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Old 04-23-2012, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default Phil from Tampa area checking in!

Hi Guys,

Been lurking for several months now. Sixshooter keeps bugging me to make a meet n' greet post, so without further ado.

I'm a database analyst for a financial services company in downtown Tampa, I do a lot of data mining algorithm development and ETL process development. Pays the racing bills Moved down here from Michigan where I spent 4-5 years beating the crap out of several cars including ice racing and rallying a 1987 VW Scirocco.

I've also done a few Lemons/Chump events in various cars, mostly an 89 Beretta GT 5mt.

Currently own a 10AE that is my track beater/DD. Just blew up the motor at Sebring on Saturday and it is sitting at ISC Racing in Winter Haven awaiting a new 1.8L to arrive later this week.

Short mod list:

GC 550/350 with Bilstein HDs
FM sways F/R with RB adjustable endlinks
15x8 6ULs wrapped in 225 RS3s
Kirkey 41 Series 16" seats with 5pt Gforce latch and links
Raceland header and roadstersport3 header back exhaust
DDMWorks Stage 1 CAI
Comp motor mounts

During the new motor install I'll be doing a TB/WP all the seals as well as a new clutch and lighter flywheel. Should be done sometime next week.

Couple of gratuitous track pics below:







Those are obviously all taken at Homestead, and before I had the Kirkey's installed. I have a couple from this weekend before the engine blew up but I haven't uploaded them yet.

My future plans include an 06 Lotus Elise and a mid-range turbo upgrade for the 10AE to run in NASA TT.

Already found many useful tips on the forum, and now I'm just hoping to give back a little with some of the experiences I've had. Eager to learn more about engine tuning and driving better.

Cheers!
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Welcome, pmhaddad!
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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Phil! It's about time!

So are you going with a junkyard engine or what? ACT XTSS? Do you want to drive mine first?
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
Phil! It's about time!

So are you going with a junkyard engine or what? ACT XTSS? Do you want to drive mine first?
I got an engine from Tom at Parts Group for $800. Complete longblock. I tried calling you about it last night. Needs a few sensors, which I can take from my current engine and an alternator which should also be simple to swap over. I'm also going to have Mike do the front main seal and cam seals.

The motor that Mike had was pretty high milage, this one has like 140k on it which is still pretty high, but oh well. Milage isn't that big of a deal to me. I guess my old one failed because the crank thrust bearings were too short. So I'm not yet sure if I can save the block. I'll talk to Mike about that in a couple days.

I'm having him do a TB/WP at the same time. As far as the clutch the XTSS is pretty pricey. Mike said he has some upgraded pressure plate clutches that he uses in his SM cars so I'll probably just take one of those. They aren't 6 pucks or anything crazy, he says they are still great for street use. He was gonna get me some more details on those by the end of the week. Otherwise I might just get an OEM style Exedy upgrade, I don't have the $500-600 for an XTSS right now.

If you know of a place to get an XTSS cheaper, let me know, that seems like a great option.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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What up Phil! Slow car gonna be fast car?

How is the engine swap going? Are they treating your car right?
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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What up Phil! Slow car gonna be fast car?
Nope, I'm buying a fast car then I'll tinker with turning my slow car into a faster car. Its plenty fast enough at Sebring already

Quote:
How is the engine swap going? Are they treating your car right?
New motor will get to the shop on Monday, they should have everything done by Friday of next week. I'll be driving it at Sebring on 5/6. I still need to figure out if the block is still usable from the old engine though, and figure out if I'm just going to sell it to Mike or store it somewhere and build a race motor out of it. Most likely I'll sell it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:16 PM   #7
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What about the head?
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
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What about the head?
You must not read many of the comments you replied to on FB earlier lol. Head is toast (the exhaust valves might be ok, but otherwise the springs and valves are bouncing around). I don't know all the details on that yet, like I keep telling you I'll know a bit more next week when I actually go out and look at it.

And no, I'm not selling you my block or head
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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D'awh
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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Phil,

Check out the HDSS instead of the XT. Also I keep forgetting you can get Tampa Clutch on 40th Street south of Hillborough to re-spring your stock pressure plate for not much money. He can easily make it 50% or even 2x stronger than stock and you can retain a stock-type disc for smooth engagement. Then all you need is a new stock type disc to be ready to go.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #11
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For what it's worth, you could try calling Real Street Performance or Titan Motorsports. If they happen (for some reason) to have one in stock, they should be able to get you a good deal on an ACT clutch setup.

I may have missed it, but any idea what caused the failure of the engine?

Did you run Homestead with the banking or infield only?

Sebring seems to be a widow-maker. I know a guy that had a couple of mechanical failures there (including totalling a Viper).
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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Welcome...nice car and nice shots.

Do you plan to continue tracking the Miata after the mid-level turbo upgrade?
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
For what it's worth, you could try calling Real Street Performance or Titan Motorsports. If they happen (for some reason) to have one in stock, they should be able to get you a good deal on an ACT clutch setup.

I may have missed it, but any idea what caused the failure of the engine?

Did you run Homestead with the banking or infield only?

Sebring seems to be a widow-maker. I know a guy that had a couple of mechanical failures there (including totalling a Viper).
Thanks for the tip, I might give them a call later today, otherwise I'll just either get an Exedy Stage2 or whatever ISC has laying around.

The failure was caused by defective crankshaft thrust bearings. They were too short I guess. Apparently it is a problem in early 99 motors. I guess you can get a brand new motor from Mazda for around $2500, but that's a bit too pricey for me right now...

I run Homestead with the banking, its the same layout used by Grand AM as far as I know.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
Welcome...nice car and nice shots.

Do you plan to continue tracking the Miata after the mid-level turbo upgrade?
Thanks!

Yeah, if/when I do a turbo upgrade it would become a car purely for NASA TT. Its already my track rat (I just happen to daily it), I'll keep using it like that until I wreck it or sell it.

Last edited by pmhaddad; 04-26-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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