Iíve been lurking around miataturbo for a while now, soaking up the vast amounts of wisdom and experience and occasionally taking advantage of the classifieds. This site has been an invaluable resource to me, so I figured itís about time to officially ďintroduceĒ myself.
I bought a 2000 twilight blue Miata last summer with the intention of making it primarily a track and autocross car. I got into HPDEs and autocrossing two years ago with my 3 series BMW. That was a great car to learn with, but I found myself wanting something much lighter and more nimble, something I could mod the heck out of with things like racing seats and a super stiff suspension so I could keep the BMW relatively civil as a daily driver. The Miata fit the bill perfectly - a small, lightweight car that can be easily (and affordably!) tuned for racing. Plus, there are fantastic internet resources out there like this site as well as some great vendors for aftermarket parts.
Hereís a basic summary of what Iíve done so far:
Harddog M2 DD Hardcore roll bar
Black Hardtop (bought from an mt.net member-thanks!)
Sparco Evo seats with 6pt harnesses
15x9 6ULs with RS-3s
FM front sway with 949 endlinks
Energy suspension bushings
Stock injectors cleaned by WitchHunter (this cured my slow starting problem)
Timing belt/water pump replaced
M-Tuned Coolant reroute
Trackspeed engineering radiator
Mazdacomp motor mounts
01+ header swap
FM lightweight flywheel and stage 1 clutch (318 lb-ft)
Hereís whatís in store for the future:
Reverant built MS2 (waiting patiently in line)
TURBO Ė havenít decided what kind yet, goal of around 250whp
3.636 diff (bought last year off someone locally, waiting patiently in my garage for when the turbo is installed)
Probably an oil cooler
One very important lesson Iíve learned at the track is that power is the last mod you should make. Learning how to get around the track as quickly as possible in a momentum car with low hp like a Miata will make me much faster when I do add the power. With that in mind, I plan to keep the car normally aspirated this season and put on the turbo later this year/over the winter.
For what itís worth, a few comments on my experience with some of my mods so far:
6ULs Ė these are incredible, but I think everyone already knew that. Thanks Emilio for bringing this exquisite blend of beauty and performance to the Miata community
FM Sway bars Ė early on, I bought the front and rear FM sways, thinking that the adjustability would be a good thing to have. The recommended settings from FM created huge amounts of oversteer for me. Even with the stiffest front setting and softest rear, I still had oversteer both with the stock suspension and with the XIDAs. Too bad Iím not into drifting. I put the stock rear sway back in, and it handles much better in the corners for me now.
ES bushings Ė I followed all the directions for installation, used the recommended lube supplied with them (even bought extra), and Iím having trouble with binding. After doing a lot more searching on forums, it seems other people have also had problems with the very sticky lube combined with bushings that stick out slightly past the metal sleeves causing a lot of resistance to control arm movement. The solution is a less sticky lube and possibly shaving down the bushings. I already installed zerks, so this wonít be a horrible fix for me, but stillÖ
I guess thatís enough for now, Iíll leave you with a couple of pics:
Not long after buying it, before any mods
At an autocross last year Ė after putting on front and rear FM sways, but before XIDAs, a cold and wet day made for a very tail happy car
Sorry, no pics yet this spring with the lowered stance from the XIDAs. The carís spent most of its time on jack stands recently.