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Old 12-06-2005, 01:54 AM   #1
MattSTi
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Default Decided to get a Miata

Well I finally decided it makes no sense to put any more money into my car as it is completely impractical to have a double-duty street/track car.

I am currently parting all of my performance parts out in this thread : http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=895921 - There's some good stuff for you track guys, including An EVO 2, autopower bar, 3-inch 6-point camlocks, SSR Comps w/ RA-1's (70% tread), and a set of Carbotech XP-8's with about 50% material left.

On to the Miata.

Plans are to find a nice clean 93ish (1.6 or 1.8, not really biased) miata for ~$3K
1. Buy a rollbar
2. Do all of the necessary maintenance to freshen it up, maybe even rebuild the engine.
3. Upgrade to full SM spec (minus cage)
4. Keep for a while as a nice fun street/track car that can pass inspection and be insured.
5. Have a cage installed, and other necessary safety equip.
6. Go racing

Realistically this will probably take 2-3 years to actually get to the racing part.

-Matt
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:52 AM   #2
kfoote
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Matt,

You do NOT want to run the Spec Miata Spring and shock package on the street. 700 lbs/in front springs tends to rattle one's kidneys a bit in a 2200 lb car during normal stret driving.

If you are eventually going to be running Spec Miata, you can buy the entire kit and swap out the springs. For dual purpose, I'd reccommend 400 lbs/in front and 275 lbs/in rear.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:15 AM   #3
teamxmehow
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miatas are awsome cars, i had one.. i had a 99 with a ubercharger from flyingmiata.com. beleive me when i say the car was fast . it handeles like a champ, its light and rwd. awsome autocross and track car. if you ever need any parts contact flyinmiata, i have had nothing but good experience with them
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:39 AM   #4
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Miatas are fantastic track cars. Great choice. Very easy to drive. Almost idiot proof. My wife had a 95 Montego Blue one with a Hard Dog roll bar, Jackson Racing Cold Air intake, a cat back and Tokiko shocks. That was her track car for 4 years. You could do some silly stuff in that car and it was very forgiving. Trail braking hard into corners? No problem... Easy to catch if you got a bit too stupid. The only draw back was no power. (Yes Flying Miata could fix that nicely)

I was driving it in an instructor session at a BMW club event on the North course at VIR. I was behind another instructor in an E36 M3. I entered the cut through (a fast series of up hill turns) right behind him and stayed within two car lengths the whole way. I remember seeing him check his mirror several times almost as if to say "*** is that thing and why can't I lose it?".
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #5
stirob
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Ive had 2 miatas a 91 and an 01, loved them both. There not very fast ( in stock form) but they are an absolute blast to drive and they never break.

Rob
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:26 AM   #6
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Old thread from when I was deciding whether to get a Miata or something else (I love how the MR2 looks)
http://www.corner-carvers.com/forums...ad.php?t=16529

Lately I've been wondering if I shouldn't just prep the Miata for autocross, put a suspension on the WRX with LESS than 550 lb/in springs, and daily drive the WRX and track/autox the Miata.

But I really love driving the WRX fast.

Decisions...
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:27 AM   #7
teamxmehow
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oh yea and if you get it and need winter tires i have steelies with blizzaks on them that are doing me no good ill give them to you for cheap
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:51 AM   #8
ralliharri
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I too am heavily pondering about stop spending money on my WRX and get a cheap, streetable, commutable, trackday Miata. *going back to look at Auto Trader*
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:14 PM   #9
MattSTi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralliharri
I too am heavily pondering about stop spending money on my WRX and get a cheap, streetable, commutable, trackday Miata. *going back to look at Auto Trader*
The more you think about it, the more it makes sense

-Matt
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:21 PM   #10
Joel Gat, 1.8L
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Hello,

Just a note about the Spec Miata suspension - the properly matched dampers sure make the kit comfortable. Gary's Miata rolls on the spec kit (he got the kit before the series started - a prototype kit for some magazine testing, so he's had it for years (5 years now?)). My Miata rolled on the typical Koni shocks, H&R springs. My spring rate was less than half of his. His car is much more comfortable for daily driving...

It's not Bently-comfy, of course, but it's tolerable if you're into souped up cars. Certainly more tolerable than my 350-lbs setup.

That said, a Miata on springs greater than 300 lbs will ALWAYS, without exception, become a rattlebox. The dash starts, then creaks come out of the bulkhead shield (despite that huge rubber mat on top of it), then the center console, etc etc etc. Be ready for rattles. If you are, then go for it

Joel, who loves his two Miatas, but drives his two Subarus
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:24 PM   #11
MattSTi
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Joel,

Thanks for the input. I think I would suck it up and put the spec suspension on for the street at some point. Considering it's going to be a fun car instead of an every-day driver, I think I can deal with it.

I had JIC coilovers on my STi and I was very used to them, although bumps weren't pleasant.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:47 PM   #12
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Matt, not sure if the car would fit your needs, but alot of the other stuff might. I've known the car/driver for awhile now and everything is in great condition. he's also getting pretty desperate to unload everything

rollbar
V710s
the car
kosei's

HTH
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:04 PM   #13
vintagemilano
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Seems easier and cheaper to just get a second hand spec miata all ready to go.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfoote
Matt,

You do NOT want to run the Spec Miata Spring and shock package on the street. 700 lbs/in front springs tends to rattle one's kidneys a bit in a 2200 lb car during normal stret driving.

If you are eventually going to be running Spec Miata, you can buy the entire kit and swap out the springs. For dual purpose, I'd reccommend 400 lbs/in front and 275 lbs/in rear.
I ran the Spec Miata spring and shock package on my 96 for 4 years on the street. It really wasn't bad at all. Just watch out for BIG bumps.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
www.teamSMR.com
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:30 PM   #15
Butt Dyno
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Yeah, I've heard the SM suspension is actually better than the R-package suspension as far as being streetable. I got a ride in elgorey's SM car and was really surprised at how well it handled going over the gators without being unsettled.

john
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:30 PM   #16
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Dumb question and I assume the answer is no, but can you stitch weld the car in Spec Miata?

- Christian
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:34 PM   #17
PA04STI
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Get one with the rear LSD. Also I would go 1.8L.

My buddy has a Miata & swapped in the rear end with the LSD & a 1.8L engine.

The 1.6L is a little weak.

Also they have some nice kits for the Miata & the 1.8L is strong enough to handle them. I would go with a supercharger instead of turbo kit.

I think the site he is looking at getting a supercharger kit is http://www.flyinmiata.com

Good choice: Roll Bar #1 choice, especially in that car adds stiffness & protection.

Matt
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA04STI
Get one with the rear LSD. Also I would go 1.8L.
if you get one with the base open diff you can swap in the mazdaspeed competition rear diff. its a clutch type diff rather than viscous and it uses the 1.6 open differential halfshafts and ring and pinion so you can skip the cost of replacing the whole 1.8 rear end. itll also retain the shorter ratio than going with the 1.8l rear diff. the comp. rear diff gos for $700 directly from mazdaspeed, provided you can prove the car will be used for sanctioned competition.

theres a lot of guys getting rid of their sm's now that the seasons over: http://www.specmiata.com/Classifieds/
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:12 PM   #19
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Thanks for the input abaxter34. I am still undecided on whether I will go with 1.6 or 1.8 . The guy who runs the spec miata team i crew for has recommend that a try to find a 1.8 because of some issue that the 1.6 is more prone to that involved the crankshaft.

-Matt
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:14 PM   #20
Butt Dyno
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I think the issue with the 1.6 only applied to the 90 and some of the 91's...

http://www.miata.net/garage/crankshaft.html

That R is a great deal tho
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:18 PM   #21
chucktoo
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Default Try FFR Challenge racer

I reached a simular decision last week - I am buying a Factory Five Challenge racer.

http://www.factoryfive.com/table/ffr...challenge.html

It is actually about the size of a Miata- lighter and wider and has a 5l V-8.

Rented one for a NASA event last weekend in Phoenix - they are an absolute blast to drive.

You can find good used one people have put together.

You can also make them street legal and convert very quickly for track use.
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:22 PM   #22
MattSTi
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ButtDyno, in your overall experience, have you made and conclusion as to which motor/year is the best? Realistically I would like to spend no more than $3500 on the car itself, and it looks like most 1.8's are priced a little above that. Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:29 PM   #23
Butt Dyno
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I would go with whatever the SM people think if you plan on racing, unless you want to HPDE a stockish one and then buy a prepped racecar later. (the age-old "building" vs "buying" question)

I never had delusions of grandeur as far as w2w

Although when people keep saying things like... reliable cars... hold their resale value well for race cars... SM suspension still pretty streetable... etc etc... well, I dunno what I'm gonna think in a couple years

john
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:14 PM   #24
MattSTi
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John,

Thanks for your input, it's been very helpful. I think wheel to wheel is at least a few years down the road for me, but I would like to get started with a well sorted car.

I fully understand it is MUCH cheaper to buy a fully-sorted Spec Miata than building one. However, I am interested in using it as a street-legal car for a good amount of time. Also, I would like the "experience" of building it from street to spec so that when stuff starts breaking, I will have a better chance at knowing how to fix it.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:31 PM   #25
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I only read the first post and dunno if someone already said it yet, but if you do this, go to a nice cage shop and have them build a roll bar from which they could build a cage out of later. You will be safer then a bolt in roll bar and won't be wasting any $$ when it comes time to cage the car.

-Tom
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