Rodan SuperDork
2/24/22 8:18 p.m.

Today was foglight day for the NB.  Gotta plug those big holes in the bumper... 

NB2 factory fogs are expensive when you can find them, and I wanted something a little more 'modern', so I ordered up a set of Morimoto LED fogs from TheRetrofitSource.  These are a Subaru application, but fit the bumper perfectly.  The mounting bracket, not so perfectly...

First up was Lamin-X film in yellow.  It worked better on my truck than most of the yellow bulbs I tried over the years, and provides some protection from stone damage.

I also picked up pigtails with the correct connector.

Next was figuring out a bracket that would bridge the gap between the Morimoto bracket and the Miata bumper.  With a 5mm spacer between the brackets, the mounting planes worked out, and it was just a matter of getting the holes in the right places.

Mounted up...

After the fogs were in, I ran the wiring up into the engine compartment, but they aren't going to get hooked up for a bit.  I still need to figure out where the stock wiring terminates, since the car didn't have fogs installed.  It does have the switch on the dash, I just need to figure out the engine compartment side of things.  Back to the wiring diagrams...

Also got the front splash guards reinstalled.

Tomorrow, I need to bring the NA home to get the new RaceCapture installed and get it ready for the track a week from Saturday.  

Rodan SuperDork
2/25/22 4:57 p.m.

Task for the day was to bring the NA home, remove the dash and get the bracket for the RaceCapture welded in and painted.  Mission accomplished.

Moved some stuff around and have a two Miata garage for the moment...

Also cleaned the NB up for its C&C debut tomorrow.  After C&C, it will be time to start wiring the RaceCapture setup.

Rodan SuperDork
2/26/22 4:48 p.m.

Started on the RaceCapture install by running the wiring for the GPS antenna, the integrated camera, and a constant-on 12v lead for the dash.  This also gave me an opportunity to finally finish the protective wire looming for battery cables, and adding a couple of stays for the fire system lines.

New camera - it's a funky looking 3D printed thing...

Wires loomed

RaceCapture Track MkIII on its mounting bracket


Rodan SuperDork
3/1/22 11:26 a.m.

Someone took a nice pic of the NB at C&C last Saturday.

Rodan SuperDork
3/5/22 9:50 p.m.

Another good day at the track today!  Came within .015 seconds of the PB I set last month, and won my TT class again... though there were only two of us this time.  

The RaceCapture is working, and I got a bunch of video to go through, but I'm having trouble exporting the data...  need to spend some time figuring that out.  Predictive lap timing was nice on track.  I still don't have the CAN set up right, though, because it's not getting any data from the ECU.  I'm pretty sure it's just a settings issue.

A friend's son in law came out for his first trackday... with an Alfa 4C.  laugh

I got to play instructor for a bit, and I got to drive it... more on that later.  I have to get up for work at 0400 tomorrow morning, so it's off to bed.

Rodan SuperDork
3/11/22 10:38 a.m.

Apologies for the radio silence... been a long, crappy week at work.  

The 4C Spider... fun car to drive!  My friend's SIL bought it in the fall, and the stars finally aligned for him to get out for his first trackday with us.  After riding with him for a session, I took it out in my group for a session with him as a passenger.  This was actually the first mid-engined car I've driven on the track.  I think it wasn't optimal, as it had Pirellis on the rear, and Michelins up front;  the brakes felt pretty soft as well... rotors had some good wear, and it felt like a good bleed wouldn't hurt.  Good enough for a novice on their first day, but not ideal.

The back end wanted to come around ALL THE TIME, but it was pretty easy to keep it right on the edge.  Easy car to rotate.  Very heavy steering, which surprised me.  I knew the 4C didn't have power steering, but I didn't expect it to be significantly higher effort than our de-powered Miata.  Might be partially due to the very small steering wheel.  The transmission didn't do anything wrong, but I sometimes caught myself not in the proper gear... just not used to flappy paddles.  On the good side, it had plenty of torque, so one gear up didn't slow things down much.

IMHO, with a good set of (matching) tires, and a brake refresh with good pads it would be a pretty potent track weapon.  It also provided a pretty good preview of the power/weight we'll be looking at with our NA once the turbo is on.  Now I'm really looking forward to that! devil

Also, I think I've created another track addict.  After some basic instruction, our new driver made some big improvements in the one session I rode with him.  After seeing more of the car's capability as a passenger, he's already talking about the next trackday.  Mission accomplished. laugh

Grunion New Reader
3/11/22 2:46 p.m.

Too bad you chose Morimoto. They do everything well except actually light up things. I have had 2 sets of fogs from them for different cars and both were crap (I'm a slow learner). They are so bad, I don't even turn them on on the Yukon and I never even bothered to align them.  A set of old Marchal fogs with halogen bulbs, like I had on my TR4 and one on my Bonneville would give more light, unless you just planned to plug the hole.

Rodan SuperDork
3/12/22 5:05 p.m.

One of the less glamorous things about tracking a car is all the in-between events work just to keep things running.  One of the things I do is wash the wheels.  This keeps the brake dust from building up, and gives me an opportunity to inspect for cracks.  Not much fun when it's cold outside.  Fortunately it made it into the 50s this morning while I was washing them.

I also need to get the tires flipped on the wheels before our next outing.

Rodan SuperDork
3/12/22 5:10 p.m.

Also spent some time fiddling with the RaceCapture.  I had some issues downloading the sessions last weekend, but after doing a little research, I think I have it figured out.  It helped to use a stylus, rather than my finger, on the tablet/dash.

I can already tell that the data is better than what I was getting before, if only due to sample rate.  The more precise GPS, and hard mounted gyro also contribute to better data.

I still have a ways to go in learning to use the software, and getting the data displays dialed in for me.  I also need to get the CAN communication working so I can pull ECU channels into the session logs.  

I do have some video, but the quality is a bit of a disappointment.   I will try to get a data overlay done with what I have, 'cause I need to learn that end of the software as well.

Rodan SuperDork
3/18/22 7:23 p.m.

So, I guess this is what it's like to wrench on your race car in the modern world... cheeky

I spent most of the afternoon getting the MS3 talking to the Track Mk3 datalogger over CAN.  ASL uses a FB group for product support, and that made things a bit difficult, but I have to say I got very quick responses.  Their forum seems dead by comparison, but at least it's a lot easier to search... unfortunately the answers I needed weren't there.

After updating my Tuner Studio software, and the firmware on the MS3, I was able to access the necessary settings.  My dash now has ECU data!! laugh

I also added an anti-glare shield to the screen, which should help a lot on track.

Rodan SuperDork
3/24/22 8:27 p.m.

Received the another passenger headlight I found on eBay.  Much better condition than the first one I bought for the NB2 conversion, but it does have a broken tab.  I think I can deal with that pretty easily, though.  Pardon the messy bench...

Also put the S1s in bronze on the NB... I haven't decided if I like these or the black K1s better yet...

docwyte PowerDork
3/25/22 10:05 a.m.

Bronze wheels look much better

wawazat SuperDork
3/25/22 3:07 p.m.

I like the bronze on white cars.

Rodan SuperDork
4/2/22 2:27 p.m.

Even though I'm really enjoying the NB after paint, it seems like there's a thousand little projects that still need to be done.

Yesterday, I spent a while chasing down a driver's door rattle that has been driving me crazy in the NB since I put it back together after paint.  It was a loose bolt I apparently forgot to tighten.  

This morning, the project was replacing the passenger headlight.  The one I originally obtained for the NB2 conversion didn't clean up when I did the headlight restoration, so I started looking for another one, which I eventually found, but it had a broken tab.  So the replacement would also include repairing that tab...

First, the bumper has to come off.  Annoying, but not terribly difficult...

The lights, side by side...

I fabbed up a new tab out of aluminum flat stock...

And riveted it to the stub of the broken tab.

In place

And, done...

The other thing I discovered when I attempted to adjust the headlight aim was that the passenger headlight's adjusting mechanism was broken, so this will address that problem as well.

One more little project for today was hooking up the windshield washer line...

The original squirters were replaced with Mazda Tribute/Ford Escape squirters after paint.

I also finally found a 2000 Miata fog light wiring diagram, so I think I have the wiring worked out for the fog lights, but I need to pick up a relay so I can get that going.

Rodan SuperDork
4/5/22 8:02 a.m.

Parts have been trickling in for the NA's engine build.

A while back, I picked up NIB a set of "Maxpeeding" rods off another forum.  These are supposed to be the same as the Manley rods, but I chickened out and picked up a set of the Manelys, which are a little hard to find right now.

I'll save the "Maxpeeding rods" for the NB... it'll see a little less stress on the street.

Also scored a Skunk2 throttle body off another forum, again NIB.  And Skunk2 finally got Miata manifolds back in stock, so I ordered a manifold and plenum spacer.  The NA already has a Skunk2 TB on a euro flattop manifold, but the S2 manifold has shown some significant gains on a boosted motor over the flattop.  So the flattop setup will also get handed down to the NB.  One of the benefits of having multiples of basically the same car... parts interchangeability!


Rodan SuperDork
4/5/22 9:28 a.m.

More on the manifold...

When the S2 manifolds first hit, everyone was excited, including me... until we saw dyno tests.  It just didn't look like it was worth much, except for a little bit waaay up in the rev range.

A while back, Ken Hill did a bunch of same day, back to back testing with several manifolds, including the flattop and S2.  Kudos to Ken for spending the $$$, and then posting the results on for everyone to see.

Manifold dyno comparison -

When he tested the S2 v. Flattop at 12 psi, the results were not all that impressive, just as we had previously seen...

Red is flattop, blue is Skunk 2

Then he added the plenum spacer...



The spacer not only provided a power bump, but smoothed out the curves all they way through the rev range, and eliminated the slight dip at 5k with the flattop.  Now I was interested...

The other factor was that I was previously building toward NASA TT4, but some rule changes moved the power goal up enough that the intake was going to be worth the investment, especially knowing I could "hand-me-down" the current setup to the NB, and I wouldn't have to buy another flattop.

Rodan SuperDork
4/5/22 9:40 a.m.

Now let's talk about turbos...

I had originally planned to run the turbo on the stock NB2 engine in the NA for at least one season of driving at ~220hp, which should be within the capability of the stock rods.  The rules changes increased the power goals just enough to be at the threshold of stock rod failure, and I decided to build an engine.

My choice of a GT2560R turbo was also based on the original power goals with a stock shortblock, but I'm now thinking seriously about going with an EFR6258, which will be much more efficient and have more power potential.  That may be important, as there are a couple things on the car that I have discovered will push me into TT3, where I need 280+hp.  I'm not planning on being at the pointy end of the field, but I also don't want to run 40-50hp down.  The cost of bringing the car back to TT4 legality is about 60% of what it will cost to switch to an EFR at this point, so I'm leaning heavily in that direction.

The good news is that after the NA is done, I'll be very close to having all the parts necessary to turbo the NB with the GT2560R setup.  The bad news is the NA may not be together in time  to race in the Fall.

Decisions, decisions....

Rodan SuperDork
4/17/22 3:55 p.m.

Finally got around to replacing the valve cover gasket on the NB today, something that had been long overdue.

Things looked pretty good when the valve cover came off.

At least the last person to work on this engine knew where the RTV was supposed to go, and didn't over use it.  Otherwise, the cam lobes looked to be in good shape, and there wasn't any sludge building up anywhere.

Underside of the valve cover looked pretty good as well.

The old PCV valve and gasket were petrified and came out in pieces... good thing I had ordered replacements.

All buttoned up, with new plug wires as well.  Hopefully this was the only source of the oil drips... cheeky

Rodan SuperDork
5/27/22 3:21 p.m.

Been busy with work, and made some changes in the long term plans for the NA, so not much has been happening lately.  

What I have been working on, is getting prepped to install the delrin bushing kit I got from SadFab a while back.  

This took a while to get, but even before ordering it, I had scored a set of control arms so I could do the swap by just swapping on the prepped parts.  I've been working on getting  that set prepped for bushing installation.  All the old bushings were removed, and I just got them primed today.

I was hoping to get paint on them today, but the wind came up too fast.  Hopefully I can started on the paint tomorrow.  

Rodan SuperDork
6/2/22 3:16 p.m.

Still working on getting the control arms all painted so I can start on the bushing install.  In the meantime, I got in some new wing endplates from Singular Motorsports.  They're larger than the original endplates, and have several aero features that the NLR endplates did not.  I think the biggest thing I like about them, though, is that they don't have the laser cutout logos that have super sharp edges that snag on everything that touches the endplates... cloth, skin, etc..

Rodan SuperDork
6/4/22 4:45 p.m.

More progress on control arms and bushings.  All arms have been painted...

The darker arms are V8Roadsters tubular arms and are for the upper rear.

Now it was time to start pressing in the delrin bushings, starting with the front upper arms.

Once the bushing is in place, a hole is drilled through the control arm and all the way to the bore of the delrin bushing.  The hole is then tapped for a zerk fitting so the bushing can be greased.

When I got started on the front lower arms, they wouldn't fit in the press, so alternate methods were required...

The zerk fitting installation was a little more complex here, and required opening up the hole in the braced part of the arm, then drilling/tapping through the bushing bore.  Longer zerk fittings were supplied for these locations.

On the rear arms, there is an extra hole in the control arm.

It's too big for the zerk fitting, and will allow grease to flow out between the bushing halves, so it needed to be welded up.

Which, of course meant re-painting, so now I'm waiting for paint to dry before I can finish the rear arms...


Rodan SuperDork
6/12/22 1:13 p.m.

Spent most of the day yesterday messing with control arms and delrin bushings.  Have everything installed except for the rear upper arms.

Also picked up a new set of camber bolts, which are a wear item on a track Miata with sticky tires.


The V8 Roadsters rear upper arms I'll be using came with their own poly bushings, and are a slightly different size than the delrin bushings for the stock upper arms that came with my kit.  I'm going to try to turn down the delrin bushings on my lathe to fit the V8R arms.

Also waiting for new springs... going up in rate now that the car has full aero.

Rodan SuperDork
6/16/22 4:58 p.m.

I mentioned a while back that rules/goals changes had me considering switching from the GT2560R to an EFR6258 turbo for the NA.  Well, I decided to make the switch.  So, we're now into Plan C for the racecar, which is a Kraken low mount EFR setup.  The hotside parts arrived today, after a two month wait.


Here's what a low mount setup looks like in the car (not my pic/car):

Kraken even included parts to modify the mixing manifold outlet because the new turbo position can cause some interference.


The GT2560R setup will end up going on the NB, and the way things are looking, that might end up getting done before the NA.  We have a planned trip coming up in the fall combining a vacation with my nephew's wedding.  Unfortunately, the increase in fuel prices will make that trip much more expensive which is eating heavily into my engine building fund.  I also made a purchase for the Capri project that caused a little cash flow setback.  Beween building an engine and buying the EFR turbo, the NA may be running N/A for one more season...

I did also receive the new springs for the NA, so at least the suspension work is progressing (if slowly).

Rodan SuperDork
6/25/22 4:22 p.m.

Began the Great Control Arm Swap of 2022 today, after driving the NA to Cars & Coffee.

I'm going to try to knock this out this week, as I finally have a normal work schedule and can get in an hour or two on it daily.  Today was mostly to get things set up in the garage so I could still get both cars in, but can roll the NB out into the driveway and have room to work around the NA.  We're getting our monsoon weather a little early this year, so I need to get the NB back inside by early afternoon if I want to keep it out of the rain.


First step was to unhook the rear sway bar, and I noticed it took a pretty good effort to move it in the bushings...


So the sway bar got pulled and the bushings cleaned and lubed before I really got started.   Will probably have to do the same up front.

After the sway bar refresh, I got the LR shock assembly out, and got the lower control arm bolted up.  Then I hit a snag, and had to figure some stuff out with the V8 Roadsters upper arms.  By the time I had that sorted, the thunderstorms were threatening, so I rolled the NB in and cleaned up for the day.

Next up.... swapping springs on the coilovers...

Rodan SuperDork
6/26/22 5:11 p.m.

First up today was swapping springs on the left rear coilover.

Once I backed off the spring perch, it was easy enough to remove all the parts in order, clean everything and then install the new spring.  Supermiata Xidas use a torrington bearing on the spring perch, which makes for easy adjustment.

New springs installed.


Next up was prepping the rear upper control arms for installation by installing the poly bushings and metal sleeves for the inner mounts.  These are the V8 Roadsters tubular arms, and I ran into a problem almost immediately, as the sleeves were too short which would result in the bushings being compressed into the mounting bracket causing all kinds of additional friction in the suspension.  While I was fiddling around trying to figure this out, I checked the sleeves against the mounts, and realized the sleeves wouldn't fit, much less the bushings.

Fortunately, I had a set of sleeves from my SADFab bushing set, which were the proper length.  The bushings were still too wide, however.  I solved that with some careful application of sanding disk.

Now everything could get greased, assembled, and mounted to the car.

The V8R upper arm replaces the outer bolt with a Mazda OEM eccentric bolt, allowing some additional camber adjustment at the rear.  After measuring the stock arms, I marked the V8R arms, and set the eccentric for the same overall length as the stockers, for now.

So, the left rear is done, just have the sway bar left to hook up, but I'll do that when the other side is done.

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