05-02-2015, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
Total Cats: 1
Howdy! Noob from Dallas with FMII track car
Howdy. Philip here from Dallas, TX looking for a new home to park my 96' spec miata with an FMII turbo kit. Looking for a garage with space for me and a couple of my dumb questions about how to keep my new-to-me miata on track and turning fast, reliable laps. I'm an experienced road course pilot with mostly euro trash equipment on my resume. 2000 Audi S4, 2008 BMW 135i, 2011 BMW 1M, and finally a dedicated track car. A double duty ride was always a compromise that I was tired of making. I apologize now for the long thread. But this is a short as I could make it and still satisfy most of the basic Noob first thread criteria.
I've been considering a dedicated track car for many years. About 6 years ago I decided the best all around platform for anyone's first (or even last) dedicated track car was a stripped and caged miata with a little, or a lot, more power. I searched forums for years looking for this creature. If the price was high I was worried the car would be too much of a frankenstein. If the price was low I was worried the car wouldn't make it once around the block before the duct tape failed. And anything in my price range ($10k ish) was mostly a road going car with a really nice interior and sound system, and not enough track oriented parts. Then two years ago a track buddy of mine showed up with a former spec miata race car with an FMII kit. F'er. Stole my idea. He was tired of turning laps in his all too comfortable M3 with full nannies. I watched with envy as his little white toy buzzed around, flat spotting tires, spinning off track, and giving him fits with all the rattles, squeaks, funny smells and a "this car is about to explode" premonition. I knew it was just a matter of time before his stamina wained and he would be ready for another change. That came in October 2014. His car developed a cutout issue at 5,500 rpm and he was sure it was terminal. I saved him the trouble of a creating a build sheet and putting it up for sale. Now I'm the proud owner of his once unreliable tiny car.
Trying to make this short is damn hard. Let's fast forward. Sold my 1M, got a tow vehicle (X5M - couldn't go cold turkey on the euro trash) and trailer, car was solid white and is repainted (actually plasti-dipped), cutout issue has been resolved (boost creep cured with a muffler - don't flame me for that, I have a valid reason for a muffler vs porting the wastegate), plugged lots of holes to keep the exhaust fumes and water out, cleaned up a few other things, make a few mods of my own, and now I'm happily buzzing around, flat spotting tires, spinning off track and loving all the rattles, squeaks and funny smells. I fully expect the car to explode at some point but that's the beauty of this platform. The cost to get it running again is so much more affordable than anything else. And the wealth of knowledge and guidance in the miata community is unrivaled.
Almost finished. I plan to keep lurking around this site, soaking up as much as I can, searching first and asking questions later, posting pics if I have them, and trying not to be an annoying, selfish noob most of the time. I have a long "tinker" list that includes some big and small projects. Some require just a little time and sweat. Others could drain my mad money account. But I'm looking forward to knocking them off one by one. And assemble a Spicoli set of tools in the process. That's an obscure movie reference. Care to guess?
Lastly, here are some pics of my new toy and a few close-ups of my first major mod - a hand-made headlight cover nada duct cold air box. That's a mouthful. No I don't have any empirical data to demonstrate it actually works. But I think it looks cool and would wager if helps reduce air temps. And keeps pressure low aft of the radiator to improve air flow. I suppose I could datalog with and without the duct, but my brain isn't wired for that stuff. I can understand it, but forget figuring out how to collect and sort it.
Thanks for reading. I hope you'll adopt me. Or at least not banish me without a fair trial.
Philip from Dallas
God I hope I attached the pics correctly. This relationship could be over before it gets started. Did I say that out loud?