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Old 07-05-2017, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Having a Issue Enjoying a Miata

Well I am having a bit of an issue but first let me put in some background. One year ago I purchased a 1996 Miata that was not running. I did it with the intention of building a forged motor and creating a turbo beast. I now have the motor all assembled and ready to go just need some small things like megasquirt, clutch, fuel system, etc. I recently have had the opportunity to drive a friends car, which had stock power just upgraded spec miata suspension. This is were the issues begin. The seating position is terrible for me. I sit way to high, and the steering wheel is way to close for me. It seems very "crowded" in the car. Like I have no where to put my legs. Im just wondering if there is some way to solve these issues in the aftermarket? I honestly disliked the drive experience so much Im thinking about just selling the motor and chassis because there seems that there will be no way I will ever enjoy this car. I purchased a BRZ a few months ago and love it so it was a bit of a shock driving the little miata.

Just want to get some of your opinions. Anyone else have an issue at first? Should I finish the build or sell what I got and do something else?
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:15 PM   #2
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I wouldn't sell it immediately. If you do, you'll never really know for yourself. I was about to sell mine before I boosted it but I had been trying to boost a miata for like 4 years and saw it through and I finally completed it. And the car is great fun.

I am 6'2" and ~195lbs and it took my girlfriend to point out that I unconsciously fold myself up to even get close to fitting with an aftermarket wheel; it was worse with the stock wheel, as in, couldn't really move my right knee/leg. I plan gaining weight up to like ~215lbs, so I actually think I may physically outgrow my car because of other desires. This + inability to find any real use in a 2 seater, so it just sits in the driveway and we take my girl's car, has me constantly on the fence of selling my miata just to have a project car I can actually put some miles on. I even have some of the better end parts and struggle with not #EFRpartout

But then you see the value in everything, how fast it is for the dollar and still moderately reliable. And the community is great. So that tugs me the other way.


Also, remember (this is what I am going through now) once you boost it, you are constantly redesigning the whole car to survive. Mostly cooling related and chasing bugs.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:32 PM   #3
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Depends on how much money you want to throw at it.

You can mount seat rails directly to the floor or even drop the floor a bit if your budget allows.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:49 PM   #4
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Removing the door handle for a strap allows me to get my knee between the steering wheel and door. You can do a foamectomy to lose a little height out of the seat, or like ridethecliche mentioned there is a lot that can be done with different seats, rails, and floor pan mods. Try removing the seat and sitting on the floor with a pillow, find a height that works. Then you can find a seat that matches that height.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:00 PM   #5
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race seats do wonders for room. #bias.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:44 PM   #6
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I went through this exact same dilemma when I first bought mine (and I bought mine knowing the stock seats weren't a good option for me after test driving given I'm ~6' 3").

What reassured me / tipped me over into sticking with it though was taking out the factory seat entirely, and sitting in the car without the seats on the floor pan / against the rear shelf on the carpet. Doing that you realize there's HEAPS of room (unless you're legitimately a giant in which case you'll discover it's not for you). It's just a matter getting a seat that doesn't take up all that room before you're in there, and locating it / the steering wheel well.

Once you've got seating/steering wheel sorted, getting rid of the centre console and bulky door arm-rests with some flat door cards etc you free up even more arm / knee space. Then you're left with enough space, and nothing superfluous - just what you want in a sports/motorsports car.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:16 PM   #7
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Did OP ever even say how tall he/she is??? I know plenty of people who just like to sit like a vato, all layer back. There are many ways to make a tall drive er fit a miata.

it really sounds like you love the brz and, well, thats that. The miata is old.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:42 PM   #8
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Hope you get it figured out and finish the car. Where in Fort Myers are you? I'm off College Pkwy. I'd be nice to see another turbo miata running around the area.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
Did OP ever even say how tall he/she is??? I know plenty of people who just like to sit like a vato, all layer back. There are many ways to make a tall drive er fit a miata.

it really sounds like you love the brz and, well, thats that. The miata is old.
Im like 5'11", like 215lb. If its a possibility to get this car to a fairly comfortable position, I would rather finish the build than try to part it out now. I think im going to drive a few more cars to see before I can really make a decision.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:55 PM   #10
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Hope you get it figured out and finish the car. Where in Fort Myers are you? I'm off College Pkwy. I'd be nice to see another turbo miata running around the area.
Im off closer to Lehigh. Seems like there is a few turbo miatas in the area, at least there was a few at the meet the other day.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:56 PM   #11
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LOL, 5' 11" is nothing, I've got you beat by a few pounds too. Foamectomy of the stock seats or an aftermarket seat of your choosing will get you there.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Junkwhale View Post
I went through this exact same dilemma when I first bought mine (and I bought mine knowing the stock seats weren't a good option for me after test driving given I'm ~6' 3").

What reassured me / tipped me over into sticking with it though was taking out the factory seat entirely, and sitting in the car without the seats on the floor pan / against the rear shelf on the carpet. Doing that you realize there's HEAPS of room (unless you're legitimately a giant in which case you'll discover it's not for you). It's just a matter getting a seat that doesn't take up all that room before you're in there, and locating it / the steering wheel well.

Once you've got seating/steering wheel sorted, getting rid of the centre console and bulky door arm-rests with some flat door cards etc you free up even more arm / knee space. Then you're left with enough space, and nothing superfluous - just what you want in a sports/motorsports car.

I appreciate the insight. Perhaps just investing in a wheel and some nice seats can make all the difference that I need. After all after all of that, its a racecar and not a comfortable daily.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bronson M View Post
LOL, 5' 11" is nothing, I've got you beat by a few pounds too. Foamectomy of the stock seats or an aftermarket seat of your choosing will get you there.

I guess this thread was a good idea. Kinda restored my faith in this build to go out there and try and make it work before I give up on it all. Appreciate it!
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micztor View Post
Im like 5'11", like 215lb.
Interesting.

I'm 6'2", size 14 shoe, presently 170 lbs from a peak of 220 a year or so ago.

The Miata is definitely cozy, but aside from the fact that I can't really drive it while wearing my nice Red Wing boots, I've never found it unpleasant. I run the seat base forward until my knees are level with the centerline of the steering wheel, then recline the seat back to full stop. It looks a tad gangsta, but works well.

Personal taste thing, maybe, but 5'11 / 215 lbs isn't really outside of the acceptable range for driving with a stock seat, steering wheel, etc. Personally, I find driving full-size sedans uncomfortable. My legs are just floating around in space with no support, I slide from side to side in the seat, etc.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:50 PM   #15
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keep the BRZ, sell the miata. You're not cut out for this miata lyfe. I'm 6'2", 180lbs and I fit in my miata comfortably, but doing so took work, including research for information that is readily available within the first page of google search results.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:28 PM   #16
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I'm 6 feet tall, 195 pounds, all legs. size 11 shoes.


I have a 2001 miata. Stock steering wheel, stock door cards and handles, stock leather seats, no adjustments made to the e-brake handle, and I have zero issues fitting. What I think you need to change is your "mental space" Your mind says "you are cramped" when, in fact, you have ample room. You are just not used to resting your legs and arms in conveniently close positions. This is distinctly different than not having enough room

There is an extra click on the seat rail if you push the seat back while bracing your foot on the foot rest, that's the position I use while driving with shoes on. Shoes off, i sit a click forwards.

There is a similarly achievable extra click on the seat back (reclining) just hold the adjusting lever and push your upper body against the seat.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:04 PM   #17
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I'm 6'4" 210lb, 36 inch inseam. Foamectomy, removed driver side door pull for a strap, aftermarket wheel. I fit. But, I have an awful time in NBs. It has been so long since I drove a NC, I forget how well I fit in those.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micztor View Post
Im off closer to Lehigh. Seems like there is a few turbo miatas in the area, at least there was a few at the meet the other day.
Saturday night? The purple NB was my car. I don't make it out too much anymore, but I'm happy to show you around the car or give you a ride if you catch me out sometime.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by OGRacing View Post
race seats do wonders for room. #bias.
I have a pair of Cobra Imolas mounted just about touching the rear seat mount humps on the floorpan and they're really not any lower than stock. The drivers side is reclined so that it's touching the roll bar. I'm 5'-10" and have to take the butt cushion out to pass the broomstick test. It hits the trans tunnel and door panel on the drivers side. A Tillet seems to be about the only FIA rated composite seat that would easily fit without hacking everything up and those look rather dubious for street comfort.

There is definitely a limit on driver size. I removed the NB1 door panels, which improved elbow and knee room. Other than cutting out rear seat mount or clearancing the trans tunnel there is isn't much else I can do to get further back or lower.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:52 PM   #20
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5-11????? Hahaha, I'm convinced now, you are used to driving like a Vato. or this guy.....

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