I'm James and this is my second Miata. I previously had a 2001 that I autocrossed a bit, but it was mostly kept stock and didn't really warrant a build thread. This one has been needing a build thread for two years, but I've been too lazy to do anything about it. So, here we go with two years of picture overload.
These first series of pictures are how I initially got the car from the previous owner. He sourced the VVT engine (Carillo a-beams, oem 9:1 pistons), ACT Xtreme clutch/Al flywheel, FM2 Intercooled turbo setup on Link ECU, NB exhaust, transmission, driveshaft, and differential from its previous owner who ended up with an LS2 swap. He swapped to MS3X at some point while leaving the Link fuel setup installed with the extra rail for sequential fueling. The car was dyno tuned at 191whp. Also PO installed a rollbar, Tein Flex, FM Rails/Butterfly brace, stainless steel brake lines, DDMworks radio/gauge pod, Racing Beat front swaybar, AR24 15x7 wheels, RE11A tires. Probably some other things that I'm forgetting, but to make a long story short, it was a good base to start with. I paid $4,250 for the car.
New rollbar padding and cover from Bethania. I couldn't deal with the residue from the tape, but I also couldn't get it off. The cover is nice and fits really well. Also, ditched the softtop.
A few weeks after getting it, the engine started revving up to redline on its own. I'm ashamed of how long it took me to figure out that the cruise control unit must have been installed incorrectly by the previous owner and introduced a vacuum leak when I tried to use cruise. I'm still a little baffled by how it was intermittent and how he never discovered the issue. I guess he didn't try to use cruise control post-swap.
I took the opportunity during the downtime to get the new FM intercooler piping. If you noticed from some of the initial pictures, the alternator belt was rubbing into the old hard pipes. The hard pipes were also a few mm's too tall and were impacting the hood... which made the hood shake when the car was running.
And for my next expensive lesson... understanding boost source. I ended up connecting the recirc valve to the wastegate (lol @ me) and ran the car to about 25psi passing a semi truck on the highway. That was a fun 10 seconds.
This is becoming commonplace.
Those Carrillo rods held up extremely well... this was the only issue.
I found a replacement engine on ebay and sold the rods and some other engine parts to cover the cost of the engine. The head was maintained and the block was replaced.
Back on the road again. 15x7 949 wheels.
Redid door cards.
I ended up meeting the guy with the LS2 Miata at this show. He's been a great resource of information to me when I get stuck. I ended up buying a set of 15x8 Nickel wheels and 1.8l brakes from him.
Something is missing...
Revlimiter to the rescue. I had these custom made. He ended up making 8 of them (he claims one of them is bad, but it looks good to me), so I have 4 replacements. I'll post them for sale at some point.
I contacted Matos to make me some door pulls. We went through a few iterations before I settled on a type that doesn't lock at all. I've since shortened these to about a visible inch and a half. Also, Lotus seats... but no mounts.
Maintenance day in Virginia. Met a few guys, got some work done, helped some others. I did trans/diff/brake/clutch fluid changes on mine.
Foamectomy looked terrible... I couldn't wait to get rid of these.
Now we're talkin. Flipside mounts came in one at a time and took about 6 weeks from initial order.
Starting to prep for the winter work. My plan for the winter is to ditch the NB exhaust that the PO installed. It's close to fitting, but was banging into the butterfly brace and differential. Also, if you noticed, there was no muffler and it was left exit. I'd like the opposite of both of those. Also, i'm planning to switch the Link fueling system to single primaries, change the rear main seal, and clean up anything else.
Found a hardtop.. drove to Kentucky for it. Damn near mint and color matched.
Starting to come together.
New radiator. I was debating on reroute, but this was keeping temps down for my driving style.
Built a mount. 2x4 + 2 lag bolts = win. Cheap, simple, and out of the way.
Met some awesome DMV Miata guys. The black one (downmented) is the only one that's not boosted, but the goal there is 400hp. Blue car is psyberoptix. I'm not sure if the owner of the red one is on MT.
Another Revlimiter custom. These are JNC style, with Eunos text, and Prototipo gauge sweeps + LEDs. I'll later switch these back to amber for a more period correct look.
Ruckus! I had one of these, but sold it when I bought the Miata. I missed it a lot and my friend wanted to get one, so we decided to buy them together. He'll be the one helping me with the winter build... which starts...
Found some 97 upper door pieces. You can see the shortened pulls too.
At this point, I'm starting to realize that having my friend help might make this job run much longer than I had planned.