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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Going through a bunch of old pics of my car I wanted to put them all in one location and attempt to get it in chronological order. So this is not a build thread per se, just a brief recollection of her slooow evolution to where she is now, which i'm pretty pleased with so far. I've been buying a lot of parts since the new year, so maybe she'll finally start to get interesting.

Edit: adding a full list of mods to date to keep track for myself.

Suspension/steering:
Tein Monoflex 10/8k (USDM ver. valved at 949 specs)
PS system delete w/ proper welded-depowered rack
225 BFG Rivals
Racing beat solid frond sway bar
949 endlinks
949 street/race alignment
Axis Oldskools 15x8
Custom encosed intake w/ randall style cowl snorkel

Engine:
MS3x standalone w/ wideband and IAT/MAF delete
7lb Fidanza 1.6 flywheel on 1.6 OE Value clutch
Exhintake Cam/gear
MazdaSpeed Motor Mounts
Borla Single catback
JR Header w/ Volcano header wrap & EGR delete
Charcoal can / evap system delete
Cat delete -- test pipe
Too much noise, no power increase.

Interior:
HDM2HCHTDD Roll bar w/ SFI padding
Momo Prototipo wheel
Momo steering hub
Ralliart Leather Baseball stitched Shift Knob
Robbins Canvass 1 piece top w/ glass window
Pre 93 black seats w/ monster foamectomy
Cruise delete
2x Airbag delete
Powered antenna delete


Waiting for install:
Cibbie E-Codes

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1994 Black & Tan C package. Looked for this exact year & trim package for a nice base as an autocross car(1.8/torsen diff).
Bought her in 2005, here she is the day I brought her home.



First thing I did was take her bra off. :bouncin: It was disgusting the amount of dirt that lurked under there, and truely tragic what it did to the paint, I would find out a few years later.

For now she was still nice & shiny.





Get a load of that fully customized ASS HOLE exhaust. Yep somebody put work into making it the poor car look like this. It had to go in a BAD way, but I was terribly broke so I had to be shamed with this look for years.








I did some cool **** from with it from time to time. At this point I was still autocrossing my Civic, since it was somewhat set up for it.








I put the civic back to stock and got rid of it within 6 months. Slapped the extra track-rat race wheels on and took her autocrossing. Suspension was completely blown. It was fun but handled like ****, floated all over the road. Had no idea this was a problem, cause, like I said, I was a Civic guy, haha.

That's the first year or so. I'll post more later, homework is calling...
:icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
^haha. Taking a break.

Next phase is this. Not pretty, but again I was super broke at the time and all I really cared about was learning the car in autocross.

First up I picked up a set of FM gen1 springs and KYB AGX. This bouncy budget suspension served me well for almost 6 daily drivin years.



Note the much flatter cornering here, ahh was much better.

These apparently super rare white Kosei RT Maxi were alright on the civic, but painfully ugly on the Miata. They were my ugly track beaters for autocrossing the Civic, I scored for cheap on ebay.




Good colonoscopy view for ya!







I had the stock 14s for daily driver duty, Kosei's were track wheels only.
Notice the ass hole is gone. Picked up a cheap stock exhaust. The custom ass hole muffler wasn't even attached to the catback and basically fell out on it's own. Awesome handywork by the PO.

Around this time some crackhead slashed the top window to window, (judging by footprints) stood on the trunk and climbed head first inside. Didn't steal the sony cd player, didn't steal my sunglasses, tire pump...no he broke the cup holder and stole about $1.25 in change sitting in there. After that I said F it and got the hell out of apartments for good.

That was the beginning of the end of the Black&Tan days. I picked up an old black top for $50. Sadly this was it for the next 3 years or so. I went back to college and never had time for racing or anything. Just a daily driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
For the sake of simplicity, i'll sum up the next 3 years.

My wife was pregnant and started taking the train to work. The car sat for almost a year when I drove the wife's car. Rats or squirrels hit the engine electronics.



The car mechanically stayed fine, but all the aesthetics of the car completely went to ****. Car must have been depressed. Paint started peeling on the nose where the bra used to be, found out the car was in an unreported fender bender and the bumpers/ pass fender had all been repainted. Aha, there's where that god-awful exhaust was spawned. The top leaked like a sieve and I didn't realize it. by the time I started driving it again the paint started peeling in 4 inch pieces off the nose.

Car...looked...like...****. No pics of this dark period.


Changed the sparkplug wires and the car fired up. Drove the piss out of it for a few days to blow the dust & copwebs out of it. Moss had a sale on 1piece canvass glass window tops so I jumped on it since I needed it for a daily again. Look what I found under the carpet...ugh...





Fixed all that and sourced all the parts for the defroster.

$100 for a defrost pigtail....sheeeit. Soldering gun, speaker wire, cheap connectors, and heat shrink tubing.






Coiled the wire around a screwdriver before I heated the shrink tubing. Worked flawlessly.

top looked so good, couldn't drive it with the cow pattern splotched nose so I rattle canned it.





Still looks decent 2 years later.

Gauge hood fell into about 4 or 5 pieces. Didn't want to spend the $120 on a new one, and all used one's fall apart... So I gorilla glued it, bondo'd, sanded, rattlecanned, wetsanded, rattlecanned again.


Came out perfect. Can't find a pic, but you can see it in my later interior shots. it developed a few hairline cracks, but meh... does it's job.

This point I started keeping cash and snatched up any parts I could find for around half price.
Picked up an uber rare 12 bolt Momo Prototipo used for half price.



Really don't know why the extra drilled holes, but it came out of a Shelby (kit) Cobra, so I guess that makes it cool. I painted the holes black and it looked nice, but no pic.



Wife bought me a 2011 Ralliart Lancer shift knob to match my Prototipo. Realized the white stitching was only on the manumatic models so I had to drill and tap the threads about a half inch deeper. It's lighter but feels great and I like the light shift.



Picked up a set of >93 seats. They fit, but you have to relocate the seatbelt stalks. And yes the 93 seatbelt mount is still there under the carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Finally got some style. Picked up a set of Axis Oldskools, 15x8. Knockoff...I don't give a ****. Probably my favorite style of wheel, unique over here. Works look better no doubt, but i'd never pay that kind of cash for wheels on this car.






Somewhere in here we had a mega Texas snow...



Clutch was making a funny clanking noise...hmmm. One day it wouldn't go in gear. Damnit, 170k miles, it was about time.




Hmm, wonder what could be the problem here. Notice the broken springs. The inner disk attached to the spindle had almost a radial inch of free play. One spring had broken and lodged sideways, preventing the pressure plate from disengaging.




Went with a 1.6 OEM value clutch. Attached it to a 7lb 1.6 fidanza, used, half price, haha. Mmmmm this combo makes the miata very happy.

The plastic around the cheapo ebay hub fell to shreds within a month so I fabbed up one out of a Dickies BBQ cup. I dremeled three evenly spaced slits so the plastic would reduce to the size of my wheel extender, then zip tied it. Rattle canned it black and I've rocked this for 2 years now.





You can see the guitar amp straps I swapped in for door pulls. And I got a leather & white stitch shift / ebrake boots for $10 off ebay to match the Prototipo and shift knob. Cheap and they look great! Better pics later.


I bought a HDM2HCHTDDOMGWTFBBQ rollbar, then tried to autocross it again. Tried...till I broke it.

More on that later...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The fun is just beginning...

But Photobucket is being an aggravating little bitch at the moment and I've gotta finish up work, head home and go to sleep. So until tomorrow night.:fab:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good to see another firefighter project car keep up the good work
To clarify, I'm not a firefighter. I bought it from a firefighter, but I left the sticker on to honor the dept.

Couple years later a captain got out of the car at a light to come shake my hand. I was so embarrassed I had to take the sticker off, didn't want to pretend to be somebody in a much more heroic status that myself. For the record I'd love to be a firefighter. If I ever lost my career or moved to a small town i'd definitely consider trying out. Hats off, you guys are bad ass.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)


Edit: You can see the passenger fender paint starting to fade. This fender isn't straight and has been repainted, and quite poorly I might add.






Had a fun day, but wasn't very fast. The Falken 912s on sealed asphalt is what you could refer to as 'slicker than owl ****'. Plus I suck as a driver.

Next day I was out to lunch and the car shot off the line faster than usual, then immediately overheated and the alternator died. I was scratching my head looking at what I thought was a blown hose. Thought I could limp it to a gas station then it died on me. Opened the oil cap while cranking, no moving valves. Son of a...timing belt, so I thought.

Get it towed home behind the Element. Notice something's not quite right.



Closer inspection...



Uh...oh... Yep this can happen on >94 cars. The last timing belt job by the PO's mechanic didn't torque the crank bolt or thread lock it.

Pics of the carnage.






LOCKTITE 660 FTW!



Stuff is super hard to find around here. Had to go to Granger to get it. Apparently it works though, Xcrosses fingers. Had to get a new plate & bolts, the HB pulley and crank bolt is fine, I checked the threads and they're all straight, not stretched.

Went ahead and did the whole timing belt / WP/ cam & crank seals.

Then to make a bad weekend worse...while bolting in the cam gears, this happened.



I was using a torque wrench and didn't even get over 10 / 15 lbs before it felt wierd. Backed it out and it looked like this. Lucky!! I looked at the other cam bolt and it was stretched before I even put any torque on it. Some monkey has been in this engine and overtorqued all the damn bolts...except apparently the crank bolt. :suicide:

This isn't the first case of overtorqued bolts on this car. I had to have a shop with an airgun remove the oil drain bolt when I first got it. Wouldn't even budge with a ratchet.

Ended up with something out of spec on the water pump or how it bolted up or something. Whatever it was caused the TB to track way too far back on the cam gears, and rubbed on the plate.




I never found out what it was that was out of spec, new WP did the same thing, although not near as bad. Ended up having to do the equivilent of TB/WP job three times that day getting it to track straight. Thought the belt was off a tooth, tore into it again, nope it was straight. But, alas, after all this, she cranked...she runs...she lives.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Some time in here I tried my hardest to fit under my roll bar. I probably did the most extreme foamectomy possible on the stock seats.






I'm pretty much sitting on the ass pan. If I held the padding up to the light you could see through it, haha. It's was still comfortable on a 4+hr trip though. Got me allllmost where I need to be. Under the bar, but not really enough. Oh well it's got SFI padding. Seat was faded back then. After this I pulled it out and dyed the fabric back to black. Maybe later when I start seriously tracking the car i'll get a pair of sparcos and 5pt harness.

I keep having pinging issues in the Texas summers, so I made a DIY randall intake to bring in some cool air.






I used a cheap ebay filter and a leaf blower for the snorkel, works perfect. With a heat gun the plastic can be formed into any shape. I know it's close to the header and the filter does get hot, but it hasn't pinged since the intake so it works.

Nevermind the ugly as hell engine bay. I've since removed the cruise, and sold the shock tower bar. I have a wrapped JR header waiting to go in along with a MS3x which will delete the MAF sensor. When this goes in i'm going to route it along the passenger fender(or close to it).


The car had a rough spring. About a month after the crank nose failure I went to the BMW autocross school for some good seat time...About 2 hours in this happened... Pay careful attention to the crazy tach at the starting point.


The tach needle hit zero a few times before going completely dead around the back sweeper. Second or two later the engine dies and I had to get towed off course. Car wouldn't start, spark, but no ignition.



Had to borrow a friends truck & trailer to get it home. Towed it over an hour home, finally got her off the truck and the car cranked right up in the driveway...FML.

I spent several weekends trying to track down the problem, it's most likely the CAS or related wiring. It's heat related. Sustained high RPM on a hot day seems to trigger it. Thing is how difficult is this to do while not autocrossing or tracking. I cleaned all the engine grounds and swapped in a >93 CAS cause that's all I had, still did it. Just for kicks I cleaned the grounds again, swapped the ECU and another 94 CAS and I haven't seen it do it again. I have since put stock ECU back in and still has been fine. Go figure...

In mind boggling frustration I parked the damn thing in the garage. I had summer classes anyway so there she sat until this August.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Now the car's getting interesting...
Picked up these bad boys while she was down.



10/8k Monoflex. These are the newer USDM from 949Racing revalved to Emilio's specs. Got em close to half price with less than 3k miles on them :phillyb:

I picked up some used Yokohama Advan Neova's for like $100. They're past their prime but better than cording 912's








I love how at full droop these things are almost at stock ride height, haha. I set them at 949's recommended height, 4" @ pinch welds, rear 1/4" higher, no preload.





My buddy's 240. Anyone who's been to Cars&Coffee in DFW and has seen this car can attest that it's probably one of the cleanest non show 240's in the US. The guy obsessively waxes every part of the suspension and washes the undercarriage. Paint is still factory. Super nice car, makes mine look like ass.




Need to get it alligned. Pulled the fender roll out pulling into the work garage. Now I fit in with the JDMHELLAFLUSHFUCKEDUPFENDER crew, haha. At least it's the bad fender, cause it's completely fucked. The pic doesn't show how bad it is, but here's no straightening this completely. I rolled it back with my maglight and i'll hit it with some touchup paint.

I plan sometime soon to take the car to TexasTrackWorks and get 949's allignment. Then a set of new RS3s.



Some gratuitous AutoX shots.








I was a couple seconds behind the yellow Lotus, but I suck at driving, haha. Never autoXed in the rain before. Interesting, especially on half worn track tires. Have the GoPro vid somewhere. I'll post it when I get home to my laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Last year my Robbin's back window started the all too common separation. Tried gluing it but no avail.



Thankfully Robbins has impeccable customer service I had a new one shipped under warranty. And since getting bought by new owners 2 years ago, their back windows have been completely redesigned and now carry a lifetime warranty, instead of the std 2 year.





New design is interesting. Now retracting pulls with the seam instead of peeling against it. I'll post how it works when it's on the car, but I suspect it'll retract muuuuch better than the old (flawed, IMO) back window design. Anyone who owns one of these streamliner tops knows exactly what i'm talking about.

I've got a new job now that leaves me in the odd situation of more money than time. I'm also getting tired of a car with so much potential rotting in the garage. So in the mean time, since the 1st of the year i've been collecting parts that now sit in boxes, haha.

Used Borla catback. Got it straight off the car, then polished it up decent. Again, less than 1/2 price.




Wrapped JR header w/ EGR delete plug: less than half price.



Modified 'exhintake' cam/gear, ready to drop in.



RB Solid front sway. Brand new, ///half price.




MS3x standalone and wideband out of Brainiack's car. Wired for sequential fuel/spark.



I'll be dropping these all in and completely redoing my intake hopefully sometime soon if I get some time away from this busy semester.

I'm at the point of deciding in a fun zippy NA engine, or going turbo. The MS3x will allow me to tune and learn before I do anything drastic. Also if the ignition ever shits the bed again i'll have it caught in the data log, maybe give me a better picture of what happened. I'm going to leave room for both and take the car out to some track days/more autocrosses and see how I like it before I choose the direction.

Oh yea I though the flush mount steering wheel screws look great on 6 screw pattern, but with the 12 screw pattern I have to work with looked annoying so I replaced them with the ridged thumb/hex screws. I think it looks much more aggressive with the 12lug look, see photos below.


Bought a new SLR, so while the top was off I claybarred and waxed the crappy paint, to see how much life I could get out of it. Took it out to a park Thursday with an old country road to snap some pics. Enjoy.










That's all for now, this is how she sits. I'll update when I install the new goodies.

...but for now the car is nearing what I would consider perfection for a small roadster. Handling and engine(while not fast) are almost there, car drives fantastic, very balanced. I'm super happy with the balance, and can't wait to complete it with these new parts...and maybe take it in a ridiculous direction next year for the track, don't want to ruin it though, we'll see.

Stay tuned.
 

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Wow really enjoyed reading all of this. Really great writing with all its ups and downs. Was a joy, post more of your car :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What the hell dude... You can't just take a picture of your car in front a million-million and a half dollar plane and not say anything about it?!?

I demand P-51 info :haiguyths:
Haha, yea I glossed over it didn't I. One of the members of DFWmiata.com was a volunteer at the Cavanaugh Filght Museum. It's a local museum in Addison that has over 100 of these era planes all in flyable condition, and they fly them at shows and at all the patiotic holidays. It's really incredible to be at some random parade and here them a mile a way, like a pack of harleys in formation, passing directly overhead is really surreal. I used to live in the flight path of that runway, i'd always hear them and run outside like a giddy little kid to watch them.

Anyway, they organized an event here and talked the owner into letting some of us take photos of our cars in front of that magnificent pony. Funny, it was in a locked paddock, they had us pull up to the fence, and shut off the engine. 3 crew guys would push it into position, you get out and they snap photos, then they would push your car out of the paddock. At no time whatsoever was the engine to be running within about 50ft from the plane. Some compalined but I completely understood and respected them being so careful.

I have 2 other photos somewhere. I think they're on a hard drive at home and it reminds me I need to find them. I'll post them later this week.

Here's the museum link.
http://www.cavanaughflightmuseum.com/

I've ridden in this plane. I need to dig these photos up as well. I'll post them too when I find them.
http://www.cavanaughflightmuseum.co...uncategorized/67-north-american-at-6snj-texan
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow really enjoyed reading all of this. Really great writing with all its ups and downs. Was a joy, post more of your car :D
Thanks! It's been a lot of ups & downs with this car, but I love it. I think even if I was rich I don't think I could ever get rid of it.

I'll post plenty when I get some freetime throughout out this semester. I have a lot to do in the engine bay. I plan to get rid of a bunch of unnecessary **** and tidy it up a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Edit from the Future: found a photo around this time that I never posted. Crappy cell pic, but the angle and lighting makes it one of my favorites at low resolution so it deserves to be here.



Another one I like.


............................................................




Picked up a little bedside reading...or really whenever I don't have my nose buried in a textbook, haha.
 
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