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Discussion Starter #61
It's been a little while so I figured it was time for a bit of an update. Right before leaving for MATG I was doing a walk around the car and realized that my rear tires were pretty bald. Since the forecast for the whole weekend was rain I want ahead and got new tires mounted and a fresh alignment. The alignment shop let me give them alignment specs so I went with the specs recommended by flyin' miata and boy did that change the way the car handled!
With the new tires and alignment we had an amazing time at MATG! My dad just bought an 03 so my parents came up for the event as well. This was us lining up for the group photo.


It was great getting to talk to so many people who share a similar passion and to be around so many different miatas. We had blast driving the mountain roads and it really gave me a new appreciation for the car. I find myself taking the car out on back rounds just to drive much more often.

Up unto this point my build has been mostly ascetic modifications but I am getting the car close to how I want it, so it's time to start thinking about the future for the build. To keep with the vintage theme of the car I plan on going with ITBS. I think they would be right at home in the car and they would help me get to the power figures that I'm looking for. This car is not a track car and I do not feel like I need much more power. I would like to increase the low and mid range torque and be happy around 150hp. To help achieve this NA power goal I plan on moving away from my BP05 and getting a BP6D. I have made this decision for a few reasons, first the the 6D has the highest compression at 10:1, the head is flows better than the 05, and the Variable Valve Timing will help to increase the mid range torque. I do not plan on touching the bottom end as I think I can reach my power goal with some work done to the head. Obviously this plan will not be cheap and as such Im sure that it will take me a few years to reach this end goal. To help reach this goal I have a few different phases in mind to help the build gradually progress.

Phase 1 - Mega Squirt: I feel like the best first step is to go ahead and install a stand alone. This will allow me to start playing the software while the engine is as simple as it is going to be, and get used to it. I can also start deleting thing that I will not need later on like the MAF.

Phase 2 - VVT: At this stage I plan to find a motor and start refreshing it. At this stage I do not plan on doing any head work, just refreshing the motor and getting it ready to swap into the car. The only thing I may do at this point is a coolant reroute since the motor will be out of the car. I have a lightweight FlyinMiata flywheel and stage2 clutch that has been in my car for almost a year so I plan on just swapping that over if everything still looks good. As far as wiring goes I plan on modifying my stock 1.8 harness to accommodate the VVT. To make things a bit simpler I will swap over my current alternator since it is internally regulated and I wont have to mess with regulating it from the ECU. I do plan on keeping AC in the car so I think i will also have to get a NB ac compressor as I do not believe the NA compressor will bolt up.

Phase 3 - Cams: This is a stage that I know the least about but I have some time to do more research on, but my current understanding is to go with something that has higher lift and duration. When swapping in the cam I plan on also swapping out the stock shim over bucket lifters for some shim under bucket lifter that should hold up better at higher RPM.

Phase 4 - ITBS: I have been looking at different options and as much as I would love to go with the 4AGE throttles the techno toy manifold adapters are hard to come by. At this point I plan to go with the Jenvey 45mm kit. As far as installing and setting up the ITBS I have done a lot of research and feel pretty good about the setup. My only unkown at this point is whether or not to use an IACV. There seems to be a pretty even split of people using then and not. At this point I plan to try and go the route of using it but we will see when we get to that stage.

There is a lot covered in those stage and that is the best plan that I have for now. I'm sure that plans will change as the build progresses but I think that it is important to set some goals to start working toward. Hopefully by this time next year I will have the car running on a stand alone and be in the process of refreshing the new motor.

Thinking about the future for the engine bay made we want to take some time and clean mine up. Its not the cleanest thing but I did get a few wires out of the way and hidden and its not looking too bad for a nearly 25 year old bay. The valve cover could do with a bit of love though. I look forward to seeing the progression.



In other news I decided to do something about my missing sun visors and make some interior lights. I just used some of the spare abs I had laying around. The project only took a few hours and Im very pleased with the results. My only complaint is the LEDs that I used are very blue. I may switch them out in the future.





I also started working on another exciting DIY project. After seeing a lot of people at MATG with vented quarter windows it made me want some. I don't mind the port hole windows but I don't feel like they would quite look at home on my car. The tuck I learned to drive in had some classic style vented windows that swung all the way out. They were great for just a little bit of ventilation or spin them completely out for some directed wind. I did a lot of looking and I did see that carbon miata made a set but theirs pivot the wrong way and are not really what I am looking for. I did see a few initial mock up designs I believe from KGworks but as far as I know they never made it into production. I also did not see anyone else attempting to make their own DIY set so I guess I am kinda treading in unknown waters here. I picked up an extra door so that I have something to work on as I am sure this will not be an easy and short DIY project. I removed the glass and created a windows black out of foam board.





After removing the stock glass window I was a little bit nervous because I realized that the glass was curved. I was not sure how it would work with using flat glass but after some intial mock ups I think that I should still be good to proceed. I picked up some MG vent window hardware and started to mock them up with it. After setting this up I realize that I had the hinge for the oposite side of the car on, but even with the correct side the hinge does not quite work for what I need. I think that the handle may be okay but I do need to get a different style top hinge, preferably once that is bolted through the glass.



Overall I think that the design will work, but I definitely have some more issues to work through. I will need to find a good way to add in windows seals so that the window does not leak or whistle while driving with it closed.





I was a little bit nervous about the window hitting my hand when flipped all the way around but at this pivot point the window only sticks out about 4in into the car which should not hit my hand on the wheel.



It does look a little bit close on the tape measure but the window will be sitting further back and should not be an issued.
With the design that I have now there is a little bit of a frame added top of the window. When I find a new top hinge I may be able to make that a bit smaller but even if I can't I think that the smaller window size will be okay. This is about how much of the window will be left with the new frame.



I'm currently in the process of looking for alternate hardware and I will post some more updates as the project progresses, but I have at least proven to myself that the design will work on the miata. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know!
 

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Mufasa in Training
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It was an honor to meet you, sir. Wish we could've hung out more!
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Well, I figure it is probably time to update my build tread a bit.

I got tired of the look of the stock tail light, and since I do not use the stock reverse lights I figured I would wrap my tail light red. It was pretty easy and I think they look much improved over the stock taillights.





One weekend I was driving and I thought to myself, "I wonder if I can move the ignition to the cigarette light location". I did some googling and I could not find anyone who had moved the stock ignition to that location. I did some quick measuring to see if it was feasible and it seemed like it would work. So, I took the dash and ignition out of the car, did some minor shaving to the lighter port, made a bracket to mount the ignition, extended the ignition wiring, and boom...done.







I love the way the new ignition looks, and am very pleased with how it came out.

Through a series of fortunate circumstances I ended up with a 3D printer. I have been missing a headlight motor cap since I bought the car so I decided to try my hand at some 3D CAD modeling to see if I could make a replacement. After several iterations and a lot of learning I had a replacement knob.



With this new power, I started making all the parts I could think of. I made a new whipper bolt cover with the vintage mazda logo.



I made an adaptor to fit the MG mirrors on my car. Previously I had a kinda hacked together piece of aluminum.



And I also made a holder for my radio that I use on club miata drives. With this mount, it puts the radio in a prefect location where it is still usable but also in a secure out of the way position.









After improving my solidWorks skills. I decided to try and model my vented window project. I started off by just trying to get the correct shape for the window to make sure that the model had the correct dimensions. Because of the size of my printer, I have to print the model in three pieces and then attach them after. For these initial design tests I just taped them together.



Once I knew that I had the model dimensioned correctly I started to make the model more complex. The first thing that I added was some channels for the glass to sit flush against when the window is fully closed.



Next I added the upper pivot. I found these Mopar window pivots that I thought might work and it seems like they are exactly what I needed.





Finally I added the bottom pivot and I think I have the final design.









This is where I am today. I still need to wet sand the frame, install the lower pivot, and install the weather stripping. Assuming that all goes well I should final have the vented window that I have always wanted. Once I get it in the car and start testing it more I may need to make some more minor tweaks...but only time will tell.
 

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Mufasa in Training
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That's some crazy good work! Neat to be able to print your own parts :)
 

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Randomly fell into your thread... I LOVE the work on the center console. Damn, you're making me reconsider my material choice to shift to wood now.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Im glad some people are enjoying looking through the build! I have continued my work on the vented windows by installing the weather stripping and finishing off cutting the Lexan. I was able to finish fitting the window handles and the bottom pivot.





The final thing that I need to do is bend the Lexan to take on the shape of the original glass. This is where I started to run into issues. I thought it would be pretty easy to heat up the lexan and mold it to the shape of the original window. I started by using a heat tool and that did nothing, so I put it in the oven for a while and still nothing. I slowly incremented the temperate and it was doing nothing and then finally it warped way out of shape. It seems like lexan is a bit harder to shape than acrylic so I picked up some acrylic to see if I could get that to bend like I needed. I was able to bend the acrylic but I could not get it to take on the complex curve of the original glass. Finally I got fed up and decided to just try cutting the original glass to the right size. I got about an inch in, cutting with a Dremel, and the glass shattered... I have done some more research and it looks like I was probably a fool for trying to cut the automotive glass with a Dremel so I went ahead and ordered another piece of class and a glass scoring knife. Hopefully with the correct tool I can cut down the original glass to the correct shape and get it to fit. Hopefully I am successful because the original glass is a little bit more expensive than the lexan or acrylic.

Also in other new, the slave cylinder blew while I was driving the other day. I was a bit surprised since I replaced it about four years ago, but I guess thats what I get for not using OEM parts. I went ahead and replaced the slave and master cylinders with OEM parts. Also while the car was out of commission I replaced all the brake rotors and pads. While I had the car on jack stands I was looking over the suspension and realized that one of my lower ball joints has ALOT of play in it. So I went ahead and replaced both the lower ball joints. It as in the garage on jack stands for several weeks while I eagerly waited for all the parts to arrive and get it back on the road again.



Of course it was raining when I finally finished putting the car back together, but it was still nice to finally be able to drive it again.



 

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Mufasa in Training
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I saw that post on Reddit. I thought your car looked familiar!

(Didn't realize it actually was your car, lol)
 

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Discussion Starter #73
I saw that post on Reddit. I thought your car looked familiar!

(Didn't realize it actually was your car, lol)
Lol yea, I have met a few people IRL who tell me they have seen my car on reddit. Small World

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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I LOVE THIS COLOR!!!🏆🏆🏆
But maybe buy a tip to extend the tailpipe so exhaust doesn't mess your paint!
 

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Discussion Starter #75
I LOVE THIS COLOR!!!🏆🏆🏆
But maybe buy a tip to extend the tailpipe so exhaust doesn't mess your paint!
Thanks! I was unsure about the color until I saw it on the car and I think it is perfect. It really goes with the vintage feel I want for the car. I actually vinyl wrapped the car so that I wouldn't have to commit to the color if I didn't like it, but when it is time to get the car painted this is definitely the color I am going with. The idea about an exhaust tip to keep the bumper a bit cleaner is a great idea that I cant believe I never though of!
 
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