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Author Topic: My 1991 NA Sealed Spec Miata Build
SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Well I got my donor car.
1991 NA base model no power anything long nose crank.
Aftermarket suspension which I will sell later.
160K on the car.
Has a VLSD to be installed as the factory diff was toast. I will swap this for a Torsen.
The top was good for shade, but no window.
The roll bar is going back to the owner as he did not want to remove it the night I came to get the car.
Paid $1,000 which was my budget.

Now the hard part finding a hardtop cheap.

Here are the photos of the car the day after I got it home.
PHOTO BUCKET PAGE

I will try to at least update this thread weekly with what I am doing to the car.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Mitch Taylor
Member

Region: FLA
Car #: 97
Year : 1990
Posts: 76
Status: Offline
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Body looks good, keep a log of the cost of parts and your hours of time invested. The cost trade off of buy a used NA already built or build your own.

Overall a nice looking car.

Nigel Stu Verified Driver
Member

Region: Detroit
Car #: 66
Year : 1992
Posts: 105
Status: Offline
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If you haven't yet, I think you should set up a blog for this.

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Ben Schaut
Schaut Speed Motorsports
GLDiv / WHRRI
#66 Blue/White/Black

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Ben,

This thread will be my blog unless I get recommendations to put it somewhere else.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Well tonight I dug around the car inside an out. I found some junk down beside the seats. I started removing the 4 point harness. Also found the Radio surround is destroyed. I am hitting Pick N Pull tomorrow for a replacement. Also going to see if I can find an open 1.8L diff to upgrade to Torsen. Lastly I am thinking of picking up suspension arms for spares. What about the transmission should I get a spare for rebuild?

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Ron Alan Made Donation to Website
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Region: SF
Year : 95
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Josh,

I have a spare tranny and all 4 corner spares. PM or e-mail me for price.

Ron

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-RA


"Happy birthday, I didn't get you a present...Oh, mom got you one? Well, that's from me then too, unless it's shitty."
9:52 AM Sep 14th, 2009 via web
http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Well I spent the day at Modesto and Stockton Pick-N-Pull junk yards looking for parts today.
I picked up:
Center Radio surround
99 rear struts and top hats
pair of rear tail lights
pair of front tow hooks
Rear diff suspension support bushings
Radiator with both electric fans
Under Engine shroud
Misc Electrical backup parts
Misc Nuts and Bolts

Also three pics of the box of goodies that came with the car.

Tried to install the VLSD into the car tonight and I am not sure of the order to put it in. I jacked up the diff into place and installed the two nuts but now am have trouble getting the powertrain brace on. Should I install the powertrain brace onto the VLSD before install the diff onto the 2 carrier bolts. Help me out with the order of re-installation as I did not remove it. I am not keeping the VLSD in the car, but I want to drive the car so bad.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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OH here is the photos:
Pick N Pull & Bonus Box

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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5/31/2010
Figured out the powertrain brace issue. You have to knock back the bushing in the brace so it will slide over the diff then pull in back into place with the mounting bolts.
Well I took some pictures of the engine bay, trunk, rear bulkhead, radio surround.
Banged out the air filter element.(will change later)
Used some CRC Mass Airflow cleaner of the MAF.
Tightened all of the bolts on the MAF and air filter.
Reinstalled the exhaust line and muffler after the CAT. Found I am missing one exhaust hanger rubber goodie.
Replaced the junk smoked tail lights with the polished junk yard pair.
Removed everything from the trunk.
Removed the rollbar.(Will be returning to seller as requested)
Removed carpet and bulkhead for cleaning.
Removed the rest of the five point.
Reinstalled the drivers seat, factory belts, and package tray carpet.
Filled the transmission with Royal Purple Syncromesh as I lost a bunch when I winched the car onto my trailer without the driveline installed. I pulled the driveline because the diff was out when I bought the car.
Found out my junkyard radio bezel is not right as passenger airbag cars have a different bezel. You can see in my photos why I am looking for a replacement. I properly removed the junkyard one but that is not what was done to the one that came with the car. Anybody want to swap or have one they want to sell?
6/1/2010
Fired up the car tonight.
Took it down to the local gas station and put in a half tank of 91.
When I got back the cars temperature was high and the I noticed the fan was not working. Come to find out the factory large fan was not working.
I modified the wiring to run the smaller A/C fan to cool the engine for now.
Ran 1/3 pint of SeaFoam through the engine and put the rest in the tank along with fuel injector cleaner.
Hopefully that will clean the cylinders a little along with the injectors for now.
Anything else you might recommend to help a 160K engine get every ounce of power out of it without a tear down?


PICTURES

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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Tonight I only took the car out for a spin, so no work on it tonight as I am prepping my other car for an open track day with NCRC at Buttonwillow June 5th.
My Other Non-Competion Toy (No Cage)

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Alright I need to make a decision about the diff.
I have a VLSD in it now which from what I read will not survive spec miata racing.
I was originally going to do the Torsen but now I have read about the Competition Clutch Type.
Which is preferred and why?
I did a search of the Forum and did not find anything on differentials. Pro's Con's
Thanks for the help.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Vick Verified Driver
Do they sell spec training wheels?

Region: NYR
Car #: 12
Year : 1991
Posts: 620
Status: Offline
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For reliability, people pick the Torsen. Apparently it's impossible to break, and I've spent two seasons trying. It also have a 7" rear gear, while the mazdacomp unit has a 6".

For speed, people pick the mazda comp. It's about 10 lbs lighter than the torsen. Of course, they're much easier to break. It seems some people have better luck with them than others.

When I switched from my mazda comp to a torsen (because I broke the mazdacomp) I lost a few mph down the back stretch at watkins glen.

I don't know if I could tell the difference in terms of driving. There's only one track I've been on (New Hampshire) that has a very hard 2nd gear turn where you can get wheel spin if you try.

If I remember there should be a lot of info out there, not sure why your search didn't turn anything up.

I know a lot of guys on a budget just drove an open diff until they had the $$ for a torsen. A lot of those guys turn faster lap times than I do.

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http://www.volko.com

cintibob
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Region: cfr
Car #: 13
Year : 1990
Posts: 105
Status: Offline
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I have had a VLSD in my car for at least two years. No problems as of yet and it was a used piece from drago at East Street. My car gets driven by my girlfriend and myself in two classes at the races and it takes a beating. The other diff was a mazdacomp and had been in for four years and the ring gear stripped the teeth. It was installed by first owner and I don't know how often the oil was changed. The VLSD won't help in a corner where wheelspin will happen. Just change the gear oil after every race weekend and slightly overfill. Later buy a used open rear for a spare and make sure you have the axles for the open they are different than VLSD. Also change all the water hoses even the small ones around the throttle body they get small leaks that are hard to find and use good screw type clamps.

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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Well I did find a lot of information Miata.net about the differences in the differentials but nothing conclusive on why there are three different types when one should really be the best of the three.
My reason for wanting to change from the VLSD is I have some autocross friends really wanting it while it is in good shape and I think I can get more out of selling it now and buying a Torsen.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Chris Haldeman
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Region: texas
Car #: 71,72
Year : 1990,1999
Posts: 166
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if you can get anything money wise for your vlsd you need to sell it and buy a torsen.just my opinion,but it is always better to do it right from the start and then never worry about it again.

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
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I am going to a local autocross in a couple weeks and I think I will try marketing it there with letting those who I know drive the car for a lap to see that the VLSD is working properly, get more money that way, I think. In regard to a Torsen setup the required components are driveshaft, half shafts, and diff. I have a line on a used(open no Torsen) setup for $300 is this a good deal. Also have a possible Torsen for $300. What is the going rate for this used stuff?

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Chris Haldeman
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Region: texas
Car #: 71,72
Year : 1990,1999
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i have seen the complete used torsen swaps bring between 1100-1300.you are correct about the required parts.

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Put in 45min tonight on the car scrapping the tar paper from the trunk floor and beside the battery.
Trying to decide what else I can work on while I am driving the car.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
ComingToAMirrorNearYou

Region: WDC
Car #: #23
Year : 1991
Posts: 642
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Make sure that your Torsen has the 4.3 gear set.

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Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Yes I caught that in the rulebook 4.3:1 only.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Frank Todaro
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Region: Ohio Valley Region
Car #: 35
Year : 1999
Posts: 170
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quote:
Originally posted by Muda:
Make sure that your Torsen has the 4.3 gear set.

What other gear sets are out there? are they marked on the dif?

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Frank
Member: No Pain Racing

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Hot Member

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Car #: 88 SM
Year : 99
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94~97 run 4.1 but can run 4.3 according to the rules now.

Do a search here for torsen and you'll find out how to count teeth if your not sure what you got or going to get.
J~

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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Well I nolonger just have the one Miata.
I have aquired 1-1/2 more.
One is a 92 I think but it is competely gutted and is only a rolling chassis. Right after I got it I came across another 92 non-running(wiring problem). Both cars combined only costed me $600 plus fuel to get them.
Rigth now I am still street driving the silver one I mentioned at the beginning and don't realy want to stop driving it. I have become addicted to driving with the top down.
I will try and get pictures of the other two cars up shortly.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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I finally got some photos up of the other 1-1/2 cars. PICTURES
I have been acquiring parts.
I got a Racetech 4009WHR with brackets and lubar support.
I got a pallet with a transmission, diff, rad fan, radio surround, flywheel, turned down rotors, and a couple stock headers.
Just picked up a hardtop from a friend for $650, but I have to re-install the rear glass. This work out well as I can paint the top before before installing the glass.
I currently getting rid of a couple other project cars so I can start my Miata.
Still going to build the silver car as the white car with peeling paint has A/C that works after siting for 4 years, so it will become my street car.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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Hey guys just wanted to update this thread to say the car is at the turn around point meaning I have finished taking it apart. I have the car all the way apart to just the tub with windshield and doors being the only things attached to it. I gave it a really good pressure wash everywhere, even underneath. I currently have a large order trickling of:
Roll Cage with rear X brace and curved Dash Bar.
Fire System
Tow Eyes
Clutch Disk
Pressure Plate
Adj. Sway Bar Links
Seat Belt Collars
Qucik Realease Stearing Wheel Adaptor
Fuel Test Port
Hard Top Hard Mounts
Window Net Installation kit.

I have already modified the center tunnel to fit the Racetech seat on the floor. I have also installed 3/16 plates in the floor for seating positioning.
I will try to get some photos posted before the end of this week.
Next on my pruchase list is suspension stuf from Mazda motorsports.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
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Did I go far enough taking it apart?

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http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac63/SCCA_Racer/My...Down_006.jpg?t=1285389585

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Well got a little further with the car.
Painted 90% of the suspension parts so they look new.
Fixed the steering wheel lock by welding in a small piece of sheet metal over it and then ground it smooth on the steering shaft.
Installed a MiataCage quick steering wheel release to the steering shaft. Had to modify the plastic sleeve piece on the steering shaft so the adapter could thread on far enough without rubbing. Used lots of red Loctite and drilled the steering shaft so the set screws would bite.
Found out I need an adapter to bolt on my MOMO wheel.
I will try to post some pictures again this week.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

George B
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Your doing a great job. When the car is finished, I'm sure it will be like a new car but built for spec racing. I give you a A+ for effort.
After seeing all the hard work your doing, you convinced me to buy a car already completed. I'm just too pressed for time at this point in my life.
Keep up the hard work, I cannot wait to see the completed car.

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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Yes, I am still building my car, but just have not had time to get anything posted on here.
1. How do you replace the seal and bearing ball retainer in the rear hubs?


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2. Do the front spindles always discolor like this?

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3. Look at my Aluminum Hubs.

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More Pictures Here:
Miata Hub Pictures

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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I am assuming nobody is realy reading this thread as I thought for sure somebody would question aluminum "PAINTED" hubs.
I did some reading on Miata.net on rebuilding the rear hubs, so now I know I have to press out the center race to put in the new bearings into the hubs. I plan to finish and sanding and welding on the tub tonight so I can maybe spray it this weekend.
I have almost have everything to put the car back together with all of the spec upgrades.
Going to set a goal date of Jan 2nd for the Free test day at T-Hill.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

tom_hampton
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Region: SW
Year : 1992
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Josh,

Don't sweat it..people read it. I've had 1000s of visitors to my blog from here. No one ever comments, but I know the read it. Car is looking good.

Did you paint the hubs?

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---
Tom Hampton
Miata build: http://www.tomhampton.info

David Dewhurst
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quote:
Originally posted by SCCA_Racer:
Installed a MiataCage quick steering wheel release to the steering shaft. Used lots of red Loctite and drilled the steering shaft so the set screws would bite.

Josh, it reads like your doing a fine job. I'll pass on one comment about the MiataCage quick release hub (or any other similar screw on hub) that screws onto the steering shaft. I bought that same hub, adpator & Momo wheel. I decided I didn't trust the hub that screws on the shaft & is secured with the two little set screws. I then bought a quick relese hub that slips on the steering shaft splines & the OEM nut is used to secure the hub to the steering shaft. I don't EVER want the steering wheel not to do it's job by coming loose. [Eek!] I viewed a guy I know go through Road America T5 left hand & the same quick release hub came loose & he hit the wall because of NO steering. If you would like I'll dig out the parts by name that I used & forward them. Please pm me.

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Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
CenDiv
Milwaukee Region
Spec Miata #14

SCCA_Racer
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Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
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Went to Lowes tonight and piked up some cable and stuff to make door release latches as the door bars made the original interior latches non-functional. I will finish installing tomorrow and will take some pictures.
Plan for tomorrow more finish welding and a pressure wash job on the motor, trans, and hubs.

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Hot Member

Region: SFR
Car #: 88 SM
Year : 99
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+1 we're all watching, great to see your goal to make T-Hill. I'll see you there.
J~

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Avatar Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww9cFE3lKcA

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Well, I sort of made my goal tonight. I got the area around roll bar sealed up. I will be adding foil tape and fireproof putty to finish filling in the gaps.

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Also, I finished the window net install:

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Lastly, I put my shocks together and put them in the suspension. The suspension is a little dusty since I cleaned it and painted it. The blue tape on the suspension and shocks is to keep them from getting all scratched up.

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This is one of the last shots you should seeing with the car still being silver. You guys will just have to wait to see the new color, but I will say it will not be silver.

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Well school and work from 7:30am-9:00pm the next two nights and 7:30am-6:30pm Wednesday, so I will be Thankful it is Thanksgiving as I can work on the car again. Yippee!!!

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Got a tone of work done to the car over the 4 day weekend.
Take a look at the photos:
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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
Posts: 167
Status: Offline
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I got the wire harness, the climate controls, the steering column, dash, front end sub frame unit with shocks and a-arms all back in last night. Looks like I might actually my deadline of the end of the year!

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Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
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That orange is wild, I love it. In previous builds I've used ermine white single stage auto urethane for the interiors. Good looking tub up build. [thumbsup]

Have you had any issues with your HF press plates? I got a 12 ton earlier this summer ($63 open box return) but haven't put it through much stress yet. Some on off road sites are telling horror stories about the stock plates shattering under stress.

Dave

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The 2011 Money Furnace
http://racing.roaddog.com/

SCCA_Racer
Member

Region: 33 SFR
Year : 1991
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Dave,

I have never had any problem with the plates but I have bent the rod that is below the jack. My Dad welded in a plate around the rod on the bottom side to make the U-Channel under the jack a complete box to help keep the rod from bending.

--------------------
Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Alberto M Goncalves
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Year : 1990
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Nice

SCCA_Racer
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Year : 1991
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Thanks Alberto,

By the way that is my Dad in the photo spraying the black. I sprayed the ORANGE.
I will get to work on it tomorrow night.

--------------------
Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Alberto M Goncalves
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Year : 1990
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Looking at the orange, I keep thinking of Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin [Big Grin]

SCCA_Racer
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Good one Alberto, but I already had a friend comment"that color looks like a Lamborghini orange" so I think that is what I am going to call it. [Wink]

--------------------
Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

iambhooper
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nice build thread! i lke the orange a lot, but would be concerned that the orange roll bar's would be a distraction when driving. black tend's to just blend in. maybe i'm wrong.

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hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

SCCA_Racer
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Year : 1991
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hoop,

You might be right, but I want the interior color the same as the exterior. My plan is to add some blue vinyl to the exterior to break up the orange.
For a color reference on how bright this orange actually is you can look in the lower left corner of the second to last photo and see and orange air hose which you can get at Harbor Freight. Plus this orange is as close to RACER TAPE orange as I could get.
Anyone reading this know of a place that stock the SAMCO SPORT radiator hoses? I am trying to fing a place with them in stock. Also what do you guys do about the heater hoses to get them in silicone vs rubber?

--------------------
Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

Randy Thieme
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Region: Oregon
Car #: 51
Year : 1993
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Beautiful orange. At one point the interior looked dark colored. Did you spray a white or silver layer first to get that bright result?

SCCA_Racer
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Year : 1991
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Randy,

I sprayed the whole interior with black primer first, so the under color is not white or silver but black. I went with black because I wanted the orange to be deep in color. I have to do the exterior next and I know I should have sprayed it all at once but I have limited amounts of time to work on it right now. Moreover, there are a few small dents I want to take care of first before painting. I know you guys are all laughing about me being worried about a couple small dents but if it looks great when I start the season then I am more likely to try and keep it that way if you know what I mean.
I will be putting in some time over this weekend to prep the exterior of the body and the top. It is looking like I am not going to make the free test day unless a miracle happens between now and then. Money and time can only be stretched so far. [Wink]

--------------------
Joshua Fine
SCCA member 323214 since 2003
Novice Permit in 2010
Racing 2011

 
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