The Closer We Looked at Our Old Mazda Miata, the More Problems We Found

Important lesson: With a car this far past its model year, you don’t repair things, you replace them.

byEric Goeres|


This Mazda Miata is not new, and we knew that going into the DIY Lab project. We were prepared for the usual—rusty, seized bolts, busted and broken, and stuff like that—but when we got in there we discovered found oh-so-much more. Busted up control arms, battered tie-rod ends and, of course, shocks that were shot.

In this episode of DIY Lab, our master third-generation mechanic, Carlos Dos Santos, explained patiently that usually you don’t repair things on a car this old. Instead, you replace them. So begins our joyous (and somewhat filthy) cycle of the more we looked, the more we found. Shocks? Get rid of them. Ball joints? Cut and paste. As Carlos says, “it’s a system!”

And while we’re at it, we dropped the Miata 40 millimeters closer to the ground. With a little tuning, it’s going to drive better than new.

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