Let me get ready to prepare to introduce myself. Hello, my name is Rich. For a living, I run a programming shop for a small company in Baltimore that does mostly web-based LAMP stuff, with a smattering of other varied technologies thrown in for good measure. For fun, I travel, participate in a few open source programming projects, play music, and after a 3 or 4 year furlough, I am autocrossing and turbocharging small-bore Japanese 4 cylinders again.
I've recently taken possession of a '92 Miata that was well looked after and owned by a male hair dresser; I didn't actually think this stereotype would manifest itself in my search for buying a Miata, but alas it did. It has a new soft top, newish paint job, a racing stripe, a 'show-bar', and unknown model 6-spoke 16" Konig wheels that probably weigh 20 pounds each, shod with oh-so-exciting all-season tires. Here's a crappy picture my girlfriend snapped off with her iPhone:
I've owned a number of Mazdas over the years, but never one powered with pistons (1xFB RX-7 and 2xFC RX-7's, one turbocharged). My last major automotive undertaking involved an '86 MR2 with a 4A-GZE (supercharged) bottom end paired to a Silvertop (20V VVT) 4A-GE head, a T3/T4 turbo, a giant trunk-mount Volvo intercooler, and a self-assembled Megasquirt n' Spark w/ Ford EDIS, which I believe I ganked from an Tempo in the junkyard. The chassis had all rust repaired, a fresh paint job, Tokico Illumina's with eBay Miata coilovers running reversed 450# springs in the back, 350# springs in the front, and urethane bushing set. I got to the point of partially assembling the frankenmotor when some girl came into my life and f'd my s up, at the same time I was about to move to Albuquerque for a job; I ended up selling the whole lot, which I now regret.
For the last 3 years, I've been whipping around in this thing:
Which, aside from a 3" Turbo-back exhaust and self-tuned ECU, is fairly stock. Being the nerd I am, I made a 'carputer' for the STi (which fits completely in the 2DIN slot, but I did have to modify the heater-core duct to fit the cables out the back), which runs a highly customized load of Gentoo Linux, fully boots off of an SSD in 10 seconds (after POST), runs GPS, my music collection, SD digital video capture, engine telemetry/data logging, handsfree bluetooth, and even over-the-air HDTV, MAME, and internet tethering though my iPhone if the mood strikes and I am parked.
I've been trying to find *the* Miata forum, but some are desolate and abandoned, while others seem to appeal more to the visual than the technical. After lurking here for a couple of weeks, I believe I've found a place where people know their ****, threads are rarely clogged up with speak from uninitiated (because you all are harsh; I'll need to be careful), and the quality of content is very high.
My plans for the Miata are: torsen II rear, major suspension overhaul, and a Megasquirt on the stock engine for starters. I'm debating a 1.8 swap or staying 1.6. Either way, I'll probably want to do a mildly-built motor with rods and pistons, and I'll need to figure out what Turbos work well (I remember I was going to do a Disco Potato on the MR2 when I got some cash - I imagine that it is probably a good fit for the Miata too since the displacement is similar), then build it from there.