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Old 12-05-2010, 10:07 PM   #1
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I've been lurking a lot on here the last couple of months, and I finally decided to re-register (my previous handle was lame, not that this one isn't ) and introduce myself. I'm Nate, and I live in the Valley of Death (aka Gilbert, AZ).

I bought the '99 shown below back in October. The plan is to use it as a weekend/track toy. I started HPDE with NASA AZ this year, and I'm totally hooked. For now the plan is just to get it set up reasonably well, and focus on learning to drive it, but I'm pretty sure I'll end up wanting a turbo for it eventually.

I haven't done much to it since I bought it, but it had a bunch of bolt-ons from previous owners. Here's everything that I know of:

-Tein Basic coilovers. The part number doesn't show up on Tein's site, so I'm guessing they're more than a couple of years old. Not sure of the spring rates. Ride height looks to be stock (i.e. Mazda factory heights).
-Racing beat front anti-roll bar. No rear bar at all, as far as I can tell.
-Koyo 37mm radiator
-K&N Intake
-Borla catback
-Drilled/slotted brake kit. Ebay special? Calipers are stock, I think.
-Exedy Stage 1 clutch
-Hard Dog roll bar
-Short shift kit, according to the previous owner

So, now for the noob questions. If I have a bunch of random questions related to this car and its mods, where is the best place to post them? This thread? I searched most of these and haven't found answers.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to learning more about this car here. I'd appreciate any feedback/suggestions on where to start tinkering/modding...

Here are the pics, these are from the CL ad, but it looks essentially the same now:





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Old 12-05-2010, 10:19 PM   #2
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welcome. might as well post your questions here. better than making a ton of new threads.

*edit: have you checked the garage section of m.net? most basic questions are answered there in great detail with writeups and picturs
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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It might be a good idea to register on miata.net for most of your basic car questions.

The answers for anything basic are out there.

Welcome to the forums.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:15 PM   #4
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Welcome, these guys KNOW their stuff!
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:13 AM   #5
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Best to ask questions in the relevant sections.

Suspension goes in suspension, for instance.

Watch out for those drilled rotors, they will crack if you get heat into them.

Would suggest you find out what brake pads you have, and check the broomstick test for yourself if you haven't already.

What track do you go to? PIR?
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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welcome. might as well post your questions here. better than making a ton of new threads.

*edit: have you checked the garage section of m.net? most basic questions are answered there in great detail with writeups and picturs
Thanks, yeah I've looked through the garage and got a lot of good info from there. Mostly I was just concerned about running the Teins at the Mazda factory height (I think they were designed for a ~1" drop), and whether that is causing me to lose a significant amount of droop travel. And I'm also not sure if I should be running any sort of rear bar, since there isn't one right now.

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Originally Posted by Nagase View Post
Best to ask questions in the relevant sections.

Suspension goes in suspension, for instance.

Watch out for those drilled rotors, they will crack if you get heat into them.

Would suggest you find out what brake pads you have, and check the broomstick test for yourself if you haven't already.

What track do you go to? PIR?
I think the pads came with the rotors, from eBay. I'm not sure though. I've already put one track weekend on the rotors without any sign of cracking. But I'm figuring on having to replace them sooner rather than later, and I'm keeping an eye on them for any signs of hairline cracks.

Yes, I was at PIR last weekend, but we have a lot of events at the 3 FIR tracks too. Have you run with NASA before? I feel like I've seen a Miata matching your sig description at a few of the events...
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate99 View Post
Thanks, yeah I've looked through the garage and got a lot of good info from there. Mostly I was just concerned about running the Teins at the Mazda factory height (I think they were designed for a ~1" drop), and whether that is causing me to lose a significant amount of droop travel. And I'm also not sure if I should be running any sort of rear bar, since there isn't one right now.
Really, do a search here and on Miata.net. There are even multiple basic suspension threads going on right now. Suspension setup has been an ongoing conversation for about 21 years of having Miatas... the fast setups are posted, the comfortable setups are posted, cheap, expensive, everything.

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I think the pads came with the rotors, from eBay. I'm not sure though. I've already put one track weekend on the rotors without any sign of cracking. But I'm figuring on having to replace them sooner rather than later, and I'm keeping an eye on them for any signs of hairline cracks.

Yes, I was at PIR last weekend, but we have a lot of events at the 3 FIR tracks too. Have you run with NASA before? I feel like I've seen a Miata matching your sig description at a few of the events...
Watch your pads. You go to metal on the track and it's going to suck. :/

Did you replace your brake fluid?

I believe cracks are ok, as long as they don't get to the edge.

No, never done a NASA thing... Still trying to get my VVT motor installed. :(
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nagase View Post
Really, do a search here and on Miata.net. There are even multiple basic suspension threads going on right now. Suspension setup has been an ongoing conversation for about 21 years of having Miatas... the fast setups are posted, the comfortable setups are posted, cheap, expensive, everything.



Watch your pads. You go to metal on the track and it's going to suck. :/

Did you replace your brake fluid?

I believe cracks are ok, as long as they don't get to the edge.

No, never done a NASA thing... Still trying to get my VVT motor installed. :(
Sounds good, I've been doing a lot of reading on setups, but there is still a lot more here for me to get through.

The brake fluid is Super Blue... but I think it needs to be bled anyway. Pedal travel increased a fair amount after a few laps.

Good luck with the motor! Let me know if you're thinking about running with NASA, there's a pretty good crew of Miata guys that are all regulars (at least 4-5).
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nate99 View Post
Sounds good, I've been doing a lot of reading on setups, but there is still a lot more here for me to get through.

The brake fluid is Super Blue... but I think it needs to be bled anyway. Pedal travel increased a fair amount after a few laps.

Good luck with the motor! Let me know if you're thinking about running with NASA, there's a pretty good crew of Miata guys that are all regulars (at least 4-5).
I'd recommend you look at FCM/SD or XIDA for suspension. Those are really the best options in my opinion. Read up, then contact one of the vendors for what they have to say. All three are good people, FCM and Emillio having had way more Miata experience though.

Definitely bleed it, but you're probably WAY above MOT on those brake pads. I'd recommend talking to Emillio about some XP8/XP10's for your setup, with some plain rotors/BBK if you plan to go turbo.

Thanks, how much does a NASA day cost out here? I was thinking of doing stuff through PAS, but I'm broke and need to go with the cheap one in any case. >.>;
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:12 PM   #10
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Thanks, I'll look into those pads. Usually the HPDE events are about $150 for one day or $250 for the whole weekend. Do you know what PAS charges?
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate99 View Post
Thanks, yeah I've looked through the garage and got a lot of good info from there. Mostly I was just concerned about running the Teins at the Mazda factory height (I think they were designed for a ~1" drop), and whether that is causing me to lose a significant amount of droop travel. And I'm also not sure if I should be running any sort of rear bar, since there isn't one right now.

I removed mine as well. A bunch of members here have done that too.
It helps the tail be a little more planted and not slide so much.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:38 PM   #12
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Thanks, I'll look into those pads. Usually the HPDE events are about $150 for one day or $250 for the whole weekend. Do you know what PAS charges?
I think about the same, actually. How much seat time do you get with NASA? Most importantly... how often could I get instructor ride alongs? Are they good people?

Actually just drove a car with Tein basics the other day. It could really use some FCM mounts and bumpstops... that's what I told the owner.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:49 PM   #13
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I think about the same, actually. How much seat time do you get with NASA? Most importantly... how often could I get instructor ride alongs? Are they good people?

Actually just drove a car with Tein basics the other day. It could really use some FCM mounts and bumpstops... that's what I told the owner.
Really? What about it made you say that?

Usually you get about 80 minutes a day. In HPDE, you have to have an instructor the entire time, when you're in the first group (DE1). Once you move up to group 2 and higher, they are available on request. So far, all the instructors I've had have been really good, but i'm pretty new at this, so maybe I just don't know any better.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #14
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I removed mine as well. A bunch of members here have done that too.
It helps the tail be a little more planted and not slide so much.
Yeah it would make sense. I had another guy drive my car, who's been driving Miatas for several years, and he said my car was much looser and more willing to snap than other Miatas he's driven. I'm going to corner balance it in a couple weeks, i'm hoping that will help...
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:00 AM   #15
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Really? What about it made you say that?

Usually you get about 80 minutes a day. In HPDE, you have to have an instructor the entire time, when you're in the first group (DE1). Once you move up to group 2 and higher, they are available on request. So far, all the instructors I've had have been really good, but i'm pretty new at this, so maybe I just don't know any better.
Bumpstop behavior is very important. How his car would hit the stops would cause abrupt grip loss in the rear of the car, as well as giving him a crashy freeway ride.

More travel to go with his ride height and MCU bumpstops would increase control and reduce driver fatigue.

Are the instructors like this? :P

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Yeah it would make sense. I had another guy drive my car, who's been driving Miatas for several years, and he said my car was much looser and more willing to snap than other Miatas he's driven. I'm going to corner balance it in a couple weeks, i'm hoping that will help...
What front sway do you have on? What are your spring rates? Ride height? Have you looked up FCM's website like I said? Play with the suspension calculator? Read through any suspension posts here or on m.net?
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:25 AM   #16
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Bumpstop behavior is very important. How his car would hit the stops would cause abrupt grip loss in the rear of the car, as well as giving him a crashy freeway ride.

More travel to go with his ride height and MCU bumpstops would increase control and reduce driver fatigue.

Are the instructors like this? :P



What front sway do you have on? What are your spring rates? Ride height? Have you looked up FCM's website like I said? Play with the suspension calculator? Read through any suspension posts here or on m.net?
Wow, major douche instructor.

Front sway is the RB 1.125" tubular. I think my spring rates are 391/336, but I emailed Tein to try to confirm this. Ride height is ~12.5/13" F/R (I measured, but forgot the number ). That suspension calculator is pretty cool. Definitely helped me understand some of the stuff I've been reading about. As far as I can tell though, it doesn't give much insight into a potential setup issue. This is what it's spitting out:

Bounce freq.: 1.85/2.02 Hz F/R
Bounce Freq Ratio: 1.09 R/F
Roll stiffness: 2767 lb-ft/deg
FRC: 63.2%

Which is about what you would intuitively expect with a big front bar and no rear, though the bounce frequencies seem pretty high. Not sure what exactly that tells me though..

Last edited by Nate99; 12-09-2010 at 02:34 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:31 AM   #17
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Yeah... that setup is /really/ far from optimal. o.o; Wow.

If you put a rear bar back on, you'll notice a better turn-in, though your grip over rough surfaces will be degraded. If you want to keep the Teins, I'd get a rear sway and bumpstops at the least.

Or you could sell them for some FCM/SD revalved shocks and get exactly the setup that would be best for your needs... which is what I plan to do.

FCM is REALLY awesome with the amount of information and help Shaikh has given to the community, that calculator, camber curves, lots and lots of data on the site. He just did the suspension for the Miata that won 25 hours of Thunderhill, put autocrossers on podiums for nationals, and the people set up for daily driving rave about him. Pricier than SD, though, and Bernie's been pretty great about answering questions here. Best to look stuff up.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:43 AM   #18
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Yeah... that setup is /really/ far from optimal. o.o; Wow.
How so? Sorry, I'm obviously not at the point where I can just look at the numbers and tell... Also, I just fixed a typo in the numbers, wireless keyboard batteries are dying.

SD is Stewart Development, right? The more I read, the more it looks like there are better options than the Teins, so some sort of upgrade is in the cards. But for now, I feel like I need more seat time to get to the point where I can understand the feedback I'm getting from the car, to where it makes sense to go out and blow a bunch of money on a nice setup. So I'm hoping I can get what I have dialed in a little better, to where it's at least passable. Maybe add some FCM bumpstops, corner balance (which will be free, so I might as well), and try a stock rear bar to see how it feels?
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:50 AM   #19
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How so? Sorry, I'm obviously not at the point where I can just look at the numbers and tell... Also, I just fixed a typo in the numbers, wireless keyboard batteries are dying.

SD is Stewart Development, right? The more I read, the more it looks like there are better options than the Teins, so some sort of upgrade is in the cards. But for now, I feel like I need more seat time to get to the point where I can understand the feedback I'm getting from the car, to where it makes sense to go out and blow a bunch of money on a nice setup. So I'm hoping I can get what I have dialed in a little better, to where it's at least passable. Maybe add some FCM bumpstops, corner balance (which will be free, so I might as well), and try a stock rear bar to see how it feels?
Look at the percentage figures. You're at 63.2%. The stock 1990 Miata is at 55%. That means you understeer WAY more than a stock Miata.

Miata with Flyin Miata springs, 50%, much more balanced. Miata with Ohlins coilovers, 49%.

Your setup should push like a Buick, as far as understeer goes. Check out where you're at with a stock bar. Remember, stock 1990 Miata is 55%, and they were setup to understeer pretty safely (I've had a couple).
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:22 AM   #20
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I normally try to get in the 57% range. Those Tein Basics are absolute junk, they are right there with raceland, sell them on clubroadster.net. You need a real suspension. Try SD revalved fronts, nb front hats, isc rear hats, 700/400, big bars for a budget setup. If you are a balla and want angels to sing everytime you drive get 949racing.com Xida CS. Try carbotech xp10, cobalt xr2, or hawk dtc60 for some real men pads. You started off the newb post right saying you've been running with NASA, keep it up. Make sure to get some belts (cam lock), seat, and fire bottle soon. Check out the sig and get in on the action. Those 15" wheels will fit a 205 Hankook RS3 nicely, buy some sticky street tires.
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