Modified Door Sill Plates

About to go under the knife.

About to go under the knife.

Sharka’s metal door sills are really old and crappy. When I got them, they also lacked the desirable feature known as flatness. If I remember right, they came out of a very very wrecked car for the price of shipping. I bent and beat them back into shape as well as I could. I’ve had them for about 6 years.

It was time to modify them.

The logo just peels off.

The logo just peels off.

The problem is that Miata script. It exists only on the door sills and floor mats on my car. All other traces of “Miata” are gone.

I got it in my head that I could just cover up that Miata logo and put something else on top. I had the idea of using aluminum tape for it. The sills are aluminum… why wouldn’t aluminum tape be perfect? Ummm…. yeah…. it wasn’t. The tape was a good 100% shinier than the door sill metal. I found this out after carefully cutting out an oval worth. I peeled it off and resigned myself to keeping the Miata script on the plate.

When I peeled off the aluminum tape, the Miata logo started to come with it.


Removing all residue.

Removing all residue.

So clean. Cleaner than clean!

So clean. Cleaner than clean!

Out came the Goof-off and metal polish. Together, they gave me a perfectly clean surface on which to stick fresh vinyl. These two cleaners work quite well together.

Note to anyone who might follow along in the future: you want a CLEAN surface before you apply stickers. If there’s any Goof-off left, your new decal will suffer greatly. And if there’s any metal polish left, you’ll get bumps under your stickers just like if there was sand on the panel.

Vintage Mazda sticker applied.

Vintage Mazda sticker applied.

3M clear-bra applied on top...

3M clear-bra applied on top…

All air bubbles removed.

All air bubbles removed.

Three more steps and I got a finished project. First, I measured a bunch (twice? pshaw.) and got the center of the panel located. Then I stuck on the vintage Mazda sticker. I then covered that with Xpel clear bra and got rid of the air bubbles.

I probably could have just gone with the vinyl decal by itself. The door sills don’t really get a lot of wear, at least not back where the logo sits. Still, I didn’t want to lose an M and not notice, so I chose to cover it with some clear vinyl. It added about a half hour of work while I got the bubbles out and smoothed the edges of the letters, but it was worth it. Now I have a fairly permanent vintage Mazda logo.

It actually matches better than the original metallic Miata sticker. That sticker was decent, but the silver color wasn’t quite the same as the panel itself. Now it’s all just the same bare aluminum. No funky color changes.

So how does it look installed?

The passenger side (pictured in this post).

The passenger side (pictured in this post).

and the driver's side.

and the driver’s side.

It’s all in the details. I’m really happy with how this turned out. I guess I need to track down some creampuff M-edition door sills for rebranding… get rid of these knackered ones.

And I might need to de-Miata the floormats.

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  • John says:

    I have a set of 95 m edition sills that i would be willing to part with for the right price. Its now a racecar so I have no use for them– was going to wait til spring to post all that garbage for sale. Ill have to get you some pics next time I’m with the car.

    • revlimiter says:

      Hmmm… the thing about M-edition sills, is that the price is right for the buyer. No one wants sills that say “M Edition” when they have a non-M Miata so you can pick them up for a song. $10-20.

      I don’t want to lowball you. I’ll just look for something on ebay. 🙂

  • David says:

    Good idea. Any thoughts on going the other way? I need to remove and replace the Miata script decal. Mine is getting worn out and the sills need to be buffed out.

    I don’t think my script is in good enough shape to copy.

    BTW how can I transfer a copy onto a new clear piece of ________?



  • Derrick says:

    are you going to make these decals? i could use a set!

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