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jrw1621 Dork
2/1/10 8:31 a.m.

I will have to do some searching for my shocks.
Back in 1994 I pulled the shocks off my '90 Miata for some adjustables. At the time the car had 40k miles. The old shocks promptly went into the boxes that the new shock came in. I placed them on a shelf in case I was unhappy with the adjustables. I have moved a few times since then but that is the type of thing I would keep.
I may be proud to see them go into this car.
I do not have springs, those stayed on the car.

Contact Solotime http://www.soloperformance.com/Decals_c_36.html
They were big in the business back when your car was new. They may still have the ability to due the old graphics.

To the purists. I know that the black seat fabric for M1 Miatas changed over the years; did the carpet fabric change over the years?

actualsize New Reader
2/1/10 8:46 a.m.

In reply to mw: My zip is 92887. And a friend is driving to Vancouver to watch the Olympics soon. I might be able to talk him into stopping by if anyone with parts lives reasonably close to the I-5 freeway between LA and Canada.

Keith SuperDork
2/1/10 10:24 a.m.

Yes, carpet fabric changed but not until around 1995 or 1996. If you can't find 1990 shocks and springs, let me know and I'll hang on to the next set that come through here. No guarantee on mileage of course, it all depends on what shows up.

mw Reader
2/1/10 9:34 p.m.
actualsize wrote: In reply to mw: My zip is 92887. And a friend is driving to Vancouver to watch the Olympics soon. I might be able to talk him into stopping by if anyone with parts lives reasonably close to the I-5 freeway between LA and Canada.

I'm only about 2600 miles (each way) out of his way. How good of a friend is he?

Spinout007 HalfDork
2/1/10 10:29 p.m.
actualsize wrote: Here's a photo of where I am now... The car is fully stripped. The bolt-in cage is unbolted and merely resting there. All of the parts are scattered throughout my garage. The correct numbers-matching engine and trans are in another Miata, my red 1991 driver. Mazda puts VIN plates on those parts. bah we went from bare shell to running driving car in a week 2 years ago for the challenge, granted it was a challenge car so we weren't that worried about numbers matching. Who wants to guess the weight of a complete Miata wiring harness, nose to tail? what did it end up weighing? These 14" Michelin rally tires, leftover from a season of rallycross and the Treeline stage rally, are the last tires the car ran on. The wheels I'll use because they still have the paint pen marking "SSC 6" that my crew put there so we could identify our wheels and tires at the tire tent at the runoffs. [iGotta ask do you have any pictures you would share of it rallying? Dan

Awesome project man! I've gotta ask since the only explination I've found is "They were ruled out of existence." WHY? What was the ruling that knocked the Miata out of rally competition? A friend and I have been kicking around idea's on building a Miata for rallycross, but figuring out how to get a Miata back into rally would be awesome. Again, AWESOME PROJECT! Thanks for sharing.

Keith SuperDork
2/2/10 10:34 a.m.

There's a Miata regularly running rallies in Australia, and a friend used to run one in Canada. I've heard stories of NASA allowing one to run as well as the SCCA allowing a car to run - and the latter only ran one rally. That would be Dan I'm guessing

actualsize New Reader
2/9/10 12:56 a.m.

@Keith: Both examples might be me. Treeline 1999 was sanctioned by the SCCA, but the California Rally Series rallycross championship was made up of events sanctioned by either SCCA or NASA.

@Spinout007: The SCCA's long-standing rally prohibition of convertibles was lifted after I petitioned the rally board, citing years of incident-free Miata road racing history with the factory hard top. But they eliminated the exception after I stopped showing up to events. I was told that it was simply a matter of keeping the rules clean and clutter-free. Why have an exception if no one is using it? If someone approached them again, I don't think it would be impossible to re-establish the allowance, especially if we're talking NASA.

The car is still going back together, albeit slowly. Work got in the way over the last week, and persistent rain has played havoc with my plans to re-spray the roll cage.

And I'm currently stalled by missing parts (original spring/shock units, interior carpet, a 4.3 open diff). I need to get this car back on its feet in two weeks. Not running, mind you, but rolling, at least.

To do that. of course, I still need 4 "vintage" tires!

willy19592 Reader
2/9/10 7:37 a.m.
kreb wrote:
think an article on this car would be the perfect way to start putting Miatas in Classic Motorsports. The car's been on the edge of acceptable for that crowd for some time, and showing the restoration of a significant racer seems a very appropriate introduction. And yes, I know about the one in the current issue, but that's different
I was following a thread on some vintage forum and there was a strong sense of anxiety regarding Miata's upcoming "vintage" status. It was almost as if they were concerned about an influx of people of low moral character (Being defined as people who hadn't suffered through countless hours tuning SU carbs, battling Lucas gremlins or prematurely failing driveline components).

Thats funny!

My Son and I take every chance we get to let our vintage guys know that we will be legal soon. Usually right after we bang a door!!

Keith SuperDork
2/9/10 3:22 p.m.

We don't usually hang on to them, but I'll check to see if we have any 1.6 open diffs at work. A Spec Miata shop should be able to supply one for you, there's not a lot of demand.

White_and_Nerdy Reader
2/9/10 4:06 p.m.

I've got a 1.6 open diff in my garage, leftover from a VLSD upgrade. It's still attached to the original PPF from my car - mainly because one of the two bolts that attached the diff to the PPF broke sometime before I got the car, and I've been completely unable to separate the two. I also had to swap the carrier to the VLSD since it came with a broken one. So, not optimum - if you were local, I'd give it to you and thank you for getting it out of my garage. :)

actualsize New Reader
2/12/10 12:38 a.m.

In reply to White_and_Nerdy: How do we know if I'm local or not? I'm in Southern California. You?

actualsize New Reader
2/12/10 12:49 a.m.

With no carpet yet, I'm stalled on the interior rebuild. I've switched to re-installing all of the junction boxes and running all of the underhood wiring back where it belongs. Hope to re-paint the cage Saturday now that the weather is FINALLY dry. Got a local lead about someone building a Spec Miata who has spare carpet, original spring/shock units and other bits I need, but the guy is slow in responding and doesn't seem to do any e-mail after 5:00 pm at home. He's in no hurry, but I sure am! I'd love to pick up some of this stuff this weekend, if at all possible.

As soon as I get this thing back on some tires, it'll be time to yank the engine and trans (the original numbers-matching race-built units) out of my red '91 driver and plop them back in the white car, where they belong.

CGLockRacer Reader
2/12/10 6:22 a.m.

Talk to Shane from AIM Tuning in Indy. They just started a build of a fresh SpecMiata. http://www.aimtuning.com/

actualsize New Reader
2/14/10 2:33 a.m.

Got a lot done today. The sun was finally out on a weekend and I managed to repaint and reinstall the cage.

The original bolt-in cage was built in two pieces to take advantage of the Miata's removable roof. Sedan and coupe cages were usually built in four pieces.

With the cage back in place, this thing is starting to look like a race car again.

From here you can see two changes that were made in 1999 to meet rally rules: the upper front corners had gussets added and the shoulder belt crossbar was extended to allow the installation of the navigator's belts.

Showroom stock rules used to stipulate that all of the interior plastic and carpet (and insulation) had to stay in the car. Here I've notched a new pair of rear trim panels, but I'm stalled at this point until I can find carpet for the floor and rear shelf.

actualsize New Reader
2/17/10 11:37 p.m.

More progress to report, and a question...

I spent last weekend cleaning up the suspension subframes. They're caked with mud and the front edges of the lower control arms are pitted from gravel.

These are the custom rally shocks I built 10 years ago. I started with standard Miata Bilsteins and replaced the fixed lower mounts with threaded coil-over seats. I had Schraeder valves welded on the bottom of the housings so I could de-pressurize and recharge them myself, then I cooked up a rally valving for the inside with help from a Bilstein buddy. The gas fittings also give my the option of adding remote reservoirs later. I had to fabricate centering rings for Eibach ERS race springs and weld them to standard Miata top mounts.

I made my own spring selection from the Eibach catalog based on a few rough calculations. The fronts worked perfectly, but I missed the setup a little bit in the rear -- I need to bump the rear spring rate up by 5% or so to keep the ass end from squatting too much after landings.

None of that matters unless or until I decide to retry the Rally Miata concept, of course. For now these are destined for the garage shelf. I just picked up a set of stock '90 spring/shock units tonight. All that's needed now is a good cleaning and I can get to work re-installing the sub-frames.

The finless diff on the left is the original unit from this car (I found a 4.3 pumpkin I forgot I had in my own garage). The finned housing on the right came out of a '91 production car. Anyone else have a naked Miata diff housing like this?

Found and installed a piece of package shelf carpet. Still looking for floor carpet. The local source that thought he had a piece turned up dry.

Still need vintage 14" race tires. I figure this will be back on the ground in two weeks or less.

Keith SuperDork
2/18/10 12:06 a.m.

Early Miatas had finless diffs like that, but I thought the change was in mid 1990. My late 1990 had the finned version, my wife's early 1990 was finless. The former are easier to work on, there's a nice platform for jacking up the car

What did you use for spring rates on the rally setup?

actualsize New Reader
2/18/10 12:28 a.m.

In reply to Keith: I'll have to look up the part numbers. There are other tricks contained within, and I have "ideas" We should discuss it over a beer sometime!

mtn SuperDork
2/18/10 3:42 p.m.

On the carpet:


actualsize New Reader
2/18/10 5:40 p.m.

Hmm. Shipping from Austin likely more than price of carpet. Methinks I need to check my local Craigslist. Forgot about that source. Duh! slaps forehead

actualsize New Reader
2/19/10 1:50 p.m.

Looks like I need to press a new pair of wheel bearings into the rear suspension knuckles. Any sympathetic readers in So Cal have a press and set of adapters I can use to remove old and install new?

Keith SuperDork
2/19/10 3:25 p.m.

Is there a local Spec Miata shop that might be willing to help with the restoration effort? Swapping wheel bearings is something they do on an hourly basis, from what I understand, and it might give you an in on carpets and the like.

actualsize New Reader
2/19/10 6:32 p.m.

I've got the old bearings out and the knuckles blasted clean thanks to my friend Sevan at Integrity Motorcar, a Porsche/BMW/Mercedes repair shop near my house in Yorba Linda. Poor Sev doesn't usually see crusty rally pieces with 10 years of neglect in his shop, but he saved my butt nevertheless.

I'll repaint the uprights tonight and press everything back together with new bearings and oil seals tomorrow.

actualsize New Reader
2/19/10 11:00 p.m.
Keith wrote: Is there a local Spec Miata shop that might be willing to help with the restoration effort?

I have to plead ignorance here. Ironically, I am so far removed from the SM scene that one could be two blocks away and I wouldn't know it. I'll throw the question open to the group at large: Is there a SM tuner or Big Gun in SoCal?

M030 Reader
2/21/10 12:03 p.m.

Any more updates? This is a really interesting build!

actualsize New Reader
2/22/10 1:21 a.m.

More photos tomorrow. I've been cleaning and painting encrusted stuff.

I pushed new rear wheel bearing into the uprights, thanks to Mark DiBella at MD Automotive. Some of you may know the name because Mark used to work for Oscar Jackson. When Oscar moved on, Mark stayed behind and founded MD in the same Westminster, California building that used to be Jackson Racing. He's a really great guy, an excellent Honda mechanic and he's racer-friendly. Has a Dynojet in-ground dyno for tuning, too.

During the process I found that one of the rear hubs was bad. The rear subframe installation will have to wait until I get new bit from Mazda.

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