No 56k: 2006 MX-5: Track rat, autocross car, daily driver

equiraptor

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Joined
Jun 22, 2009
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1,933
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
My car is a 2006 Mazda MX-5 GT in Nordic Green. I believe it has "Premium Package 1" - it has a limited slip differential, "Advanced Keyless Entry," the nicer stereo (though without mp3 CD capability), leather seats, and a cloth top.

First things first, proof pics!

Wait, I don't have any. There is this:

That's Spicysaurus's proof pic, with her car in the foreground, with a corner of the back of my car in the background (it's the greenish MX-5 off to the left). The Audi is another car I've driven extensively.

And there's this:

This would be Spicy's car, Coco's bunny, my arm, and a bit of Nugget's arm and side, with the back of my car in the background.

Does that count? :D

This car was bought by the original owners in December of 2005. Their goal was to use it as a parts development car for the NC MX-5. They had hopes of working with another local shop to develop a supercharger for the car. While in their hands, the car had supercharger test tubing fitted, and had the ECU mucked with a bit, and coilovers, a CAI, lightweight flywheel, and aftermarket muffler were installed. In February of 2007, they only had 2,000 miles on the car. The parts development had stalled. The guy making the payments was tired of making payments. And it was the car I wanted. It was the right color. It had the right packages. It had the right aftermarket additions. I wanted it.

And so I bought it.

I, like the original owners, used it for autocrossing. Less than a year after buying it, I added track time to its list of duties. It was also my daily driver, and remains my primary car. It's the car in my usericon (that was a nasty drift at my first autocross in the thing). In its life with me it has gotten a rebuilt transmission and a replaced engine, both under warranty. It's towed a trailer and endured thousands of track miles (something over 2,000 track miles in the past 6 months alone). It currently has JIC FLT-A2 coilovers, a lightweight flywheel, and an aftermarket clutch, in addition to an AudioLink (for iPod capability) and some zip-ties holding on the undertray. It's running Superblue brake fluid and Hawk HP+ pads. It currently has the OEM intake and mufflers on it, though I still have the aftermarket ones.

Now, pictures!
This was the day I bought it, out in front of my workplace, with Nugget's also-then-new 997 C2S Cab


Another shot with the C2S, this time talking strategy at the track.


Lots of lean going through the Carousel at TWS


This one shows you how well I know my car. Follow the link and find your way to the large version. Notice how close that rear tire will come to that cone. This was at Nationals in 2008. I came in second in CSPL, good enough for a trophy (and to beat the 2007 CSPL champion).


Fat rubber, perfect for autocross. Also at Nats.


I have so many shots with the C2S Cab, I need a shot with Nugget's next car. So here we have the MX-5 and the 997 GT3 RS:


And finally (for tonight), disconnecting the rear sway at the track:
 

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
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Pfft, that last one is your proof pic! Screen name my arse, you're in it!

Love this car.
 

TC

aka TomCat
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
11,436
Very nice car, looks like a lot of fun. I'm jealous. Mostly of Nugget, but of the car as well. :p
 

Redliner

Y'all got any lamps?
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I don't drive, I fly.
What?s not to like about a Miata that is properly used?
:thumbsup:
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Oakland
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'84 Mazda RX7, '12 Mazda 2, '99 Porsche Boxster
All these Texas girls who bring there shit to the track! I don't know whether to be jealous or happy?
 

nsx_23

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May 9, 2009
Messages
7,709
All these Texas girls who bring there shit to the track! I don't know whether to be jealous or happy?
I wish I could find a girlfriend who'd be interested in cars....

Most girls down here care more about their nail polish than cars.
 

equiraptor

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Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
1,933
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
Most girls around here care more about their nail polish than their cars, too. But there are a few of us who do the car thing, and I'm trying to help the environment be more friendly to other women interested in cars. Being a new person at an event can be intimidating enough, but adding being of a different demographic than typical for the event can make it even more intimidating. That's part of the reason I instruct - so new women can have a woman instructor, if they'd like, or if nothing else, see women active as a peer to the guys.

I'm often the only female instructor or the only female driving at a member day. But I am seeing more and more women at autocrosses and the track because they want to be, not because their boyfriends/husbands finally managed to talk them in to showing up. That makes me happy. Now I just need to develop an all-women lemons team that's actually quick... :D
 

ninjacoco

puffalump? inquire here!
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'10 Lulzcer GTS, '84 Porschelump 944, '71 VW 411
An all-woman Lemons team, eh?

Usually no dudes = noooooooooo!!!, but that sounds like a blast.

(I'd be useless, but I do have good taste in booze bribes...)
 

equiraptor

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Jun 22, 2009
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Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
It's been done before, but not a quick team. I'd want to have a quick team. Which means finding just the right set of women, and the right car, and... and... and...

And I have horrible taste in "bribes" so you'd definitely be helpful. :D
 

equiraptor

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Jun 22, 2009
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1,933
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
After bossing around MWF, I decided maybe I should come post my plans for my own car.

While the car currently has coilovers, they're the first set of coilovers that were offered for the car. Because of this, they're a relatively unaggressive setup. While body roll and transitions are significantly improved over OEM, there's still a long way to go. There are a few different options for stiffer setups. The Motons are probably the best dampers available, but both their cost and their maintenance needs are relatively high. I'm not trying to build a nationally competitive car, but rather a track rat. I want dampers that don't need regular attention. I could select specific dampers and match springs to my needs. There are a lot of really high quality options out there. But then there are the Ohlins - coilovers. Springs and dampers already designed to work together. I've driven an NC on the "road and track" Ohlins and was very impressed. I've run that particular car on the street, on the track, and at autocross, and I like the ride quality and love the handling. My next set of springs/dampers will almost certainly be Ohlins, the question is, will they be the "road and track" setup (7kg front 4kg rear springs) or the "full race" setup (13kg front 7kg rear). I'm hoping the car will be losing a lot of its street driving duties by then, and I'll be able to do the race setup, but time will tell.

I'm also still running on the OEM roll hoops, OEM seat belts, and OEM seats. I'd like to keep the OEM seats and belts as long as the car has significant street duties, as I appreciate the side airbags (mounted in the seat in this car) and I'm not interested in driving around in full race gear to keep myself safe from the idiots in the SUV who seem to think my car has targets on it. but there's a rollbar option for my car with a removable petty bar. When the time comes, I think the car will get this bar. I haven't made selections about a harness and seat yet, but both are in the plans. I do want to keep the seat adjustable - I'd like to be able to allow others to drive my car, and at my height, about the only person who could drive it with a fixed seat is Spicy. With the rollbar, harness, and race seat I'll also be getting a head restraint system for myself. Adding lots of safety gear to the car becomes kinda... meh... when severe whiplash, even to the point of a broken neck, remain a real possibility in a bad off. A hard top may or may not enter the picture in this general time frame. A hard top only offers slight safety improvements, but it does offer some added chassis rigidity and improved aerodynamics.

And then, beyond that, I'd like to get some custom appearance work on the car. A friend does lots of work on race graphics, from just simple magnetic numbers to full graphics. I'd love to have him design something for the car that would give it a unique look and help it stand out a bit more. I've been in dark green/blue Miatas for 6+ years now. I want a LOOK AT ME car, for a bit.

From there, there's weight reduction to do. I'm hoping to have a tow vehicle and a motorcycle in the picture by the time this point is reached, which would relieve the car of most if not all of its street duties. This would allow significant weight reduction - things like stripping the interior, removing the AC and stereo, etc., etc. I'm hoping the car can reach 2,000 pounds, with the interior gone.
 

Night_Hawk

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Gander Newfoundland
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1996 Corolla 1.8 - 1996 Acura 3.5 RL
Sounds like a good plan and the car is looking good already with those fat slicks. I would seriously like to own one of them in the next couple years. you've got my favorite style of them too shortly before they began grinning.
 

equiraptor

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Jun 22, 2009
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Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
Thanks! One caution about the fat rubber: The fat slicks do not work (with the stock power) on the track. The car doesn't have enough horsepower to overcome the rolling resistance of really, really sticky 285 width rubber in 4th gear. Around 225 to 245 is about as wide as one should go on the track with OEM power. That said, for autocross (not faster than 70mph) or with a supercharger/turbocharger, the 285 width rubber is great!

I hate the grin, too, but I like the stronger engine internals and the 500 extra RPM. The facelift also has a better front suspension design giving a lower roll center. The OEM suspension softness is also a bit less lame than it is on the pre-facelift third gens. They made the car better performing but uglier. :bangin:
 

Cowboy

My name is Sheridan
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Mar 31, 2009
Messages
9,805
All these Texas girls who bring there shit to the track! I don't know whether to be jealous or happy?
It's Texas, its always a little more.....'less subtle' while the girls go out on the track with their cars the guys are busy firing M16's at cardboard houses, while the children hand out the ammunition :p
 

equiraptor

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Jun 22, 2009
Messages
1,933
Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
Yesterday we reinstalled the trailer hitch on my car. The previous trailer hitch was damaged when the car was rearended, and as the rear subframe was replaced (it was a bad hit), the holes needed for the trailer hitch were gone, too. We had to widen some holes and drill other holes to install the hitch (this hitch designed with no welding needs). Those parts of the install were pretty nasty (as we were trying to do this with the tools a friend happened to have in his garage), but once that was done, the rest is pretty easy. I can remove and reinstall the hitch just by turning a few bolts.

This means my car can again transport four race tires to and from events on its own. I could take Nugget's tires without us needing to put them in our cars (allowing us to take both tires and passengers), or I could take four tires for me on the trailer, plus two for Nugget in my front seat (with his other two in his car). This also means we can take significantly more stuff to events. I have a rather large "toolbox" on the front of my tire trailer that will hold quite a bit.

It's still not like having a tow vehicle, but it's a great improvement.
 

LeVeL

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Jun 16, 2007
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Koni/GC FTMFW! I'm assuming you know about the fatcat spreadsheets, right?
 

equiraptor

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Jun 22, 2009
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Location
Houston, Texas, USA
Car(s)
2006 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Suzuki SV650
I do know about the fatcat spreadsheets. :)

I don't have much interest in Koni's offerings for the NC. I ran konis on my NA and liked them (they're still on the car, in fact), but their offerings for the NC are either mostly-street or nearly-entirely-track. The Koni offerings in the "track" direction are more expensive than the Ohlins, and don't include springs (or ride height adjustment). If I'm going to spend more than the Ohlins to get a "limited street use" setup, I'll just go straight to the Motons.

If I were to do separate springs and dampers, the Tokico offerings have more interest for me. They're part of the Flyin' Miata setup for the NC, and I know a few people who have used them (some with custom revalving). But really, the Ohlins have a combination of quality, purpose, simplicity (dampers, springs, etc. all in one) and price that I like.
 
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