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Author Topic: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.  (Read 83339 times)
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millsj
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« 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 “how to” 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 car’s 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 “how-to’s” for the mods that do not have detailed install directions.  I have relied heavily on these write-up’s 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 it’s 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.   
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 07:47:42 PM »

This is a picture of our new child on it’s first trip to Deal’s Gap. 


My wife and I live in Charleston, SC and we found this bone stock ’05 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 ’01, 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 can’t 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

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,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.




This picture shows the best location to attach the vacuum line for the boost gauge. 



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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #2 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, it’s time to unleash some of the untapped power hidden under the hood!  As Jeremy always says on Top Gear “POWER!!!.” 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 upgrades…whatever 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.   rolleyes


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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #3 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 it’s 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

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.   Smiley


With the full Flyin’ 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 couldn’t 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

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

Here are two pics of the zener diode installed:





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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #4 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.  Cheesy
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
CharlesE
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Southeastern Connecticut


« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 10:58:22 PM »

Great.   afro
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2004 VR MSM - FM (CAI, Downpipe, O2 Modifier, Full Exhaust, PCV, Timing Belt Kit), Hallman MBC, Silver Star Headlights, Speedhut Boost Gauge, Stainless Steel Brake & Clutch lines, Thompson Air Horn, Mobil 1, Gates Racing Belts, Samco Hoses, Hitemp Brake Fluid, Passport Detector, GPS Drive Navigation (I-Phone), 15x8 6UL's and 205 RE-11's, Carbotech AX6's, Exedy Stage 1 Clutch, FM V-Maxx Stage 2 Suspension, 949 End Links.  MR Roadster Short Shifter Kit

Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud....After a while you realize they like it.
broken
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 03:20:36 AM »

Much appreciated! Smiley
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2004 MSM #256,Ti, GT, hard top, MRSS, Custom Shift Knob, BF Clearview, L.E.B. 115db horn, SH boost/vac gauge, SH shift light, Hallman Pro RX. Valentine One w/remote display.  FM O2 Mod.  FM dp, Corksport 80mm catback. Motorcraft synthetic trans fluid.  Larger  FMIC (Ebay),  FM intake kit, Innovate A/F gauge, Innovate water temp gauge 
vplukas101
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 04:31:11 AM »

Love this build cant wait to see more!
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mr_hyde
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Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« Reply #8 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!  afro
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2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
Maduh
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« Reply #9 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!  afro

+1 for this!
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RIP #361 05' Black Mica Mazdaspeed mx-5, swap in progress to 1999 Miata Base. Follow my build thread here: http://tinyurl.com/pwtx3f9
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #10 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 1.125” 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 friend’s 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

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.   Smiley




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.


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.


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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 03:41:12 PM »

My wife and I continued to autocross and attended the “Evolution Driving Experience”.  If any of you have the opportunity to attend one of these schools, I can’t 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 problem…..the car didn’t 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 job…and he has done several!  I knew I was in trouble, but the only way to learn is to jump in head-first and start.  Let’s just say it took me longer than 8 hours, but I didn’t really run into any problems.  I would say the install isn’t 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

I don’t really have enough detailed pics of the install to write up a “how to”, but between the instructions that came with the bar and the link above, you shouldn’t 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 didn’t 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.


























One brief tip-a claw hammer works well for removing the round push tabs that hold the carpet in place.   thumup
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
Fifth Gear
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 07:17:02 PM »

Now that the handling is fixed and I have something to protect my head, what to do….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 isn’t much to an intercooler and if it went bad, I could buy several E-Bay ones for the cost of a “better” 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) 2.00” to 2.5” ID (3” 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,2639.0.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

And some pictures....
OEM intercooler vs. E-Bay intercooler-just a little difference in size!


Installed, but no bumper


Smile   Smiley

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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
Fifth Gear
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #13 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.   Grin

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/
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
Fifth Gear
*****
Posts: 2575



« Reply #14 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 don’t want to run with the AC at the track, so it’s time to outsmart the car. 

I installed an inline switch on the ground to the compressor.  If you “break” 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 isn’t running.  Bingo…the 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

And some pics.....

This is the grounding point is for the compressor.


And a close-up


My in-cabin "make the fans run on high all the time" switch.
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
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