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AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/7/21 1:49 p.m.

Well I didn't start the thread before I had the car but I did buy a rather expensive part for it. Introducing Olaf (named by my almost 3yr/o who is going through a big time Frozen phase).

This has been literally months in the making but somehow, we pulled it off. A fellow GRMer (he can ID himself if he'd like), was interested in some rare wheels I've had sitting around for a while. We started talking about potential trades when it came up that he had an extra Miata. That's about all I had to hear. Over the last few months he's been prepping the car to make a 6 hour trip from VA to OH all while we were hashing out logistics. COVID makes that fun.

We finally landed on me renting a car here, driving half way (or as close to halfway as possible with a rental office open on the weekend), meeting in the middle, adding him to the rental and him taking it back to VA with me bringing the Miata home. The pic above is my first view during my ownership and the last of his. He's now owned this car twice and I think he'll actually miss it but I offered it up for weekend fun if he ever finds himself in my area. It's hard not to be charmed by a beat up Miata.

From the meet up location, I decided to kill two birds and stop at my friends race shop south of Pittsburgh to grab some parts for the E21. The sun came out as I was headed into town and actually stayed out the rest of the trip.

I also bought a set of wheels for Olaf from the prior owner so things were...tight.

The expensive part I bought for it? A hardtop. I fully intend to use this car a lot for rallycross, trackdays and probably even some solo. A hardtop is a necessity for two of those, regardless of the fact that the top on the car is absolutely trashed. 

Olaf proved to be a good roadtrip car, sitting very happily at 70 much of the time. That's good as another fellow GRMer (again, he can ID himself if he'd like) was kind enough to pick up the hardtop for me. I intended to grab it a few weekends ago with the VW but test fitting one beforehand showed it was a no-go. So there may be a 10hr round trip drive in the near future for Olaf.

Anyone coming through the Chicago area towards Cleveland with a truck or Miata?! Hah.

On to the Challenge part. Ever since I learned about the Challenge I've wanted to go but it just hasn't worked so far. Since joining here, I've met so many great people that the desire to get down there is even stronger than ever. No matter which way you slice it, I'm well, well into Challenge territory with this thing so I think it's my duty to make it a Challenge car. I hope to be down there this year but there are many factors that could keep me away. If not '21, I don't see why '22 won't work. The fact that this car is sitting in my driveway is yet just another testament of how great the GRM community is. 

Short term plans - get it registered, clean it up, go through it thoroughly to see what more it needs and use it!

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/10/21 9:57 a.m.

Olaf is registered and I've started to clean. The interior has gotten one pass and will probably only need one more to be honest. The outside, however... is going to take some work. I mean, there's what is essentially moss in a couple places. 

That door jamb was mostly black. I removed the bent front plate bracket and used the bolts to reattach the bottom of the bumper to the car. 

Along with pulling out probably 1 lb worth of dirt, leaves, bolts and various other things from the driver's fender, I noticed a puddle under the trunk last night. Strange place for a puddle... Turned out to be a bottle of gear oil that tipped over and spilled out one of the holes in the trunk that doesn't have a grommet. 

 

EDIT: Oh! Olaf came with two keys, one of which is about to snap in half and the other isn't far behind. Both very worn. I found that the local Mazda dealer will cut a fresh key to the VIN for like $17. I'm running with the assumption that the car hasn't been re-keyed and picking up the new key today or tomorrow. And I found $1.25 while cleaning for recoup. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/10/21 12:15 p.m.

LOL want me to post a pic of the expensive part?

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/10/21 12:24 p.m.

Nice!  cheap miata = fun!

WonkoTheSane (FS)
WonkoTheSane (FS) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/10/21 12:46 p.m.
AxeHealey said:

EDIT: Oh! Olaf came with two keys, one of which is about to snap in half and the other isn't far behind. Both very worn. I found that the local Mazda dealer will cut a fresh key to the VIN for like $17. I'm running with the assumption that the car hasn't been re-keyed and picking up the new key today or tomorrow. And I found $1.25 while cleaning for recoup. 

I'm pretty sure that the challenge rules state only parts used on the car for competition count towards the total, so make sure you keep those old keys and use them for the event!

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/10/21 1:30 p.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

Be my guest!

Lof8 - No question.

Wonko - Good point, thanks! For that matter, I'll pull the hardtop off as well though I'd still be under budget. 

 

mmcvay
mmcvay New Reader
3/10/21 6:31 p.m.

Hey I recognize that Miata. I'm jealous of the sun on your leg of the trip.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/11/21 12:49 p.m.

In reply to mmcvay :

Still cold but at least no snow!

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/15/21 9:24 a.m.

The passenger quarter window had been broken at some point, I think when a hardtop was stolen off the car some time ago. A replacement came with the car so that went in this weekend. 

I've got to find a way to remove all of the gaf tape residue but it looks about 1000 times better and, I think, no budget hit since the part came with the car. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/22/21 8:28 a.m.

Olaf cleans up pretty nice, all things considered. (I didn't get to the windows)

It sheds a bit though...

With the weather finally clearing up, I've been driving it whenever I don't need the VW for the car seat. There's a very, very slight hesitation on acceleration sometimes that I'll be looking into as well as some clunks and bumps but it's been great so far. 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/22/21 8:41 a.m.

I might be able to throw together a redneck engineered spec Miata coil over set up if you're interested.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/22/21 8:43 a.m.
Stampie (FS) said:

I might be able to throw together a redneck engineered spec Miata coil over set up if you're interested.

I very likely would be interested in that, yes. Let me know what you come up with. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
3/22/21 8:50 a.m.

When I ran my NB Miata at the 2017 Challenge I used a $40 Ebay coilover kit. It came with all four threaded sleeves, collars and springs for that price, and free shipping! Spring rates were 450Fr/350Rr and I added a 26 mm sway bar made from a Ranger 2wd front bar. The car handled really well for a $54 suspension system, 2nd fastest (tied) on the autocross course.

Edit: To use those Ebay kits you do need the larger diameter Bilstein shocks,not the base suspension thinner ones. Sleeves are 50mm I.D.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/22/21 12:09 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Thanks, Warren. That would be a fine option too. I'll see what Stampie comes up with. My racecar uses some cheapo sleeves, etc. so I'm familiar. 

I suppose step one is seeing what the current setup is. I haven't even had it up in the air yet. 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/22/21 3:50 p.m.

Here's the setup. Notice that the front shocks has one NB and one NA. I'm throwing in a NB tophat for your very own redneck engineering. I'm pretty sure those are the springs we ran on our Challenge Miata. The reds are eBay specials and don't remember what the blue/blacks are.  I can't 100% say for sure that's what we ran but it's what I have. Unfortunately I don't have enough sleeves. On our Q45 we did the math and just cut our own spacers or you could get sleeves.  $100 plus shipping?  Could GRM express maybe?

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
3/22/21 4:24 p.m.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

I'll take a look and see if I might have a stray shock laying around to possibly make a matched front pair.

mmcvay
mmcvay New Reader
3/22/21 9:26 p.m.

In reply to AxeHealey :

For suspension it has kyb gr-2s and eibach lowering springs of some sort. I put in engine mounts but I feel it probably needed diff mounts too.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
3/23/21 7:40 a.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

I'll take a look and see if I might have a stray shock laying around to possibly make a matched front pair.

.....and the answer is "No, I don't."

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/23/21 8:07 a.m.

In reply to mmcvay :

Oh, well in that case. Stampie - thanks for the quick turn around but I'll stay pat if they look ok once I'm under there.

And Michael, yes it definitely feels like it needs diff mounts.

 

Warren - thanks for checking!

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/21 8:24 a.m.

In reply to AxeHealey :

Makes sense.  Guess I'll put them back in the pile of shocks and springs.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/7/21 8:20 a.m.

Just been driving and enjoying it. Some sticky stuff showed up yesterday. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/9/21 10:09 a.m.

I bought some wheel paint for the Koseis planning to only paint the faces. When I got into it I realized there's no way I'd be happy with how they looked. That one can went quick, need more.

In other news, I've still got the plates that my mom had on her '92 Protege and her '98 MPV. Turns out that even though there isn't a model year displayed on the plate (Ohio didn't do that past the 80's), I can use them since they are the correct style for the year of the car. I used the beat up front plate to match the look of the car better. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/16/21 3:42 p.m.

The left rear brake has started to drag but that just doesn't matter right now. 

mmcvay
mmcvay New Reader
4/16/21 8:08 p.m.

I'm having trouble picturing this car on anything other than daisies. I don't think it's ever worn anything else since at least 2012.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/17/21 7:36 p.m.
mmcvay said:

I'm having trouble picturing this car on anything other than daisies. I don't think it's ever worn anything else since at least 2012.

Here, let me help you with that. 

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