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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have owned a few performance cars in the past and went through a progression of slowly "down/sidegrading." For example, I went from a 2003 Evo8...


to a 2000 C5...


to a 1994 Miata. :eek:


On the plus side, it was a '94 with a hardtop, black on black, had a clean interior and came with some suspension work already done. On the down side, it had rust holes in the usual spot (in front of the rear wheels), hail damage on the hood and was generally a 10-footer.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I tend to name most of my cars, a habit I picked up from a guy I knew that ran a tuner shop in Australia. This one is "BDGR" (badger). Like its namesake, I envision the car eventually being like a bantamweight fighter - tough pound-for-pound, but still outclassed against the big guys.

One of the first changes was the rolling stock. I swapped out the chromies for black Enkei RPF1s in 15x7" with 205/50-15 Kumho XS tires.


At the same time, I revamped the brakes a bit, running some Centric rotors, braided lines and Carbotech pads.


After that, I went with a fresher suspension setup - swapping out the Tokico Blue and spring combo (of unknown age) for Tein Basics, keeping the Racing Beat ARBs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Eventually, the paint began peeling on the front bumper cover:


I took the opportunity to swap on a Racing Beat Type II nose, some TSIs and to get the rust holes repaired.



With the exterior temporarily sorted, I began to address the interior.




The soft top (in rough condition) was the first thing to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Underneath the steering wheel cover, the leather was peeling pretty badly. The headunit in the car was an older model with no aux input and the shift boot was torn and cracked.

I don't really have any "piece by piece" shots, but here is how the interior sits now:


Used Sparco Ring


Sparco Speed2


Delrin shift knob, fresh shift boot (which matches the stitching on the seat) and "amp handle" door pulls


As you can see from the lack of a passenger seat and the removal of the soft top, I am trying to keep weight in mind when modifying - but I am not making it an obsessive pursuit. If I can remove something without significantly impairing its utility to me, I probably will. Or, if something needs replacement and I can find a lighter alternative, I might.

For example, the battery:
 

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Looks Really nice man. I like everything you have done. The seat and streaing wheel are the ony things im iffy about.

But the body and wheel changes look great.


What did you do with the chrome wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks Really nice man. I like everything you have done. The seat and streaing wheel are the ony things im iffy about.
Thanks. I may end up going with a pair of Elise seats, but that's pretty far down the priority list at this point.

Up next for the interior:
  • a rollbar and harness
  • a refresh of the door cards, sans map pockets
  • an Autokonexion or Barchetta short console
  • a headunit-less MP3 player and mini-sub based audio system with some better door speakers
But the body and wheel changes look great.
Exterior-wise, I eventually plan to add a splitter, some smaller mirrors and a flushmount headlight setup. After that, it'll be a full respray as the current paint is very thin and poorly executed. I'll probably have the body guys do a cut rear bumper at the same time.

I also need to tidy up the engine bay a bit and get some pictures of that.

What did you do with the chrome wheels?
Long since sold. :)
 

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Damn i want a set super bad.

Yea my Miata is getting an engine build now but I'm going with Elise seats all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Found a couple of pictures detailing the old rust damage and the "guitar amp handle" door pulls.







 

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i thought you said slowly downgrading! evo8 to c5.... not too bad. c5 to miata.... thats just a damn slap to the face. but anywho, i think the RBII nose and TSIs are the perfect front end for a miata....... keep up the clean work man!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like the direction that you are going. Good luck with everything. Hate you had to go from such nice cars to this. But, the miata is great in its own way too.
i thought you said slowly downgrading! evo8 to c5.... not too bad. c5 to miata.... thats just a damn slap to the face.
:lol: Don't feel too bad for me guys. There were a couple of non-performance oriented cars in between the Corvette and the Miata (A4, V6 Mustang, etc). Part of it was a financial decision to save more money and part of it was a decision to go from having one compromised "only car" (with a car payment) that had to split time between commuting and the track to having a dedicated daily driver ('06 G35 Sport) and a "fair weather/track" car (BDGR). Both of which are paid for.

95MerlotM said:
[...] but anywho, i think the RBII nose and TSIs are the perfect front end for a miata....... keep up the clean work man!
Thanks. I just recently added some APR carbon fiber mirrors. I want to add a Trackdog splitter (if nothing else, just to help minize damage from the occassional scrape on the front bumper). After that, maybe tint the windows and the exterior will be done.

At least, until it gets a proper paint job.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
amp handle idea is awesome.
I agree, but I can't take credit for it. :) I either found the idea (and the internet vendor's site) here or on M.net. I then went to my local hardware store and picked up some flat black allen head hardware to finish it off. Since my interior materials are largely synthetics - vinyl and Delrin vs leather - these fit the concept well.

They are also a little less bulky than the factory handles. I still consider myself a driving novice and there are a couple of what I consider quite good drivers at the handling events I try to attend. I like to let them drive my cars to set a benchmark for me to work toward. A nice bonus of these pulls is that it should help free up a little bit of knee space when they get in the car (both are closer to 6' and 200 lbs).

They are also the reason I am running a slider on the seat vs having it bolted lower to a fixed position.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I finally got it back out to a track event. The car had too much oversteer in most conditions which was bad for lap times but good for knocking the dust off my car control skills. The pictures did not turn out great due to distance, mediocre camera and shrinking down in size.





 

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The car had too much oversteer in most conditions which was bad for lap times but good for knocking the dust off my car control skills.
Do you still have the oem rear sway on? Try taking it off for the next day or 1 session. Off the shelf Tein rates are a bit oversteer prone.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you still have the oem rear sway on? Try taking it off for the next day or 1 session. Off the shelf Tein rates are a bit oversteer prone.
Tein Basics with factory rates plus what I think are Racing Beat ARBs front and rear. The rear is 3-way adjustable and was on the softest setting. Removing the rear bar will be the next step. After that, I may move to an ISC front bar with some UCA bushings or try to swap out the springs for different rates.

I would take a look at your caster setting as well. May want to adjust that to a more acceptable and stable level.
While not great, I feel like +4.5* is in the acceptable range. I'm dealing with a Firestone lifetime alignment at this point and was just happy they got everything in the right ballpark. ;) Once I get some proper coilovers, the car will get cornerweighted and a precision alignment.

[Edit: Sorry; I just realized the alignment was not posted.
Camber is -1.5ish* front / -2.0ish* rear
Caster is +4.5ish*
Toe is 0ish* front and rear]
 
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