I saw an ad on Craigslist that stated "Want to restore a 92 Miata?" and saw that they were looking for the best offer over $370. The ad stated:
"* 105,000 miles
* 12" x 12" dent behind passenger door
* A break in the front dash
* 1 broken belt
* Blown head gasket
* Missing the "role" down handle on the passenger side.
--Does have AC and a new stereo just installed(ipod adaptable)"
I thought, what the heck. I could probably part it out and get every dime back if it did not pan out. So I go over there and met the owner. She pops the hood and I pull the dipstick...bone dry. Then I remove the radiator cap...also bone dry. Battery is deader than a door nail. I mull this over and offer her $300 for it provided it has a clear title. She told me it does and that she would take my offer but I'd have to come back later as her father had the title.
So I come back later and meet the parents...who informed me that the motor was blown! They hand me the paperwork from a local Firestone stating blown engine with an estimate of $6200.00 for a reman engine installation. I call a wrecker to come get her and take her to my house. I throw my battery charger on it and set at a nice slow 2 amp trickle charge. I come back in about an hour and all I get is a click...could be locked up or power just too low still. In about another two hours I go back and try again...whrrr. Okay, not locked up but the battery is still too low. I meet up with a friend and kill another couple of hours and go back to the house. Since it whired last time, I figure I better put some oil in it. I had some used oil from one of my other cars oil change and pour it in...not wanting to invest any money in a blown motor till I know what's going on.
I hit the key and the motor comes to life! I shut it off cause the broken belt is the water pump belt and it still doesn't have any water in the radiator. I go to the parts store and get a cheap belt and a thermostat gasket...I always heard that if a car overheats it damages the thermostat..true or false, I'm removing it for testing purposes and the gasket is just 99 cents.
I get back, install the belt, remove the thermostat and install the gasket. Top her up with water and fire it back up. The lifters are raising cain at first but then they start to settle down one by one. After 15 minutes, they are quiet. Some steam is coming out of the tailpipe so I'm watching this carefully along with the temp gauge to see whats going to happen.
After 30 minutes of running, nothing happened. The steam disappeared and the temp was at normal. I concluded it must have been condensation in the exhaust. I titled, tagged and insured it and have driven it to work for the last couple of months without any trouble. Best part? 28mpg!
2001 Ranger XLT SuperCab 4dr Flareside 3.0 V6
Last edited by dos0711; 11-23-2010 at 12:54 PM.