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Author Topic: 1999 Spec Miata Build Log
dunk
Member

Year : 1999
Posts: 50
Status: Offline
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Hello everyone,

I've been lurking here a few months, however now my build is underway I thought I'd share a few pictures and my experiences so far.

I've been active with NASA mid-A over the last few years running a TTS/ST2 Subaru. Unfortunately, the car was not always as reliable as I would like and the consumable costs were extremely expensive. I made the decision this June to sell the car and pour all the money into a Spec Miata.

Here's a picture of the old car.

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I started with a low mileage 1999 Miata with a factory torsion. I drove the car to work for a few weeks to make sure it was mechanically sound. Here's a picture of what I think the car will look like at the end.

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dunk
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Year : 1999
Posts: 50
Status: Offline
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Here's a short list of the major components I decided to use on my build. I had around a $20K budget after selling the majority of the Subaru parts.

Miatacage.com Cage
Springfield Dyno Radiator and Exhaust
AIM Pista data with Smartycam
MOMO Daytona head restraint seat.

I'll be running a stock motor for at least the first year until I become proficient at driving the car. First order of business was to install the cage and paint the interior. Seat mounting required notching of the transmission tunnel and fabrication of a rear seatbelt mount.

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Little overspray on one of the doors from forgetting to tape up a hole. [Smile]

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Transmission tunnel modification

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Comments, suggestions, or any other pieces of advice are always welcome. Looking forward to getting this car on track.

-Duncan

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
Moonwalker

Region: SFR
Car #: 12
Year : 99
Posts: 267
Status: Offline
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Looks clean - we notched the tunnel as well for my Circuit Pro. One thing to watch is exhaust clearance... my notch is farther forward because I'm short so you should be ok there, but you might watch on the back. The exhaust hits the bolt for the harness mount which makes a lot of noise but so far doesn't seem to be damaging the SD exhaust. Now, where the exhaust hits against the diff in the back is a different story...

--------------------
MotorsportReg.com / Haag Performance / Team SafeRacer
2010 San Francisco Region SMT Champion

Scottie
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Region: WDCR
Car #: sm 19
Year : 93
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I notched the tunnel on my 93.... with a hammer.

Brian. I had the same problem with my harness bolt rubbing on the exhaust, it was damaging it. Luckily I took care of it fast enough before it put a hole in the exhaust. You should really be careful. But then again, all the SD exhausts seem to fit every car differently.

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How do I fit this ls7 into my mia... nevermind.

dunk
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Year : 1999
Posts: 50
Status: Offline
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Good tip. If I have to modifiy the exhaust a little that shouldn't be too much trouble. It's always handy to have the welder around.

On an unrelated note, I haven't gotten to the install of the radiator yet,however found some information on this site that the upper radiator hose will need to be replaced.

Anybody with a 99 and SD radiator that can clarify?

thanks,

Duncan

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Car #: 88 SM
Year : 99
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You should use new hoses anyway. Are you going to have temp gauges and are they going on that hose?

Also I bought my SD Rad in Sept last year, Finished my car in March, I have done 5 dble reg and i'm replacing it because it's got a pin hole leak.

Best of luck with yours.
J~

hoverducky Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Year : 1993
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Apparently the distilled water out here in SF Region is corrosive, because I lost an SD to a pinhole last season, too. I put another one in (SD radiator, not pinhole) and we'll see how that goes.

Scott

davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Car #: 72 and ?
Year : 90 and 90
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Are you able to get the heter and AC components back in the car without cutting tubes?????

--------------------
Advanced Autosports, The Midwests leader in Spec Miata Service, Parts and Rentals
608-313-1230
Authorised Spec Miata service center
www.advanced-autosports.com

CP Verified Driver
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Car #: 7
Year : 1999
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I'd HIGHLY recommend a heat barrier like this on the underside of the transmission tunnel. It made a world of difference on my car as far as driver comfort is concerned.

Green is the fastest color [Smile]

--------------------
-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
http://www.speedshackonline.com

Brian Ghidinelli Verified Driver
Moonwalker

Region: SFR
Car #: 12
Year : 99
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Hrm, my SD radiator is running just fine with the full season + test days on it. Not to hijack but do your fan shrouds touch the fins or are they really really close so that they might rub against it with vibration?

--------------------
MotorsportReg.com / Haag Performance / Team SafeRacer
2010 San Francisco Region SMT Champion

jwarren Verified Driver
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Region: NNJ
Car #: 51
Year : 1991
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nice work! I've always had a love of the scoob but i can understand the cost issue :(. Just tracking an sti alone was enough to steer me away from that unless i was attempting to build a moneypit 500+whp time attack car.

I just recently built my second SM from the ground up by myself as well. It was an amazing process, and i learned a LOT along the way. I could tell you all of the things you never realized before you even get to them.


For instance, be careful where you mount the kill switch (as provided with the maitacage kit), as sometimes the seat and/or a center net will block your access to it. I didn't realize this until i was done and went to kill the car from inside.

--------------------
Ridgespeed Racing

#51 J. Andrew Warren

http://www.ridgespeedracing.com

JIM DANIELS Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by davew:
Are you able to get the heter and AC components back in the car without cutting tubes?????

Rather easily on the car I just built. My welds are a different story but I can't blame the kit for that.

Some of our RX8s and SMs in NASA (our meaning Mazda employees who race with RDR) use and are extremely happy with the products Sean offers.

That said, Drago, Wheeler, Mike Tesch etc... have some very pretty cages for those non-DIY types.

I would not want anyone thinking something was wrong with Sean's kit, right Dave?

This 99' looks great, good luck on your build!

--------------------
Jim Daniels

MAZDARACERS.COM

dunk
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Year : 1999
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quote:
Originally posted by davew:
Are you able to get the heter and AC components back in the car without cutting tubes?????

What tubing are you referring to? The heater vent tubes, or the cross bar in the dash.

Either way I'm not sure yet. It's a Miatacage.com cage installed as per the instructions and their picture showed the heater core installed so I'm assuming it'll work out.

Duncan

Goggles Pisano
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Region: NW
Car #: 23
Year : 1999
Posts: 35
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There is some trimming to do on the heater core box. It sort of determines the dash bar height.

--------------------
Ericjonesmotorsports.com
"If it can't kill ya, it ain't a sport."

hoverducky Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Year : 1993
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quote:
Originally posted by Brian Ghidinelli:
Hrm, my SD radiator is running just fine with the full season + test days on it. Not to hijack but do your fan shrouds touch the fins or are they really really close so that they might rub against it with vibration?

I don't believe the shroud touches the fins. The pinhole was in the upper left aft corner where the tubes meet the tank. Small enough that it wasn't obvious what was going on, but large enough to prevent pressure from building. The result was high temps and low power.

Scott

Martin Wiedenhoeft Verified Driver
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Region: Milwaukee
Car #: 99
Year : 1990
Posts: 78
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Dunk,

I made a similiar move a few years ago. I ran a time attack Mitsu EVO with NASA in the midwest division.

I jumped ship to a spec miata with SCCA and haven't looked back since. I miss the power but the competition and communitiy more than make up for it. You won't believe how far your racing budget will go after the car is done as compared to the scoobie.

Your car is looking good. As for advice, finish it asap and join us on the track! Also check out Dave Wheeler's book at Advanced Autosports. It contains tons of good info when building your SM.

--------------------
Trakmnky

dunk
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Year : 1999
Posts: 50
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Made some good progress this weekend. Spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the garage. Short list of things that are complete.

Friday:
Heater box, fan, and dash are back in the car. Heater box fit fine with a little trimming to clear the dash tube.

Saturday:
Finished connecting all the wiring, reinstalled the seat, added the fire system, cutoff switch, and battery.

Sunday:
Installed the MXL pista (missing a few sensors but the dash is in the car and working. Moved onto removing the A/C, Power Steering, installing the hood pins, and working on the radiator. Also verified the exhaust will fit (but it's going to be a litle tight) and did a few minor touch ups where I scratched the paint reinstalling interior items.

Did get the car back enough together to verify it will start. I've been spoiled having the top off the car and the windshield out. I'm trying to make sure I remember to do everything before finally bolting down the top.

Some pictures I took at the end of the weekend. I'll get some better ones up of the dash after I remove my touch up drapes:

Battery back in place.
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4L SPA AFFF System Installed
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Hood Pins, tight fit.
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Fire System Lines
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Radiator Installed. Stock bottom hose looks like it will fit but the top one is definitely too short. Any suggestions on a part no for a hose that fits. Also, was surprised the radiator didn't come with grommets for the bottom mounts. I added some during my install. Fan Shroud had to be trimmed for clearance.
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Seat in the car. Hopefully I don't get any taller because it's as low as I could get it. [Smile]
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Dave Metz
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Region: OVR
Car #: TBD
Year : 1999
Posts: 17
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Looking great. Wish mine was to that point already!

George Munson Verified Driver
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Car #: 127
Year : 90
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I was told a "Gates 22133" works. Napa has a cross and thats what I just installed in my new build.

dunk
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Year : 1999
Posts: 50
Status: Offline
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More progress tonight, and some questions.

First, here's a picture of the AIM installed and the kill switch which nicely fit in the drivers side vent.
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Factory suspension out
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New parts
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Questions:
Any good guides with pictures on how the spec suspension goes together. I actually had a copy of the builders guide from Advance Auto Sports but I've unfortunately misplaced it.

I'm using Advance Auto Sports Endlinks. I noticed mind did not come with bolts or nuts. Was this an omission or do I need to run to the hardware store?

Any tricks for removing the front bearings before I attempt that in a few nights?

thanks in advance.

Duncan

Teamfour Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Car #: 04
Year : 1993
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Nice build. If you are talking about the front hub bearings, you don't remove and replace them as in a regular front spindle. Use the following site to see how to rebuild the hubs.

http://www.waltermotorsports.com/v/Racing/hub/

--------------------
Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
Team Four Racing

dunk
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Year : 1999
Posts: 50
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Light work day in the garage last night due to a shortage of supplies, however knocked some small things out.

Front sway bar installed.
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Rear sway bar installed. I would have liked to paint all the control arms but there just insn't going to be time this go around. I'll take car of it over the winter. I'll probably do the front and rear subframes as well as replace the motor mounts and suspension bushings while I'm in there.

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Shifter back in the car with a brand new boot from Mazda Motorsports
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Laying out the Fat Cat Motorsports Bump Stop kit. I didn't have any Gorilla glue so to continue with the install.
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Started fitment of the Koolmat heat shield. I haven't decided how I'm going to fasten it to the floor. The instructions suggest silicone glue. I'm also a little concerned on what to do at the edges to stop the fiberglass matting from fraying. It really needs a border on it.
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Stock oil pressure sensor replaced with a braided line for an aftermarket VDO sensor. They didn't make that one easy to get to, did they? [Smile] I used a 26" extension, universal joint and a large socket to remove it through the wheel well.
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Thanks it for today. I'll probably have more updates later on in the week and hopefully this weekend can get the last of the major items done. Then it's off to the graphics shop for the finishing touches, as well as dyno, alignment, and a new windshield.

-Duncan

dunk
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Year : 1999
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Suspension is on the car, along with new wheel bearings, tie rods, lower ball joints, and cam bolts.

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dunk
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Year : 1999
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Anybody heard from VictoryLaneData recently? I've left a few messages with no response. Need a CAN extension cable for my data hub.

Today I should receive the rest of the pieces I need from Mazda Motorsports to finish up the car. Next Monday it goes out to graphics, and then on Tuesday we'll finish up the exhaust, scale, weigh, and align it.

First track test is next Friday at VIR.

-Duncan

davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Just recovering from the Runoffs and thought I would post a couple clarifications

My early post about heater box install was only a concern that the parts could not be put back in without removing the dash bar. It was not meant to be a knock against the cage manufacturer. I like my design better, but I am biased.

My endlinks require new bolts be purchased for 99+ cars. The factory end links on early cars use a nut and bolt mount. Which can be reused. On 99+ the factory links have a stud. Thus requiring you to get nuts and bolts. Hardware store is fine. I prefer to order early nuts and bolts from Mazda. But I am biased!!!!!

Dave

--------------------
Advanced Autosports, The Midwests leader in Spec Miata Service, Parts and Rentals
608-313-1230
Authorised Spec Miata service center
www.advanced-autosports.com

dunk
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Year : 1999
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No worries Dave,

I picked up the endlink bolts and nuts from the Hardware store. Didn't even think to check Mazda Motorsports for the ealier years.

Looking forward to getting the car back down on the ground and taking it for a short spin.

Duncan

dunk
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Work continued a little last night. In the final stretch now.

Framed the cut-out of the door panels with some split vacuum tubing held in place with silicone adhesive.

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I'll be using the new memory key to transfer data from the car.
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Smartycam installed.
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Cool Suit in
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Radiator hoses installed for radiator.
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New plugs and MSD wires
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That's it for a few days. This weekend is the final week of work, and the car goes off for graphics on Monday morning. Tuesday we align the car and its track debut is next Friday.

Duncan

cucamelsmd15
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Hey dunk, do you still have the door panels? If so, you might consider trimming them similar to this:
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Looks much nicer, IMO.

Johnny D Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Hot Member

Region: SFR
Car #: 88 SM
Year : 99
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You can see he cut the door panels just right for that. He sure seems to know what he's doing for his 1st Miata build. Looks great.
J~

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

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Is that the stock side impact beam on the white car?

Willie the Tard Verified Driver
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Year : 92
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you might want to relocate the trunk fire line so you can get into the fuel tank to change the fuel presure regulator

--------------------
William Keeling a.k.a. Willie the Tard

dunk
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Year : 1999
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Not worried about that line. They're easy enough to take apart if I need to remove the cover.

Anyone have pictures of their camera mount setup. Trying to get some ideas on how best to position the camera mount. Not entirely happy with the way I have it now.

Duncan

dunk
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Year : 1999
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All done.

Car goes to graphics on Monday, and then to All Aspects Motorsports on Tuesday for a windshield, alignment, and final exhaust fitment.

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Got to start them young. [Smile]
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Duncan

Kyle Burkhardt
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Where are you puting the ballast?

--------------------
Kyle Burkhardt
NASA Midwest
#12 SM

dunk
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Year : 1999
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Behind the cool suit on the passenger floor board.

Duncan

Kyle Burkhardt
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Got it.

--------------------
Kyle Burkhardt
NASA Midwest
#12 SM

CP Verified Driver
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Car #: 7
Year : 1999
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I'd suggest adding a few band clamps to help hold the fire bottle down. I've got the same system and the clamps suck. The bottle was loose in the factory clamps when I installed it. So I cut a few small slits in the floor pan and ran 2 big band clamps around the frame rail underneath the car to secure the bottle.

Good looking build. You have given me some ideas about what to play around with when I get bored this winter since I'm lucky enough not to be building another car this year...just straightening the one I've already got [Smile]

--------------------
-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
http://www.speedshackonline.com

dunk
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Year : 1999
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Back from graphics.

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 -

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cnj
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Car #: 32
Year : 1999
Posts: 194
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That car is WAY too pretty to put on a track with a bunch of lunatic Spec Miata drivers......

Craig J
(ps. Awesome job)

Greg S
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CNJ, are you the Craig J who used to DE a Boxster? If so, I'd like to talk to you about SM... again.

-Greg Smith

cnj
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Greg,

Yes. Still have the Boxster and take it out to annoy the 911's when I instruct. PM me. FYI I will be racing at ECR next weekend (15/16) if you want to come by.

Craig J

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
Overdog Driver

Region: Houston; SWDIV
Car #: 15
Year : 99
Posts: 680
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quote:
Originally posted by cnj:
Greg,

Yes. Still have the Boxster and take it out to annoy the 911's when I instruct. PM me. FYI I will be racing at ECR next weekend (15/16) if you want to come by.

Craig J

Racing? I thought you did touring laps... [Big Grin]

--------------------
James York


sponsored by:
Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA
powered by:
East Street Racing, Memphis TN
set up guru:
Gilfus Racing, Austin TX

JC-MX5
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Car #: 33
Year : 1990
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Dunk, the car is gorgeous! Well done!

--------------------
Josh Chaney
Future Rookie/Build in progress...

BrianW
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Region: SW
Car #: 59
Year : 1999
Posts: 28
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The car looks good! I like the AIM dash replacement. What are you doing for a fuel gauge?

cnj
Member

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Car #: 32
Year : 1999
Posts: 194
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quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
quote:
Originally posted by cnj:
Greg,

Yes. Still have the Boxster and take it out to annoy the 911's when I instruct. PM me. FYI I will be racing at ECR next weekend (15/16) if you want to come by.

Craig J

Racing? I thought you did touring laps... [Big Grin]
Clearly not only are you too chicken to come down to ECR to get another whipping, but you have too much free time on your hands at work.... [Smile]

Craig J

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
Overdog Driver

Region: Houston; SWDIV
Car #: 15
Year : 99
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quote:
Originally posted by cnj:
quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
quote:
Originally posted by cnj:
Greg,

Yes. Still have the Boxster and take it out to annoy the 911's when I instruct. PM me. FYI I will be racing at ECR next weekend (15/16) if you want to come by.

Craig J

Racing? I thought you did touring laps... [Big Grin]
Clearly not only are you too chicken to come down to ECR to get another whipping, but you have too much free time on your hands at work.... [Smile]

Craig J

I am keeping the hours low on my fresh runoffs motor so I can really put it to you next year. [Smash]

Or are you going to have excuses again like snow, ribs hurt from go-karting, sick and too busy at work? I bet growing up the dog ate your homework too. [Razz]

And to not totally hi-jack the post, Duncan, you have build a very nice SM. Good job.

--------------------
James York


sponsored by:
Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA
powered by:
East Street Racing, Memphis TN
set up guru:
Gilfus Racing, Austin TX

cnj
Member

Region: SW Division
Car #: 32
Year : 1999
Posts: 194
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quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
quote:
Originally posted by cnj:
quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
quote:
Originally posted by cnj:
Greg,

Yes. Still have the Boxster and take it out to annoy the 911's when I instruct. PM me. FYI I will be racing at ECR next weekend (15/16) if you want to come by.

Craig J

Racing? I thought you did touring laps... [Big Grin]
Clearly not only are you too chicken to come down to ECR to get another whipping, but you have too much free time on your hands at work.... [Smile]

Craig J

I am keeping the hours low on my fresh runoffs motor so I can really put it to you next year. [Smash]

Or are you going to have excuses again like snow, ribs hurt from go-karting, sick and too busy at work? I bet growing up the dog ate your homework too. [Razz]

And to not totally hi-jack the post, Duncan, you have build a very nice SM. Good job.

So James, after the 2 race whipping you saying you had to go buy a new motor with all the Drago goodies to beat me? [Big Grin]

Duncan, when you get the car finished, come down and race with us sometime in Texas (just don't be faster than James or he gets all testy). We have some fun tracks and good racing.

Craig J

B Boutz
Junior Member

Region: Rocky Mountain
Year : 1992
Posts: 8
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Hey Dunk, Who makes those trick hood pins? Car looks put together nicely.

Mike LL
Member

Region: Florida
Posts: 43
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they are called AeroCatch flush mount hood pins. Pegusus and Deftracing have them

--------------------
Mike Lliteras
Sponsor, Mechanic, Owner and Dad
NASA FL

dunk
Member

Year : 1999
Posts: 50
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Had a decent first weekend with the car at a 3 day NASA event at VIR. There is one issue though I think I'll need some help with.

First session out with the car took it nice and easy. Car responded by the starter motor solenoid sticking in the on position, over heating and melting the starter, resulting in a total short to the electrical system and no electrical power. Got towed back to the pits, yanked out the motor and push started the car for the rest of the day. Installed a new starter in the evening and the car started flawlessly after that.

What I need help with is a power loss I experienced on the second day. In the first session during warm up the car ran a 2:24.7 on the first flying lap. On the second lap pulling onto the back straight I noticed the car didn't hit redline in fourth until much later on the straight. Coming back across start finish I was 2 seconds slower. I did 2 more full laps to verify but the car had definitely slowed. No misfire or any other symptom.

Pulled back into the pits and pulled out the plugs. All seemed to be normal although maybe a little on the lean side. I don't have a frame of reference so I don't want to say for sure. For certain, none were black or showed any sign of detonation. Followed that with a compression test. All cylinders were within plus/minus 5psi of 190 so the motor seems to be healthy.

Checked the intake tract for leaks and didn't see any. No exhaust leaks that I can hear.

Any ideas on where to start? Fuel related? I'd rather not throw 300 dollars worth of pump and regulator at it without clearing out some easy stuff. I wish I had an air fuel or FP gauge in the car.

thanks in advance.

Duncan

 
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