ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
9/27/19 2:40 p.m.

Posted this on a different forum, but I figured I’d ask here too.

I’m carrying out a bit of an intellectual experiment that may turn into reality in the next year.  The goal is to build the ultimate drive-to-track, run 9/10 in DE intermediate or advanced and hang in there with the “fast” cars, not get killed on consumables, occasional day tripper/mountain cruiser.

This is the plan I've been cooking. What would you do different?

2019 ND Sport, manual transmission. $27k-ish.
OS-Giken LSD. $1600
FM oil, trans, diff cooler kit. $1849
FM 4 wheel brake kit with good pads. $1800
Xidas, 600/300 rate, single adjustable. $2489.
17x9 wheels. $650
200TW tires, probably RS4. $600
Hard dog roll bar. $550
Simpson Hybrid S, 3 point compatible. $1100.

This would all come out together around $38k, or about the price of a stock 2019 RF GT-S. Should be plenty fast, dead reliable, easy on consumables. Thoughts? I know with the NA/NB cars, soft top pays a big penalty with aerodynamics. Same rules apply for ND soft top?

It is not lost on me that for similar money I could get a Camaro SS 1LE or a Mustang GT with track pack.  Tire and brake pad expense becomes an issue though, and I tend towards smaller/lighter cars.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/27/19 2:53 p.m.

Pretty solid car setup. Not super-fast, but a good midpipe and muffer will pick up a non-trivial amount of power. I'd probably skip the Giken and of course I'd go with a different suspension setup :) We've driven the turbo version of your car cross-country and it's quite useable as a daily.

Can you use those belts with stock seats?

Topless cars suck for aero. I don't know how the RF does and there is a roll bar available, but it's limited on headroom and will of course cost and weigh more. There's a removable hardtop available if you want a permanent roof.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/27/19 2:55 p.m.

Take away the turbo, and this is basically your proposed car. It's running the stock LSD, not a Giken.

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a14500141/flyin-miata-turbo-nd-torture-test/

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/27/19 3:11 p.m.

The plan looks pretty good although you could save a lot up front by going with an NA or NB Miata, which are nearly as good as an ND for a small fraction of the price. Only potential downside is old car problems.

Also trans coolers for H-pattern manual non-transaxle gearboxes on low-powered cars is a new thing to me, but apparently the ND needs one?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/27/19 3:37 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

The ND has a very small oil capacity in the gearbox.

Having had 7(?) NAs and one ND1, I can categorically state that the ND is a much better car. If you have the budget and don't run into ergonomics issues like I did, I'd go ND.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/27/19 3:53 p.m.

Interested because I'm considering the same thing next year. Here are the different choices I'd make:

 

I'd go GT with the GT-S package, sure you're going to ditch the suspension but it gets you the factory LSD installed for basically $650. Also gets you the thicker, quieter top if you would use it as a DD (like I would be doing).  The OS-Giken seems like a big expense unless you're trying to win HPDE. And if you aren't installing it and setting it up in your own pumpkin, the real cost will likely be north of $2k. 

I would go with something like the Schroth Profi II ASM 4 Point Harness's vs using the stock belts to help keep you in place better than the stock 3-point setup. 

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
9/27/19 4:23 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Pretty solid car setup. Not super-fast, but a good midpipe and muffer will pick up a non-trivial amount of power. I'd probably skip the Giken and of course I'd go with a different suspension setup :) We've driven the turbo version of your car cross-country and it's quite useable as a daily.

Can you use those belts with stock seats?

Topless cars suck for aero. I don't know how the RF does and there is a roll bar available, but it's limited on headroom and will of course cost and weigh more. There's a removable hardtop available if you want a permanent roof.

Thanks Keith.  I feel like a LSD is pretty important, and I'd hate to fork out an extra $3-4k for a Club model to get it when I don't really want the other options that come with it.

The Hybrid S is a head/neck restraint that is compatible with stock 3 point seatbelts.  My current NA Miata is set up with a race seat and six point harness; it's pretty safe on the track, but pretty miserable driving to the track or anywhere else.  I'm trying to find a way to split the difference, and I figure a more modern car with airbags may make up a bit of the safety margin.

I wasn't aware they make a hardtop for the ND, thanks.  Will definitely put that on the list.

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
9/27/19 4:29 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

The plan looks pretty good although you could save a lot up front by going with an NA or NB Miata, which are nearly as good as an ND for a small fraction of the price. Only potential downside is old car problems.

Also trans coolers for H-pattern manual non-transaxle gearboxes on low-powered cars is a new thing to me, but apparently the ND needs one?

I have a turbo NA right now.  Has race seat, six point harness, no power anything, no airbags, no A/C.  I run it around 170-180whp and still have turbo problems; heat, breaking manifolds, etc.  I lust for something with similar power and some basic modern conveniences that can drive all day without issues.

ND transmission failures have happened, and people have recorded temps around 300 degrees on the track.  Seems like a cooler might be important from a reliability standpoint.

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
9/27/19 4:35 p.m.
z31maniac said:

Interested because I'm considering the same thing next year. Here are the different choices I'd make:

 

I'd go GT with the GT-S package, sure you're going to ditch the suspension but it gets you the factory LSD installed for basically $650. Also gets you the thicker, quieter top if you would use it as a DD (like I would be doing).  The OS-Giken seems like a big expense unless you're trying to win HPDE. And if you aren't installing it and setting it up in your own pumpkin, the real cost will likely be north of $2k. 

I would go with something like the Schroth Profi II ASM 4 Point Harness's vs using the stock belts to help keep you in place better than the stock 3-point setup. 

My prices and decisions are contingent on me doing all the wrenching myself.  I definitely want a LSD.  Base price on the Club is around $5k more than the Sport, and the GT-S is another $3k on top of that.  Seems silly to spend that money to get an LSD when I'm just going to be replacing the suspension, brakes, wheels, etc.  I also hate leather seats, especially in convertibles.

I'll look into the Profi 4 point harnesses.  I've always heard they were dangerous because they lack the anti-sub strap.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/27/19 4:54 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove :

4-points are fine as long as they have the ability to retract and lock.  Then they work similarly to a standard 3-point just with an extra point.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/27/19 4:56 p.m.

The guys at Long Road Racing have more ND track experience than anyone, and they're very friendly. Might be worth talking to them. The Global Cup cars do run coolers on the diff and the trans, and I've seen at least one race where someone suddenly slowed down and fell out of the lead due to the loss of the cooler. We were the ones who measured over 300F on the fluid in track use, and coolers drop that down close to 200.

If you're looking at the Giken, I'd price out the stock LSD install as well. If you can find a salvage car, it'll be a simple bolt-in and I think the turn-in is a little better. I've found the Giken to be very effective on a tight track but I doubt you'd ever notice on a road course as you're rarely traction-limited coming off a corner. An ND with lots of grip needs to be thrown into a corner pretty darn fast to get the chassis to wake up, and I've never had trouble hooking up a turbo car on track with the stock LSD.

The hardtop is a Mazda Motorsports unit, it's a little goofy looking. You may choose not to use it. I think DG Motorsports has one as well.

There's a fairly significant gap between an NA/NB and an ND on track, and a gulf between them on the road.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/27/19 6:01 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove :

That's what the ASM is in the name, Anti-Submarining technology. 

 

Totally get you on the other stuff. Leather, heated seats, BOSE (although I have no idea if it's any good) quieter too would matter to me since it would be my only transportation.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) UltimaDork
9/28/19 7:21 a.m.

Interesting that people want the ND.  Then folks chime in and talk about “why not an NA/NB?”

Did we all forget about the NC?  Your buy in is gonna be about a third of what you’re looking at with the ND and you’ll still have a relatively modern car (airbags and such) but actual shoulder room in case you aren’t a garden gnome.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/28/19 7:22 a.m.

In reply to KyAllroad (Jeremy) :

It might be because the ND is more comparable to a NA/NB than to an NC.

Pepe
Pepe New Reader
9/28/19 7:48 a.m.

Why is that?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/28/19 8:01 a.m.

Size, driving experience, weight. It’s not a night and day difference but the ND definitely feels like more of a successor to the originals than the NC does. It has more joy in it. 

The NC is capable enough but not as much fun. Speed wise, it’s faster than the old cars but slower than the new cars. Cost wise, it fits in the same slot but the rise of NA values and the continuing drop in NC is closing up that gap. 

ShinnyGroove
ShinnyGroove Reader
9/28/19 8:09 a.m.

I know a few guys that have track prepped NC’s from the old Barber school and like them a lot.  My prejudice against them is that it’s really hard to put a roll bar in.  Granted, I don’t really know how big of a job it is in the ND.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/28/19 8:30 a.m.

Not dramatically different, unfortunately. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 New Reader
9/28/19 10:48 a.m.

It would seem the price gap between the NC and ND would pay for a LOT of improvements. NCs are 6k-10k and NDs are an extra 10k+¿¿¿¿????

 

OP,

If you are going to run with the "fast" cars, rs4s are not going to cut it near stock power. How about a tire trailer and NT01s? Last forever and cheapish. Probably going to need atleast Rcomps or 100tws minimum.

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