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Old 04-22-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
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Hey everyone, due to some really crappy circumstances in my life lately, I'm strongly considering a return to school in Spring '14 and that means I will have to return to only 1 Miata. I currently DD an 04 MSM and have an 01 that I was modifying for the track. I would like to stick to budget near as I can of 10k. The car would obviously be my DD and everything else, so occasional trips to the track would be included.

To build either one and build it right would look something like this:


949 Big Grip Kit $3000
TSE Big brakes (brake ducts, pads, etc) $1500
TSE radiator $600
COT wing $500
front splitter $300
clutch/flywheel $700
steering wheel (hub etc) $500
ECU (wideband etc) $1500
oil cooler $500
SM damper $500
fuel pump $100
square top $600
Skunk 2 TB $400

All that comes to $10,700. I would have to add a rollbar and injectors to the MSM so that would run another 1k or so. The 01 I would have to add a full exhaust and a custom intake, that would probably run $1400 or so. I would really like to fit either of these builds into $10k if possible. Am I missing anything that I would need, or am I way off in prices?

All of the major gripes, except the turbo, would be fixed on the MSM and I would be around 200 whp. With the 01, I should be right around 150 whp.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:35 AM   #2
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Take any fancy parts off the MSM, sell it. Add stuffs to the 01 and make it DD-able. Buy my squaretop (saved $50 on your budget already )

MSMs are too heavy and nice to track anyway.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:26 AM   #3
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The 01 is stock except for a rollbar and a Marrad seat. Its very DDable as is. Except i hate the wood steering wheel. What is the weight difference anyway? The MSM adds the turbo stuff on top of my 01 SE so it might be 100 pounds heavier?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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I think you're overestimating the prices a tad. The real cost would be your safety gear and consumables, and entry fees.

How many of the things on the list do you need IOT have fun on the track, anyway?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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Tough choice.

For DD i'd prefer the MSM.

For track use the SE.

Ultimately it would come down to whether you'd track every once in a blue moon or if it would be a regular thing. If almost never, I'd stick with the MSM, if frequent track outings I'd keep the SE. It will be easier and cheaper do that with.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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If you can't afford to have a daily driver AND a project car, then you can't afford to have a project car. Get rid of the track car and drive the MSM until you can afford to have 2 again.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
If you can't afford to have a daily driver AND a project car, then you can't afford to have a project car. Get rid of the track car and drive the MSM until you can afford to have 2 again.
This. It really sucks when you go to do a simple little thing on your daily/project combo car on saturday, the **** hits the fan and its all of a sudden sunday night, the hardware stores are closed, you're missing 1 bolt, and you still dont have something to drive to work in the morning.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
If you can't afford to have a daily driver AND a project car, then you can't afford to have a project car. Get rid of the track car and drive the MSM until you can afford to have 2 again.
That's real talk.

A lot of us have done the "single vehicle project car" before and it's a huge pain in the ***. It's easier if you:
  • are mechanically inclined
  • have plenty of tools
  • have a nice work area (e.g. a garage)
  • have some buddies who like to come over and help wrench on the car at a moment's notice
  • a flexible work schedule that doesn't punish you for coming in late on Monday morning because you weren't able to finish up whatever modification/maintenance/repair you started over the weekend

Even with all of the above, it adds a lot of stress to your life.


I would also second 18psi's question about how often you realistically expect to track the car before I made a choice as to which one to keep.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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Meh, its do-able with the SE imo
As long as he doesn't get carried away with the mods and keeps it mild
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
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Just to add to words of wisdom . . .

"Hey everyone, due to some really crappy circumstances in my life lately, I'm strongly considering a return to school in Spring '14"

It sounds to me like you need to minimize expenses and distractions, focus, excel in school and get launched/re-launched on life.

You shouldn't even be considering building some kind of ultimate track car given these circumstances. The thought process on the Miatas should be "how do I get a reliable daily for the next few years at minimum cost while getting maximum $$ out of what I currently own." That would mean deciding which STREET car to keep, returning the other to stock and selling it and the parts to realize cash.

Believe me, there will be plenty of Miatas and parts out there once you are re-established and have money. And getting this stuff out of your life for now is critical to supporting a decent GPA and future employment prospects.

Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:44 AM   #11
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If you decide to follow hornetballs advice and just keep a DD only (its good advice as well) then I'd keep the MSM, basic bold ons and MS. Perfect DD
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice. The 10k budget I quoted is made in mind for saving plenty of money as well. The objective is to "finish" the car by this December so that all I have to do is buy gas, tires, and maintenance items for the rest of the time I would be in school, which should be 2 years. I have 15x8 wheels I can run on either car and the MSM already has the FM LE kit. I have new rotors, pads, and lines to put on either car, since they both have sport brakes. On a student budget, i do not imagine I would be able to hit the track very often at all but when I do, i cant afford for it to break down so thats why all the baller parts were listed above. To mod once and be done with it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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For a mostly DD with some track time, keep the MSM. it's a nicer car anyways. If you are building a "track" car, stay N/A unless you want to drop big bucks.

Pics of both to help us decide
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
On a student budget, i do not imagine I would be able to hit the track very often at all but when I do, i cant afford for it to break down so thats why all the baller parts were listed above. To mod once and be done with it.
That last part sounds good at first blush and there is a chance you can daily drive, modify, occassionally track and have great success with no issues in either car.

But the probabilities, to me, suggest you should listen to the old guys in the thread and prioritize. For example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
It sounds to me like you need to minimize expenses and distractions, focus, excel in school and get launched/re-launched on life.

Believe me, there will be plenty of Miatas and parts out there once you are re-established and have money. And getting this stuff out of your life for now is critical to supporting a decent GPA and future employment prospects.
I say you bank the $10k you were going spend and buy yourself some car parts as a graduation gift when you are finished. Or spend some portion of it on some basic bits to make the MSM a little more fun in the meantime (all of life is about compromise) and save the rest.


Short term sacrifice for long term gain.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
I say you bank the $10k you were going spend and buy yourself some car parts as a graduation gift when you are finished.
So put your money away for a while and use it once it has decreased in value? 10k should buy more parts today than 10k that sat in a savings account at 0.05% interest in 4 years.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
So put your money away for a while and use it once it has decreased in value? 10k should buy more parts today than 10k that sat in a savings account at 0.05% interest in 4 years.
That assumes:

* "bank your money" = invest in something FDIC insured

* car parts do not depreciate faster than the rate of inflation and/or the rate of appreciation of the investment(s)

* the guy talking about scaling back his goals based on a change in life circumstances doesn't need liquidity more than he needs to maintain purchasing power

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Old 04-23-2013, 10:20 PM   #17
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Actually, the point is that $10K now might be a huge deal. Once you achieve a better situation, $10K might be chump change.

Plus, look at Chili's shopping list. He wants the latest and greatest. So, by taking a time out, just imagine what he'll be able to buy from Emilio or Andrew in a few years. We're talking MS6, Big Grip Stage III, Big Brake kit with 12" carbon rotors, etc. Or, he could buy his original shopping list (now obsolete, of course) for far less money from the people here that are parting their cars.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:37 AM   #18
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I drove a bone stock 2000 for 4.5 years. I'm tired of slow and stock miatas. I want to do a basic build and be able to drive it reliably for the next 2-3 years and then I'll honestly probably get something entirely different. I don't care for convertibles very much, the chassis rigidity and NVH sucks. I only keep buying miatas because they have a good suspension design and they are cheap. The next car I get will be brand new. So I have 10k to spend on a basic build to get me (not quite as slowly) through the next few years.

Heres a cheaper build that isn't the latest and greatest, but could make a nice, reliable, and fun car:

FM Vmaxx coilovers $900
install the new brakes I already have $0
clutch/flywheel $700
steering wheel (hub etc) $500
ECU (wideband etc) $1500
full exhaust $1200
intake $200
oil cooler $500
SM damper $500
fuel pump $100
square top $600
Skunk 2 TB $400

Thats $7100 and should be at 150 whp.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:31 AM   #19
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You dont need a fuel pump, and if you spend more than $80 making your own intake you crazy.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:36 AM   #20
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When I went back to school after the Navy (Vanderbilt Law School), I drove a 15 year old hand-me-down Buick and focused on my school work. The result was a job at a top-20 law firm upon graduation.

Incidentally, I also started the company that I currently still work for while in law school. It employs about 150 people. Of all the things I've done, creating a business that provides a livelihood for others and manufactures lifesaving products is definitely my proudest achievement.

Assuming you're going to remain focused on modifying cars as your top priority, I did some edits on your list. To get NA HP, you basically need to free up the intake and exhaust and add engine management. Suspension improvements are worth the coin too. The rest is fluff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
FM Vmaxx coilovers $900
install the new brakes I already have $0
clutch/flywheel $700 (professionally installed -- more like $400 if you do the work yourself)
steering wheel (hub etc) $500 why?
ECU (wideband etc) $1500 500 -- lots of used MSPNP and LC-1s popping up
full exhaust $1200 600 -- that will buy a brand new Cobalt header and 60mm exhaust system
intake $200 80 -- what Leafy said
oil cooler $500 -- why? Have you measured your oil temps?
SM damper $500 -- why?
fuel pump $100 -- why?
square top $600 -- why?
Skunk 2 TB $400 -- seriously??
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