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Old 11-09-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
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Default hello from Albuquerque, NM

I'm new to road racing and recently did a few fast laps in a turbo miata running 225/235 f/r r-comps. I had many " wtf how is this possibly?! " moments.

So here I am now on my birthday morning (4 hrs up too early) reading stickies and sifting through threads and posts to figure out which year would be best for my goals.

My specific goal is to build one for serious fun at the track so boost, safety and supporting upgrades for sure.

I want to go 94-95 for the torsen rear and bigger 1.8, I'm concerned the later obd2 models will be a headache to tune but I know nothing of a miata's ecu/ tuning at the moment.

I am very lucky I have a track here that does a $20 special about twice per month for a 4hr session.

And before I forget, this looks to be a great forum. I like the attitude and humor. I think the lay out and organization of everything made reading the info here very easy on my brain.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:36 PM   #2
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Welcome and happy birthday. Nice to see the ride along made a good impression .

This is a great site to read, there has been a lot of good information and arguments over the years. Though this community does not appreciate questions that could easily be answered with a quick search.


Your first purchase should probably be a good helmet. Which car to start with is often debated. I recommend getting a 94, because it already has bigger brakes, the bigger motor, better differential, and OBD1. If you can't find one, earlier 1.6 cars are fine, as pretty much everything is easily swappable between the years. I personally would not go newer than 94 as I hate OBD2, but there are several people that are successful with it.


My car is a 91 with a 1.6 on 225/45/15 Nitto NT01 tires on 15x8 rota rb wheels. It does great for our local track, but there are several faster cars on this forum.


Some good local resources: You should also stop by Soren's shop sometime. 810 Arno off of Lomas downtown. He's been building racecars for decades and focused on spec miatas since the series started. He's got a ton of knowledge on going fast cheap and has a yard full of parts. I also recommend Blvd, Keith is the best alignment guy around.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for that info BenR! I will definitely stop by Soren's place next week then and Blvd as well.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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Oh, yea, get at least a real roll bar if you're going to be tracking it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMmjaaSQP08
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Oh, yea, get at least a real roll bar if you're going to be tracking it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMmjaaSQP08
wow! ok a REAL one for sure! thanks.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Welcome and happy birthday. Nice to see the ride along made a good impression .

This is a great site to read, there has been a lot of good information and arguments over the years. Though this community does not appreciate questions that could easily be answered with a quick search.


Your first purchase should probably be a good helmet. Which car to start with is often debated. I recommend getting a 94, because it already has bigger brakes, the bigger motor, better differential, and OBD1. If you can't find one, earlier 1.6 cars are fine, as pretty much everything is easily swappable between the years. I personally would not go newer than 94 as I hate OBD2, but there are several people that are successful with it.


My car is a 91 with a 1.6 on 225/45/15 Nitto NT01 tires on 15x8 rota rb wheels. It does great for our local track, but there are several faster cars on this forum.


Some good local resources: You should also stop by Soren's shop sometime. 810 Arno off of Lomas downtown. He's been building racecars for decades and focused on spec miatas since the series started. He's got a ton of knowledge on going fast cheap and has a yard full of parts. I also recommend Blvd, Keith is the best alignment guy around.
94 and 95's are pretty much the same. Mine's a 95 and I'm OBD1 good sir.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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94 and 95's are pretty much the same. Mine's a 95 and I'm OBD1 good sir.


Very true, they transitioned to OBD2 somewhere in 95. I thought I'd just say 94 because if you're looking for cars it's across the board that 94's have obd1. Just to make things easier. Just like I didn't want to get into the differences between the 3 crank noses on the 1.6 motors lol.

Also if you get a 94(or 95) get one with a torsen if possible. If you get an earlier car it doesn't matter what differential you get, you'll be swapping to a later model differential eventually.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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Very true, they transitioned to OBD2 somewhere in 95. I thought I'd just say 94 because if you're looking for cars it's across the board that 94's have obd1. Just to make things easier. Just like I didn't want to get into the differences between the 3 crank noses on the 1.6 motors lol.

Also if you get a 94(or 95) get one with a torsen if possible. If you get an earlier car it doesn't matter what differential you get, you'll be swapping to a later model differential eventually.
Totally the truth. That's one of the major reasons why I bought my 95. I've heard that where some of the late 95's were different. Guess I got lucky. lol Mine's just like a 94.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:14 PM   #9
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Welcome! Greets from Las Cruces.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum, lots of info available here.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:55 PM   #11
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Howdy from Colorado. Good luck with your new addiction!

Where's this $20 track? I've got a friend in Albuquerque who might be seeing a lot more of me lol.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:21 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum and happy belated birthday!

Another difference between '94/early '95 and '95.5 models is the compression ratio of the pistons, it changed from 8.8:1 to 9:1. There are rumors of OBDII '95 models, but that probably happened very late in the year (model year switch to '96) so there are probably very few total. Some people like the '94/early '95 oil pressure gauge in the gauge cluster, after '95.5, they're just dummy on/off gauges, but they can be swapped for the functional ones. +1 on trying to get one with a TorSen. Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
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Howdy from Colorado. Good luck with your new addiction!

Where's this $20 track? I've got a friend in Albuquerque who might be seeing a lot more of me lol.



Sandia, on the west side of town. I'll post dates if anyone is interested.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:27 PM   #14
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Sandia, on the west side of town. I'll post dates if anyone is interested.
Dates or a link would be awesome.

No way I can make it down there until spring to do any racing, but I'm still curious.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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Nov 20
Ded 4
Dec 18
Jan 8
Jan 22
Feb 5
Feb 19
Mar 5
Mar 19

8am-12pm
www.sandia-speedway.com turn your sound down before clicking.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:17 AM   #16
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Thanks for the welcomes guys and the quick tips.. Yes I am definitely wanting a 1.8L OBD1 miata. But I will see what happens. That particular year seems pretty elusive at the moment. I see a lot of 96's or newer and 93's and older.

I have a Craigslist app that I can setup notifications of new cars for sale. I currently am searching in the bordering states and also San Diego ( i have friends there).

Well I hope the timing is right (my patience holds) and a clean 94 comes along, as for right now I am really researching (mostly online) as much about these awesome rockets.

Seeing all those personal rides on your guys sig's just stirs up my imagination and brings back the memory of being in BenR's boosted Miata!
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:03 PM   #17
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Keep in mind my car is a 91 with a 1.6.

Though the 94 is probably the best year, there are a ton of ways to skin this cat.

If you end up getting a 93 and earlier car, I do have a spare rear subframe out of a 94 with the larger differential ready to go when you eventually turbo the car. I'd probably sell it cheap. The brakes, full motors and transmissions are swappable across all the years. You can't mix and match a 1.8 bottom end with a 1.6 head, but you can easily swap a 1.8 into a 91 if you swap the whole motor in. People do turbo the OBD2 cars as well, it just makes things a little more tricky, and expensive if you care about emissions.

Also a miata doesn't need to be turbo right off the bat to pull down great lap times, especially at our track. The biggest drops in lap times will be from learning the line, tires/wheels, and making sure the brakes are reliable.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:02 PM   #18
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Keep in mind my car is a 91 with a 1.6.
Yessir your 1.6 car is totally on my mind. I day dream about it and keeps me up at night. I wake up in the middle of the night and think "fawk! that was epic" lol

But yes i am aware the different ways to skin a cat. From my own experiences I learned its best to have an open mind and listen to experience.

I use a Rio Rancho address so emissions is not an issue =) and boost is something i'm pretty sure i want but i'm in no hurry. I have a GT28r waiting for a new home but it can wait longer lol. When the time comes, i think the complete megasquirt unit will be the route i take (not the diy one).

First and only things I think i would do is the roll bar, 205 r comps, sway bar, performance brake pads and maybe springs/struts then drive that for about a year. This is the beauty of these cars, from what I get is they don't need very much to be more capable than I could ever use.

After that I think would be a great time to re think the boost and faster upgrades.

BenR I will definitely grab that subframe from you if i go 93/older.

I'm trying not to be the usual noob by reading / searching a lot and I appreciate everyone's advice/support. Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BenR View Post

Some good local resources: You should also stop by Soren's shop sometime. 810 Arno off of Lomas downtown. He's been building racecars for decades and focused on spec miatas since the series started. He's got a ton of knowledge on going fast cheap and has a yard full of parts. I also recommend Blvd, Keith is the best alignment guy around.
I still haven't made it to see Soren but i did spend some time at Blvd with Billy and got a tour of the place. Thanks for the info!

I look forward to talking to Soren.

BenR i'll be at the track this coming Saturday to drive my teg and also record lap times of various cars.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:37 PM   #20
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Greetings!Former land of entrapment victim here.Bought my car at Rich Mazda sold It to myself
(G)
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