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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/22 12:50 p.m.

They're under the tech section at flyinmiata.com, but here you go. These are based on conversations with Dave Coleman and experimenting on our own car. The second day we had our first ND, I was at the track doing alignments in the pits :) A crude version of the following made a significant difference in lap times and also improved the steering quite a bit.

The ND has a very different suspension design, and combined with the electrically assisted steering, demands different numbers. These are the numbers we use on our cars, and they've shown no unusual wear and have pulled over 1.05g on the skidpad in magazine testing. We strongly recommend that every new ND get an alignment, as they're not really aligned at the factory. These numbers will give better steering feel, more grip and better stability.

Front
Caster: 8.0 degrees (basically, as much as possible)
Camber: 1.8 degrees negative (again, as much as possible)
Toe-in: 1/16", 0.15° or 9 arcminutes total (1/32", 0.075° or 4.5 minutes per side)

Rear
Camber: 1.8 degrees negative (matching the front)
Toe-in: 1/16", 0.15° or 9 arcminutes total (1/32", 0.075° or 4.5 minutes per side)

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
2/25/22 1:17 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Great, thanks. I'll print a copy and put it in the car.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
2/25/22 7:36 p.m.

Anyone know what the easy button is to get more front camber on these cars?  Would love to get 2.5-3 degrees if possible. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/22 7:44 p.m.

Moar low :)

Seriously, though, we have some offset bushings we're working on. Just waiting for some revised prototypes at this point. And if we're working through our R&D process, that probably means there's something already out there from our more nimble competition. Trying to support all aspects of four generations and requiring actual testing and documentation makes us a little slower.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/25/22 11:39 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Sometimes, slow is fast.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/22 9:36 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

I'm down in East Point. I was up there before 8, which was perfect timing. The fjord was Helton Creek falls, between Neels and Hogpen gaps.

You're welcome over anytime for a test fit/drive. I also autocross regularly if you want to co-drive sometime. 

Where do you autocross? I'm in Roswell.. have never done it and it seems like a itch I should scratch - maybe eventually with my sons as a new activity. Not trying to be a stalker but I'd love to tag along someday and see how "solo" works. I am also very curious about that seat bracket since my FIL has owned every generation of Miata and I fit in exactly none of them due to my height. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
2/27/22 11:39 a.m.
OHSCrifle said:
maschinenbau said:

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

I'm down in East Point. I was up there before 8, which was perfect timing. The fjord was Helton Creek falls, between Neels and Hogpen gaps.

You're welcome over anytime for a test fit/drive. I also autocross regularly if you want to co-drive sometime. 

Where do you autocross? I'm in Roswell.. have never done it and it seems like a itch I should scratch - maybe eventually with my sons as a new activity. Not trying to be a stalker but I'd love to tag along someday and see how "solo" works. I am also very curious about that seat bracket since my FIL has owned every generation of Miata and I fit in exactly none of them due to my height. 

Maschinenbau has the Aurora mounts and I have the Paco mounts... if the three of us ever get together (autocross?) you can compare them side by side. I'm 6' tall and the seat lowering kit made a huge difference. Huge.  I'm down in East Cobb, probably close to you. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/22 12:34 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Apologies for the thread-Jack. I don't know why I do this to myself. Dreams of driving a "the answer" I suppose. 

After looking up some specs I'm certain there is not a chance in hell that I'll (6'-5", 35" inseam) fit even in an Aurora bracket modified ND RF.

Any seat with <38" headroom is a non starter - so chances are slim but possible in an ND convertible (with the Aurora mount). Have any Atlanta GRMers made that mod?... very unlikely.

..but I'm definitely curious about your paco seat bracket modified NA.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/22 12:57 p.m.

Atlanta SCCA does events at Atlanta Motor Speedway parking lot. It's a huge, open course usually with 50 second runs. http://atlantascca.com/

Feel free to PM me about meeting up for test fitting. I live downtown and work in Smyrna.

Yeah, 6'5" probably won't fit even with my lowering brackets. I'm 6'0" and wouldn't want to be any taller in this car.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
2/27/22 9:43 p.m.

^ what he said. At 6 feet I fit well with the Paco brackets, but to wear a helmet I really need the top down. I think at 6'5 it's going to be tough to fit. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/28/22 12:37 a.m.

Mazda definitely didn't design the ND for the taller end of the human race, and the RF has 3/4" less headroom than the soft top.

Chrissmith
Chrissmith New Reader
2/28/22 5:21 a.m.

I daily drove my Dad's Miata to university 2 years ago,  and it was great. Just a backpack and me haha.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/25/22 10:02 a.m.

Today I hit 10,000 miles. In a couple weeks will be 1 full year of ownership. Twice as many miles as I ever put on the 124 Spider, half as many water pumps, and 1/3 as many freeze plugs too! I did the first 2 oil changes at the local dealer for relationship-building. I will probably do the rest myself from here on out.

To celebrate, I did a track event at Road Atlanta. The local SCCA hosts "Shush Sessions" during the county-mandated quiet hours on Sunday mornings, so muffled non-racecars only during that time. It was a blast! 2x 25 minute sessions was plenty for a novice like me. The car is very competent and noob-friendly. Traction control was working overtime through the S's. But I gained confidence quickly and was hitting curbs and braking deeper. I noticed a bit of fade by the end of each session, but nothing that felt worrying. This really is a fantastic package right out of the box! And I love that 115 mph wind over my helmet.

I want to do more of these, so I'm eyeing one next month at Atlanta Motorsport Park. I have no plans upgrade anything for the sake of speed. Just a few things I would like for peace of mind:

  • Better brake fluid and pads - recommendations?
  • Tow hooks installed before going on track
  • Tires soon - OEMs wore down quite a bit yesterday. Looking at PS4s or Conti ECS. I am not interested in tire-swapping for this car, yet.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/25/22 10:12 a.m.

The elusive all-season track pad that's happy with track use and street driving in all weather :) I'd either swap pads at the track, add cooling or select a good street pad and have some mechanical sympathy when driving on the track. I wouldn't select a pad that was likely to squeal on the street as that's super-annoying to drive. My usual go-to for this sort of use is a Porterfield R4S, in large part because we stock them and they've always worked for me. 

It's unlikely you'll be able to get that sort of pad hot enough to cause problems with fresh fluid, so I'd suggest a decent DOT4 and a regular replacement schedule. Water absorbtion is going to be your biggest problem.

CrashDummy
CrashDummy Reader
7/25/22 10:26 a.m.

Is the Miata RF universally considered a hardtop, or do some organizations still consider it a convertible and require aftermarket roll-over protection for the track? 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/25/22 10:37 a.m.

In reply to CrashDummy :

SCCA uses this for convertibles at their Track Night events:

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/25/22 10:41 a.m.

The roof on the RF is no more structural than an NA hardtop, really. Interesting that there's a 2006 cutoff in there, was there a change in NHTSA safety regs for production cars?

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/25/22 10:48 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Not sure. I thought they did that to include all NC Miatas. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/25/22 10:53 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The roof on the RF is no more structural than an NA hardtop, really. Interesting that there's a 2006 cutoff in there, was there a change in NHTSA safety regs for production cars?

Nothing I could find in a quick search.  I wonder if it is more to do with that being the first model year of the NC.  I would assume those and Boxsters would be the most common convertibles on track, and don't they both have some built in rollover protection?

dps214
dps214 Dork
7/25/22 10:58 a.m.

I don't remember if there was an actual change to regulations but either way that's about the time manufacturers started to at least pretend to care about rollover safety on convertibles. The roll hoops on the normal ND are considered fine as well, though we've seen that very nearly end poorly recently, so...

On a light, low powered, and relatively well balanced car like that, the R4S and good fluid like Keith said will probably do fine. Especially if you're going to be keeping it on >300TW tires and not running it super hard. Some simple brake cooling couldn't hurt if there's an easy option.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo PowerDork
7/25/22 11:15 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

I want to do more of these, so I'm eyeing one next month at Atlanta Motorsport Park. I have no plans upgrade anything for the sake of speed. Just a few things I would like for peace of mind:

  • Better brake fluid and pads - recommendations?
  • Tow hooks installed before going on track
  • Tires soon - OEMs wore down quite a bit yesterday. Looking at PS4s or Conti ECS. I am not interested in tire-swapping for this car, yet.

The construction of the ECS means they like to flex a lot.  If you're camber-limited, that'll mean they'll end up on their sidewalls pretty easily.  So, if you can get 2-3deg of camber, then go with the Conti's.  If not, then go with PS4's... they'll have more dry and wet traction to boot.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/25/22 11:28 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The roof on the RF is no more structural than an NA hardtop, really. Interesting that there's a 2006 cutoff in there, was there a change in NHTSA safety regs for production cars?

I don't believe that there was a NHTSA change in the rules for 2006, but I believe that 2005 was the last year that common enthusiasts cars didn't have some sort of structure there.

Although, Mazda is on record as stating that in the one (at least in the NC) is NOT a roll bar, it's there for chassis stability:

"It is not something that we can legally call a roll bar," says Jeremy Barnes, a spokesman for Mazda North America Operations. "They are two structures that sort of look like roll hoops behind the driver and passenger's head. They do add to the structural integrity of the vehicle, but they are not there specifically to protect the driver and passenger's head in the event of a rollover."

Taken from here: https://www.autoweek.com/news/a2082991/ragtops-escape-roof-crush-rules-nhtsa-says-convertibles-cant-share-standards-fixed/

The 350Z 'vert is in the same boat, although the enginerds and oh-law'ders at SCCA deemed them good enough for HPDE-duty.

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/25/22 11:53 a.m.

Congratulations on hitting 10k trouble free miles. 
 

I'll third the R4S recommendation. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/25/22 12:11 p.m.

The NC hoops are clearly not a safety structure if you look at them, and then Mazda decided to make them out of aluminum for the ND :) 

I've tracked an ND RF without additional roll protection. I'm okay with it on mild tires and with the driver (me) leaving good margins, I would be less comfortable trying to win a track day on stickies. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/25/22 1:35 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Exactly my mentality with this car. I'm not there to win. I need to drive it to work the next day. So what if I don't have the best track pads or stickiest tires, I'll just go slower here or there and still have plenty of fun.

FWIW I think the RF roof is stronger than many think. It has a solid B-pillar integrated into the unibody that the soft-top doesn't have. You can see it when folding the roof. It's no roll-bar, and anything can happen, but it's something.

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