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TMo
TMo New Reader
1/14/15 11:56 p.m.

Okay, so let me start by being super clear about a few things:

  1. This thread will move in fits and spurts, and I might have a dozen updates one week, or not touch anything for 2 months at a time. As frustrating as that might be to people reading, I apologize, the nature of my day job means that sometimes I have lots of time, and other times, I don't have enough time for sleep.

  2. While I like cars and have worked on a bunch of them, I have zero experience in motorsports. Zero. I've never even taken a lap at an autoX.

  3. I have some tools and such, but most of it is in storage until the wife and I buy a house with a garage. In the mean time, very little fabrication will be going on, mostly cleaning, buying crap and wrenching. We've got an offer in on a house with garage, but it's a short sale, so we're waiting on the seller's bank to approve before we can close. it might be 2 weeks or 2 months, and we've got no control over it.

Okay, now that that's over, let's talk a little bit about my intentions with this build. It should be pretty obvious from the title that I would like to enter the $2015 challenge. Being realistic, it might be 2016 before I'm actually able to get the car finished enough to make it to the challenge. Either way, my goal is to have fun, and I'm not expecting to be competitive. As far as I'm concerned, finishing each leg of the challenge without major parts breakage will be sufficient for me to call it a 'win' in my book.

I'll be using this thread to document the process of the build as far as the work goes, as well as the financials (I'll have the receipts etc. at the challenge of course).

This post represents day 1 of the build, Today, 1/14/15, I took possession of the car.

The Car:

Why did I pick this car? Well, the Miata in general is pretty easy to make go around an autocross course quickly from what I've read, I also have some experience with Miatas, and happen to like them. The fact that lots of other people build miatas for the challenges means that as a new guy, I'm probably on the right track.

I managed to make a deal with a gentlemen from 2 states away for a '91 Mazda Miata. The long and short of it is that it was someone else's project about a decade ago, and has been sitting in dry storage ever since. The tub is pretty clean and rust free. I can't comment on the underside yet, but a preliminary glance showed no rot. Last registration was in '04, and the chassis has about 60K original miles on if.

This particular car was chosen because it's clean, and came with a ridiculous pile of spare and aftermarket parts.

Besides coming with almost all of the OEM parts for the car neatly sealed up in bags and labelled, it also came with:

Hard Top

2 transmissions total

3 Clutch assemblies (I'm told the one in the car is aftermarket, we'll see)

2 spare motors (for 3 total)

2 custom exhaust set-ups, plus spare parts and mufflers

2 sets of aftermarket wheels (Enkei EK 82's and knockoff Volk CE28N's in 16x7)

Custom low profile headlight kit

Complete 'body kit' (installed on car already)

SS Sill plates

Eibach springs

White face gauges

Roll Bar (of sorts)

Aftermarket Mechanical gauges

Strut tower brace

Grant Steering wheel and hub

Custom yellow door panels (Yuck!)

OEM Soft Top on frame (bad rear window, otherwise pretty good shape)

Custom center console

Vented Headlight cover(s)

OEM replacement wear and Maintenance parts (Several Complete gasket kits, Water Pump, Oil Pump, Timing Belt Kit(s), fuel filters, water hoses, individual spare gaskets, drive belts, spark plugs, wires, O-rings etc)

And a bunch of other stuff I haven't even opened the boxes for to see what they are. It also appears that there was some chasis stiffening added to the undercarriage, though I need to investigate that further.

So I'm still figuring out what all came with the car as far as aftermarket goodies, but I'll update the thread as I figure it out.

And the requisite photo of the car surrounded by most of the random crap that came with it, the other side of the car was also surrounded by crap:

As of Day 1:

Total invested so far: $1500

Recouped to budget: $0

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 Dork
1/15/15 12:53 a.m.

Nice! Looks like you have your work cut out for you, but I'm excited! I bet you can sell off a bunch of that stuff to put money back in your budget. Good luck!

alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
1/15/15 7:14 a.m.

One other thing the rule points out- while the number you can claim as recoup is only $1008, YOU CAN SELL THE REST FOR REAL MONEY.

So if your budget comes in at a sharp $2015, your actual cash outlay could be less. So spend some quality time with the stuff you don't need to get good money out of if.

You have a base vehicle that I've considered more than once other than an Alfa. Mainly because you can make a car that can win the autocross. Can, not will, but can. And not easy, but still possible.

Good luck!!!

There was a great thread of a last min Miata build between a husband and wife- while the car has moved on since then, the thread is still a great one, and the car had a great challenge a few months ago. I can't remember what the name of the thread is.

4Msfam
4Msfam Reader
1/15/15 1:25 p.m.

Here you go! Husband and wife build

A great read!

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/15/15 9:18 p.m.

Thanks guys! I'm reading that other post now.

The UPS man was here today, so Update #2 will be either later tonight or tomorrow.

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/16/15 3:34 a.m.

Update #2

Other than covering the car with a decent tarp until I can get it under proper cover, all I did today was open the box that the UPS man brought.

One of the deciding factors for me when starting this project was that I found a fairly solid turbo kit on the cheap. It arrived today.

Behold, a very early 'Cartech" turbo kit. for the uninitiated, Cartech was BEGi before they became BEGi. Back in the early 90's, if you wanted to turbocharge a miata, this was THE way to do it.

Things have come a long way since then, but the core of the set-up is sound with a Cast manifold, IHI turbo and intercooler.

The kit I found came as complete as I could ask for. It came with:

Turbo

Manifold

Down pipe

Intercooler

All the piping

Spare MAF

RRFPR

Oil lines

Water lines

Boost gauge

Recirculation/ blow off valve

Cold Air box

Coolant reroute

Custom idler bracket

and various extras.

The seller assured me that the turbo was in good shape, and upon inspection, it is really very solid with no play at all, but very free spinning.

Some photos of the crap in the box:

As of Day 2:

Total invested: 1898.78

Total recouped: $0

Net: $1898.78

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/16/15 3:36 a.m.
alfadriver wrote: One other thing the rule points out- while the number you can claim as recoup is only $1008, YOU CAN SELL THE REST FOR REAL MONEY. So if your budget comes in at a sharp $2015, your actual cash outlay could be less. So spend some quality time with the stuff you don't need to get good money out of if. You have a base vehicle that I've considered more than once other than an Alfa. Mainly because you can make a car that can win the autocross. Can, not will, but can. And not easy, but still possible. Good luck!!! There was a great thread of a last min Miata build between a husband and wife- while the car has moved on since then, the thread is still a great one, and the car had a great challenge a few months ago. I can't remember what the name of the thread is.

Thanks for the words of advice!

I'm planning to sell off a lot of the random crap that came with the car, I can't see myself using either set of aftermarket crap wheels for instance...

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
1/16/15 6:53 a.m.

Cool!

chrispy
chrispy HalfDork
1/16/15 7:14 a.m.

Sounds like the initial purchase was a home run. Lots of the maintenance parts are already there and the spare package looks very helpful. Good luck!

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/16/15 1:58 p.m.

A question about recouping costs:

I DD a miata, and I would like to use the hard top on that car, and don't need it for the race car. Can I simply remove it from my 'challenge inventory' and assign a fair (low) market value, without needing to actually sell it, or does a transaction where money changes hands need to take place in order to count towards 'recoup'?

Not that it matters too much, there's plenty to sell besides the hard top, I'm just wondering what the rule is...

grafmiata
grafmiata SuperDork
1/16/15 6:04 p.m.

In reply to TMo:

Personally, I think you should be able to "sell" it to yourself at FMV, just be able to provide "comparables" for the amount declared in your budget. But I am not a Challenge doctor, nor did I stay at the Holiday Inn Challenge Express.

But it sounds like you may have enough other unneeded stuff you could sell to reach the recoup limit. Either way, I think you may have scored a "free" hardtop for your DD.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/16/15 6:10 p.m.

You can fmv it to yourself. Clean hardtop is $800-$1200 depending on part of country.

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/16/15 9:10 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: You can fmv it to yourself. Clean hardtop is $800-$1200 depending on part of country.

Very cool.

I think I'll hold off on that and see where my budget is at the end of the build and decide what I need to do.

Thanks for all the help guys!

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair UltimaDork
1/17/15 4:33 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote: You can fmv it to yourself. Clean hardtop is $800-$1200 depending on part of country.

since when? BITD, i was specifically told by the GRM staff that in order to credit the value into the budget, the component actually had to be sold. I think that was in 2008.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/17/15 5:24 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: You can fmv it to yourself. Clean hardtop is $800-$1200 depending on part of country.

since when? BITD, i was specifically told by the GRM staff that in order to credit the value into the budget, the component actually had to be sold. I think that was in 2008.

I mean... yeah. But it's going on a different car.

You're right though. I would have just done a BOS showing two separate transactions for hardtop and car.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/15 6:25 p.m.

In reply to TMo:

You and I need to meet.

The above-referenced "Husband and Wife Build" has morphed into a car now known as "The Mumpkin", and I own it. It is a turbocharged, megasquirted car which placed 8th overall at the Challenge last year, but we have a LOT of room for improvement.

It also placed 3rd on the autoX, but also posted an FTD (minus 1 cone, unfortuantely).

I've been participating at the Challenge for 11 years. This year was my first medal, but not my last. (I finally learned how to make a car turn!).

I've got lots of parts, and some goodies (and tips) I can share.

I also live less than 2 hours from you.

So, let's get together! (I PMed you)

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/17/15 6:26 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote:
Swank Force One wrote: You can fmv it to yourself. Clean hardtop is $800-$1200 depending on part of country.

since when? BITD, i was specifically told by the GRM staff that in order to credit the value into the budget, the component actually had to be sold. I think that was in 2008.

You (of all people) know there are ways around this!

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/17/15 6:37 p.m.

You guys are awesome! :)

MrJoshua
MrJoshua PowerDork
1/17/15 6:45 p.m.

"Husband" and current Mumpkin teammate here.

TMo wrote: You guys are awesome! :)

That is one of the really cool things about this place and the challenge-it is a competition and you are a direct competitor, but we are happy to help.

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/17/15 7:04 p.m.
MrJoshua wrote: it is a competition and you are a direct competitor, but we are happy to help.

It may be a competition, but I doubt I'll be very competitive

I mostly look forward to hanging out with the kinds of people who enjoy the kinds of things that make this kind of challenge awesome. I mean seriously, people building V8 MG's for under 2K? Rattle can paint jobs galore? Welding things together because buying the correct bolts is budgetarily prohibitive? It all reminds me of when I was a teenager, and why being a teenager was awesome.

So this year, I'll build a crappy miata, and be absolutely ecstatic if it just finishes every leg of the competition without breaking anything major. I see the miata as kind of a confidence booster. If this year goes well, maybe next year I'll try something a little more ambitious.

TMo
TMo New Reader
1/19/15 4:27 a.m.

Well, I've slapped the hard top on my DD, so we'll figure all the budget stuff out later.

Only update today is the Realtor saying that things are moving along with the house purchase.

SVreX, I did reply to the Email, if you didn't get it, check the spam folder, sometimes my email doesn't play nice.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
1/20/15 12:40 p.m.

I replied.

Just a little slow. ;-)

TMo
TMo New Reader
2/2/15 10:42 p.m.

Well, I ordered a few replacement gaskets for the turbo setup, total cost with shipping: $13

with my previous total of $1898.78

That puts me at 1911.78.

I haven't had much time to work on the project, and the cold and rain haven't been helping with motivating me either.

Heard back from the realtor, and lender 1 of 2 has approved the short sale on the house we're trying to buy... so that's good.

BlueInGreen44
BlueInGreen44 Reader
2/3/15 8:52 a.m.

Looks like fun! Yet another thread that makes me wish I wasn't too tall to easily fit in a Miata. Are those Escort GT wheels on the car in that pic?

TMo
TMo New Reader
2/11/15 1:59 a.m.
BlueInGreen44 wrote: Looks like fun! Yet another thread that makes me wish I wasn't too tall to easily fit in a Miata. Are those Escort GT wheels on the car in that pic?

At 6'2, I don't have extra headroom, but I fit alright.

The wheels are Enkei EK-82's I believe.

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