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red_stapler
red_stapler SuperDork
6/19/24 10:52 p.m.

I'm going with the hard core and simply deleting the soft top in favor of the removable hardtop.

Looking at the "new" HC compared to mine, it looks like they have the hoop positioned further forward, it would likely interfere with the side latches on a hardtop, which would probably have to be bolted in place instead.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/19/24 11:47 p.m.

In reply to red_stapler :

Check with Hard Dog, they'll know. 

J_D
J_D New Reader
6/20/24 6:57 p.m.

Thank you all for the replies. I saw a competition yellow NC2 miata on the street yesterday - it must be a sign from the Jinba Ittai gods

toonarmy
toonarmy New Reader
6/20/24 8:56 p.m.
da_johnny_boy said:

I've been tracking my NC since ~2015.

Here is some advice, going along with your list format.

Year 1

  • deferred maintenance is always good, make sure you get good high temp race brake fluid
  • upgraded radiator isn't really needed with the stock engine. My engine started overheating when I did my 2.5 swap, and then I get the GWR triple pass radiator to help. It still needs hood vents.
  • I'd go with stiffer suspension if you are mostly tracking it. I've driven the FM Koni kit. It is nice on the street, but at autocross it is pretty soft and slow to respond compared to the stiffer MeisterR Club Race coilovers I have on my Miata. The Koni shocks and other coilovers are both adjustable. You don't need to be constantly playing with the settings at the track, I'd just set them to somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 full stiff. If you have any specific handling issues, you can change the front/rear stiffness balance. Also, coilovers will lower it more than the FM Koni kit, which gives you more static camber.
  • I'd recommend the Blackbird roll bar instead of the Hard dog.
  • I tried the DTC-60 pads but wasn't happy with them. They lasted about 4 track days. I switched to Gloc R12/R10 pads which lasted basically a whole year. After the 2.5 swap, I was making significantly more power, and added brake ducts, which have kept the Gloc pads happy. Brake kit is unnecessary unless you have a bunch more power. Gloc and other brands have higher temp compounds you can switch to if you are getting them too hot. If you really want a brake kit, I would do one that uses larger rotors, GWR Budget BBK, Sakebomb Sport, Keisler, are probably the first level of upgraded brakes. Be aware that wheels might have fitment issues.
  • RS4 tires are great, don't forget the 17x9 wheels. Lots of good affordable wheel options from Enkei, Konig, and the TR Motorsports C4.  I went through several sets of RS4s; they would heat cycle out before I used all the tread, which was about a season of 10 track days. There are a couple other good options, I would check out the GRM Track Tire guide.
  • It depends on your how much you drive on the street vs track, but I was having outer shoulder wear even when I was lowered to about 13.25" hub to fender with the camber adjusters maxed, giving around ~3.5 deg of front camber. I just added the lower ball joint camber bushings which should give me around 4.5 degree of front camber. If you are mostly tracking your NC, I would recommend doing them at the same time as coilovers, so you only need one alignment.

Year 2

  • I have the 9 lives wing installed, and working on installing my splitter. I would recommend figuring out if you are doing HPDE for fun or have a goal to eventually compete in a specific class. If you are doing it for fun, do the wing and splitter, its fun to have more grip. Also, the 9lives wing works better with a hardtop due to smoother airflow, so I would consider adding a race or OEM hardtop.
  • If you are doing a specific class, then do a wing and splitter if you are allowed. I'm not sure what clubs are in Canada, in the U.S. rules vary significantly between organizations.
    • NASA TT5 allows wing and splitter
    • SCCA has different prep levels, wing and splitter will push you up significantly, but it does fit somewhere
    • Grid Life Time attack is not a good fit for stockish Miatas, you could run the Miata in clubTR but it needs a KSwap to be competitive
    • Club Spec could be a good option, not sure on the cost of prepping one.
  • Driver mod and more track time is always good. I would recommend seeking a coach if you want to improve significantly, and especially if you hit a plateau. HPDE instructors aren't necessarily fast drivers, they are safe and are good at keeping new students safe on track. An actual professional coach should help you drive faster.
  • Garmin Catalyst, Aim Solo2, or other timers/drivers aid can also help you improve if you know how to use them.
  • I would recommend avoiding the turbo kit. Most of the people I know with turbos have significant issues with them on the track, especially if you are a good driver in higher run groups. The only person I know that hasn't had issues keeps the boost low, making low 200s. If you shoot for much more, you will likely have cooling issues, trans issues, and diff issues.

point of depature, I'm not sure the issue with doing the radiator without a lift. I swapped in the 2.5 without a lift and then did the GWR triple pass later without a lift. Sure it would be more comfortable to have a lift, but definitively not required. If anything, I would trade a lift for having the AC system evacuated so I could disconnect and reconnect the ac condenser as that causes the most problems with the radiator swap.

I have to +1 what da_johnny_boy has outlined here.  I've been building my NC1 since the beginning of 2023 and finallly made it to a half dozen track events thus far in 2024, and a lot of what he has bulleted is the path I've taken.  

  • I actually have the GWR 42mm triple pass radiator in hand to install, but I haven't had any cooling issues even running in 95+ degree weather all last weekend with my 2.5 swap.  A good way to future-proff the car if you're going to add power down the road though
  • I'm also on the FM Koni kit (car came to me with it installed), and while fine for light track work I already find myself pining for coilovers with more spring rate and adjustability (I knew this would be the case, just thought it would be a bit further in the future).  Especially once I shift to 17x9 or 17x10s, the extra spring rates and adjustability will be highly useful.  The top of my current list is FM Fox, Ohlins DFV and Feal 441+ but there are a lot of quality options out there 
  • I went with the Blackbird Fabworx GT3 rollbar because of the dedicated nature of my car, and I can attest to it's stoutness and quality build- well worth it IMHO for safety/peace of mind on track
  • I've heard good things about the R12/R10 pad combo on the NC chassis but would also add Raybestos ST-43 to the list- they have been incredible, both from how much abuse they see and how long they last
  • I am installing brake ducting while the car is down for the summer, as I have found the stock calipers more than adequate with proper pads.  I could see needing bigger rotors and calipers if I ever add serious power, but even with the 2.5 the stock calipers have been excellent.  I would save the $$ on this and put it towards track time!
  • I have two sets of 245 RS4s that I am about to begin driving on, but I have read numerous accounts of them needing serious heat to turn on and being poor in the rain/cold.  If you're only going to have one set of tires, I would second the need to peruse the GRM Track Tire guide for something that will work well in all conditions.  I've really enjoyed driving on the Kumho V730s and they last quite a while 
  • I just picked up a Garmin Catalyst for immediate post mortem of my sessions, as it came highly recommended from some of my buddies who have been lapping for years.  It has a lot of features that are easy to utilize, and I could see it being a good tool to use by itself or coupled with an actual instructor
Driven5
Driven5 PowerDork
6/21/24 2:23 p.m.

Everything is a compromise.

FM Transformer is super tall (7" increase), but has no top and no (or holes in) trunk getting everything wet the whole time if it's raining during the event... More of a concern in some parts of the country than others.

BB GT3 is super beefy, but NC removable hard top compatible bar height (3+" increase) is necessarily shorter than NC soft top bars. It is not compatible with the factory hard top side plates, but replacement brackets are available.

HD HC is less beefy than the GT3, but perhaps with better rearward visibility. No mention of height, but won't be taller than the GT3. If they're using the main hoop geometry from the 'removable hard top' option on the HD Sport, it'll be 1/2" or more shorter than the GT3 too.

HD Sport is technically HPDE legal, but only where factory roll hoops are allowed in other cars. It has optional heights for soft top (3.25" increase) and removable hard top (3/4" less, or 2.5" increase). The bracing (namely rearward) does not meet actual sanctioning body specifications for roll bars. That upgraded HD Sport previously posted would be nice, but I don't see that as a standard available option anywhere.

BB NC RZ seems kind of the Goldilocks NC bar to me. It's the tallest (4" increase) bar that even if the top has to be down on-track doesn't continue to soak the interior and trunk in the paddock during the majority of the rest of the day if it's raining, and I believe it's still also braced to meet basic sanctioning body roll bar specifications.

Here is Blackbird's Moti (5'8") with the structural part of the stock hoops and factory stock seat.

 

Here is Blackbird's Moti (5'8") with the BB NC RZ and factory stock seat.

 

Here's a (5'10") helmeted driver with a factory stock seat.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/21/24 2:31 p.m.

That's Moti from Blackbird in the pics, BTW. Not Brian Goodwin.

The Transformer bar has the ability to be assembled on-site. Everything fits in the trunk so you can drive to the track, drop the top and install the tall bar. Yes, it does not work with the top up but that's why it can be so tall :) You can also install the street bar which is basically the Sport, so you have your choice of "the same height as everything else that fits under the soft top" or "taller than everything else". We have two trunklids that we swap back and forth on our car depending on which configuration we're going to run it in.

J_D
J_D New Reader
6/25/24 9:34 a.m.

 

I can feel my wallet trembling in fear. 

J_D
J_D New Reader
6/25/24 9:35 a.m.
da_johnny_boy said:

I've been tracking my NC since ~2015.

Here is some advice, going along with your list format.

Year 1

  • deferred maintenance is always good, make sure you get good high temp race brake fluid
  • upgraded radiator isn't really needed with the stock engine. My engine started overheating when I did my 2.5 swap, and then I get the GWR triple pass radiator to help. It still needs hood vents.
  • I'd go with stiffer suspension if you are mostly tracking it. I've driven the FM Koni kit. It is nice on the street, but at autocross it is pretty soft and slow to respond compared to the stiffer MeisterR Club Race coilovers I have on my Miata. The Koni shocks and other coilovers are both adjustable. You don't need to be constantly playing with the settings at the track, I'd just set them to somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 full stiff. If you have any specific handling issues, you can change the front/rear stiffness balance. Also, coilovers will lower it more than the FM Koni kit, which gives you more static camber.
  • I'd recommend the Blackbird roll bar instead of the Hard dog.
  • I tried the DTC-60 pads but wasn't happy with them. They lasted about 4 track days. I switched to Gloc R12/R10 pads which lasted basically a whole year. After the 2.5 swap, I was making significantly more power, and added brake ducts, which have kept the Gloc pads happy. Brake kit is unnecessary unless you have a bunch more power. Gloc and other brands have higher temp compounds you can switch to if you are getting them too hot. If you really want a brake kit, I would do one that uses larger rotors, GWR Budget BBK, Sakebomb Sport, Keisler, are probably the first level of upgraded brakes. Be aware that wheels might have fitment issues.
  • RS4 tires are great, don't forget the 17x9 wheels. Lots of good affordable wheel options from Enkei, Konig, and the TR Motorsports C4.  I went through several sets of RS4s; they would heat cycle out before I used all the tread, which was about a season of 10 track days. There are a couple other good options, I would check out the GRM Track Tire guide.
  • It depends on your how much you drive on the street vs track, but I was having outer shoulder wear even when I was lowered to about 13.25" hub to fender with the camber adjusters maxed, giving around ~3.5 deg of front camber. I just added the lower ball joint camber bushings which should give me around 4.5 degree of front camber. If you are mostly tracking your NC, I would recommend doing them at the same time as coilovers, so you only need one alignment.

Year 2

  • I have the 9 lives wing installed, and working on installing my splitter. I would recommend figuring out if you are doing HPDE for fun or have a goal to eventually compete in a specific class. If you are doing it for fun, do the wing and splitter, its fun to have more grip. Also, the 9lives wing works better with a hardtop due to smoother airflow, so I would consider adding a race or OEM hardtop.
  • If you are doing a specific class, then do a wing and splitter if you are allowed. I'm not sure what clubs are in Canada, in the U.S. rules vary significantly between organizations.
    • NASA TT5 allows wing and splitter
    • SCCA has different prep levels, wing and splitter will push you up significantly, but it does fit somewhere
    • Grid Life Time attack is not a good fit for stockish Miatas, you could run the Miata in clubTR but it needs a KSwap to be competitive
    • Club Spec could be a good option, not sure on the cost of prepping one.
  • Driver mod and more track time is always good. I would recommend seeking a coach if you want to improve significantly, and especially if you hit a plateau. HPDE instructors aren't necessarily fast drivers, they are safe and are good at keeping new students safe on track. An actual professional coach should help you drive faster.
  • Garmin Catalyst, Aim Solo2, or other timers/drivers aid can also help you improve if you know how to use them.
  • I would recommend avoiding the turbo kit. Most of the people I know with turbos have significant issues with them on the track, especially if you are a good driver in higher run groups. The only person I know that hasn't had issues keeps the boost low, making low 200s. If you shoot for much more, you will likely have cooling issues, trans issues, and diff issues.

point of depature, I'm not sure the issue with doing the radiator without a lift. I swapped in the 2.5 without a lift and then did the GWR triple pass later without a lift. Sure it would be more comfortable to have a lift, but definitively not required. If anything, I would trade a lift for having the AC system evacuated so I could disconnect and reconnect the ac condenser as that causes the most problems with the radiator swap.

Amazing wealth of information. Thank you Sir

J_D
J_D New Reader
6/25/24 9:36 a.m.

In reply to toonarmy :

Merci

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