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Project Little Cousin - 91' NA White


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Project Little Cousin.
91' NA White Miata - B package - No Accidents - No Rust

I am going to do my best to get this build thread up to date. Let me start off with an intro. I come from the land of Subarus. I picked up a 09' WRX hatch new and owned it up until last summer. The WRX had a lot of money into it and lots of goodies to show... built engine, suspension, fuel system, brakes, drivetrain... I had about 50% of the car's new value in parts alone added to it when I sold it. It was a great car but I do not miss it. I sold it for a good reason. To pick up this Miata and start a better project. I was sick of seeing my project car get destroyed by Minnesota winters and daily driving. I wanted something that I could wrench on for 15+ years. At the time I also picked up a modded Subaru LGT, but that ended up being a PITA and too much work for a DD so I sold it off last fall. Now I am down to 1 project car and a DD that I don't have to wrench on.

Here is the info for the car when I picked her up last May.

1991 Miata B Package Clean title, no accidents, no rust

Stock - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Koyo 55mm radiator - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)

Mazdaspeed 6 speed transmission 30k miles - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Stainless steel clutch lines - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
VlSD rear diff - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)

Tein Street advance coil overs with NB Tophats - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Racing beat hollow front sway bar - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Energy Suspension Master Bushing kit Rear - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Energy Suspension Master Bushing kit Rear Diff (Not Installed Yet) - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Energy Suspension Master Bushing kit Front (Not Installed Yet) - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)

Stainless steel brake lines - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Hawk hp plus front pads - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
DTC 30 rears - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)

Jackson racing cat-back exhaust - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)

Harddog roll bar - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Konig wide open 15x8 wheels - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Dunlop Star spec 205-50-15 (Currently Mounted) - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Nitto NT01 tires 225-45-15 (Track Only) - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Miata OEM R package front lip - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Miata OEM R package front lip painted white - (7/21/2014)
Driver's Side Mirror replaced/fixed - (6/18/2014)

Sparco pro2000 seats - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Drivers Seat 6 Point Harness - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)
Water Temp Gauge - Purchased with car (5/18/2014)

Removed AC
Removed Power steering
Removed Cruise control


New Member
So the first change I made to the car was cleaning up my R Lip. It was black when I picked up the car, but it had some wear and tear. So I decided to clean her up a bit.

It was black, this is the OEM color.

After some cleaning I decided to dip it. I had some white left over from my winter subie wheels, so I decided to try a white lip. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.



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Also it looked like the hardware had seen better days... so I picked up some stainless steel hardware for the front lip.

Here is the diseased hardware.

This car is getting a turbo Sping of 2015 (I already own everything for this). Picked up a GrimmSpeed MBC because you have to support the local shops!



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Here is a quick photoshoot I did once I had the lip mounted. I also added a gold Mazda vinyl back to the front bumper as the car did not come with it (repainted bumper). I personally like the Mazda logo on the front.

New Fuel Pump also arrived around this time. I am excited to try out this DW. I had a walbro on my WRX and it was a PITA to install and it was really jenky for the fitment. It will be nice to run a FP made for my car without modification.



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So next project was to fix the window. I have a fancy Miata with power windows..... which are slower than manual windows. I bet someone could roll their manual windows up and down before mine would go down. I did some reading and decided to clean and grease up my windows (tracks and cables) to fix this issue.

Driver's side out.

This was pretty dry

Thank God for bolt grabbers with lights on them. I dropped this washer on both sides (more than once).

There should be a nylon grommet here to slide on the track. Instead there is nothing.....

Window guides clean vs dirty

This is why she doesn't want to slide.



Clean vs Dirty ... Notice my Nylon grommet stuck at the bottom of the track!!!

Clean vs Dirty



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I wasn't expecting to find missing nylon grommets... so I had to order some from a vendor on Miata.net. While I waited my custom MSLabs MS3 showed up from Greece. I had a member on TurboMiata build it for me. He was an awesome dude to work with. It took 2 months to have it build and shipped over seas, but I knew that going into the purchase. He has to have a large enough order before shipping the ECUs over and dealing with US Customs. I still have a lot to learn about this ECU, but I am stoked on what I know it can do.

Also my grommets arrive. Out with the nylon and in with the Teflon! For extra goodness I picked up this Honda grease for the windows. I guess it is the BEE's KNEES when it comes to grease.

Oh and my new AEM AFR Gauge showed up. I picked up the gauge with the new 4.9 sensor. They got rid of the 4.2 sensor on this gauge in the fall of 2014. This was from the first batch that our vendor received.



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Ok, and now the good stuff!!!

We decided to swap in my built engine first. I didn't want to swap in a new fuel system, ecu, engine and turbo all in one sitting. I wanted to work out any bugs from the new engine first. Then move onto the ECU, fuel system and turbo. This process took a bit longer than expected due to schedules .... and me adding a few things after the engine came out.

This is my cousin's 92' Miata that I am taking the engine and parts from. He is going a different route with his car.

This is my engine and future setup, pure sex!

These are not my cousin's tools... we found them in his fender. They have been there the whole time he has owned this car (over 14 years).

Taking his car apart to steal all of the goodness out of it.

Taking the engine to a new home. My 91' Miata

This is my new clutch. She is a sexy lady. I have never owned a clutch this nice. I have since been able to drive with it... I have now been spoiled. It is a truly epic clutch.

BTW I am also inlove with this coating on the engine. Grey Vein.



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Dropped my car off at this point.... was expecting to drive her home within 2 - 3 weeks. However, life got in the way and she didn't make it back to my garage until the first week of Jan 2015.

Had to take one more pic of his car... it looks so sexy.

Getting mine ready for a new life

Seems like a good time for me to drink a beer and take pics of other people wrenching on my car. BTW, try to avoid being the guy that pulls the exhaust bolts off... that job sucks!

Check out the difference between the manual steering rack (blue car) and the power steering rack (white car). Seeing as how my PS doesn't actually work in my car, I am going to swap out this rack ... this summer I hope. I actually just missed a sweet deal on a manual steering rack on another forum. Oh well, there is always time for another to pop up.

2 cars, no engines.


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So here is where I really delayed the engine swap process. I couldn't stand putting his clean ass engine into my dirty ass engine bay. So I decided to do something about that.

Time to let her sit before i take off the tape.

AND..... I am happy I took the time to do that.



New Member
Here is the new engine going into my now very clean engine bay. 100% worth the delay.

Can you tell I love this clutch?

My 6 speed is now on the engine and ready to go in.

It looks so much better with fresh paint!

So the car came with a pretty loud exhaust. When you have a N/A Miata pushing less than 100 whp, a loud exhaust is sort of silly in my mind. So for the short period that this car will be running N/A with the built motor I picked up a OEM exhaust from a local Miata owner for $30. I will be cleaning up my Jackson Racing Exhaust soon and put it up for sale. I have no need for it as I already have an exhaust setup for my turbo. This is some pics of my cousin spot welding and welding together my OEM exhaust. The previous owner cut it up to transport it. No big deal since I am going to be running it for only a short period. It sounded great for the whole 40 min drive I took home before she was parked and stored for the winter.

I also picked up some AMSoil for my car. After checking out the internals of my WRX @ 60K (when we built the engine) and seeing how well the AMSoil protected the internals I am a customer for life. I was running E85 and some good boost through that car and she never gave up the ghost. So my Miata will also be running AMSoil. Due to the build I am running 15W-50. This is similar weight to the oil I would use for track days on my WRX when I had a built engine. However, the Miata will run this 100% of the time.


Also some goodness for the Tranny and Diff


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So... I happened to remove the wrong bolt... which happened to cause us to take apart the 6 speed transmission after it was already installed. I seriously only had to fill the tranny fluid and we were going to fire her up. This was sometime in Oct 2014. However, I pulled the wrong fill bolt. I don't feel as dumb. There are some Mazda tech bulletins out there telling techs not to do this. So seeing as how enough educated techs have also made this mistake that they had to put out a Service Bulletin, I fell less stupid... but i still feel stupid.

It was easier with the lift. As you can see we don't have a lot of room to drop this 6 speed.

And she comes apart.

Just like new, back together.

She passed the shifting test!

F*ck this bolt. It is a horrible, horrible person... bolt.... whatever. IT sucks!


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First Startup 12.16.14


So as I stated earlier... she is home now. I had to drive her home on a dry day the first week of Jan. It sucked... I really didn't want to drive her when there was any salt/winter crap on the roads. However, sometimes life happens.

1. Budget dyno money + any fab costs that come up this spring
2. Passenger 6pt Harness
3. Brake Booster and Master Cylinder need to be replaced and I hope to add 10.75" Willwoods at the same time
4. Tie Rods and Links need to be replaced

I will keep this thread updated as I tinker away this winter while she is stored as well.


New Member
Thanks. Yeah after I went though the work of doing this post I realized how sleepy this forum is. That is sad. Coming from the subie world I was hoping there was an active local car forum. Either way I will keep this thread updated. Maybe if you build it they will come?


So, if I followed you there, the motor you currently have in the car is your cousin's turbo motor, just converted back to NA? If so, I congratulate you on your restraint!


New Member
So, if I followed you there, the motor you currently have in the car is your cousin's turbo motor, just converted back to NA? If so, I congratulate you on your restraint!
Congratulations are too early my friend. This was only done to work out any bugs. I didn't want to swap in a new motor, fuel system, ecu and turbo in one step and then hunt gremlins. So built motor with stock everything else went in first. Just to run it for a few weeks to make sure all is well. Then this spring we will swap in the ECU, Turbo, Fuel System, Diff and Axels. So I will be pushing a good amount of snail power through it. Don't get me wrong. The car is a blast to drive at this stage. Coming from a nice E85 WRX setup, I was still 100% smiles driving a 96WHP 24 year old car. I am aware of the track monster an NA Miata can be... but I also enjoy the FI aspect of my project car. So come spring there will be more fabrication and power to be had.


New Member
Also I already own all the parts listed above, so my costs to do the rest of the work is just time and maybe a few odds and ends needed with engine bay modification.


Seems like a cool little build but unfortunately I can't seem to view any of the images posted in the thread. :(


SUDO Make me a SAMCH
I think this thread contains more content than all of MNMazda has received in the last 24 months lol, well done sir and nice looking car.


New Member
Thanks, i will keep the content coming. I am almost at my dyno budget so I should be acquiring more parts to play with soon!