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Old 04-01-2009, 09:40 AM   #1
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Location: Sykesville, MD
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Default The new guy from Maryland

I was directed over here by a friend, and after looking around and seeing what's here, figured I'd stay and check things out.

I used to have a '91 Miata that I drove daily for about 11 years, minus 8 months (around 2004) when I sold it and later bought it back. It was modded quite a bit over the years with lots of parts and stories. I sold the car again in early 2007, and it has been converted to a Spec Miata and is turning hot laps at race tracks across the East Coast. Needless to say, I'm thrilled that it's being enjoyed by its new owner, and wasn't turned into a parts car.

My current project started life as a Crystal White '92 A-pkg. It was someone's daily driver that was purchased by a Spec Miata builder here in Maryland, and was stripped down to a tub in preparations for a SM build. During mid teardown, a friend of mine bought it with the same intentions in mind. His homeowner's association forced him to get rid of it, and it ended up in the hands of another friend who had the same intentions as well. Said friend lost interest, and the car magically appeared in my driveway on the back of a flatbed in late January.

The car is straight and rust-free, but is missing a lot of things. Fortunately, the car retained the complete wiring harness, hydraulic lines, fuel tank, dash, and windshield. I've since collected (and continue to collect) a number of parts, and will spend time making sure things are done right.

After some cleaning, the chassis will get stitch welded (hopefully this summer). After that, the re-engineering starts in earnest. I've been inspired by the Opera Performance S2000 build, and have a few Miata buddies interested in helping develop some gusseting and re-arranging of weight. I'm not going for bare-bones weight savings, but if I can redistribute some weight, and lose some here and there to compensate for the gusseting and stich welding, that will be ideal. I'd also like to lose some weight off the ends of the car to centralize the weight and reduce some rotational inertia.

The suspension will be a retrofitted NB suspension (just picked up a 2001 front subframe this weekend) for the better geometry. I'd also like to find a newer NB rear subframe with bracing. It's not pretty, but it looks like a really nice piece of engineering to help keep the rear in place. I'll also be installing aftermarket bushings, though the style is yet TBD. Pre-preg silicone ones might work well, or I might torture myself with eurethane ones with drilled & tapped Zerk fittings for lubrication. But hey, I've got time to figure that one out.

Drivetrain is completely open right now. I've enjoyed the sprightlyness of a Greddy'd 1.6 at 8psi (and it's relatively inexpensive), but I like the torque of the 1.8 (made only better by a T25 or T28 turbo). Ideally, I'd probably be happy with a Mazdaspeed BP turbo motor, but the price of entry on those is still pretty high. For trans, I'll be going with a 5-speed (never warmed up to the gearing of the sixes), and I'd like to end up with a Mazda ToFu rear diff at some point. Something like a KAAZ or Cusco LSD would be great for bragging rights, but I don't think I'm a good enough driver that it would be worth it for me to have it.

Needless to say, it'll be a long-term project to piece back together, which my daughter is excited about. She's even decided that it'll get painted yellow at some point - it's not my first choice, but it's something I can live with. Hopefully, it'll be running before she gets licensed in 12 years!

Sorry to write a book...
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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Location: The coal ridden hills of Pennsylvania
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Welcome! Good to see yet another member that lives within 2 hours of me! Hope to see you in Delaware at the Dyno event! It'll be a blast...I'll be driving my 2 stroke miata that day.
Again, Welcome!
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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what, you dont like pretty anime interiors in your miata?

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Old 04-01-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
what, you dont like pretty anime interiors in your miata?
Anime interior courtesy of the 19-year-old girl who owned it for a few months. She moved on to another Miata, again with the custom interior fabric treatment - pink kitties. I think I have a pic of it somewhere.

Oddly enough, her fabric installation skills weren't too bad. But my wife ripped it out within two days of buying the car back.

Last edited by ChristianL; 04-01-2009 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:34 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum
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