TXratti
TXratti New Reader
9/18/19 9:46 p.m.

After re-starting the forum posting about my XR4Ti in This thread, I recently also aquired a Miata!

My friend mistakenly let me drive his Miata in an autocross, and I was hooked! I REALLY enjoyed how the thing drove.. and immediately started my search before eventually finding mine. That initial search and the first few weeks of updates can be found HERE. There is some duplication, but all future updates will be here, though I hope to not be doing a lot of work or modification to this car.

 

The goals for the car are to run it in E Street autocross here in DFW and just enjoy driving it (vs trying to upgrade it). I want to improve my performance driving as well. Likely the car will get a roll bar and see track time in the future, but for now it'll be the autocross car.

While not the "Ideal" car for E Street (because of weight, gearing, etc), my 2001 NB2 LS is still a hoot to drive!

 

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
9/18/19 9:57 p.m.

The car was immediately autocross christened by entering an autocross in its first weekend of ownership, and while dry-rotted all seasons aren't the best, it was still a great time with lots of not fast but sideways action.

 

This car is CLEANNN, and I got it for a deal (not GRM challenge-level deal, but I'll just say that I am happy with the price), however, it has had some... interesting cosmetic mods including smoked tail lights, smoked headlights and mega-dark tint on every window, including the WINDSHIELD. In the first few weeks of ownership, I removed the tint from the windshield and the smoke from the headlights.

It looks SO much better with the windshield tint gone and the headlights cleaned up!

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
9/21/19 12:00 p.m.

Frustratingly, just after acquiring the Miata, it was hit while parked in front of my house while I was at work!

Thankfully the neighbor's house had a security camera that was facing across the driveway and captured the damage occurring from the contractor working on their house! Everything was taken care of but still a frustrating process.

 

Shortly after that, I was left stranded when the alternator died (and thus the battery). Radio cackling funny, speakers going out, then radio dead, then car running funny until eventually pressing the accelerator pedal SLOWED the car down. Was able to jump it and drive it home, but it needed an alternator.

 

In the meantime, I'm not sure why I listened to Autocrossers about tires size as a set of 225/50r16s Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R tires showed up at my door. The intent is to mount these on the stock 16x6.5 in wheels.... talk about buldge!

As part of the E Street prep, I ordered an AWR front anti-roll bar. After looking at the options, I decided that the 1 in bar (not TOO big), with 3 adjustment points, and MEGA strong mount blocks (stock miata anti roll bar mounts are known to flex a bunch), and heim-jointed adjustable end links swayed me into terms of value for money.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
10/8/19 9:13 p.m.

-AWR Anti-Roll bar installed, mounting blocks to replace stock brackets, adjustable end links installed. So shiny! Radiator needed to come out to facilitate taking the old bracket mounts off, so the car got a semi coolant flush.

-225/50r16 Bridgestone RE-71R tires mounted. Looks like a monster truck! Butt dyno says slightly slower, but feels very planted. Can turn in at almost any speed and it just goes.

-Crackle in radio fixed, radio was wired with the wires just spun together and taped over with electrical tape! New uninsulated crimp and marine heat shrink did the job. Just did the offending connection, but the rest will be done sooner rather than later.

-I signed up for an autocross with BMWCCA on the 20th, and they run 5 morning runs and 5 afternoon runs. I'm hoping to have a friend co-drive the car, looking to try running both the 205s (on the 16x7 wheels) and the 225s (on the stock 16x6.5) for both of us and feel the difference (or if there is a significant speed difference). Been a bit busy lately and itching to get the car back on course.

russde
russde Reader
10/24/19 6:42 p.m.

in for updates

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
10/24/19 7:03 p.m.

Nice car! I started autocross last year with a 2001 NB2 LS. Most of the courses here are pretty short, so the 6-speed wasn't as big of a disadvantage as it could be.

I sold the car because I wanted to compete in ES, it was already modified and not legal for ES, and I scored a deal on a 99 sport.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
10/24/19 8:25 p.m.

How are the 225's working out on the 6.5" wheels? Contemplating doing that myself, only on 15" wheels.

Cheaped out when I bought the 15" wheels and got the 6.5" as they were $85 apiece new. Wider was a lot more, like $100 more each. Running 205's now but decided I need more rubber on the ground. My competition are all running 225's .

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
10/25/19 4:45 p.m.
wlkelley3 said:

How are the 225's working out on the 6.5" wheels? Contemplating doing that myself, only on 15" wheels.

Cheaped out when I bought the 15" wheels and got the 6.5" as they were $85 apiece new. Wider was a lot more, like $100 more each. Running 205's now but decided I need more rubber on the ground. My competition are all running 225's .

They didn't feel bad! Unfortunately in the 16" diameter, they rubbed REALLY bad on the sweepers, almost cut the tire through. Not the end of the world, I'll throw them on the 16x7s and run them on the XR4Ti for track days. Grip wise they felt great, ALL the turn in grip, and they look a bit balloony but not ridiculous on the 6.5" width. Guys at nationals run 225 BFGs (which are physically wider than the Bridgestones, 8.3" actual Width on the BFGs vs 7.6" for the 'Stones) ON THE 6 INCH WHEELS, so you should be ok in the 15 in diameter. HOWEVER, there is no Bridgestone in 225 for the 15" diameter, would have to go with a Yoko A052 or BFG Rival S 1.5.

If you're running E-Street, and the car came with 16s, then you're ok on the 6.5" width, that's what I'd like to move to eventually, but to be *technically* legal you'd need a 6in wide wheel if you're a '99 or '00. What wheels were they?

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
10/25/19 4:46 p.m.
russde said:

in for updates

Soon! In the heat of the moment, I forgot to take photos at the Autocross last weekend but I have an update coming.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
10/25/19 4:49 p.m.
Floating Doc said:

Nice car! I started autocross last year with a 2001 NB2 LS. Most of the courses here are pretty short, so the 6-speed wasn't as big of a disadvantage as it could be.

I sold the car because I wanted to compete in ES, it was already modified and not legal for ES, and I scored a deal on a 99 sport.

Congrats on the 99 Sport find! Mine had some mods, but it was just the tint, and the radio and such. Muffler was replaced, but that's allowed. I did, however, immediately sell the cold air intake to get the stocker the same week I bought it.

Basically what I've found is that 95% of it is driver, and having a "prepped" car would get a good driver the win on a day where they otherwise were close (couple tenths).

I did need 3rd gear last weekend, but I'll wait for the main update to explain more about it.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
10/25/19 6:16 p.m.

Nice car, I like the NB2 front end much better than the NB1 (which I own). 225/50-16 is pretty tall tire for a Miata, that's probably why its rubbing so badly. 

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
10/25/19 8:48 p.m.
TXratti said:
wlkelley3 said:

How are the 225's working out on the 6.5" wheels? Contemplating doing that myself, only on 15" wheels.

Cheaped out when I bought the 15" wheels and got the 6.5" as they were $85 apiece new. Wider was a lot more, like $100 more each. Running 205's now but decided I need more rubber on the ground. My competition are all running 225's .

They didn't feel bad! Unfortunately in the 16" diameter, they rubbed REALLY bad on the sweepers, almost cut the tire through. Not the end of the world, I'll throw them on the 16x7s and run them on the XR4Ti for track days. Grip wise they felt great, ALL the turn in grip, and they look a bit balloony but not ridiculous on the 6.5" width. Guys at nationals run 225 BFGs (which are physically wider than the Bridgestones, 8.3" actual Width on the BFGs vs 7.6" for the 'Stones) ON THE 6 INCH WHEELS, so you should be ok in the 15 in diameter. HOWEVER, there is no Bridgestone in 225 for the 15" diameter, would have to go with a Yoko A052 or BFG Rival S 1.5.

If you're running E-Street, and the car came with 16s, then you're ok on the 6.5" width, that's what I'd like to move to eventually, but to be *technically* legal you'd need a 6in wide wheel if you're a '99 or '00. What wheels were they?

Have a 99 Base that came with 14". The 15" I put on are Konig Helium's 15X6.5. I only run the local autocrosses in CSP with an underprepped for class car. But my competition are the same, underprepped for class and all of us have different mods that put us in the class. I'm the old guy, the others are young and fast learners. Getting real tough to beat them, don't sometimes. I've gotten over getting frustrated when they beat me, now I kinda feel proud that I taught them well enough that they beat me. We have fun pushing each other and sharing tips, well mainly me sharing since I've been doing this a lot longer than they have. I put Corbeau seats in my car that initially changed class. Since then I've installed Eibach springs and header w/full Magnaflow exhaust. Looking at installing the FM Happy Meal Clutch kit off-season and maybe a set of coilovers if I can convince the checkbook manager (SWMBO). Want the Fox but will probably end up with the V-Maxx Extreme with springs for autocross. Car also fits in STR as prepped but the M3's smoke us so we all decided to race in CSP so we race against each other. All my 14" are legal for E-street. Stock hollow alloys, NA Daisy's (got real cheap) and a set of Kosei T1's. 14X6 except the Daisy's that are 14X5.5. Don't mind switching from RE71's to the Rivals or the new Yoko's. Been thinking the softer sidewalls on the Yoko's might work better in 225 mounted on 6.5".

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
10/28/19 8:51 a.m.
wlkelley3 said:

Have a 99 Base that came with 14". The 15" I put on are Konig Helium's 15X6.5. I only run the local autocrosses in CSP with an underprepped for class car. But my competition are the same, underprepped for class and all of us have different mods that put us in the class. I'm the old guy, the others are young and fast learners. Getting real tough to beat them, don't sometimes. I've gotten over getting frustrated when they beat me, now I kinda feel proud that I taught them well enough that they beat me. We have fun pushing each other and sharing tips, well mainly me sharing since I've been doing this a lot longer than they have. I put Corbeau seats in my car that initially changed class. Since then I've installed Eibach springs and header w/full Magnaflow exhaust. Looking at installing the FM Happy Meal Clutch kit off-season and maybe a set of coilovers if I can convince the checkbook manager (SWMBO). Want the Fox but will probably end up with the V-Maxx Extreme with springs for autocross. Car also fits in STR as prepped but the M3's smoke us so we all decided to race in CSP so we race against each other. All my 14" are legal for E-street. Stock hollow alloys, NA Daisy's (got real cheap) and a set of Kosei T1's. 14X6 except the Daisy's that are 14X5.5. Don't mind switching from RE71's to the Rivals or the new Yoko's. Been thinking the softer sidewalls on the Yoko's might work better in 225 mounted on 6.5".

You're fine on the wheel width in CSP, sounds like you have a good contingent there! I'm going to try the Rivals after I burn up these RE-71Rs, they seem to be better with slip angle than the Stones, and I guess I sometimes drive a bit... sideways.

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
10/28/19 9:21 a.m.

Recap from Oct 20 Autocross:

BMWCCA “Burbles of Bavaria” event at Lone Star Park, Grand Prairie, TX. They usually have 5 runs in the morning, and 5 runs in the afternoon, but they had a “champion of champions” event after this time, so it was split 4 and 4 on that day. My friend was co-driving the car (he has a Miata [99, not sport] as well, and we co-drove his car at the last event).

TL/DR:

-225/50r16s rub on a stock NB2 miata

-AWR anti-roll bar works well

-My friend is faster than me in my own car

-Plan on swapping tires between the wheels to have something that fits and is ES legal

 

My intent was to test 225(/50r16) tires vs 205(/45r16), both RE-71R ‘Stones. The 205s were mounted on a set of Sparco J10 16x7s and came used from another autocrosser (he ran them on a Mini Cooper, decent life left), and the 225s were brand new on the stock 16x6.5s.

My friend did his morning runs on the 205s, and set some good times. Once he was done, we NASCAR pit-stopped the wheel change in a couple minutes (with two impacts and lifting the whole side of the car) and then I went out to start my runs. After the 2nd run I was checking tires and found HUGE a chunk taken out of the corner of the tire on the right rear (left-hand sweeper heavy course, with bumps) and decided it wasn't safe to continue like that. The 205s were swapped back on and ran the rest of the day like that. I couldn’t match my friend’s times and was disappointed I couldn’t run data to see where he was gaining on me, though I know I normally overbrake and brake too late/run wide in slow corners, and don’t get close enough to cones in the slolam parts.

I didn’t have enough time on the 225s to really have any driving impressions.  I was worrying too much about the rubbing going on as well, but on the street there was a noticeable decrease in acceleration because of the weight, however, they gripped really well on turn in. Turn in feel was decreased but, that was a give-in. I think 225 on a 15in wheel would be fine, but there’s no RE-71R in 225 for the 15in size, leaving you with Yoko or BFG.

This was the debut event with the AWR 1” hollow front anti-roll bar, with their blocks and heim-jointed end links. It has three positions for stiffness settings, and I left it full soft to start. I may try it stiffer at different events but, with the sweeper-heavy course we had, I didn’t want the understeer. Was surprisingly balanced, for guessing at the full-soft setting, and the car was very neutral through the big sweepers. A good change from the stock bar, and room to go stiffer if needed.

Following the event, the plan is to swap the Tires from one set of wheels to the other (225s on the 16x7s, 205s on the 16x6.5s) so I have a workable setup on ES-legal wheels. The 225s will see duty in either Autox or HPDE on the XR4Ti (wheels are double-drilled 4x100/4x108) and I'll try some Rival S 1.5s next time around for the Miata. Starting on the Stones in the early season before it is hot is probably a good idea, and the Rivals seem to take the heat better (It’s hot, after all, in TX). At Nats, for ES at least, the Yokos didn't seem to be the 'hot' tire (only 1 car in the top 10 on yokos), but we'll see how that progresses.

Ultimately the car will get a new set of shocks and some nice bump stops, but right now it's driving ok (this will probably happen next time my friend gets his car out on new shocks and runs away with things, it's been an arms race for us so far!). The temptation is to get some lighter wheels as well, but I need to remember to tighten the nut behind the wheel first before I go nuts on parts..

TXratti
TXratti Reader
11/6/19 5:04 p.m.

Getting ready for the last autocross of the season down here in TX (Yes we run until Mid-Nov!).

There was a coolant leak from the lower radiator hose which I believe to be fixed by tightening the clamp a bit, but it had developed a small leak from the thermostat-side of the upper radiator hose. I'm hoping that the same fix is in order. 

Both hoses are fairly soft and pliable, not hard anywhere, no cracks, etc... So I don't believe it's the hose's fault, though they seem to be secured with normal hose clamps, not the original mazda spring clamps. Some reading leads me to believe that using hose clamps means it's more prone to leak, and easy to overtighten and crease the hose, but at $5 PER CLAMP and $10+ shipping, meh.

Game plan for tonight is:

-Clean up the garage a bit (remenants of a clutch job on my friend's Miata)

-Tighten hoses

-Tighten Alternator pivot bolt (It had come loose)

-General inspection of car

If everything checks out, I'll put in my entry for the autocross on Sunday! 

TXratti
TXratti Reader
11/7/19 7:44 a.m.

I... Did a dumb.

I completed the aforementioned list last night and topped the oil off to boot.

Drove the Miata to work this morning and... "What's that smell?" Burning oil. Great.

Pop the hood and realize that the oil cap hadn't been replaced after topping it off last night, but thankfully the cap was where I had left it, sitting on top of the airbox. Thank goodness for a short commute and a sharp nose! Should be able to top it off a bit and drive it home with no problems.

TXratti
TXratti Reader
11/12/19 1:27 p.m.

My phone was out of commission on Sunday, but got one photo at least. 

Last SCCA event of the year, 12 entries in ES with a couple wringers (1st and 2nd in points with no one even close), so I wasn't sure going into the event where I would end up. I knew I wouldn't be up front, but was hoping to not be near the back!

The weather had been fairly cool and thankfully warmed up by the weekend (low of 50, high of 70)

There is still some sort of small coolant leak over near the oil cooler (one of the lines split?), but its slow enough that I'm not having to top it up much and decided to go to the autocross anyway. 205/45r16 tires, not the cut up 225s so I won't have to worry about that!

I was fortunate enough to run into one of the hot shoes in class and walk the course and talk about it. He had a couple of insights which helped me better frame my approach for this event. I improved my time every run, ending my last run by slashing more than half a second off of my previous time, but hitting three cones in the process...

I'd like to think that hitting the back of the car on cones at the exit means I'm going quicker than hitting them with the front on entry!

Car performed great, it feels fairly balanced with the AWR front bar (sporting stickers and an AWR shirt this time around) set on full soft. We'll see when I start pushing it if that's the right place, I may be able to tighten it up a bit and go a bit faster. I perhaps will start another thread in the GRM section to talk about my driver development since this is about the build of the car, but I felt like I found another level of speed that I didn't have before this event. Controlling the car under braking, not bombing it in there and understeering while still on the brakes, only had one corner where I understeered in a bit the whole day. 

I'm looking forward to next season and thinking about what to work on in the off season, eyeing both lighter wheels as well as shocks.. Likely bilstein because of the higher compression damping, and definitely some new bump stops. Shocks before wheels but we'll see what my car budget ends up being.

Here's the run I coned away, but without sound because I don't know how to work Imgur. Good for 4th in class (and trophy), but ended up 5th with my next best run.

Video Here

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