Miata Brakes and other Misc

This weekend I put new front brake pads and rotors on the Miata. The old pads were pretty worn.

Old and new.

It wasn’t a difficult job.

One done.

After that I flushed the brake fluid. I did the front first, since I had the wheels off already, then I put the front wheels back on, took it off the stands, and lifted the rear onto the stands to flush the rear brakes.

I also took a look at the cowl nuts and sealed them up. This is a known issue on the Miata’s of this generation. There is a foam pad under these nuts that dries out and disintegrates which then allows water to get into the cabin when it rains.

The foam wasn’t too bad on mine, but I figured I’d just seal them up with some goo anyway.

Gooey nut.

I also soldered up and installed a wiring harness for the rear view mirror and foot well lights. The constant power for the mirror comes from the feed for the dome light and the switched power comes from a tap on the accessory fuse.

Wiring harness.

I used one of these neat things and it worked out slick!

Fuse tap.
Fuse tap installed.

That was Saturday.

One of the things I didn’t do on Saturday was install the LED lighting in the foot wells. I was going to, but I realized there was nothing to attach it to on the driver’s side.

Sunday morning I spent some time thinking about how to make a bracket to hang the LEDs from and then I grabbed a 7″ piece of aluminum flashing and cut it to suit. It’s not like the LED strips weigh anything, and there is no force involved, so light weight aluminium flashing worked out great!

A flashing LED mount.

After I got the two LED strips installed and wired in I had to stop until Amazon delivered my hard-wire USB power for the dash cam and the USB outlet I wanted to install. Luckily they arrived as I was leaving to go grocery shopping so when I got home again I could start working some more.

I snaked the dash cam power cord up and tied it off. All kinds of new wiring going on in this picture!


After I got the other end hooked up I tested it and then I could re-install all the header and A pillar trim.

Then it was time to tear apart the console for the USB plug. I was originally thinking that maybe I could drill the hole while the console was together, but there was too much stuff in the way in the back, so I had to tear it all apart. Luckily it’s not difficult.

All torn apart.

I discovered that I didn’t have an 1-1/8″ diameter hole saw, so I walked up to the hardware store to get one. There was really only one place the USB port would fit, so I drilled a hole.

At this point it’s too late to back out!

The port just fits between the sockets that hold the plugs that would be used if I had heated seats (which I don’t.) And I mean it just fits…

A tight fit.

But it looks good all installed.

Almost looks like it belongs.

I’m not usually a fan of suitcase connectors, but it seemed the simplest way to tie into the lighter socket power, so I did it.


Hook it up and test it out. I like that it has a voltmeter in it.

It works!

As long as I had the console apart I also took apart the cover for the cup holders and fixed the latch. The part where the spring goes was poorly designed and broke. I fixed it by drilling a new hole for the end of the spring. (No photos.)

Additionally I took the passenger side power window switch apart (again) and cleaned it up, since it was being a bit flaky (again). I also had purchased some Deoxit so I put some of that on it to see if it helps.

After that it was just putting it all back together.

I programmed the HomeLink garage door opener in the mirror and it worked great. The compass is not working and not allowing me to run the calibration, so I’ll have to figure that out still, or just leave it turned off. 🙂

The brakes should be the last major maintenance on the Miata for a while. And I think I have most of the mods done too.

A louder horn is on the list though.

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