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Discussion Starter #141
20/09/2017

RevLimiter Custom HVAC Panel + RS Products Classic A/C Trim Ring + Fan Knob + Sliders
Ever since I've updated the gauge cluster with some custom made ones from RevLimiter, I've wanted to continue that theme with the HVAC panel as well. The OEM HVAC panel didn't really "fit" with the gauge cluster. When I initially got my custom gauges made, I could have also bought the HVAC together but I decided to hold off on it...and I'm glad I did. Adam had recently announced that his gauges and HVAC panels are now being made from a different material. Quote :

"Gen3 gauges are laser cut from aerospace polymer and digitally screen printed to create a dial face that exceeds OEM quality. Using spot color printing, the gauges feature extremely vivid red zones and translucent black warning light areas. They’re also extremely tough and can be cleaned with water or chemicals."

To put it in other words, the new Gen3 gauges and HVAC panels are OEM textured semi-gloss surface and the colours "pop" more than the old Gen2 material, which was more a matte surface and the colours weren't as vivid. I'm contemplating whether I should get my gauge faces re-done in the new material as it would be brighter, but given that they're not exactly cheap with shipping and my that my current ones do the job perfectly well, I feel like that that money could be better spent elsewhere. I decided that I wanted the HVAC panel to match my gauge faces with the text and font being kept consistent. I opted for the "Version Stirling" and made a few custom changes including the numbers on the dial to replicate the numbers as shown on my gauge face.

My car never came with A/C so it never came with the A/C button from factory. But, when I pulled off the OEM fan selector knob to be able to remove my HVAC panel, I discovered that the module which allows A/C was also in my car but it's just that it's not hooked up to anything since there was no A/C. It was a pleasant surprise as I do plan on installing a complete A/C system in the near future together with the NB heater core upgrade and this was one less thing to worry about when trying to source the parts. I also had my HVAC panel made so that it includes the A/C indicator below the fan selector knob so that when it is activated and when I get around to installing the A/C, it will light up. This was just forward thinking. I also decided to install my RS Products A/C fan selector knob, slider buttons and fan trim ring.

The install was straight forward. Adam has a HVAC panel install guide on his site complete with illustrations which helped a lot. Overall, I'm very pleased with the result and I think it's really starting to take shape. Thanks again to Adam for making this for me.

OEM HVAC panel. Really need to put in my Nakamichi headunit too...



Eyeball vents and tombstone out.



The vents had a thin film of dust which needed cleaning.



Much better.



The slider buttons have a tiny little hex screw on the bottom, which need to be unscrewed before being able to take the HVAC panel off completely.



HVAC panel off.



OEM HVAC panel that will be modified.



Nothing to it but to just peel back the old panel. I was lucky in that my panel was still pretty fresh and new and the majority of the glue stayed on the panel which is good because it will be re-used with the new panel by re-activating it with heat.



Old stuff gone. Lot of little bits of dirt and dust on there as you can see. The panel was given a good wipe down before the new stuff went on.



RevLimiter Version Stirling custom HVAC panel and fan selector. I customised the font and numbers to replicate my gauge cluster to keep it all consistent.



Double sided scotch tape was applied on the fan glass to make it adhere to the new fan selector insert.



Did this on the panel as well.



Placed the HVAC insert onto the panel and re-activated the glue with a hairdryer. I also added the RS Products fan selector trim ring.



The old bulb which would be lighting up the panel was probably the same one from 21 years ago. I decided to update it with some T5 white LED's. This will make the panel illuminate brighter than stock.



Old VS New. Big difference.



New fan selector insert attached. Notice the A/C indicator on the bottom. It is blacked out but it will light up when activated and when I get my A/C installed.



Result.



Slowly coming together. That headunit really needs to go. It's next on the list of things to replace.



Lit up.



Success!

 

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Such a beautiful example of an early model 5.

All class.
Hope to have the opportunity to see it in person one day. If you happen to travel further north one day let me know mate.

Could you note the sources for Fujitsubo exhaust and Sard cat please? I have a legalis exhaust still in the parts pile that was bolted to my astina and would like to source one for my mx5.
The aussie dollar exchange rate is tempting me to purchase one of the more aggressive rm01a style catback systems while still available but it may be too angry for the street on my build.
 

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Discussion Starter #144
30/09/2017

Nakamichi CD-400 Headunit + Polk Audio DB651 6.5" Coaxial Speakers
The headunit which came with the MX-5 was a Sony, specifically a Sony CDX-S2010X. Try saying that three times. Now, I'll admit that the headunit suited the interior when I picked it up in that it didn't seem too...flamboyant as other aftermarket headunits I've seen in other NA's. It was nice and subtle and it lit up green to match the interior lights. However, I wanted something which was still an aftermarket headunit but looked OEM/factory. Enter the Nakamichi CD-400.





The door panels came out and I cut the wires which were hooked on to the old speakers. They seemed to be an aftermarket speaker of some sort and the wires were soldered on to the speaker terminals rather than having them connected with spade connectors.



I took out all the old cables, routed the new speaker cables through the firewall and soldered and heatshrinked some female spade connectors to the end of the wire to make the speaker install cleaner. I ended up removing the blue plastic sheath from the positive connector and just used heatshrink.



Upon removing the speaker though, it appears that the person previously installed the sound system used blu-tack to hold the speaker in position before screwing them down to the door. This left a pretty nasty residue which had to be cleaned before I could install the new speakers.



Love this stuff...



Plastic scraper used to get all the crap off.



All clean.



The new speakers are a pair of Polk Audio DB651 6.5" Coaxials. Nothing too crazy, bang for buck and excellent sound.



I also had some XTC foam speaker baffles which was used. Fitting foam speaker baffles serve a dual role. First, they help keep dirt and grime away from the delicate driver components to help maximize speaker life. Second, by forming a tight mounting seal around the speaker, the baffle can actually help reduce panel-to-frame resonance for better sound. Added bonus of it also acting as a water proofing measure. Once this was all wired up, the new speakers and baffles were screwed into place.

XTC foam speaker baffles mounted to the door with wires fed through for the speakers.





Removing excess foam.



Taking out the old headunit wasn't too hard. Upon removing the tombstone and gaining access to the rear, the wiring to the Sony harness was done surprisingly well. It was all soldered properly and heatshrinked and it was neatly wrapped in electrical tape. I was quite surprised by this clean install because it certainly didn't seem like the same care was used when the old speakers were wired and mounted.



Since the headunit was soldered into the factory harness, it meant that I couldn't use an adaptor harness to hook up the new headunit. This would have been so much easier rather than soldering and heatshrinking. Wires were cut and using the now cut Sony harness as a guide, I matched the wires on the Nakamichi harness and soldered them all and covered it with heatshrink.



Nakamichi harness soldered, heatshrinked and zip-tied to make it neat.



continued...
 

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Discussion Starter #145
...continued

I also managed to get a pair of JDM factory tweeters from an NA8 Eunos Roadster. It seemed liked the MX-5's in Japan got treated to Pioneer branded tweeters whereas ours were no name.





Again, much like me getting the Nakamichi headunit for how it looks and not for its SQ, I got these tweeters because the silver trim ring around the tweeter suited the interior look I was going for. It was just a bonus that they were made by Pioneer. The grille was a little scratched up in a few places so I decided to take the tweeters apart, mask up the silver trim and give a couple of coats of satin black on the grille.



Masked it up and made sure to get tape between the grille and the edge of the trim. Fingernails helped.



They turned out pretty well.







Overall it was a faily straight forward install. The Nakamichi is in along with the new Polk Audio speakers and I have to say, the sound is pretty incredible. I'm not a huge audiophile but I can already tell the difference. There was one downside to this install. The old Sony headunit was smart enough to turn on and extend the power antenna when the radio was on and to retract when the system was either off or playing the CD. The Nakamichi headunit isn't as smart in that it seems like the power antenna stays extended when you simply turn the headunit on, whether it's on CD, radio or AUX. It's a little annoying and I have found that many people seem to splice in a toggle switch or something similar to manually extend and retract the antenna but for now, I simply unplugged the power going to the aerial so that it stays down as I hardly ever listen to the radio anyway. Many thanks to Sari for lending me a hand with the soldering and wiring and to Mike for sourcing and sending me the tweeters from YJA.

From this...



...to this...





 

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Discussion Starter #148
02/10/2017

Hella Sharp Tone Horns
One of the biggest let downs for the MX-5 is the fact that it has a very poor horn. It's not nearly loud enough given the size of the vehicle. The MX-5 is by no means a big car and although I'm always enjoying the drive, I'm also very wary of other motorists and always defensive driving. The other day I was coming home and some idiot in a Lexus decided to merge into my lane without any indication. I slam my brakes and luckily there wasn't anyone behind me otherwise it would have resulted in an accident. I honk my piss poor sounding horn at him, change lanes and catch up to him. Upon getting up side by side with the driver, I realise he is wearing earphones and was completely oblivious to the collision that almost happened. My horn didn't even phase him nor was it loud enough for him to notice me. We exchange profanities at each other; me because he almost crashed into my car and him because he doesn't know why there's a guy telling him off as he believes he did nothing wrong (again, he was wearing earphones and most likely, I was in his blind spot) and we both go our separate ways. Ever since then, I decided I needed to upgrade my horns to something a little louder.

I decided to buy the Hella Sharp Tones horns, which is a dual horn set with a high and low tone. It also comes with a separate relay so I'll be wiring these up. I opted for these over the Supertones as I like the sound of them more and to me, they sound much crisper. I also decided to give the Nautilus a miss because I didn't like the idea of the compressor not working which was the main reason why it got such poor reviews from what I read. Given that the Hella's have 115dB of fury, the sound will be definitely piercing enough for anyone to hear, even those who wear earphones in their cars (which I still think is a stupid idea, but I digress).

Hella Sharp Tone Horn set. They come with a yellow "grille" around the horn module and even though I know that the horns will be hidden behind my bumper and no one will ever see them, I had to do something about that yellow.



Scuffing up the paint so that it can be repainted.



Ready for a professional rattle can satin black paint job.



Much better, even though I know no one will ever see these behind the bumper.



Stock horn. The single tone "meep-meep" won't do.



Stock VS Hella Sharp Tones.



Making wires. Eye terminal and female spade connector, then crimped and heatshrinked for the ground. One for each horn.





Routing the power wire.



Power wire routed to fuse box with fuse socket tap ready to accept the 15A fuse blade. Protective sheathing to cover the wire.



Wiring them up. The horns fit nicely there. No need to drill another mounting point as you can use an existing hole left there, courtesy of Mazda.



The new horns sound amazing. And very loud! Super happy with the install and so glad to be rid of that piss poor OEM horn. The MX-5 will now be heard as well as being seen on the streets!

 

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Discussion Starter #149
Here's a much better video of the Fujitsubo catback exhaust on my MX-5. Many thanks to my mate Daniel who took time out of his day to make this video. Didn't realise it was going to be part of his vlog but there you go. Many different angles, fly by at WOT and in car footage from a GoPro. Of course, all done in a safe environment in Mexico...

 

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Discussion Starter #150
10/10/2017

Nakamae Aluminium Door Locks
I finally got around to installing the Nakamae door locks. I had initially wanted to wait till I removed my dash and carpet and strip the car back before installing them but since the interior was coming together nicely, I thought why not. KG Works also have something which look very similar to the Nakamae door locks but they differ in that they come in parts and need to be assembled with your original locking mechanism, meaning you need to DIY the parts with what they provide you, the door lock slider itself is a different shape and doesn't resemble the OEM lock slider and finally, they're made of plastic and is chrome dipped. Although the door handles physically look identical, the fact that they are plastic and too "blingy" as a result of them being chrome dipped was enough for me to look for alternatives.

The Nakamae door locks are 100% full replacements for the OEM locks, are made of aluminium which gives it a more brushed look and nicer heavier feel and has perfect fit and finish. I managed to score the very last Nakamae door lock set for the NA MX-5 right before they were discontinued so I got pretty lucky. I also went ahead and got a pair of brand new OEM Mazda door cups. Mine had a hairline crack on both left and right cups so I thought this would be a good time to swap them out.

Nakamae replacement door locks.



OEM VS Nakamae.



Removing the door panel to gain access to the locking mechanism. You can see that the handle is also a bit scuffed.



Very easy install. Just pop these two tabs holding the wires which control the door lock and the door opening latch.



Comparison. FYI there is a specific lock for both the left and right door, denoted by "L" amd "R" on the lock.



Replacement OEM door cups.



Installed. Looks much better.



Also went ahead and put heatshrink on the ends of the spade connectors which go into the relay for the Hella horns. Ran out of heatshrink last time so thought it was a good idea to atmosphere-proof them.




Next to install : 93LE speaker grilles. Need to get the doorcards updated first...
 

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Discussion Starter #151
14/10/2017

Got some new floor mats from CocoMats to replace the temporary eBay mats I've had in my car for two years. When I first received them, the driver side didn't fit properly and the heel rest pad was stitched on slightly crooked, but after an email informing them of the error, they were very apologetic and sent me out a replacement drivers side mat. I had to draw up a template and send it off to them so that they can make the mat to fit my car.

I have to say that although the initial purchase wasn't 100%, the after sales support and the fact that they kept in touch and replied to my emails within a day or less really impressed me and made this whole ordeal go much smoother than expected. I wouldn't hesitate to buy again and I'd highly recommend it to any of my friends who were looking for replacement floor mats for their vehicle.

CocoMats that I ordered. Passenger side was great. Driver side didn't fit. The cutout for the footrest was wrong.



The old "temporary" floor mats that I bought from an Australian seller on eBay that lasted me two years and which came up as "tan" when purchasing but in reality, a light beige.



Hard to tell but the heel rest pad had to be shoved under the footrest pedal to get the driver side to fit. Not only that, the heel rest pad wasn't stitched on straight. It was slightly crooked.



Heel pad way too big and spanned the entire width of the mat.



The original CocoMat I received on the left VS the replacement CocoMat I received after they used my template to create the mat. Notice the heel pad is now straight.



Fits like a glove. Super happy and very impressed with overall quality and customer service.



Also swapped out the left and right door strikers for a brand new set that I received as a gift from a friend who had recently sold his NA. He was going to put them on his car but he had no use for them as he doesn't own an MX-5 anymore. My passenger side door always needed a little bit more force for it to close and I'm not exactly sure why. Driver side has always been fine but after I swapped the strikers out, the passenger door now closes very easily. A gentle push and it's closed. It could have been that the original striker was sitting slightly too high or too low perhaps? There were nothing wrong with the old ones aside from the fact that they were oxidised a bit.

OEM door striker. Nothing wrong with it aside from slight oxidisation.



New striker on top and old striker on the bottom.



OEM freshness.



Done.



To be honest, I wanted to work on the engine today by taking off the rocker cover, take out the camshafts and give the hydraulic lifters a good service and clean. Even though my car doesn't have the hydraulic lifter tick noise, it's something which will need tending to eventually. I also wanted to take the intake manifold off to replace two auxiliary coolant hoses. They can be accessed without taking the manifold off but I think it may be easier this way. With all that said, I decided to leave all that for another day, replace these door strikers and just watch the 2017 World Time Attack Challenge on live stream which was on at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend. Lots of cool cars, including the RE Amemiya GT300 FD RX7 and my personal favourite, the Mazda 767B. Keiichi Tsuchiya also brought along his Hot Version TRD N2 AE86 and was one of the judges for the drift event.

Here's a little teaser photo from yesterday. Mazda 767B being warmed up to go out on the track and in the background, the Drift King himself Keiichi Tsuchiya with the Hot Version AE86. SO much awesomeness in one photo :

 

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Nice pictures showing the differences between the old and new mats they sent you. I have a set of tan coco-mats and I love them. They are showing their age, however..

Video link for the streaming of the WTAC?
 

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Discussion Starter #155
19/12/2017

MOMO Futura 350mm Wood Steering Wheel
For some reason, the NA8 BRG's came with a black leather MOMO steering wheel and matching black handbrake. Ever since I saw my friends NA6 BRG which had the wood Nardi and wood hand brake handle, I wanted them and was kind of bummed that mine didn't come with it. So when I began modifying, I got my hands on a Nardi Classic wood steering wheel and an Arrive mahogany hand brake handle. I loved it. I loved the look of it and to me, given that the car had a tan interior and BRG paint job, it felt...complete.

One day, my friend Dan tagged me in an instagram post of a car which has a particular steering wheel he thought would look great with my MX-5. It was a wood MOMO wheel, but at the time I had no idea what it was called. After some research, I found out that it was called a "MOMO Futura" steering wheel. It looked retro and to me it looked very cool. Naturally, the next step would be to see who sells it and where to get one from. Turns out that this particular wheel had been discontinued a while ago and it was becoming harder to source one. I looked on YJA and other places but to no avail.

Then one day as I was scrolling through some instagram photos, this person had posted that they were selling a MOMO Futura steering wheel. It looked to be in great condition for a second hand wheel and the price was reasonable. After some messages back and forth, we agreed on a price and soon enough the wheel was in my hands, all the way from the UK.

Upon receiving the wheel, I realised that there was a little bit of wear on the 2:00 position compared to the rest of the wheel but that wasn't too bad. A little bit of the wood had also split near the spokes but again, nothing major. The really impressive thing was that the wood colour was pretty much a perfect match with my hand brake handle. The MOMO is a 350mm compared to the 360mm on my Nardi so now it's a little harder to see the top of the cluster (i.e indicator lights) compared to before, but the grip is definitely a lot thicker than the thin grip of the Nardi and it feels really good. Plus, the 10mm difference in diameter surprisingly made a pretty big difference!

Overall, I'm very pleased with steering wheel. I do plan on restoring the wheel very soon by sanding the grip and reapplying the varnish to restore the nice gloss the wheel once had. Also, I'm currently borrowing a MOMO horn button from Dan for the time being but I also plan on getting a new customised horn button for the wheel from Adam. Stay tuned!

MOMO Futura 350mm wood steering wheel.



Slight colour difference between the Nardi Classic and the Arrive hand brake cover.



Pretty much a perfect match with the MOMO and the hand brake cover.



Before : Nardi Classico 360mm wood steering wheel with ND Tokyo horn button.



After : MOMO Futura 350mm wood steering wheel with MOMO classic horn button.

 

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Discussion Starter #156
Back to your regularly scheduled programme! In the 96-BRG and the first shot of 2018: the interior as it currently stands. Re-upholstering the seats will be next. New foam, speakers in headrest in Nakamae tan leather, quilted to match.

The wooden MOMO steering wheel will also be getting a restoration later on too by following the guide posted by Revlimiter.

 

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Discussion Starter #158
04/02/2018

Haven't had much of a chance to drive the MX-5 lately as life stuff got in the way as it usually does. However, I did receive a package the other day and it was for my Pit Crew Racing high rise 4-1 headers, my replacement soft top latches and the inner door-to-glass inner rubber weather strips.

First up: Pit Crew Racing high rise 4-1 headers. Will be installed when I install the ITB's in the future.



I managed to get a really good deal on the these headers. I have yet to install the Maxim-Works 4-2-1 headers but I will be getting around to that very, very soon. You may ask why then did I get the Pit Crew Racing headers? Well, again, I got it second hand at a price I couldn't refuse and plus, it was a bit of forward thinking because when I eventually go ITB's, I am wanting to change the headers over to the high rise headers as I think they will look amazing in the engine bay. I'm not putting them on just yet because I'm afraid of the headers fouling against the Mazdaspeed airbox I am currently running. Thus, once the ITB's are in, that airbox will be redundant, therefore there should be more clearance on the passenger side for the high rise headers.

I decided to change out my soft top latches for brand new OEM items. The old latches were fine but it was getting on a bit, looking a bit worn, a bit tired, a bit rusty in the spring, etc. I'm planning on giving the old latches a refurbish and going to do a DIY on them and see if I can get the latch polished. I've seen it done before and it seems tedious with all the sanding and polishing, but it's doable so it'll be a little project. The new OEM replacements are factory fresh and feel amazing. They latch on much nicer and gives a solid "click" when you close the soft top. A very simple install. Three screws on each side holding the latches to the soft top.

OEM goodies. Inner weather strips and soft top latches.



Old latch. The foam cushion underneath the actual latch has deteriorated, the plastic covering for the latch adjustment has cracked and generally, looking very old and tired.



Closer look at the latch. Going to do a DIY project on this.



Pitting corrosion on the latch. Have seen a lot worse in other MX-5's though.



Still functional and operates as intended. Just needs a bit of TLC.



New OEM latches installed. Feels wonderful with a very reassuring "click" when closing the soft top.



So smooth.



The inner rubber weather strips were also given a refresh. I swapped out the outer weather strips already a couple of months ago and albeit the inners are usually in better condition than the outers, it is still the same strips when the car left the factory floor some 22 years ago. It was certainly not in bad condition but you could feel the rubber being a bit hard in certain places and not as flexible as it should be. Again, another simple install. Take the door card off and the strips are held down by bending the tabs.

Taking off the door card and the inner weather strips. You can see the holes where the tabs are meant to be inserted and then bent to keep them in place.



Giving the top of the door card a good clean to get rid of dirt and grime which had accumulated over 22 years.



Old strip on the top, new one on the bottom.



I can safely assume that this has never been cleaned ever since the car rolled off the factory floor.




Couple more updates coming very soon. Maxim-Works headers will be installed very shortly, followed by a set of Flyin' Miata frame rails, Paco Motorsports fender braces, Torsen LSD and brand new Mazdaspeed bushings with refurbished control arms. Stay tuned...
 

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As usual looking forward to the next updates. Just installed my FM frame rails (and butterfly brace) on the weekend and have already installed the fender braces.
 
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