Overheated my Monster Miata -Please help

Old 06-04-2016, 09:23 AM
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Default Overheated my Monster Miata -Please help

Hi everyone,

I am the proud owner of an original 1994 Monster Miata from Monster Motorsports. I have had it almost three years now and have never had any overheating issues. Unfortunately, it overheated last weekend when I was in the middle of nowhere and about 2 hours from home. I was able to limp it to a corner store and borrowed some tools from the owner's son. Thinking it was the thermostat sticking, I pulled it and got back on the road.

It drove fine for about an hour and a half but after stopping at a rest stop on the turnpike for no longer than 10 minutes, it began to overheat again. Unfortunately, I was in a construction zone and there was no breakdown lane so I was forced to drive it for several minutes/miles before I could safely take the next exit. The Mazda gauge just about pegged all the way out for several minutes.

I let it cool down for about an hour and topped off the radiator with about half a gallon of water and was able to make it home, which was about another 25 minutes.

I let it cool down overnight and to my horror, it was making a loud tapping noise when I started it the next morning. I think it may have been a stuck lifter as the noise went completely away after it warmed up.

At this time, it is idling roughly when I first start it and it is also blowing white smoke/mist at start up and on occasion as I drive. The smoke has no odor of antifreeze or oil, which is odd but I am running synthetic Mobil 1. Does that not smell like oil if it is burning in the motor?

If anyone has any thoughts on the likely damage, I would really appreciate it. I am hoping I didn't permanently damage the motor/block. Maybe just a head gasket?

I have a mechanic who is going to pressure test the cooling system and each cylinder next week but was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and/or any thoughts.

Finally, if it is only a head gasket, I am considering upgrading the heads while making the repair. Any suggestions on a good set of aluminum heads would be appreciated. To my knowledge, the motor was from a 1993 Mustang and is fairly stock. It does have the GT 40 intake and Monster Motorsports valve covers.

Thank you all in advance!
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:02 PM
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Speak with Mike or Manny at M&M Lube and Auto in Pottstown, tell them I sent you. They will treat you fairly.


Contact Chris Ruberight at Ruberight racing as he can assist you as well.

Bill S.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:49 AM
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The first thing I would do is check for a blown head gasket. Go down to Autozone and borrow their coolant test kit. It comes with instructions, and it's pretty easy. They'll charge you $80, and you get it back when you return it.
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