ClubRoadster.net banner
1 - 20 of 484 Posts

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured I'd start a thread of my own to catalog my plans for my 2002 Laser Blue, otherwise known as The Tick:



I just paid him off at the beginning of the month and am thinking of mods that I'd like to do to "finish" him off. Of course, I can't just go mod crazy. My philosophy is to make the car that Mazda should have sold from the factory: simple but thoughtfully equipped, well-handling but comfortable. I talked about this awhile ago. The build will use as many OEM parts as possible and will not result in drastic changes to the car's appearance. To me, this philosophy is what makes my Roadster my own, not until I get bored with it, but until its twisted carcass is carted away after my one of kids crash it on the way to the prom 20 years from now (weird analogy, I know!).

I call it...OEM Plus(tm)

To start, here's what I have so far (lots of parts came on the car):

Suspension:
*FM Stage 1 Kit (FM Springs + Tokico Illuminas) - these replaced Tein HA's
*Rear Sway disconnected

Chassis:
*Added OEM ladder brace and crossbar

Wheels/Tires:
*16x7 +42 5Zigen FN01R-C with Riken Raptor ZR 205/45/16

Exhaust:
*Replaced cracked Roadstersport with OEM muffler

Interior:
*99-00 Seats (OO had installed Mazdaspeed Type F's, but had the dealer install these when the car was sold)
*Speaker setup includes an MB Quartz crossover box in each door going to an MBQ tweeter, woofer in the door speaker spot, and a kick panel speaker on each side
*Raceland Windblocker - Cheap but surprisingly effective!

So...here's what I have in mind. I have no idea how long it'll take to get this all done, but if I don't write it down none of it will happen. I realize that this "build" will not be extreme, trick, dope, or whatever you want to call it. Most folks may not give my car a second look, and that's OK. It'll be the car everyone wishes they had at one point or another XD

Feel free to drop constructive criticisms!

Wheels, Tires, & Suspension:
*Upgrade front swaybar to Mazdaspeed Miata unit.
*Re-do alignment.
*Flip tires. Will be going to stickier stuff next year hopefully.
*Replace brake rotors.
*Install Axxis Ultimates.

Interior/Chassis:
*Add the OEM Shock Tower Bar to tighten up the front end (mostly for NVH reduction).
*Upgrade driver's seat to Elise seat. It'll let me sit lower in the car (important if I want to look into a rollbar), support my back better, and give me a real headrest for once. Adam has some ideas.
*Once the head height problem is solved, get a rollbar for safety. I'm thinking a Hard Dog M2 Sport (no diagonals).
*Buy an iPod adapter kind of like this one.

Aesthetic Clean-ups:
*Fix the slight rust issues in The Tick's trunk.
*Clean up The Tick's cloudy headlamp lenses.
*Get the wheels refinished.
*Paint The Tick's valve cover in red crinkle-coat. Looks something like this. Come to think of it, Harvey (my Civic)'s valve cover could use a similar treatment this summer.
*Replace the antenna base with something a little less swept.
*Paint the calipers and rotor hats.
*Clean up the engine bay.

Maintenance:
*Replace the timing belt.
*Fix the wiring mess that is my current OEM/Aftermarket stereo setup.

Drivetrain:
*Move to 1.6L clutch/flywheel. Possibly upgrade to stiffer clutch.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

you seriously keeping the riken's?
I put them on when I drove the car home from Florida to Ohio because I discovered after driving to Atlanta that at least two of tires that were currently on the car were almost completely bald and one had a good sized chunk of metal in it. In short, I needed something cheap and relatively sticky.

The Raptors are...adequate. That's as good as I'll give them. They've lasted since April 2008 and will likely need to be flat out replaced next year.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

Considering how little mileage I've gotten out of them, there are several other comparable tires out there in price and performance that would last a little longer.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

So clean and a great colour.

My fav. NB is the td-1001r's from D - Tech. Lots of nice additions, but nothing over the top. Oem plus (plus)

Details on the car here: http://d-technique.co.jp/d_tec_en/td1001r_top.html

Love the interior details, and the whole package.
Ahhhh yes...I'd forgotten about that. Probably the one body kit that'd make me want to tear everything up and start again. Simply beautiful. It's probably the closest thing to what I'm thinking for this car.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

If you're looking for an exhaust, the RB with the resonated midpipe is TOTALLY OEM Plus. Very quiet, yet shiny and free flowing. A great daily driver exhaust IMHO.
I've always liked the RB muffler on NB's, but don't know if I really want to invest in an exhaust (or even an header and intake, for that matter).
I have this, I dont think Bryan likes it much.
You've got the midpipe and muffler? I thought you had something a little more...risqué.
And welcome to the build thread section!!! :) We'll get you in an Elise seat yet.
Thanks :oops:
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

hey bryan, I've got the OE muffler off my 99 and the OE MSM in my garage, i'm sure we can work something out if you're interested.
I've already got OEM on it now. From what I understand the MSM muffler is a little loud on a N/A car, so it's most likely out for me. Thanks, tho!
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

http://www.vulcantire.com/azenis_rt615_t.htm

these are cheap.

anything, and I do mean anything is better then raptors.
I'm looking at my options. The main problem with the Azenis is that, unlike their $45/tire predecessors, I can't really afford to be replacing them once a year. They're just too low a wear rate for a car that I don't get to drive HARD very often.

Bryan, please add an OE or Vary lip to the front end, it looks so bare :cry2:

...and the Roadstersport is still alive and well on the '99 :domo:
Glad to hear about the Roadstersport. I figured it'd do fine once someone cleaned it up and fixed the crappy welds. I just wasn't really willing to be that person :)

As for the body treatment, I really don't want to spoil the looks of the car by throwing on a lip. I've even considered removing the Buck's grille and replacing it with something a little less...conspicuous. I've always kind of liked the looks of the open-mouthed stock-bodied Mk. 2.5 NB. Its looks kind of speak for themselves. Something like the TD1001R just makes for a completely different (but not to be embellished on) look. In short, if I change something on the exterior, I really will be looking to completely change things up, and I really don't want to (yet).
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

Glad to see this thread. Want to see some pics over time. ;)
Thanks...I've only had the car for two years now, so nothing much's changed. Should have taken pics last year when I did the suspension...that was a total hoot because I hadn't thought about the Tein HA's that were on the car needing their own tophats (ie the OEM tophats that were already on the car). Imagine my frustration when, after finally jacking the car up and wrangling the front left shock out (after pulling the alignment bolt) that I needed to buy a set :roll:. If ya'll remember awhile ago, I sold a set of OEM Bilsteins...well, that was why!
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

If you get the wheels refinished have you thought about maybe painting them gold for the Mazdaspeed Touring Kit A-spec look or maybe white for the NR-A Party Race look?
Ummm...no.









I am now, though :cool:
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

a build thread w/one pic? :D I just love seein your car man lol
There's much to see, yet.

Here we are the day I picked him up in Ocala, FL after a 13hr bus ride from Knoxville, where I'd sold his predecessor (hard to believe that was 2 years ago this April!):



Odd...I took the same picture with Junior the day after I bought him back in '04:



Here's some shots of The Tick with other cars:





In action at its first autocross:



Along with a Mini, a VERY original '85 MR2, and a handsome Cayman at a Cars 'n' Coffee gathering:

 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

Hey Kyle,

Is this what you referring to with the Mazdaspeed?



...and were these the wheels (from the NR-A) you were talking about?



(the pic is from Randy's CarDomain, no less :lol: )
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

Hey! Another LB! Any idea what wheels those are in the first shot?

EDIT: it's not Laser Blue, but Starry Blue, a color not available in the US.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Tire Choices

Loving your car Bryan. SUPER clean. I wish I could have afforded a NB.
Thanks man! In case you're curious, I got mine after selling my NA (Junior) and using the proceeds plus a small bank loan to buy the car outright. In April '08, I paid $10k for The Tick, which had the parts as noted in post #1 and 65k on the clock in 6 years. The original owner is a friend of one of the mods here, though it'd gone through one more owner before it arrived in my hands.

Now, for tire choices...

My criteria isn't super complicated. For 6 months of the year, the car is pretty much a daily driver. I LOVE autocross, but I've only had time to do so a few times in the last few years, so all-out performance isn't a pre-requisite. Because the car does semi-daily duty, rain traction is important. Because the car is driven mostly on the highway, ride should be decent and road noise kept to a minimum. Two considerations on durability: first, the tire must be symmetric so that it can be flipped to lengthen its usage. Second, I'd like to get 20-25k per set if possible. With Junior, I had the old Azenis RT215's, which, at $45/corner, I didn't mind replacing them once a season. When you've got 16" wheels and tires are at best $70/tire, that sort of care-free attitude isn't very wise.

Basically, I'm looking for good, not great--if for no other reason than great costs more money and doesn't last as long. Besides, it's fun to blow past people on tires they think are crappy:blaugh:

The choices I've got so far (in price order):

Sumitomo HTR ZII:


General Exclaim UHP:


BFGoodrich g-Force Sport:


Yokohama S.Drive:


Toyo T1R:


I'm leaning towards the Generals, though I won't need to buy these until next year.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

Heard good things about the Yokohama S. Drive. :)
Me too...they just cost $15/tire more than the UHP's, but I don't know they're $15/tire better for my needs.

i'll hook you up with my s-drives for cheap.
Uhsaaywhaaaa?

What size/miles you got?
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

they're 195/40/16 not sure of the miles, but they came almost new on my advans and have about a year of use. I've got a set of rs2's that I've been meaning to put on, but I'm not really in a rush untill it's time for autocross. Especially since I bought the 323 and have been driving it and letting the msm hibernate.
That's a bit shorter than I'd want. Appreciate the thought though!
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Re: The Tick aka OEM Plus(tm)

yeah, that's on of the reasons I don't really want to keep them, but they aren't bad for daily commuting.
You might be able to put them up on Elise Chat. I think the front 16's aren't too far from that size.
 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Odd feature...door speaker setup

Here're some pics of the inside of my door panels. I was pretty shocked to find most of the setup still intact. Here are some pictures:

If you look closely at the left side of the foot well in this pic, you can see the MB Quartz kick panel speaker. Strangely, the crossover box (also MBQ) on the driver's side was not secured to the door, and so flopped out like this when I took the panel off. Not seen is the MBQ tweeter.



Here's a closeup of one of the crossover boxes:



The driver's side Kicker woofer. It's in the place of the normal door speaker.



If you look closely, you can see that whoever did the work on the audio chose to route the wires to the crossover separately from the stock wire harness:

 

·
Mufasa in Training
Joined
·
35,108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Birthday Update!

Project OEM Plus™ got a bit of a boost today. Just so you know, my wife really out-did herself:claugh:

My gifts came separately wrapped. First, these two:



For Part 3 of the gift, she made me my favorite dessert: pistacio cheesecake--without nutsXD



And in case you were wondering what parts 1 & 2 were for, waiting for me in the garage was part 4 of my gift :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

 
1 - 20 of 484 Posts
Top