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Mazdaspeed Archive => Pics and Video => Topic started by: millsj on December 27, 2011, 07:31:25 PM



Title: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 27, 2011, 07:31:25 PM
Several others have started build threads and it got me thinking about my own mods and how I got to where I am today.  After several years of ownership and tinkering, I keep forgetting what all I have done to the car.  I have several folders with receipts and ďhow toĒ directions, but I would really like one central location for all the upgrades.  I figure this forum is as good of a place as any to detail the carís build and hopefully others will find it beneficial as they start down their own slippery slope of upgrades.  I have pictures for most of the installs and will post them as I go along as well as links to threads that were extremely helpful to me.   

I would also like to write ďhow-toísĒ for the mods that do not have detailed install directions.  I have relied heavily on these write-upís and would like to return the favor for future wrenchers.  For me, the more detail the better, since I was by no means an expert when I attempted these mods.  I will link to the write-ups from this thread.

As you will see, my path of modifications may not be a normal one.  I had a mental list/order of upgrades that I wanted to do to the car, but the actual path was very different.  The car seemed to guide me down a path of itís own.  Each upgrade obviously improved one aspect of the car, but often times revealed other area that needed improving.  This cycle has continued throughout the last couple of years.  I will explain my thinking as I progress from one mod to the next so people will understand why I upgraded the parts that I did.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey and the knowledge I have gained.  Of course, there have been some headaches and frustrations along the way, but the satisfaction from learning to build my own little track car has been great.   


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 27, 2011, 07:47:42 PM
This is a picture of our new child on itís first trip to Dealís Gap. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/MSM_at_the_Gap2.sized.jpg)

My wife and I live in Charleston, SC and we found this bone stock í05 Velocity Red MSM online at the Subaru dealer in Orlando, FL in December 2007.  The price was right and we drove down, bought it, and brought it home.  The car had 21,000 miles on it and the previous owner was pregnant and traded the car in on a more practical Subaru.  Her loss! :idiot2:

At the time of the purchase, we already owned a í01, but we wanted something with more power and a newer platform to build on.  We both planned on using the car for good weather top-down cruising, autocrossing, and possible future track events.  My wife and I both had several years of autocross experience, but SMR and his wife had gotten our interest with all the track talk. 

My very first mod, if you even call it that, was to do an oil change and put Redline oils in the transmission and differential.  Nothing exciting, but mission accomplished!

Just remember-**Do not remove the bolt on the passenger side of the transmission!!**
If you do, you will have to pull the transmission and disassemble to repair it. 

On both the transmission and differential, I would recommend removing the filler plugs before you remove the drain plug.  If you remove the drain plug and then canít get the fill plug loose, then you have a problem.  A drained tranny with no way to refill it would make for an unhappy day!

Here is a good write up on changing fluids on a 6 speed Miata.
http://www.miata.net/garage/6mt_fluid/index.html (http://www.miata.net/garage/6mt_fluid/index.html)

The MSM is the first turbo car that I have ever owned, so I figured I needed a boost gauge to watch it.  I settled on the Stewart Warner silver faced boost gauge and mounted it in the left center vent.  The gauge looks close to stock and it looks OEM mounted in the vent.  Following these directions, I had no issues with the installation.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,479.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,479.0.html)
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,3109.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,3109.0.html)

Here is a picture of the gauge during the day and at night.  As you can see at night, the color is very close to the OEM lighting.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Boost_gauge_during_the_day.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Boost_gauge_at_night.jpg)

This picture shows the best location to attach the vacuum line for the boost gauge. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Boost_Gauge_Vacuum_Connection.jpg)




Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 27, 2011, 07:56:47 PM
In stock form, the MSM is a ton of fun and the extra power over the previous NA is wonderful.  That being said, itís time to unleash some of the untapped power hidden under the hood!  As Jeremy always says on Top Gear ďPOWER!!!.Ē The full FM intake kit, O2 modifier, and a Hallman MBC should do the trick. 

For all of you who are new to mods and are hesitant about doing the work yourself, I was right there with you.  I have always been one to try to fix things and have had success with minor upgrades (mostly simple electrical upgrades), but I have not had a lot of hands on experience under the hood.  I wanted the MSM to be different.  If this was going to be the toy car, I wanted to know how to work on it and be able to do repairs myself. 

I now had a box of shinny parts from FM with the promise of a new found pocket rocket, but the thought of removing and adding parts under the hood was very intimidating!  SMR offered to come over and assist with the install.  In reality, I watched and handed him tools.  However, after seeing the install, I gained some confidence and realized that the install was really not all that difficult.  For better or for worse, I felt somewhat confident that I could tackle the next of upgradesÖwhatever they may be.

Here are two pics of the complete FM intake.  I do not have a picture of the intake at the time it was installed.  These pictures were taken recently, so please ignore the second catch can, that project will be detailed later.  And yes, I know the radiator hose is too short.   :roll:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Throttle_Body.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Intake.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 27, 2011, 08:04:08 PM
SMR and I did not get the O2 modifier installed at this time, so I was on my own for itís install.  The FM directions have you splice into the ECU wiring.  I was not in love with this idea and decided to follow these alternative directions. 
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,6023.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,6023.0.html)

If I ever have to go back to stock, I can just replace the O2 sensor.  All the ECU wiring will still be intact.

I did make one change from the FM kit.  I installed a Hallman Manual Boost controller.  It seemed to be easier to adjust and I liked the look of the red knob to match the red paint.   :)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Hallman_Boost_Controller.jpg)

With the full Flyiní Miata intake, O2 modifier, and Hallman Boost Controller installed, this is how the car should have come from the factory.  The difference is night and day and I am in heaven!  And did I mention the new noises.  Hearing the turbo spool is amazing!

Some cars still seem to exhibit a surge in power even with the O2 mod.  The O2 mod seemed to fix my car, but I thought it couldnít hurt to also do the TPS mod.  Here is the write up on how to do this mod.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,14706.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,14706.0.html)

With both the O2 mod and the TPS mod, the car pulls smoothly all the way to redline.  Iím not sure if the TPS has anything to do with the smoothness, but it doesnít hurt anything to have it installed. 

Here are two pics of the zener diode installed:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/TPS_installed2.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/TPS_installed.jpg)




Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 27, 2011, 09:37:08 PM
There is a lot more to come.  This gets me through the first 6 months of ownership.  :D


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: CharlesE on December 27, 2011, 10:58:22 PM
Great.   :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: broken on December 28, 2011, 03:20:36 AM
Much appreciated! :)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: vplukas101 on December 28, 2011, 04:31:11 AM
Love this build cant wait to see more!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on December 28, 2011, 07:18:32 AM
Interesting read!  When you get into more of the performance/handling stuff do your best to comment how different things transformed the car.  During my time adding go fast bits, I ran into some things that I would not do again in hindsight so I'm curious if you had some of those too and what they were.  Subscribed!  :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Maduh on December 28, 2011, 02:22:39 PM
Interesting read!  When you get into more of the performance/handling stuff do your best to comment how different things transformed the car.  During my time adding go fast bits, I ran into some things that I would not do again in hindsight so I'm curious if you had some of those too and what they were.  Subscribed!  :mrgreen:

+1 for this!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 02:32:02 PM
With the new added power, a minor handling issue quickly surfaced at the autocrosses.  As I powered out of corners, the rear end wanted to step out more than I would like.  I contacted Skaikh at FCM and he recommended the RB 1.125Ē front sway bar and adjustable end links.  This bar has two settings so you have the ability to adjust the handling.  A quick phone call to 949 Racing and the UPS man (my new best friend) showed up at my door. 

I installed the bar at a friendís house with a drive on lift.  I wanted to install the bar in the loaded position so it would not have any preload in it.  The results were immediately noticeable at the next autocross with the bar set to the stiffer setting.  The corner exit oversteer was gone.  Problem solved! 

This set of directions was helpful in the install.
http://www.miata.net/garage/swayfront/index.html (http://www.miata.net/garage/swayfront/index.html)

Here are a couple of pics of the sway bar installed.  Note-these were taken last night and not when the bar was installed.  If you are observant, you will see additional suspension modifications that have been done.   :)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04674.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04677.jpg)

One additional note, you should regularly lube the sway bar mounting brackets (circled in yellow)to prevent it from binding.  It is possible to break the bracket.  I would recommend Sil-Glyde or similar lube, which can be found a you FLAPS.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Sway_bar_bracket.jpg)

To jump ahead in time a little, the first time we went to the track, I kept the bar set to the stiff setting.  The rest of the suspension was stock.  The car had a slight push with this set-up.  At the next event, I switched it to the looser setting and the car was more neutral.  I now swap the settings back and forth depending on if I am autocrossing or tracking.  I pull the car up on ramps and can make the change in about 10 minutes.




Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 03:41:12 PM
My wife and I continued to autocross and attended the ďEvolution Driving ExperienceĒ.  If any of you have the opportunity to attend one of these schools, I canít recommend it enough.  I learned more in these two days than I did in all of my previous experience combined.  However, as much fun we were having at the autocrosses, the lure of the track was calling.  There was only one problemÖ..the car didnít have a roll bar.  If we were going to make the leap to the track, then I know what my next modification is going to be. 

I am now staring at a large triangular shaped box sitting in my garage containing a Hard Dog Hard Core Hard Top double diagonal bar.  I had talked to SMR about the install and he said it was about an 8 hour jobÖand he has done several!  I knew I was in trouble, but the only way to learn is to jump in head-first and start.  Letís just say it took me longer than 8 hours, but I didnít really run into any problems.  I would say the install isnít difficult, but there is a lot that has to be done.  If I ever do a second roll bar installation, it would go much quicker.  I am super pleased with the final product and now there is nothing standing in the way to go drive on the track!

This link was very helpful.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,15706.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,15706.0.html)

I donít really have enough detailed pics of the install to write up a ďhow toĒ, but between the instructions that came with the bar and the link above, you shouldnít have any problems.  I started to take a lot of pics as I disassembled the car, but then got wrapped up in the install and didnít get many while the bar was going in.  To generalize(and this is somewhat tongue and cheek), this is how I remember the installation:

1.   Completely remove interior of car and trunk.
2.   Install bar
3.   Reassemble.

Here are some of pics of the install.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01348.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01351.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01363.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01383.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01384.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01385.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01386.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01390.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01391.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01394.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01397.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01398.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01400.jpg)

One brief tip-a claw hammer works well for removing the round push tabs that hold the carpet in place.   thumup


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 07:17:02 PM
Now that the handling is fixed and I have something to protect my head, what to doÖ.what to do?  Seems to me, a logical next upgrade is a bigger intercooler.  Summers in Charleston are HOT and from what others have said, the intercooler can heat soak pretty easily.  There are a number of vendors that sell intercoolers, but I decided to go with a cheap E-Bay unit.  I figured, there isnít much to an intercooler and if it went bad, I could buy several E-Bay ones for the cost of a ďbetterĒ one. 

I ordered a Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 front mounted intercooler (FMIC).  If I remember correctly, it was about $65 shipped.  You will also have to order some silicone couplings.  The size you need will depend on the inlet and outlet pipes on the intercooler. I ordered (2) 2.00Ē to 2.5Ē ID (3Ē long) reducers and (4) T Bolt Clamps.

These links were very helpful in my install.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,6106.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,6106.0.html)
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,2639.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,2639.0.html)
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,15134.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,15134.0.html)

I also did my own "how to", which is below:
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25097.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25097.0.html)

And some pictures....
OEM intercooler vs. E-Bay intercooler-just a little difference in size!
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Intercooler_install_1.jpg)

Installed, but no bumper
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Intercooler_install_9.jpg)

Smile   :)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Intercooler_install_15.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 07:35:30 PM
OEM brake fluid is not the best choice for track driving, so I ordered some ATE Blue and changed out the brake fluid.  I also ordered a set of speed bleeders.  If you are not familiar with these, they replace the OEM bleeder valves on the brakes.  Normally, bleeding the brakes requires a friend or willing spouse to pump the brakes as you open and close the bleeder valve.  The speed bleeders have a check valve in them, so you can open the valve (leave it open) and pump on the brakes.  Fluid is pumped out, but no air is sucked back into the line.  My wife appreciated this upgrade.   ;D

All you have to do to install them is unscrew the old bleeder valves and screw the speed bleeders in.  As many times as I have bled the brakes, this has been one of the best upgrades I have done.

http://www.speedbleeder.com/ (http://www.speedbleeder.com/)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Speed_Bleeders.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 07:50:55 PM
At this point, my wife and I have signed up for our first track weekend, which is a birthday present to me!  My birthday is in June, which means the track weekend is going to be HOT.  For my final pre-track mod, I thought forcing the cooling fans to run on high all the time would be a good idea.  If you are not aware, the OEM fans on the MSM only run on high when the AC (compressor) is on and the engine temp is above a certain level.  Of course, I donít want to run with the AC at the track, so itís time to outsmart the car. 

I installed an inline switch on the ground to the compressor.  If you ďbreakĒ the ground to the compressor, but turn the AC and fans on with the dash controls, the car will think that the AC is on even though the compressor isnít running.  BingoÖthe fans run on high without the AC being on!!!

Here is a link to the "how to":
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,17670.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,17670.0.html)

And some pics.....

This is the grounding point is for the compressor.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Ground_Screw_1.jpg)

And a close-up
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Ground_Screw_2.jpg)

My in-cabin "make the fans run on high all the time" switch.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01840.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 09:05:30 PM
On June 13, 2009, the moment of truth arrived.  My wife and I were at Roebling Road Raceway for our first track event.  She would be driving her car and I was in the MSM.  And what a weekend it was!!!  As much as I enjoyed autocrossing, this is an entirely different animal.  The car ran flawlessly and no issues with any of the mods to this point.  Iíll also mention that my wife had a great time driving, so things are looking great!   Letís just say, we will be back.   :bannana:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Miata_turn_3.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Miata_Roebling_Parked_2.jpg)

The all-season tires that came with the car were fine for the first track event, but they were showing their age.  Their final straw came at autocross where I spun on two of my 6 runs and almost did the unthinkable of spinning twice on the same run.  I wonít mention that I also nearly spun on a third run. :help:  A new set of Dunlop Star Specs (215/40/17) was the ticket to new found grip. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 28, 2011, 09:18:01 PM
Several months later, we were indeed back at the track trying to absorb as much as we could about our new found bad habit.  It was another successful weekend, but I noticed that my legs and butt were sore from trying to keep my body firmly planted in the seat.  If we were going to continue at the track (which was a given), then I was going to need new seats and harnesses. 

After researching (and I like to research), I settled on the Ultrashield Rally Sport Seats.  Now I need to figure out how to mount them in the car.  My wife and I are both somewhat vertically challenged.  I am 5í6Ē and I have her by a couple of inches.  We both drive the car on the street and we sit about 1 notch apart on the slider rails.  Hard mounting the seats to the floor is not an option.  I was also not sure if I wanted to leave the seats in the car full time, so I also needed a way to easily swap the seats back and forth.

I decided that mounting the Ultrashields to a second set of sliders would do the trick.  If you are patient with a Miata salvage place, you can pick them up cheap.  I got mine from Partsgroup and they were about $25 for a set.  I needed two sets (driver and passenger side).  If you need them immediately, you can get them from the dealer, but they are about $125 for a set.  OUCH!!

This is the detailed write up on how to mount the seats to the slider rails (with all the pics).
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25102.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25102.0.html)

Here are a couple of pics of the install.
Steel Plates mounted to the sliders
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Sliders_Mounted_in_Car.jpg)

Required spaces for steel plates to sit level
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Slide_end_view.jpg)

Ultrashield seat mounted to the slider
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Mounted_Ultrashield.jpg)

Seat mounted in car and using the seat belt.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04688.jpg)

Donít worry, there will be more pics of the seats to come.  :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 02:22:07 PM
A harness bar is needed for the harnesses, so I ordered the Hard Dog Harness bar.  This bar is a simple bolt on mod and is easy to install.  It does require some trial and error to get it in place, but no biggie.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02426_2.jpg)

I decided on a 6 point harness instead of the 5 point because there is a frame rail that runs right in the middle under each seat.  You would have to drill through this frame rail to center the crotch strap with a 5 point.  I figured two mounting points for the crotch strap would work better since I could attach a backing plate on either side of the rail.  I used a eye bolt with a 4Ēx4Ē backing plate to mount the crotch strap. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Eye_Bolt.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Backing_Plates.jpg)

I did run into a slight issue on both sides.  There is stuff (and I donít remember what) that is a little in the way, so I was not able to mount the two eye bolts side by side.  They are staggered a little front to back, but that is not really an issue since you can adjust each side of the harness so they are pulling evenly.  By this time, I had already drilled a bunch of holes in the car to mount the roll bar, so what is a couple more for the harnesses.   :lol:

I would also recommend spending the couple extra dollars and getting the cam lock harnesses.  They are much easier to hook up, especially when you are scrambling to put your helmet on, hook up the harnesses and get out on track.

The shoulder straps mount to the harness bar and the lap belts attach to the existing seat belt bolts.  Both the seat belts and harnesses are now on the same bolt.  This set up works really well.  When I am driving on the street, I just tuck the harnesses away and use the seat belt.  When we hit the track, I just pull the harnesses out from behind, beside and under the seat and am ready to go.

I could not be more happy with the seats and harness upgrade.  I have heard a number of people say that the Ultrashields arenít comfortable on the street, but I like them.  They arenít soft, but they arenít suppose to be.  They work great on the track!  You sit a couple of inches lower than you do with the OEM seats and you just donít move, even without the harnesses.  Hook up the harnesses and you are as snug as a bug in a rug!   

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02428_2.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02429_2.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02430_2.jpg)

Whenever I swap the seats and put the OEM ones back in, it amazes me how it feels like I am sitting on the car rather than in it.  That being said, if I take the car on a road trip (other than the mountains), I put the OEM seats back.  Your butt goes numb after an hour or so of interstate travel.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 03:23:34 PM
After two events at the track, the original OEM pads were starting to get near the end of their life.  I was also not thrilled with the feel of the brakes on the track.  I called Carbotech and they recommended XP8ís for both the front and rear for my skill level at Roebling Road.  The install was fairly straight forward, but as always, took a while since this was my first time replacing pads.

A number of people on the forum run these pads and I donít think I have ever heard any complaints.  They work great for me.  They do squeal a little from time to time, but nothing bad.  They do dust more than OEM pads, but who cares.  They give a much better pedal feel.  For lack of a better term, they feel more solid.  They have also lasted a long time and are friendly on the rotors.  If my math is correct, the current pads have 12-13 track weekends on them and the fronts are now just worn down to where there is just a little left in the front pad notch.  The rears still have a decent amount of life left in them.

Sorry no pics of this upgrade, but we all know what pads look like.

Here is a good write-up on NA brake pad replacement.  The NB is slightly different, but you get the idea. 
http://www.miata.net/garage/brakepad.html (http://www.miata.net/garage/brakepad.html)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 03:44:12 PM
Now for the good news/bad news.  On the good news front, my driving skills at the track were improving and I was moving up in the run groups.  The bad news is that the faster you go, the harder you are pushing the car and weaknesses started to rear their ugly head.  Tires were the first issue.  I had been running the Star Specs on the track with very good success.  For a street tire, they had a great grip and didnít do anything dramatic at or near the limit.  They also talk to you as you approach the limit, so you are less likely to get caught off guard.  They have been a great tire to learn on.

The bad news with these tires is that they are just not made for heavy track use.  I chunked the outside edge of the driverís side front tire twice on two consecutive weekends.  I was maxed out on camber up front, so there was not much else I could do with the suspension set-up. 

Here are some pics of the body lean that I get with the stock suspension (other than upgraded sway bar).  Remember that I am at stock ride height, so you can see the amount of compression.  As a side note, I think SMR is riding shotgun in these photos.   :mrgreen:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/StarSpecs_lean.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/StarSpecs_lean_2.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/StarSpecs_lean_3.jpg)

This is the result of over heated tires.  You can see that the outside edge was taking the brunt of the wear.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03332.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03335.jpg)

I now had an excuse to get another set of rims and some real track tires.  The street tires were great to learn on, but it was getting expensive having to replace a street tire every track weekend.  :shockeyes:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 04:34:49 PM
Ideally, I would have like a set of 15Ē rims, but two sets of OEM 16Ē rims presented themselves and the price was too good to pass up.  The downside to these rims is that there are not many track tires choices for a 16Ē rim.  Luckily, there was some track rubber that came on the rims, so I can put off that expense for a little while.

The next event went well with the new rims and tires.  As you can imagine, the suspension did not do any better with the new rims and tires.  

Here is a pic of me in hot pursuit showing off a little body roll.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/New_Rims_with_lean.jpg)

Holy body roll batman! :shockeyes:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/New_Rims_with_lean_2.jpg)

And a little compression on the other side.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/New_Rims_with_lean_4.jpg)

Good times, but the tires are hating it!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 05:29:20 PM
As the car was being driven harder and harder, I keep having lingering thoughts about water temps.  I have not had the temp gauge move (that I have seen), but I know that the harder I am pushing the hotter the engine is getting.  SMR kept overheating which was not giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I wanted some way to watch the water and oil temps, but did not want to overwhelm the car with gauges.  My solution was the PLX Multi-Gauge.
http://www.plxdevices.com/multigauges.html (http://www.plxdevices.com/multigauges.html)

This gauge will allow you to monitor 4 different parameters at once via either the OBDII port or external sensor.  You can also mix and match.  I installed mine with a e-pod gauge and am monitoring the water temp via the OBDII port and then installed an oil temp sensor in the oil drain pan. 

Here are a couple of pics of the gauge installed.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03957_2.jpg)

At night...
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04624.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04626.jpg)

As you can see, I also monitor AIT (air intake temperature) and speed via the OBDII.  The AIT that the OBDII views is at the air filter.  I really monitor these two for giggles.  With this gauge, you can either monitor one parameter or 4 at a time.  Water and oil were important, but I needed two more to fill the screen.  The gauge records max /min readings, so it is nice to be able to come in off the track and see what the max temps and speed were for the session.  I have found that the speed runs a little lower than GPS speed.

The gauge also has a little remote that allows you to toggle between screens.  I mounted it here.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04679.jpg)

Here is a picture of the oil temperature sensor mounted in the oil drain plug.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04686.jpg)

I ordered a drain plug from Jegs that was already drilled and tapped to accept my oil temp sensor.  You have to know the threads of the sensor in order to get the correct drain plug, but mine was ľĒ NPT.

***A word of adviseÖ.donít over-tighten the temperature sensor when you are screwing it into the drain plug.  It will break.  Ask me how I know.   :banghead:***

The gauge and sensor modules have "brains" that control them.  I mounted this stuff in the glove box.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04632.jpg)

I ran power to the glove box that is hot only when the ignition is on.  Instead of running several hot wires from the fuse panel to the glove box, I bought a small fuse block and connected that wire that to the fuse panel.  I also made a grounding block, so I would not have ground wires going everywhere.  At least I have room for expansion in the future, if needed.  The cigarette lighter outlets are for another mod that I will get to later. :lol:

I tapped into the fuse panel with one of these things called "add a circuit".  You can find them at your FLAPS.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Add_a_circuit.jpg)

I have a love/hate relationship with the gauge.  It is perfect for what I want to do and I have no complaints with itís operation.  I love it on this respect.  However, I hated it when I was trying to program it to view the appropriate parameters.  It required several calls to tech support , lots of trail and error,  but I finally got it working.  As long as I donít have to reprogram it, then itís one of my best mods.

You can also program warnings to alert you if temperatures (or any setting) get above a desired level.  You can even program it to give warnings like the following-if the water temp and oil temp get above a certain level, then warn me.  Itís pretty smart.

The one downside to a video screen type gauge is that you canít read it if the top is down and the sun is behind you.  Any other time, it is easy to read during the day or night.

If anyone ever gets one of these gauges and needs help getting it set up, let me know.  I have a lot of notes and several sets of directions.




Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 07:21:32 PM
So what did I learn with my new ability to keep an eye on water and oil temps.  Anyone....anyone.....you got itÖ..the water temps were running too hot.  BTW, the needle starts to move at around 235 degrees.  If it starts creeping upward, get it cooled back down fast since you are approaching blown head gasket territory in a hurry. :shockeyes:  Running the heat on high does a remarkable job of cooling the car back down, but it makes for an unpleasant driveÖ.especially in the summer.

Time to call FM again and order the Crossflow radiator and Spal fans.  I had already been running about a 70%-30% ratio of water to coolant and WW, so there was no help to be found there.

The installation of the radiator and fans went smoothly and those fans move some serious air.  We have joked that they are good for about 3hp of thrust!  They also have a cool jet engine sound. 

Here is a link to my write-up of the installation with a bunch of photos. 

http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25105.0.html

Here is a pic of the new radiator.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03613.jpg)

The new fans vs. the old fans.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03664.jpg)

New vs. old
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03665.jpg)

New radiator and fans
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03615.jpg)

Installed
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03720.jpg)



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 29, 2011, 07:23:46 PM
I still have a good bit to add, but am going to be tied up with other obligations through the long weekend.  I doubt I will have time to add any more until then, but stay tuned.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Bearded Beagle on December 29, 2011, 10:42:37 PM
OK   :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 03:40:27 PM
I have been organizing all of my digital photos and ran across a couple that I had forgotten about.  Here is the original Miata and the MSM hanging out in the garage.  It was a little tight, so there was no discussion of keeping both of them, but it was neat to have 2 Miatas in the garage.  :mrgreen:

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC00216_2.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC00217_2.jpg)





Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 04:06:05 PM
Now back to where I left off.....

I have not mentioned my wife in a while, but she has also been drive and moving up in the run groups in her own car.  We have even had a couple of sessions where we have been out on the track together, which was really cool.  She is also getting quiet fast! 

That being said, due to a number of reasons, we made the decision to keep her car parked in the garage and co-drive the Miata.  Itís now time for the MSM to step up itís game since it will now get double driving duty!  That also means that any issues the car has been having will be magnified.   :shock:

The tires that came with the track rims performed well, but they had finally moved on to that great tire yard in the sky.  I next went with Hankook Z214ís-C51 compound.  I got 6 tires so I could rotate them and have a spare if/when they started to cord.  I just love the sight of new tires!!
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04699_2.jpg)

The first weekend on the new tires was spectacular.  We both turned lap times faster than we had ever run before.  My wife and I were both about 3 seconds a lap faster on the new r-comps.  Thatís the good news.  The bad news is that with the newly found grip, the suspension was really showing that it is not made for heavy track use.

If you remember, I had been chunking the outside edge of my front driverís side street tire.  The extra grip was overwhelming the stock suspension even more and the outside halves of the r-comps were really wearing.  In fact the inside edge barley had any wear.  A new suspension was not in the cards at the moment, so my solution was to flip the tires on the rims between weekends.  When you rolled a tire across the driveway, it would instantly start rolling in a circle.  This was not good, but not much I could do about it at the moment.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 04:12:51 PM
Another can of worms showed up shortly after our last and fastest weekend.  I was giving the car a thorough clean due to a slight off at the track.  Itís amazing how bad things can happen when you try to keep up with fast drivers in fast cars.  In this case, I was trying to keep pace with an instructor in a Z06 and ended up doing a 70 mph power-slide through the grass and slightly up a berm.  BTW, there was really no damage other than loosing a couple of plastic push pins and having to have the starter remove two double handfuls of pine straw from the nose of the car.  Needless to say, it was a tad dusty under the hood.   

When we got back home, I was ďdustingĒ under the hood and noticed oil seeping from the temperature sensor at the intake and there was oil around the MBC.  To make a very long story short, under certain conditions (usually at the track), oil can be sucked back up from the oil pan, through the OEM separator and into the intake.  I installed a second catch can between the OEM separator and the intake to catch any oil that would have previously made it to the intake.  Once I saw that a lot of oil was making itís way to the intake, I installed a ball valve in the drain line of the OEM system.  I close the valve for track days and problem solved.

Here is a complete discussion of the oily intake and my ultimate solution.  It's worth a read if you do any track and spirited driving.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24127.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24127.0.html)

The second catch can.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03941.jpg)

Close up of the area.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03943.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03944.jpg)

Ball valve to be installed
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03949.jpg)

Valve installed.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03951.jpg)

For the record, this mod is still in place and still working.  I have not had any oil in the second catch can since the installation of the valve.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 04:23:20 PM
The off track excursion got me thinking about tow hooks.  I figured that a set would be a little preventative maintenance.  My hope is that if I have them maybe I will never need them.  I ordered a set of MSM specific tow hooks from Rennenmetal. 
http://www.rennenmetal.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1331  (http://www.rennenmetal.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1331)

These were easy to install and are well constructed.  The front hook installs in place of either the driver or passenger side tie-town hook.  If you still have your baby teeth, you will have to remove them.   The rear hook bolts to the rear tie down bracket.  I donít remember, but you have to drill one or two holes.

Front tow hook
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04611.jpg)

As you can see, the hook is recessed in the nose and not noticeable unless you are looking for it.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04612.jpg)

Rear tow hook
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04613.jpg)

Mounting bolts
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04615.jpg)

You can see the factory bend that allows it to clear the rear MSM bumper lip.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04617.jpg)

Knock on woodÖthey are serving their purpose since I have not needed their service.   :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 04:30:57 PM
I was looking forward to the next event since I now had the oily intake issue solved.  Unfortunately, it was a HOT June weekend (mid to upper 90 degree temps) and the car was overheating worse than I have even seen.  Remember that this is after the crossflow and spal fan upgrade.  The oil temps were in the 270ís range and the water temps were 235-240+, at which point the OEM temp gauge starts climbing.  No good at all!!  I could come down pit lane and get the water temps back down to the lower 200ís in short order, but ĺ of a lap later, they were back in the too hot range.

My suspicion was that the intercooler had been completely coated in oil with the whole oily intake issue and was not cooling the intake air efficiently.  If this was the case, the intake temps were elevated causing the oil and water temps to rise and the whole system would overheat. 

The car was also seeing double duty, but that in itself should not have caused the overheating.  It was still a great weekend, but having to watch the temp gauge closely and cut a couple run sessions short was a bummer.

BTW, this was the first weekend we ran with the tires flipped on the rims.  Until they have worn down a little, the car isÖ.Iíll just call it interesting.  It both understeered and oversteered heavily.  I nearly spun several times during my first session.  I handed the keys to my wife and told her good luck. ;D  Each successive session was better than the previous, so all was well after a little time.




Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 04:42:53 PM
After the most recent overheating issue, it was time to go ďall inĒ on the cooling mods.  My plan was to install an oil cooler, install a radiator cover, better insulate around the radiator, and carefully measure the proportions of water and coolant.  Another call to FM for the oil cooler (I am seeing a pattern here).  BEGi supplied the radiator cover and I was able to supply the rest.

First up was the BEGi radiator cover.  Finally! A mod was as easy to install as it looked like it would be.  

Before
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC01559.jpg)

After
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04647_001.jpg)

Another after pic
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04648.jpg)

Next up was some better sealing around the radiator.  I already had foam around the top of the radiator, but I added foam in the same location on the bottom of the radiator.  Easy enoughÖ.just stuff it in there.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 07:14:33 PM
Now it was time for the oil cooler install.  

The FM directions are pretty straight forward, but here are some additional pics to go along.

Here is the brace that you will need to remove to allow the thermostat to fit.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Brace_to_be_removed.jpg)

Here is the left and right brackets attached to the steering rack.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04000.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03999.jpg)

It is helpful if you remove the drain line for the OEM catch can where it attaches to the oil plan.  Yes, this is the same oil drain line that sucks oil up and introduces it to the intake.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03994.jpg)

Here is the thermostat in place, but with no oil lines attached.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03997.jpg)

And the oil cooler all wrapped up.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04001.jpg)

There are a couple of things I would add to the FM directions.
I would add some washers where the oil cooler mounts.  I have circled these places, but add them on both sides.  
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03999_2.jpg)

Second, make sure that none of your oil lines are touching the fan belts.  You can zip tie them out of the way if necessary.  One of my oil line was rubbing in this location.  A zip tie and a slight rotation of the oil line fixed the problem.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04001_2.jpg)

FM says to fill the oil cooler before you install it.  I was afraid I would spill oil everywhere, so I installed it empty.  After it was installed, I used a funnel, several straws and some heat shrink tube to fill it from above.  I still spilled some oil, so I am not sure what way is really better.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04004_001.jpg)

All in all, a pretty easy install.  You will find that working around the thermostat will require some dexterity in your arms and a good mix of ratchet drivers.  

Here is a link to the exact same information above, but listed in the FAQ completed section.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25140.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25140.0.html)





Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 03, 2012, 08:24:45 PM
The oil cooler mounts on the steering rack above the plastic undertray.  I debated what to do about the plastic undertray since there would be somewhat limited airflow through it with the tray installed.  There are many opinions as to whether removing the plastic undertray improves cooling or makes it worse.  

After lots of reading about airflow and differential pressures and our engine bays, I decided that I wanted to keep the undertray installed.  Without going into too much detail, I believe that the undertray facilitates air exiting the engine compartment, which leads to overall cooler engine temps.  Of course, the tray helps keep everything clean.  The problem is that with the tray installed, there will be restricted airflow through the newly installed cooler.  I decided to make a scoop that would stick through the tray.  

I used a medium gauge metal, but I donít know the specs.  You want something strong, but not too heavy.  You will have to use your own judgment here.  I also donít have any metal working equipment in the garage, but here is a tip for bending metal.  I used this method for every piece of the scoop that needed a bend in it.  Clamp the metal you need to bend to a piece of angle iron and then bend it with a hammer.  It works remarkable well.  

Before
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04100.jpg)

After
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04101.jpg)

I used a cheap rivet gun that I bought from Northern Tool to attach all the pieces together.  

Here are some pics of the scoop in progress.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04102.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04104.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04109.jpg)

Here is a picture of the scoop installed prior to the under-tray.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04123.jpg)

I decided to install a wire mesh on in front of the cooler to protect it a little.  I have since noticed that the mesh is bent is a couple of places, so it must be doing some good.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04126_001.jpg)

Here is the plastic tray installed.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04128_001.jpg)

I installed a couple of plastic push pins here to help hold it all together.  
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04129.jpg)

And the final product.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04132_001.jpg)

Here is a link to the full write-up that give much more details on measurements and dimensions if you are interested in tackling one on your own.  
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25141.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25141.0.html)

All in all, it wasn't that difficult, but it was a lot of trial and error.  A second one with all the measurements would go pretty quickly.

So far so good.  I know this is an apples to oranges track comparison since the air temps were 75-80 degrees vs. mid 90ís.  However, the water temps were 210 vs. 235-240+ and the oil temps were 215 vs. 270.  I also took the intercooler off and cleaned it in an effort to get all the oil that I am sure was on every surface and reducing itís efficiency.  De-natured alcohol works well for this little task.  Time will tell, but I am optimistic that my overheating issues are over (knock on wood). 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 04, 2012, 08:50:02 PM
In the braking department, I have had no complaints, but I still have the OEM brake lines.  For the peace of mind (and a slightly better pedal feel), I installed SS brake lines. 

Here is my write-up on how to install them
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25151.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25151.0.html)

I canít really say that the brakes feel any different, but they may have a little firmer feel.  It might be a placebo effect, but at least I know I am not going to have a rubber line go bad when I am braking from 125 mph at the end of the straight. :o  They also look cool. 

Before:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC03981.jpg)

After:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04694_2.jpg)

I really should have done this upgrade much earlier in the mod game, but other things kept coming up and they were put on the back burner.  There really no reason to put off brake improvements since I consider it more of a safety issue.  At least it never bit me in the rear. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: magnus on January 04, 2012, 09:18:36 PM
Good thread, thanks for doing these really nice write-ups. Much appreciated.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 04, 2012, 09:58:15 PM
You are welcome and glad to do it.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 04, 2012, 10:12:13 PM
I meant to say this a long time ago, but I would highly recommend Keith Tanner's book ďMazda Miata MX-5 Performance ProjectsĒ.  It has been a great reference tool for me and should be on the shelf of any do it yourselfer. 

The time has finally come, I get to work on the suspension.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but unfortunately, ďmust doĒ project come before ďwant toĒ.  I joked (somewhat seriously) that I need to upgrade the suspension before I go broke replacing tires.

I did a lot of reading and researching about what coilovers to go with.  There are a number of great options out there, but I decided to go with the AFCOís from Flyiní Miata.  My thinking was that they are great with customer support and have had a lot of development time with this suspension for the Targa.  In reality, I donít think you can go wrong with any of the known options.

Prior to ordering the AFCOís, I talked to Keith at FM about the car and where it was headed.  He recommended a stiffer spring set-up than the default option from FM.  He said that the Targa car was faster with the stiffer set-up, so that reasoning was good enough for me.  I went with 550lb front and 400lb rear springs.  This is the same set-up that the V8 car ran at the the Targa. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/shocks2.jpg)

The installation was easy enough, but it always takes me longer to complete a project that it should.  I suppose there is nothing wrong with slow and steady.  I would highly recommend spraying all of the bolts with PB Blaster or similar penetrating oil a couple of days prior to even trying to get them loose.  The same advice goes for any bolt that you think might be difficult to remove on any car work.

Here is my write-up on the installation.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25152.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25152.0.html)

And a couple of pics along the way

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04221.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04224.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04254.jpg)


And the new look of the car all put back together. :bannana:

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04263.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04326.sized.jpg)

BUT...your not done yet.  With the new lower ride height, you will need to get the car re-aligned.  I went ahead and took the extra step and got the car corner balanced.  If you're this far into the car financially, what is a few more dollars.   :uglystupid2:

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04570.sized.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04571.sized.jpg)

Just as an FYI, the ride height is set to 12.0" front and 12.5" rear.  After the corner balance, the heights are a little different, but this is where we started.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 04, 2012, 10:34:25 PM
The first thing that I noticed driving on the street is that the harshness of the ride was gone.  I can tell that the car is sprung stiffer than before, but the bumps donít make the car shudder.  Getting the AFCOís set properly may take some time, but I will get there. 

The new AFCOís preformed well at the track in their debut, but due to some tire issues and a failing wheel bearing, we were not able to fully appreciate their capability.  The car had a serious vibration that I thought was due to extra rubber on the tires.  It then developed a loud whompÖwhomp noise that was speed dependant.

After we got home from the track and I realized that the wheel bearing was shot, I think the vibration was a combination of out of balance tires and a wheel bearing.  The tires were also heat cycling out and were not all the grippy.  As much as I would like to report that with the new shocks, the car was seconds faster, that was not the case.  My wife and I were actually a few seconds slower than we were on fresh tires and the OEM suspension.  The tire/bearing issues were just not confidence inspiring and the car was difficult to drive with the vibrations in the steering wheel.  That being said, these issues didnít stop up from driving over 500 miles in one weekend at the track. :shock:

I did make a couple of compression and rebound adjustments while at the track.  I would recommend reading about suspension tuning before you randomly start making adjustments and at least have a good idea of what adjustments will increase grip and what ones will decrease grip.  I have said that the great thing about the suspension is that it is fully adjustable.  The bad thing about the suspension is that it is fully adjustable.  I am by no means an expert, but I at least have a general idea what each adjustment will do to the car and I think in the long run, I will grow to appreciate itís adjustability.

We are headed back to the track in a couple of weeks and I will have a new wheel bearing and new r-comps, so I am really looking forward to seeing how the whole package works together.  I will report back.

Well boys and girls, this brings all of the car work up to date.  It's a good thing, I am running out of steam with the project.  I do have a couple of additional track related non-performance upgrades (electronic toys) that I have done that I will also add here in the near future. 

I am not sure what upgrades will be done this year, but there is one that I know is tops on the list.  The FM downpipe and exhaust has been ordered (thanks to the sale) and will be installed when it arrives.  Yes, I know, most of you would have done this upgrade early in the process, but oh well.  I am hoping that the extra ponnies will help me keep up down the straight. 

Other than that...who knows.  My mindset is to leave the car basically like it is for a little while and just learn to drive it better.  The car definitely has more skills than I do at this point, but I hope to catch up with is soon. :lol:

I'll add the electronic wizardry soon and will keep everyone updated on what's new and how things are going. :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on January 07, 2012, 08:27:18 AM
Joe, you need to spend some more money so I have something more to read about!   :roll:  Nice write-up.  I'm sure you will be seconds faster with all 4 wheels actually rolling.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: broken on January 07, 2012, 05:37:31 PM
Great write-ups.  A great service to our small community!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 08, 2012, 01:17:58 AM
I've still have a couple more mods that are not listed yet on the forum and a couple more that are waiting to be installed.  I have been tied up with other stuff and have not had time to post them yet.  Currently, I am fighting with a front wheel bearing.  I have a new one, but it is not the correct one.  The ABS ring is in the wrong place, which seems to be a common problem.  We are headed back to the track in two weeks, so I need to get a couple of these loose ends fixed soon.  Why is nothing simple?   >:(


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 13, 2012, 02:04:06 PM
After a week or so hiatus, I am back to get this thread finalized to bring all the mods up to date as the car stands today.  So far, all the mods that I have detailed been performance related.  However, there have been a couple of upgrades that I have done along the way arenít really performance upgrades, but definitely improvements to the car. 

My wife and I are members of the local Miata club in town and regularly do group drives.  CBís work great to communicate while on these drives, so we installed this Cobra CB. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04794.jpg)

We liked this CB because it is all contained in one unit and you donít have to find a place to mount it.  I wired the CB directly to the battery and ran the wiring though the hole in panel behind the passenger seat.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04797.jpg)

Obviously, you also need a CB antenna.  I was not in love with the idea of mounting a CB antenna to the car, so we bought a CB splitter from Jeff Anderson.

http://miatafun.net/WebMastPage/CB-Connector/AntennaSpliters.htm (http://miatafun.net/WebMastPage/CB-Connector/AntennaSpliters.htm)

This gizmo allows you to use your radio antenna for the CB.  We have found that it works as well or better than any of the standalone CB antennas that other club members have installed.  I love the stealth factor and it was easy to install.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 13, 2012, 02:07:05 PM
If you live in a warmer climate, you should really consider a Cool Breeze Scoop.

http://www.coolbreezescoop.com/servlet/StoreFront (http://www.coolbreezescoop.com/servlet/StoreFront)

This is a pic showing the scoop sticking up above the center of the windshield
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04805.jpg)

This pics shows a view looking up from the center console area.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04804.jpg)

They are easy to install and do a great job of directing air into the floor areas of the car.  They really make a huge difference.  If it starts to rain, make sure you take it down immediately.  They do a great job of scooping rain.  

One word of caution, DO NOT REMOVE THE SCOOP AT SPEED!!  They have been known to take flight.  :o



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on January 13, 2012, 02:37:33 PM
I have had a Gtech Pro sitting in a drawer at home and realized that it had shift lights.  I decided to try it out on the track and loved it.  I wired a cigarette lighter plug into the fuse panel with an ďadd a circuitĒ to power the unit. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04802.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04652.jpg)

You can program the lights to come on at a certain RPM and the LEDís are easily visible during the day. 

There are two reasons that I really like the shift lights at the track.  First of all, I donít have to keep an eye on the tach as I approach redline, so I can keep my eyes on the track at all times.  The second reason is that I can tell how good of a run I am getting by when the lights start to come on.  After a while, you get a sense of when and where the lights start to come on.  If they come on sooner at a particular place, then you know you got a good run in that section of the track.  My wife and I also compare notes as to when and how many lights we get at different sections of the track. 

You can see the shift lights in action in this video.  You may have wait until the second or third laps before the lights are in full swing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6ssRf628cI&sns=em (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6ssRf628cI&sns=em)

I have tried the lights at an autocross and I don't see any benefit.  They can be entertaining on the street, they are more of a novelty for normal driving.  The only time I have the GTech operational is at the track.     



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 14, 2012, 10:08:13 PM
I have finally gotten some time to continue this thread. 

I have always been a fan of having in-car video so I can go back and analyze and check out how I did.  I have found video especially beneficial in figuring out what events led to a spin or some other driving error.  I donít have a video camera, but have always used my digital camera in video mode.  Itís not the best, but it has worked good enough.  Another tip is to put some foam rubber over the mic on the camera.  Without it, you will get a lot of wind noise.  This tip works great at autocrosses or spirited driving.  At the track, itís pointless.  There is just too much wind noise in general and no matter what you do, you will just get wind noise unless you have an external mic mounted someplace else in the car. 

Before you can record video, you have to have a camera mount.  I have used a couple of different mounts with this car. 

Prior to the roll bar, I used a Harbor Freight duel suction cup, a PVC saddle, and a tripod head.  You can see in the pictures that I just used a long bolt to attach everything together. 

At the time, I used a different tripod head, but you can get an idea from these pictures.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04927.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04928.jpg)

I would stick the mount on the front of the truck.  This rig worked very well and makes for good video.  With the suction cups, you can really mount this rig anywhere.  I had a friend who would mount it on the front windshield.  It made cool video, but I like to be able to see what my hands are doing on the steering wheel.

This is the suction cups that I used.
http://www.harborfreight.com/dual-cup-suction-lifter-46134.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/dual-cup-suction-lifter-46134.html)

Here is a short autocross video shot from this mount.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF-braxECJg&sns=em (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF-braxECJg&sns=em)




Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 14, 2012, 10:13:09 PM
The roll bar installation made it easier to mount a camera. 

I attached an exhaust hanger to the top of the roll bar with some rubber between the hanger and the bar.  I then bent some scrap metal and drilled a couple holes in it.  I used wing nuts to attach the set-up to the exhaust hanger and attached a small tripod head to it.  I found a small tripod for under $10 at Target and removed the head from it.  This set-up has worked well for a couple of years.  Here is a picture of the mount that I have been using with the roll bar.  The exhaust hanger has been moved, but you get the idea.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04941.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04944.jpg)

I have recently gotten a GoPro Hero2 camera, which caused me to change mounts.  Here is a pic of the new mount.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04934.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04939.jpg)

I moved the exhaust hanger to the harness bar and flipped it upside down.  I then made a metal plate out of some scrap.  I used a sawzall to cut this plate out, so it is functional, not pretty.  I then use the GoPro suction cup mount attached to the plate.  I know GoPro has roll bar mounts and I may go to one of those eventually, but this mount was free.  I am sure I will do further experimenting with the mount, but I will stick with this rig until for a while.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 14, 2012, 10:26:44 PM
I have always been the analytical type and  I have been eyeing the lap timers and data acquisition systems.  I have admired the Traqmate system with video overlay for a long time, but it is cost prohibitive.  One weekend at the track, I was talking to a fellow driver and he mentioned that he used a lap timer that basically told you everything the Traqmate did and he was able to put it all together for under $150.  He had my attention!!

He sent me a link all the items that were needed and shortly thereafter, I was ordering parts. 

You will need a Nokia E61 or E61i smartphone, an external GPS and RaceChrono Software. I donít have service on the phone, so itís only purpose in life is a lap timer.  I thought about a duel purpose phone, but a ringing phone mid-session is not a good idea.   :shock:  I then bought a 10hz external GPS that connects to the phone via Bluetooth.  You can use the phoneís internal GPS, but the refresh rate is too slow to work well at the track or autocross.  The RaceChrono is free software that you have to load onto the phone.

Here is a link to the GPS:
http://semsons-co-inc.amazonwebstore.com/BTQ818XT-Qstarz-BTQ818XT-Bluetooth-GPS-Receiver/M/B000N763WE.htm
 (http://semsons-co-inc.amazonwebstore.com/BTQ818XT-Qstarz-BTQ818XT-Bluetooth-GPS-Receiver/M/B000N763WE.htm)

and the link to the software
 http://www.racechrono.com (http://www.racechrono.com)

The phone acts as a lap timer showing current lap times, fastest lap time of the session and if you are faster or slower at each predetermined segment-green screen for faster and red screen for slower.  For a few seconds, it will also tell you how much faster or slower you are at each segment marker.  You can either create your own track or you can download tracks from their track library.  The downloadable tracks are already set up in segments, so all you have to do is turn it on and hit the track.

Here are a couple of pics that show what the lap timer displays when you are faster or slower.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Lap_timer_faster.jpg)
Green screen for faster and the amount of time you are faster

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Lap_timer_slower.jpg)
Red screen for slower and the amount of time you are slower

With video editing software, you can go back and overlay the data on the video.  You do have to do this manually, but you get what you pay for.

Here is a print screen showing the final product and a link to the full video with the overlaid data.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Screen_shot_with_data_overlay.jpg)

Link to video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK3cxAVe7QY&feature=email (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK3cxAVe7QY&feature=email)

I have gotten so used to driving with the lap timer, I feel lost without it.  I love the fact that I can instantly tell if I am driving fast or slow.  Many times you feel fast, but you have no idea if you are really going faster.  The timer doesnít lie.  I also really like the segment times.  I can glance down and if I am faster on a particular lap, then I might continue pushing.  If I am slower, then I may just work on my line or try a slightly different line and see if I gain or loose time. 

My wife and I have also gone back and compared speeds at different spots on the track.  We run similar lap times, but our speeds vary depending on the where we are on track.  It is interesting and helpful to see where each of us can carry more speed. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: magnus on February 14, 2012, 10:45:37 PM
Thanks for that post on the GoPro mount, according to UPS my Hero2 is sitting on my doormat along with an external mic. It looks like you've got one feeding into your camera?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 15, 2012, 08:54:43 PM
I did try running an external mic at the last track event.  I ran the mic to the trunk, but my results were less than exciting.  On the up side, there was no wind noise.  On the down side, the only real noise that I got was rocks hitting the wheel wells.  Keep in mind that I had the OEM exhaust at the time.  I also only got sound out of the left side when playing it back.  However, I think this is due to the ancient mic that I was using.  I am going to get a newer one and try it again. 

See the following posts for details on the wires that I have connected to the camera.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 15, 2012, 08:58:34 PM
My only complaint with this set-up is that with the car being co-driven, I have to charge the phone battery during the day.  To eliminate this issue, I have installed a cigarette lighter with continuous power in the glove box.  With the current set up, anytime the phone is plugged in, it will be charging.  I can always pull the plug if I donít want it to charge.  I am on a quest to make the electronic gadgets in the car more user friendly. 

Below is a pic of the cigarette lighter outlet that I ran to the glove box.  You can see them mounted to the left side of the glove box.  I have this outlet powered all the time.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04632.jpg)

This set-up worked great at the last track event.  I could leave the phone on all the time and never needed to take it out to charge it.  Mission accomplished!   :)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Maduh on February 15, 2012, 09:15:11 PM
You know GoPro makes a rollbar mount for like $20 right?  :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 15, 2012, 09:20:11 PM
I have also added a remote button to turn the GoPro camera on and off.  This simple addition is one of the best additions I have made related to video. There is a setting that starts the camera recording as soon as it is turned on.  This button allows me to start and stop recording at any time, even when I am fully strapped in the car with harnesses and a helmet. 

In the past, I would start recording when I fired up the car and headed to the track and stop recording when I got back to the pit.  The problem is that you end up with several minutes at the beginning and end of each video that eats up valuable memory card space.  I now drive out to the hot pits and wait for the signal to head on track.  As soon as the signal is given, I push the button and start recording.  After the checkered flag, I can turn the camera off on the cool down lap.  I would also recommend the 32 GB SD card.   Here is a close-up picture of the power cord and the remote control wire connected to the camera.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04936.jpg)

Here is a pic of the button installed.  It is just a momentary switch from Radio Shack.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/remote_button.sized.jpg)

The button arrangement isnít hard, but it does require making two tiny solders.  More details can be found here:
http://goprouser.freeforums.org/hero2-bus-interface-is-different-to-hero1-t4950.html (http://goprouser.freeforums.org/hero2-bus-interface-is-different-to-hero1-t4950.html)

My final addition to the camera is continuous power.  Any cell phone charger with a mini-USB connection will charge the GoPro2.  I connected a cigarette lighter outlet directly to the battery and zip-tied it to the roll bar. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04924.jpg)

As is with the lap timer, no more charging batteries during the course of the weekend.   I couldn't be more happy with the new camera set-up.  :bannana:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on February 15, 2012, 09:24:56 PM
Yea, I know GoPro makes a mount.  I made the mount for the suction cup attachment one weekend when I was borrowing a GoPro from a friend.  He didn't have the roll bar mount either.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like the camera enough to buy one, so I just made this mount up in a few minutes.

Now that I have been using it, I like the fast that I am able to move the camera about 6" farther forward than it would with the roll bar mount.  I am afraid I would get a lot of the back of the seats in the video with the roll bar mount.  I may buy one at some point, but so far so good.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: tvp on February 15, 2012, 10:54:28 PM
Cameras : There is a great little HD camera  on the market that we use in our Top Alcohol Dragster

The Make is Re Play XD ....... google it, it will record 1 hr HD with micro SD card it comes with or you can put a bigger chip in , it also has a special mic for loud automotive use ( Great for track )

But what is great are the size and mounts , you can mount it anywere.......plus very very light,

It has gone 270 MPH no problem in 5.25 sec.....

http://replayxd.com/product/replay-xd-video-camera-system/


Cheers

Dave
CF-55



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 14, 2012, 09:14:17 PM
I have been meaning to update this thread on the latest car projects, but have not found the time.  I will say that all the mods up to date have been working flawlessly.  The remote camera switch and the continuous power to all the electronic track toys have been been working great and have made life a lot easier at the track.

Since I last left you, the first mod that I did was the full FM exhaust/downpipe.  I did not get a lot of pics of the install since I was working off of jackstands.  The under side of the car was too close to get any pics.  Here are a couple of pics when the car was up on the trailer.  It's almost too pretty to by under the car.  :)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05185.sized.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05186.sized.jpg)

The car has noticeably faster spool and an extra kick in the seat of your pants.  I am also a fan of the exhaust note.  I don't like a loud exhaust and this is about perfect for me.  Not too loud, but louder than stock.  At the track, I am a couple mph faster down the straight, so I know the power is not just a placebo effect. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 14, 2012, 09:20:22 PM
Next up was moving the Hallman Boost Controller from under the hood and into the cabin.  I thought it would be neat to replace the cigarette lighter plug with the controller.  I will say that it took some patience to get it all positioned correctly and route the cable through the dash and under the hood.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04989.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04994_001.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04998_001.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC04996_001.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 14, 2012, 09:27:10 PM
Finally, my coolest mod to date.   ;D

I made a cool shirt cooler that mounts in the trunk.  Since the cooler is in the trunk, I made a switch in the cabin of the car so I can turn it on and off from the driver's seat.  

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05376.sized.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05396.sized.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05351.sized.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05390.sized.jpg)

The complete details of the cool shirt DIY are here:
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26243.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26243.0.html)

As I said in the DIY, if you track the car anywhere in the south or where the temps are warm, you will want one of these.  Once you have driven with cold water circulating through your shirt, you will wonder how you ever drove with out it.

This gets me up to date, but I have more mod plans in the near future.  Does it ever end!?   :help:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 06, 2012, 01:10:43 PM
Well, I've been back at the mods this past week.  The car has had a lot of cooling mods (crossflow radiator/Spal fans and oil cooler), one person cooling mod (cool shirt), so that pretty much only leaves one last cooling mod-brake ducts.  My wife and I are heading back to a braking intensive track next month, so I figure it can't hurt to do all I can to keep the brakes cool.  Hopefully, the pads and bearings will hold up better with some fresh cool air.  While I had the hubs off, I took the opportunity to re-grease the hub that has not already been replaced with good high temp grease.

I bought the Trackspeed Engineering brake duct kit and sacrificed the fog lights for the intake.  The TSE ducts are well constructed and are easy to install.  I don't really see how they could be improved upon.  :mrgreen:  Fabbing up the parts to make the hose work with the fog light opening took some time, but would go a lot quicker a second time around.

Everything seems to be holding together while driving around town, but next month it will get a real test at the track.  I'll post up a parts list and more install details in the FAQ section, but here are a couple of pics.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05591.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05586.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05588.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05570.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: rstange1 on August 06, 2012, 04:30:24 PM
I thoroughly enjoy this thread -- thanks so much for posting! :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 06, 2012, 05:26:24 PM
You are welcome and there will be more to come.  The thread is up to date as the car currently sits, but the credit card may get some more exercise tonight.   :lol:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: rstange1 on August 06, 2012, 05:44:37 PM
Yeah, this thread isn't good news for anyone's credit card!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on August 06, 2012, 06:26:51 PM
I put the ducting on my TSE ducts recently too - the backing plates were on since winter.  One suggestion I've read is to be careful the zip ties don't cut through the duct over time.  I plan to check mine carefully for this and general contact wear often for the first several outings.  I'll be working on the front intake points with the air dam and splitter this winter.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 06, 2012, 07:10:33 PM
I just posted the "how to" on the brake ducts.

http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26574.msg286439.html#new (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26574.msg286439.html#new)

Feel free to add anything that I might have left out.  I'll find out how it works next month since we have 2 track events scheduled in 3 weeks time. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on August 07, 2012, 05:49:50 AM
Just read your write-up.  It looks great!   :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: imclumzy on August 10, 2012, 07:59:15 PM
Mills, is that an aluminum Trailex trailer?  What model is it?  I'm considering purchasing one for next track session :)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 11, 2012, 04:18:11 PM
Yep.  It's a CT-7541 (the one that is rated for 4100 lbs).  I bought it a couple of years ago and it came with the spare tire, tool box, rock guard, and tire rack.  I installed LED lights on it and have rebuilt one of the drum brakes.  It's a great trailer.  One person can easily move it around the garage or driveway when it is empty.  I suspect it weighs about 1000lbs with all the options in stalled.  My SUV only has a 3500 towing capacity, so it is a good match. 

I've got some pictures of the MSM on the trailer.  I'm out of town this weekend and don't have access to my pics.  I'll upload them when I get home.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 13, 2012, 01:16:57 PM
I forgot, my trailer also has a manual winch.  Here are a couple of pics of the trailer.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02126.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02127.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02295_2.sized.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02299_2.jpg)

You won't be disappointed if you get a Trailex.   :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Maduh on August 15, 2012, 03:50:50 AM
Nice trailer!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: imclumzy on August 16, 2012, 06:48:14 PM
According to the Trailex website the full length of your trailer from the tip of the coupler to the backend is 234". Exactly 4" longer than my tiny garage depth. The dimensions show 6.5feet length from the front of the deck to the tip of the coupler. That seems like a huge distance.

Do you know if Trailex allows for any customization to shorten the tow bar length?

Also does your MSM run 275 tires?  Does it fit on the trailer without rubbing the fenders?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 16, 2012, 07:25:07 PM
I'm 99% sure that the tongue can be adjusted.  I'll have to measure the length of my trailer and see how much shorter it could get by moving the tongue rearward. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC02128.jpg)

If I remember correctly, the tongue is held in place by several "L" shaped brackets.  I think all you have to do is loosen a couple nuts and shift it rearward.  I think the only limiting factor on how far back you can move it is the jack and the coupler.

The widest tires I have had on the MSM on the trailer are 215's, but I have recently had a '06 911 with 295 rear tires on the trailer and it fits between the rails.  It's tights, but I think 305's would also fit.  There are several 911's that come to the track on the Trailex trailers and they usually run 305's in the rear.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: imclumzy on August 16, 2012, 08:19:52 PM
That would be fantastic if you could measure how much the tow bar could be moved rearward. I would LOVE to have that trailer in my garage!

I measured my NA with 275s at ~77"s at the rear full width.  That should fit if a 911 with 305s is on it.

I too have seen this trailer in person but I couldn't talk to the owner about it. It was used for a Lotus Elise. Very sweet lightweight setup ... impressive!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on August 16, 2012, 10:10:10 PM
Remember the adjustment of the tongue length affects the tongue weight on the hitch.  You can't just adjust the tongue for size, you need to balance the change of the length with the possibility of adjusting the wheel location if they are adjustable.  Too much or too little tongue weight makes for a very interesting towing experience!!   :shockeyes:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: imclumzy on August 17, 2012, 01:28:55 AM
From what I read the trailex trailers have adjustment of the axles to customize for the load. Correct me if I'm wrong. As well there appears to be lots of room to position the Miata fore and aft for tongue weight optimization.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 17, 2012, 12:26:57 PM
You are correct that everything on the Trailex trailer is adjustable, including the axles.  My trailer was configured for a 911, so the axles are more in the rearward position.  This is the reason my car sites so far back on the trailer.  I actually like it sitting back since it give me a decent amount of room to tie down the front.  When we had the 911 on the trailer recently, it's nose was right up against the rock guard and it was a PITA to get secured. 

Imclumzy-are you sure your NA is 77" wide?  That is really wide.  It looks like the max width you could put on the trailer is 75.5"  Those tires must REALLY stick out past the fenders.

My trailer in it's current configuration is ~228" long.  I'll PM you some pics.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on October 17, 2012, 07:47:59 PM
It's been a while since the last update, but the car has not been neglected.   :)

Iíll start with an up date to the brake ducts.  The car has run two track events since the install and no issues what so ever.  They have worked great and no complaints.

Now to the latest and greatestÖ.

I have been using a G-Tech for shift lights at the track for a couple of years and they have worked well.  However, the G-tech is suction cupped to the windshield and is a little in your line of sight.  I wanted something more integrated in the car and more discrete.  I have always like the I-Shift LED shift lights and of course FM sells them.

I decided to give them a try and install them on the top of the steering column. 

Before I had time to tear the dash apart, there was some chatter on the forum about installing LEDís to warn of low oil pressure.  The OEM OP gauge us really just an idiot light in the form of a gauge.  Unless you happen to look at it, there is no way you would notice a low oil pressure situation.  I wanted a warning system that would let you know immediately.   

I started surfing online and found superbright LEDís.  I then thought that if one LED is good, two would be even better!   :lol:  There was a lot of discussion and trial and error, but it finally all came together.

Here is a pic of the two LEDís lit up for the first time.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/DSC05674_001.jpg)

Below is a link to the in-depth discussion and then to the how-to:
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26545.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26545.0.html)

How-to:
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,26708.0.html

The shift light install went pretty smoothly since the gauge cluster was already removed.  I followed the FM installation instructions and had no issues.  I have a gauge mounted in an e-pod mount, but thought there would be enough room to install the shift lights in front of it. 

The only issue I saw was how to make a bracket that would hold the lights in place.  I can up with this design.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Shift_light_bracket_2.jpg)

I used fairly thin gauge sheet metal and cut it out with tin snips.

Here is a picture of the bracket in place.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Shift_light_bracket.jpg)

And finally a picture of the shift lights installed.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Shift_lights_in_bracket.jpg)

I painted the bracket flat black prior to final installation.  The lights were tilted when this pic was taken, but I was able to adjust them correctly. 

Here is a picture of a couple of lights lit up.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Shift_lights_001.jpg)

Here is a picture of the finished projects.  You can see the two unlit LEDís near the bottom of the gauge cluster.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Shift_lights_finished.jpg)

The bracket is attached to the steering column with double sided tape and the lights are hot glued to the bracket.  Two track events later and all is still good.

Below is a link to a video showing what the dash looks like at start-up.

Itís a little overwhelming at night.   :o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-evtncvrYE0&feature=youtu.be (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-evtncvrYE0&feature=youtu.be)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on October 17, 2012, 08:11:40 PM
I have been driving early 2000 OEM 16Ē rims and 205/50/16 tires for a couple of years.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/New_Rims_with_lean_4.jpg)

I know this is not the optimum size tires, but I got a good deal on the rims.  We have talked about going with a 15Ē rim, but have never done it.  I have 2 sets of the 16Ē rims and if we make the move to 15Ē rims, I would basically be throwing away the rubber on the 16ís. 

At the last track event, my wife and I corded 7 of the 8 tires.  We thought that this was as good of a time as ever to make the change.

The rim and tire fairy visited the garage.  :bannana:

15x9 Bronze 6ULís
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/6ULs.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/tires_on_trailer.jpg)

I really like the look of the bronze on the Velocity Red.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/6UL_on_MSM.jpg)

And I have a good bit more meat on the ground.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Tires.jpg)

Here is a pic of the 205ís on a 6.5Ē rim compared to the 225ís on the 9Ē.  Youíll notice that the 225ís are a good bit shorter than the 205ís.  The 205ís are actually taller than the 215/40/17 tires.  The 225ís are only about .5Ē shorter than the OEM set-up.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/tire_comparison.jpg)

I have not driven on the track yet with this set-up, but I canít wait!  Next track event is in November at VIR and I want to drive flat out!   ;D  ;D  ;D


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on October 18, 2012, 09:03:26 AM
Next track event is in November at VIR and I want to drive flat out!   ;D  ;D  ;D

That is how I drive...  Flat out...


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on October 18, 2012, 10:29:58 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7iUKaPlBl8

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

You have to understand the rules and the track managers at Roebling to get the most out of this but it's funny anyway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3QZ7gA6bi0&feature=related



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on October 18, 2012, 07:01:37 PM
We've all met that guy and spent time one handing it behind his Supercar.  Thanks for posting the classic!

*Edit - I just watched the 'solution' video. At the risk of dragging Joe's thread off track, what's the inside joke?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on October 18, 2012, 11:13:35 PM
Kay and Richard run Roebling Road.  They are very strict and everything he tells the guy to do will break the rules they run the track by.  Hence the phrase about I'm sure money will exchange hands.  Fines and maybe bail comes to mind!!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on October 19, 2012, 07:05:44 AM
Telling the crew to muster in the T5 turn worker station - is that a potential kill zone? :lol:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on October 19, 2012, 10:02:54 AM
Not really, just a turn where a lot of spins occur but it's a safe open area.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 04, 2013, 02:21:23 PM
I havenít made any updates to this build thread in a while because, well, I havenít done anything to the car.  :) The car is set-up pretty well and most of the mods that I have thought about take it farther down the all out track car path.  

I have done a lot of reading about aero and thought experimenting with some different set-ups would be a lot of fun.  These ideas have been floating around in my head, but I have not acted.  

Over the last couple of years, the APR wing has been the wing of choice of the really fast guys.  I have looked at this wing, but never taken the plunge.  As I continued to read, some very interesting wing threads began to surface.  If any of you are NASCAR fans, you know that they ran a wing a couple of years ago until they learned that the cars took flight when they spun around.   :o

When NASCAR went away from the wings, they were available to the general public on the used market.  A number of Miata guys started experimenting with these wings with excellent results.  Many people were seeing times several seconds a lap faster.  If you are already fast and consistent, a couple of seconds is HUGE.  

Keith at FM was also experimenting with the wing and was another guy who found big gains in time.  FM designed a mount that would work specifically with the COT wing and the Miata and sold them as a one-time group buy offering.  I figured if I was going to act on the aero, this is the time to do it.

This wing mount attaches to the drain rails of the trunk instead of mounting to the trunk itself.  The problem with mounting it to the trunk directly is that the trunk flexes, so not all of the downforce is transmitted to the suspension.  

Enough yapping and on to the pictures.  

The silver vertical mount is the part that FM fabricated.  The black brackets sitting on the back corner of the workbench are the mounts that came with the wing.  FM copied the top half of the mount and customized the bottom half to work with the Miata.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010200_001.jpg)

The carbon fiber wing and end plates are a work or art.  Here is the cross section of the wing with the endplate removed.  
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010180.jpg)

You do have to drill 5 holes on each side of the drain rail, but oh well.  I tried to not think too much about this part.   :'(
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010183_001.jpg)

The adjustable bracket is very clever.  You can see the FM mount has a grid of holes.  The bracket on the wing has 4 holes in it.  To adjust the angle of attack, you remove a bolt and move the wing up or down so another set of holes line up.  This simple way of adjusting allows for very small changes in the angle.  Using an angle finder, it appears that each incremental adjustment is around a .5-.75* change.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010193_001.jpg)

The FM mount is made so that the trunk will open.  My original plan was to use the OEM trunk lid, BUT the MSM has a spoiler that is wider than the trunk and it interferes with the mounts.  So, a cheap trunk lid was in my future.  It's never as easy as you think.  
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010220.jpg)

Remember that you have license plate lights and a brake light in the trunk, so you will need to get these to work. When I bought the trunk, I made sure I got the wiring harness for these lights.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010209.jpg)

Unfortunately, the wiring harness does not have a connector you can disconnect, so you do have to cut the wires.  My plan is to use the spare trunk lid and wing only on the track, so I do need a way to make the wiring work with both trunk lids.  There are 6 wires that run to the trunk lights-a positive and negative for each of the tag lights and brake light.  I had some spare 4 wire trailer light connectors and thought they would work well to be able quickly unplug one trunk and install the new one.  I put the brake light circuit on two of the 4 connectors and combined the two positives and two negatives for the 3rd and 4th connectors.  Here is a picture of the correctors (not connected).  
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010229.jpg)

And for some finished pics.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Wing4.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010235.jpg)

I must say that the car does look very aggressive now.   :shockeyes:  The real test will be how it handles on the track.  From what Hyde and others have said, I think I know my answer.  The rear of the car will be planted and it will push like a freight train.  The car will need a splitter in the worst way, but that will be the next installment to this thread.  I figure I will end up running close to a 0* AOA by the end of the weekend, but from all accounts, it will still create downforce.  I'm excited to see how it works out, but I fear it will be at the expense of my front tires.   :help:  I'll report back after this weekend.

And yes, I do have some thoughts on how to "pretty up" the mounts and BRG trunk lid.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: schmoo on June 04, 2013, 02:30:28 PM
HOW have I NOT been following this thread????

SMR/Hyde: Are you saying that Mr. Flat Out is based on a real guy, not just a generic "hot shoe"?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 04, 2013, 02:58:22 PM
Mr. Flat Out is based on the generic driver who thinks he's god's gift to driving and is really slow.  There seems to be someone who fits this profile every couple of events.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on June 04, 2013, 04:26:03 PM
I wear my TrackHQ/949 Flatout shirt every time I drive.   :mrgreen:  That is how I drive:  Flatout.   ;D ;D ;D

I would like to point out that the douche in the video is named Allister.  I don't know anything about anything so I'll leave it at that.   :angel1:  If you have never watched it, please do.   :mrgreen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7iUKaPlBl8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7iUKaPlBl8)

This wing is simply awesome but I think you may actually be at a positive AOA to balance the car with a stock nose.  A splitter will be required equipment as I'm sure you will agree after the weekend.  It may be worth taking a peek at this idea:

http://www.miataturbo.net/race-prep-75/front-wing-72994/ (http://www.miataturbo.net/race-prep-75/front-wing-72994/)

You could figure out a way to mount something like this so it was removable too.  Crushing the will of Corvette and Porsche drivers takes some effort in the garage.  There are some great dual purpose MSMs in the community and you have one of the best!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 04, 2013, 05:55:34 PM
This is a link to the company of a friend who we track with.  I might have to get the "flat out" or "Forza" decal now that I have a crappy trunk lid to put it on.   :D

http://www.trackdecal.com/prod/index.html (http://www.trackdecal.com/prod/index.html)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 10, 2013, 06:46:06 PM
I just got back from the first track weekend with the wing and I can now see why the professionals use one......it works great! :bannana:  My fastest lap set a personal best by about .5 seconds and in this session, I was able to click off 8 consecutive laps that were within about 1.5 seconds of each other all within about 1 second of my previous PB.  My previous PB was with a former tire rim set-up and I am beginning to think that the previous set-up was faster.  The .5 seconds may not seem like much, so let me state the improvement another way.  We were at the track the beginning of May and I was running on the same set of tires that I ran this weekend.  I was 3 seconds faster at this event with the wing.   :shockeyes:

The car definitely needs some front downforce, but it did not push as bad as I thought it might.  Hyde can probably confirm how stable the car is in high speed corners.  I know the car has a good bit more time to be had, but the speeds that I can now carry though some of the corners has my brain yelling at me to slow down!!  It will take some time to work my way up to the limits of the car.  The sensation of entering a high speed corner several mph faster than you are used to is a big one and my survival instincts are fighting my right foot.  It was a work in progress all weekend, but I saw improvement in some specific areas I was trying to improve. 

There aren't many Miatas running a wing around here.  In fact, I'm not sure I have ever seen one at the track.  As a result, I did get a number of joking comments (all in good taste) about if I was going to take of with a wing like that and a number of people were curious about how it mounted and what wing it was.  When they found out it was a real NASCAR wing and CF, most people had a reaction like "wow!".  All I care about is it makes the car a lot faster and glued to the track. 

Here is one picture of the car in action and one of it resting.  The good news is that a lot of people saw a view of the second picture in their rear view mirror over the weekend.  ;D

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Miata_wing_background_2.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Miata_Wing_front_small.jpg)

We probably won't be back at the track until September, so I will have some time to work out the front aero. 

Stay tuned.......


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: schmoo on June 10, 2013, 07:19:52 PM
What made you go with the NASCAR wing instead of the APR?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 10, 2013, 07:33:53 PM
The fast west coast guys determined that it was faster than the APR wing and it was a lot cheaper.  When FM made a mount specifically for the COT wing, it was a no brainer.  You don't often get faster and cheaper.  The real carbon fiber is a bonus.    


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on June 10, 2013, 07:40:16 PM
Great to hear!  I can tell you from my 3 days on the new wing that there is a SIGNIFICANT 'mental' training that needs to take place to learn to trust the new grip.  I did the front aero also and saw ~6 seconds on the two tracks (Laguna and The Ridge) but I added around 40whp too.  I'm certain there is more time in the car that I can't bring myself to extract at this point.  I'm looking forward to seeing your splitter design.  Some of you guys are making your dual purpose MSMs pretty formidable.  Did a certain ZO6 see your grin in his mirror much?   :P


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 10, 2013, 08:06:32 PM
There are two corners at Roebling that I normally lift a little before turning in.  I think the car will take the corners flat with no lift, but I am not sure my brain will go there.  If it goes wrong, it will at around 100 mph and it will not be pretty.    :help:  Mrs. SMR was following an E46 M3 through one of these corners last year.  The driver lost control at 100+ mph (newer driver driving over his head) and was not able to save it.  He hit the berm head on and launched entering the woods about 8' in the air.   :shockeyes:  Neither the driver nor the instructor were seriously injured, but it it's not something I want to duplicate.

It may be my imagination, but with the wing, it seemed like when the rear end stepped out while under power, it did so much slower.  I'll admit that I don't have the fastest hands out there, so for me, it is now much easier to correct. 

A certain Z06 did not see much track time due to a re-occurring issue.  :(   


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: schmoo on June 10, 2013, 08:11:46 PM
I recall the early FM postings on the COT wings, but can't recall how one would acquire one. Are they still out there?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 10, 2013, 08:34:12 PM
There used to be some available on Ebay, but most of those dried up after FM sold about 2 dozen of the COT wing mounts.  They also got very expensive on Ebay ($700-$800). I searched for used NASCAR parts online and contacted those stores.  I got lucky on the first place I checked with.  If you look hard enough, the wings can be had in the $300-400 range.  Apparently, these were $3000+ wings when they were new.   :o

NASCAR had two different end plates for the wings.  The road course end plates were flat and the oval ones are little airfoils that direct air so that the cars turn left better.  I opted for the road course plates, but the oval ones are very cool. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on June 11, 2013, 01:02:00 AM
I just stumbled across my BIN offer:  $250 + shipping.   :angel1: 

I'm excited to see what you do with the splitter.  There are several places to attach things that can be engineered to break apart without tearing the entire front subframe off the car.  Between this and the awesome ducting pioneered by Joeereid you could have a deadly track MSM that looked stock at a glance in street trim and still maintained polite street manners.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 26, 2013, 12:28:28 PM
Well, the mod bug bit me again.   :help:  We have a good friend who is a regular with us at the track who has been driving a Miata for the last couple of years.  He recently sold it to buy a Boxster and for whatever reason, the person who bought the Miata did not want the hardtop.  The top was offered to me.  I hadn't really thought about a hardtop, but the price was too good to pass up and as a bonus, it was red.  My justification was that is can't be too good for the soft top to be flapping around at 125 mph and the hard top may actually extend the lift of the soft top.  It also can't help with the aero and the new wing.   :D

The top is not perfect and the paint is faded, but it will work great for a track only top.  I'll pretty it up at some point and may give it a quick paint job.  At a quick glace or from a distance, it looks basically like the same color.  I will need to track down the frankenstein bolts and side latches, but it will be ready to go by the next track event.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Hard_Top1.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Hard_Top2.jpg)

The plywood test splitter under the nose of the car is a preview of my next installment. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: broken on June 26, 2013, 07:32:43 PM
I think the Miata's hard top is one of best designs in the business. That top does look slightly ''pank'' though.  :laugh:



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 26, 2013, 07:57:31 PM
Beggers can't be choosers when it comes to a deal too good to pass up.  At least the top isn't crystal blue.   :shock:  My wife joked that with the green trunk lid, the car has a Christmas theme.  The faded red top isn't helping the aesthetics, but I will make is all pretty in due time.  Function before beauty at the moment, but I will put it back to OEM before I let it out of the garage.   ;D


Title: Re: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Lokiel on June 26, 2013, 10:03:14 PM
You can always plasti-dip it black - cheap, quick and easily undoable.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on June 27, 2013, 02:33:04 PM
You can always plasti-dip it black - cheap, quick and easily undoable.

I'm not a paid spokesperson, but I highly recommend plasti-dip to anyone who wants to try a new look for their car. It only costs a few bucks, and is completely reversible. The rally stripes on '90MSM cost about $8 and took about an hour to put on.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 27, 2013, 03:21:06 PM
I hadn't thought about using plasti-dip, but that is a good suggestion.  Don't worry, I'll stay away from the velocity red paint. :lol:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on June 27, 2013, 09:40:41 PM
I hadn't thought about using plasti-dip, but that is a good suggestion.  Don't worry, I'll stay away from the velocity red paint. :lol:

Don't worry about it.  It really does peel right off.  Try some rally stripes!  It helps get Corvette driver's attentions when they are playing moving road block on the back half of the track.   :angel1:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 28, 2013, 02:14:16 PM
It's been a little while since I last updated this thread, but I have not been ignoring the car.  Quite the opposite.  I have been knee deep in a project that has taken FAR more time than I ever thought it would.  As I posted previously, I added a COT wing.  The car pushes with the wing, so I have been working on a splitter to balance the car.  

This project has involved LOTS of trial and error.....and patience.   :tickedoff:  Many Miata's run real splitters, but most are full on track cars and don't care about hacking up the nose of the car or have removed a lot of parts.  I have looked at a lot of pictures and tried to follow in their footsteps, but it seems like everyone mounts splitters a little differently.  Designing mounts that will withstand 130 mph, but also break loose if there is any substantial contact with an off track excursion further complicates matters.

I also wanted to have the ability to adjust the height of the splitter.  There are wheel covers, a front air dam and several brackets, so it is no small feat to adjust the height without having to swap out parts. I knew it would be difficult on the front end, but thought the adjustability would make life easier in the long run.  I will post more detailed photos later, but I thought I would post where the splitter project is headed.  

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010873.jpg)
Several inches will be trimmed off the rear of the splitter, but this is the splitter itself.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010979.jpg)
The car with splitter, wheel covers, and air dam installed.  I just hope I can drive it as aggressive as it looks in full track clothing.   :D

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010982_002.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/photo8_001.jpg)

More details to follow as I progress.......


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on August 28, 2013, 04:20:31 PM
Great progress!  You will want to get a few pictures of the car at speed during your first event. I got some of mine last time out that appear part of the splitter is lifting at speed which is certainly not good. Are you going to paint it before you go out?  You get huge hillbilly points if you leave it raw plywood!


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 28, 2013, 05:43:14 PM
I forgot to mention that the blue tape is only temporary.

The plan was to paint it black more to protect it from the elements, but hillbilly points might be fun to rack up.  ;D  I do want to get some pics at speed.  I have driven it on the street with one very brief run up to about 90 mph and all appeared fine.  However, there is no way to see what the splitter is actually doing.  My wife had suggested going out in separate cars and having her look at it while we drive at speed.  However, no reason to get us both arrested.   :police:

I am thinking about adjusting it so that the splitter is slopped down (ever so slightly) since the rear squats under acceleration and I am sure the wing produces more downforce than the splitter.  The turnbuckles work really well to adjust the rake of the splitter without having to mess with the other mounts since I am really only interested in adjusting the part that sticks out beyond the bumper...at least at my level of driving.  

Once I have this part finished, I need to rework my fresh air ducting to the oil cooler and add dive planes.  I finally have a plan that will work for the oil cooler and have parts on order.  Oh yea, I also want make some under body additions to assist in sucking air out of the engine bay.  A vented hood is the best option, but I think my plan will work better than OEM.  

I also need to get busy "decorating" the car for track duty.  I will have a splitter, air dam, hard top, and trunk lid to display my artistic side.   :2funny:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on August 28, 2013, 06:52:31 PM
For as far as you have come already, you should shop for an NBB hood to cut some ducts in. It's really no more work than swapping trunk lids and is very effective with the cooling. For pics at speed try a GoPro with a suction cup.


Title: Re: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Speed Lava 05 on August 28, 2013, 07:23:58 PM
I was going to suggest the same thing to use a go pro.

Sent from my DROID RAZR


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on August 28, 2013, 07:33:24 PM
I've got a GoPro and a suction cup.  I may give it a try, but I am always hesitant to run one on the outside of the car.  I see them all the time on the outside at the track, but I don't trust the mount 100%.  If there wasn't a chance of ripping the splitter off, mounting a GoPro to the splitter (looking forward) at the track would give an interesting perspective.  


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: joeereid on August 30, 2013, 03:25:05 AM
Interesting bit of fab work there...looking forward to your usual comprehensive summarized build review. :mrgreen:










Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on August 30, 2013, 10:22:26 AM
The track we run at the most doesn't approve external suction cup mounts.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: VolCrew on September 14, 2013, 12:10:22 AM


Let's get back to this - any more details?:


It's been a little while since I last updated this thread, but I have not been ignoring the car.  Quite the opposite.  I have been knee deep in a project that has taken FAR more time than I ever thought it would.  As I posted previously, I added a COT wing.  The car pushes with the wing, so I have been working on a splitter to balance the car.  

This project has involved LOTS of trial and error.....and patience.   :tickedoff:  Many Miata's run real splitters, but most are full on track cars and don't care about hacking up the nose of the car or have removed a lot of parts.  I have looked at a lot of pictures and tried to follow in their footsteps, but it seems like everyone mounts splitters a little differently.  Designing mounts that will withstand 130 mph, but also break loose if there is any substantial contact with an off track excursion further complicates matters.

I also wanted to have the ability to adjust the height of the splitter.  There are wheel covers, a front air dam and several brackets, so it is no small feat to adjust the height without having to swap out parts. I knew it would be difficult on the front end, but thought the adjustability would make life easier in the long run.  I will post more detailed photos later, but I thought I would post where the splitter project is headed.  

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010873.jpg)
Several inches will be trimmed off the rear of the splitter, but this is the splitter itself.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010979.jpg)
The car with splitter, wheel covers, and air dam installed.  I just hope I can drive it as aggressive as it looks in full track clothing.   :D

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010982_002.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/photo8_001.jpg)

More details to follow as I progress.......


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 14, 2013, 01:11:03 AM
I am getting close to wrapping up this project and more details will be coming soon.  Tomorrow I will be working on making the car presentable and getting rid of some of the redneck factor.   :D  I should have more pics by the end of the weekend. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 18, 2013, 12:24:38 PM
I have finally gotten the splitter about 98% complete and took the car for it's first test drive in full track clothing.   :bannana:  I have tested the splitter, but this was the first drive with the hardtop and the dive planes. A quick sprint up to speed  :police: and so far so good and the car feels very planted.  The full test will be at the track this weekend.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020435.jpg)

Remember that no body panels were damaged in this build and all the splitter parts can be removed and the car will look just like an ordinary VR MSM.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020434.jpg)
The round opening in the middle of the front air dam feeds the oil cooler.  I made a metal box that covers the oil cooler and a piece of brake duct connects the two.  The two off red rectangular parts behind the turn buckles are metal covers that I made to go over the bumper.  These are to help protect the bumper in the event of an off.  My fear was that the splitter would be shoved backwards and the turn buckles would damage the bottom of the bumper.  I am not sure if they would fully protect it, but it can't hurt to spread the load over a couple of inches instead of 1/4".  

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020432.jpg)
I have sides for the dive planes, but haven't had time to rivet them in place yet. I'll get them installed before this weekend.  I keep the dive planes from scratching the bumper, I slit rubber tubing and glued it to the edge.

More to come and I'll do a complete write-up when I have time.   :)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Maduh on September 18, 2013, 01:45:06 PM
I'm loving the work. But wouldn't it of made more sense to remove the MSM specific lip and mate the splitter to the bumper?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: joeereid on September 18, 2013, 01:51:18 PM
Excellent work! Your design suits the car nicely. Can't wait to see the details and real world testing data! Did you do any radiator ducting?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on September 18, 2013, 01:54:45 PM
I'm loving the work. But wouldn't it of made more sense to remove the MSM specific lip and mate the splitter to the bumper?
The MSM lip isn't very easy to remove and one requirement of the exercise is that the care looks OEM stock after removing track trim.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 18, 2013, 02:16:35 PM
There are a lot of things that would have made this mod easier, but as Hyde said, the goal was to leave the car stock looking when it isn't at the track.  

I ran out of time for a full ducting mod, but I hopefully made some small improvements.  I just ran out of time and energy and will have to address that part at a later time.  I did reinstall the plastic under tray piece that fits directly under the intercooler.  That part seals up a large hole.  The oil cooler is fully ducted.  Here is a pic of the oil cooler cover and you can see where the brake duct hose attaches.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020365.jpg)

This is my wild card mod and I have no idea if it will really work.  I know a vented hood works best for pulling hot air out from under the hood.  I don't have a vented hood, so I thought pulling the air out via the underneath of the car would be second best.  
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020353.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020364.jpg)

I left the full plastic under tray installed.  If you look at the rear of the OEM tray, you will see two rearward facing vents to allow air to escape.  The sides are also open to allow air to exit.  The splitter covered up both of these areas and my fear was that the fast moving air would pass over the rear end of the splitter and turn into a turbulent mess and prevent air from being pulled out of the engine bay.  My thought was to make a piece that would extend the now smooth underbody, but leave an gap between the splitter and this new piece.  In theory the fast moving air will transition from the splitter to the new piece and suck the air out of the engine bay-just like when you pop up a sun roof on the highway.  The new piece actually connects to another OEM smooth panel, so I have hopefully moved the turbulent air rearward about 2'.  I have no idea if this will work, but it sounds good on paper.   :lol:  Maybe one day I will test it with some yard and a blower.  


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 18, 2013, 02:25:01 PM
The real test will be if I can keep up with a certain M3 with pink cat decals on it.  :laugh:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on September 18, 2013, 06:59:55 PM
You didn't get to try that yet, have you?

Her last event she was running times down towards the times you've managed on a good day so it might be an even match.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 06:21:39 PM
I have finally gotten some time to put down some more information about the splitter.  I never would have imagined that the project would be as involved or take as long as it did.  It would have been easier if I was willing to hack up the front of the car, but that was not in the cards.  When I started the project, I was thinking of it as one project, but in reality, it is many many many smaller ones.  Iíll do my best to detail the steps involved. 

The splitter presented a number of obstacles.  The splitter needs to withstand 130 mph speeds, so it has to be solidly mounted.  However, it also needs to break free in the event of an off before it rips the front of the car off.  I wanted to engineer the splitter so it was not mounted to any parts of the front bumper.  That sounds easy enough until you try to figure out how to mount it.  The splitter also needs to be stiff enough so that it does not flex much when downforce is exerted to it.  If it flexes, the downforce will not be transmitted to the suspension and you arenít gaining anything.  If this isnít enough, I wanted to be able to adjust the height of the splitter. 

There was a LOT of trial and error and I will just give you the details of what actually worked.  Let me know if you are curious as to why I didnít do it a certain way and I can probably tell you why it didnít work.  The splitter is made from ĹĒ birch plywood and is held in place with 4 bolts and 2 turnbuckles.  I did not have a template to work from for the shape, so I just held a sheet of plywood under the car and worked from there.  I splitter sticks out 4Ē from the nose of the car, so I just cut a 4Ē long 2Ēx 4Ē and traced around the nose of the car for the shape.  The sides of the splitter stick out even with the outside edge of the track tires. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010871.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010872.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010873_001.jpg)

The two main supports are 3/8th aluminum rod that I threaded on each end. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020029.jpg)

On either side of the radiator, there is a hole with a matching hole in the frame.  I passed the rod through these holes and to the splitter. A washer and nut on either side of the splitter securely holds it in place. You can see where the rod passes through from the top side.  I have extra threaded rod sticking up, so I have can screw the rod in and lower the splitter.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020524.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020523.jpg)

Here is a picture of the lower side of the rod on the passenger side.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010838.jpg)

I used aluminum rod in hopes that if I hit the splitter on something, the rod would break instead of just bending and causing all sorts of problems.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 06:43:11 PM
The rear of the splitter is screwed into the cross member utilizing the holes where the plastic undertray screws into place.  The splitter is an inch of so lower than the cross member, so I used PVC pipe as a spacer.  I can make different lengths PCV to change the rear height, or add washers to lower it.   

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020364.jpg)

The very front of the splitter is supported with (2) turnbuckles.  You can buy ďracingĒ turnbuckles online, but they are pricey.  I decided to buy ľĒ aluminum rod and thread both ends.  I used left and right handed dies, so I could shorten or extend the turnbuckles in place.  I bought 2 right handed and 2 left handed rod ends for a total of $10.

I made these U brackets so the rod ends could be secured with clevis pins and cotter pins. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010897.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010899.jpg)

I then installed T nuts on the underneath side of the splitter and screwed the U bolts to the nuts. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/T_nut.jpg)

I used a lot of the T nuts on this build.  They allow you to attach parts to the splitter, but also keep a smooth surface on the underneath side.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010901.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010902.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 06:50:44 PM
On the top of the turnbuckles, the U brackets are secured to a small piece of plate that is through bolted to the large crash bumper behind the bumper itself.  There were plastic push pins that reveal the holes that I used to secure these brackets.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020386.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020525.jpg)

I had some concerns about the turnbuckle rods contacting the lower front bumper if the splitter made contact with the ground.  I made some metal plates to cover this part of the bumper directly behind the turnbuckles.  I am not sure how much they would help, but they were easy enough to make and canít hurt.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 07:42:19 PM
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020392.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020397.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020422.jpg)

Now to seal the front of the car with an air dam.  The front sub-frame is lower than the bottom of the front bumper, so even if you mount the splitter directly to the frame, you will have a gap between the bumper and the splitter-if you have the splitter level to the ground. 

I used mulch edging from Home Depot and shaped it around the front bumper with a heat gun.  This actually work better than I would have ever imagined. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010914.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010927.jpg)

Remember me saying that I wanted the splitter height to be adjustable.  This is where things started to get complicated.  To make the air dam adjustable, I used 2 pieces.  One piece sits directly behind the other and the back piece has vertical slits in it. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010947.jpg)

I made a bunch of L brackets and secured them to the splitter using the T buts

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010935.jpg)

The front air dam has a single hole drilled in it so a bolt passes through the front piece, through the vertical slit in the back piece and into the L bracket.  The bolts screwed into speed nuts on the L brackets.  With this arrangement, the front piece is secured to the splitter and the back piece is free to move up and down.

The two air dams in their longest position.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010951.jpg)

And the shortest position.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010952.jpg)

Here is a pic with the airdam installed on the car.  You can clearly see the front and back pieces.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010957.jpg)

And yes, I would have to cover some of the exposed slits depending on the position, but that is easier than having separate air dams for different heights.

The back piece rests against the lower portion of the front bumper and has the fuzzy side of Velcro stuck to the back of the air dam to protect the paint.  If I want to raise or lower the splitter, I loosen the screws on the air dam and either raise or lower the back piece.

Here is a pic of the air dam installed on the splitter.  No part of the air dam attaches to the car.  It only rests against the bumper
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010939.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 07:46:13 PM
I then through bolted aluminum tubing to the splitter to help stiffen it.  All the mounting hardware runs more or less up the center of the splitter.  The sides of the splitter needed stiffening.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020004.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 08:00:13 PM
If you have ever looked at the MSM from the front, you will see that the tires stick out past the fenders.  If you run 225 tires, they stick out quite a bit.  As far as aero is concerned, the tires create a good bit of drag and lift.  They are rotating toward the flow of air, so they are drag heavy.  I wanted to make covers for the wheels to reduce the drag. 

The wheel covers attach to the fenders and the splitter, and they are adjustable for height.  The wheel covers are in two pieces. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020039.jpg)

The lower piece attaches to the splitter with a T net and the upper part attaches to the car.  There are vertical slits in the upper piece allowing the height adjustability.  You just loosen the bolts holding the two part together and they will slide up and down.  The horizontal slits allow the covers to be adjusted on how far they stick out. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020041.jpg)

Here are the covers installed.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010982.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 25, 2013, 08:01:31 PM
More to come tomorrow.  I am tired of typing.   :buck2:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 26, 2013, 06:14:31 PM
Picking up where I left off yesterday.....

The tricky part of the wheel covers is how to attach them.  I donít want to have any part of the project attached to the bumper.  There isnít a whole lot to mount to that is strong and the wheel covers will see a pretty good amount of force.  I ended up using 2 mounting points on each cover.

I used this location for the lower mount.  This picture is on the driver's side, but there is a passenger side is a mirror image.  I installed the plastic under tray first and then bolted the bracket through this hole. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1010808_2.jpg)

And made this bracket. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020035.jpg)

There is an acceptable mounting hole for the upper bracket on the driverís side, but I had to drill a matching hole on the passenger side.  I had to move the radiator overflow tank to access this location. This is the passenger side. 

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020002.jpg)

I made this bracket that I have referred to as the "Gumby bracket".  ;D Since it is very adjustable, it worked really well in getting it positioned in the correct location. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020011.jpg)



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 26, 2013, 06:17:34 PM
The fender liners were put back in place and holes cut to access the brackets.  Once it is all assembled, you would never know the brackets are behind the liners unless you look very closely. 

Lower bracket:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020032.jpg)

Upper bracket:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020033.jpg)

Fender well:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020053.jpg)

To install the wheel covers, I just set them in place and bolt them up.

There is no rubbing with the track tires, but the street tires will lightly rub the top mounting bolt if I hit a bump in a corner with the wheel turned.  The splitter isnít used on the street, so Iím not worried about it.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 26, 2013, 06:24:08 PM
The dive planes are up next.  There isnít much to the dive planes other than a lot of trial and error getting them to match the contours of the bumper.  I bent them to a shape that looked good and glued rubber hose to the edge that contacts the bumper to prevent scratches.  The dive planes are mounted with 2 bolts / T nuts in the splitter and one bolt where it touches the wheel covers. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020432.jpg)

The final step for the dive planes is to made sides for them.  I cut metal to match the curves of the dive planes and bent mounting tabs 90 degrees and riveted the two together.  I was running out of time at this point, but this was quick and dirty and seems to work fine.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020401.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020402.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020526.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020527.jpg)

I used nylon nuts and bolts for all the attachment points for the wheel covers and dive planes.  I figured in the event of an off and contact, the nylon bolts will break fairly easy.  They held up fine for the first track weekend, so I will stick with them.  I colored some of the bolt heads black with a Sharpie, but need to do something better.

You can see the white nylon bolts in the pictures above.  The two bolts that hold the front end of the dive planes are also nylon, but have been colored black.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 26, 2013, 06:38:24 PM
The next step was how to duct the oil cooler.  I previously had a scoop that fed the cooler, but the splitter covered the scoop and there wasnít a good way to make it work.  I came up with the idea of using a 2Ē duct flange mounted in the center of the air dam and making a cover over the cooler with another 2Ē flange.  I used brake duct hose to connect the two.  Once again, in the event of an off, I only have a flexible hose connecting the splitter to the oil cooler.  

Here is the beginnings of the box with the appropriate cuts.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020058.jpg)

and the final product four bends later.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020073.jpg)

Pictures of the installed box and air dam flange are in a prior post.

The final step prior to painting it all black was to route the bottom edge of the splitter.  A friend had the suggestion and said he had heard that if you hit something (rock, curb, driveway), the rounded edge might help it skid and bounce off instead of chipping or separating it.  I have no idea if there is any merit to this claim, but it is only a 5 minute job with a router.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020380.jpg)
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1020383.jpg)
In the picture above, you are looking at the bottom side of the splitter and you can also see all the T nuts used to secure the different parts.

I forgot that I also added an additional metal underbody panel to help smooth out the underbody and hopefully suck air out from under the car.  Pictures of this piece are also in a prior post. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 26, 2013, 07:17:45 PM
So how did it work at the track?  In a nutshell, very well, but it is going to take some time to dial it in.  The car was fairly balanced with a little push at the last event, but with the splitter it is quite loose.  Due to the mechanical issue Saturday evening, I only had a couple of session of track time.  The first two sessions had tires that were at the end of their life (3 were corded after a spin) and the car was VERY loose.  With a newer set of tires, the car was much better, but still too loose for my liking.  I was planning on dialing in more wing on Sunday, but the crank shaft pulley failure parked us. 

In this project, I reinstalled the plastic under tray piece directly under the radiator.  That piece seems to have improved the water temps.  I donít have any other radiator ducting.  The ambient temps were in the mid to upper 80ís and the water temps were around 210.  I wasnít pushing as hard as previous weekends due to the handling, but those are good numbers.  The oil temps (in the upper 240ís) were higher than previous events, but still acceptable.  I may try a larger hose and flange to get more fresh air to the cooler in the future.

One interesting observation is related to top speeds.  At the last event with the addition of the wing, I was topping out at 120 mph and was running my fastest laps ever.  This event I was about 3 seconds off that time, but my top speeds were exactly the same.  The wing was set to the same angle, but a hard top had been added as well as the splitter and dive planes.  My conclusion is that the car is more aerodynamic even with the fairly large dive planes.  I wasnít getting good runs around the high-speed corner leading to onto the straight, but was still able to top out at the same speeds.  The ambient temps were similar to what they were at the last event, so no drastic changes there. 

I think that when I get it all dialed in with new tires, it is going to be pretty fast.   :)

Other than details of the hardtop, this thread is up to date.  The only tid-bit about the hard top is the side latch strikers and to be ground down to fit next to the Hard Dog hard top roll bar.

I have a lot more pictures if anyone wants more details about a particular aspect. 

There is more to come in the future, but at the moment, I am tired of messing with the car.  The weather is great this time of year and I want to get out there and enjoy it. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: HELLIONMX5 on October 01, 2013, 04:42:58 PM
Millsj, you're my hero now. Excellent work. I will be going back and reading through later. Excited really.

I don't think I saw it but did u paint the splitter with anything? I was reading on mt.net about adding fiberglass layer, or painting with so it won't rot, catch fire from drops of oil etc.

 Also instead of black sharpie, use plastidip to hit the top of the heads. Just a suggestion.

Really interested in the wild card mod.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on October 01, 2013, 05:34:13 PM
I'm honored.   ::)

It's primed and painted flat black.  There are a couple of pics above that show it in black.  


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mtymaus on October 06, 2013, 03:44:04 AM
Wow, Joe- the car has come a really long way since we did the alignment on it a few years ago at Volvo of Charleston. I am amazed and impressed. I have been getting a roadster urge again (I guess it never really goes away) and will be attempting to sell my Integra Type R in the next few weeks to likely get a black MSM. May be seeing you and Larry again sometime in the near future.- Mark Rhoades


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on October 06, 2013, 12:30:48 PM
Got to come to the track with us soon Mark


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on October 07, 2013, 12:49:47 AM
Mark-didn't realize you were on the forum.  As Larry said, come down to the track and hang out with us sometime.   :mrgreen:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 30, 2013, 03:54:49 AM
After a little break from Miata work, I tackled a smallish project today.  After witnessing a car fire at the last event, I figured it couldn't hurt to have a fire extinguisher in the car.  We are headed back to the track next week, so it was time to focus on the Miata again.  I used a Brey-Krause mount, which is a really pretty piece or work.  It is made to piggy back in the mounting spots for where the front of the seat mounts to the slider rail.  With the OEM seat, it would be a 30 minute job.  However, I have a custom mount for the US seat, so it was a little bit of a fight.  You can get an idea of how it mounts here.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1040167.jpg)

Here is is mounted.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1040168.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1040169.jpg)

It mounts low enough so that it doesn't hit you in the back of of the legs when you are sitting in the passenger seat.  I also spent the extra money and bought one of the clean agent extinguishers.  I hope to never have to use the extinguisher, but if I do, I don't want to kill all the electrical components. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on November 30, 2013, 02:40:51 PM
Joe

What's the deal with the fire extinguisher??  Type, brand, cost??


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 30, 2013, 02:55:38 PM
http://www.jegs.com/i/H3R+Performance/528/HG250R/10002/-1 (http://www.jegs.com/i/H3R+Performance/528/HG250R/10002/-1)

And so far, I haven't been charged a ~$30 Hazmat shipping fee.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on November 30, 2013, 07:45:59 PM
Did it come with the mounting strap system or is that the one that was on the bracket when i gave it to you?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 06, 2014, 02:06:54 AM
I haven't posted any updates in a while because there isn't really too much to update.  I have made some minor suspension changes and realigned the car, but nothing really worth detailing.  However, I was prepping the car for the track this week and thought I would take some before and after shots comparing street clothing to the full on track attire.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060043.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060048.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060047.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060050.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060045.jpg)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060052.jpg)

I have been very pleased with it's set-up and set some personal bests at the last event.  Even better than the PB's was the consistent laps that I was able to turn close very close to my previous pb's.  In the past, I would turn a fast lap here and there, but last event, I was turning 8-10 very fast laps back to back.

We will see what happens this weekend.  Unfortunately, the weather may not cooperate and a certain Z06 is in the other instructor group and a certain M3 is....well...sick.  :(


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: joeereid on June 06, 2014, 03:16:26 AM
I'm lovin' that front Aero work! Very nice and tight looking. Whats the ground clearance height? Does the trunk still open with the wing in place?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: Lokiel on June 06, 2014, 05:11:12 AM
That front splitter makes your car go from this:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/312LeUYCsfL._SL500_SS120_.jpg)

To this:
(http://www.searchlighttoys.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/360x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/8/A/8A13A258121AA51603BE39B901FB84C3.jpg)

ie. from the front at that angle, the splitter looks like a "Lego beard" and makes the car look as tough as Lego's toughest.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on June 06, 2014, 11:17:16 AM
The ground clearance is right about 3" and it sticks out in front of the bumper about 4".  With it like that, I don't drive it on the street.  Any gas station entrance or driveway is a no go.

The truck will open, but it hits the inward bends of the wing supports.  I can stick my head and arm in there to mess with stuff, but it is by no means a fully operational trunk with the wing.  That being said, it does open far enough for me to get a big block of ice into the cool shirt cooler. :)

The reason for the green trunk lid is that the OEM MSM wing is wider than the trunk lid and is in the exact same place as the wing supports.   


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: VolCrew on June 06, 2014, 10:57:21 PM
Did you decide not to plastic dip the COT wing struts (or am I misremembering and it wasn't you)?



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on June 08, 2014, 05:21:51 AM
Did it come with the mounting strap system or is that the one that was on the bracket when i gave it to you?

I got mine from Pelican for roughly the same price and yes, it did come with the bracket.  It was in my basket when I was ordering things for the E46 so excuse the strange link.  It's comforting to have it there next to me...   :shockeyes:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/pel_search_2014.cgi?SUPERCAT_FLAG=Y&make=BMW&Context_make=BMW&please_wait=N&LastVisited_input=&Previous_Section=&forumid=&threadid=&command=DWsearch&description=PEL-HG250R&I1.x=0&I1.y=0 (http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/pel_search_2014.cgi?SUPERCAT_FLAG=Y&make=BMW&Context_make=BMW&please_wait=N&LastVisited_input=&Previous_Section=&forumid=&threadid=&command=DWsearch&description=PEL-HG250R&I1.x=0&I1.y=0)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on September 13, 2014, 07:07:20 PM
Not much to report recently other than adjusting the ride height and realigning the car.  I have been wanting to build a "cool" air box for the intake, but once again, work is interfering with my fun time.  I figured if I didn't have time for performance upgrades, I would one some aesthetics.  First up is painting the uprights for the wing.  They have been bare aluminum, so I thought I would hit them with some black plastidip. 

Before:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060050.jpg)

After:
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060407.jpg)
k
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060409.jpg)

I think it looks pretty good.  I'm still styling with the emerald green trunk lid, so that part looks odd (except around Christmas time :lol:).  Once I paint the trunk red, it should look even better.

We'll see if the new looks makes me any faster at the track next weekend.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: FrankB on October 11, 2014, 02:21:45 PM
Awesome work! Your aero mods are EXACTLY what I want to do to my MSM for the track! I think you should remake your front splitter and sell me your current one!   ;D


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: paqman on October 11, 2014, 11:06:02 PM
This is a picture of our new child on itís first trip to Dealís Gap. 
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/MSM_at_the_Gap2.sized.jpg)


Sorry to jump in here with something slightly off topic, but I was browsing Craigslist a few weeks ago, and I swear I came across an ad with this exact same photo for an MSM being sold.  I can't find it right now.  Was someone stealing your pic or something?


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on October 12, 2014, 01:06:10 AM
No idea, but that is the wife and me at Deal's Gap with the Miata club a number of years ago.  The car was bone stock at the time, so I know it was a number of years ago.   ;D


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 11, 2014, 08:20:16 PM
The following is a little drawn out, but might help others who have run into similar problems. 

I havenít made any great modifications on the MSM recently, but the car hasnít been neglected.  In fact, the car has seen a lot of attention (far too much attention for my liking).  Unfortunately, I have been chasing my tail trying to fix issues related to the exhaust manifold and turbo.  We all know that the nuts on the exhaust manifold are known to loosen over time.  Specifically, the ones closest to the fire wall.  We also know that the studs are prone to snap.  Prior to the last track event, I had a stud snap while torquing the manifold nuts.

Removing broken studs in not my specialty, so I had a shop replace all the studs in the manifold.  When the car was put back together, 4 bolts were used in the turbo/exhaust manifold connection.  OEM, there are 2 studs and 2 bolts.  The studs are closest to the head. 

Fast forward to the track event.  During the first day, I noticed that the turbo spool seemed a little louder than normal.  When I finally decided to check it out, I found that 3 of the 4 bolts that attach the turbo to the manifold has backed about half way out and there was a huge exhaust leak.  I also found a couple of the manifold nuts had loosened.  Re-torquing the turbo/manifold bolts did not stop the leak and we were shut down for the weekend.  I'm not talking about a small leak after it was all tight.

Below is the gasket, or what is left of it.  I did find the other corner, but lost if by the time the picture was taken.  With both sides blown out, itís not hard to see why there was a huge leak.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060868.jpg)


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 11, 2014, 08:22:41 PM
Now how to fix this mess.  Remember me saying that in the OEM configuration, there are 2 studs and two bolts in the turbo?  The problem is that you canít replace the gasket without separating the manifold and turbo.  The studs are in the way.  The second problem is that I donít think you can separate the two in place.  The turbo angles toward the manifold and it wonít slide off.  The only option is to pull the turbo.  Yuck!

Luckily for me, I had 4 bolts in the turbo.  I was able to easily unbolt the turbo/manifold, slide and new gasket in place and bolt it all back together.  Easy enoughÖ.problem solved.  WRONG!!!   :banghead:  I torqued everything to spec.  The turbo/manifold connection was fixed, but I still had a leak at the head.  The torque spec is something like 25-35 ft lbs.  I went to 45 ft lbs and it was still leaking.  Obviously, something was wrong.

Time to pull it all apart.  Somewhere in this process, I found that I could get the manifold off with all the turbo/manifold bolts removed and the top manifold studs removed.  The bottom studs can remain in the head and the manifold will rotate off.  

With the manifold on the bench, it was obvious that it was warped.  

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060870.jpg)

At least that explains the leak.  Off to the machine shop to be resurfaced.  By this time, I was tired of working on this project and decided that I didnít want to deal with it again.  

Now that you know the background, this is what I did to hopefully prevent this issue from ever happening again.

All the studs went back in with Resbond (red) on the threads.  Think of it as a very high temperature Loctite.  McMaster Carr is the cheapest place to buy the stuff and it isnít cheap.  Item number 7604A56 and $40 for a 4 oz bottle.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/120/3432/=ujv4r7 (http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/120/3432/=ujv4r7)

I wanted to go back with 4 studs in the turbo/manifold connection, but that wasnít possible without removing the turbo.  Itís easy to install studs in the connections closest to the fender.  The problem with the connections closest to the head is that you canít get a wrench on the nuts.  The bolts need a 10mm wrench.  The nuts I wanted to use require a 13mm wrench.  There isnít enough room between the manifold and the nut to get a wrench on it.  

I also went with Inconel studs in the turbo.  Nissan uses these studs in their turbos.

http://www.nissanpartszone.com/parts/nissan-stud-manifold~14414-17f00.html (http://www.nissanpartszone.com/parts/nissan-stud-manifold~14414-17f00.html)

The 300Z studs and Resbond is a combination that is known to work and verified by Mr_Hyde.  You will have to run a die over the threads for a turn or two to make them screw all the way into the turbo.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 11, 2014, 08:30:09 PM
Now to figure out how to keep all the nuts from loosening.  I decided to go with Stage 8 locking fasteners.

http://www.stage8.com/perfauto.html (http://www.stage8.com/perfauto.html)

If you arenít familiar with these, itís a clever design that makes it impossible for a nut to back off.  

Unfortunately, they don't fit perfectly on our car.  I have a total of 11 of these fasteners on the manifold and turbo and all but 2 of them required modification of the tear dropped part or some minor grinding on the manifold.  Here is a close up of a Stage 8 fastener and you can see that I had to modify the tear dropped part.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060988.jpg)

Also remember that 5 of the manifold nuts are on the bottom of the manifold, so you are working one handed and with a mirror.  This is only a job for someone with small hands and LOTS of patience.  8 of the 9 manifold nuts have the Stage 8 fasteners on them.  I ran out of energy on one of the bottom ones.  It was going to take a good bit of time with a die grinder working via a mirror.  I threw in the towel and called it good enough.

There are Stage 8 fasteners on the two turbo inlet studs, but as I said earlier, the Stage 8 nuts donít work on the back of the turbo.  I decided to go with FMís locking washers with the bolts.  

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/Locking_washer.jpg)

http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?deptid=4524&parentid=0&stocknumber=36-30300 (http://www.flyinmiata.com/index.php?deptid=4524&parentid=0&stocknumber=36-30300)

Some additional information:
The exhaust manifold studs are M10 x 1.25
The turbo/manifold studs are M8 x 1.25
The exhaust manifold gasket is installed with the shiny side toward the head.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060969_001.jpg)

A little tip regarding the Stage 8 fasteners.  You will drop the retaining clips into the depths of the motor no matter how careful you are.  After I retrieved all the clips I had dropped (which is only possible with the manifold out), I decided to tie a 3í-4í piece of fishing line around the clip before I even tried to install it.  They are much easier to pull out of the motor with string attached.

Here is everything finished right before I covered it all back up with the heat shields.   :(

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1060993.jpg)

The car is yet to see the track for the ultimate test, but that will happen on Friday.  Hopefully, I will never have to mess with the part of the car again.



Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: mr_hyde on November 12, 2014, 09:11:37 AM
Removing broken studs in not my specialty, so I had a shop replace all the studs in the manifold.  When the car was put back together, 4 bolts were used in the turbo/exhaust manifold connection.  OEM, there are 2 studs and 2 bolts.  The studs are closest to the head.

Point of order:  I believe OEM has 4 studs.  The two closest to the block come up from the turbo and the two closest to the shock tower go down from the manifold.  All of these studs (including the manifold studs out of the head and the downpipe studs out of the turbo make the turbo/manifold/downpipe assembly a complete nightmare to R&R.  Throw in a fragile drain line from the turbo and I'm twitching just thinking about it!   :buck2:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 12, 2014, 01:47:47 PM
SMR has a spare turbo that has never been installed and it only had 2 studs in it.  But now that you mention it, the other two studs would have been installed in the manifold.  My brain wasn't thinking straight.  :help:


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: 04TitaniumGrayPhilly on November 12, 2014, 03:18:39 PM
I love this car! Wish I was as creative and could make my own aero stuff. That wing is really cool too, is it removable like the lip? Sorry, haven't really been following along, just checking occasionally.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 12, 2014, 03:55:36 PM
Everything is removable.  In street clothing, it looks stock other than the lower ride height, roll bar and racing seats. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 30, 2014, 01:15:39 AM
After my broken hub incident, I have focusing on upgrading parts before they fail.  I am running the 1.125" RB front sway bar and the OEM sway bar mounting points has been known to crack.  I figured some reinforcements in this area couldn't hurt. I installed the RB reinforcing blocks.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1070076.jpg)

After the track event next weekend, I plan on replacing the both rear bearings and hubs.  All of those are original and have seen many thousand track miles. 


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: joeereid on November 30, 2014, 02:59:47 AM
After my broken hub incident, I have focusing on upgrading parts before they fail.  I am running the 1.125" RB front sway bar and the OEM sway bar mounting points has been known to crack.  I figured some reinforcements in this area couldn't hurt. I installed the RB reinforcing blocks.

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1070076.jpg)

After the track event next weekend, I plan on replacing the both rear bearings and hubs.  All of those are original and have seen many thousand track miles. 
Those were fun to install weren't they...


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on November 30, 2014, 04:08:47 AM
It wasn't too bad, but let's just say that it wouldn't take as long if I was doing it again.   :D  I did think it would be a quick install, but as normal, not as I had hoped.


Title: Re:
Post by: humming on December 01, 2014, 04:24:01 AM
Commenting on your November 11 post about the stud and turbo connection problems: resbond is the stuff! -300F to 2100F. I use it all the time at work. Made by Cotronics.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: StackSilverson on December 21, 2014, 06:15:54 AM
Awesome thread awesome car.  I love how it can goe from slick looking daily driver to a pure racecar and back again.

Super impressive.  Great job man.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on December 22, 2014, 02:58:27 AM
Thanks.  It's an ongoing work in progress.


Title: Re: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.
Post by: millsj on April 30, 2015, 09:12:29 PM
I forgot that I have not updated this thread to include the intake box.  For a complete discussion and details of it's construction, see this link starting with reply #73.

http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,27753.60.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,27753.60.html)

(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1070576_2.jpg)

And with some additional insulation.
(http://www.mazda-speed.com/albums/album361/P1080115.jpg)

Intake temps were lowered by about 10 degrees, but I have some ideas to improve the design.  I'll update as there is more to tell.