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Old 07-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Track and occasional street MSM

Figured I should finally contribute something useful and document my path down a road named Bad Idea Lane. I've come really close to selling my '04 MSM in the last year with plans of buying a pre-OBD2 car and making it an EFR track beast. The final decision has been made and despite all common wisdom my first turbo car, my first Miata, is staying mine and will see continued improvements to make it more track friendly, fun and reliable. A little history lesson to start things off. I have a tendancy to ramble and jump around a bit.

Having paid off my 2000 Focus ZX3 some months prior there was an wad of cash increasingly burning a hole in my pocket. Long and boring story short, I picked up my 2004 Titanium Gray MSM in February, 2005 with plans to DD it year round.

It looked something like this, sans upgraded intercooler and an air blocking grill.


October 2005 rolled around and I'd racked up 14k miles. Between a 75 mile round trip commute and weekend trips the miles just stacked on. So I picked up a beater 1989 Buck Century wagon. Thing was a tank and it took me everywhere including some less traveled uhh fields and forests without complaint. At some point it started leaking transmission fluid. $700 later it still did (hooray for shitty repair shops) and then the A/C went out. It trundled on with a now shorter commute every day without complaint allowing the time to make the Miata better.



Early 2006 this box arrived. Sadly, FM is a bunch of cheap bastards and the beer was not included.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-n...o/IMG_1467.JPG

After consuming more beer the engine bay now had some shiny bits. The shiny bits, not the beer, had a nice side effect of making it more fun and faster.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-H...o/IMG_1489.JPG

At some point I was talked into bring this home with me. He was much smaller at the time, and described as a short-haired cat by the agency.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-r...o/IMG_1497.JPG

Great cat, except for his insistence that furniture was his personal litter box and sadly is no longer a household member.

At some point another box showed up with the TB inlet and BOV replacement. Later that year, or maybe 2007 the FM downpipe was installed and I was pretty happy with the car. It had an O2 mod installed and that helped smooth the power ever so slightly. Gotta admit I did enjoy the ECU kicking in at 5500rpm, made for a fun street car at least.

Then I discovered Autox. Thought it was fun to drive really fast for 4 minutes and stand on asphalt in the hot sun for 3 hours. I don't do it anymore, but I do believe it was time and money well spent - it helped me learn car control in a safe environment with little risk. It also got my to buy a set of decent wheels. Ran some used V710s for a while, they didn't magically fix my bad habits unfortunately.



I ran with SCCA for a few years, constantly complaining about classing - I really despise how SCCA classes autox. At some point Corksport took some money and in return they gave me a 3" exhaust and it was installed. Even still, autox gave me a thrill that couldn't be had anywhere else.

And then SilverMiataRacer on m-s.com talked up the Miatas@Hallett event and how much fun it was. So I signed up. Now I was highly intimidated going into this, terrified of the rumble stops and what they would do to my car, spinning out on every other corner, or running off track and breaking something. Well I got over it.



Yes, my very first track day was without a rollbar. And yes, that's one of the main reasons I went. Lots of the fast local autox guys always talked how you could only drive 9/10ths on a track but 10/10ths on a parking lot filled with cones and therefor autox is more fun. Well I far more enjoy driving 6-9/10ths with some occasional 11/10ths thrown in for over an hour vs 4 minutes. They are ******* liars. Holy **** is a trackday fun. After my first session I knew a rollbar was next. Luckily for me, that night at the banquet I won a gift certificate for Hard Dog. Tom is a great guy, not only does he sponsor track events, but he's super helpful on the phone. So of course it was installed and of course I went back to Miatas@Hallett the following year.



Up next was the suspension. After a ride in FM's Igor I was easily convinced to part with $600 for a set of VMaxxxxxxxxxxx. Couldn't quite cough up the cash for Xidas yet, but for the price I'm still happy with the decision. Besides, my new-ish DD - Forester XT - decided it needed a new air pump not a week after FM shipped a box my way.



I never did weigh the stock pieces.

By now I was really ******* sick of the stock MSM ECU. That ******* piece of **** really made track driving difficult and busy. Then I met hustler and learned the virtues of MS. Some months later a package from Greece showed up and I learned the joys of tuning. MS is awesome. To celebrate, I installed an Ultrashield seat and went back to Miatas@Hallett.



Aaand discovered the front pad taper that many talk about. One week before another track event. Fortunately, there is a fix and it was in my hands a couple days later.



That about wraps up 2012. Some haphazzard ducting and an FM oil cooler kept things mostly in check all year, but there was a lot to be done before 2013 starts up. To be continued...
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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I remember you. Going to M@H again this year?
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:22 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, no. The wife signed me up for an autocross style event in a Ferrari which happens to fall on that same Saturday. I was there in June camped next to some of you NASA bros, good times were had, lots of alcohol consumed, and heard the story behind your dash decoration
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:57 PM   #4
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I knew sticking the FM oil cooler in then intended location without ducting was going to be massive fael. So I took a bit of corrugated plastic and built a little duct to pull air from below the radiator and funnel it into the cooler. The side fins sealed pretty well against the stock tray.



I tried to improve upon it a little bit and cut out some more plastic bits and made a matching bottom piece. It hasn't made any difference. If I'm going to keep the rack mounted oil cooler , the air box needs to be extended forward to the intercooler so it pulls only fresh air. It will at least be a cheap attempt before committing money to a bigger cooler,-10 lines and a reloaction. This is what my under tray looks like now.

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:15 AM   #5
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In order to be consistently inconsistent, let's jump forwards to the most recent mod.



I expect better performance once the 2" gap around the entire radiator is filled in, but even with the massive air bypass route it out performs a sealed MSM rad. Overall, very impressed with how easy a race part dropped in. For whatever reason, the outlet points down at a 45* angle and bottom fan mounts are essentially L brackets instead of the posts found on the top.

Around back is a 14" SPAL which soviet was kind enough to post fitment details for, only to rescind the praise and complain about current draw and stalling the day after mine shows up. Thanks dick.



In my massively complex, scientific, and long-winded testing consisting of idling until the fan kicks on it actually seems to drag the motor down less than the stock MSM fans did. Time will tell how well it's going to work for me or if my initial observation was correct. The idle tune is in such a shitty state right now that even the stock fans were problematic.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midpack View Post
Unfortunately, no. The wife signed me up for an autocross style event in a Ferrari which happens to fall on that same Saturday. I was there in June camped next to some of you NASA bros, good times were had, lots of alcohol consumed, and heard the story behind your dash decoration
I miss those guys, lol. It reminds me to not be a ***** all the time though.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:25 AM   #7
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I basically stopped driving the car. Sick of trying to fix this:


Overrun fuel cut is disabled. Does it in neutral too.


This started when I installed some ID1000s earlier this year. Just pulled them out and put the green top's back in, restored an old tune, and it drives normal again. Don't know if I'm getting a vacuum leak or if something is buggered in the injectors - I did buy them used. Either way, they are going back to ID for a cleaning.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:04 AM   #8
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I'm giving her all she's got Cap'n

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Old 09-28-2013, 12:04 AM   #9
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Got my ID 1000s back in and am now the proud owner of an extra, out of spec, injector. To prevent future occurrences ID recommends using a 10 micron fuel filter. $80 plus fittings didn't sound very appetizing so I picked up a WIX 33097 for $11.49+tax. It's a bit bigger than stock and the fittings are in opposite directions but it fits rather well in the same spot.

Car is running better than before but still goes lean under decel (over-run fuel cut disabled) so I think there is a vacuum leak. At least I don't get random stumbles anymore. Maybe a washer or 2 under the fuel rail will help.

ID was awesome to deal with, Andrew was very helpful and communicative and turnaround was much quicker than quoted on their website.

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Old 12-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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With a 50% success rate of UDont-Haul actually having my reserved trailer I wanted something a little more reliable. Missed a couple Craigslist deals over the past few months so I bought this one a few hours after it was posted.

14' with 2' dovetail
new paint and wood installed in August
4 axle straps, 2 ratchet straps, and 2 chains
locking toolbox
electric brakes
removable fender





Sorry for the tiny pictures, they're from the ad and it was dark by the time I got back with it.

Picked up a Prodigy on the way home from work today (thanks etrailer!) and I'll test the brakes out tomorrow when it goes to storage. Does it matter which axle you brake? He said they were installed on the rear. The Internets has conflicting opinions - front because weight transfer or rear because rotational torque on the equalizer. The because racecar option was often mentioned, but this is MO and legally I don't need no stinking brakes. I'm ahead of the midwest redneck curve already with one axle so who needs two.

But seriously, I will install another set if I'm not happy with how it stops.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
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Nice trailer! Is that your truck behind it? If so, damn nice rig. I'm sure it will stop fine.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #12
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Thanks! I've seen a few nice ones sell for similar pricing and regretted not jumping on some of them so when I saw this one I just had to have it.

That's the PO's truck, he towed this trailer behind a 5th wheel camper with that Ford. I'm towing with a 2011 Nissan Frontier. This rides, and especially brakes, much better than the Uhaul trailers I towed with last year. Once we get another nice weekend I'll repack bearings, adjust brakes, and install some LED lights. Really looking forward to first track day of 2014.

To help keep myself motivated to start some winter car projects, here's a slow lap around Hallett. Seriously, I was faster in 2012. It's time to step up the game and drive like a man.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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In the past hour and a half I've decided to revert the car back to stock.



The rear sway bar anyway. Out comes the FM bar and in goes the stock one which just so happens to be the same bar 949 recommends. Win.

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Old 02-20-2014, 01:08 AM   #14
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Removed a few things tonight and was pleasantly surprised at how much the power steering bits weigh. Never noticed how many, and how long some of the hoses are. It's been so cold this winter I haven't wanted to work on the car but it feels great to be back at it.

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #15
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A proper depower is the only depower. Thanks Abe!

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Old 03-07-2014, 01:52 AM   #16
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And tonight I figured out just how ******* stupid I am. Installed new engine mounts last Friday and snapped the the passenger side subframe stud torquing it to the correct value. Well it would have been the correct value if I didn't set my torque wrench in ft-lb to the listed Nm value. Yup I tried to torque it to 70 ft-lbs. No that didn't work out very well. Surprisingly the driver side held. Replacement came in today and I actually read the chart instead of just glancing at it. Funny how it all went together this time.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #17
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Your build is like the same as my msm setup. Subbed! +1
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midpack View Post
Got my ID 1000s back in and am now the proud owner of an extra, out of spec, injector. To prevent future occurrences ID recommends using a 10 micron fuel filter. $80 plus fittings didn't sound very appetizing so I picked up a WIX 33097 for $11.49+tax. It's a bit bigger than stock and the fittings are in opposite directions but it fits rather well in the same spot.
So I'm going to bring this back up so I can ask a couple questions... did Andrew explain how these might have got out of spec, and are you running the WIX 33097 with the flow reversed? If its "a bit bigger" I'm wondering if it fits with the stock bracket/clips? Found this looking for fuel filter info so figured I'd ask.

Also, if returning to stock, why remove PS?

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:25 PM   #19
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This is all going from memory and well I've killed a lot of brain cells since then so this may be completely off base. A foreign object is lodged in the injector somewhere and got there from running a filter larger than ID recommends. I bought the injectors used and ran them with a stock filter, I don't know what the PO used but I've seen very little talk of 10 micron filters so I suspect it was not what it should be. Replacing that injector was not a requirement, he mentioned my car would still run quite well with it slightly out of spec but I went for it anyway. Didn't make much sense to pay all the extra money for IDs and then run them in a sub-par configuration. Besides, they discount replacements for an out-of-spec injector.

It fits in the stock location and with the stock bracket. Think I bent it a little bit and maybe replaced a bolt with a zip tie. If I get around to pulling the charcoal canister, or just get the *** end up in the air, I'll snap some pics. Input/output ports are in a different location than stock so you'll have to rearrange the plumbing a bit but it all goes together OK.

Flow is as specified by Wix, not reversed.

That was a lame joke. Car is moving further and further from stock, I just put the stock rear sway back on.

Just got my MS2 back from Reverant, upgraded to the latest version, and as soon as I get the car back together it goes to an A/C shop to vacuum out the R134a. If the lack of a condenser and slightly better ducting doesn't keep it cool on the track the head comes off, 99-00 gasket and a reroute goes on.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:32 AM   #20
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Installed some new rear brake lines. The orange is good for 4.5 hp at least. Good guy Emilio puts the banjo bolt torque values on the package. Seriously, thanks for that. I would have just snugged them up based on feel and been way over the prescribed 12-14ftlbs.



ARP extended length studs are the ****. Figured they would be a good idea with the 5mm spacer up front and now I want them in the rear too.



Wasn't thinking and pulled the metal under-shield off to bleed the clutch. Ended up being a good idea, the turbo brace bolt was sitting right on top of it. Guess I forgot to tighten it during the motor mount install. Both the bolt and washer were just sitting there. What luck.
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