A Ton of Repairs!

I put together an extended repair list by placing the car on jack-stands and giving it a through inspection.  This is gonna be quite the repair job.

  • Rear axle oil seal
  • Muffler pipe broken and rattling
  • Rear right brake caliper leaks
  • Rear left brake caliper parking break mechanism jammed and parking cable collapsed
  • Destroyed bushings
  • Steering rod looks bent
  • Crank pulley wobbles and timing pulleys dont align to factory marks 🙁
  • Coolant cap leaks
  • Missing overflow tank

Since I have no maintenance records for this car I will be doing all the regular and extended maintenance including:

  • New oil and water pump
  • New belts and hoses
  • Replace timing pulleys
  • Oil and fuel filter
  • Replace engine, transmission and diff oil
  • Spark plugs
  • Thermostat, radiator cap
  • Rotors and brake pads
  • Clutch

Stripping down the Engine

1992 Miata belts removedI started with draining the fluids and pulling out the radiator and AC components.

After removing the alternator pulley I hit the biggest issue I was worried about.  The crankshaft key way was damaged due to an improper timing belt change.  This in turn damaged the timing pulley and pulley boss and screwed up the engine timing.  This damage was caused by the crankshaft pulley bolt not being replaced and properly torqued.

damaged keyway

As you can see the timing gear is aligned to the TDC mark but the crank shaft is rotated slightly past TDC.  Not great for an engine to be misaligned in this way.  Not sure what to do about it at this point, several site recommend a Loctite fix or crankshaft replacement or even replace the entire engine.  I certainly don’t want to be replacing these major components so I’ll keep looking for a solution.

The oil pump on this engine requires the oil pan to be removed however it is blocked by the car’s frame.  This means the engine needs to be lifted and the sub-frame Miata engine on standlowered, what a hassle! Instead I’ll just pull the whole engine and trany out in one piece.  I wasn’t planning on this but it does give me the added benefit of replacing the clutch and and other hard to reach components.

Pulling it out wasn’t too hard, save for dumping all the transmission oil on the ground when the driveshaft was disconnected.

Engine Maintenance

New brakesOnce the engine was on the the stand everything moved forward very smoothly.  New pumps, seals and gaskets, found and fixed the coolant leak.  Replaced the engine mounts as they were showing signs of age and largely cracked.

A friend came over and replaced the bad calipers, brake lines and rear diff oil seal. Welded and repaired the loose and rattling muffler, installed the roll-bar, and even brought the beer!

Finally the engine is back in the car, however it still needs a fix for the crank shaft.


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