Magnavahn's new toy

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by magnavahn, May 16, 2018.

  1. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    2001 Mazda Roadster RS. Lots of plans! Story to follow.
    [​IMG]


    The Story:
    Well, about 3 weeks after I bought Subaru #3 I somewhat regretted my choice. Not that I bought a Subaru, but that I didn't buy a GC/GF chassis. I had a 4 month stint with a GR chassis and that was enough. I like my sports cars with more fun and less comfort (or 'good' to the lay person). Once my Subaru sold my decision was to get something more basic, and likely not turbo.

    Since I have two winter drivers, I decided on a either an MR-S or miata. I would like to drive it every day I can including winter when the roads are relatively dry. I also like easy parts availability and not having to read through a Bible size pile of literature to find which North American wheel bearing will fit. Regardless, I bid on a couple Toyota MR-S's because I love the look!
    [​IMG]
    Luckily (unluckily?) I didn't win. The MR-S has 3 big drawbacks compared to the NB miata.
    1 - No trunk, only a frunk filled with a spare tire.
    2 - Not clear which models have an LSD. It was an option on the 6sp after August 2002 but we couldn't make a conclusion on many auction sheets. This is a big want for my plans.
    3 - The answer is always Miata. (big cult following, easier access to parts, yada yada)

    I had pretty much made up my mind that I wanted an NB miata by this point. Mostly because the NA is just getting too old and I question how many things I would have to replace. The NB RS supposedly has 160hp (woohoo baby! haha), the 6 spd transmission that will handle my power mods, and bigger brakes. Locally, everyone wants too much for rusty or slammed roadsters.

    So we started bidding on 4B or higher 2001+ roadsters. I almost considered a Boxster but sobered up just in time to wait until the Cayman is legal, hopefully next time :)

    This car is a 2001 Roadster RS that checks all the marks. Mileage around 100 000kms. Cons appears to be:
    - stereo doesn't work. Don't care its coming out anyways to get modernized.
    - Headlight bracket looks broken. I'll have to see if I can make the repair nicer or just buy a new headlight.
    - headlights are faded. Easy sand/polish.
    - wheels are faded. Don't care, they'll be doing winter duty in favour of some light weight wheels with sticky rubber.

    Pics! (wish the GT3 was mine, lol)
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    Moderately rare GruppeM intake and broken headlight bracket.
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    The wheel with the worse fade.
    [​IMG]

    Plans in next post :)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
    Pajerist, IanB, robbieg and 5 others like this.
  2. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

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    Weird! I just saw a first gen JDM one of these yesterday. Lets see more!
     
  3. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    Original post updated.
    NA miata's are sweet, but they are getting pretty old now. Pricing is strangely high for them too!
     
  4. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    The plans!

    #1 - Get this thing home! She's on a boat and probably 4 weeks from my door by the time I get customs cleared and find some time off work to fly out.
    #2 - OOP. Will need running lights, DOT tires, possibly repair the headlight bracket, other things TBD.
    #3 - Address Suspension department. Coilovers and lower it just enough, Install lightweight wheels (Konig Hypergrams) and tires (S-Drives), get an aggressive street alignment.

    [​IMG]
    #4 - Maintenance items. Timing belt, seals, water pump, sparks plugs and all that good stuff.
    #5 - Stereo. Digital and simple to enjoy to whispers of my audiobooks.
    #6 - roll bar for track days
    #7 - Make a list for phase 2: which engine mods? Really want a 6cyl swap.
     
  5. pitty

    pitty likes the tuna here

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    This will become progressively more useless with every track mod you add. These cars are so noisy, not enough speakers, ambient noise with the top down drowns the radio out even on stock NBs. Add aggressive rubber and exhaust and you only hear your music when stopped.
     
  6. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    Good point. May end up routing some headrest speakers or saving my dough and just use headphones for my commute. A stereo-extamy is in the cars distance future anyways.
     
  7. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    New konig hypergrams and Yokohama s-drives arrived today! Pics up later.
    Now I just need the rest of the car...
     
  8. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    New shoes
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    Konig Hypergrams 15x7.5 et35 - Flow formed, about 11# per wheel. 128# for all 4 including new lug nuts. These should do the job for 3-5 years, then possibly upgrade to 15x9. Street tires in 225/45r15 are limited though which is why I went with the 7.5".
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  9. pitty

    pitty likes the tuna here

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    205/50 fit a 15x8 like a glove, but konig insists on those in-between sizes. We had 205s on a 8.5, and it wasn't stretched either, although 225 would have been better.
     
  10. tperkins

    tperkins Devout AYC Disciple

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    [​IMG]

    The left is 225 on a 8 inch wide rim, where the right is a 225 on an 8.5 inch wide rim. The 225 on the 8 fits perfect, and there is a tiny tiny stretch on the 8.5.

    [​IMG]

    So, the truck tires there are a 265 on a 7.5" rim, with yuge sidewalls. And the foreground are 245/40. Which, lead me to find out that some manufactures measure sidewall to sidewall (like nokian) and some measure crown to crown (like bridgestone).

    Anyways, I imagine it comes down to the tire. I will snag some pictures of the 245 on a 8.5" wheel, as they look right. Meaty.

    Love the wheel choice here Magnavahn.
     
  11. pitty

    pitty likes the tuna here

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    Wouldn't call that a stretch. That's going to be a great contact patch when loaded.
     
  12. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    Depends so much on tires...
    I would've gotten these in 8" if it was offered. Only 8.5" though and I'm not up for rolling fenders yet. Hopefully no regrets but I still want the car to slide a bit when pushed. Hence no 225 on 15x9 yet.

    These 205 s-drives on 7.5" are about perfectly square.

    Thanks man.
    - the 245 Goodyear eagles on 8.5" on my elgrand are slightly wider than square. Good meaty look. Not going for performance in my case haha
     
  13. tperkins

    tperkins Devout AYC Disciple

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    I don't have any pictures that do it justice, in person you could tell they were a little narrow for the rims. But, they fit fine.
     
  14. tperkins

    tperkins Devout AYC Disciple

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    [​IMG]

    245/40 on some 8.5 wide wheels.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    List of parts is accumulating!
    - new stereo deck, harness and moulding
    - hids for the projectors
    - new spline drive lugnuts
    - spanner wrench for the coilovers (car sitting on coils already)
    - trans fluid
    - diff fluid
    - spark plugs
    - fuel filter
    - timing belt in cart, but not purchased. I want to pass OOP first before spending more.

    OOP is booked for end of the month.
    Alignment book just before then.

    Next big item after timing belt will be a roll bar for track days, suggestions welcome!
     
  16. pitty

    pitty likes the tuna here

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    Depends on how you want it to mount. Most designs mount to the belt towers in the front, but some mount to the floor behind the seats. The former give you a bit more seat slider range, but the latter are easier to install and don't interfere with the seatbelt path. Hard Dog bars and their knockoffs are a go-to, you'll see them on most of these cars. CSC Racing is an Ontario shop which makes nice floor mounted bars.

    Which coils? JDM kits for these cars tend to have puzzling spring rates - nearly even front to rear, while extensively track tested american setups go with front significantly stiffer than rear. The conclusion is that JDM miatards don't like traction?
     
  17. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    Regarding roll bars, must meet the following:
    - fit under a softtop with the nb glass window.
    - min 4 points of contact
    - pass a broom stick test. I'm 5'8" so this helps but an aftermarket seat may also be in order.
    Seat configuration isn't a big one, no one taller than me will be driving.

    Don't know yet, picking the car up this week. Good point about spring rates!
    I bought the wrench for the preload on the triumph, it's adjustable so hopefully it crosses over.
     
  18. pitty

    pitty likes the tuna here

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    That's every one of them. Two rear supports brace around rear strut mounts, two front supports either hit the belt towers or the floor.

    That would be a bar with double diagonals and no harness bar between rear supports. You can check out the various Hard Dog bar specs, we had an M2 in an MSM that fit under a hardtop and cleared the glass.

    At 5'8" you might be fine even with the stock seat. Can always scoop the foam out to get a few extra fingers of clearance.
     
  19. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    So close to street legal I can taste it! Inspection Thursday.

    FVI pickup last Thursday. Left the Abbotsford area around 10:00 and arrived home in Alberta some 11 hours later.
    So the roadster -
    Overview - this car is awesome. Some key terms that come to mind are: crisp turn-in, predictable oversteering, naturally aspirated throttle response, slight body roll on aggressive cornering, not overly stiff on the highway cruises either. After spending over 10 hours in the seat in a single day, I can vouch that the seats are somewhere between good and excellent. My F150 is superior, (but that's not really apples to apples now). The seats of the NB2 generation are quite comfortable and well bolstered. Similar to the early STi's but more cushioning.

    The only pic I took of the roadtrip - in Jasper. Parked next to a 'boat' of a Civic for comparison.
    [​IMG]

    Challenges I faced:
    1) The right side headlight bracket is busted. I knew this already and have fixed it, no problem :)
    2) The battery was toast. FVI hooked me up, thanks Ben!
    3) I'd recommend going slower than 50 km/hr when pulling up the top in a rainstorm. My arm is still pulled, doh!
    4) The rear differential is 'clunky' when on throttle and turning at parking lots speeds. My diagnosis is that there is a clutch pack lsd differential swapped in there. Not welded since cornering not on throttle is fine. If the diff has been swapped, that' ok - traction is good.
    My symptoms:
    - Turning while on throttle at low speeds will intermittently chirp the inside tire and give some clunking sounds.
    - Turning at parking lot speeds/1st gear and maintaining (not accelerating) the differential will not chirp and there are no unusual sounds. As soon as I get on throttle, the inside wheel will chirp and/or spin.
    - Accelerating on hard corners (top of first gear, or just into second) I can here the inside tire wanting to break free. In the rain, it does break free if pushed.
    Actions taken:
    I decided to replace the diff oil first. The oil was very clean. I put in new synthetic oil anyways and added 1.5oz of Redline Friction Modifier. The differential is marginally quieter now. I think I'll add 1 more oz at the next opportunity.

    Now the works begins:
    - the "after market coilovers" are actually Auto-exe 30mm lowering springs on KYB shocks. The ride is actually quite plush on the highway and firms up just enough in the twisties. Not firm enough for track or autocross plans but these will work for a year or two. Compression/ rebound are quoted as 15-20% more than stock. Spring rates are about 20% more than stock.

    - restored headlights
    Before:
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    After:
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    I have HIDs to install in projectors and plan on painting these housings black in the next week or two.

    - painted wiper blades
    After:
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    - repaired broken headlight bracket. Plastic welding with a heat gun and solder iron. The repair is a solid 8/10. I could sand it down and make it a 9.5 but I have better things to do.
    Before:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. magnavahn

    magnavahn Vahn

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    - new wheels and tires, the best part!
    Old on the right 195/50r15 on 15x6.5 Enkei wheels
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    Ride height is:
    - about 12.5-12.75" from hub to fender.
    - Ballpark 5" from ground to pinch welds.
    - almost a 2 finger gap
    [​IMG]
    I think another ~10mm drop would look visually perfect. As far as ground clearance goes, I can make it up my driveway at a 45 degree angle with about 15-20mm to spare. So no rush to go lower yet, that will wait a couple years until I get coilovers and possibly 9" wheels.

    - installed new fuel filter
    This is a terrible job if you are not prepared. I slowly split a litre of gas all over myself. Anyone reading this, buy a few extra plastic clips that the lines attach to!

    - installed DRL's
    Uses a module similar to the Hamsar unit. Found power with ingition-on in the wire loom on the right side engine bay, ran wires to each of the parking lamps and done about 20mins later.

    - radio install planned for Thursday night

    - Hard shell wax this evening, no pics since its getting dark and I'm too lazy. On that note - this is my first black car and probably my last. Black sucks to wash perfectly, looks great but lots of effort.
     
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