1990 Track Ready Turbo Ready Mariner Blue - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 03-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default 1990 Track Ready Turbo Ready Mariner Blue

I canít believe Iím doing this, but the decision was made last night to get rid of one of my race vehicles, and the Miata got the short straw. Itís a gut wrenching decision, I LOVE THIS CAR! Not to mention I have a 96 Torsen diff awaiting an install, a Megan manifold and downpipe, cleaned and matched 320 cc injectors, and a track tested Megasquirt to make the fueling portion of the turbo install a breeze.

I bought the car mid Spec Miata conversion. The interior was gutted, it needed paint, a front fender, and an exhaust system. It had also been bumped in the rear, and he had a different bumper, deck lid, and license surround to repair it. It looks ok, but I think a little water drips into the trunk area when it rains. I know I could fix it with some silicon, it just hasnít been a priority. I paid $2500. It came with a 40,000 mile engine with the long snout crank. The valve cover on the new engine was broken, so I smoothed off all of the valve cover area that covers the timing belt. It put on a new one of those too, as well as a clutch when I put the low miles engine in. This was about 1500 miles ago. The odometer reads 15X,000 miles. It came with a header and nothing else for exhaust. I acquired a stock exhaust from the cat back, and I had to get a cheap cat put in when I moved to Texas last year. I put Megasquirt in after I passed the inspection. I donít know how well it will pass again. I had planned to make it pretty lean just before I went in. If you havenít used the Megasquirt software, you will love it. Itís very easy to use, and there are all kinds of people who will help you if you should have any trouble. Thatís how I found this forum. The guys who helped me install this in the MS area are awesome. It runs in open loop, which is how most guys run it. It hurts your mileage a bit, but it runs strong and you can certainly add that functionality in MegaTune.

I put a new windshield in it and had it painted with single stage Mariner Blue. I had a new rear window sewn in and painted the top with SEM vinyl top paint to blacken it up. It turned out real nice. The trim in the interior is decent. The door sill trim and front kick panels could fit a little better. I bought a new stereo surround because that is the important one. The gauge surround clips are bad, but it looks ok. I TIG welded in the cage from 1-5/8Ē tubing. Itís a unique design, and gives better visibility than the Hard Dog bars. As you can see the support bars donít go up to the top bar, but the distance from the cross brace to the top is small. I did this to get maximum height from the cross bar to increase chassis stiffness with the petty bar. With the strength of the tubing I used, I am very confident that it would hold up under a roll over situation. I have had this car on the track at MSR South of Fort Worth about 5 times. The seats are no name, but are very light and supportive. The Corbeau harnesses are new. The seats are fixed in position, and I have the old seats, but they are in rough shape.

The car came from the North, and it did see some salt. I didnít originally come from the North. This is important, because outsiders are more critical of this than people who are used to it. There was cancerous rust on the passengers side floor board, but none in the rest of the body. If there was, I wouldnít have bought it. I welded the floorboard, and at the same time installed the Flyin Miata chassis stiffeners. Probably the best money you can spend on these cars. Further, I added the petty bar to the cage. This is a very rigid car! If you look at the suspension, you can tell it has seen salt, but itís the kind that makes the black chassis paint flake off, thatís all. It came with Bilstein coil overs and very stiff Arospeed springs with adjustable collars. It was set up for Spec Miata. I put Racing beat race springs on it and in comparison it felt like a Buick. Thatís how stiff the other springs were. I still have them if you decide you only want to track the car. I also put the Flyin Miata sway bars on front and rear. The car is very well balanced. The bushings need replaced if you want to change camber often. It is set up well for most tracks, but fine tuning would require new bushings, as most would. The bolt gets fused to the bushing. Iíve heard itís common on a lot of these cars, even in Texas. I put new Rota 15Ē wheels on it and Toyo RA1 tires. These tires are amazing! I would consider them to be at 60% tread life.

I canít stress enough the value of a car being sorted out at the track. The track is severe duty, and things that will last years on the street will let go at the track. All the fasteners that were not tight enough for the track have already informed me of such, and they have been taken care of. The first time I took it out here in Texas, it got pretty warm. I put in a new radiator and made sure as much fresh air was forced into the radiator as possible. This car can immediately be run on a road course.

You can see pictures here:

www.teamverploegen.com/miata.htm

I donít have pictures of the trailer hitch posted on my website yet, but I will get them posted tonight. I made it from a Hide a Hitch for a Saturn. It uses a slim draw bar receiver that has a Reese plastic cover, rather than the square receiver tube. The longitudinal bar is formed around the muffler. I dare say itís one of the sleekest hitches youíll ever see on a Miata. Iím pretty proud of it. Excellent for pulling a tire trailer to the track.

Iím asking $4400, and the Torsen and turbo stuff Iíll throw in for an extra $500. If I'm off, throw me an offer, we'll work from there. I want to see how much interest is sout there. I'll put it on Craig's List soon. I try to be brutally honest in disclosing everything. It usually hurts me, but thatís better than hurting someone else. If youíre interested, PM me and Iíll give you my cell phone number. I am in Highland Village 20 minutes north of the DFW airport.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:58 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention, I replaced the AC condenser, evacuated the system, and put R12 back in it last Summer. It held a charge for about a month. I figure with a leak that slow, the R134a kit I bought with o-ring conditioner and dye might just fix it, and if it doesnít, I will be able to see where the problem is. I have a Snap-on vacuum pump from a guy at work and I have been planning on taking care of this, but it hasnít been a priority. I have also been tempted to take the whole system out for weight. Also, I put a new battery in it last year.
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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You did a lot of work and turned it into a nice car. I would make an offer if you were located closer to the northeast. I feel I must comment though on the roll bar in the car. I don't think it would pass tech at most driving events. You have to continue the rear diagonal bracing through the harness bar up to the top of the main hoop. Should be pretty easy to do. Also the Petty bar looks like a problem. No matter how much padding you put on it, it is going to break some bones in an accident, just too close to the driver as well as the passenger In race cars the Petty bar runs diagonally to the passengers kick panel (no passenger seat) an is still considered an obstacle in a crash. The roll bar also has some structural issues that I don't have to get into here.
Also, passing the shoulder harness around the seat is a no -no. The car needs seats with pass through holes for the harness. Stretch of the harness and compression of the seat in an accident will cause the belt to slip off your shoulder (remember most accidents have more than one impact) and you could be thrown around the cabin. As you probably know (been discussed in multiple forums) you shouldn't drive a car with this type of roll bar on the street (at least not without a helmet) because of the high chance of head injury from the bar itself.
That said, this could be a very nice safe track car with just a little bit of effort. Like I said, if I were closer, I would be talking to you about purchasing it. Hope you sell it soon.

joe
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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I appreciate your opinions, as long as you understand that many of them are just opinions. You have to understand the intent of the car and cage. This car will not fit into an SCCA class. If you have watched, spec Miatas rarely go for under $10k on Ebay. It is a track day car, and most track days let Miatas out without cages. I find it hard to believe that someone would disallow this car because of cage issues. You are correct in that you could continue a diagonal up to the top bar if you wanted, but it wouldn't be straight and it would look funny. I am an engineer, and have asked many very good engineers and race car cage builders and they felt that with the tubing size I used, it would not be a problem. As for using it on the street, I am 5'-10" and my head sits 3-4" under the cage. The seats are lower than stock. You can hypothesize about how many different forces can act upon someone in a crash (and I have), but I drive on track days on tracks with good run-off, and I feel better having the cage. My SCCA approved EP Miata cage had bars closer to me that this one does. If a bar with padding is going to break your bones, than the door next to you will too, as will the steering wheel. The seats? You are correct, the belts should pass through it. The seats are pretty cheap but they keep you connected to the car mush better than a stock seat. If you were worried, you could buy some better ones. I was tired of sliding around in corners. Your theory about the seat compressing assumes that the belt is trying to pull together and works against your theory of the belts sliding off your shoulder. However, could they slide off? Yes, it's possible, but again, they hold me in the car better than the stock belts. You can get as serious as you want in a race car. The guy I bought my other race car from had a friend get burned in one, so it has more nozzles in the fire system than I think are necessary, and none going to the engine. Sure, my engine is less valuable than my life, but I think you have to apply some common sense. Guys I have raced bikes with have tried to convince me that their $700 helmets will keep them alive when my $300 one won't. Hmmm, ok, good for you. I feel safe in mine. I appreciate your compliments, and I hope that I have not offended you. Arguing in these forums can be fun, but I don't think the for sale area is the right place. If you want to keep discussing, send me a PM. I love to talk race cars, but please respect the fact that I am trying to sell a car here.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:19 PM   #5
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Oh, I forgot to mention, if you are worried about emissions or inspections, the MS is piggybacked on the stock ecm. You could put stock injectors in, change a few wires, and run it on the stock computer if you had any problems, but I don't think you would.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:24 PM   #6
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Oops, you're right. I went overboard and should have used a PM for my comments. Sorry!
Now, somebody buy this car and have some fun at a track day. Track days are a blast!

joe
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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Default Price reduced!

Ok, time to get realistic, $3900 obo.
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:41 PM   #8
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$3500?
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:55 PM   #9
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To bad i live in PA or i would take it off your hands
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:45 PM   #10
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Sale pending. I threw it on Miata.net about a week ago, then this weekend I order a turbo and take the header off to start the turbo install and I get a call the next day from a guy who wants to buy it naturally aspirated. I don't know what to do now. It will save me a lot of hassle, but i kind of want to boost it!
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulltilt View Post
Sale pending. I threw it on Miata.net about a week ago, then this weekend I order a turbo and take the header off to start the turbo install and I get a call the next day from a guy who wants to buy it naturally aspirated. I don't know what to do now. It will save me a lot of hassle, but i kind of want to boost it!
Hey Fulltilt,

Just wondering why you would bother turboing a car that you are selling anyway?

The car looks nice, it actually looks a lot like mine

Good luck with the sale...
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:55 AM   #12
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Because selling a car like this is such a niche market. Many people like me want to make their car track worthy, because buying the parts and spending the money is part of the fun. Just don't go expecting to get rid of it. So I threw it out there, but didn't get any response. No surprise. If I couldn't sell it, the alternative was to go nuts with it, turbo it, strip everything I could and make it non-streetable. It was probably best that I didn't get very far, it would have cost me a lot more time. Supposedly I have a buyer coming tomorrow morning from Kansas. Thanks for the compliment.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:58 AM   #13
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Default Sold!

Sold for $3500.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:19 PM   #14
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Congrats
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