No, you're not. You're not fooling anyone. Just for that, I'm staying another three weeks.
Don't let it go to your head. Our schedule got changed, and my usual relief decided he wanted to sit out this rotation so they had to find someone else. That's been done so just have to wait it out at this point. At least I will have almost the whole month for pay (been spending some money, just not on the Miata).
I decided to cut out the opening in the bumper cover to allow airflow through the mesh in the upper diffuser. Got started on that this morning. First thing was to put some tape around the opening for protection against the drill (note: this didn’t completely work but it mostly did):
Next was drilling some pilot holes around the periphery of the opening as so:
Here is how that turned out:
I connected the dots with a Sharpie (so to speak) to give me a line to follow. I tried cutting the bumper cover using my multitool but ended up using a cutoff wheel in my Dremel. Here is the end result before sanding:
As you can see, the bumper reinforcement is showing behind the cutout. In order to keep that from standing out I used some of this to coat the area behind the cutout:
This is sold for coating firearms, seems to work well for this application too. Once everything was done and back together, here is how it looked:
After that I just assembled everything again. Biggest PITA was removing all the double-sided tape from the upper diffuser and cleaning it all up. I installed the speed nuts I bought last time home, they worked a treat when putting the screws between the upper and lower diffusers:
Before I buttoned everything up, I ground off the extra muffler hanger I installed last time and relocated/welded it. Unfortunately after a short test drive the muffler ended up offset to the left as it was before. I guess I’m going to have to look at this closer to get it fixed right. No final pictures as you have seen it all before, and it’s hard to see the opening behind the mesh unless your face is right there. I am sure I gained a few MPH due to not having the bumper cover act as a parachute. I do need to do a little cleanup around things thanks to using acetone for cleaning the old double-sided tape off. I figured six hours of work today was enough.
I noticed the upper diffuser was pulling away from the bumper cover. I figured the double-sided tape I had used was just old so bought some new 3M black tape yesterday. Removed the upper diffuser, cleaned it up and installed again. No pictures because it was just the same as before.
Today I stopped by a friend’s house and picked up the horn button he got for me from MATG 25. I couldn’t make it this year but I now have a memento.
I stopped by the dealer a few days ago and ordered the door weatherstripping because both of them had been damaged at the front from the windows going up too far. Picked up the passenger side today, the driver’s side doesn’t have a delivery date yet. I figure the restock is probably sitting on a ship off Long Beach so who knows when it will arrive?
A few days ago I decided I needed to make sure I hadn’t left the wideband output offset when I initially installed it. I couldn’t find the connection cable so ordered another one. Once that came in I removed the gauge thinking that all I needed to power the gauge was the connection cable. WRONG! So I had to put that back in place and connect the cable once the power was restored. As it turned out I had removed the offset but it was good to confirm that.
Yesterday the dealer called to say the other weatherstripping piece had arrived. I was wrong, the first one that showed up was the driver’s side and this was the passenger side. Reason I was wrong is because the larger part number is for the driver’s side (go figure). Here are the part numbers you want if doing this:
My schedule was slack today so I dove into the job. The first thing I did was adjust the window position and top weatherstripping using the factory manual to be sure everything was where it should be. I ended up lowering the forward window stopper on both sides, the other measurements were within spec. I also made some minor adjustments to the top strips on both sides so they would line up better. I should note I did the work on the driver’s side first then the passenger side (which is where I took all the pictures). First step is to remove the door interior panel. On the driver’s side I discovered one of the wires to my tweeter had broken and was intermittently making/breaking contact. This was probably the cause of my occasionally losing the left channel, so glad I found that. Once the door panel is off you need to peel back the vapor barrier at least in the front half. Next you want to remove the lower bolt holding the vertical piece for the vent window. Then go to the top of the window and remove the screw in that piece that is visible in the middle of the weatherstrip. The factory manual talks about removing the vertical piece but I just left it in place and loose. I then pulled out the part of the weatherstrip that goes down into the door on the vertical piece. Once that’s out continue peeling it back and then remove the second screw at the top of the vertical piece. Note that those two screws are different sizes. The larger diameter, shorter length screw is the one underneath the weatherstrip and will be in the hole towards the front of the door. See pictures below:
There are several plastic fasteners that you will need to reuse, one at the front of the door and one at the rear. I used some WD-40 to soak them prior to attempting removal. Fasteners are here:
You can coax the large tab on the weatherstrip out from under the front fastener while it soaks. The new weatherstrip comes with two of the fasteners on the rear of the strip so you don’t have to be as careful removing those. What I did then was pull the weatherstrip off the numerous small fasteners located around the perimeter of the door, leaving those in place. I gave those the WD-40 treatment as well.
Here is what the weatherstrip looks like off the car:
It’s a large piece as you can see.
After a little soak time I started playing with different removal methods on the small clips. What worked amazingly easily was using a small flat-blade screwdriver to get underneath the flange on the fastener with the screwdriver held perpendicular to the wings of the fastener (see picture):
You push inward and the fastener will release at least on that side. While holding that side away from the door, rotate the fastener until you can access the opposite side and do the same. Voila! They pop right out. There were a couple that only required the push on one side to come out for whatever reason.
After that it’s just a matter of putting the new weatherstrip in place. I used some normal silicone spray to lube up the channels where I had to slip the weatherstrip in. I also used some ShinEtsu grease on the inside of the strip where the window would ride. I inserted the strip in the vertical window piece first, working it down until it was far enough that I could reach in the bottom and pull it down. Procedure looked like this:
Once that is in place you just work your way around the door. One thing to watch out for is the routing on the hinge side, you need to go between the hinges and the stopper bar:
Put all the plastic fasteners you saved back in place and you are done. Well, after you install the door panel.
Gave her a bath today and was happy to note no dribbles on the inside of the windows as used to happen before my adjustments. Unfortunately I also discovered that the weld I did when relocating the fourth muffler hanger broke and the muffler was hanging low on that side. Safety wire to the rescue for now, will try getting back underneath tomorrow to fix that.
Put her up in the air after some cars & coffee this morning and set about rewelding that muffler hanger. Took me a couple of tries, I wasn’t getting good penetration with the tacks I made to target the hanger so I finally said screw it, pulled the muffler off and eyeballed the location (the tacks helped with that). Built it up pretty well on both sides, it ain’t pretty but seems pretty solid (at least it didn’t move when I hit it with my chipping hammer). After I got everything back together I went ahead and calibrated the wideband O2 sensor while I was under there.
One of my neighbors came over with some friends of his. He asked if I was boosted (he hadn’t seen the engine bay yet) so I said yes and opened the hood. One of the guys was saying something about having worked on Miatas as he walked to the front, then when he saw what I have he said, But not like this! It’s nice wowing people.