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#405235 SANTIAGO ... a flood Survivor story

In early December of 2023, record-breaking rainfall and unusually warm temperatures caused extremely flooding in the Pacific Northwest. MSM # 405235 unfortunately was a victim of that flood.


However, the Titanium Grey MSM survived mostly intact although absolutely coated in mud inside and out, the rear window was loose, but the soft top remained in good condition. The car was obviously dead and just needed a proper burial so off to the Copart Auction it went.


Tommy Escobar, looking for a project car to flip was not looking for a MSM specifically but just Miatas in general because they sell well. His brother found this car and they agreed to start bidding when the car went live on the online auction. They were in constant communication over the phone during the process.


Tommy says "We just saw the cluster lights on the dash in the auction pictures and we knew it had power so that was a good sign that the electronics weren’t toasted and we knew it might need a ECU or some type of electrical problems but it didn’t need any besides just fixing up a few cables to the headlights."


Tommy, with the help of his brother Martin, the mechanic in the family, decided to take on the challenge of bringing this poor girl back to operating condition


"First we wanted to know if the motor was hydro locked so we cranked the crankshaft manually. After we knew it wasn’t hydro locked we proceeded with typical flooded car repair.  This involves drying everything out including the ECU which was removed and placed in rice (it works!). Flushing all fluids such as oils & gas, and replaced the spark plugs just in case.


After checking all the fuses we hooked up a OBD reader and began to trouble shoot what issues we could figure out with the reader. This process is a lot like putting a jig saw puzzle together solving one issue at a time until we hit zero codes. We also had some weird issues with the electrical that the OBD wasn’t reading. Once we had replaced a majority of the fuses in the cabin with new ones everything started working. The coil pack gave out so we replaced that and dealt with a few other nagging issues. Afterwards we did all preventative maintenance."


Needless to say this was an extreme challenge to get back up and running. The process was a long and tedious one but like Santiago from The Old Man and the Sea, perseverance paid off and this survivor was brought back to life.

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