New '92 MTX Owner in TX

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Jun 23, 2023
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Austin, TX
Hey there,

Just recently snagged a 92 White/Gray/White slicer MTX in really amazing shape, 1 owner, no accidents, 99% stock and unmolested, for a really good price (I think so anyway) about 4400 bucks. I have always had a crush on these cars, my screen name or email being some version of SHOme89 or since I was about 10 years old (I'm 33 now).

It's been about 3 weeks having it now, and besides some obligatory growing pains, like 2nd day of ownership oil smoke from old dried up valve cover gaskets letting go, to dead batteries because I keep forgetting about the fact that the trunk, hood, and all 4 doors have no way of defeating the dome light feature for times when doors will be open a long time, when detailing or, you know, trying to change the one tiny coolant rubber hose that happened to burst immediately after getting the whole top of the motor back together after doing the valve cover gaskets.....I am slowly getting used to working on this thing but it sure does run amazing, strong, very quick, and sounds so SO good.

I have a few issues I'd like to post so that others could potentially offer their input on, as I am finding it harder and harder to pinpoint Google search results since the algorithms used these days literally try their best to return results that barely have anything to do with what you typed in the search bar initially....something that is probably more infuriating and frustrating than actually working on the car to begin with lol

Ok so here's some things I have found so far

•AC compressor seems to be dragging real hard sometimes cycles on and off in quick 2 second intervals, and when it does, it drags the RPMS down noticeably and even the belt squeaks...the PO says the belt actually pops off and for me to avoid using it till its addressed. Over charge? Under charge? Worn compressor? Before I tear into that rats nest of stuff, having an idea of typical issues similar to this issue would be helpful to know ahead of time. But it acts fine, cools very well, and barely noticeable cycling sometimes too, while driving or idling, so it seems sort of random, maybe happens more frequently when it is very hot/running a long time (car was converted to R134a within the last 5 years IIRC).

•I took the gauge cluster out to clean the faces up and sort of modify the backlighting/clean up the brown glue holding the white faces to the clear diffusers, so they wouldn't look so God awful at night. Having done this type of thing before on other cars, I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but seems as though my coolant gauge is stuck pinned way below negative, did I maybe not put the needle back on right? It has a high and low stop limit in its travel, so I swept the pin all the way down and stuck the needle on and I thought it'd just rise up and do its thing but it doesn't move at all from its lowest below-0 position it sits at currently. The single wire connector is attached under the throttle body for the tw.p gauge signal. Not sure what happened.

•There's a RPM-related groan/whine from one of the pulleys, and already after only a few days of obsessive googling and searching, I am getting nowhere with trying to form a simple list of pulley part numbers and/or dimensions and/or bearing dimensions and/or bearing part numbers so that I can literally have all of them come to me in the mail so I can replace all of them and have spares. Is that incredibly overzealous of me? Wishful thinking? I dunno, but I need whatever pulley is groaning to stop making the noise because it detracts so much from the experience of driving it.

•The car came with 2 cam chains, and the "gatorback" boxed/branded (but still just normal looking toothed-style) timing belt. What else should I buy before starting that sensor, water pump, crank main seal, cam seals......should I just throw in the valve shim stuff since I'll already be in there? What about rod bearings, or is that a separate job for a other time? The car has, according to the odometer, 122k miles, more on that next;

•Speedo cable top-half (from gauge to joint before the VSS) has seized and doesn't budge when trying to turn it at all from either direction, so I need a new one of those, luckily, the last oil change receipt I saw inside the car was from 2019 and the milage was about 115k, so I am not to worried about any major odometer discrepancy, but is there any special info about those cables for a 1992 MTX or can I even just use one of those cut-to-size speedo cable kits and just Jerry rig something sealed up nice and done on the cheap? Are they hard to find? I had a hard time finding much definitive info on the cable, but wasn't really sure what I was looking for exactly when I was searching.

•Is there any freaking way to defeat the dome light circuit when any of the doors are open? I basically have to remove the negative terminal from the battery when I do anything on the car because my battery now dies after only 5 minutes of the door or trunk or hood being open. Annoying. I have the auto light slider along with the dimmer slider and they don't change the dome behavior. I hate that. Any mods? Or am I just not seeing a defeat switch?

•After power washing and cleaning the underside of the motor and Trans and subframe, I am noticing most or all of the gears, but especially N -> 1st and 1st-> 2nd are very hard to fully engage, it'll feel almost like it's in gear, but will clank and grind, preventing gear engagement embarrassingly, usually at stop lights, and sometimes will partially engage, only for the stick to pop back to neutral, accompanied by a loud grind/pop...I think perhaps some water made its way through the rod shifter accordion boot on the bottom of the Trans, and after reading up on drilling, tapping and threading a drain plug to the bottom of the MTX, I am confident I can handle that no problem...but is it possible that a bit of water in the transmission would lead to poor synchro action? And, what kind of ATF is typical for enthusiast SHO owners to recommend for the MTX? Im slready familiar with reverse grind, that is still present and I know what to do to prevent that, for the record....

•OHCP (overhead control panel) with the dome/spots and the sunroof control is not attached, floating around in the trunk, so currently it doesn't operate, obviously....there is a small gear/wind that is there which I assume manually operates the sunroof, but is there supposed to be a motor assembly attached to thar, or is the motor and gear mesh and all that stuff buried further into the rear of the headliner or is that near the front of the headliner? Was the sunroof option a Ford thing or an afternarket/dealer addon back in those days? The slider shade for the sunroof is a rather ugly and crudely formed (see: lumpy mold, poor cut lines, sharp edges) hard plastic louvered-style (see also: worthless as a sunshade with all the jagged holes in it) slider shade. If this is how it came from the factory, then maybe someone out there can tell me more about where the components are for it, if I'm missing something, or what I can do to test it and get it working...the OHCP is just 2 simple lights, and a switch for the sunroof that literally has 4 screws going thru the outer visible plastic to secure it, looking almost DIY, which leads me to believe it was an aftermarket addon and that means it'll probably be pretty hard to figure out where to get parts if I need them etc. But it'd be nice to have that working.

•Fuel pump it's not as loud as the frigging bearings in the front whirring away, but it's definitely a very noticeable groan, when key in->key switched on, it grunts for a few seconds to prime, and I can say that I remember it getting louder as it gets hotter while driving, in traffic for example (I'm in texas, if I didn't mention that already, and its been over 102 every day for the last week, which I've spent outside working on this car every day since i got it ). I know some SHOs got upgraded fuel pumps, and some got standard flow ones, so how do I know if it's just a loud, upgraded pump, and not something that I should be getting ready to cut a hole under the rear seat?

I'll cut and paste all the above issues into separate posts in their respective subforums, if that would be better than having it all listed here, but figured it wouldn't be a legit new SHO owner introduction without a ton of issues being mentioned in their first interaction with the community. And with that all being said, I'm happy to be here, and if anyone is in or near Austin, TX, hit me up, I'm over by 4 points/Anderson mill and would love to talk local clubs or meets, I used to be part of the local Miata club community with my 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata GT, but that car was totaled and I'm parting it out now. Also a current 2012 Mazda3 2.5S 6MT Sedan owner, since 2014, so much work done on that thing, best car ever, just always wanted a sho and the 3 is probably getting parted/scrapped too, so if anyone might want or need anything for a NB2 miata or BL Mazda3 (2010-2013) hit me up for part availability on those.

Sorry for the wall of text!



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Irish Pride

Irish Inside
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Dec 23, 2007
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Welcome in. Great looking car. I love the 92!

What you posted is way too much to address in one thread. I'm gonna lock this thread but I'm not going to delete it. Refer to it to start individual threads on each issue so as not to get everyone confused.

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