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11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
The D-Technique CF coldside intake, thanks to Georgee of Garage5.

I've had my eye out for a coldside intake for a while. I had plans to get the AutoEXE one, but this popped up here on the classifieds and I had to grab it. I've been a huge fan of the TD-1001R for years. Getting to have a real D-Tech piece on Bucky was too good to resist.

The original instructions.

M's K&N filter

Getting to have the original instructions was a huge bonus. I love that kind of thing. The whole intake was in really great shape. Very lightly used.

The filter is an M's K&N. That's a Japan-only special filter from M's, who does mostly Skyline parts. As far as I know, M's is NOT Mine's, but I could be mistaken.

Silicone vs Rubber

The old rubber elbow was showing its age. There were a few hairline cracks and it just looked a bit weak. I grabbed a 2.5" / 2.75" elbow from amazon for $10 to replace the original with. It's a bit long, but that's easily fixed.

Old and busted.

Bucky's original intake. The very Monsterflow units came from Rspeed and had their logo rotomolded onto the tube. They were NA-only items. (Odd trivia: the CF Monsterflows were NB-only items at first.) My Monsterflow has a plug on the side where the NA idle air bypass tube runs. Not the prettiest ever, but it worked okay.

Er… kinda okay. I’d never bothered to see how effective that heat shield was until I was ready to swap the intake. I brought an OBDII reader along for a few days worth of commute and found out it wasn’t very effective at all. The intake would heat soak after about 10 minutes in traffic and be sucking in air around 50-60* hotter than ambient. And it would never cool down no matter how long I drove in clean air after getting warmed up.

Pretty disappointing. I shoulda closed that box up and worked on ducting cold air at the filter years ago.

Wires extended.

A right of passage for every coldside intake - uncoiling the wires from the harness to reach. I love how Mazda gave plenty of wire to do this. Almost like they knew owners would want a shorty intake.

Under the fender.

Remove some liner and one hole opens up.

Whip out the demel and another hole magically appears!

I wanted a source of cold air for the new intake. After seeing the stupid intake temps the Monsterflow has been sucking for the past decade, I didn't want to actually take a step backwards. Removing some fender liner opened up one hole. Since there's two liners, things are still kept dry and free of mud splashes.

A bit of work with my dremel and a half dozen cut off wheels opened up another hole behind the headlight lid. I made it to match the factory hole on the driver's side. That now-unused hole got patched up with some temporary repair tape.

Moving all the wires and crap out of the way.

A successful test fit!

The carbon airbox is a TIGHT fit. It doesn't allow anything to be under the box. A lot of wires had to be carefully moved. I lengthened one wire behind the box... something for the emissions system. And then there's that blue hose. ugh.

Tiny heat shield prototype.

Finished tiny heat shield.

One more small mod needed to be done – shielding the filter from the hot radiator air. After hacking metal out of the engine bay, I didn’t want to undo all that good work by letting super-hot air have easy access to the filter. I whipped out some spare coroplast and some bamboo skewers to do a quick mock-up for a heat shield. It didn’t have to be a big one. Just enough to close off the side closest to the radiator.

If you look close, you can see the coroplast is braced against the filter box by a roll of electrical tape. It happened to be just the right width to keep the piece of plastic standing and allow the hood to smash the skewers into the coroplast. Whatever works, right?

After getting the dimensions right, I just had to cut up some spare ABS plastic and put some insulation on the top edge to let it seal against the hood. The shield is held in place by a small L bracket and two bolts – one bolt through the shield and one of the mounting bolts that holds the air filter to the CF box. Very simple.

DONE! er... ignore the blue.

And there’s the coldside intake in all its glory. It really cleans up the engine bay. And, aside from those God-awful blue hoses, I love the look of the CF. It’s a keeper.

And I’m very pleased to report that it IS a cold air intake. On the same drive that was giving me 60*+ intake temps over ambient, I now get 5-15* higher than ambient. It is slower to heat soak in traffic, but, like any intake with the filter in the bay, it DOES heat soak. But a couple minutes driving at speed lowers the intake temp dramatically. Seeing that IAT number drop back down on the OBDII reader made me cheer.

As for those blue hoses, I’ll update this post with a fresh pic after I source some black replacements. I think I need 8mm or something like that...

357 Posts
Nice find.
I should probably cut that hole out, and make a shield for mine.

11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #48
Dang. Been a minute since I updated this thread.

In March, Bucky got a retro window switch. That one was a long time coming.

After most of a year, they've been working great. They get daily use and have had no problems.

Bucky also got a set of Garage Star door bushings. I did a blog post. I think everyone in the Miata world has read it.

Door bushings: after about 6 months of use, I still love them. I still stand by my statement that they need to be one of the first mods any n00b Miata owner does. Door bushings, vent rings, good tires, rollbar. Not necessarily in that order.

11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #49
And today, Bucky got a Garage Star Handbrake Grip

Bucky’s handbrake is something I’ve wanted to change for a while, but never ran across the right one. Sharka has a Voodoo brake grip, which I love, but I didn’t want to just put the same one on Bucky. I shopped. I waited.

And then Garage Star came out with their E-Brake Lever Grip.

It’s just so… perfect. The handle seems rather lightsaber inspired. And it is one of very few handbrake knobs that comes with a button. Usually you have to buy a button separately.

The brake grip fastens with three set screws. You need an imperial set of hex keys to tighten down the screws.

Of course… you also have to remove your OEM brake grip.

It’s honestly quite easy to remove the handbrake on an NB. You just use a lot of force and twist it off. Twist back and forth in tiny motions while forcing the handle toward the radio. It took me less than a minute to get Bucky’s OEM grip off.

If you’ve got a wood handle it’s gonna be a bit more difficult. I’ve removed 3 of those in the past year. None crumbled or splintered, but each was much more stressful than the stock rubber piece. Just use a lot of force and wiggle the grip off. 5 minutes of work will have the brake and knob separated from each other.

The button is another thing. It screws on. So you just unscrew it (in the regular lefty-loosy direction) and replace it with the Garage Star button.

To me, it was much more difficult to unscrew the button. I had to use some vise grips and a cloth to keep from biting into the plastic too much. But I got it all off after another 5 minutes of work.

NOTE: Do NOT place the set screws at the 6:00 (straight down) position!!!!!!!

The handbrake body has a slot at 6:00. If you align the handle to have the set screws also at 6:00, the screws will just fall into the handbrake to be lost forever.

Rotate the brake grip to 5:00 or so (slightly toward the passenger) and then tighten down the set screws.

The Garage Star grip is fantastic. It looks great and it FEELS very nice. It feels sort of special in my hand. I’m used to holding the OEM shaped grip. Having a round one with ridges and a nicely machined button feels… excellent.

I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s well worth the asking price and when you add in the fact that you get a button with the grip, it’s a steal.

Bucky will be proudly wearing this for a long time to come. Thanks Ken and Jon!!!!

I had to snap a pic of Bucky’s Cosmos gauges as well. Since the days have been short and I get to drive at night more, I’ve really been appreciating them. They’re almost magical at night. I’ve had no desire to change them out for something else. That’s a new feeling for me.

Well done, Bucky.

237 Posts
Damn it Adam. I was on the fence about getting the GarageStar ebrake grip, and you sealed the deal. I'd also be a fool to not bulk the shipping and get a set of bushings while I'm at it too. LOL

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11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #54


Bass. I've never had it in a Miata. I've never gone to much trouble to upgrade the sound in a Miata ever. Sharka has a decent head unit and some vintage MB Quart speakers, but nothing else. Bucky has some 6x9s in the doors and a crappy head unit. No boom.

I almost never have an adult passenger in a Miata. Friends and coworkers seem to actively avoid riding with me. My usual passenger is very short, looks like me, sits in a Recaro car seat, and her feet don't touch the ground. Those feet won't touch for a few years. Seemed like just the time to add some bass to one of the Roadsters.


also before

Bucky seemed like the logical choice for bass. I drive the little guy about 3/5 of the time. Sharka is sort of a fair weather and weekend car. Bass would be nice in both cars, but I'd actually get to enjoy it more in Bucky.

The Black Roadster Subwoofer Box.

This footwell subwoofer box comes from a guy named William, who I’ve known for damn near all of my Miata driving days. He was a member of the forum (The Darkside) back in the day. I spent all of my hours there. We’ve chatted a lot over the years. I should have bought one of these sooner.

William has been making these footwell sub boxes for years. It’s just something he does in his free time. He has no store front. He's "black roadster" on this very forum. The sub box went for roughly $150 shipped. It comes without speaker or amp.

hot terminal action.

The box is really impressive to me. I know next to zero about building speakers or boxes or matching speakers to boxes or… well… anything about car audio. I’m truly NOT the person to be writing a car audio review, but I’m doing my best.

Anyways, the footwell box is sized to fit the NA and NB left hand drive Miatas. Mine fits in my NB perfectly, which is something I was ever so slightly worried about. They have small differences in footwell shape.

It comes with wiring, polyfill, and terminals. The box volume is .26 cubic feet. Polyfill increases the effective volume (or so I read). The front edge is carpeted.

It’s lovely, really.

I asked William for help matching a sub to the box. He sent me back a ton of links and info. In one email he more than doubled my subwoofer knowledge.

I will save you from a half-winded explanation of subs, sizing, and other such stuff and just give you the details.

I used a Rockford Fosgate P1S4-8 8″ subwoofer in this box. Mine is the 4 ohm version. It’s sized for a .2 to .3 cubic foot sealed box, so it’s perfect for the Black Roadster footwell box. It’s a 200 Watt RMS speaker, so it needs an amp that puts out something in that neighborhood (so I read).

And the little footwell box and RF sub work very well together. The sub mounted into the box with no problems at all. I highly recommend the pair.

I grabbed this 4 gauge wiring kit from amazon. It’s a “New England Providore” 20 foot 4 gauge kit with RCA and speaker cable. I’d link but it's out of stock right now. And amazon doesn't need any more free links anyways.

Decent wiring. Stranded copper with nice rubber insulation. Very easy to bend, crimp, and work with. I’m pretty happy with it. 4 gauge is way overkill for the small wattage I'm pushing (150W or so) but why not?

That's an amp on that tire. For real. It's not a phone or anything.

It’s a Kenwood KAC-M3004 amp. 4 channel, 600W max, bridgable. At 4 ohm bridged it puts out 150W per channel. So it’s sized well for my little 200W sub. Or at least that’s what I read and am attempting to blog here.

If you’re interested, google it. There’s a nice youtube of this amp on a dyno putting out some incredible numbers. It’s underrated from the factory. The dyno example put out 730 watts. That’s… insane. This tiny phone sized thing? Yeah. Technology.

Seems like a good place.

I looked all over the trunk and settled on the fuel hose cover as a mounting spot for the little amp. I wanted to put it in the passenger side tunnel, but that seemed a little hard to access. I still might shove it back there, but for now it’s mounted on the fuel hose cover.

Nice thing about mounting it here – I can easily find a replacement cover if I want to remove the system or move the amp. No permanent holes were drilled. It’s not often that I can say that about any given Miata project.

Power and ground wires cut and crimped.

Amp installed.

Sub in place.

I could have probably done a better job making the wires pretty on that amp install. Alas. It’ll give me another Miata project a few months in the future. I need to look at some pretty amp install pix.

The footwell box wedges in there solidly. It does indeed take away foot room. My legs don’t stretch out in the passenger side anymore. But the box also comes out easily and can fit in the trunk for a quick trip with a passenger.

Such stealth. Many floor mat. What subwoofer? Very bass. Wow.

With the floor mats installed the sub just disappears. I love this! Stealthy even if you’re looking dead at it.

Now, the several hundred dollar question: how does it sound?

BOOM!!! BOOOM-wiki-BOOM!!!

It sounds great. The amount of depth this little sub adds to any given song is truly impressive. It’s very clean bass too. I’ve got things tuned to not really distort. It sounds fantastic.

There’s even bass with the top down while driving at freeway speeds. THAT is something you rarely get from a trunk mounted sub. When the top goes down, your bass goes away. But with the footwell sub, your tunes stay rocking.

I’m really impressed by this upgrade. I should have done it a while ago. I just didn’t take the time to think who my passengers usually are. For the next 5 or 6 years, my copilot won’t have a problem with leg room.

Thanks again for the awesome boom-wiki upgrade William!!!

28 Posts
Nice install! An interesting alternative design, if it could be made big enough, would be to make a triangular box right in front of the passenger seat. That would give you some of that leg room for when little gets big

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11,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #59
I forget how much room is under that cover but why not hide the amp on the other side of the cover? But other than that, that's a pretty clean install
HMM. Not a bad idea. It never even occurred to me. I donno how much space is behind that panel. The little amp is kinda thick though at about 1.5". It would need around 2" of clearance and I kinda doubt there's that much there. I'll check though.

Next up: bass shakers in the seats. I sold mine and man do I miss them. I think NB seats even unzip for easy access.

I've always wanted bass shakers. Just never bought any. Do they even make them still?

100% Jakedashian
6,583 Posts
I had some cheapo bass shakers in my NA seats for a while. Super cool. Really reinforces the existing bass, but is really REALLY weird if you don't already have a subwoofer. You can usually find them on Amazon or the eBae by searcing for "bass transducer" or just "bass shaker". Dayton Audio makes some crappy little puck-style ones but this is what you really want:
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