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Old 12-29-2014, 04:46 PM   #1
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Several months ago, I decided I wanted an NB turbo project. I bought an NC new several years ago, and have had lots of fun cars that I've added a few bolt ons to, but I figured I was ready to take on a bigger project. I set up some craigslist alerts covering everywhere within a few hundred miles of San Francisco, and then I ultimately decided on this 2002 SE.

It was a write-off, sold at auction to a m.net member who was planning to use it for an exocet build. He decided he wanted to go with an MSM instead, and I managed to grab this for $2500. At the time, I thought it was a steal. Replace a few parts, do a bit of paint and body work, and then TURBO POWAH!

This is what it looked like when I started:




And in my ignorance I figured this wasn't too big of a deal




So I bought it!

That was in September, so I've got a couple initial updates, then I'll just post here as I progress through the build.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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Here is a walk around video of the car as it sat when I bought it:

The known issues were:
- busted bumper cover and trunk
- cracked diff carrier case
- shot tires, one which barely held air
- flat battery (although I figured it just needed to be recharged)
- minor body and paint work

Because of the cracked diff carrier, I decided to drive it home on a uhaul trailer. It cost about $200 to cover the 150 or so miles.

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Old 12-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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Once I started pulling the car apart, it became apparent that I had bit off a little more than I was prepared to chew.





Hm, I wonder why the trunk won't close...





Ah, that's why

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Old 12-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #4
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Once I started pulling the car apart, it became apparent that I had bit off a little more than I was prepared to chew.





Hm, I wonder why the trunk won't close...





Ah, that's why

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Old 12-29-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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Time to get to work.

I started by painting the replacement bumper cover. I found a nice lot by the water where I used to keep my boat, and set up my compressor. Sand, primer, base, clear. I just used paint and a $100 air gun set from TCP Global - Quality & Service Since 1974
It took longer than expected, so I did the last couple coats of clear in the dark. It came out looking pretty good though. (sorry, no pics of the process).

I also replaced the battery, because after sitting for a couple months with the trunk open, the one that came with the car was fucked. I had it tested and after 15 minutes the machine still couldn't come up with an estimate of how long it would take to get tested. The new one was promptly stolen out of my trunk when I parked outside, so I got another one from Amazon.

I rented a storage unit and got to work bending everything straightish. For this process I used a 10 ton portapower I got on Amazon. It is cheap chinese crap, but it did the job. I did my best to isolate each bend and strap or brace everything else. In the end, the most successful bends were done by pushing off of the good frame rail to bend the bad one.





After a few hours of this, I was able to get the new bumper support on



Then after a bit more bending, the trunk closed!


And finally after more bending and some bondo and epoxy, I got the bumper cover and lights on (that bumper cover used to be green)



Then I swapped the diff carrier case (damn wrecker sent me one from a 1.6, so that set me back another day) and I was driving!
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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With all that done, I still needed tires to pass the inspection to get retitled. I decided while I was at it I would get some light 17x7s, and opted for the new TR Motorsports FF10s from Tire Rack. I also went with a slightly bigger side wall - 205-45/17 which should give a little better gearing on the 6 speed. I think they will look pretty good as soon as I can lower it a little, and I can lower enough to let the wheels will the wheel wells without being stupid low to the ground. Still waiting on those Tecnas...



I also found that the driver side tie rod was bent. I adjusted it until the wheel was straight and the car handled okay while I wait for the new one to come in. I'm not going to bother getting an alignment until I install the tecnas.

That's all for now. Lots more to come over the next few months.
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Last edited by nigelt; 12-29-2014 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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I'd love your input on my plans. My goal is for a 220-250hp daily driver. I also want to try doing e85 with a flex sensor.

Here is what I've done so far:
- ghetto trunk frame straightening
- battery
- first round of painting
- diff carrier case
- mazda competition diff bushings
- FM sways
- Wheels/tires (yeah, y'all don't like 17s, but at <15lbs they should do fine)
- replaced various busted parts (tail light, bumper, trunk)

Here is what I have either waiting to go on the car, or have ordered and am waiting for:
- AEM wideband
- Brainpowered MS3x
- MK Turbo kit
- Tecna shocks/springs

Here is what I still need:
- clutch and flywheel (949 if it's ready by then, otherwise FM happy meal)
- ebay IC/BOV/piping
- GT500 injectors

I'm planning to do MS, then injectors, then clutch, then turbo.

I've also got a bunch of little things to fix, mostly body work. I'm taking a night school class at a community college for body work and welding.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:45 AM   #8
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Lol looks like turbofans trunk.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
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Ha, in some ways that looks worse than my trunk! Not folded down like mine though.

Fun to watch those straightening videos. Wow.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
Ha, in some ways that looks worse than my trunk! Not folded down like mine though.

Fun to watch those straightening videos. Wow.
Yeah, 10 tons is a lot of force. For a few of the higher load pushes we half closed the shipping container doors and hid behind it like a blast shield. We also broke a couple of the portapower ends. It takes a lot of force to straighten a frame rail!

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Old 01-09-2015, 10:24 AM   #11
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I tried to replace the bent tie rod last night, but the guy at Napa gave me one for a '92 not an '02. Funny, they look identical, and where the inner tie rod threads into the steering rack, the thread pitch is the same, but on the newer cars it is imperceptibly wider. I couldn't be sure by eyeballing it so I had to use a caliper. Looks like I'm taking wifey's car to work today while I wait for the proper part to come in
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:03 PM   #12
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I got the right tie rod in last night. For anyone else doing this job, after I got it in and was close-ish based on measuring the other side, I would drive, adjust, drive, adjust until the wheel was straight while driving in a straight line. You can access the tie rod to adjust it just by turning the wheel all the way to one side.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:50 PM   #13
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Bits and pieces are starting to roll in. Here we have:

Knockoff BOV direct from the People's Republic, branded as HKS
$15 used boost gauge
$free.99 clutch disc(k)
Replacement soft top latches
Gently used wideband



Yesterday I also put an order in at flyinmiata: a roll bar (Hard Core Sport with leather cover and no diagonal), and a set of V-Maxx Xxtreme coilovers.

I was really looking forward to the Tecna's but the latest update doesn't look good for getting them any time soon, so I got a refund. My car desperately needs an alignment before it goes out on the track, and I'd rather not do it twice. Also, my front shocks are totally hooped so the car handles like crap.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:21 PM   #14
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More goodies arrived today
In the middle - MS3x to make my car go fast. On the right is SA2010 helmet I got for $130 in Amazon, which is even comfortable! Should help protect me when I'm driving so fast. On the bottom left, a roll bar go pro mount so I can feel awesome watching myself drive around a track after. Sweet.



I picked this Hard Dog Deuce up for $150 on Craigslist, brand new #win. It was missing some bits, which I got from the good folks at Bethania Garage for $100. The biggest win of all is that I have it now, so I can install it this weekend, so I can race next weekend. Yay!



Proof for my wife that the miata actually does make a great family car!
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:21 PM   #15
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Made some more progress on the weekend.


Back From the Dead Build Thread-image-3925103136.jpg

Red, obviously better than black. Plus they can go up and down and harder and softer. #win



Back From the Dead Build Thread-image-3912551386.jpg

Stripped down for the roll bar install



Back From the Dead Build Thread-image-607593930.jpg

Air chisel makes this fast, and fun!

I'll have it all together in time for buttonwillow arty;
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:35 PM   #16
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Posts like the one above make me realize how terrible my megasquirt harness is. Maybe I should fix that.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:01 AM   #17
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Slow progress the last couple weeks. I'm taking a body work class at a local community college, and am waiting to get this car on the frame rack. I don't want to do anything major first, as things like dent repair, alignment, and paint would all have to be redone after. Hoping to finish straightening the body next week.

In the mean time, I've adjusted the clutch pedal to give myself more space for my long gangly legs. Gas pedal mod and foamectomy are next. I've also adjusted the ride height tirelessly to get it to the point where I don't bottom out and all sides are equal height. I removed the front fender liners for a bit more clearance.

Another project I've got on the go is a bosectomy. I'm ridding the car of the crappy bose unit in favor of a super simple amp and phone mount. It will have 2 functions - run sound like Pandora, directions, and audio books from my phone; and function as a decent hands free phone system. I'm using a tiny power amp and a bluetooth connector with mic, and mounting it to textured ABS.







To be continued
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:48 PM   #18
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Great stereo idea! I am interested in seeing the results.
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #19
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I finished the stereo install and am quite happy with the results. I think it gives a much cleaner appearance, and is stipped down the the functionality I need, which is 100% iPhone based. Not that it matters much for my car, but it also shaved 10+ lbs.







I also did a foamectomy, and it made a huge difference. My hat doesn't try to fly off on the highway anymore, and I generally just fit better.

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Old 02-12-2015, 03:39 PM   #20
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Nice work, I really like that radio idea. Props.
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