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  #1  
Unread 02-04-2007, 10:34 AM
BeerBurner's Avatar
BeerBurner BeerBurner is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling, Virginia
How-to [How-to] My Miata spoiler install experience

I wrote this up a while ago but figured it'd be appropriate here.

I decided that I wanted to buy myself a little present, and the Moss spoiler would be it! And as long as I was doing this, I’d do a write-up on my experiences with it, since my searches have yielded a lot of questions on this matter. While I have done some body work in the past, I am by no means a professional, so I have no doubt there are better ways of doing this than what I’ve done. This is just my trial-n-error (well, mostly “error”, I think!) approach.

This will also be written “blog style”, since I have been updating this on a word document as I’ve been going along so that I don’t forget any details.

**************************

I received my Moss spoiler and, like some other has mentioned, was somewhat disappointed with the finish of it. There were scratches and whatnot in it that needed sanding out. Additionally, I also read about this spray that was on there which made it difficult for paint to adhere to. I could see some form of black overspray on the double-sided tape on the underside, and some other…..stuff….flaking off the underside.

I also ordered some paint from www.automotivetouchup.com. This is the automotive paint that is packaged in your typical spray paint can. I’ve never used it before but figured it was worth the shot, especially since the $20 for the paint and $10 for the clear coat would be a lot easier and cheaper than chasing down a quart of paint, some more clear coat and then a paint sprayer. After my order, I was a bit concerned when I realized that the shop was in New Orleans. I contacted them and they assured me that it was good to go. It took a little longer than the 2-3 days it mentioned on the website to ship, but I got it less than two weeks after the order, so no complaints.

For prepping the spoiler, I gathered up the following items:

* 220 grit sandpaper
* 400 grit sandpaper
* scouring sponge
* two rags
* two 22 oz. Bottles of Yuengling Lager

I first sanded the entire spoiler with the 220 grit paper, and then the 400 grit. I used one rag as a coushion on the ground so that I could stand the spoiler on end without scratching it. I wet the second rag and began to wipe the dust off. During this, I noticed that the water “fisheyed” in certain areas, and I decided to assume that this was the result of more of that sprayed on surface that the paint wouldn’t like. I used more sand paper on the fisheyes until they were mostly gone. I would then follow it up with the scouring sponge which removed even more of the surface. In fact, I might have been able to do everything with that sponge. But I scrubbed away, figuring that, when in doubt, scrub some more.

Beer is consumed as needed.

Once I got rid of all the water fisheyes, I wiped down the spoiler again and began the longest part of this project. Since it is now late November, I most likely missed the window for good painting weather. However, since it is all prepped, I can quickly hop to work should the weather be cooperative.

*********************

And, as luck would have it, it only took two days before the weather became cooperative. I had purchased an outdoor thermometer and humidity gauge to keep in the garage to track the conditions, and the conditions appeared good!

I purchased two shelving brackets to make a painting stand. One side of the bracket was screwed to the board, while the other side had the end bent ninety degrees and screwed into the two screw holes on the underside of the spoiler. I had originally planned on hanging it, but I felt that this way was better.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg miataspoiler005.JPG (60.6 KB, 29 views)
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'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
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  #2  
Unread 02-04-2007, 01:48 PM
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BeerBurner BeerBurner is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling, Virginia
Once everything was set up, I removed the spoiler from its stand and cleaned it with some dish soap. Once dried, I mounted it back up and sprayed on the adhesion promoter, following the directions. Then, on to the base coat. My prep job was, on the whole, very good, although a few fisheyes still popped up on the leading edge of the spoiler. Fortunately, I’ve dealt with this before on other projects. I waited a few minutes for the paint to get tacky and, using a small modeling paint brush, I brushed a little bit of the surrounding paint over the fisheye. Subsequent sprayings covered it all up fairly well. No, it’s not perfect, but then, neither is the car so it all works out, and this was much preferred to stripping it all down and starting over. After that, I sprayed on the clear coat.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg miataspoiler07.JPG (60.0 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg miataspoiler09.JPG (60.5 KB, 18 views)
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'87 Porsche 944 (toy)
'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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  #3  
Unread 02-04-2007, 01:50 PM
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BeerBurner BeerBurner is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling, Virginia
So far, I am very satisfied with the paint I bought. There is a little bit of orange peel that’ll have to be wet sanded, but I was expecting that. I’m not that good with paint.

The two days of curing time have come and gone, and today will be the final day of spoiler mounting! Wet sanding would be necessary. It seems that I am so concerned with getting runs that I paint too lightly and get orange peel instead. I bought some 1,500 and 2000 grit sandpaper, along with some polishing compound. I decided to go straight for the 2000 grit paper, and sanded it down. I didn’t do too much, since I was concerned about going through the clearcoat (I never did, though). I knew that wax would make it look nice, but I had to wait a month.

After that, I started with the polishing compound. It didn’t remove the scratches like I had hoped. I remembered the Maguiers 3-step wax stuff I have in the garage and step 2 is a polishing compound that has worked in the past. I tried it and it worked wonderfully! Unfortunately, I also realized after the fact that while it doesn’t contain wax, it would “apply oils to the paint”, or so the bottle said. I guess time will tell if this was a good idea…

I decided that while the doublesided tape was probably adequate, I’d drill the hole and use the two screws just to be safe. It wasn’t a big deal since if I ever had to remove the spoiler, a Classic Red trunk lid probably wouldn’t be hard to find. Eyeballing it, there were these two little… nubs… on the underside of the trunk which lined up fairly well with the screw holes on the spoiler. It seemed that I would have to drill along the inside edge of those nubs, towards the front of the car. That came very close. I ended up having to use a rat tail file to move the passenger side hole to the left by about a quarter inch, and had to extend the driver’s side hole to the right by about an eighth of an inch.

I had to drill out a little bit of the frame so that the screw head would go flush with the trunk lid. After the hole was there, I extended it down with the file, some pliers and some wire cutters. I’d recommended some eye protection at this point. It’s amazing how metal can fly right into your eye… I screwed the spoiler down to test it, and it fit very well.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg miataspoiler010.JPG (60.2 KB, 29 views)
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'87 Porsche 944 (toy)
'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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  #4  
Unread 02-04-2007, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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After everything was ready to go, I put some touchup paint on the bare metal. I think the trunk lid is aluminum so it probably didn’t matter, but I did it anyway.

To install the spoiler, I enlisted the aid of a roommate to help keep the tape on the spoiler separate from the trunk until ready. We twisted the screws into the spoiler until they just began to bite. Then I lined up the trailing edge of the spoiler around the third brake light. There was also about an eighth of an inch between the edge of the trunk and the end of the base of the spoiler (this’ll make sense if you see it). I pressed the trailing edge down. Then, I slowly tightened the screws (a few turns each side to keep it going down level) and then pressed the leading edge of the spoiler down. I had to use some quick-grip wrenches to make sure that the trailing edge made contact with the trunk since it didn’t at first.

After a while of the clamps, I removed them and everything was good to go!

BB.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg miataspoiler011.JPG (60.8 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg miataspoiler012.JPG (59.7 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg miataspoiler015.JPG (59.7 KB, 27 views)
__________________
'87 Porsche 944 (toy)
'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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  #5  
Unread 02-04-2007, 02:15 PM
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lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
Looking good!
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
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  #6  
Unread 02-04-2007, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thanks! It's held up well over the last year, too.

I'd imagine that some of this stuff could be helpful to the non-Miata people. Most importantly, the bracket I rigged up and the automotive rattle can paint. I wish I had known those things could be purchased long before this. Remember that Jetta rustwork that went horribly awry...?

BB.
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'87 Porsche 944 (toy)
'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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  #7  
Unread 01-11-2008, 01:18 AM
Vash the Stampede Vash the Stampede is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Nice BB, I like the looks of that. It really adds to it.

What made you decide to put that on there? It does make the car look better overall, I'd say.
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  #8  
Unread 01-11-2008, 05:45 AM
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BeerBurner BeerBurner is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling, Virginia
Thanks!

To be honest, I just love the look of lip and ducktail spoilers. This car actually looked really good without it, but I just love 'em, so...

BB.
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'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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