Yep…The fellow who bought my 914 set out to practice his speed shifting “skills” the very first day that he had it. You guessed it. He found Reverse when he was looking for 2nd, and that was the end of the transmission.
What a wonderful summation of the fun of owning old aircooled machines — and, Yes, it Is Fun! I note AIRcooled, as the game shifts slightly when you add coolant (I was going to be honest and say water, but what they hey; why not try to be PC?) But I suspect we all know about the fun of dripping fluids (and if you don't, God Help You, and I have a nice MG to sell you!)
Huge congratulations on the Miata! Coming from a family of SoCal designers with a heavy penchant for the past, the late-'80's were a wonderful period of retro-design. I think I still have the brochure I picked up when the first Miata was announced. The Elan-which-would-actually-run was a wonderful concept. I never got one, but I did end up with a Honda GB500 for awhile, the ideal garage-mate to the original Miatas...It started nicely, too!
You did not mention that if you find the battery your have to check the wheel well infront of the rear wheel under the battery mount that collects water and battery acid that corrodes the mounting location of the rear suspension trailing arm.
jeffnishi The article brought a lot of fond memories back. I was sorry to let it go and was particular that it went to a good home. I always loved the configuration of the engine and drive a Boxster S to date. Over came some to the short comings of the 914 but it is not the same car at all for better of worst! I lover my 914!!!
This is awesome. I had a 78 VW Dasher yellow 2 door in high school. The exhaust fell off (among other things), my dad found a cherry bomb muffler on the side of the road one day and proceeded to instruct me in the arts of welding it into what was left of the original system. I remember practicing heal and toe shifting and that cherry bomb muffler barking like I was at the Rolex 24 in Daytona. A 16-year-old kid can dream. Loved that car....
Where I come from, these "quirks" are considered personality.
A car with this kind of personality is great for some very entertaining stories to tell the grandkids. You'll never forget what you've gone through with a car like this which cannot be said for a Camry that gets you to your destination without drama or incident 100% of the time. That's boring.
NORM! How the hell have you been?! You lived next door to me at Georgia Tech when you had this 914 and I had a `79 Turbo Cobra (slightly different hood than the `79 Mustang Indy Pace Car but same mechanicals); and I stumbled across your post in a tweet serendipitously!
Your dad was a Very Wealthy Endocrinologist; and you taught me about engine lubricants, telling me why you preferred SAE 30 to multi-viscosity oils as you explained to me when you get to the crank and the oil is 5 molecules thick, you don't want two of those five to be additives; and FoMoCo recommended 10W30. You also explained to me why I needed to change the oil every 3,000 miles, explaining to me that the lube return line didn't have a check valve in it; and every time the engine cooled down the burned lube would be sucked back into the turbo. As it turned out, the turbo was was working well when I got rid of it at 140,000 miles, as the bearing seals were shot leading to smoking (don't ask how we got it past NJ tailpipe inspections!), and this led to the bearings getting fresh lubricant.
Also, I tightened the waste gate spring to run at the design–rated 12 PSIG; as I found out from FoMoCo senior engineer Dr Serge Gratch that it was derated at the last minute to 6 PSIG due to octane requirements; so whenever I raced it or was driving up the Monteagle Hill on I-24 NNW of Chattanooga, I threw in a can of 104+ and I was good to go. Let me tell you, there's nothing more fun than when you get near where the interstate splits to go up the 6% grade you put your foot to the floor and hold it for six miles of the wildest ride in your life going around the curves and the trucks are crawling up in the truck lane.
Anyway, do stay in touch. My email is Brakeshoe4515T@gmail.com and I'm @DAN_Schwartz on twitter.
Might want to check the distributor coil for that voltage leak. The strap gets loose and they will rotate from vibration and short against the block. Killed my engine at 80 mph on I-75 once. But found it and was back on the road in 10 minutes.