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Old 07-30-2014, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default Ryephile's loosely guided build

Hello,

So once upon a time I had a '95 Miata, which was basically stock, and super fun. About that same time I did a de-supercharged GT2871R build on an R53 MINI Cooper S, which ended up making 318wHP at 21 PSIg on 93 octane and survived the handful of HPDE's I brought it to. Pretty cool.

Having just sold my '07 Lotus Exige S that I LOVED for the past 4.5 years, I wanted to see if I could build a reasonable-pace HPDE Miata for ~$20k. I obviously can't expect Exige S pace; the dynamic weight distribution, power-to-weight, and brilliant handling are a level up on the Miata, so the point of this car will to be hang with average sports cars, learn me some FR driving skills, and of course enjoy the top-down bliss the Miata is perfect for.

So I searched far and wide for either an unmolested rust-free 'yada or one that had just the right mods. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably could've made a better purchase decision, but this is what I got.

Fontana2 by Ryephile, on Flickr

IMG_3925.jpg by Ryephile, on Flickr

IMG_3927.jpg by Ryephile, on Flickr

'92 A-pack with 48k miles
*GReddy turbo kit with what might be a really old BEGI FMIC kit. The steel boost tubes seem like a givaway, but my friend seems to think it's an old school build-your-own GReddy IC, so who knows at this point.
*MSPNP gen1, NGK WBO2, suite of GReddy boost, EGT, and oil temp gauges
*stupid stock injectors with a Stillen FPR set to 55PSI, grrr.
*homemade radiator panel, Koyo 35mm radiator
*Koni 8041 race dampers with Hyperco springs. The spring rates are good for the Dunlop Star Spec tires it's rocking. Eibach sway-bars front and back.
*1.8L brakes with awful Hawk Blues, and 1.8L Torsen rear end
*Hard Dog double-diagonal roll bar
*R-pack front and rear spoilers
*Enkei RPF1 15x7 et35, the cool 9.9 pound ones.


Given I didn't have a real hard-n-fast end goal other than "fun and not embarrassingly slow", I think I can still hit the mark.

I've started diving in to see what needed immediate fixing, what I'd like to change, and what would be nice but can wait.
1.) First thing was to toss the stock 1-wire narrow band and actually use the WBO2 into the MSPNP.
2.) Next was putting real injectors in it and toss the FPR. I got EV14 550cc/min from BEGI, complete with flow-bench numbers and dead times. No more questions on base fueling for the Megasquirt

Updates to the Miata project by Ryephile, on Flickr

3.) I just got done removing the MAF, plumbing in a GM-style IAT sensor, and putting in a Hybrid Racing 3" velocity stack air filter. I had the latter on the shelf for a while and was keen on stuffing it into the engine bay just for fun, because velocity stacks are awesome.

Updates to the Miata project by Ryephile, on Flickr

Updates to the Miata project by Ryephile, on Flickr

Updates to the Miata project by Ryephile, on Flickr


So then I started ordering a crap-ton of stuff. My wallet is totally en fuego this month.
*MS Labs MS3 Basic. Should be here in a couple of weeks. I also have a DIYautotune EBC solenoid and Boris' knock sensor to go along with it.
*Hot new wheels, in anticipation of big-boy brakes. Advanti 15x8 et25 in black

Updates to the Miata project by Ryephile, on Flickr

*Sparco Rev for me [I'm a little guy at 5'9" 135#], and Sparco Sprint V for the friend or instructor that'll ride along with me. Haven't decided on mounting rails yet. Harnesses will be Schroth Hybrid II Hans and use a Necksgen Rev H&NR.
*Frog Arm braces
*Mazda Comp engine mounts, ES diff bushings, Magnecor KV85, NGK BKR7EIX, clutch overhaul kit, shifter rebuild kit, Improved Racing sway-bar drop-link set
*Nardi Deep Corn 330mm and Daikei hub. Should be very sexy.
*Garage Vary front spoiler, love the look on that one. I'll use this as a base for a full front undertray and also some legit radiator shrouding.


...so all this leaves me with just "real" brakes and obviously a "real" turbo kit. I'm thinking FM's Big Mama Jama, but would love to hear feedback. I'm also interested in BEGI's new "1%" setup, as Al tubes and a better FMIC are all good. My main worry is the flowly log and how it'll hold up on-track and not warp.

Stay tuned for much more. I'll upload my MSQ in a few days when I feel it's worth sharing with the current configuration.

Cheers,
Ryan
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:43 PM   #2
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For brakes I'm a huge fan of 01+/MSM sport brakes fronts with 1.8 rears, carbotech xp10 front, xp8 rears and 1.8 rears. I tossed a 1" willwood master at it for a more favorable modulation point to help heal/toe braking. This setup handles my 145-150whp quite well in temps up to 105 or so ambient with zero fade through a 20 minute sesison. If you need more brakes (not sure how much more you could need) i'd go with a TSE/949 willwood based kit.

Thanks for posting your build thread. You left off the part of your r53 where you changed the roll centers. Prob the most kickass thing ever done to an r53. Stoked to see you around another forum if I'm honest. My buddies out here in socal that are/were part of the m|u crew all agree that you were a diamond in the rough of mini modifiers.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:57 PM   #3
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Very cool. Seems like you are going the right direction with the Refresh you are doing. If you Decide to sell your MSPNP1 when you get the MS3, let me know! lol
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:09 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

For sure the MSPNP will be for sale as soon as the MS3 Basic arrives. I already reflashed it with hires 10g and it's in perfect condition so it's be good to go for another forum member. VE Analyze Live is wonderful, I must say.

As for brakes, I appreciate the data point. I'm afraid I'm really spoiled, having developed my own for the MINI back in the day (and damn did they throw out the anchor), and then the Carbotech XP12's and 10's on the Exige with Hoosiers. Looking at the weight differences and the very tiny increase in rotor torque, I think I'll need at least that much pad. Also for heat resistance, I'm wondering why nobody goes with a wider rotor on these cars; is there no room? Or are the brake ducts that effective?

I'm thinking of running Hankook Z214's since they're cheap [for a track tire] in 205/50-15. This will keep the adhesion limit somewhere about what I'm used to without worrying about doing fender flares with 225 or wider tires.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:46 AM   #5
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I know this car...and have driven it.

I assume you know this is one of the earliest turbo miatas, and was featured in Sport Compact Car way back in the day (circa 1999) or something. This car has a lot of history...
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efini~FC3S View Post
I know this car...and have driven it.

I assume you know this is one of the earliest turbo miatas, and was featured in Sport Compact Car way back in the day (circa 1999) or something. This car has a lot of history...
I did not know that. Very interesting. That would be great to find that article.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:13 PM   #7
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Yea, contact the previous owner and ask him what issue it was in, I'm almost positive he knows (May 1999 comes to mind). Actually being able to find a copy if that issue would be a bit of a challenge though...

And if he didn't give you all the info before ask him for all he knows about the history of the car and the previous owners.

Also, I think a person could build a turbo Miata track car for $20k that could keep up with an exige s just fine. My old turbo track car wasn't much slower then my buddies Exige S and I didn't even have $10k into that car.

Good luck with the car, I thought about buying this specific car many times...
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:04 PM   #8
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A few updates. First, I tossed the remarkably heavy half-stick-o-dynamite stock steering wheel for a snazzy new Nardi 330mm deep corn bolted to a Works Bell hub, which feels amazing.

Untitled by Ryephile, on Flickr

Untitled by Ryephile, on Flickr

Untitled by Ryephile, on Flickr


Then, last Monday the skies opened up and did this:

Untitled by Ryephile, on Flickr

by Ryephile, on Flickr
^^That's the Southfield expressway under 14 FEET of water

Here's my basement being drained by a 2nd sump pump; the main sump wasn't enough to stop a peak of 18 inches in the basement, upon which my brand new Sparco seats were floating. :(
by Ryephile, on Flickr


Thankfully the Miata itself was fine, as it was up on jackstands and safely under the high-ground that is my garage. So I tackled a few more bits; replacing the audio with modern but value-priced pieces. Surprisingly, these Kicker CS's actually sound decent, much better than their $89/pair and brand name would normally imply. I also did a sheet of NVX damping material on the door skins and gasket material on the loudspeaker flange to seal against the door and create some sort of baffle.

by Ryephile, on Flickr

by Ryephile, on Flickr

I cut out the stock door grille cross-thingie and the grille cloth. It reveals the drivers a bit but not too much.

by Ryephile, on Flickr


I also did a full shifter bushing/boot rebuild kit, thanks to RSpeed. The turret was bone-dry; no wonder the shifter was less than snicky. The NGK AFX was removed in anticipation of the MS3 Basic, and an Innovative LC-2 put in its place. This left room for a dash cubby, as the LC-2 is now nestled next to the current MSPNP. An Alpine UTE-52BT tops off the audio. The Bluetooth, USB, Aux, and occasional FM radio is all I need for reasonable tunes to set the mood. I removed the busted old GReddy oil temp gauge and will put an eyeball vent in its place once I put the tombstone back in, whenever I have time for that!

by Ryephile, on Flickr

Lots more to come, but admittedly it'll be slow paced.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:10 PM   #9
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*ahem*

Lazarus:making something out of nothing


Passing a Lotus Exige S
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:44 AM   #10
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Ok, I see your point, but if I may: That Exige is clearly a stock suspension car based on the body lean alone. His driving technique is poor too, just basing on his erratic an inappropriately timed braking. Who knows, maybe it was his first time at that track and with that car?

I'll be perfectly honest: I have never come across a Miata on any of the track days I've been to where it was anywhere near a threat in terms of pace. There was one very nice guy in a caged and seemingly well prepped NA in my run group two years ago. I lapped him twice per session, so I just assumed the engine was stock. Turns out he had a 1.8 FM2 setup running 240wHP. So even though he's a nice guy, chances are he's not a quick driver.

The closest to actual pace I came across in a Miata was Chris Price in his V2 Motorsports prepped SM. Chris has a bunch of trophies to his credit, and is a really good driver on top of an ex-Lotus guy. I'll admit he's a better driver than I am; he outpaces me at karting. He was a roadblock in his SM vs. my Exige S though. Just sayin'.

Point being, you can't cherry pick point by's as proof of pace. I do get it, getting a point from a much much more expensive car is thrilling, but it doesn't mean much unless you chat with that guy afterwards and confirm he wasn't on a cool-down and/or simply sucks as a driver.

So, if I can end up with my Miata a fraction of the pace, I'll be pleased. Honestly, I'll be happy if I can hang with my friends extremely well prepped MINI that's essentially a clone of my last Cooper S track car. I'll be spending much less on the Miata, so same pace for less money is cool.

Finally, kudos to Lazarus for making something out of nothing and is out there pushing it hard.
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:52 AM   #11
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To be fair, Laz has baller suspension and is a stripped, sub-2000-lb car making over 200 whp and all the torques on racing tires.

Anyhow, you might be surprised what you end up with when it's all said and done depending on how far you're willing to go.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
To be fair, Laz has baller suspension and is a stripped, sub-2000-lb car making over 200 whp and all the torques on racing tires.

Anyhow, you might be surprised what you end up with when it's all said and done depending on how far you're willing to go.
Cool, I appreciate the candor. I hope to be pleasantly impressed once this is all done, which should be by springtime. The intent is to keep the car satisfying for fun street driving but also make it competent and reliable on the track.

I have a BEGI coolant re-route on the shelf, and am working on my nose ducting.

The next big ticket items are probably BEGI's new turbo kit with a GT2554R, 949 front 11.75" brakes and FM rear parking brake Wilwood kit with Cobalt pads. I feel dirty having 22 year old slider calipers on the car.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:12 AM   #13
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If you'd accept a recommendation, I'd strongly suggest swapping to a 1.8 if you're going to invest in a turbo kit for future track use. You'll have better support, make more power, and just be far better off in the long run.

You obviously know what you're doing and you're not cheaping out. You'll be better off.

Another great option would be to enjoy the car as it is now while building a 1.8 with a few stronger components that would really get you bang for the buck.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:44 PM   #14
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Yea I keep coming back to that idea. It's a really slippery slope, followed by a 6-speed and 3.9:1 Torsen rear end.

I wonder if Treasure Coast can put me together a pallet-discount package?

The next issue is finding a legit local engine shop that can take a 1.8 and bore it out for +1mm pistons. ...because why bother putting in pistons unless you're going to go big?
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:12 PM   #15
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That's horribly pointless. The amount of displacement you gain by +1mm pistons is not at all worth the cost and effort when you're talking about boost (or anytime, really, IMO)... No need to bore over unless your bores are so screwed up that it's required.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:41 AM   #16
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Yea screw it. I talked to some sane people. I'm going to keep the engine I have and rock the 1.6L.

There are plenty of other things the car needs before I add to the to-do list with an engine swap.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:36 PM   #17
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Ok finally some visual progress while I wait patiently for Rev to finish up my MS3 Basic:

Using the Eastwood/Tire Rack fender roller, heat gun, and IR thermometer, carefully and fully rolled the front and rear fender lips. 140-150F seemed like a good butter zone, and I got exactly zero paint cracks. They turned out great, IMO, and add a bunch of clearance for the Advanti Storm 15x8 et25 with BFG Rival in 205/50-15 I just put on. Thanks to BFG for making it an easy decision between the Rival and RE-11A, as BFG has a $70 rebate right now.

Also added a few other suspension bits, like Improved Racing's spherical and adjustable sway-bar drop links, and R-package steering ball joints. Not a big surprise when it comes to restoring someone elses work; one of the stock drop-links wasn't fully tightened. It's pretty normal to see other people, even allegedly competent people, regularly fail to do things right.

Fixed up the alignment from whatever the hell it was before [like 0 camber up front and a negative chassis rake] to quasi-949's suggestions. Now at 4.5" front seam and 4.75" rear seam ride height, with 2.5 camber front and rear, max front caster, and 0 toe front and rear. I might dial back the rear camber, but this was a 1st pass to ensure the tires didn't rub...and so far they don't but admittedly I haven't spent much time at the limit yet either. The car feels much more balanced overall; more directionally stable, quicker weight transitions, and more neutral.

Pics for clicks:

Finally some visual progress! Rolled fenders, Advanti Storm 15x8 et25 with BFG Rival 205/50-15. Improved Racing spherical adjustable sway-bar drop links, R-package steering ball joints, and a much improved alignment transformed the car. by Ryephile, on Flickr

Finally some visual progress! Rolled fenders, Advanti Storm 15x8 et25 with BFG Rival 205/50-15. Improved Racing spherical adjustable sway-bar drop links, R-package steering ball joints, and a much improved alignment transformed the car. by Ryephile, on Flickr



Oh, a word to those considering PCI's driver-side bracket. Unless you're way less than 5'8", don't bother! Putting my Sparco Rev with the bracket and sub-belt eyebolts, I was sitting 1/4" higher than stock. Stupid! Time to fab my own.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:49 PM   #18
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I've run into a snag.

Rev has my MS3 Basic done and is building the base map, and I told him I'll be running sequential fuel with the FM 36-2 wheel on an ATI damper, both of which are on order/en-route. The problem is, I bought an NB crank trigger hall effect sensor, but my old 1.6L oil pump doesn't have a mounting boss for it.

Who's done an FM 36-2 on a 1.6L? Did you fab up a mounting bracket for the crank sensor?

I'd rather not pull the engine and change the oil pump just for one mounting hole.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:23 AM   #19
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Ok, based on an email from Keith @ FM, it sounds like nobody has ever done actual sequential fuel on a 1.6 with Rev's MS3 + FM's 36-2 wheel.

Looks like I'll be fabbing a bracket to mount the crank sensor.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:39 AM   #20
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You will also need the cam sensor signal from a NB.
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