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cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/3/16 9:34 p.m.

As chronicled in this thread

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/grassroots-road-tripping-revisited/108687/page1/

I recently picked up a 92 Miata to take over autocrossing duties from my '90. My wife had just finished grad school, and we decided that a road trip would make for a really fun celebratory vacation. Once that decision was made, I started scheming, and was able to talk her into picking up the car sight unseen and driving it a few thousand miles. Worked out perfectly.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/3/16 9:38 p.m.

First of all - we picked the car up with 222458 miles on it. No spring chicken. I did some minor fixes when we were on the road - the rear finish panel was cracked and the PO threw in a minty colormatching one, so I threw that on, as well as a new shifter insulator in my wife's aunt and uncle's driveway.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/3/16 9:40 p.m.

Having totaled my daily driver Focus SVT right before we left, I bought some snow tires, raised the suspension, and borrowed the yellow hardtop to daily the orange Miata for a while. Not a great look, but it worked.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/3/16 9:46 p.m.

The yellow car came with a Torsen already swapped in, which is a big selling point for Miatas. Unfortunately, I wanted to run the car in STS for SCCA autocross, which meant going back to the viscous LSD that was optional in 92. I was able to find a willing trade partner through here (Thanks Wonko!), so I got to pulling the exhaust, diff, driveshaft, axles, and the rest of the suspension with the help of my good friend Kroil.

Unfortunately, I am without garage, so the magic all happens in my (thankfully paved) driveway.

Rear suspension came out without much of a fight

I can never get this stupid long bolt out without destroying it. Only 1 side this time, thankfully.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/3/16 9:48 p.m.

Got a little OCD cleaning up the PPF

Engine degreaser and a steam cleaner helped a lot.

Also prepped the diff mounts for Poly using environmentally sound, locally approved methods of rubber removal.

Clifton
Clifton New Reader
4/4/16 3:36 p.m.

I like the bushing removal method.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/4/16 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Clifton:

Hey, it works!

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/5/16 10:07 a.m.

A question - This is going to be primarily an autocross car. I have a set of FM VMaxx Extreme coilovers, currently on the orange car but available for swapping to the yellow car. I also have a set of Koni Sports, which are probably a better shock in reality but would require me to buy sleeves, springs, and bumpstops, which is a not insignificant amount of money.

WWGRMD?

RedGT
RedGT Reader
4/5/16 1:51 p.m.

The VMaxx are certainly good and probably more comfortable on the street but I believe the Konis with 550/300 would be faster on course.

Bumpstops can be had for $12-$20 each from Ground Control or Summit Used name brand springs trade for ~$80/pair. eBay sleeve stuff is around $100 these days but I haven't done it myself because I stumbled across a used GC sleeve kit w/ springs for $240. Keep an eye out.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/5/16 4:37 p.m.

Can sports handle a 550 pound spring? I was thinking 375/250. I've been looking on eBay a bit but the sleeves are tricky, most don't list an ID.

RedGT
RedGT Reader
4/5/16 5:26 p.m.

I see it often repeated that 550 is about their limit. I will be running 500/300 in a few months on the softer car. The serious STS one has 700/440 on Koni Race yellows.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/5/16 7:33 p.m.

This car had a Rostra cruise control unit, and what seemed like miles of unused stereo wiring. In the interests of simplifying my life and saving some weight, all of that had to go.

This is what the cruise wiring looked like under the dash

yeah....scotchlocks and bare twisted wires.

And some stereo related wiring in the trunk...

That battery looks a little big too...

Ended up with this

Now I hope the thing starts when I throw in a new battery...

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/5/16 7:41 p.m.

In the meantime, I spent some time wire wheeling all my suspension bits to clean off 200k of road grime. I ended up taking off some paint, so I decided to clean them up and do a nice professional job in my high tech paint booth.

By that I mean I spray bombed them with Rustoleum farm implement paint in my basement. You'll notice I went with a non-OEM color as well. Black is boring.

Yes I know these are probably going to look like garbage as soon as they get dirty (ie immediately) but I don't care. That HF hydraulic press was purchased for this project and has already earned its keep. Pressing out bushings is so easy when you have the right tools! The car came with a set of Poly bushings, so those will go in when it all goes back together. I got grease zerks from McMaster, so we'll see how those do keeping everything lubed up.

I also placed an order from Mazda for new lower ball joints, that bolt I destroyed, and tie rod end boots since the tie rods themselves were fine. I also got new upper ball joints from RockAuto, and I'm planning on stealing the nearly new brake pads and rotors from the orange car (the brakes that came on this are fine, but I just bought Porterfield R4S and I'm not gonna just give them away when I sell the car).

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/6/16 6:38 p.m.

Also in parts acquisition news - picked up a set of stock taillights and seat rails for both sides for $60 total from a nice guy who's building an Exocet. Nice. I have a set of ancient Momo T-Frame seats that I like, but the way they are mounted right now (on a steel base with universal sliders) is not ideal, so I'm going to try to make them work with the stock rails. Should get me a little lower and give me more legroom to boot.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
4/6/16 6:53 p.m.

Wanna sell the rostra? I've been looking at them for the duster.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/6/16 7:27 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

Actually, I do. I tried not to cut anything taking it out, and I think I even have the manual. Let me get back to you with the model number so you can see if it will work for you. Seems like a pretty simple setup though.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
4/7/16 8:36 a.m.

cool! depending on model number, it may be what I need. also, did you remove the controls for it? some have dash controls, some have a stalk, etc.

and the yellow suspension pieces may not look that bad on an autocross car. on a daily, they would look horrible after a week.

Michael

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/7/16 10:30 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

Sent you a PM

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/11/16 9:11 a.m.

Got some time over the weekend, so I started drilling for grease zerks and putting in bushings. I got the front upper control arms done on both sides, including the new ball joints - they're a tight fit, the press definitely made that a much easier job.

Then I dropped my phone on the concrete floor and broke the screen (again), so no pictures for now. My hub stands from FM should be in today, so I'll hopefully have time to get the whole thing together in time to autocross this Sunday. I kinda have to make the call early this week though - the shocks and springs I'm using are still on the orange car, so I may just drive that instead.

Also got started mounting my seats on the stock seat rails - should drop me another inch or so and actually let me use the full range of the sliders, so that's pretty great. They're not lining up perfect but I think they're close enough to make it work.

Now I just need it to WARM UP a little so I can do some work outside without being miserable.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/18/16 9:54 a.m.

Well, very little suspension progress was made. I got the hub stands - think they're going to be a very handy tool (BTW, if anyone nearby wants to borrow them for DIY alignments, let me know).

I drove the orange Miata at the first NER SCCA event of the year on Sunday. Did OK, but the poly bushings in it are not happy about the winter driving I had to do, and I didn't have time to reset the ride height either so I was a bit higher than I would have liked.

I ended up 6th out of 9 - after morning runs I was in 4th, but I didn't find any more time in the afternoon and my competitors did. Everyone that beat me was on Re71Rs, and I still have non star spec ZIIs, so I'm gonna go ahead and blame that haha. It was a loooong day - we had 196 people registered! For a local event!

My better half came out to hang out and take a ride along - thanks to her extra passenger there probably won't be many more events where she can get into the seats, so we took advantage of it.

All in all, it was a nice day to stand around and do some car stuff. Looking forward to getting some things done on the yellow car - I think I need a nice quick small project to regain some momentum.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/20/16 10:00 a.m.

Decided that I need to do a quick project to regain some momentum on this thing. So I swapped out the faux-carbon taillights for an OEM set I picked up

Also, trying slightly smaller images so hopefully this thing loads faster.

Before:

During:

Done!

Looks much better. Anyone looking to relive the 90's with some aftermarket taillights?

mrhappy
mrhappy HalfDork
4/20/16 5:25 p.m.

In reply to cmcgregor:

How much do you want for those tail lights?

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/21/16 10:13 p.m.

In reply to mrhappy:

Oh, I don't know, $40? I'd be a bit worried about shipping them but let me look into how much it would cost.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/21/16 10:16 p.m.

Made a little progress on the suspension tonight. I got the rear upper control arms done, just awaiting the rest of the pieces before I add grease and fit the poly to the sleeves.

I realize now that black bushings would have looked less.....McDonalds. But these ones came with the car. Oh well.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/23/16 1:59 p.m.

A brief walkthrough, for anyone considering adding grease fittings

Step 1: Admire your skills with a spraycan

Step 2: Line up bushing to figure out where to drill

Step 3: Put a hole in it. These are M6 grease fittings, and since I don't have a metric drill index, I'm using a 13/16ths bit. Close enough.

Step 4: Deburr. Get a smaller file than this, it'll be easier.

Step 5: Use your manly grip strength to get the bushings in.

Step 6: Use the magic of simple machines to actually get the bushings in.

Step 7: Realize that you forgot to tap the hole. Oops. You should actually do this after step 4, but I got excited. Fortunately my hole placement was good here, directly between the two halves of the bushing, so no harm no foul.

Step 8: Thread in your fitting. I got these from McMaster. They were cheap.

Step 9: Give it a little hat.

Step 10: Put it in the done pile with the others and have some celebratory beer. Unfortunately PBR is all I had in the house, but it'll do.

Ta Da!

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