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Author Topic: Spec Miata "in a Box" thoughts
jenrick
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For those who haven't heard of it:

http://www.advanced-autosports.com/index.php?main_page=spec_miata_in_a_box

I know the general consensus is that building you own car takes longer and costs more. However I quiet enjoy the wrench turning part and price wise it's not that expensive. The parts listings seems good, and the cage looks good as well. Anyone have any thoughts?

-Jenrick

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

Region: NWR / Oregon
Car #: 88
Year : 95
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I'm sure Dave W. loves it. [Razz]

People get particular about one thing or another like the seat, brake pads, fluids etc. but if you haven't become choosy yet, it's nice to have it all layed out for you. I like the thought that went into it including things like rebuilt calipers and hoses...stuff you might trust is still good until it takes a crap on you.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

jj15ball
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Region: SE
Car #: 15
Year : 90
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Dave W. makes a great cage. Even at 1 5/8" and Nascar bars on each side I have to have 30# of ballast and 2 gallons of fuel to make weight in my 90' before I got T-boned. I got hit right behind the drivers door and the cage didn't budge. I'll be swapping the cage to a new car as soon as I find one.

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Jason Ball

jenrick
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Sounds like the way to go then. Now to track down a donor car, and clean up the garage so I've got room to put a car in it.

-Jenrick

Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
Member

Region: Kansas City
Car #: 95
Year : 1991
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I recommend buying a built car. Seat time is the most important performance improvement out there. You'll lose months or a year of seat time if you build it yourself. LOTS of cars are available and you can't build it for what they are selling for.

Jamie Tucker Series Champ

ARRC 2010 Champ

Region: CFR
Car #: 97
Year : 1990/99
Posts: 788
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I'm with Eric. My first car was a well sorted car that I drove for a longtime before I decided to build my own car. I may be a slow learner but it wasn't until the 3rd or 4th car that I finally figured out what I wanted to do in each area. You will save money by buying a prebuilt car and will be able to devote more time to the track. Just get some advice from fellow SM drivers in your region or post some pictures of a car your interested in on here and we will be more than willing to help you get a good car. That is the route that I would go but Dave's Miata in a box is a fine solution as well. Where are you located? We might be able to get you pointed in right direction.

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2010 ARRC Champion
2010 CFR Champion
2010 instigator of the year
2010/2011 Andrew Von C Wingman

jenrick
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I live in the Austin TX area. I looked around and saw that I can get a fully built car for probably around $8-10K. So price wise after you factor in tires, etc. it's probably a wash price wise by building my own on a cheap donor. I really do however enjoy working on cars however, so putting my own together has quiet a bit of appeal to me. The other option I have considered is just holding off another year or two, and putting down $15-20K for an all out setup. No chance that it's the car and not me at that point [Smile]

-Jenrick

Scottie
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Region: WDCR
Car #: sm 19
Year : 93
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I have built my own car, but did not use daves miata in a box. However, I use dave for just about everything. So if you do decide to build your own, you really can't go wrong with dave. He is a great help.

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

Danny Steyn Verified Driver
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Region: SE
Car #: 39
Year : 1999
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Jenrick

these days $15-20k will buy you a front running capable car in just about any market. It might even be 2-3 seconds a lap faster than an $8-10K car.

BUT I promise you that your lap times will improve by more than 2-3 seconds if you spend that 12 months racing your car as much as possible (even if its down on power).

At the front of the field, most cars are very close in power and setup. What seperates the podium winner from the 4-6th place finisher is often skill and a LOT of seat time that brings a better understanding of the cars and your limits, race craft, strategy, tire management etc.

Perosnally I would jump in now, and get the best car you can afford.

And you definitely CANNOT BUILD A CAR FOR WHAT YOU CAN BUY IT.

--------------------
Danny
http://www.dannysteyn.com
http://www.adeptstudios.com
OPM Autosports | Traqmate | Rossini Racing Engines
2010 June Sprints Champ, 2010 ARRC SMX Champ
2009 SARRC Champ, 2009 SEDiv ECR Champ, 2009 FES Champ
2008 SEDiv ECR Champ

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

Region: NWR / Oregon
Car #: 88
Year : 95
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That's where the 2 schools of thought come in (and this has been argued ad nauseum). I built my car, I now know more than I ever thought I'd know about the care and feeding of Miatas, and I can work on almost any part on it by now. The downside of that is I've now spent countless hours in the garage building, and working on just about every part of my car.

Sometimes it's a fun retreat to the garage to clear my mind and slide under the car on the creeper. Other times it's 1am sub freezing and I have diff fluid in my armpit.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

Region: Houston
Car #: 91
Year : 1991
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I would suggest getting your suspension parts directly from Mazda. I've heard of some non-standard parts appearing from other vendors.

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
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Starting out you can't build a car, any production based race car for less than buying something sorted. I bought my first race car from someone else though have built it a couple of times. [Wink]

The other thing to consider, particularly if you're doing your own fab are the tools. It took me the better part of a couple of years to get the tools together. Big compressor, plasma cutter, welder, bender, notcher, etc. And that long to get the chops to be able to use them.

The material for the cage is going to be $4-5 a ft for DOM or $6-7 for 4130. As a comparison for the REW I used on the last cage I put in the stock car it was about $1.55/ft. Wheeler's kits are a pretty good value. You just need the tools and skills to install them or have someone do it.

Dave

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

jenrick
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

Keith, I'm kinda with you on knowing everything there is to know about my car from having done all the work myself. That's one of the reasons I enjoy wrench turning. Just for reference here in Texas the equivalent is 4:30PM and hot oil/brake fluid. It's literally hot enough to cook on the hood about that time in the summer.

Dave, I'm a school trained welder, but I haven't done it in a LONG Time for anything serious. I'll probably have the cage put together by someone local rather then try my hand at it. Far as tools go, a good buddy has a full out shop (he restores old hot rods) with all the good toys, and he's pretty decent at sheet metal work.


-Jenrick

Dave Stevens
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Region: So Cal
Year : 90
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For body work it's cheaper and easier to ge to someone like Drago or Valafar and get salvage panels. They probably have your stock color too. In club racing contact is pretty well policed but it happens.

On the hobby stock though contact is part of "the show" and is not only tolerated but encouraged through manipulations like field inversion, lane choice on restart, etc.

Dave

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

Steven Holloway Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Blue Eyes, Aquarius, hates being squeezed to the grass in SowDiv!

Region: Lonestar
Car #: 97
Year : 91
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ERW isn't legal for SCCA.

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If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's got electrical problems.

davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: chicago
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Year : 90 and 90
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Jenrick, from the horses mouth (Iam often refered to as another part of horse anatomy), everything said above is true.

You can buy a car cheaper than build one
You will spend $15-20K to have a good car
There is a lot of satisfaction in building it yourself
A year of racing will make you faster than a year of wrenching

If you have not already, buy my book. That and the GCR/CCR for your sanctioning bodies are the first step.

If you are interested in a "box" give me a call and we can discuss details

Dave

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

jenrick
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Was gonna order the book tomorrow actually. Need something to read while on vacation here in a couple of weeks.

I'll probably give you a ring about a box here in a couple of months once I get things sorted out on what I want to do.

-Jenrick

Dave Stevens
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Year : 90
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quote:
Originally posted by Steven Holloway:
ERW isn't legal for SCCA.

I'm aware of that, but it is in NASCAR. [Wink] I was comparing the prices of the tubing, not suggesting it be used.

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

   

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