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Old 05-20-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default Flier129's build thread, "The Cursed Miata"

I decided that my local club forum isn't enough and maybe enough people on here will give me some better ideas on where to take my car now.

I've been around miatas since I was 11 thanks to my dad's urge of wanting a MG Midget-like car. Since then I've seen the fun, fast on the curves, inexpensive side of them. So I've been miata bound since. Unfortnately for my dad, who had no idea that I would spends hours upon end in his garage making messes etc. But its been a great learning experience so far. I couldn't of bought the knowledge I have now and I have mostly this forum to thank for that.





I got my 97 out of Roanoke, VA. 156k miles on the body and supposely 72k miles on the engine. Blown koni yellows but I got a decent price on it and figured on suspension anyways

When I first got the car I bought a used FM 2.5 suspension, first generation and put it on within the first week of owning the car. This setup included the KYB AGX's, front and rear sways, rear top-hats, and the lower/stiffer springs.

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Drove it thru the gap and down 129/11 to The Mitty the next week with a friend of mine. This trip alone quadrupled my obession with these little cars.

During the summer I went on countless trips to the gap(dragon ) I always had fun chasing my friend down in his Z

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Swapped wheels around with a friend and he just happened to wreck with my wheels. So I got to get new wheels and tires, which I planned to anyways.

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Although I was saving up for some 6uls, $300 for these mb motoring competition wheels. Never heard of them before, but they only weigh 13ish lbs and are 15x7 with a +43 offet and I couldnt pass up the deal. The tires also showed my a whole another side of the car and I couldnt ask for more... at the time.


Then I started to lurk on this forum more and more. And I was making some extra cash so I thought what the hell, I've always wanted a stupid fast miata!

So the continuous buying started.

Snagged a 4.10 torsen from a local club member for $100 out of a wrecked 96 m-edition. Lucky me
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Got some HP+ pads
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Found a barely used 2.5' SS enthuza turbo exhaust, so there was no turning back now!
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Got to reading about how the 99-00 heads flow so much better and decided to do the swap myself.
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It was quite the project considering it was my first major modification on any car

After lots of blood sweat and cussing I got it together and running.
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I noticed a power difference but was kind of distracted by the sound of my car since I installed a 2.5' testpipe the same time I did the headswap. Good lord is it loud with the turbo muffler. The car also loped like a rotary, not sure why but I cant say I didn't like it lol.


After the retail christmas grind I was able to work on my car some more. I had been reading about MS ever since I first started to lurk the forums. So I picked up a MSPnP.
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Installed it with ease and ran the basemap, but needed help.

Got a AEM wideband
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Then met up with N3v to help me tune the car. After he adjusted most of my ve_table my car seemed to run better than stock.

Next up was the clutch and flywheel.
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As you can see so far I was basically following the DIY FAQ guideline here lol.



So by this time I was looking hard into turbokits. I didn't really want to fab one up myself for the first time. I thought about just getting a new BEGi kit but then I came across this use FMII kit.
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Got it and it was sitting in the garage for awhile, heh.


So this is where the "cursed" part starts to come into play.

Had my car sitting in the driveway at my parents garage sale, lady backs into it.
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No biggie, make $1300 off of it and fix it myself. It now has a character mark.

On the way to work one day, the engine starts to knock hard. Ended up hammering a bearing(lack of oil, later find out my car was once turbo'd before )

So I say what the hell, time for forged internals.

The biggest buying mistake I have ever made, was to buy this block from rogezeus without paperwork :(
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83mm 9:1 JE pistons
Crower I-beam rods
ACL bearings
MSM oil pump gears

Granted I got a good price for these never used parts but I should of disassembled and then reassembled the engine when I got it.


Never the less I got the block in with my 99 head and drove it around N/A for 1500 miles. Did fine, didnt miss a beat.
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During which I picked up some rx7 550cc injectors, installed and tuned them with req_fuel etc etc.
(no pic, sry)

Decided it was time for the turbo!
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Got it installed fairly easily and spents lots of hours tuning on the street. Loved 7psi but wanted to try more. Turned my FM MBC up to 12 psi and decided that was too much for open diff(hadnt installed torsen yet lol) turned it back down to 10psi and was pretty content with that.

Stock radiator cracked causing the car to overheat one day. Picked up a Mishimoto 52mm at a good price and dropped it in.
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Driving to the movies one night, get into boost and then low and behold. CLANK CLANK CLANK CLANK. Engine knocking again.... no warning of knock this time just started all the sudden :(

So I pull my engine... again
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And I start to disassemble it. Lots of metal shavings, wtf did those come from?!
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Scouring the pistons
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Took the parts to local trusted race shop. He ends up telling me what all was wrong with the block based off the damage.

1.Wristpin wire in #4 not put in correctly, popped out(metal shavings)
2.Actual wristpin in #4 slapped around, trashing the wristpin boss in #4
3.Rod end-caps put on backwards on #1 #3 and #4, causing spun bearings.

So I wasn't a happy camper :( Not to mention I end up losing my job a month later. So I sell my turbokit to pay the small bills that I do have.

Car sits from Aug 09 until March 10...... Job front seems dead in this area....


While it sits I catch a break and find a wrecked 01 SE to part out. Take the torsen out of it, sell my 4.10 and put it in my car. I also take the 01 block and pair it with my 99 head and put it in my car.

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Also, good friend N3v comes along and we swap parts/money and I end up with this ITBs
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I figure I can have some fun with these for the time being.

Go for a compression check and get back.... well shitty numbers. Dumbass me didn't think to have the 99 head checked out. Turns out it was warped, so I had to sell off the ITBs to fund the machinework on the head(only $280 after a complete cyclinder head overhaul)



Get the redone head back on, start it up and it runs once more. Horay! Well what I forgot to mention is I kept the 01 alternator with the 01 block.... bad idea.

01+ alternators use an external voltage regulator, where as 97> have an internal one. Thus causing 30 volts to go through my system and imploding my battery.
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After further investigation I find out it went straight to my MS
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Causing a long laundry list of things wrong with it, repairable sure, but not practical to do so.


So this it why I titled it "The Cursed Miata" lol. I'm sure majority of this(90%) is user error. But like I said I've learned quite a lot off this car.

This is where I'm at now, redone 99-00 head, 01 block, stock ecu. Im getting no spark but Im waiting on a new coilpack to come in.

Hope you enjoyed my story, I'll be sure to update if anything else happens
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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cool, sucks about the MS though
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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Good story. Subscribed for moar!
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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Oh man, that car is totally cursed. Stay with it though, the good stuff has to begin sometime.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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you suck for the good dead on that Torsen....i hate you.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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damn i feel so bad for ya....that really sucks
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:19 PM   #7
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Damn! I thought I had it bad loaning my cousin my car and having it come back 5 minutes later with a blown motor and on fire.

What a bummer dude.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:21 PM   #8
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Well I cant pin point the problem of spark. Its more than likely short(s) in the harness which makes the car very unreliable for daily use. Having every other sensor go bad every other day doesnt sound fun to me.

So going to make it a track-rat with my dad. He's always wanted to have a track miata and this is the perfect opportunity for the both of us. Going to replace the harness, hopefully cut down on the clutter and elminate unnecessary wires. I should have a MS back it in before its running fully.

If things pan out right this might be a fun winter project. So I'll update the build thread as I pull things out
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
Took the parts to local trusted race shop. He ends up telling me what all was wrong with the block based off the damage.
May I ask who said trusted race shop was? I've got a block that needs to have some forged goodies shoved inside in the next couple weeks. I know a machine shop that does good work, but if there is someone local that has miata experience, that would be fantastic.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baron340 View Post
May I ask who said trusted race shop was? I've got a block that needs to have some forged goodies shoved inside in the next couple weeks. I know a machine shop that does good work, but if there is someone local that has miata experience, that would be fantastic.
The owner of East Tenn Race Prep is who I always seek my advice from. He actually has Hitch's in Alcoa do machine work. Although I wouldn't personally recommend them unless you got a lot of time or lots of work to have them do (5+ engines). Claxton machine shop in Clinton has done quite a few miata engines with good success. Small shop that does quality work and is really personal. Quick and honest work too.

Where you at in Knoxville? The only turbo miatas I know of are the guys I autox with.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
Where you at in Knoxville? The only turbo miatas I know of are the guys I autox with.
Thanks for the advice. I've had Hitch do some work in the past, and while not fast they did great work and didn't ask for an arm or leg on the bill. I'll check out the place in Clinton.

My miata doesn't have a turbo yet. I picked up a 94 M on CL for $800 a few months ago beat to hell and rod knocking from oil starvation. Motor comes out soon, but I'll throw a full build thread up once things start going back together.

Just shoot me a PM if you ever need an extra hand, build looks great so far and even better if things will stop breaking.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:18 PM   #12
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An update!

Well since this car has become a father and son project I was hoping expenses would be cut down. Though it seems me and my dad are both throwing money at it, lol.

The car currently has a 99-00 head freshly machined and new seals, 5-angle valve job, etc, 01 block out of the 01 SE I parted out, the 3.9 LSD out of the 01 SE with new ES bushings, and stock 5-spd.

Never the less, it RUNS! It even started on the stock ecu. DDMworks took the time and trouble-shooted the cars problems, something neither my dad had the time or space to do.

They found out these parts were bad:
Engine harness
complete car harness
CAS
Coil-pack
gauge cluster


So after little debate, we went with MS3x and corresponding harnesses. Then I sourced a complete car harness, which was easier than I thought. DDMWorks put the work in and did the wiring for us. If it was my choice I would of done all this in a parking spot, even more so since I have garage space now, but I wasn't the one footing the bill on this one. So I wasn't going to complain, lol.

I came to Greenville this weekend to help tune and finish sorting the car out, but the ms3's processor was bad, so it had to be sent back to DIY's for repairs, it gets back monday (fml). Hopefully all will go well with the ms3x this week so I can come down on Thursday night before the Mitty, get a base street tune and drive it to Gainsville for the weekend.

Time for the money shots!

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At long last I am united with these wheels! I have oogled over them for the past 3 years and finally have them. They sure are pretty

I'm hoping the 225 rs3's on 15x9s will provide a good foot-print for me and my dad to ease into track events. The whole goal of this car is to get track-time for me and my dad. Whether it be HPDE's, time trials, or maybe miata challenge!

Ordered a RB hollow race, with RB endlinks. 99+ end-links instead of the 90-97, suppose to be shorter and work better with lowered cars. The sway and end-links will be in Monday or Tuesday

Car will most likely need an alignment, fenders are rolled and the liners are out but I can't remember the specs on the alignment. Hoping it doesn't rub in the rear, I figure -1.8 to -2.0 in the rear will be enough.


Wanting to get the header/exhaust sorted out. Trying to decide if getting something like a RB/JR header will be worth it vs a cheap obx/raceland. I guess it depends which route we take with FI (rotrex or turbo, leaning more towards the rotrex) The car still has the 2.5" enthuza turbo muffler, already talked to Jason about swapping it out with the Borla muffler. This way it'll be more functional as n/a and will sound a lot better and maybe pass sound at local autox

Also pondering on getting the MSM intake cam, seems like a quick fix to put the car over 130rwhp in its current form. That cam + IAT sensor replacing the stock maf I hope for that kind of power. I might try to track down a "square-top" manifold, depending on the price.

Within this year we hope to have the suspension replaced, going with the obvious choice of Xida Clubsports. Swapping out the all the bushings this summer as well.

So the to get/buy list:
ES control-arm bushings
Roll-bar
swapped muffler
header
MSM cam
Xida CS
Seats (Elise with new padding?)
5/6-point harness
Steering wheel
corner weighed/balanced

Hopefully I'll have another update after next weekend
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
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Derp

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Wheels and tires make the car look so much better, even with an inch of dust We gave it a wash, I played with TS and the ms3x, auto-tuned it on the way home. Wouldn't start for **** and didn't want to idle.

Finally met Ben at the DIY tent @ the Mitty. He's my new hero, he reminded me on how much I really don't know. Turns out the guy who did the initial setup (read: FFS and/or Bill ) forgot to calibrate some sensors Fouled the plugs, decided to park the car in Greenville instead of taking it to RA.

Every wire from the gas tank forward... replaced
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MS3X is quite nice, many features for me to learn and play with
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Next on the list get it starting and idling consistently and reliably. Get a rollbar, SS brake lines, new poly bushings all around. Hopefully by all that's done I'll give the car a track shake-down at a Nashville SuperSpeedway HPDE, which happens to be at IA
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