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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got into cars before i could drive at around 14 years old i would say, no paticular influence or source other than i was getting close to driving age(16 in Texas at the time) and knew i didn't want just anything.

Initially i had come to terms that at first i would be driving a full size '88 Chevrolet van with a 4.xL v6, essentially a 5.7 minus two cylinders. I also KNEW this was going to be temporary. I worked full time during the summer for the city water department and the summer('01) before my senior year in high school i bought a '72 Chevrolet Malibu/Chevelle with a 5.7L v8, turbo 350 slushbox and 10 bolt rear end(for $1100), here it is:



Yes it was a four door but you wouldn't have known that if not for a side profile pic...

This is what really got my 'fire stoked' when it came to cars. I never did everything i wanted, which would have been a big block with a 144ci blower and manual transmission etc, but i did learn how to work on cars and had to replace the heads, added a full exhaust, swapped a 12 bolt rear end with a Detroit locker and various other items. In the approximate 1.5 years('01-02) of ownership gas prices went up a fair amount and it seem to break down a lot...mostly because it was a 30yr old car with a 16 yr old constantly flogging the mess out of it! I decided to get something more practical and eventually decided something newer, fwd and 4 cylinder was the way to go, so i bought a '94 Honda Accord Ex with a 2.2L inline 4 and slushbox, here it is stock:



After doing A LOT of 'ricer' mods and doing every bolt on possible for power, short of boost which for this motor was very limited, i realized it wasn't what i wanted, this after doing a full air ride suspension(LOVED IT) and having almost $8k in receipts.



Oh the humanity!!

I decided i wanted a better platform and it HAD to be a manual transmission because after less than 2 months of having the Accord the transmission went out and cost me $1600. I ended up getting a '02 Civic Si EP3 with the K20A3 and 5spd manual, which had one of the coolest shifter setups on the dash, like so:



I had originally went to the dealership to get a '00 Civic Si EM1 (electron blue) but it had sold just hours before i arrived and i was sort of 'talked into' the EP3, which is probably why i can't stand car salesman to date. Unfortunately my research was not thorough enough before buying the EP3 because as any Honda enthusiast knows, the K20A3(base model RSX had the same motor) that was in it was not a true i-vtec like the K20A2 that was in the RSX Type S because the variable valve timing only affected the intake side and not the exhaust side as well as a true vtec car would have. I really liked it but found a reason to move on.

This time was to a '01 Acura Integra GS-R DB8 (aka four door) with the ever loved B18C1 and 5 spd manual transmission. Sadly this was short lived due to a few second oil issue causing a bearing(s) to fail and 'death to come knocking'.

Next i came upon that Electron Blue EM1 Si ('99-'00 Civic Si) that i had wanted.



I bought it and did basic bolt ons and loved the mid to high 20mpgs i got in town and mid 30mpgs i got on the highway but upon considering marriage i decided i needed a four door, honestly just another excuse to try something else.

Next was a four door Integra and i won't continue to bore you so my automotive history went like this from there: '94 Integra GS(sedan), '93 Integra GS-R(hatch), '01 Jetta GLI(sedan), '99 Bmw 540i(4.4L v8 w/ 6spd manual..loved it!!!), '04 SRT-4 (best domestic fwd ever imo), '96 Integra RS hatch, '90 CRX w/B16a swap, '05 Acura TSX (wifes former daily), '92 Civic Si w/ B16a2 swap, '01 Mustang Bullitt with 4.6L v8 and 5spd manual in Highland Green, the only true Bullitt color.



Oddly enough the last one i listed, '01 Bullitt, is what got my started on the path to Miata's, crazy you say...for sure. This was a very well built Mustang because the original owner, i was the third, had built/modified it with the hopes of autox it so it had a fair amount of parts to make it handle and a aftermarket clutch with lightweight flywheel, catback exhaust and a retune via a Diablo handheld tuner which suprisingly made a big difference in terms of torque which i found out by removing on accident. I only did wider rear wheels(9.5") and Nitto NT555 tires at all four corners and i was hooked on grip.

Well i was now looking at buying a house and needed to reduce my debt so i decided to sell the Bullitt. I knew it had to meet the following criteria: rwd, manual transmission, handle decent in oem form, get at least 20+ mpgs, relatively low maintenance and have good aftermarket support and be less than $6k. Well after looking around and seeing that their wasn't too many cars that met that criteria...i stumbled upon a Grassroots Motorsports magazine article about budget track cars and of course what else was praised as one of the cheapest and cost effective, dual purpose option..a Miata, the NA specifically.

So i started looking into all things Miata and quickly concluded this met every criteria perfectly!! After more research i decided that a NB1 was the best $ Miata being the lightest second gen and having the best power to weight ratio. I found a '00 classic red LS near Dallas and bought it but soon realized it was consuming a good amount of oil but not before already doing a full exhaust, DDM Works intake, wheels/tires, etc. Here is the short lived journey with it:
http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=500656


At the time i was in an apartment and i decided to sell it and get a lower mileage(nb1 had 152k miles) NA8 since that is what i originally wanted. So this is where the build thread begins....



09-20-13: Got home from picking up this '97 M Edition w/ 93,387(currently) and must say I really like it. Yes seems to have a LITTLE less get up and go then my NB1 but I still really like it. It has maintenance records and the timing belt was done at 71,620 miles. Will be putting the wheels/tires and Nardi steering wheel from the NB on this one and selling the NB. The only complaint I have right now is the driver side headlight housing shakes pretty good so have to figure out what that's all about.






The whole Warbird theme(aviation) will be developed in time but the name and theme was pretty much chosen before i had a NA. Of course the name and theme are really thanks to Revlimiter's Warbird gauges, so big shout out and thanks to Revlimiter aka Adam and MC70 for other aviation inspired ideas!!!
 

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meaty tires are meaty
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
09-28-13: Had the 15x8 +25 Konig Flatout's (machined finish and weighing in at 12.4lbs) w/ 225/45/15 Hankook Ventus RS3's taken off my NB1 and put on the M.


With this wheel size/offset they are flush with the body. :icon_cheers:
09-29-13: received my alarm remotes form Keyless rides since my car had keyless entry and alarm but not a working remote.:suicide: Gotta love keyless entry!
10-02-13: replaced broken oil dipstick w/ one from Rosenthal Mazda.
10-04-13:I corrected Mazdas interior mistake and completed the Nardi theme :icon_cheers:



Thanks to Rev9 Autosport for the Royal Clover key. I think it compliments the car nicely.

10-17-13: Installed new teflon window guides, from Jake aka Miata_B_racing on Miata.net, and the driver side motor and regulator, only to find out the motor wasn't the problem, it was a combination of bad guides and improper alignment.:suicide: Also installed a Cobalt foot well light kit i bought off another forum for a great price, i love good lighting and a universal license plate bracket for the front. :smile:

At this point I think chasis rigidity is my goal given the increased chassis flex the NA suffers over the NB. Probably Flyin Miata frame rail braces will be the first addition with various other braces in the future. I was originally going to go with FM V Maxx coilovers but have been seriously considering Fat Cat Motorsports. I don't know what direction for sure I will take but yalls input and experience is appreciated.:icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
10-25-13: Got my Flyin Miata frame rail braces installed and changed out the fuel filter while I had her on stands.


The difference in rigidity is impressive and can only imagine the results with the butterfly brace as well. Now it feels ALMOST as rigid as my NB1 but not quit there yet. Cowl shake is reduced, bumps are more evenly distributed and cornering speed is now more stable where else before the rear end would come out some. Love, love, love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
11-19-13: Took the Jackson Racing 8mm spark plug wires off my '00 Miata and put on my '97, why not.




12-12-13: Did both belts on my '97 only to discover the adjuster for the alternator was gone! Fortunately they are the same for 1.8's so i pulled it of my '00 LS which i discovered the alternator belt was about to go on it...what are the chances? Thanks to William w/ Track Dog Racing for the assistance on the adjustment for the p/s! Also, installed some off the best windshield wiper blades...Bosch Icon's!(if you have to drive in crappy weather you have to see)

Also got my window switch from Revlimiter installed today.


I have some customized Warbird gauges waiting to be installed (if i can stop destroying the oil gauge...dont ask :( ) that will be backlite red and am trying to get a RS or KG Works black gauge panel. Plan on getting some other items from Revlimiter and some interior items from Carbon Miata as well. Hopefully, will have the money for some Fat Cat Motorsports coilovers in the next couple months. Look forward to everyones input since there are some really awesome builds on here and i am still getting familiar to Miata's. Thanks in advance! :icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
meaty tires are meaty
The stock wheel and tire combo?:smile11:

The Cooper Zeon tires are horrendous compared to the Hankook RS3's but I love me some wide rubber! :icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Nice build! That steering wheel really is badly needed with the other Nardi parts, isn't it?
Thanks Adam! It means a lot coming from the creator of Sharka. Yes a Nardi steering wheel should have been there and a wood grain one would have sealed the deal. :icon_cheers:
 

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09-28-

At this point I think chasis rigidity is my goal given the increased chassis flex the NA suffers over the NB. Probably Flyin Miata frame rail braces will be the first addition with various other braces in the future. I was originally going to go with FM V Maxx coilovers but have been seriously considering Fat Cat motorsports. I don't know what direction for sure I will take but yalls input and experience is appreciated.:icon_cheers:
I'm happy with the toys from Fatcat: Shaike's Bilstein re-valves, 58mm bump stops (I think he only offers the 46- & 36mm stops now), & his shock mounts. (Likewise, I'm not certain that he's still in the re-valve business.) My set-up (dd/touring), paired with the original springs & bars, really helped both the ride & transient handling. His tech support was also good. I really don't think that you can wrong with either vendor. Just consider your budget.

As for the FM butterfly brace, does it cut down any of the creaking noises? Certainly it's stiffened your chassis, but I'd also like to cut down on some of flexing racket. I'm at 119k on my M.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
As for the Flyin Miata butterfly brace, does it cut down any of the creaking noises? Certainly it's stiffened your chassis, but I'd also like to cut down on some of flexing racket. I'm at 119k on my M.
Well Sprout97 i dont have the butterfly brace yet, just the FM rails but they do cut down on the chasis noise.:)

12-23-13: Installed a Mr Gasket Daytona shift ring and boot..hard to argue with it for less than $12 and ALMOST a perfect fit!


Just bought a audi tt shift boot off rushin but haven't decided if i'm going to install it now or wait on a cf center console. I am still gathering parts for my Revlimiter gauge install which stinks having to wait but will be worth the wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
No way I'd put any carbon fiber in that interior.
Shift boot and surround look good though, might just get it myself. Advanced Auto Parts, correct?
To each their own (Adam) but i actually already had some carbon fiber on the NRG quick release. I'm not 100% set on more cf but all those gorgeous pieces from Carbon Miata are begging to be plucked up. This is my "vision" for the interior:

Parts i have installed or just need to install-
-Nardi wood grain wheel(to compliment factory wood pieces)
-Revlimiter window switches
-shift ring and rubber boot(chosen to endorse ''Warbird" theme)
-S2000 push button start(not installed)
-Revlimiter Warbird gauges w/ custom zero position and custom tach gauge(not installed)(red lighting)
-Revlimiter Warbird HVAC panel(red lighting)
-Revlimiter hazard/light switch(not installed, in the mail)
-metal needle gauge center covers(ordered)

Future plans-
-KG or RS products gauge panel
-Aluminum or SS door panels
-metal vent rings
-metal a/c button and ring
-metal HVAC knobs
-Carbon Miata door cups
-Carbon Miata door handles
-Carbon Miata radio surrond(undecided)
-cf center console(undecided)
-cf rear view mirror cover(undecided)
-after market seats
-4 or 5 point harnesses
-roll bar
-Westach boost/vacuum, oil pressure and temp gauges(red lighting)

(Adam) the shift ring and boot are from Advance Auto...thats my second job so 20% discount. :icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
01-09-14:Took advantage of the sell Adam had during Thanksgiving and ordered the Wardbird gauges with a 10 o'clock zero postion, then screwed up installing the oil gauges TWICE :suicide: and after seeing how popular the Warbird's are I decided to get a custom tachometer done. My advice to all thinking about getting custom gauges: 1) Think out very carefully about EXACTLY what you want and 2)Provide Adam with as much information or pics to get your idea conveyed; otherwise you will be a pain like me. ;)

I also shaved down all the needles and painted the underside of the tips red to match the Westach gauges I'm going to use, which is what the logo on the tach was inspired by.


Still not ready to install in the car. I have a Track Dog Racing oil pressure gauge kit to install(basically a oil psi sending unit), needle caps on the way and will more than likely wait in install so i can get a KG or RS products gague panel. Have ordered many other goodies so stay tuned! :icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
01-10-14: Received a Runabout Type 2 fuel lid today from Rod (Tetsuya Garage) and it looks great as he said and got it installed, first exterior mod! :icon_cheers:

 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Just some pictures...






Picked up a Flyin Miata butterfly brace yesterday locally and will be installing today!
 

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Best color. We need to get our cars together for a proper shoot! This weekend is looking promising.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Best color. We need to get our cars together for a proper shoot! This weekend is looking promising.
Thank you sir, one of my favorite colors too! Yes, sooner than later!

Thanks That7guy!

Thank you SalvageTitle! I couldn't decide between these and the Enkei RPF1's in 14x7 but since these work with larger brakes and fit more rubber , so I chose these. Don't think I have my moments of regret though, those RPF1's are gorgeous and at 8.6 lbs!!

Installed the FM butterfly brace last night and took longer than expected but the results were well worth it! Basically same benefits as the frame rails. The passenger side frame rail was approx. 1/4'' further back so that was a challenge and the brake lines are a pain but all and all not to terrible of a job. Next up for the suspension is Fat Cat Motorsports coil overs!:icon_cheers:
 
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