did you do with those side skirts exacly? I'm not a fan of the scoop or front end either but would take those sides off your hands for sure.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by charchri4 View Post
Wow great adventure! Thanks for the write up.

So what did you do with those side skirts exacly? I'm not a fan of the scoop or front end either but would take those sides off your hands for sure.

The side skirts are now in a landfill somewhere in western Florida, They came off kicking and screaming. You would not have wanted them anyway, they fit poorly, had bad fiberglass layup, and were spider/stress cracked throughout. if they were better quality, I would have had my friend Steve sell them for me and we would have split the money. The front bumper is the only quality aftermarket body piece. Damn expensive from what I found out on Miata.net.

Today I started out by doing the drivers side header gasket, took me less than 45 minutes with hand tools. Tomorrow if it is not raining, I'm going to put in new plugs, wires, cap, and rotor I got from the Ford dealer. Parts counter man wanted the VIN so he could get me the right parts, so I gave him the one from the Miata He looked at me like I was nuts until I walked him outside this afternoon and popped the hood

Not sure I really needed to do any of the tune up parts, but for my own piece of mind (and that of a future owner), it will be worth every penny.


Bill S.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldgrayfrog View Post
My dream would be a V8 in a Laguna, but Smurf is starting to look cool all over again.
There is a 94 Laguna Blue in Maryland I thought about buying and swapping everything over from the white V8. My wife talked me out of it as I would have wanted to keep it after that, and we all know I can't keep anything for too long these days........At least nit until we decide where to move and what I am going to do with my life when (if) I grow up.........


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Old 01-10-2014, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldgrayfrog View Post
I've driven a few Miatas South from New York, one that had a whipple supercharger on the 1.8 that was lots of fun, but never brought a V8 Miata home. How was the drive to PA from Florida? I hope the previous owner didn't put a ridiculous muffler on it, that could leave you deaf after a little while. Most interested to see the two that you plan to list.

The guys who sell the Excocet are pretty much local here in Atlanta. I thought the Excocet with the stock motor and a turbo was pretty darn fast. With a 5.0 or LSx transplant it's going to be hard to get that power down onto the road I'd think.
We stopped in Greenville, SC for a few days, mufflers are quiet, car with some minor tune up items is running top notch, an easy daily driver, even my wife has had her time behind the wheel this week.

Bill S.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:21 PM
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Greenville is where I am, hope you enjoyed the stay.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldgrayfrog View Post
Sweet, a Smurf with an attitude. I'd have to agree on the front bumper, it's called an invader or some such. Happily there are lots of blue OEM bumpers around from 90-93. I'm going to guess the hood scoop was non functional? I might be interested when you get her ready for market. My dream would be a V8 in a Laguna, but Smurf is starting to look cool all over again.
I agree. Laguna is an awesome color for a v8



-Jason
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by WolfGT View Post
Greenville is where I am, hope you enjoyed the stay.
Headed to the coffee underground tonight in down town at 7pm. if you want to meet us live and in person

Bill S.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MRM331 View Post
I agree. Laguna is an awesome color for a v8



-Jason
Jason,

You don't realize it, but we have been at the track together on several occasions, with me in one of my FFR's, or one of my old track prepped Mustangs I've always admired your LB V8

Can't say for sure whether we have actually met face to face though....

Bill S.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:44 PM
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Were you the red Cobra that was out last year or the gray heavily track prepped one that I've seen every so often?

-Jason
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MRM331 View Post
Were you the red Cobra that was out last year or the gray heavily track prepped one that I've seen every so often?

-Jason
Blue, no stripes, or blue, white stripes, or BRG. My friend Dan is the one with the "Frankencobra"(I have been at the same events, sometimes borrowed his car for a few sessions), raw gray gellcoat, white and orange FIA fender stripe. Currently awaiting his new engine as he turned his 347 stroker in to a 7 bottle wine rack at his last session at Millville



Bill S.

PS: Also had my red 82 Mustang GT road racer and my 95 "R" Model road racer at these events....Now all sold off, as the two Miatas might be soon.......Greenville has a nice vibe, but condos only come with a two car garage
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:30 PM
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Red face

Got up at the crack of dawn this am, and as the sun rose over beautiful Greenville, SC I pulled the plugs, wires, cap and rotor and tossed them all in the trash. Replaced with all brand new pieces and took my blushing bride (of 28+ years) out for a 150 mile ride in the surrounding countryside......

Only got 12mpg, I need to learn to keep my foot out of the throttle

Tomorrow is our long leg back to PA, I figure 650-750 miles depending on the side trips, somewhere around 11-14 hours on the road........Car should run like a champ now that I've gone through the majority of it while we were here. Will post on Tuesday and let you know how we do.


Bill S.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mrmustang View Post
Headed to the coffee underground tonight in down town at 7pm. if you want to meet us live and in person

Bill S.
Man, wish I would have checked back sooner. I was downtown Friday night for dinner and a show. You could have come along, it was awesome (comedy stage show). I've been offline all weekend. Last week was crazy and I was just getting away. Should be at the shop right now finishing the welding on the car, but I'm back at the office prepping for the coming week . Oh well, going to spend a couple nights this week finishing the welding.

Hope you had a great time. Enjoy the final leg home (which I have done many times, I'm from Ohio).
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by WolfGT View Post
Man, wish I would have checked back sooner. I was downtown Friday night for dinner and a show. You could have come along, it was awesome (comedy stage show). I've been offline all weekend. Last week was crazy and I was just getting away. Should be at the shop right now finishing the welding on the car, but I'm back at the office prepping for the coming week . Oh well, going to spend a couple nights this week finishing the welding.

Hope you had a great time. Enjoy the final leg home (which I have done many times, I'm from Ohio).
We were at the Alchemy comedy club for the 7:30pm show.


Bill S.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:24 PM
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We were downtown at "Cafe and then Some" at 6:45.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:05 PM
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All safe and sound and back in PA, rolled in to the house about 35 minutes ago.

Interesting notations:

At a steady 60-65mph we saw 27.2-29.6mpg
At a steady 65-70mph we saw 26.2-26.8mpg
At a steady 70-75mph we saw 25.5mpg

Total mileage for the trip (from the pick up, driving and exploring, and the ride home) 2,218 miles.

Expenditures (not including gas as I used my card and did not take receipts)

$90.34-alignment, oil change, fluid top offs, etc
$61.00-plugs, wires, rotor, cap (my cost as a commercial account holder)
$34.68-ratchet and socket for spark plug removal and installation


Car ran flawlessly with no drama along the trip once I did the tune up and had the alignment and fluids changed.


Time for a cup of tea........


Bill S.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:55 PM
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Counting my project, I currently know of five V-8 Miatas in Sarasota FL. I didn't know there had been a 6th one. Looks like a good one got away!
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jreid1000 View Post
Counting my project, I currently know of five V-8 Miatas in Sarasota FL. I didn't know there had been a 6th one. Looks like a good one got away!
"THE" original Monster Miata (also Mariner Blue) resides in the Sarasota area. Do you have that one on your list?


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Old 01-15-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jreid1000 View Post
Counting my project, I currently know of five V-8 Miatas in Sarasota FL. I didn't know there had been a 6th one. Looks like a good one got away!
It would be interesting to have a V8 Miata registry to figure out how many and where they all are.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by charchri4 View Post
It would be interesting to have a V8 Miata registry to figure out how many and where they all are.
Start one.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by charchri4 View Post
It would be interesting to have a V8 Miata registry to figure out how many and where they all are.
I have to get my car on the road first, but it would be really cool to get a registry started.
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