Aug 16, 2016 update to the Mazda Miata project car

Drop It Like It’s Hot!

So pure. So clean. So ill-fated.
We used common hand tools (and an awesome tractor) to strip our old car of its go-fast parts.
Then we bolted everything on our new Miata.
Advanced Autosports knows Miatas, and their floor drop plate is an easy way to get more headroom.
Step One: Drill out the factory spot welds holding the seat mounts in place.
Here's the scary part: Mark where you'll need to cut.
Then, we test fitting the floor plate about 10 times, alternating between the hammer, grinder, and plate to get a perfect fit.
We needed to trim our roll cage's foot slightly to clear our seat. We'll fix that later.
Hey look, a hole!
The kit came with metal to recreate the factory frame rail after the floor is installed.
After a final test fit, it was time to weld our new floor in.
We reworked our roll cage's mounting point to transfer any impact forces to our new (lower) floor.
Success!

After epically smashing our last Miata, it was time to rebuild. No, not the same car—we needed a fresh chassis, and preferably a faster one.

Welcome to our new Miata, everybody. This one is a later car, meaning bigger brakes, a bigger engine, a stronger driveline, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Even better: It’s an ex-SCCA race car, meaning it already has a decent cage. We sprayed it GRM Racing Yellow, then swapped the suspension, wheels, and tires from our old Miata onto this new car. Then, we got to a more troubling item on our list: “Make Tim fit in car.” Miata’s are tough for taller drivers to fit in, and our esteemed publisher always had trouble fitting in our old car.

Enter Advanced Autosports. They just released a new floor drop plate that allows anybody with a Miata and a welder to gain an additional 1.25 inches of headroom. The part retails for $250, making it one of the cheapest and easiest ways to fit a big driver in a tiny Miata.

After a few hours of work at Very Cool Parts, we’d managed to cram Tim into the Miata. Sure, the list was still 50 items long, but at least we’d managed to fit all of our drivers.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
3/2/17 1:24 p.m.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to put one of these in every Miata I ever own from now on. It's amazing how much room 1.25" adds.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/2/17 3:50 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard:

I'm trying to Read the rest of the story, but they keep telling me to get out the map because we're lost. I Need Photos!

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
3/2/17 4:23 p.m.

And, you lowered, um, some "tall" weight by 1.25", lowering the CoG. My personal theory on why Lotus are fast is that they are light and have a very low CoG.

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