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Old 01-05-2014, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default HornetBall's Build #2: Meet Red

I started doing track days in July, and I'm an addict. So, I decided to join the cool kids and build up a dedicated track rat -- using Emilio's normally aspirated builds as inspiration (see 95R street car project). The mantra for this build comes from Colin Chapman . . . "Simplify, and add lightness."

$5000 got me a great start . . . a Red 1995 with hardtop and fresh motor, a trailer and a U'haul full of spares. I bought this stuff from ManiacMitch on the DFW Miata forum -- he's a friend of Hustler's but has decided to move on to a Subaru BRZ.

Some bad cell phone pix for your enjoyment:

Trailer, car and U-haul


Nice original paint


Purty


Goodwin BBK



Mitch was heavy into Auto-X and time trials. He bought the car with 63K and put 20K on it over the 15 years he owned it. He made a bunch of mods . . . some good, some a bit on the cheap.

Medium to Good stuff:
Tight car, only 83K
Hardtop
HDHCHTSD with Harness Cross Brace
Momo Tornado Steering Wheel
Mazdaspeed Short Shifter
RB Sway Bars (1.25" Tubular front with brace kit, 5/8" adjustable rear)
Goodwin BBK with Hawk HP+ Pads
FM Shock Mount Tophats
FM Rails with Butterfly
Factory chin spoiler with front brake ducting
95 Block/99 Head and IM/01 10:1 pistons (3K miles since build)
MSPNP9495 w/ AEM UEGO WBO2
RB Header w/ceramic coating
Fidanza Flywheel and ACT XT Clutch
Enthuza 2.5" Exhaust
FM Radiator
01 Torsen (4.3:1)
Koni Yellow Sports with Ground Control Coil-Over and 500/325
Depowered rack and AC delete

Cheap stuff:
Poly Race Seats (RCI "8000")
15x6.5" Rota "Circuit 8" Wheels -- 2 sets

I'd like to start tracking it this Spring to give the silver car a break. But there are a few things that I'd like to do first:
1. Xida CS and poly bushings
2. 15x9s with decent rubber
3. Tune the MS properly (not well tuned right now)
4. Ultrashield SM Seats
5. Steering wheel quick disconnect
6. Figure out why the engine is using oil -- might have to re-ring it. It definitely needs a rear main seal.
7. Coolant reroute.
8. Do some more lightening.

Long range plan:
1. Cage
2. Turbo? LS? Will I want more than 150HP?

As I mod, I'll be selling parts, so standby.

Anyone know if those FM tophats will work with Xidas?

Open to suggestions. What do you guys think?
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Last edited by hornetball; 01-08-2014 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Added Coolant Reroute Courtesy of Brandon.
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:33 AM   #2
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Nice pickup. I'd wanna track the less clean/low mile car but if its already got all the stuff done to it, why not.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:45 AM   #3
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If you are going to re-ring it, why not put on one of Emilio's brand new CNC heads?

It seems it doesn't have a coolant re-route, so do that at the same time.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Nice pickup. I'd wanna track the less clean/low mile car but if its already got all the stuff done to it, why not.
In the back of my mind, I keep thinking about this. There is a bit of damage on the driver's front quarter (courtesy of a deer) -- I'll leave that to make me feel better about track-ratting the lower mileage car. I wouldn't say it's necessarily cleaner than the silver car -- the silver car is well-maintained.

I also put a LOT of miles on my daily. Silver is past 210K. My other requirements for a daily are non-race seats and a soft top. I like putting the top down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
If you are going to re-ring it, why not put on one of Emilio's brand new CNC heads?

It seems it doesn't have a coolant re-route, so do that at the same time.
Not sure if I'm going to re-ring -- just need to take a look and see if that's the source of the oil consumption. I don't think Mitch ever broke this engine in -- just went racing with it right off the bat. It may just need to be street-driven to let oil consumption stabilize.

The existing heads were mildly ported during the rebuild. My plan is to do as much NA horsepower as I can do without spending a bunch. Good tuning and maybe a BP5A cam. Then go get max seat time. In time, when I want more powah . . . turbo? LS? Everybody needs a turbo Miata and a V8 Miata, right?

Good call on the re-route. I forgot to put that on the list. The parts are already on the workbench. After seeing how effective a re-route was on the silver car, I'll never go on track without it.

BTW, I'm a member at MSR-C now. Any of you gayz find yourselves in the DFW area, give me a call and we'll head out!
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:02 PM   #5
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Cool car, i'd love to do an NA build but the altitude here KILLS that idea.

Subbd for glory.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:04 PM   #6
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Well, meet the newest "Club Orange" member. Dropped coin on Xida's.

Probably no 6ULs until Summer. Any other 15x9s worth considering? The TR C3M's are cheap . . . but nearly 16#s! Seems there are some new design 15x9s over on Goodwin's site. Hmmmm . . . .

I'm dreaming up all kinds of "Simplify, and add lightness" ideas. It's liberating doing a track toy.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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I don't think Mitch ever broke this engine in -- just went racing with it right off the bat. It may just need to be street-driven to let oil consumption stabilize.
Uhhhh....that is the proper way to break the engine in

And I seriously doubt street driving it is going to make any difference at this point. If the rings weren't sealed especially well and it uses some oil, it's probably going to keep using oil it's whole life.

ALSO, nice car! I wish I would have been patient and picked up something like this instead of the huge POS I bought.

Good luck with the build
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #8
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Looks like a really nice car and should be a blast. Way to go with the Xidas. Why didn't you just by Dustinwhatever's car that's FS in the classifieds? Long drive I guess.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:32 PM   #9
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Uhhhh....that is the proper way to break the engine in

And I seriously doubt street driving it is going to make any difference at this point. If the rings weren't sealed especially well and it uses some oil, it's probably going to keep using oil it's whole life.

ALSO, nice car! I wish I would have been patient and picked up something like this instead of the huge POS I bought.

Good luck with the build
Sort of. My typical engine break-in is 30 minutes at 2000RPM for the cam and lifters followed by about 10 miles of driving alternating between full throttle (or 0 vacuum/0 boost on a boosted car) and full vacuum. The vacuum segments are important for drawing some oil onto the rings for the break-in. After this, normal driving. Racing is close to this, but I have no idea what Mitch actually did for break-in.

It is nice living in a rust-free area. Slim pickings in the rust belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
Looks like a really nice car and should be a blast. Way to go with the Xidas. Why didn't you just by Dustinwhatever's car that's FS in the classifieds? Long drive I guess.
I actually wasn't looking for a car. I was having a blast with the silver car. But it was a deal I couldn't refuse. I've since come to the conclusion that everyone needs at least 2 Miatas.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
I actually wasn't looking for a car. I was having a blast with the silver car. But it was a deal I couldn't refuse. I've since come to the conclusion that everyone needs at least 2 Miatas.
I'll have to show this to my wife, I'm not sure if she'll buy it though...
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:42 PM   #11
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REALLY sweet deal Hornetball! Geez if this thing had been for sell when i was shopping...it would have been mine Oh well timing!

Edit: The more i read the more i envy!
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
I'll have to show this to my wife, I'm not sure if she'll buy it though...
LOL, show this to your wife. Current stable:

1. 1990 Turbo Miata (silver, usual daily for up to 1 passenger);
2. 1995 Track Miata (red);
3. 1966 Plymouth Sport Fury Convertible with 440 (metallic red + acres of chrome -- my first car);
4. 1981 Mercedes 380SL (wife looks really good in her high school dream car);
5. 2009 Pontiac G8GT (12 second car for when I have more than 1 passenger);
6. 2000 Ford Expedition 4x4 (daughter's high school/horse towing vehicle -- will become my car towing vehicle);
7. 2007 Ford Expdition EL (wife's daily, all 5'2" women NEED the largest possible vehicle).

So, in reality, everyone needs at least 2 Miatas and at least 2 Expeditions with a few other specialty vehicles thrown in. Get your wife her high school dream car and you get carte blanche!

On point for the thread, Emilio recommended against using FM tophats with the Xidas since the Xidas naturally have more travel available with a shorter shock body.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:39 PM   #13
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Default Some Progress on Oil Consumption?

I've mostly been ordering parts and they're slowly coming in. In the meantime, a peak under the hood:

General layout. Ricer STB (someone on Craigslist will love this), FM tophats on the front?!?, Jackson Racing Intake. I'm looking forward to building my own intake and doing some Virtual Dyno comparisons. I'm sure I can do better than the JR with small diameter tubing and 360 degrees worth of flow direction change. Plus, I'll be able to seal up that radiator.


Lots of oil and clutch fluid at the back of the engine. Here's a shot of the curly-Q -- completely unsecured. I've got a braided line on order from TSE to get rid of this.


Unsecured Curly-Q and oil grime from below:


Wet slave cylinder and shifter boot:


More grime on the back of the engine. Valve cover gasket? Almost certainly a bad CAS O-ring:


In addition to the external leaks, which are not insubstantial, I think I may know why the car's using so much oil. When I first got the car, the oil dipstick handle was, of course, broken. But in fine TX style, the handle had been replaced with epoxy and a 9mm shell casing. I'm not into that, so I purchased the correct dipstick for a 1995 1.8 -- part number BPE8-10-450.

Now, because the engine is a 1995 block (has oil ports on driver's side) with 1999 head and IM (VICS), I "ASSUMED" that the 1995 block retained its dipstick tube and dipstick. But when I match up the new dipstick to the old, the new one is longer. "F" on the new one lines up with "E" on the old one. If the tube is the 1995 version, that means the PO ran severely overfilled. Could this be the reason for the oil consumption?

BTW, these are the oil dipstick/tube part numbers from the Mazda part books:

90-93: B61P-10-450C (Tube is B61P-10-440) (DIP STICK (B61P-10-450C) - $10.92 - B61P10450C)
94-97: BPE8-10-450 (Tube is BPE8-10-440) (DIP STICK (BPE8-10-450) - $18.24 - BPE810450)
99-05: BP4W-10-450 (Tube is BP4W-10-440A) (DIP STICK (BP4W-10-450) - $19.99 - BP4W10450)

Anyone know how to visually identify the difference between the 94-97 vs. 99-05 tubes? Or should I just buy a 94-97 tube for ~$20 to be sure?

Planning to fix the clutch hydraulics, CAS O-ring and correct the oil level then drive it on a trip to Houston. We'll see how it does.

Track day tomorrow. Track days and associated maintenance activity certainly cuts down on project car time.
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HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-granbury-east-20140117-00334.jpg  
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
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Looks like you got a great car to start with. Best way to start a project is by buying someone else's when they get bored.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:21 PM   #15
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It would seem so. He knocked off $2K from the price because of the oil consumption issue (thinking it might need rings). Could it be just the wrong dipstick? That would be a break.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:43 PM   #16
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A little bit of progress this weekend. Started pulling out the interior to get ready and mount my new Ultrashields! Also made some interesting discoveries. Some pictures:

This is what I started with. A couple of cheap, poly drag racing seats poorly mounted to the floor of the car. The harnesses are long-since expired (dates from around 2001-2002). Also, look at the angle that the lap belt is mounted. Instead of using OEM seatbelt mount points, he drilled holes and mounted to sheet metal FORWARD of the seat's belt hole. I'm afraid I'm just scratching the surface . . .


How's this for forward visibility!! I'm sure it would work great on track.


OMFG!!! I'm generally OK with safety wire, but not here. This will get brackets. Note that this is an aftermarked hardtop -- not Mazda OEM.


This is actually one of the better seat belt mounts (note that an OEM hardpoint was available to the left in the picture). The bracket is positioned so that it will bend when a load is applied -- which is a no-no.


Lots of cheap wiretaps. This will change.


The "all fans on all the time" mod. Wiretaps used for high-amp loads. Yuck! OTOH, that's a nice FM aluminum radiator under there!




Helmet hook! LOL!
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HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-granbury-east-20140125-00340.jpg   HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-granbury-east-20140125-00341.jpg   HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-granbury-east-20140125-00342.jpg   HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-img-20140126-00345.jpg   HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-img-20140126-00346.jpg  

HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-img-20140126-00348.jpg   HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-img-20140126-00347.jpg   HornetBall's Build #2:  Meet Red-img-20140126-00349.jpg  
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:58 PM   #17
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Things are looking up! Visibility much improved:


Test fitting the 16" Ultrashield Spec Miata seat. Lots of room. Next up is pulling the carpet so I can start welding up a seat mount and seat back brace.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #18
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Guy was resourceful, anyway. Eek.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:44 PM   #19
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...this is why I avoid 'modified' cars unless the PO is overtly OCD.

-Zach
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:30 AM   #20
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Everyone has their personal standards. I can just imagine what a guy like Jeffbucc would say about my cars. LOL. I used to do crap work like this too -- when I was in high school.

There are still a lot of positives and good parts with this car. I'm still really happy with the deal. When I went to see it before purchasing, I saw most of these issues. The stuff I'm whining about is pretty hacked, but the good parts (Wilwood BBK, FM radiator, professionally rebuilt engine that only needed the correct dipstick, etc.) are quite good. But it goes to show, when buying a modded car, inspect and fix the living daylights out of it -- especially the safety bits.

Anyway, I'm done whining about the PO. All further posts will be legitimate build thread posts showing things that I'm building. I guess I mainly made these negative posts because they were safety related and might help others.
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