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215 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After being in the Miata community for about half a year now, I’ve met a lot of cool people, seen many great builds and have learned a lot. I now have a pretty good idea of what direction I want to take my new project car. I have slowly been accumulating (aka hording) parts in anticipation for this build.

Meet Bulbasaur: I finally sourced a clean title straight frame shell and picked it up. It’s a 91 BRG with tan interior (which is kind of growing on me but black interior swap may be in the works… We’ll see). It’s got a whopping 320k miles on it and it looks to be 100% original. It has also been sitting for over 6 years (last tags were in 06) so it will some cleaning of all spider webs and creatures that used to call it home.

The goal is a Weekend Canyon car with the occasional Autocross/ track day. Emphasis on function over form as looks are really on the bottom of my priority list. Paint may be on my list as the last thing I do depending on budget and how the build goes. I want the car to first be quick with good handling, then later fast with a turbo or supercharger.

Budget for this build is cheap yet reliable. Almost every part I bought used except for important items such as clutch, suspension, etc. I’m looking to save every penny possible without cutting any corners.

:phillyb: The build Plan: :phillyb:

Stage 1: Get the Car running (COMPLETE!)
Remove seized engine and clean out engine bay. Install ACT clutch and drop in lower mileage healthy engine. Get the car smoged and registered. Drive the car a lot to break in clutch and make sure everything is functioning fine on the vehicle

Stage 2: safety + chassis stiffening (DONE)
Install Roll bar, harnesses, spacro seats and frame rails.

Stage 3: Set up Suspension
Install all suspension components, control arms with bushing, 1.8 breaks, torsen, exhaust, etc. get an alignment and roll fenders to fit the 15x9 6ULs. Start auto crossing and hopefully some track days.

Stage 4: ECU and Tune
Install Megasquirt, wideband and tune. Add IAT sensor and tune. Add BMW TPS and tune. Add RC 550’s and tune. Basically just get a lot of experience and become familiar with tunnerstudio so I can tune my forced induction set up down the road.

Stage 5: Power
Piece together a turbo or supercharger kit. Im leaning toward turbo at the moment because I always wanted to mess around with a turbo car. Planning on piecing together a kit from begi or flyin miata parts. I already have intercooler set up and piping in my garage. But this is a way in the future.

Stage 6: Paint?¿?

:bouncin: Parts List: (currently on the car) :bouncin:
Mazda Comp Motor Mounts
M-tunes coolant re-route
Oil filter relocation kit
Oil cooler
Magnecor wires
8 lb F1 racing flywheel
ACT 1.6 clutch
1.6 engine with about 50k miles

Going In Soon
15x9 6UL
Flyin Miata front sway (stock or disconnected rear)
Flyin Miata Frame Rails
Poly Differential Bushings
Megan EZ streets
1.8 Brakes
Poly Bushings in all control arms
Hard Dog Double Diagonal
Sparco Sprint 5 seats (mount to floor)
G Force 5 point Harness
Nardi Steering Wheel
Nrg quick release
4.1 torsen swap
Racing Beat exhaust
Test Pipe
Gv lip
R replica Rear spoiler (maybe)
Mud Flaps

Going in later
Mishimoto Radiator
Wideband 02
RC 550 injectors
Walbro 255
IAT sensor
Variable TPS

Still need to buy
1.8 Hawk Brake Pads
Door Bars (Hard dog, blackfab or DIY?)
Turbo kit or supercharger kit

:bouncin: Picture Whore Time: :bouncin:
(Most of you probably skipped all of the above and went staight to this.)

(off with the F1 stage 3 clutch)

f1 8 or 9 lb flywheel (i heard they hold up okay so im using it)

Thats all for now. Engine is going in tonight so stay tuned for updates :bouncin:

PS: This is very long and very detailed because I am bored at work. :suicide:

215 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
:slayer: Finally named my car. It's Bulbasaur. :slayer:

Stage 1 of my build is now complete!

This was probably the easiest engine install I've done. trick was to remove the coil pack for more fire wall clearance.

Had some wiring issues to the ignition switch due to a half assed security system install. Also the fuel bump was shot so I replaced that. It looks disgusting from sitting in for 7 years and the gas was discolored. So i drained that and fueled up with some fresh 91 octane and replaced the fuel filter. After that car started up with no problems.

The car drives solid! no issues at all except that infamous shake around 60-70 mph. After a test drive i took it over to got it smogged and it passed first time (which is a first for me). I couldn't register it yet those since the title transfer was not complete yet...

Here's some pics:

coolant reroute kit is neat.

old motor mounts were shot. mazada comp FTW!

my buddy helping me drop the motor in

ready for its first drive

still trying to figure out what to do about this.... the window zipper is bad to which sucks

I also got some goodies from Flyin Miata

On a side note... I helped my friend drop his trans which was a hell of a task. Its eaiser to pull the whole motor IMO
I cant imagine how hard its going to be to reinstall and torque the bolts back. We'll probably just pull the whole motor to reinstall it back.


Super Moderator
6,645 Posts
How's the condition of the interior? Are you planning on depowering the power steering or deleting the AC?

Call up Mazda with the VIN, you might be able to get which number in the 4000 sequence you have.

Untitled by Sploinkin, on Flickr

215 Posts
Discussion Starter #10

My car official passed the 330k mile mark. Damn impressive.

Installed this "marine amp" which includes everything needed to replace your headunit with just an aux input and volume knob. Its pretty effective in doing so and it only cost me $70. I have yet to tell how durable it is tho. but it will hopefully decrease the likely hood of someone trying to break into my car when they see a alpine head unit or something.

Also Racing Beat Exhaust is installed!

It sounds pretty good. Nice and quiet at idle and when cruising at half throttle. My Butt Dyno registered a 1.656 gain in HP and a 2.6969 Ft-Lb gain in torque (not bad).

I hopefully will have a major update this weekend. :mrgreen:

Are you going to replace the A/C in it? If not I'd go ahead and remove that A/C bracket on the driver's side of the motor. That thing weighs a good 10 lbs. at least.
I may be. Im going to try to charge it and go from there. If it works keep it and if not toss it. This isn't a dedicated track car so I'm not looking to go crazy on weight shaving. thanks for the heads up tho.

How's the condition of the interior? Are you planning on depowering the power steering or deleting the AC?

Call up Mazda with the VIN, you might be able to get which number in the 4000 sequence you have.

Untitled by Sploinkin, on Flickr
thanks for the info. how does one get that sequence badge thing? I can go either way on power steering vs manual probably depending on if I delete the AC or not. Interior is pretty damn clean for the milage. Seats will be replaced with sparcos soon but the rest will remain stock. Those door seals are pretty sweet. Also I am planning on getting a wood grain nardi in the future.


Super Moderator
6,645 Posts
thanks for the info. how does one get that sequence badge thing?
This is the only info I could find over on (posted Feb 5, 2012)
It came with a plaque that you attached to the ashtray. You have it engraved with your BRG build number and your name. The person that represents Mazda for the BRG is Chuck Price. He can tell you when it came to the US and the name of the ship that transported it. His email is [email protected]. The cost is $50. Mine is #2201.

215 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
First I got this little problem taken care of....

Then set off to tackle stage 2 (safety + chassis stiffening) of the build this weekend. Overall it went smoothly but was very time consuming. Since it was 105 + degree all weekend in the garage so I only worked at nights.

first night I got started on my Hard Dog Hard core double diagonal roll bar and fylinmiata frame rails.

The combination of these two items made a world of difference (i think mostly the frame rails). No more 65 mph shake. Frame rails are like Viagra except it lasts foreverrrrr. Very easy to install too. I would highly recommend this product!

interior in pieces

Having 2 jacks is awesome

Anyways next evening i got to work on the seats which was a big head ache. First trial i mounted it to the floor but it sat a little too low and was uncomfortable due to the lack of recline. So I worked on modifying the stock sliders to work. The passenger side was easy with a little modification.

Driver side was similar except the rails were wider than floor mounts so I used one side of the oem mounts and drilled holes through the floor board for the other side and used large washers to hold it down ( i still need to fab mounting plates). Sliders work perfectly and the height is perfect. best of all I didnt have to spend $150 + for seat mounting supplies and I get sliders!

Harnesses are half done. I need to order a bolt in component for it since the roll bar I have has a plate welded in which blocks the traditional method of wrapping the straps around the harness bar.

Finally I did the steering wheel. I have a quick release but I need a slimmer hub to make it work comfortably.

Interior is getting to the point i like. I just need a better soft top and, nardi wood grain wheel and some nice tan floor mats.

Next up is suspension. stay tuned!

215 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
suspension components installed!

poly bushings on all control arms
Megan EZ streets
Flyin miata front sway
Tosen swap with poly bushings
1.8 brakes



poly diff busings.... (piece of cake with the right size socket, hammer and some brute force)

fuego time

torsen =)

a little adult lube.

bye bye 1.6 vlsd

1.8 brakes!

current ride height

Hella lights

old headlights

New lights


215 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
^^^ LOL, that's what I was just thinking. WildCJ5 and I grew up in Phillips Ranch.
yup. Been in Philips ranch for the past couple of years. Going to school down the street at Cal Poly.

I got my wheels installed 6UL 15x9 with rs3 for track days.
looking for xxr002's polished for daily set (i like the silver green combo)

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