So this happened...
Dat lift doe. I <3 Gessos garage. I was sad that he moved 1.5hrs away, but its starting to show some benefits
My glorious underside. Can you spot the problem?
Pax side: looks okay...
Drivers side: something is amiss...
SWEET BABY JESUS!
This is damage I've known about for quite some time and have wanted to do something about it, but have had no time. Well, the time finally presented itself.
So we started with the passenger side rail because it slipped on with no issues. Normally I have ZERO complaints about Flyin' Miata goodies, but I found something lacking with the way they wanted to me mount the brackets for the brake/fuel/emissions lines. Per FMs instructions, they want to to flatten the stock bracket and attach it to studs that stick out of the bottom of the rail. That's all well and good, but my car (like many others) is a bit lower than stock and my driveway requires a pretty aggressive angle of attack to prevent rubbing. The last thing I wanted to do was snap off the stud that holds on the bracket. So what do?
Drill baby, drill! And tap! That's a 6mm hole tapped in the side of the FM rail about an inch to the rear of the FM provided nut and stud on the bottom of the rail.
Did the same for both the front and rear mount locations. We also went through and chopped off the extra bolt head sticking out of the nuts to completely prevent any possibility of line rubbage.
Here it is with the bracket fully bolted down. I don't often have to re-engineer something from FM, but when I do, I try to make sure I do it right.
Gesso also "shortened" the bracket to allow the lines to sit closer to the underside of the car. As you can see, plenty of clearance from the front
...and from the rear. I really, really like that the lines are now completely protected by the body of the rail itself.
Notice how low the FM stud/nut sits below the rail in the last couple pics? I was just way too uncomfortable with that and his looks much safer. Anyway, on to the drivers side.
Another angle BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T THINK IT COULD GET WORSE, DID YOU?!
How do you fix this ****?
You hit it with a hammer
and keep hitting it
and keep ******* hitting it
and you hit it some more until the rail drops in. This was about an hours worth of work trying to only hit the places where it was required to get the rail in position. I didn't want to smash things up any worse than they already were.
How much better does that look? I mean, seriously.
Drill some holes, add some bolts... and voilà!
Gesso inner monolog "Why is it so hot? What are you still here? You've been here for 2 days... the **** are you still in my garage?"
The result? Nothing short of amazing. 10/10: would install again on another car. This level of rigidity reminds me a lot of driving Gesso's 3/4 completed seam welding job on his NB. Keep in mind that we both have roll bars, but I have Frog Arms and he as the seam welding. The car feels MUCH more rigid, planted and in control just driving around town. Interestingly enough, this is the 3rd set of rails I've installed on Miatas, but a first for one of my vehicles.
Somthing I DID notice once I had a full tank of gas is I'm absolutely on the rear bumpstops EVEN MORE. Ungh. I need to figure out how to get more travel. I'm thinking I might need a set of extended tophats
Replaced the FM front bar with a Racing Beat 1.125" OD .188" wall (#54103) sway bar and a fresh set of 949/Supermiata endlinks. The front bar change was done to better match my MazdaSpeed 14mm sway bar (#NE45-28-151) that I've had disconnected for quite some time. I just never felt the FM front and the MSM rear was a good combo for me.
Please don't think I'm badmouthing the FM bar because its a great bar, its just not what I was looking for. I'll have the FM set for sale on the classifieds eventually.
Replaced the AWR/Supermiata 70D mounts with good ol' fashioned Mazda Competition motor mounts. I was SO overjoyed when I drove the car off the rack it was silly. Waves of joy washed over my soul as I enjoyed the sound of the exhaust, rather than the hood. My words are insufficient to express the feeling adequately, much like trying to illuminate the interior of a giant hollow cavern with naught but a single candle. Gesso's GF managed to gouge my hard top with some terrible steel bike pedal thing while it was sitting outside but I was so happy that there were zero ***** given. She felt rather bad, but honestly you would have had to punch me in the nuts at that point to **** me off.
Needless to say, the car is fun to drive again and the nightmare is over.
As I've said before and will continue to say, big THANK YOU to Gesso for once again allowing me to use his garage, lift, tools and time for my silly project. I cannot thank this guy enough