How to - everything (miata)


2002 Protege 5
Alright! Let's get started with a bit of an introduction about me and the car. I am 20 years old, I have my own house that me and my girlfriend own, and I love mazda. And as for the car, it is a 1996 mazda miata 5 speed, 1.8l NA.

If any mods want to make this easier to navigate, or more organized, tell me how and I'll fix it. Until then, it's going to be 1 long mess of a post.

Now, let me get the build goal out of the way. The car is going to be a street driven track weekend car, that will attend car shows and events. It is not a daily driver, but it does get driven frequently. The current goal is to get the car as good (if not better) than a factory setting, and build from there.

This forum/topic is about the progress of doing everything to a miata a man could do. Since I am planning on painting the car, I have to take it all apart and rebuild anyway, so this will be a list on how to disassemble, reassemble, or upgrade pretty much everything you could want to. After the car is put back together, I will begin the write up.

It will include wire tucks, bottle relocations, painting, interior stripping, seat upgrades, wheels, tires, sound system, doors, apolstrey, AC systems, etc....

And if you think this is pointless, this is mainly for me to keep track on how I do things, so I can backtrack if there are any problems. (and to help with a full write up for something hard to find)

Thanks for jumping in!

Exterior: Front Bumper

First I am going to remove the front bumper. It is a bit of a challenging task so stay with me.

Now, your going to want to remove the wheels to get access to under the bumper. So get out that tire wrench and knock those lugs lose.
remember to leave the top lugnut on till the last one, to keep the wheels from falling off.

Now I wasn't able to use the lug wrench, so I used a 21mm with an extention, but if you have the muscle power....go for it,

Now your going to Jack the car up, I used a 1.5 ton low profile jack and 4 Jack stands. I used the pinch welds to hold it up because my frame rails don't look the best (rusty and bent)
Jack it up to a height comfortable for you, and put the stands down under the pinch welds.

Repeat for other side.

Now that the car is up, pull the last lug off and remove the wheels. Exposing the front wheel wells. Now get inside and pop those headlights up.
there are 4 screw clip things to get out, to take the top air guide out.
I unscrewed them, and used a flat head screwdriver to pry them out. Now remove cowl. Now you exposed 6 10mm bolts along the top.
remember to keep track of all your bolts, I put mine in labled red solo cups. 😉
Now there are 4 10mm bolts under the front bumper in the middle. So 10 in all. Don't worry about the bolts to the sides, with the cross bars.
I found a crack in my bumper, so I'm adding that to the list of parts to replace. Now under the wheel well, your going to remove a cover on the top, with 5 8mm bolts with one hiding under the side skirt, one 10mm bolt on a crosbar, and 5 screw clips. And it's the same on both sides.
with both covers out of the car, you should be able to see up into the fenders.
you can't see it vary well, but there are 2 gold bolts up there. These bolts are indeed, size 10mm your going to need an extension with these. I used one a bit less than a foot. After those, there is also another 10mm bolt right here, under the tow hook. Both sides the same.
nows your chance to remove any lights you want to take off, all the light removals are pretty easy,
2 screws here,
And two screws here,
all Phillips. Now is a great time to change bulbs too. I'm not doing that now. I am removing all the lights though. Now that your car looks like a parts car,
make sure you get these screw clips in the top of the grill, I don't have pictures, but I have to rip them out Because they wouldn't turn.
there are only 2 bolts left. In front of the headlights, in the vary corner guessed it! 10mm bolts
Now the bumper is off. What a project. Sit back, grab a coke, and enjoy.
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