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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I decided to finally piece together a build thread for my car. I'll start with a little background, my first car was a 98' Integra LS which I is where I began to modify cars. I really enjoyed that car but after my brother got my Mom's NA as his first car I was hooked on Miatas. I would take his car out every chance I got to run the back roads in, it wasn't as quick as the Integra but it was so much more fun to drive. Then my Dad bought a Porsche 914 from one of his friends and I began to feel left out with my front wheel drive Integra, so I decided to take the plunge and began looking for an NA last summer. Fortunately, one of my Dad's friends races Miatas and had an acquaintance who was looking to sell his 96' with a hardtop; it had been sitting in his farm field for a year but I figured it was a worthy project. After checking the car out we realized that there was going to be a bit more work involved than we had initially expected but I decided that it was doable and with the help of my brother and my dad we accomplished most of the work before I went back to school in the fall.

Originally, I wanted to slam this car and ruin the handling but after driving it more I'm becoming more inclined to build it into more of a functional car.

A few pictures to keep everyone entertained:

My 98' Integra LS:







My brother's Miata, the one that got me started:


Track Ready by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr


Another Sunny Afternoon by Spencer P Photos, on Flickr


scan0012 by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr

And finally my Dad's 914:


Porsche 914 by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr


Anyways this is how the Miata looked after I first bought it and had it towed to my house. Unfortunately, I had already washed it off a few times but believe me, a car sitting in a farm field for a year is not a pretty sight. Even after a few months of driving and washing the car there are still spots where mud is caked on too thick to wash off.


DSC_8020 by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr


DSC_8028 by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr

That same day we had the car in the garage and on jackstands, with the suspension completely removed and about ten pounds of junk vacuumed up or thrown away. What is with these old people and sunscreen hidden everywhere?

I had previously purchased a set of BC coilovers from a member on here and was anxious to fit them along with the original Enkei 92's that I had bought locally on a whim and finally decided to refinish. I ended up not being able to find another pair of the originals, so I ordered a pair of the new ones from TireRack along with 205/50/15 Yokohama S Drive's for the 15x8's +25 and 195/50/15 for the 15x7's +20 up front. I know staggered is not the best option but it's what I had on hand and I plan on swapping to wider wheels eventually, so it will work temporarily.


scan0017 by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr

While the car was on jackstands, I replaced all of the brake lines and put on new rotors, rebuilt calipers and Axxis ULT pads all around. I must say I love these brake pads, even if they do dust heavily. A timing belt, water pump job was also completed; along with some other minor mechanical maintenance. Then my brother and I began to do a mild tuck on the bay, which is still under progress. After a few oil changes and no kidding, 20 flushes or so of the coolant system; the engine was running strong and had no valve tick.

After completing all of the mechanical work that we had time for, it was on to the big job, paint. I chose to paint the car in Rootbeer Metallic, from Summit Racing. As a whole we have moderate experience in painting and bodywork but had never sprayed an entire car before. It took three tries but in the end the paint laid down pretty well and, to the casual onlooker, looked pretty damn good.

Finally, at the end of summer, the car was ready to be driven. After a fender rolling session at a friend's house and an alignment, the car was good to go. It passed state inspection and has been on the road with no problems for the past two months. I must say, it is fun to drive but I am starting to get the itch for more power. Anyways I have a few more things waiting to be installed, my BFW rollbar and a Recaro SPG. Then I plan to begin piecing together a turbo kit, which I will hopefully install over winter break or next summer. I'm also hoping to hit the track either in the next few weeks or in the Spring.

Current shot:


Miata [Explored] by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr

I'll update this with a whole list of specs eventually. :icon_cheers:
 

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Can we get a close up picture of the car with the new color it sounds really cool... And nice car love that you finally got one
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry for not updating this thread but I have been busy with school for the past few months. Here are some updated shots of the car as it currently sits.

Updates:

  • Blackbird Fabworx Single Diagonal Rollbar in White

  • Recaro SPG on PCI V2 mount

  • Drag Dr-54 15x8.25 +15 with 205/50/15 S Drives

  • GarageStar License Plate Bracket

  • Flyin' Miata Aluminum Radiator

  • Magnaflow High-Flow Cat

Miata by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr



In the Fading Light by Spencer P Photos, on Flickr



James' Miata by Spencer P Photos, on Flickr
 

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your car illustrates where Enkei got it wrong with their rerun of their classic wheels - there's no stepped lip. does it bug you that they're different from front to back? planning on selling the originals for another pair of the new ones so you don't have to run staggered?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
your car illustrates where Enkei got it wrong with their rerun of their classic wheels - there's no stepped lip. does it bug you that they're different from front to back? planning on selling the originals for another pair of the new ones so you don't have to run staggered?
Yeah, I hated that there was not a stepped lip and I personally didn't like the flat lips at all. The originals had a slightly larger face than the new ones, which also bugged me. I ended up selling the whole set to another Miata owner and picked up the Dr-54 to run for now.

Looks so good. :icon_cheers:
Thanks!

Car looks great man. I also just got an spg as well as a white blackbird single diag as well as pci mounts. Good stuff!
Awesome! The SPG is honestly my favorite part of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I haven't updated this in awhile so I'll try to get it up to speed for now.

At the beginning of the summer the car looked like this.


Miata by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr

I had always wanted to do flares but did not have the time to them the previous summer and I was not happy with the brown anymore. After debating about which flares to go with I ended up ordering the Autokonexion Version 2 flares, figuring that I can always go to bigger flares in the future if I need to.

Taped on the flares to see how it would look.



Almost done.



I had my friend weld the rear quarter panels after I cut them. Then it came time for the color change. I can't find any pictures from the process but here is the end result.





My brother talked me into signing up for a track day with him, which was the best decision I've made so far with this car.


Track Daze by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr


Track Daze by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr


Track Daze by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr

And that's where it stands now, I will have spacers on the wheels soon and get some new pictures.
 

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love the miata but i dont know why but im a sucker for purple miata's
 

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this is a great shot:



really illustrates how great a stock body miata looks with the right wheels and ride height.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm digging that rootbeer color! Nice seat choice too.
Thanks Norman, same goes to you! I didn't do that great of a job on the rootbeer paint initially which is why I was unhappy with it and repainted it but maybe one day I'll go back to it.

this is a great shot:

really illustrates how great a stock body miata looks with the right wheels and ride height.
I agree completely with you, that picture almost makes me regret going with the flares.


I need to get some new pictures then I will bring this thread up to date. For now this is all I have.


Garage Nights by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Good job with everything done so far, your car looked great before and it looks great now. You and your brother have good taste for cars.
Very nice car. I need to learn about miata from you!
Thanks guys!

I haven't updated this for awhile but I'll try to bring it up to date quickly.

Things that I have added:

  • Fender Braces
  • 2.5" Exhaust with two Magnaflow mufflers
  • Bumper cut (still need to clean it up a bit)
  • Exhintake cam swap
  • Black 1.6 dashboard and carpet
Overall, the fender braces were a great addition and something I wish I would have done a long time ago. I would also recommend the exhintake to anyone who is looking into it. The engine feels healthier than ever and above 4,000 it pulls much harder.




Miata by James Pankiewicz, on Flickr



James by Spencer P Photos, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I love the way the car looks. Your bumper cut is exactly the way I want to do mine. Did you also cut the tab off the frame rails? And finally great choice in wheels, those are one of my favorites and you rarely see them on miatas.

Edit: do you ever head down to VIR?
First of all thanks, I've always been a big fan of your car as well. I cut the left tab off for the exhaust and need to cut the right off when I have the chance to put my new tow hook on. I've been to VIR the past few summers but have not tracked there yet, I work weekends during the summer but I'm hoping to be able to do an event there this summer or fall. Summit Point is the closest track for me but I'm hoping to do at least one day at VIR and NJMP this year.
 
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