I really dislike driving a car with body damage. A few scratches are tolerable, but major blemishes or dents really grate on me. So once the ignition system was brought back to life, an appointment was made with a local detail/light body shop (my term for it that as they specialize in automotive cosmetic issues, not major collision damage) to take care of a few things.
The rear quarter dent was pulled, filled and repainted, going from this...
still needed - replacement side marker cover
Instead of buying some chrome-plated replacement mirrors, the covers were sanded and resprayed. Before...
And three moderately-sized dings, like this...
...were popped out.
And finally, the world's ugliest antenna was replaced with a shorty amplified mast.
But first I had to remove the stubborn base of the old one.
A Phillips screwdriver and and Vicegrips on the base...
...yielded nothing. So out came grandpa's old Black & Decker drill (along with a temporary case of Tourette syndrome):
Once the base was gone (and unceremoniously dumped in the trash), the power lead was routed through the trunk and up to the switched power line on the back of the radio head unit.
Yep, I had to remove the center console and radio yet again. But that's okay as the end result was worth the effort.
Nice, subtle and low-profile. Too bad the reception is far worse. I'll have to figure that out sometime in the future. For now, I just stream my local NPR station* through my phone via the auxiliary input on the head unit.
I still want to take care of the front bumper and rear finishing panel (plastic panel between the taillights), but those will come in time.
Spark, fuel and air - the three essential ingredients needed for an internal combustion engine to function. With the bad coil and spark plug wire causing the misfire that was described in a previous post, the silver car wasn't street-drivable. So the first thing ordered were new ignition parts to get the car back on the road.
Most importantly, a replacement Mazda ignitor/coil was sourced...
...which is connected to the spark plugs by way of the spark plug wires (duh). The Bosch-brand wires of unknown age were pulled...
...and replaced with a set of 8.5mm wires from Magnecor (who seemingly have a web presence that hasn't been updated since the mid-90s).
They cost more than the standard-grade replacement wires, but have a lifetime guarantee. And, from what I have read, Miata's B6ZE(RS) engine consumes wires evevry 30k miles or so.
And finally, a set of NGK plugs were screwed into the engine's alloy head.
The old ones weren't bad, but I felt it best to cover all of the electrical bits in one fell swoop.
Considering I was replacing broken/worn components, it's not surprising that the difference in driveability and performance was night and day. What was surprising was how much better this engine felt as compared to the red car. It just seemed to sing whereas the red car's engine was a little bit more muted.
I don't know the exact age or mileage of the ignition components on that car, but I am guessing that it still had the original ignitor/coil providing the electrical pulse. The wires and plugs had likely been replaced within the past couple of years.
Once I was able to take the silver car out for an hour-or-so ride, I felt very confident that I had made the right choice in selling the red car and keeping the silver one. And now that the car could be driven, I could start doing more work to it.