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Mitchell UberDork
1/26/17 11:42 p.m.

2015 Miata GT ragtop. Love everything about it, except the suspension. I want the perfect canyon carving daily driver suspension. You know, grounded to the ground.

I have been eyeing the Fox package in sport trim. What else do I need? Sways? What are The recommended alignment specs? I don't have any track time planned; just want something that feels like it came from the factory with the perfect setup, that also won't require any additional fiddling.

Mitchell UberDork
1/27/17 11:03 p.m.

Shamelessly bumping the thread out of respect for the unloved Miata generation.

Dusterbd13 PowerDork
1/27/17 11:42 p.m.

Personally, i think that they are the best looking.

OldGray320i HalfDork
1/29/17 10:12 a.m.

So is Keith going to provide the info here or what?

I had liked the NCs above the other gens at the time, test drove one, liked it, then I drove an NB and bought it.

But I'd still like to know what I would've done, or at least considered....

pointofdeparture PowerDork
1/29/17 10:16 a.m.

He seems to answer a lot of these questions with "give me a call" or "give FM a call." Since he works for a company that lives and breathes Miata I'm sure a number of people there could point you in the right direction.

If you search "NC suspension" on this board his recommendation usually seems to be the FM Stage 2 as a starting point.

Rodan Reader
1/29/17 10:39 a.m.

We have both NA and NC... the NC is my wife's daily, but it still gets some track time. I have ridden in FM's Fox equipped NC, and was impressed, but haven't spent enough time in it, or driven it so I can't give a really detailed opinion, but I do plan on changing the suspension in the NC to the Fox coilovers when it's in the budget.

For now, we're running on FM springs with Koni shocks and Progress sways and it's a good combination. I started with Progress springs, which were a really good spring rate for the street, but not enough for track. Unfortunately, they also sagged in the front after 20k miles... would not buy again. Switched to FM springs and haven't looked back. The Progress sways are adjustable, which has been nice for dialing things in...

I know the Fox uses a higher spring rate in the rear, so you don't need a lot of rear sway bar. If Keith doesn't see the thread, I'd just give him a call on Monday....

wheelsmithy Dork
1/29/17 10:54 a.m.
OldGray320i wrote: So is Keith going to provide the info here or what? I had liked the NCs above the other gens at the time, test drove one, liked it, then I drove an NB and bought it. But I'd still like to know what I would've done, or at least considered....

Give the guy a break, he's probably out running the Targa Newfoundland, or otherwise caning a V8 Miata of some sort. I'm sure he'll be along as soon as he can.

Huckleberry MegaDork
1/29/17 11:26 a.m.

He is probably in Daytona

SVreX MegaDork
1/29/17 11:50 a.m.

Keith doesn't work for GRM.

This is a Sunday.

This is the weekend of the Rolex 24.

...or maybe the guy has a life.

dean1484 MegaDork
1/29/17 12:17 p.m.

He is at Daytona. (See the Daytona thread)

Mitchell UberDork
1/30/17 6:38 p.m.

still hungry for information! What could be so important in Daytona?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/17 11:09 a.m.

Yeah yeah yeah, I spent the last five days standing in a very loud parking lot talking Miatas with people. I may not work for GRM, but that doesn't mean I'm not working when I'm at an event! I did get to see about 20 minutes of racing, though. And it was the right 20 minutes.

The Fox suspension for the NC is great. It's unlike any other suspension we sell in terms of setup, because that's what worked on the NC and it didn't work on any of the others. It's the first time I've been able to get a clear separation between the NA/NB's abilities and the NC's, the first time the newer platform has really distanced itself. It's my current benchmark for what should be possible, and I'm aiming to get all the others up to that level.

In order to get the behavior we wanted, we ran a lot of rear spring. This means the suspension is intended for use with little or no rear sway. Put an FM bar on the front (adjustable, of course) and none or stock on the rear. Alignment recommendations are on our site.

thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
1/31/17 12:08 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner:

You make it sound like the NC with the Fox suspension is markedly better than the other Miatae. Am I reading that correctly?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/17 12:38 p.m.

I think I'm pretty much there with the ND, but it's definitely a step ahead of the NA/NB from a ride/handling standpoint. It illustrates the weakness in the old chassis.

racerdave600 SuperDork
1/31/17 12:41 p.m.

I recently had a chance to drive a NC for an extended period, and was blown away at how good it drove. I've done a small test drive at a dealer in a Club version, but this was an '08 Touring. I was not expecting it to be as good as it was given all the hype. No idea on the shock package, but it did still have stock springs. I probably didn't get over 6 to 7/10's however, so no experience near the limit.

As a real car however, it was the best Miata I've driven. Decent room inside and the first one I felt like I was sitting "IN" the car rather than on top of it like in my '93. Not to hijack the thread, but I've been looking for a fun and inexpensive toy that myself and my wife can enjoy, and I can take to an autocross of track day. The NC seems like a good fit. It appears you can be all in for under $15k including the call to Keith for suspension upgrades.

So now to my question for Keith. If you were to start with just shocks in order to run a street class, where would you start?

OldGray320i HalfDork
1/31/17 12:56 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: I think I'm pretty much there with the ND, but it's definitely a step ahead of the NA/NB from a ride/handling standpoint. It illustrates the weakness in the old chassis.

Dang it, don't make me second guess my NB now... I'm very much enjoying the NB.

But if I had to daily driver one (which was my original intent, we never did sell the other car...), it sounds like an NC would be more livable, and handle at least as well.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/17 1:09 p.m.

There are still other things I prefer about the older chassis over the NC - weight, steering feel, seat comfort, engine character, styling. But the NC does have some desirable attributes over the NA/NB. The ND is the problem for the NC, in that it brings the good NA/NB stuff back and looks sexy to boot

Racerdave, I'd go with either revalved Konis or the Tokico HTS if you're doing just shocks. I'm not a huge fan of the stock valving on the NC Koni, they bottom out too easily.

Note that it's the Fox setup that takes the big step. The FM springs with Koni or Tokicos are good, but they don't show the full ability of the chassis. Neither do any of the competitor setups I've driven. The Fox just went somewhere different.

racerdave600 SuperDork
1/31/17 1:28 p.m.

How harsh is the Fox setup?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/17 2:55 p.m.

It's not. Harshness is a thing I try to avoid, and you can usually get past it with good damping.

racerdave600 SuperDork
1/31/17 3:11 p.m.

Now all I need to do is find a car.

GroupSects New Reader
1/31/17 3:28 p.m.

I've got FM springs and off the shelf Konis. It's much more sporty than stock and honestly better driving on the street since it doesn't bottom out on the bumpstops constantly. I also had progress springs briefly and thought the FM set was worlds better.

Ohlins seem to be the popular choice for STR coilovers, the one that I drove with them seemed pretty harsh on the street and you've got to re-spring the rears to get the car to turn. Lots of fast STR NCs on them locally though. Never experienced a car with the Fox setup but that's the next upgrade for the suspension.

dherr New Reader
1/31/17 3:32 p.m.

In reply to racerdave600:

I drive a 2008 Sport, replaced the soft springs/shocks with a set of slightly used Mazdaspeed springs and Bilstein Sports and replaced the sway bars with RX8 pieces. This makes for a really fun ride, everyone that has driven it loves how it handles and as a daily driver it is perfect. I am sure with the Fox suspension it is amazing, based on how good my car is with my "budget" upgrades. Only driven a NA/NB a few times in the past ,but definitely love my NC. Keith, I agree with you that the ND is ultimately the best performer, but I paid $8,000 for my NC with only 62k miles on it, it will be a long time before the ND is that cheap.... so for under 10K you get a lot of car!

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/31/17 3:49 p.m.

So Stage 2 Fox is just Stage 1 Fox with the adjustable front bar?

racerdave600 SuperDork
1/31/17 4:00 p.m.

dherr, that's my feelings exactly. For the money, the NC seems to be a great buy. I wasn't expecting to like it given how many feel about it. But to me it is the best Miata I've driven that can be used as a normal car. My wife liked it which is saying a lot. She can take or leave my '93, or any of my previous NA and NB Miatas.

I did stop and look at the new ND fastback yesterday. It looks great in person, and I'm sure I will buy one eventually, but it is smaller than the NC interior wise. If you sit in a NA, you won't feel much different in the ND, except it is a WHOLE lot nicer. I didn't want to drive it however as it would be hard to explain why one followed me home.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/17 4:09 p.m.

Ohlins has a really big piece of the NC market, but I've driven it and I know we've done better. The NC market has never gone for the Fox stuff which means there are a lot of people missing out. The other platforms have figured it out, though.

Also, here's why you don't want a short stroke shock. This is full droop.

Stage 2 in any of our suspensions is Stage 1 plus sway bar(s). It's a package, not a different tune.

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