Thread title is deceiving as this car didn't require cash money
to buy. The acquisition of this vehicle actually dates back to September 2015 when I decided to make a terrible decision
involving a non-op e30. Long story short, after vomiting money at the e30 and getting her back on the road, it just didn't do it for me...So back to a Miata
I found a 1997 M on Craigslist with a nicely installed FM Voodoo 2 turbo kit.
After chatting back and forth a bit we traded. 4 months in and we are still happy with our cars.
First step was to keep my 325ix mesh wheels. Didn't want the 15x8 cheap Chinese et0 wheels that were on the miata:
After that I ditched the ebay lowering springs in favor H&R Race springs & Bilsteins shocks absorbers.
This setup still had issues with the rear bottoming out (and shooting my head through the top) when going over big bumps or dips. so I opted for ISC race tophats to give the suspension more travel. The problem is this changed where the springs mounted to the car which slammed the car on the ground (by normal standards, not fuh raze stanceworks.com fanboi standards)
Doh! Fixed that with Ground Control adjustable coilovers using Eibach springs (350/275# rates)
To stiffen the tired chassis (280k miles) we installed some Flyin' Miata frame rails rails and polyurethane bushings everywhere in the suspension. This made a drastic difference in how solid and planted the car felt. I Also installed Garagestar door bushings (not pictured).
To physically fit in the car I had to change out the steering wheel to a smaller diameter substitute. Since the car had a Nardi shift **** I opted for a 330mm Nardi steering wheel. This thing is beautifully hand made in italy.
Out of boredom I added a R-package front lower lip and the smoked turn signals, which I'm not in love with. At least these don't fill up with water like the original turn signals.
The great thing about a Miata is how exposed to the elements you are when driving around.
The scary thing about a miata is how exposed to the elements you are when driving around.
The decision was made to opt for a roll bar. Not only for any scenario that would involve a roll over but also in case of being rear ended (especially by a big lifted truck!). I opted for a very nice, North Carolina made, Hard Dog "Hard Core, Hard Top" roll bar with padding. This was done as this bar sits about two inches back from the typical "Hard Core" models and gives me some more head room.
Winter? As long as I don't have a risk of cracking the rear plastic window due to the cold, the top is coming down when the sun is out!
At this point the car accelerated nicely thanks to the turbo putting out 10 PSI of boost and handled very well thanks to the tight and stiff suspension... but had god-awful brakes.
TIME FOR BIG BRAKES!!!
I chose the track speed engineering setup for a few reasons.
- It was cheaper to buy than other products
- Replacement parts are considerably cheaper
- Immense stopping power.
That all said, the only tricky aspect would be fitting the wheels over these monsterous brakes! After some quick napkin math, I figured I could probably get them to fit by pushing the wheels out 20 MM. This was the maximum distance I could push the wheels out without having to worry about tire to fender contact. The reasoning behind this is that wheels aren't just a cylinder, the inside of the wheel tapers towards the face of the wheel.
They fit with a 20mm spacer!!! The end result was a 15x7 et21 final offset fitment. I end up having to trim the original studs as they protruded past the spacer and hit the backside of the wheel (as seen in the picture)
This was paired with M-tuned rear brackets that pushed the rear calipers outward, allowing me to fit the larger sport rotor, a Wilwood proportioning valve to tweak brake bias, and Hawk Street/Race brake pads all the way around.
This is how she sits now.
A 6'6"guy inside a Miata!
Next mods, some already purchased
- H4 hellas, factory lighting is terrible
- Back to OE blinkers for that cleaner, oem look.
- Rear R-package bumper lip to match the front
- Miata competition motor mounts to anchor the motor
- aftermarket head unit for bluetooth, hd radio and better sound
- 15x9 6ul wheels w/ 225 rs3 tires
- Megasquirt ran in parallel with the dme.. i'm in an odb2 state