2016 MX5 Miata Repair – Stripping Away The Covers

I have spent the past few evenings stripping off the dead parts to have a good look at the damage and I really don’t think it’s that bad. But, I can see how an insurance company may have run away screaming. There are tons of little bits and bobs that are broken or cracked. Plus unless you really hunt for the parts getting everything would add up quick.

Looking at the left side, the damage isn’t too bad, save the wrinkle in the skirt. I think I frame shop can pull it out, but if not I’ll replace it. Considering the the left took the brunt of the force of the impact it’s descent. I think the shop that sold me the car, replaced the shock and lower control arm You can see the yellow marker on the shock and it’s on the arm.

The right side is in really descent condition, save the lower control arm has a bow in it, that is pushing the tire backwards. The fire shouldn’t be touching the mud skirt.

Now the front really shows the damage, I removed the radiator support already. You just drill out the spot welds, and it pops off. The while frame on both sides is shifted to the right side of the car. The bumper support is really mangled. I took a picture with the old and new to really show the issue.

I couldn’t figure out why the car wouldn’t stay running after being jump started and now I know. The A/C and alternator belt were shredded. The battery box seemed to have touched the alternator pulley and something, hit the A/C pulley pretty hard. I think I can repair the A/C puller with my dremel, if not I’ll have to but a replacement compressor. The ND is so new aftermarket parts haven’t caught up yet, so I can’t buy a clutch by itself. You’ll need to click for the high res picture to see the pulley damage.

2016 MX5 Miata Repair – Initial Pictures

Here is the beginning of the journey on my newly purchased 2016 Mazda MX5. I bought the car on ebay from a dealer in New York called Affordable Motors. I’m not very impressed by these guys and I plan write something about that process, it’s hard to argue with the price I payed for the car. Which was well under 50% of the new price of a new car.

I plan to use all Mazda Parts to fix the car it should be close to new as I can get it eventually. Things like running lights, and the plastic grille might wait until I see a bargain.

Here are some pictures of the car in its current state.

The front driver’s scraped along something pretty hard. I’m guessing a concrete lane divider. The fender, hood, bumper, and headlight bought it hard. The upper radiator support need to be replaced. I’m going to see if I can get someone with a frame machine to pull the kink out of the apron, if it can’t be pulled it will be replaced with a new part. You can see the LED headlamp is toast, I’m also going to take it apart the busted LED headlight and play with that.

Turns out the lower drivers side control arm and tire was replaced by the seller, to make the car look better.

Here is the passenger side, I really don’t really have a good explanation to what happened. Best guess is it hit another car after the other impact with the concrete object. On this side if you look closely the wheel is pushed back a bit. The lower control arm on this side has a slight bow to it. Also the front impact barrier is cracked and pushed to the left. The wiring for the headlamp is also damaged. I think the apron is slightly bent to the left as well. Once the debris is removed (junk parts) I’ll be towing it a frame shop.

Front and back shot of the car, the rear shot looks almost perfect.


Have 329.00? Want a Musical Tesla Coil? Your in Luck!

OneTesla Tesla Coil


So, I goto the 2013 World Maker Faire, and walk into one of the tents over near the Robotics area and I hear the magical sound of a tesla coil playing music. So, I wonder over in that direction and where is a 1ft tall tesla coil playing the theme for Star Wars. I was in love, I asked the price and for $300.00 at the Faire (now $329.00) I did everything I could not to just say here take my money! But, the biggest thing holding me back was I think $300.00 is a little too much for a kit. While it looks like it’s made of great quality, I think the price is a bit too high. I think closer to the 200.00 mark would seal the deal for me.

On a positive note, it looks like they posted schematics and code on-line for those that want to do everything themselves.

Norm from Tested.com spoke with the developers, you can check out the video below.


Arduino Yun TP-Link Router + Arduino Uno = Arduino Yun

Arduino Yun


So, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and I’m so glad it’s come. All of these Arduino WIFI adapters and shields have always been missing the ability to act as an access point. But, finally the guys at Arduino got the message and have created this little gem. It’s pretty much what people have been doing with the little TP-Link access points. Usually people start by flashing Open-WRT on them and then plugging in an Arduino Uno for serial communication. But now it’s packaged into one nice board and ready to go. I just purchased one at the World Maker Faire and it’s a great little device. I’m going to use it to build a remote car starter for my trucklet.

Check out the full details on the Arduino Website


This is the Arduino Mini you’ve been looking for, meet Spark Core

Spark Core

I have been waiting for a device like this for a very long time and I’m ecstatic that it has come to fruition. So many of my project have desperately needed 802.11 WIFI in a small easy implement package that didn’t cost a fortune. I used the now defunct AsyncLabs YellowJacket, but it didn’t have much in the way of flash memory space. If you wanted a web server with graphics you couldn’t get very far and it didn’t take much before it ram out of RAM either. Plus getting one with a u.FL connector was nearly impossible. ┬áNo one ever released the YellowJacket Mega or even anything close, until now.

The Spark Core is an ST ARM M3 Cortex 128KB Flash, 20KB RAM, uses the new TI C3000 WIFI chipset, and you can select a ceramic antenna or a u.FL connector for an external antenna.

I’m planning to use this on a new version of the remote car starter on my Baja. I have pair on pre-order.