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Old 08-22-2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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Default Miata newb, need some help

I am coming from a 2005 Dodge SRT-4, I made 255whp and 302wtq with it... I won't waste your time listing my mods, I sold the car. I bought a 1998 Honda Accord LX to use as a DD so I could catch up on some bills and eventually get my EVO or E46 M3... that is still the plan but I am getting bored. I want a car that I can find a nice clean example for, for cheap... something I can modify and with good results. I like clean cars (nice rubber, nice light wheels, tasteful cosmetics) a nice well rounded suspension and power set up. I have gone through 3958293 forums and have gotten 0583994 replies stating MIATA... GO WITH A MIATA. I won't lie in the past I've thought oh god no, it's too small... nowa days I am starting to not care as long as it is fast at the track and can be daily driven too.

I have some questions...

-How much am I going to have to spend to get a clean (no rust, dents and dings) Miata?

-Does mileage matter?

-What are the typical issues I am looking to face with this car?

-What will a nice DD and Track worth suspension set up consist of and what is it going to cost me?

-What will a nice DD and Track worthy POWER adding set up consist of and what should it cost me? Is it going to be reliable?

-What is the wheel size I want to go for? Ideal for DD and Track?

-If I got auto X or road course am I going to need a roll cage? How much to get one?

-Can I drive this car like I stole it and expect it to keep going, or crap out?

-What would a 5.0 swap cost me? How reliable is it?

-How much more would I have to spend to get a 2nd gen (non flip up) Miata?

Some help? Thanks
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-How much am I going to have to spend to get a clean (no rust, dents and dings) Miata?
Depending on the year, anywhere from 2K-5K

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-Does mileage matter?
not really, these engines hardly have issues...doesnt hurt to test leakdown/compression

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-What are the typical issues I am looking to face with this car?
the only maintaince I've ever had to do on the car was replace a window regulator

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Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-What will a nice DD and Track worth suspension set up consist of and what is it going to cost me?
Front sway, Shocks/springs, bumpstops will get you by....it can be done under $500 or over $2000, depending on how you tackle it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-What will a nice DD and Track worthy POWER adding set up consist of and what should it cost me? Is it going to be reliable?
The thing is track ready with some R-compounds and good brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-What is the wheel size I want to go for? Ideal for DD and Track?
I'm still tracking with 195/60/14s, a lot of people go with 225/45/15, I DD 205/50/15...just keep the wheels < 17lbs.

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Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-If I got auto X or road course am I going to need a roll cage? How much to get one?
no, but you want a rollbar...see harddog and bullfrog

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-Can I drive this car like I stole it and expect it to keep going, or crap out?
the word bulletproof comes up a lot....

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Originally Posted by RickE46M3 View Post
-What would a 5.0 swap cost me? How reliable is it?
i believe the kit without engine is in the 5K range....I'd rather turbo the car.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:28 PM   #3
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I have 148k miles on my miata. I think I've done 22 track days so far, and only had to replace a clutch and window regulators.

I'm happy with ground control bilstein combo (440/350) with FCM stops and NB mounts.

I'm not a good driver, and typically drive the in the bottom of the advanced group (never the instructor groups). My car makes 96whp, weighs 2223lb, has falken azenis, and hawk hp+ pads. I have no problems on the right tracks running over fwd cars(I run neck and neck with a buddy in a del sol ITR swap on R-comps), getting pointed by mustang gt's, gto's, and run neck and neck with base model 2005+ boxsters and caymens.

With 250+whp, r-compounds, and good brakes, and big huge ******* *****, you're running with and passing c6z's, vipers, lambo's...you name it.

If you're into street racing, these cars are not for you.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:23 PM   #4
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The motor itself was initially designed for turbocharging and is essentially the same motor as came in the AWD Mazda 323gtx which was an OEM turbo car. Most guys say you can achieve near-stock reliability up to 250whp... above that you start sacrificing longevity... although there are quite a few 280+whp stock motors out there with some decent mileage on them. The key (as in all FI applications) is the tune.

Going standalone in the Miata community recently made a huge leap with the introduction of PnP Megasquirt ECU's. For under $1000, you can purchase MS PnP, LC1, IAT sensor, vari-tps, and have a complete solution. The MS software is some of the best out there. It has been proven around here that you can do the entire rest of your turbo setup for under $2k ALL QUALITY PARTS that will take you as far as you want to go. Currently, MS PnP is only available for 90-95, but you can build your own for any year.

T25's of all sizes are good to about 250whp and are a more common turbo... most of the smaller-sized T3's will get you to the limits of a stock motor with more top-end and only a small amount of spool sacrifice over a T25. If going with a bigger T3, you're sacrificing a lot of spool time for the top end... good for racing, bad for street.

Most people will reccomend that you look at 94-95 cars. Starting in 1994, you get a 1.8litre motor, additional chassis bracing, a larger rear dif w/optional Torsen, bigger brakes, and still stay OBD1 which makes tuning easier. The 90-93 cars use a 6" dif which can be blown on stock power... is a timebomb with forced induction especially if you're going to track it. However, the 94+dif/axles/driveshaft is a straight swap with previous years... a common upgrade. The 5-spd transmissions from any year are generally good to 300whp and the 6-spds out of later years are good past that. The larger brakes from the 94+ cars are a direct swap as long as you use the 94+brackets... very common upgrade. 94+brakes, braided lines, and decent pads should do fine for up-to-moderate track duty.

Some cars, there is no common trait, have cooling issues when going FI. A common upgrade for the system is to replace the stock radiator (plastic end-tanks fail around 100k miles) with an all metal radiator designed for an Automatic-trans Miata. Of course there are the big aluminum Koyos, but in most cases, they're overkill. An auto-rad, NACA duct, and WaterWetter are usually enough to calm any cooling problem.

Suspension options are endless, but popular choices are Ground Control CO's, Koni's, KYB AGX, Tien, and a few others. Swaybars, chassis stiffening, etc are mostly the usual stuff you'd find on any aftermarket list.

Roll bars come in many flavors, and roll cages are almost always custom jobs that need to conform to the specs of the governing body's rules for that particular racing. For most AutoX and HPDE, you only need a rollbar that is taller than a helmeted driver... but check.

Tires and wheels I won't touch on cause I don't know enough... but I've been stoked for a long time on my $90 15" Heliums and $75 T1R's... lasted me over 10k street miles so far and still a bunch to go.

V8 Swaps are getting more common as the prices of earlier Miatas goes down, but are still expensive and require a HUGE amount of work. Much easier to blow 15psi.

Overall, it might be a good idea if you got a car that was already modded in the way you're looking. The classifieds here are mostly turbo cars, but at miata.net, the classifieds are mostly mildly modified non-FI street cars.
Check this out:
http://www.miata.net/cgi-bin/isc/cla...revaction=show

At 200whp, decent rubber, and some shocks/springs... you can outrun anything FWD, and just about any stock car out there short of a Z06. It's gonna take some serious money for something like a Mustang or 350z to even stay on your tail.

There are some great reads to get you fully up to speed. If you're serious about this "miata" thing, then read through these links to get the full picture:
http://www.miata.net/faq/
http://www.miata.net/garage/
https://www.miataturbo.net/diy-turbo-discussion-14/diy-faq-all-your-answers-one-big-post-4288/

2nd post in this thread:
https://www.miataturbo.net/announcement.php?f=14

Probably the most comprehensive website to get a good feel for the performance Miata aftermarket (excluding FI) is here:
www.good-win-racing.com
You can compare pricing and do your homework.

I highly recommend you find a Miata Club in your local area, go to one of their monthly meetings/runs, and find the speed-freaks and get an education. BTW, please put your town in your PROFILE so locals on this forum can get in touch with you.

...and I'm spent.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:22 AM   #5
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well said samnavy
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:30 AM   #6
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I always need to take a nap after reading a samnavy post
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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all that ****.


He pretty much said it.
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