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Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
7/6/21 8:39 p.m.

Right. So what had happened was....

The transmission started making noise in every gear so I bailed on NCM, and then the O2 sensor wiring short made me miss Track Day Picnic. 

But I did fix it enough to drive to Gingerman to help out at Spring Kickoff. Where I picked up some wheels I bought from Spacecadet.

But I then immediately traded those for these.

Meanwhile at Gingerman, Mazdeuce covered my car in nanobeavers. 

And now the Miata is sitting while I plan what happens to it next. 

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
8/7/21 11:45 a.m.

Finally got bored and curious enough to see how the new track/autocross wheels look. 

mikedd969
mikedd969 Reader
8/7/21 1:43 p.m.

In reply to Daylan C :

That's a nice little Miata!!! A Miata is on my "next to own" list, just not in the cards right now. sad But when the time comes, one like that, solid but just needing some TLC is exactly what I'll be looking for.

Enjoying reading your thread.  Just curious, where in KY?  I'm originally from Leitchfield and my wife is from Elizabethtown. Based on your roadtrip It looks like you are from the same "neck of the woods" as they say.  Small world.  We both left KY for the Mobile AL area way back in '04 and now live just north of Houston, after a (thankfully) brief period of residence in the San Francisco area.  I still get back to KY to visit family a few times a year, and I must say, I do miss it there, but not the winters.....  blush

mikedd969
mikedd969 Reader
8/7/21 2:07 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Hilarious!!  As a past owner of several Fiat and Alfa Romeo automobiles, I understand completely!  Heck, none of mine even had power windows and they still refused to roll up or down at random intervals with great regularity. 

God I do miss driving them though.....particularly the  72 Fiat Dino Coupe and the 73 Alfa Romeo 2000 GT Veloce.  The Alfa is at the top of my list of cars I wish I could have brought back to the US from Italy.  I really loved driving that car, even with all it's typically "70's Italian-ness r" (meaning you got the chance to break out your tools a lot). laugh  

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
8/7/21 3:15 p.m.

In reply to mikedd969 :

I'm from Glasgow originally. Lived there most of my 25 years until a few months ago. 

I'm still very happy with this Miata because its nice enough to not be miserable but ratty enough that I don't have to worry about it staying pretty, because it's quite ugly up close actually. 

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
9/4/21 3:57 p.m.

I went and did a thing with my car again. I think that means certain people will expect me to update this thread later. More of a write up to come when I get home. 

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
9/5/21 5:17 a.m.

So I saw on the calendar months ago that Great River region was doing a test and tune at the Iowa Air National Guard site at Davenport Airport. That's roughly 2 hours away and test and tune usually mean more runs, so I definitely wanted to make it to this event even I didn't do much else this year. So last weekend I buttoned up a couple things on the car and decided it was good enough. Headed early opting to leave my seat cushion at home like a complete idiot. But having 0 issues other than that. 

I knew going in the car has front shocks that are mostly dead and I the track day pads were going to bite harder than the old pads I ran on last time, so I opted to chew up my all seasons I don't need to commute on anymore instead of the Falkens. 

We did 3 90 minute long sessions. I worked the first session. Then drove the last two sessions after lunch. I got 6 runs the first session and 5 in the last session. Probably could have gotten one more in but I took a short break to get some water between sessions.

Car behaved like a stock suspension Miata on all seasons and worn out shocks is supposed to behave I guess. No issues I didn't expect other than the 1-2 shift feeling weird on my last 2 runs but I suspect that was me being an idiot more than the car having problems. 

After my last run I packed up and drove home with no issues.

And here's a photo dump in no particular order.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/5/21 5:22 a.m.

I like you doing racecar things with this Miata. 

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
9/24/21 4:55 p.m.

Spacecadet pointed out I've had the car over 18 months now. So I guess I should update the thread.

I tore the front end apart to install a tow hook.

Bolts are pretty ugly but didn't slip when I tightened them so they'll stay for now. 

 

I found the hardware that was supposed to hold the air deflector for the radiator on was missing, so I went and got new bits.

Then I put the bumper cover back on.

Then the rear got a hook as well. This required drilling a hole for a 2nd bolt and my normal size drill chipped on me and I don't have a bench grinder here to sharpen it, so the silly long drill left over from the roll bar install had to come out. 

 

And new random pictures of the car at a lake and next to a tank. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/24/21 6:27 p.m.

In reply to Daylan C :

Love the bumper sticker. 

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
10/15/21 8:36 p.m.

Boring background progress and planning is happening. So I'll just leave this here.

A good friend did send me pics where a big part of finally getting me and this car on track showed up at his shop today. Probably won't be until the end of the year that we get to do anything with it though.

Daylan C
Daylan C PowerDork
10/16/21 6:01 p.m.

Bad lighting but I took the car on a group drive thing with Eastern Iowa Miata Owners Club today. 5 of us showed up. We found a couple fun roads in Illinois and had a nice lunch talking about Miata stuff. It was nice. 

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
2/14/22 4:11 p.m.

So I've forgotten this pinch weld protector stuck to the car a few times now and lost one on the way to Gingerman even.

So I've used the power of brightly colored flappy warning tags to help prevent this.

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
3/9/22 9:22 p.m.

So before I left Iowa the car starting leaking coolant real bad. I assumed it was the water pump I skipped when I did the timing belt in late 2020.

So I did another timing belt and actually put in the new water pump I had on the shelf this time.

I then put a few shakedown miles on the car around town.

And then I went to NCM on a Wednesday for their High Performance Driver Introduction day.

We did 4 classroom sessions and 4 lead-follow track sessions. Going over basics of how to do an HDPE and some basic track driving in general. A lot of material and I should have taken notes. But I finally did it. I finally drove the car on track. Now to see how the rest of the season goes and see what else we manage to do.

also realized I've had the car 2 years and 2 days.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/4/22 9:39 a.m.

Can't remember if I was officially following this thread or not, but now I definitely am. Looking forward to seeing your writeup on this weekends progress. 

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
4/4/22 3:02 p.m.

So I've made several attempts to fit my long torso 6' self into this car with a big helmet and I finally decided to go nuclear on it and cut giant holes in the floor. Several months ago while I was still in Iowa I ordered the 5XRacing drop floor kit and had it shipped to a friend's shop in Tennessee. This past weekend we finally caught a window to get the car in and get it installed.

The cut kit comes with some templates to assist with marking out your cuts and 5X has a 2 part video on their YouTube channel outlining the process of installing this kit too.

 

after the marks were made we started the scary process of attacking the car with a numerous cutting implements

and a surprisingly short time later we had a fairly large hole.

Some tthings to note in cutting that didn't get mentioned in 5X's videos is what all attaches to the section of floor that must me removed. These may mostly be NB2 specific things, but the factory chassis bracing ties into the section of frame rail you need to cut out in 2 places. One is a simple cross bar I decided to leave off, and the other is this stamped butterfly brace.

the bigger brace has 6 attachment points and only one interferes with the new floor, so we decided the best option was to just slice off the bit that's in the way and leave the rest.

The installation process does require cutting out a large section of chassis rail on the driver side and comes with a new rail to replace it. They recommend making the cuts through the chassis rail at a steep angle to leave as much material as possible to weld to.

Once the chassis rail was welded in solid the new floor section was fitted. They recommend using self taping screws to initially hold it in place and pull the new metal tighter to the contours of the factory floor so the gaps are smaller for welding.

The stock outer seat belt anchor point is left alone but the inner one is removed with the trans mission tunnel cut. The floor comes with a pre drilled hole for the inner lap belt anchor and they supply a weld in bung with the kit. I opted to use one of the OMP backing instead.

as usual with my posts I lost track of taking progress pics about here, but after this point it's a matter of welding new metal to old metal.

For the seat mount we ended up modying the seat mount I had before. You could probably get away with just bolting a flat bottom seat like mine straight through the floor but I wanted a bit of a rise at the front.

I'll add more pics after I've done some more finishing work, but I can tell you I went from not fitting under the hard top without slouching to being able to fit my hand between my helmet and the top. The next project is now going to be building a new harness bar because the one I have is now above my shoulders entirely and means I can't mount the seat back brace properly.

The height difference between the top of the stock passenger seat and my driver seat is now a pretty drastic difference.

Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out and excited to drive the car more now.

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
4/12/22 2:32 p.m.

I checked with the appropriate people at Gridlife and the harness bar is actually fine like it is, so we went ahead and put a 5 point harness in the car and we're just about ready for Gridlife NCM this weekend. Last thing I'm trying to sort out is my hard top window. The old one was cracked and opaque so I ordered a new one and am working on getting it installed today.

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
4/17/22 10:22 a.m.

So we did Gridlife Bunny Bash at NCM. It was pretty great.

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
4/17/22 1:21 p.m.

So Gridlife NCM Bunny Bash was me and the car's first real track outing. Things worked out that I got a driver spot for the weekend and I got a lot of help from a friend getting the car prepped in time. I wasn't happy with how the window I ordered was fitting so I decided leave it out for the weekend and tarp the car in the paddock if we got bad weather. (which we did). 

I showed up early to help with event setup and hang out with some friends that were already there for the test day on Thursday. Track hangs were had after we closed up tech.

Friday morning I had my first classroom session and we did a lead follow session. The other student that was working with my instructor spun on the out lap hitting the inside curb at deception with unreasonably stiff shock settings so our group pitted in then went back out so I got to just follow my instructor the rest of that session.

The instructor went back out to lead the other student in my group again since she missed most of the first lead follow session. This ended up just being a train of all the other beginners following her and the instructor. The instructor pitted in to let the rest of us around but I guess the first couple drivers in the line misunderstood and followed them in. I also followed them in because I was towards the back of the line and saw every single car in front of me pulling off and assumed there must have been an issue. So the 2nd session that was intended to be our first open session was pretty much another lead follow

3rd session came up, One of the lead instructors asked what I was working on in that session, but since I didn't really feel like I had a chance to actually see any sort of decent pace yet I was still just trying to feel things out until I found something to work at. I finally got a bit of room to push the car a little more in this session and some issues came up. Most notably was a spin coming out of turn 16. I tried to brush the brakes a bit to slow down before turn 17 and the car spun. I believe what happened was I went out a little too wide where there was less grip and I gave it more pedal pressure than I intended. So it locked up and spun. I came to a stop with the back tires in the grass, waited for a safe gap and reentered then pitted in to report my incident to top of grid. But I saw the checker as I made it to pit lane so that was the end of the session anyway.

Last session of Friday I finally had some specific goals. And that was to work on my downshifting and braking into turn 1A and get more comfortable with 16 and 17 after my spin. I decided the way I liked doing 16/17 was to stay to the inside most of the way around where the track seemed to stay cleaner and I also had more room to work with if the car got loose in that fairly fast section of the track. For whatever reason I didn't seem to be carrying as much speed onto the front straight though so I didn't end up in the situation where I needed to get down into 3rd from 5th for 1a as often. It was a fairly uneventful session because of that. However when I got back to my pit spot and checked the car over, my buddy found a pretty significant oil leak that we decided was the valve cover gasket. So I skipped the evening session so we didn't have to struggle to get the car fixed in time.

Somebody had the great idea to convoy a bunch of Gridlife cars to the nearby Sonic. I believe it started with just Sundae Cup but a few other TA, DE and even Kristoff's tube frame CRX GLTC car ended up going too. The train of cars was one of the cooler things I've ever seen. 

Saturday Morning we made a run into town to grab a new gasket and RTV to reseal the valve cover and got it buttoned up in plenty of time for the first session.

We had a pretty bad thunderstorm Friday night so things were good and damp most of the morning. Luckily by the time my session came up the sun had been out for a bit and cars had already been out to dry things up a bit. I was told to be careful on my out lap to check how the grip was, watching for puddling, and be careful on the painted curbs that might be slicker than they were Friday. What I found on my out lap was that things were pretty dry other than the outside of 16 and 17 I was trying to stay away from anyway and the curbs still had grip. So I pointed the Subaru by my at 23 and spent the session surprised by the fact I kept seeing a white STI right in front of me. I found myself carrying a lot more speed out of sinkhole, through the esses, and onto the front straight then grabbing 5th much earlier, giving me more time to get back down to 3rd for 1a. In that session I was also trying a suggestion about braking in 5th and going straight to 3rd before turning in which worked pretty well. The whole session just felt really good and it was the first time I felt a bit disappointed when I saw the checker because another lap or two would have been really nice.

And the last session of the weekend happened. I told my instructor about the 5-3 shift at 1a feeling better and that I was thinking I could maybe use 5th at 15 into 16 but wasn't sure about it yet. He told me to try it so that was my goal for the session. It was definitely faster that way but then my new problem was getting down to 3rd for 18/19. And the car fought me every time I tried it. Finally on the 2nd to last lap I tried and failed twice to get it into 3rd before it finally caught and put me sideways across a rough curb into the dirt. I pitted in to self report and went back out for 1 more lap that kind of felt crappy before the session ended. I went straight to the classroom for our last meeting and then on the drive back to my pit spot I noticed the transmission was making new noises and then we found new leaks. I opted to call it there while I could still drive the car home and just hang out a bit before packing up.

Ended up staying a bit late to help a couple friends in need with cars much more broken than mine and then had a nice drive home using music to drown out the sound of my transmission.

All in all I definitely enjoyed myself and am excited to get the car fixed and go do it again.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/17/22 1:36 p.m.

The continued adventures of this car make me happy.

Daylan C.
Daylan C. PowerDork
5/2/22 8:00 p.m.

Right. Updates. Car currently looks like this.

Lots of bits are missing and it's on jackstands. Not the way I would have normally wanted the car to look at this point in the season but here we are. The 6 speed in an indeterminate state of broken has been traded to KyAllroad for an NA8 5 speed and the engine is about to come out and get resealed because fixing leaks one by one in the car is probably going to be a thing if I don't take care of that now. I have a rough goal to hopefully have it back out to at least one or two events this year but the car isn't really top priority right now unfortunately.

Since this isn't really that significant of a post, here's a pretty picture of the car on track right before I broke it.

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