Hey guys, Rob here! I'm 23 and from the NW suburbs of Chicago, use my Miata for drifting and doin' hoodrat things with my friends and here's my story...
Two summers ago (2013) I picked up my first Miata. I was stoked about the drop top and loving the car, minus some weird overheating issues that I just couldn't solve. (I think there was an electrical issue with the car, still not really sure)
After owning the car for a short amount of time, and I mean SHORT amount of time, I decided to get out to a Thunderdome event, which was a questionable decision... It was a great time while it lasted and I met some cool new people. Which, being unfamiliar with the whole dorifto scene made me feel more the part. But the day took an unfortunate turn of events...
Since there were very few people there that day, I was getting in a lot of runs and on this particular run I overstayed my welcome a little bit. I kept trying to hit the bank (for some reason) and was kept spinning out. Feeling a little more confident and trying to correct I came into it way too hot and met the mayor of understeer city...
Slammed into a wall head on at like 50mph. Thank god I walked away with nothing more than a bruise on my arm from the airbag deploying and some bruising from the seatbelt. I still get weird flashbacks to the whole incident when I'm just cruising..
I went into a weird depression after that, being out a few grand and not having a car for the first time in years had a huge impact on my life, but over the winter I randomly picked up an e36 from a friend on the low that I was looking to make a missile out of, which was also fun while it lasted but this time it didn't go out to a wreck... hah
I was taking advantage of the snow and learning how a rear wheel drive car actually handles when it's sideways, and figured this would be a good opportunity to try and teach myself a little bit.
After a few months went by the diff bolt decided to break on me, so I picked up an LSD (thinking the one in my car wasn't, which it turned out to be) and got back to sliding... Literally a week after swapping in the new diff and putting a poly bushing in, the whole rear end took a crap. I think the subframe just rusted off of the floorpan, but I'm still not really sure. I didn't have the time or tools to take care of it myself so sadly had to cut more losses on the car and let it go.
A few months of saving went by and trying to get my feet on the ground (winter 2013) being in weird spots with my job situation. I was looking for 240s and FC verts with little to no luck but I started to fall back in love with the Miata. After a few posts on Facebook groups I got a message about one for a fair price that seemed worth it, so decided to take a peak.
Beat to **** drivers side, bondo all over the car, some nice wheels, got dat low, and I was on my way home. This car has everything I need for a project and I got it way too cheap, not really sure how I managed...
More excited than ever, the day after I brought it home I went out to shoot some photos with my buddy
The car definitely had it's fair share of issues which are slowly being given attention.
Currently equipped with... (8/19/14)
Bride rep seat
Harddog double diagonal rollbar
Grip royal blue wood steering wheel
Buddy Club Spec II Exhaust
15x8 + 19 SSR Viennas up front (full set included, but 1 suffered damage)
15x8 + 0 XXR 002 (full set included, perfect drift spares)
I daily drove this car an hour to and from work everyday and somehow the worst issue I've had so far was a flat tire (Knock on wood) and hoping it stays that way haha.
The first real purchase I have put into this car outside of general maintenance was the shifter rebuild. Everything was so sloppy and finding gears was a task. Not to mention the upper shift boot needed replacement and was letting all of my engine heat right into the cabin, making for a pretty uncomfortable/hot ride. I purchased a brass bushing and the rebuild kit and it was a simple job that took like an hour at most and when all is said and done it still is a little clunky. I think I need to flush the trans...
The next order of business was getting a temporary fix going for these destroyed quarter panels... I guess when the previous owner went to roll the fenders he didn't know they were caked in bondo so they crushed.. So now I'm doing a wonderful job of just filling it back with bondo because I didn't feel like spending 350 bucks on overfenders at the time (spoiler alert, I got overs hah
Oh yeah and I'm also fixing the door kind of because it needs it...
With the purchase of the car I actually had a full set of the SSR Viennas but one was damaged pretty bad from the previous owner...
I absolutely loved the look of those wheels but ended up trading them for a full aero kit which I knew I would actually be able to use (because I could only use 2 of the SSRs) [pics down the line of the aero]
Shortly after owning the car I decided to make my windows "authentic manual windows" aka I took out the regulators and now just put them up and down by hand hah, it's pretty ghetto but who wants to spend 200 bucks on regulators!
Also got a Destruction Warehouse weighted ball shift **** to replace the one I got with the car. Much better feel (Who doesn't love the feel of ***** in their hands.. er..)
Getting around to interior goodies...
My stock door panels were all warped and water damaged so decided to pick up some hardboard and fabric to whip these bad boys up.. pretty happy with the results! (Door pulls are made just not attached yet)
Next thing for the interior was strapping myself in - grabbed a G Force harness from a friend, cut a tab for the mount and was good to go!
Started a new job in September and 2 days after starting had this happen while at work.. was a fun time lol
Luckily my overfenders came in the same day so got to come home to something decent that night to sort of cheer me up hah.. Did some test fitting with tape
Next up was the actual install and getting some paint on the spare door/swapping it over to the car, simple stuff - rivets of course
Lol antenna delete glory hole
Overall I love how the overfenders came out and now I'm still reconsidering my whole wheel setup. I have so much room in the rear to play with (aka tuck that ****)
Since putting on the overfenders I decided I wanted to run a bigger wheel setup than the 15s so gave up on the SSRs and repairing the damaged one and straight traded it for some goodies to please my inner ricer. The rear bumper still needed to go on in the pic but that's more of a process than the front bumper and skirts - The blue is temporary lol just didn't have time to paint it tonight before putting it on.
Made some quick process with the aero, did some more test mounting and painting...
Next up is the turbo build.. My first car was a 2003 Tiburon which I turbo'd in a garage with no tools and my lack of knowledge in just about every way and learned a TON. Now I have parts accumulating and have almost everything I need for the Miata's turbo project. I'm still looking for a standalone system and trying to decide what I want to use and need to buy a few more couplers, but here are a few pics...
Picked up used intercooler piping/intercooler, a Volvo 5G turbo (I think it's a td04hl) should be able to handle the 12-15 psi I want to run on the setup for some pretty rowdy power to keep the wheels spinning in the rear.
I'm always tinkering and doing things with the car so will hopefully be updating frequently (even though I just crammed most of my updates from another build thread on a different into one haha)
Thanks for checking it out and I'm sure I'll have some questions down the line (especially with some of the standalone stuff)