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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm Mike, and I've had around 14 NA's, and 1 NB since I was 19. No not all of them ever made it onto the road, some were projects that I had to sell before anything could become of them. If I found a cheap miata, I bought it, even if I had absolutely no use for it. But gone are the days of cheap miatas, unless you get super lucky.

So, a little back story about how I came to own my 2003 Turbo NB2. Prior to this car, I had my beloved 1997 NA. It was a relatively mild project. Bought it for 1000.00 and drover it to the shop I work at. Slapped my hardtop from another car I had on it, and shipped it off to the paint shop a couple days after purchasing her, where she spent roughly 9 months. And the paint shop is conveniently right behind my shop.

Being the adult I finally grew up to be, I was trying to do this one the right way, you guys have heard the saying "maintenance before mods". So I did the whole 9 yards: Water pump, timing belt, front main seal, cam seals, rear main seal, valve cover gasket, spark plugs, wires, inner/outter tie rod ends, all the fluids etc etc. Aside from pulling the engine to do the oil pan gasket, it was replaced, or serviced.

Did some small mods while I was starting to collect parts for later down the road.

Engine:
- Ex-intake cam swap

Suspension/chassis:
  • Raceland coilovers (Yea yea, I know. But I just needed a cheap replacement for the blow out stock suspension that was on it)
  • Remove rear swaybar
  • Treasure Coast? rollbar

Brakes:
- Wilwood BBK (only because I found it for a stupid good deal)

Wheels/tires:
- TR Motorsports C1M 15x7 w/ Hankook RS4 225/45/15 (Yea, an odd size for a 7" wide wheel, but thats what was on there when I got the wheels)


PRE
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Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Car Land vehicle


POST
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Car Land vehicle


Everything is great right?! Well it was, until 1 week before my first MATG event. Someone backed into my car, and not just someone, it was ironically the guy who did the body work on her. They did the right thing, and obviously offered to repair the damage. But being a week before MATG, I wasn't going to risk the car not being ready, so I slapped a Wiley Coyote decal on her, and went about prepping for the trip. And that was the start to why you'll see me refer to this car as a "bad omen" car...

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Obligatory Killboy pic from The Tail of The Dragon. They're kind of like gym selfies, did you even go to the Dragon if you didn't order one of your pics from him?

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And one of me being a cellphone photographer at one of the hidden photo spots from my city, and a roller I grabbed with my girlfriend driving it.
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And after a few other instances of the car being hit while parked, one old guy wanting to be in the same lane I was in, and swiping from driver front fender and wheel. The accident that made me throw in the towel..

The scenario, if not just picture this; 17 year old girl in a brand new Toyota 4runner. I'm on a 3 lane (each way) main road, she's on a side road with a very visible stop sign. I'm sure you can guess what sign she didn't make a complete stop at, and which car she didnt see..... Yup... Mine. Yea I know the damage could have been repaired, but as I had mentioned earlier, this was my "bad omen" car. It had been hit a total of 3-4 times in the course of a year, none of which where I was at fault.

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So I literally went 3 days without a Miata, thanks to some really good friends that hooked me up. My buddy Sergio from Track Prep Performance, and Casco someone Ive known from the local car club for years. Those two had me driving home my new to me 2003 NB2 Miata that weekend. And the car had some pretty decent parts installed by the previous previous owners.

Unfortunately I don't have pics of the car the weekend I brought it home, but it was in kinda roughish condition, but definitely a good place to start. They owners prior to my friends getting it, were using it for some chump-man racing. So the car was fairly stripped down, no carpet, radio, center console, or any of the interior trim. They went as far as pulling ALL the A/C stuff out, everything under the dash, and engine bay.


I'll continue after work.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, so I managed to get my hands on some pictures from when my buddy picked up the car from the previous owners.
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Yea, the teeth, and make shift wing were removed before I drove it home.

This was it a few days after getting it home, and installing the TR motorsport wheels, and wilwood brakes I mentioned in the last post.

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Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle



At this point in time, the car had
Engine:
  • Flyin Miata gt2560 turbo kit
  • No intercooler
  • Voodoo Box for managment
  • Stock injectors
  • AEM wideband

Suspension:
  • 4 way adjustable dampening shocks
  • Flyin Miata springs
  • Stock sway bars

And that was about it. So to sum up the car.... These guys halfassed this car, in the correctly, wrong ways. I found sooo many things wrong with the car. Biggest one, was that all the pinch bolts for the steering column/shafts were loose... Yes they were loose, I drop from Tampa Fl, to Ft myers Fl with loose bolts in the steering column.... It leaked oil like a sum'bitch. The turbo oil drain was copper pipe, cross threated into a flange to a copper 45*, to swollen hose that wasnt suppose to contain oil...

Fast forward (5 months) to how it sits currently:
(In my carport not running for 4 weeks because I'm a lazy piece of ****)

Engine/Drivetrain:
  • 2003 VVT bottom end (stock)
  • 99 BP4W head
  • ARP head studs
  • Flyin Miata 2560 turbo kit
  • Skunk2 intake manifold
  • Skunk2 throttlebody
  • Mishimoto intercooler/random intercooler pipes to complete the puzzle
  • CSF radiator
  • Supermiata Coolant reroute
  • Gates water pump/Timing belt
  • OEM mazda engine reseal
  • 6 Speed mazdaspeed transmision
  • Flying Miata happy meal kit w/ 11lb flywheel
  • 3.90 (open) diff (yes I'm working on getting a torsen)

Managment/Fuel:
  • MS3 Pro PNP (relocated to glovebox)
  • Innovative lc2 wideband
  • CanCHECK Multi guage
  • Injector Dynamics 1050cc Injectors (currently in the mail)
  • DW 255lb fuel Pump (currently in the mail)

Brakes/wheels
  • Front Wilwood BBK
  • Rear Stop Tech sport pads
  • Konig Hypergram 15x8.5 w/ 245/40/15 hankook RS4
(I have some 15x10s sitting in my storage unit waiting to go on. But I wont spoil that little surprise)

Suspenion/Chassis:
  • 4 way adjautable dampening shocks
  • Flyin Miata springs
  • Harddog HC rollbar
  • Upgraded front swat bar (seems to be a racing beat, but no markings to identify)
  • Supermiata adjustable endlinks
I will be upgrading the suspension here in the nearish future to either Ohlins, or Silvers coilovers.

Body:
  • Type 1 tupperware (side skirts arent installed yet)
  • Duckbill spoiler (still at the paint shop)
  • Hardtop (getting ready to go to the paint shop.)

Below are some pictures of where I'm currently at with it. Just finished installed an uncracked dash, rerouting the harness for the the ECU, and installing all the A/c stuff under the dash. I'm currently waiting on my 1050cc injectors, a DW255 fuel pump to show up. Which should hopefully be tomorrow.

Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive air manifold Automotive design


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And a random picture of my kitten Piper, for your viewing pleasure!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Baller parts list, looks like you're doing it right.

I still run the stock fuel pump, I'm going to try and leave that part alone. I know it'll run out of volume eventually.
Thank you sir, I'm trying to do this one the right way. I'm over building my fuel system now, so that itll support pretty much whatever I decide to do later on. I have a couple blocks, one of which will get built on the side. I want to try to have make the car as reliable as possible. Well.... As reliable as a home built turbo miata can get? Pretty much power wise, I plan on making around 350-375. Going to call it quits, just before I have to swap drivelines to the bmw trans/cd006/t5, and all that good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So to get a little further into detail on the car when I first got it, now that I was able to dig up some pictures. When I got the car, it was in fairly rough shape, as they were building it for a budget racecar. Picked the car up April 7th, got it registered/insured a couple days afterwards. And took it straight out to autocross the following weekend. Because how else are you going to test out a car you know nothing about? You go beat the hell out of it of course! Well, check the fluids, THEN BEAT THE HELL OUT OF IT! Coolant was rusty, oil was dark, but not the worst I've seen.

So here we are at Saturday's test, and tune. My girlfriend is co driving with me too. I make my first 2 runs, everything seems to be holding together fairly well! And I spoke too soon, after my 3rd run, it starts getting a little warm, nothing too concerning. We let it sit for a few extra minutes before my 4th run, temp seems to be doing ok. Wrong. Got a little warmed than I would have liked before I made it back to the pits. But my girlfriend was driving in a different class, so the car had some time to sit, and cool down before it was her turn. When we were autocrossing the white car, it was registered in STS, and STSL for her, I had registered the new car under XSB, and we just left her registered under STSL. She was the only one in her class, and was only running Saturday, so who was going to contest her? Lol, that's right, no one.

So after the car was able to sit for about 45 minutes, checked the coolant level, that seemed good. The 1 radio fan the other guys had installed came on when the vehicle got to temp. Checked temp between her runs, and all seemed to be going smooth. WRONG AGAIN! She was just pulling out of grid to stage for her 3rd run, and I look at the ground where the car was parked. There was some sort of fluids ALL over where the car was just parked. I lean down to touch it, and its all oil. So I wave her off the run, and park the car for rest of the day. Instead of going into the second heat of runs, I took the car straight to the shop to figure out where the hell all this oil is coming from.

This thing is SOAKED, but mainly seemed to be coming from the driver side of the engine. I keep following the trail, and behold, I found the copper pipe they cross threaded into the flange for the oil return. And on top of that, the bolts for the flange were loose! So I did what anyone else would do, replaced the o-ring for the flange, changed the oil, and flushed out the cooling system the best I could, and washed out the huge oil mess that was coating 90% of the subframe.

Well Sunday didn't go much better, it still had a pretty significant oil leak, and seemed to overheat worse than it did the day before. So right after the event was done, right back to the shop it went. What was suppose to be a quick week long job of pulling the engine to reseal it, install the FM clutch, and flywheel, and get back on the road. Turned into the car living at the shop for the next 3.5-4 months...

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle


Now I had alright acquired a fair amount of parts before the my 97 was wrecked. But I did need some other odds, and ends stuff. So I gave Sergio a Track Prep Performance a call. And man, that was a bitter sweet call. Sweet because he had all the seals, and fluids I needed in stock ready to go. Bitter, because he had other parts in stock that I didnt "need", but was way to easy to justify using the good ole "well, while I'm right here" excuse. So my wallet as a little bitter by the end of the phone call. Not to mention a few more phone calls back to Sergio after that.

I decided that while the engine was out, and the car was off the road. I might as well get out all the parts I had been collecting, and install them now. A few trips to the storage unit, a couple fedex/UPS deliveries, and we were ready to get the ball rolling.

- Megasquirt
- Innovative LC2 wideband
- Full engine reseal
- OEM coolant house kit
- Supermiata coolant reroute
- Skunk2 manifold
- Clutch
- Fluids
- Swaybar/endlinks
- ARP studs

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So for the most part, it went just like any other Miata engine removal, and reseal went. The engine had junkyard writing on it, so I decided to go ahead and open it up to inspect it, and see what I was really working with. And to my surprise, it was actually really really clean.

But, its late, and my laptop need to be charged. G'night everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To continue from last night.

So everything was going fairly straight forward like you would suspect, minus the usual last minute little stuff that causes delays. Internally the engine looked great, and it didnt have any sludge build up, or running issue, didnt smoke on start up. So I checked the head with a straight edge, and it was well within spec, so I cleaned it up, installed the ARP head studs, and continued on.

Custom intercooler mount I rigged up.
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Even had my better half, and co driver come up to the shop one evening to get her hands dirty. If she's gonna drive the car, shes gotta help with it right?
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Which gets us to this point... Oh look a Miata with a turbo engine yawn
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Got everything button up, and ready for the first start! Everything was going as planned, already well behind schedule, but no major issues at this point. Had the car running on the car running on the megasquirt. This is where the biggest delay happened. During setting the base timing in the megasquirt, the engine made a extremely noticeable "TINK" sound, and abruptly stopped running... Removed the valve cover, and couldn't find any obvious issues. Now after this, the engine would crank, and it seemed like a fairly labored slow crank. It would intermittently fire back, and run, very poorly at that. With the throttle held slightly open, you could hear it popping back through the intake intermittently.

Double checked timing, and as far as all my timing marks were concerned, my timing was correct. So I'm starting to suspect that I have some setting messed up in the megasquirt that the car doesnt like. Now I've been a mechanic for 10 years, yea I've modified my other miatas on a small budget, but this is my first experience with any sort of aftermarket management. So I'm convinced I've got something screwed up somewhere, thats causing this issue. God knows how many data logs later of the crank, no start issue. To no prevail, no one that has reviewed my logs, were able to pin point anything that stood out as the issue. So for shits n giggles, I swap the stock computer back in, just to see what it would do, with no change to my symptoms, I start pulling stuff apart again. Now I've done cam seals, crank shaft seals, timing belts, water pumps on countless miatas. So I was confident that I had everything timed right, cam gears installed correctly.

And at one point, I did, till the car decided to change that. Upon further tear down, I found that the dowel on the camshaft that aligns the gear had snapped, allowing the gear to spin!
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But now its time for work, I'll add more on lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I continued to tear it down and see what all had happened, suspecting that I'll just get a new dowel, reset timing and be on our merry way. Again, I was wrong. From what I can determine based on the evidence, something caused the front journal on the exhaust cam to starve of oil. So it chewed itself up, and when it locked itself up, everything else kept on going, snapping the dowel.

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So this is when I opted to swap a BP4W head that I had originally saved for the 97, I didnt have the time to source another VVT head. MATG was just over a month away, and I had literally had barely a week of total time driving the car.

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I still have no clue what caused the front exhaust cam journal to starve of oil, and score like that. I had inspected the head afterwards, and couldnt find any obvious obstruction to the oil jacket.. Which still annoys me..

Got the BP4W head swap installed, got it running, and a buddy helped me out with a base tune so I can drive the car. That pretty much gets it close to caught up to where I'm at with the car currently.

The injectors, and fuel pump I ordered arrived yesterday (Sunday 10-9-22) now I just have to find the time to finish wrapping everything up from the dash swap, and installing all the under dash a/c components. While the dash was out, I took the opportunity to relocate my ECU location. I hated how the factory one mounts above the dead pedal, and didnt like any of the aftermarket brackets offered for the Megasquirt. So it's been moved over to the passenger side, for now it'll just hangout in the glovebox. But I'll ultimately remove the passenger air bag, and mount it in there, with my cable easily accessible from the glove box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, thanks to hurricane Ian, there hasn't been on any progress on the car. Been super busy between clean up, and trying to catch up with work after being shut down for a week.

This little fella showed up out of the blue the day before the hurricane, just walked right in like he owned the place. I was able to quickly find him a home. I'm sure he was happy to be inside with his new family getting plenty of attention, and not stuck out in the storm.

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Luckily we live a little more inland, so we didn't see any of the storm surge. But we do need to have the roof replaced, and have the back addition redone from water leaking into the ceiling, and part of it falling in. But we definitely faired out ALOT better than others. We had some close friends, an family that did live in a surge zone, so first thing after the hurricane had passed. We went and checked on those who we haven't heard of from the night before. This is some of our damage, and damage from the areas we had to pass through to get to our friends.

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Our town was in shambles, 90% of it didnt have power, or running water because they had shut the water stations down. Gas stations have no fuel, or dont have the power to run the pumps. And those that had fuel, and power to run the pump. They had lines upwards of 1.5-2 miles long, people were waiting 5-6 hours to hopefully have a change to fill up their car, and a few gas cans.

We got lucky, a good friend's grandfather was always prepared for early morning fishing trips, and always kept his boat filled. Well Ian totaled it, so we had our own little reserve of fuel. Disconnected a fuel line at one of the outboard engines, hooked up a longer hose, which ran to a transfer pump, and boom we were filling gas cans. I think we pumped about 80 gallons out of the boat that day.
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And for shits n giggles, to try and lighten the mood.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I received my fuel injectors, and fuel pump a few days before the hurricane.
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And my laptop took a **** just a couple days later, so I'm waiting on the replacement to come in, so I can make the adjustments needed in tunerstudio after I get the new injectors installed.

Some new shoes that have been sitting in my storage unit, waiting for me to roll/pull me fenders, and order tires. I'm so anxious to get tires, so I can get these mounted on the car!!!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, and yea we were EXTREMELY lucky with damages. And the car was tucked away safely in the carport. Sadly since the hurricane, I've had no time at all.

But my coilovers should be in next week, and I'm hoping to take some time to get those, and other parts installed in a few evenings after work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I dont have any real update, aside from wanting to open boxes, and take pictures. And here we are! My Silvers coilovers arrived today! A whole 3 days earlier than what the tracking had originally predicted!
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Now I just gotta find the time to work on the car... 😪
Between getting backed up from the storm, and the influx of flood cars. We went from having 2.5 techs, to just me. With pretty close to the same work load. And yes I said 2.5 techs. One guy wasnt a " bad" tech, but was a horrible employee, and found greener pastors somewhere else. And the .5 tech, wasnt a good tech, or a good employee. I'm actually glad he's gone, all he was, was a body in the shop. If you could call him that.. /endrant

Also ordered a retro style mazda flag to hang up behind my toolbox at the shop. I'll post pictures once I clean up my unorganized box, and rollcart, and have it hung behind what I call my storage box.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, still not much else has happened to the car over the last 2 weeks. Other than part coming in, and me still having no time to install them. But starting to finally get caught back up with work, and my side jobs.

But my car moved, we had to push it, but it moved to make some room in the carport for a side job. God my car has a thick layer of dust on it 😢 😢
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Here's the Track Prep Performance Exocet I just did some basic preventive maintenance
  • Water pump
  • Timing Belt
  • Cam/Crank seals

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And after that my car became a hover car. I'm getting a 4 day weekend next week due to Thanksgiving, so my plan is to take Friday to finish up, and install the little bit of wiring I have left. And also get the coilovers installed.

But in the mean time I ordered a Mazda roadster tall angled shifter, so I'm waiting for that to come in. Now I need to decide on which shift knob I want to run with it. They're all shift knobs I like, so I'm just looking for any opinions to help me make up my mind.

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And just a picture of me taking my girlfriend to work in the exoset, she had never gotten a change to go for a ride it in before this. I dont know who loved it more, the kids that were frantically waving at us, or me loving the looks on their faces, and frantically waving back! The excitement, and curiosity the exoset gets from everyone on the road is pretty fun! There wasn't a stop light where someone wasnt asking me what it was, or how fast it went. It was just an overall good time, to cruise, while taking her to work.
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I have the black textured voodoo. It's been with me for my last four Miatas (NA6 x2, NB2, and now my NC1). Love that thing, to the point where it's almost become a smooth glossy voodoo from use.

Quality build thread. Following with interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have the black textured voodoo. It's been with me for my last four Miatas (NA6 x2, NB2, and now my NC1). Love that thing, to the point where it's almost become a smooth glossy voodoo from use.

Quality build thread. Following with interest.
Thanks, trying my best not to cut corners.

And I ended up getting the black circuit sport shift knob also from Mazdaroadster.com, the shifter, and knob should be here monday!

I should have some time over the long holiday weekend to work on my car. So hopefully I'll be making a progress update here shortly.


BUT in other news, I upgraded my toolsbox!
Traded in my Snap-on KRL722 for a Equip 68"

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I have finally managed to make a little bit of progress.

Finally got the Silver's installed, along with extended ball joints from Paco. Also finally decided to drag the hardtop, and replacement bumper out of hiding. And man did the hardtop need a EXTREMELY over due cleaning. Its been sitting tucked away in the corner of the house since the accident with my old 97...

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The hardtop, trunk/spoiler, and bumper should be getting painted soon. The trunk is already at the body shop, just need to drop these two items off.

Also recieved my Mazda Roadster short shifter, and for everything you get. It is WELL WORTH the price!
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I have work tomorrow morning, belated Thanksgiving with my other halves family, and a side job right after that. But I hope to get some more time to work on the car Sunday afternoon.

And heres my Shitten. Shes just sooooo adorable!
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