speedblind
speedblind New Reader
5/10/09 7:33 a.m.

Bought a 1990 with the 1.8L swapped in a couple days ago. Mechanicals are great, car drives well and there are a few minor cosmetic issues that can be fixed cheap. It'd make a great summer/track car. Only issue is the rockers (area just ahead of the rear wheels) are rusted through.

This looks repairable - my only decision is whether to tackle it myself or have a shop take care of it. Since this board is Miata central (and 80% of the reason I've been obsessing about Miatas for the last couple years), I figured I'd ask here first

Any experience either way? I'd like to have it done the right way - old metal cut out, rust treated and new metal welded in. Car's great otherwise.

I'll work on posting some pics.

Thanks!

cwh
cwh Dork
5/10/09 7:47 a.m.

I know it's a factor of where I live, but I have never seen a rusty Miata.

speedblind
speedblind New Reader
5/10/09 7:52 a.m.

I lived in Arizona for the last 10 years and hadn't seen one until recently. I've looked at three in the past couple months and they all had rust spots in the lower rocker location. I remember a couple threads on the old board about it, but can't search.

Most Miatas around here are 3K+ and this was 2K. I figure I can live with a bit of rust and enjoy the car, but I'd like to have it fixed. it would also be nice to "save" an otherwise nice car.

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/10/09 8:17 a.m.

The top drains into the rocker there. There is a drain hole under the car, near the jacking point. If that gets clogged, then they rust.

The Miata I just picked up is rusted on one side and solid on the other.

I'm going to wait until cold weather to decide whether to tackle mine. I may POR-15 it and stick a piece of black duct tape over it until then. :)

You might do well to prep it and cut the old metal out and then take it somewhere to fab and weld in new metal, then finish it yourself. Just depends on how bad it is and what you enjoy doing. Free-form metal fabrication isn't my thing.

Miata parts are such a hot commodity that you could also buy a parts car with a solid rocker and sell enough parts off of it to pay for itself and make it worth your time.

longhorndude
longhorndude New Reader
5/10/09 9:24 a.m.

i have it on both sides, i plan on taking a plasma cutter to it then welding a patch. i see it a lot up here, 75% of the miatas i looked at had it.

joey48442
joey48442 SuperDork
5/10/09 9:49 a.m.

On mine as I disassembled the car to rremove the parts to rebody the car with a new tub from metal man, I realized the rust had gotten everywhere in the body. It wasn't saveable. Hopeefully yours isn't this way, but a complete rebody might be a reasonable option.

Joey

Sonic
Sonic New Reader
5/10/09 12:05 p.m.

I bought this car for $800 last July

With this rust on both sides, but otherwise pretty rust free.

I ground out and sanded down what I could get to, applied rust converter, primer, paint, etc. From there I fixed it like a boat: I added liberal amounts of great stuff expanding foam, cut it down, put a few layers of fiberglass mat over that, then 2 thin layers of body filler. To match the textured look at the bottom, I used spray on bedliner put on heavy. It came out quite well.

With just that repair, a cleaning and buffing, the car looked much better, and I sold it for $2000 a month later.

I know it isn't a long term solution, but it should last a few years, and I gave the buyer full disclosure.

fastmiata
fastmiata New Reader
5/10/09 1:34 p.m.

One of the miata that I owned(out of 13) would actually slosh after a rain or car wash due to the blocked roof drain. I can only guess why anyone would let that condition continue.

confuZion3
confuZion3 Dork
5/10/09 5:45 p.m.

Mine is rusty there too. Is it possible to just replace the rear quarters? I've never seen a Miata at a salvage yard for some reason, but if I did, would it be difficult to take the quarter panels off?

zoomx2
zoomx2 New Reader
5/10/09 7:58 p.m.
confuZion3 wrote: Mine is rusty there too. Is it possible to just replace the rear quarters? I've never seen a Miata at a salvage yard for some reason, but if I did, would it be difficult to take the quarter panels off?

You should take a look at this thread on miata.net, mine is the blue one on there. The tread will show you the construction of the rear quarters.

http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=326206&highlight=fender+rust

speedblind
speedblind New Reader
5/10/09 10:07 p.m.
Tyler H wrote: The top drains into the rocker there. There is a drain hole under the car, near the jacking point. If that gets clogged, then they rust.

Put the car up on jackstands tonight. There was a ton of stuff clogging the drain. What's more, the front fenders were about 1/2 full with dirt, dust and leaves! I removed the fender liner and used a long flathead screwdriver to scrape everything out. These cars hold an amazing amount of crap in the various body panels!

I'll get some pics at some point. I drove the car today - 70 miles later and I was shocked at how far I'd gone. It's an addicting car, more so than its power or old, original suspension would suggest. I really like this thing - I'm going to fix it up and make it a nice track car. Might try my hand at painting as well.

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