1994 M-Edition

Posted by Zachary Visker on

1994 M-Edition in Montego Blue with Tan Leather Interior. By far one of my most favorite color combos. 94 M-Edition included tan leather, Nardi wood shift knob/e-brake, Torsen LSD, polished hollowspokes and polished sill plates. The 94 model also included the 128hp 1.8 Engine, larger brakes, chassis bracing, passenger airbag and stronger transmission/diff. 

This 94M was purchased down in Iowa from another Miata enthusiast. Took very good care of it and added some nice tasteful mods. But had to, unfortunately, sell it due to the engine going bad. The previous owner mistakenly left it in 1st gear while towing behind their RV and caused the motor to redline approx to 14,000! Yikes haha. He said that he felt the drag let go and the suddenly noticed the Miata smoking(failed engine). As you can see the radiator blew out from the pressure and heat. 

Shame, but mistakes happen anyways he was ready to let go due to the engine going out. At the time I had several NA8 engines laying around so had no problem doing a simple engine swap.

We wanted to focus on all the little details to make this car presentable for the next owner. So to do so we did the following:

After getting the car and inspecting the car was in really nice shape had seats had minimal wear, nice soft top, fully optioned car and nice tires. Once we got it we pulled the damaged drivetrain(engine, transmission). Now that the engine was out and we were still in nonfreezing temps we degreased the entire engine bay. Now that the car was clean it was time to move on to the engine.

Here is the donor a 95 1.8 with only 115k.

This engine showed great compression tests when we parted it out earlier this summer. Now that we had the engine out we decided to go full overbore. A full regrease and cleaning of all the parts was due. Then while all the parts were clean we decided to repaint all the parts to a similar to factory color, which included:

-Engine Block: Semi-Gloss Black High Heat

-Valve Cover/Cylinder Head/Oil Pan: Flat Silver High Heat

-Intake Manifold/: Semi-Gloss Silver 

We also repainted all the accessories appropriate black/silver colors. All the bolt heads were cleaned using a light wire wheel to remove any corrosion or rust. This made the engine look brand new.

After everything was painted it was time to refresh the new engine. This included a full reseal of external oil and water gaskets as well as maintenance parts, which included:

-Oil Pan Seal

-Crank Main Seal(Front/Rear)

-Cam Seals

-CAS O-Ring

-Valve Cover


-Thermostat Housing

While the engine was out we decided to also address any maintenance parts so the next owner will have a worry free car to enjoy, which included:

-Timing Belt

-Water Pump

-Spark Plugs


-PCV Valve

Now that the entire engine cleaned, sealed and painted it was time to install. While out of the car we mate the transmission to the engine for ease of installation. But before that we installed a new Exedy OEM clutch with a resurfaced flywheel, new throwout bearing, pilot bearing and a transmission rear output seal. As well as new hydraulics includes the clutch master and slave cylinder. Now everything is torqued down and ready to install. 

A few days later I waited for Kevin to give me a hand with the installation. It took us about 15 minutes to install the engine in place and then got started hooking everything back into place, connecting the sensors, installing the exhaust, etc. Took about 2 half days to get it all complete. 

Next day was time for start-up, before that we filled all the fluids up which included: Rotella T6 5W-40 for engine oil, Redline MTL for transmission fluid and Prestone Coolant. Once everything was filled up, bolted down and checked over it was time to crank it over. 

After jumping off the Frontier, it started up after just a few turnovers, while the fuel rail was filling up. Engine sounds great right away after the lifters got some oil pressure. Double checking over everything for leaks or problems. After about 45 minutes of letting the coolant system burp all the air due to use flushing out the heater core and starting with an empty block, it was time to drive it. 

The Drive

After hearing how well the engine sounded and was revving I had no hesitation to go test drive it. After checking the oil and for leaks we set out. During the drive the engine ran flawless no issues at all and after we got back no leaks. Success! At this time Minnesota was been bi-polar on snow, so I was able to drive it around for a while and let the clutch do its break-in period. After about 200 miles we did another check up and everything was still good. Once the clutch was broken in it was time to give it some throttle and test it out the fun way. Doing some spirited driving really shows how much fun it is to rev the Miata and shift through its gears even in stock form. We got to drive it for about 4 weeks until the salt trucks appeared and it was time to put it away into storage...

Montego Blue Shine

Prior to putting cars into storage, we choose to give a car a full detail. This 94M needed a bit more so we decided to do a full paint correction, wax, interior detail, and vacuum. Mike, good friend that knows a lot about detailing has helped me in the past with my last 2 details and the results are amazing. 

The 94M needed some work on the exterior, there were a lot of light scratches in the clear and a bit of oxidation on the flat spots that the sun-baked.

But all this was manageable. Our detail process starts with a product called Iron-X, which dissolves metal particles that are embedded in the paint, once that cures with rinse it off. Next, we use Tar-X in needed places, which remove bug guts and road tar. Once most of the abrasive containments are removed we clay bar the entire car to remove any other impurities in the paint surface as these will contribute to swirling while using the polisher. Here is where the work comes in. We both take one side and start with compound this takes off a microscopic layer of clear which is where 99% of these surface clear coat scratches reside.

Once the compound is done with go over it with polish. This is where we see the huge difference in quality it the compound takes away mostly all of the scratches and the polish really brightens the paint. Next, there is a product that we let cure on the paint, which is a clear coat brightener. This helps protect as well as help "pop" the color. Then after that, we finish with a coat of wax. It seems like a lot, but the results speak for themselves...

There is more haha. The interior we did a full vacuum on the carpet which are in very nice condition. Next, we use 303 Aerospace cleaner for all interior plastics, vinyl, etc.

Then we used 303 leather cleaner and conditioner to clean the seats.

As well as RainX Window Cleaner for the inside and outside of the glass.

Now that the car runs great and looks great its time to put it into storage until spring. This is by far the worst part about living in MN, but is not worth the risk of exposing this kind of car to salt and icy roads. I am very excited to get this car out this Spring of 2019 to take some pictures. 

This 94M will be available for sale in Spring 2019.  

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  • The right colors throughout. Nice and vibrant. Great ride.

    Bryan M Scholtes on

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