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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured I should start one of these even though a "build" hasn't really started yet.

Picked up this 96 Montego Blue Miata last week off my dad. He was the original owner and now that all of us kids are out of the house and on our own he finally bought a Boxster which he has wanted for at least the last 10 years. When he said the car was going up for sale I immediately said it had to be mine and we figured out a "family price", not to mention this is the car I learned to drive stick in and I've done most of the maintenance on it over the years.

So here it is

51k miles
Never seen winter
Power steering and A/C are the only options
Has all records since day 1 including the purchase receipts, window sticker, etc... It was pretty cool going through all the records today.

Immediate plans are bring the car up to date on all the maintenance I think should be done. It runs fine now and technically doesn't "need" anything but the timing belt hasn't been done, the radiator is poop brown, and all the hoses/belts are original. Luckily my dad was good about changing the coolant, trans, and diff fluids every few years.

There is a pile of parts in my garage consisting of all the typical maintenance stuff:

T-belt, tensioner, idler pulley
Water pump
Accessory belts
T-stat/gasket
Cam and Crank seals
Coolant hose kit - the big with like 9 hoses for everything
Upstream O2 sensor
Oil/filter
Valve cover gasket
Fuel filter
Radiator, shroud, and slim fans

I think thats it, might be forgetting a few tings

The plan for this summer is do your typical boltons. Wheels/Tires, IHE, Wheels, Coilovers, Roll bar, etc.. and make it to some Auto crosses and maybe a track day or two.

Did the O2 sensor and oil change last night. Should be good to pass inspection now


16 years of heat cycling made it extremely difficult to get the sensor out. Let it soak in PB blaster for 24hrs, then came back with some Mapp gas, crows foot wrench, and my jack handle on the ratchet for leverage


After reading good things about some of the "ebay" or Mishimoto radiators I picked up this package


DD hanging out back there



Also working on my 65 CB160. It should be moving under its own power this weekend :) Then clearing out the garage to make room for the Miata.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not really car progress but just finished up organizing my garage. Moved in a few weeks ago and it was chock full of random stuff. Pretty happy with how it turned out and plenty of room for motorcycles next to the Miata :)

Still have to paint the walls and coat the floor but it was just important to make room for the car in there first.

Also got the CB160 moving under its own power today for the first time in 30 years :) It runs awesome when sitting still but the jets keep clogging when you're riding due to some crud I couldn't get out of that tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After nearly a month in Mexico for work I was ecstatic to be back and give the Miata some TLC.

Progress is slow at the moment but oh well. This weekend will be a maintenance extravaganza (t-belt, radiator, etc..) if my second exhaust cam shows up otherwise it'll be pushed back a week. By that time there should be some Racing Beat parts to put on too.

Did a quick detail tonight. Wash, wax, cleaned the interior, and then went for a long drive over a nearby mountain pass. It was also the first real chance I've had to try out the new Grip Royal wheel. If you've thought about getting one don't hesitate. The quality is great and its very solid with no noticeable flex. Beyond that it matches the existing wood shift knob well too. Its no Nardi but its a great wheel for the price.

All I had was my phone so excuse the less than stellar quality



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So today was "maintenance madness" day that started off oh so smoothly and then went to complete and utter crap.

Tear down of the car went flawlessly as did the Exhintake mod, however, one of the cam bearing cap bolts snapped in the head. Its my own damn fault. What happened was the torque rating is 100-125 in/lbs but I only had a ft/lbs torque wrench available. I converted the in/lbs to ft/lbs and set my wrench accordingly but it was almost the lowest setting (10.125 ft/lbs) on my ft/lbs wrench and it didn't click. I wasn't familiar with how little force 10ft/lbs is and over torqued the bolt. After buying an in/lb torque wrench that bolt promptly snapped before getting to 125 in/lbs. Don't panic right? Drilled a hole in the bolt and used an ez-out which broke as well.

I ruined a few cobalt drill bits trying to drill through it and after a member suggested a carbide bit at low rpms I tried one of those too without any luck. So off comes the cylinder head which my roommate and I will do tomorrow but its 95% ready to go at the moment.

Since the engine will be torn apart I'm going full speed ahead with a build and the car might not see the road for a while. Seeing as how its not my daily driver it doesn't really matter so it can sit on stands for a a while.

The plans are as follows. Most parts are ordered but I need to call FM tomorrow and discuss their Vmaxx stage 2 pack suspension.

All said and done it will go to:

Beyond the usual maintenance that comes with a timing belt/water pump job the car will have the following:

CX Racing radiator, shroud, and slim fans. Undecided on whether or not to use the shroud fans. They're rated 1550cfm but I'll likely run the stock fans
Enthuza ceramic cat
Racing beat resonated mid-pipe
Racing beat axle-back
DDM Works intake
Raceland header
14* timing
FM Vmaxx track pack with sway bars
OEM headgasket and all applicable gaskets needed for the job

I'm still debating what to do for a roll bar and wheels/tires. It'll likely be a HD hard core double diagonal and 15x9 nickel 6ULs with the obligatory 225/45/15 Hankooks along with R-package lips.

It should be a hoot when done :haiguyths:

How it sits now... poor car and I really need to stop using my phone as a camera.


A little tight with all the motor cycles and bicycles
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Made good progress today and got the head off. Away it goes to the machine shop tomorrow

Interals look nice but you'd hope it'd look nice with only 51k miles



Yikes... Just a bit of build up :)
 

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Great start! putting some good maintenance work in i see.

Curious on your Rad/Shroud set up. did you got with a Mishimoto Rad and an ebay shroud? or is it the other way around?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gracias, it has gone from maintenance to full overhaul

The radiator/shroud are from DNA Motoring ala ebay. There were good review of this radiator/shroud setup from a specific seller and everything looks to be built well at least from looking at it. We'll see how it goes when the car is running in a few weeks.

I'll probably be ditching the shroud/slim fans though and keep the stock fans. The biggest question is what to do about the suspension. The FM Vmaxx, as confirmed my FM today, are indeed not expected until the end of summer. The Tein Street advance looks like another good alternative. The main purpose of the car is largely street with frequent auto-x use and maybe a track day here and there and my goal is to have fun, not necessarily compete at a winning level.
 

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Ahh I've read great review on the DNA Rad as well on mazdaroadster. Not sure how long it will hold up but it look well built.

As for the Vmaxx news, it sucks to have to wait that long for them to come in but at least their needed right this minute.

If your serious on ditching the shroud, I'm interested... super interested and keep up the build. Looking forward to it
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll keep you updated Drock

Decided to go with the Fortune Auto 500 coils from Rspeed and got in on the group buy for the EGR Roll Bar
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got ours out, PM if ya need help. ;)
Ended up taking the head to a machine shop. Won't be making that mistake again but at least they did an excellent job on everything. It wasn't cheap but the quality of work was top notch. Beyond having a new insert put in for that bolt they resurfaced all gasket faces, cleaned the valves, ports, etc.. and had it looking brand new.

Just got everything back together last night and fired it up. **** a brick at first because it wouldn't fire at all and realized the fuel feed/return lines were reversed. Swapped those and it started right up.

The GV lip has arrived as has the Enthuza cat which I put on last night.

The Racing Beat header, cat-back, sway bar, and end links should be here early next week :)

No word on the coilovers or roll bar yet :( RSpeed said they'd check with Fortune Auto on the coilovers again today and Evil Genius Racing didn't pickup their phone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got the car back on the road yesterday :)

Still waiting on the Racing Beat cat-back which should be here tomorrow and need to make a mount/heat shield for the intake but otherwise the engine is all set. The roll bar and coils should ship this week. The exhintake mod is great. Quite a bit more pull above 5,000 and little to no loss down low. Overall it just feels smoother and healthier at all RPMs besides sounding much throatier.

Unfortunately a heater core hose blew off at the fire wall on the way to work this morning. One of the compression hose clamps (or whatever the official name is) didn't hold and once the hose was hot you could slide it on and off the fitting pretty easily even with the clamp on there. Luckily my roommate stopped by with two hose clamps, some tools, and two jugs of 50/50 coolant. Grade A roommate right there :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Ended the shitty start to yesterday with an almost equally shitty end. After the heater hose fiasco I was 2hrs late for work and in general flustered so having said that I left the parking lights on all day which killed the battery. Since I stayed really late at work there was virtually no one there when I left so luckily one of my coworkers swung back and gave me a jump. The battery didn't seem to want to hold a charge after that and being a West Co. I'd heard you can brick them if you totally drain them (my dad did it to the last battery) but after a night on the charger it seemed fine today.

UPS was kind enough to drop off the rest of the exhaust. Racing beat power pulse system. So far their products have really impressed me. Everything is extremely well made and fits flawlessly. The only complaint I have is its actually a bit quiet but still sounds great. You'd never know the car also had a header and high flow cat so hopefully it gets a bit more character to it over time otherwise it might be time for a straight pipe or non resonated mid-pipe.




Also cleaned all the coolant out of the engine bay. Ignore the zip tie intake mount, I just wanted to get the filter on there to hear what it sounded like and am mocking up a heatshield and maf mount this weekend.



And Clancy, the neighbors dog, always comes out to hang when I'm wrenching
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After a one month wait these finally showed up. Install on Sunday along with the GV style lip. We'll see how the rates work, I mimicked my friends car with 375/250 GC's on Koni's that he loves for street and occasional auto-x use. If more front roll bias is needed I might disconnect the rear sway and/or bump the fronts to 8k but hopefully these rates work well.


 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Glad ya got it roadworthy again fast! I'd like to hear a sound clip as I also have a RL header and RB res. midpipe to fit eventually.
I don't have a go-pro or anything but we'll see what can be done after the coilover install on sunday :smile: Its actually a lot quieter than expected. I was hoping for a bit more "bark" with the full header back system and less dense cat but it sounds very nice. Smooth, deep, and a a good tone when you wind it out. Its maybe 15% louder than stock, so you can definitely get away with a non-res midpipe or a test pipe. I'll be welding up a test pipe to see how it changes the tone in the next few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got the coilovers, GV rep lip, and RB front end links on today. The install went fairly smooth but has anyone else had trouble with the ball joint bolt inside the control arm? That 17mm bolt right under strut assembly was so stubborn I was certain it would either break or the threads would be ruined. No amount of PB blaster or heat did anything but luckily both sides were fine!

Initial impressions of the Fortune Auto coilovers are two thumbs up. Even at 52k the original suspension felt kinda tired. The Fortune's are blowing me away so far with how well they handle bumps and definitely ride better than stock. The toe is so far off you can actually see it and hear the tires whirring at highway speeds so I didn't push the car hard or drive it more than about 20-25 miles tonight just to make sure everything was settled for an alignment this week. Once that is taken care of then we'll see how they handle.

The ride height you see was a total guess but it came out almost spot on. 11.25" F/ 11.75" R and no fender roll yet because with the 15x7, 38mm offset, 195/50 setup it hardly rubs.

In between torrential downpours I managed to sneak out with the top down for another quick drive tonight and some pictures in the street. Sometime later this week I'll get some better ones.


Well this can't be very effective anymore...

Made a simple maf bracket. Didn't get around to making a heat shield but we all know most of those are just for show anyways so its not like it matters much.






 
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