The tie-down hooks that Miatas have in the front bumper are affectionately referred to as “baby teeth” by the Miata community for obvious reasons. When Mazda shipped these cars around the world from Japan, each car was strapped down by its baby teeth for the voyage. There is some discussion over whether these tie-downs are appropriate to use as tow points. They look strong and are bolted straight to the frame, but Mazda did not design them for towing the full weight of the car, only for strapping it down. In any case, removing them is considered a right-of-passage for many owners. This Miata has had its baby teeth for over 20 years, so it was about time.
Each baby tooth is help in place by 3 bolts. Keep in mind that some aftermarket parts (like the Garage Star License Plate Bracket) use the baby tooth as a mounting point. I am only removing the passenger side tooth, since the other one has a license license plate attached to it.
Removing the front bumper is not necessary, but I already had it off to install the A/C condenser (saga to be detailed in a future post).
750 grams (1.6 lbs) is not a huge burden, but this is an easy victory on the quest to add lightness. Why the baby teeth passed Mazda’s “Gram Strategy” we may never know, but I am a little sad to see it go.