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Author Topic: Are these Finish Panels legal?
Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I somehow was under the impression that we were required to use the OEM version. Can we use these?
http://classifieds.specmiata.com/detail.php?id=3333

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Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'm sure it's tech shed legal. [Wink]

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

oem steve
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I cant see where that would be any differant than say an aftermarket fender. Only problem I could see would be if it weighed cosiderably less than the OEM, but I dont see that happening.

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Juan Pineda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I doubt anyone would care about the slightly lighter weight.

Is there an after market source for the '99 chin spoiler? I understand the factory part is no longer available.

-Juan

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Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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A couple people were setting up shop to make them. Don't remember who. I must have searched every inch of the parts list for the NA's this weekend and now I can't find those chin spoilers either.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

David Dewhurst
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EDIT:

Chris Windsor was one & Drago the other doing 99 plus spoilers. Drago was working with Mazdaspeed to put OEM numbers on them.

[ 12-13-2010, 08:08 AM: Message edited by: David Dewhurst ]

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Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
CenDiv
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Spec Miata #14

Zauskycop Verified Driver
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Well, considering that advertisement says they are ultra-lightweight and 1+ pounds lighter than OEM...what do you think?

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Tracy Ramsey
Team Blenderblaster

Glenn Verified Driver
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I can see it now.....Impound all....Tech guy, please remove your plastic trunk piece so we can weigh it for compliance......

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Glenn
Crew chief Meathead Racing, NE Region Sales Division Race Engineering, The GOLD standard in SM engines, Occasional race slave for OPM Autosports

seege Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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CF doors, fenders and roofs... here we come!

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-CJ Johnson

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quote:
Originally posted by Zauskycop:
Well, considering that advertisement says they are ultra-lightweight and 1+ pounds lighter than OEM...what do you think?

The stock ones are very light to start with. Suprized one can take a pound out of them. If you really have $150 burning a hole in your pocket, then why not. But seems like a waste of money to just "upgrade" even if 100% legal. On the other hand, if you need one, nice to have an alternative than hit and miss at local recycle yards.

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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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[ 12-13-2010, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: B Wilson ]

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
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Brandon F. Verified Driver
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*tongue firmly in cheek*

Just run them for the first half of the season and then the CRB will "grandfather" them in like was done with the '99 ECUs.

[rolling on floor laughin] [laughing]

Alright, back to work with me...

P.S. Someone else posted a question about the carbon fiber hard tops but I believe those were built using Lexan for the window - not "legal".
Question was, would putting glass in "make" it legal?

Zauskycop Verified Driver
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Yes Glenn, I agree with you on that single point. But then...where does it end? What about a piece that I can save 2 lbs on? Let it float? 3 lbs? 4? Just a slippery slope (haven't we heard that before?)

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Tracy Ramsey
Team Blenderblaster

David Dewhurst
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
I wouldn't protest one if the weight was added back in. That would be easy enough to do.
-bw

Bruce, somehow this ^ doesn't pass the smell test. [nope] It sure leaves the door open for all sorts of illegal parts as long as for example a 1990 weighs 2275 pounds. How about someone does C/F trunk. Please remember at the pointy end cost dosen't come into play. [duck]

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Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
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soupy
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
I wouldn't protest one if the weight was added back in. That would be easy enough to do.

Pretty easy to tech this, and it will go on my list.

-bw


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Charlie Campbell
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soupy
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quote:
Originally posted by B Wilson:
I wouldn't protest one if the weight was added back in. That would be easy enough to do.

Pretty easy to tech this, and it will go on my list.

-bw

Under this theory couldn't I use a carbonfiber top with lexan windows as long as I added the weight back in???

I'd say no they are not legal.

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Charlie Campbell
Race Engineering
carbotech brakes

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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-bw

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
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Brandon F. Verified Driver
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Bruce, you may be on to something in your thoughts and the use of non-standard parts needs to be addressed I think.

The root of the idea, swapping in a lighter part and be able to put the removed weight in a more beneficial location, would become the norm even with a "may" qualifier on the replacement's usage in the rules. Just look at the ECUs... [Smile]

What about carbon fiber body panels?
"But I added the weight back in!"
(at the lowest part of the car)

Lexan window glass?
"But I added the weight back in!"
(at the lowest part of the car)

8# wheels?
"But I added the weight back in!"
(at the lowest part of the car)

You begin to get into what NASCAR does: they spec physical characteristics for individual components and then a final assembled weight.

"Transmission gears all must be X ratio with the following dimensions for each gear."
"Assembled unit must weigh X pounds."

This gives builders the ability to mill components to their lightest state (while maintaining reliability) and allowing the addition of tungsten weight to the bottom of the case where it is of "most benefit".

Same goes for the rear axle - lighten the components and then add the weight back in elsewhere.

Unfortunately, as our cars get older though I'm anticipating a need for possible inclusion of these alternative parts. With an appropriate rule being written to incorporate these parts I think it would be good for the class.

Here's what I've whipped up real quick this afternoon.

Alternative parts rule suggestion:
Mechanically fastened parts & panels may be replaced with like material components (metal for metal, plastic/fiberglass for plastic/fiberglass...**) Any differences in weight between removed & replacement part must be added to replacement part in a secure manner (metal - bolted and/or welded, plastic/fiberglass - bolted and/or epoxied/glued**).
** This list is neither exhaustive nor comprehensive.
** Plastic/fiberglass can be thought of as "fiber impregnated resin" to also cover carbon fiber components.

("Mechanically fastened" eliminates any welded and/or glued parts from being replaced and also might eliminate a potential hazard should a replacement part not be properly secured to the car. It also attempts to disallow the fastening of dissimilar material via gluing or other bonding.)
("Like material" replacements keep steel fenders and doors from being replaced by carbon fiber or fiberglass.)

A rule like this would allow a carbon fiber hard top (with the silica-based glass swapped in for the Lexan) to be used provided any differences in weight are made up in additional layers of resin and/or plastic epoxied to it (like material to add weight). In this case, the already-standing "glass rule" requires the replacement top's lexan to be swapped out so nothing new in that arena.

-To tech: Mazda or SnugTop part? No? Glass rear window? Check. Lighter? Indicate location of additional weight.

Similar for the finish panel - add the weight directly to the panel and it "could" be workable.
-To tech: Mazda part? No? Lighter? Indicate location of additional weight.

Fenders could be replaced with aluminum (if someone wanted to :|).
-To tech: Steel part? No? Lighter? Indicate location of additional weight.

I think wheels are covered (to keep the really light "8-pounders" from being used) since we specify "single piece" wheels so if any weight is added that automatically makes them "two piece".
(IMHO, you just "chemically" added the second piece instead of bolting/gluing.)

Drivetrain components are already covered ("...no further modifications allowed except the following...") so what else would there be left to entertain with a rule like this?

My $.02 - feel free to beat me up on it. [Smile]
Brandon

Willie the Tard Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Brandon F.:
*tongue firmly in cheek*

Just run them for the first half of the season and then the CRB will "grandfather" them in like was done with the '99 ECUs.

[rolling on floor laughin] [laughing]

Alright, back to work with me...

P.S. Someone else posted a question about the carbon fiber hard tops but I believe those were built using Lexan for the window - not "legal".
Question was, would putting glass in "make" it legal?

I look into those tops and it a CF orver GRP and with real glass window it would not be much lighter (someone else posted the same)

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William Keeling a.k.a. Willie the Tard

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Both of my posts have been removed since some folks may be misreading them.

These are not legal!

-bw

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
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Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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How many of you have steel hoods?

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Mike Collins
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Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Nobody is EVER going to tech the finish panel and if they did you had better be able to produce a weight in the Factory Service Manual of what the "stock" part weighs. Plenty of folks use aftermarket fenders and bumpers, the SM rules allow you to use after market parts so long as they serve no other purpose. I very seriously doubt the claimed difference in weight.

--------------------
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Brandon F. Verified Driver
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Silly season has arrived and I should be focusing my efforts on work...but here goes... [Smile]

Re: Steel hoods? I have one and to attain GCR legality for 2011, I have an AL replacement waiting for paint & install this off-season.
Going to AL brings the car into compliance as it came from the factory with such an item (implies congruency with the class intent). However, per the rules, replacing an AL hood w/steel wouldn't appear to be allowed.

In searches of the PDF'ed GCR for "body panel(s)", "hood", "aftermarket", "repair", & "replacement" (even "glass" & "roof" for good measure) none of the terms make either a specific reference to the SM hood or its material type. "Repair" & "body panel" have more to do with maintaining the contour of a vehicle's body in the GCR than specifying materials...
(see what happens below)

As far as the FSM missing listed weights for replaceable panels, it doesn't matter. If the rules don't say you can, then you can't. (Notwithstanding any protest rulings which tend to trigger rules updates for clarity.)
In fact, as part of my searching of the GCR for those above terms, I find it interesting there's no reference to a "SnugTop" anywhere either. Sooo.....

Ipso facto Columbo Oreo (apologies to "Bones") - the steel hood (and non-Mazda top) is a protestable item.
*whips out his magnet to protest the first guy w/a steel hood* [Big Grin]

But, to be fair to Mike C., none of this points to an outright non-allowance of any of these options: aftermarket hardtop (carbon fiber or not), aftermarket fenders (aluminum or not), decklids...these would all seem to be allowable as well provided they meet the determination of 9.1.8.C.7.b: "...reasonable effort to maintain stock body contours...no repair having as its purpose increased clearance is prohibited..."

Now, if I missed a particular search term or a reference to a general, all encompassing section of the GCR that clearly spells out what we can/cannot do in regards to damaged and/or replaceable components (fenders, hood, decklid, top) please let me know.

And if it's due to (my perceived) lack of clarity in the rules that why we are having this discussion, my apologies to everyone who's read this far.

If there's one thing I've learned from participating on this forum it's that you must know the rules and I'm always eager to learn when I can't find or interpret them myself. But don't be surprised when I question your interpretation.

Thanks,
Brandon

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Alan, you have stirred the pot again! [rolling on floor laughin]

--------------------
Glenn
Crew chief Meathead Racing, NE Region Sales Division Race Engineering, The GOLD standard in SM engines, Occasional race slave for OPM Autosports

Rob Burgoon Verified Driver
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OP: maybe technically not legal but a pretty safe calculated risk. If you need one and it's much cheaper I'd run it and not worry about it.

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It really makes my week when nobody crashes into me.

Weekend Warrior Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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My interest was purely economical, just figuring I will not be paying more for a parts car with a good one anymore..... [Big Grin]

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