Suggestions for Changing Badges on the M1 Miata (1990-97)
By Dewaine Norris
Sun Riders Miata Club
Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL USA
Copyright 25 June 2000
Before purchasing my 1995 White/Tan Miata in December,1994, the dealer had the nose badge and two rear badges gold plated. As someone who much prefers an understated look, that was not something I would have had done. However, the opportunity to purchase the car, which was otherwise everything that I wanted, was simply irresistible!
Although I had been assured the plating, would not fade or wear, that, in fact, was not the case. As a result, I replaced two badges and eliminated one. Should you decide to remove or replace any badges on your M1, the following suggestions are offered with the understanding that they are used at your own risk. In addition, as always, your experiences may be different.
The front badge on the M1 is held to the nose with clips (2) that attach to posts extending through two small holes in the car. To gain access to the posts and clips of the badge, remove the cover extending under the hood between the headlights and in front of the radiator. This is very easily done by simply removing the screws holding this cover in place and laying the cover aside, making sure that the screws are not misplaced. Once this cover is removed, you will find at the front of this space a rubber piece running vertically across the front of the space. This can easily be lifted with your hand and provides access to the clips on the badge posts. With difficulty you can now remove the clips from the posts and remove the badge. (I found it very difficult to remove the clips from the posts so I chose to actually break off the posts and clips since I was replacing the original badge with a new stock badge and had new clips. When this was done, the old badge simply fell off the front.) Thoroughly wash and wax the area and then put the new badge in place. Place the clips on the posts (insuring the new badge is tight and flush with the surface of the car) and reverse the procedure with the covers.
Since this badge is attached with adhesive rather than clips and there are no holes of any type behind it, removal of this badge is challenging. In preparation collect the following items: (1) high powered hand hair dryer with appropriate extension cords, if necessary, (2) heavy dental floss or nylon fishing leader, (3) De-Solv-It or a similar multi-use solvent, and (4) several soft cotton rags. (Although not critical, it may help to have an extra pair of hands to help with this.) IMPORTANT NOTE: I found that De-Solv-It would not harm the paint on my car. However, patch test any solvent that you might use in an inconspicuous place to insure it will not damage the paint on your car. This patch test being done, use the hair dryer to soften the adhesive holding the badge in place. Then use the floss/nylon leader (insuring it is held flat against the surface of the car) to cut under the adhesive, leaving as little as possible on the surface of the car. Do this in steps, alternating between using the hair dryer and then the floss/leader. Patience here is very important. It should not be rushed if you wish to remove as much adhesive as possible in order to use as little solvent as needed to remove the balance of the adhesive. If careful, the finish will not be scratched. Once this process is complete, thoroughly wash and wax the area. Replace the old badge with a new stock or alternative badge, being careful to take the time necessary to properly place and line up the replacement since a shadow of the old badge may not be visible. An alternative would be to simply leave the area vacant for a rather clean and unique look from the rear.
This stock badge is the most difficult badge to remove and replace since it is attached with two posts/clips, and requires removing several parts/assemblies to gain full access necessary to remove and replace the old stock badge with a new one. (While I will provide complete suggestions/instructions for doing this, I chose not to replace the stock badge with a new stock badge, but rather replaced it with a "Roadster" badge attached with adhesive.) To get to the posts and clips of the badge currently in place, remove the rear cover over the taillight assemblies and trunk lock inside the trunk by first removing the pins/clips holding it in place. While there is a regular "Snap-On" tool that can be used to remove these clips, a small flat-head screwdriver or a cooking fork works just as well. Once this is removed, remove the taillight assemblies, something done with little difficulty by removing several wire clips and screws around the edge of each assembly. However, once done it is still extremely difficult to access the posts and clips holding the old badge in place without removing one more part, the rear fascia which runs between the taillights and contains the tag insert. Even without a shop manual, removing of this part should be manageable with removal of several screws/bolts. (However, I did not to do this due to a limited amount of time and physical workspace available around the car. What I did do was to take a small flat head screwdriver, cover it with a soft rag and place it under old badge, and gently removing it by breaking it at the post positions. The old post and clips then fell into the rear of the car. I could not locate them to remove, but I have not heard them rattling.) Before putting the new badge in place, thoroughly wash and wax the area. If replacing the old stock badge with a new one, simply put it in place through the holes in the rear fascia and apply the clips to the posts. Then reassemble everything in reverse order. (For those replacing the stock badge with a "Roadster" badge, unlike the location of the Drivers Side Rear Badge, this side may be marked with a shadow of the old badge in addition to the two small holes for the posts used for the stock badge. In any case lining up the "Roadster" badge (which comes with self-stick adhesive on the back of the badge) should not be difficult utilizing the two small holes needed by the stock badge to align it. With the badge covering the old holes, there should be no way for moisture to enter the trunk.
The result of these changes will be a fresh look on the front and a clean, unique look on the rear if you decide to go with one badge or simply a fresh look with new rear stock badges!!! Good luck and remember: patience is the key!!!
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09 April, 2001