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  1. #391
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    Car, Coffee & California

    Quote Originally Posted by BoBo View Post
    Wow! Nice Pictures...what a pretty sight 949 Racing Miata
    Looked at ALL the pages. Very Very Nice Cars. Got some ideas and vender names I had not known of. Thanks for all your work on posting all those photos and the story behind them.
    Very Nice to read. GOD BLESS, Chris

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  3. #392
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    I titled this thread “Cars, Coffee & California” after a photo book I made for my brother. It shared the same name and tried to capture the week we spent celebrating his 50th while soaking up as much of California’s incredible car culture as we could. What I’ve realized is that its missing another “C”. The one that is the single most important part of the car world and our crazy little Miata Tribe. Community. I’ve been looking forward to this post as a reference to another little update but critically on how these Roadsters have impacted me the most. I feel so fortunate to have discovered like-minded people that happen to share a passion for Miatas, made connections with them that ultimately lead to burgeoning friendships both at home and around the world…

    Joelioooo (“Joel’s Kyusha inspired Laguna Blue na8”) is from New Zealand. He shares a passion for old school Japanese wheels and has had so many great examples for me to enjoy vicariously through his ever changing build. Advans A3A’s, Hoshinos, SSR Mk’s I and II’s and Longchamps and Wats and back again…

    From his build thread I was intrigued to understand more about Shakotan (and how that clearly couldn’t work for my driveway or LA roads in general) Kaido, and Zokusha styles from Japan. A rabbit hole I didn’t really know existed but was so happy to start to explore. Those inspirations made me appreciate some of the special touches he added even more.. like how he mounted his GV lights. Joel’s cracked Trap lip (on top of Stoly’s and others) convinced me to stay away from the lip I knew looked best but might not last long. When he installed the Dcuatro bumper I was again totally inspired. Joel is bold in his approach and has put in a ton of work himself. His build has been so much fun to watch and I’m always surprised by his creativity including his trips to Japan and the new ideas that drives. His commentary about how strict NZ car modification regulations are reminds me that as much as California is harsh compared to the rest of this country there are much tougher rules elsewhere and we don’t have that much to complain about.

    Early 2017 I saw a note from Joel with a picture of his passport and a boarding pass to LA. I reached out immediately to try and cajole him into coming to KINOD along with some of his local RDB friends. KINOD declared that the February 3rd meet would be a special Kiwi edition to show our guest from New Zealand a warm welcome.


    It was great to meet Joel face to face from a connection that started through his posts on MR.net but even better that since then we’ve had a ton of conversations about roadster pursuits, travels and life.

    It was late July when he sent a PM asking if I was still looking for a Zoom rear bumper (of course I was, yes!). Since he was getting rid of his (?!?!). And offered me first dibs since he knew I’d be hunting for so long(!!!!!!). Thankfully happier circumstances than how he got his GV panel but to me the prospect of adding parts that were on someone else’s build has always been compelling. I love when people excitedly talk about something they’ve preserved from Scrat or Rooster or the Blue Potato. This is a way to pay tribute to builds that have inspired us and help them live on. (Man, maybe I’m just getting sentimental in my old age.) Anyways, this was the first pic he sent while I was still in shock.


    Packaged up with care and with his Air NZ connections he was able to get it shipped off freight to LAX. Joel also did something that really struck a chord with me. Beyond the shipping costs, he insisted I couldn’t pay a penny more than he had (and he’d picked it up for a steal). He said it’s just how he felt about passing along parts to a fellow nut. I’m not begrudging anyone that has profited from their investments in rare JDM parts but the fact his refusal to even accept anything more was inspiring. If I’m ever to sell off things I’ve delighted in collecting I’ve decided I am going to uphold that idea.. it feels like the best way to focus on simply sharing in the joy of these out of production parts scored from a land far away with others that might just appreciate them in the same way.



    A few days later I received the call from Air NewZealand cargo and showed up at the freight arrival depot to wait with the truckers picking up their imported wares. Coming straight from work I wasn’t really dressed the part but the grin on my face had me more out of place. After waiting through the cue I saw the agent who took some details and stamped some papers only to send me off to US customs that was a mile or so away. More red tape but at 10pm at night there were no lines (thankfully they keep flexible hours). Back to Air NZ cargo, handed off the paper work and then waited for the carrier to bring me the bumper on a forklift.

    I didn’t bring the most practical vehicle for transporting it home which certainly generated some entertainment for the truck drivers when I brought my car around to load it up. I really don’t know what must have looked funnier, the bumper sticking out the passenger window or the crazed grin across my face as I drove away. Was back home in no time since we’re only a few miles away.


    A few updates were shared with Joel and though it was already late there was no going to bed before taking the chance to look at it in person.




    That vanishing line. The swage line that I was certain would work so incredibly well with the flares. The symmetrical notches for the rear tow hooks. Finally seeing this in person convinced me I may not have been wrong for all the reasons I’d felt this was going to be perfect on Benny.

    Before taking it off for paint, the wrap had to come off…


    Louis made quick work to get it ready for paint.



    Since I was going to the trouble of paint anyways, I’d also managed to find an early OEM hardtop for a good price (it was in really rough shape) so both could be taken care of at the same time. It always drove me nuts that my mariner top was so mis-matched that I’ve only ever used it on track + I also really liked the idea of a “period correct” hardtop without the headliner and rear defrost.


    So much blue!!



    Made sure to take off my bumper before driving up to leave Benny behind for the final paint match.


    It pained me to have the bumper cut to accommodate the dual tip Corns but after all the warnings about how much more a central St May’s ShotGun exhaust would scrape knew I was going to be happy keeping my current set-up. The 2 ¼” exhaust of the Corns is also perfect for the Stage 1 FM kit so no burning need to make a change there either. The results exceeded my hopes.




    Tonight eldest son drove me the 50 miles to enjoy more conversations on life and to finally pick up Benny. The 50 miles back seemed to slip by in an instant with a quick fuel stop before getting back home.



    So here’s to these crazy cars, the creativity of all the different ways people change them up but most of all, to those very people that make this community what it is…

    xoxo
    Last edited by oldgrayleather; 09-26-2018 at 02:36 AM. Reason: typos

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  5. #393
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MX5Wisher's Avatar
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    So damned Jelly. So jelly. Bummed you couldn't get the whole kit though, but that is epic!

    Can John steal that last pic for wallpapers?

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    oldgrayleather (09-26-2018)

  7. #394
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power Roadster7's Avatar
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    You already know how much I love this, but it's so cool to see part of Joel's car here in the states. That bumper is the perfect fit for Benny, I'm really happy it ended up in your hands.

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    oldgrayleather (09-26-2018)

  9. #395
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MX5Wisher View Post
    So damned Jelly. So jelly. Bummed you couldn't get the whole kit though, but that is epic!

    Can John steal that last pic for wallpapers?
    Thanks. Was never looking for a Zoom front but actually, have never seen a wide bodied zoom kit at all. Don’t mind that pic being used for wallpapers. Thanks for askin.

  10. #396
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! MaRcOp01o's Avatar
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    Dam, that bumper looks so nice. Great find!!!

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    oldgrayleather (09-26-2018)

  12. #397
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! HarryB's Avatar
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    Looks smart! And you are absolutely right; it is not about the car, it is about the people.

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  14. #398
    Supporting Member druz's Avatar
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    It matches the Corns so well. Another great addition.

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  16. #399
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MX5Wisher's Avatar
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    The MX5Mart one is still not up for sale though. Damned slow progress but the guy is in and out of hospital at the moment...

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    oldgrayleather (09-26-2018)

  18. #400
    Idling - Listen to it purr...
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    How are you liking the FM turbo kit?

    Would love to read about your review/impressions.

  19. #401
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord09 View Post
    How are you liking the FM turbo kit?

    Would love to read about your review/impressions.
    The only real NA seat time I have to compare it to is three stock 1.6's and I'd never planned on using induction to get more out of any of them. I honestly love the balance and spunk of the stock engine especially when mated to Bill's short shifter kit and an upgraded clutch. My much faster "daily" is too quick to enjoy dailying and actually being able to shift through three gears just to reach the speed limit is so much fun. The FM kit has taken some of that away as its so much quicker. It's thirstier too. Today's fill up after about 100 miles of city driving plus one 60 mile freeway trip delivered just under 20mpg. The trade off for the thrill of enjoying the boost spool up. Can't see the novelty ever wearing off from a driving POV but trips to the gas station do feel a lot more frequent. (almost every time I fill its just over 7 gallons when the gauge has been below 'E' for a while. Guessing I'll be happier if I reset my gauge to show empty when I'm a lot closer to actually running out).

    My concern with turbo/ supercharging was one of potential reliability issues. To be fair, most turbo issues I've heard about were down to the owners. Cranking up boost too far to see if they could get just a bit more or a less than clinical install. Keith suggested there should be no issues with the carb legal stage 1. And for me, I'd expect that to be especially true with FM dong the install. There's few I'd take at their word as much as Keith but only time will tell if this will be as trouble free as the stock engine was for the last 30k miles.

    ITB's would have suited my build more but I genuinely didn't want the smog hassles. Or issues with cold starts. Or a lot of fiddling/ tuning that's far above my capabilities. And more than likely far beyond my patience too.

    So, so far it's been fantastic. I haven't had it on a dyno or timed any 0-60 pulls but there's been a huge step change. Anecdotally I don't feel like any modern fun cars can leave me behind so easily or that it's as hard to keep up. That's just local driving so no stupid shenanigans. Very much looking forward to some track time to learn more about what it (and I) can now do in a controlled environment!

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  21. #402
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Cars, Coffee and California...

    So I’ve just been enjoying the hell out of this thing and actually haven’t taken the hardtop off since I got it back. That’s kind of funny to me since I’ve always been a top down driver (I believe life time count of driving with the softtop up is still at four in total). Rigidity is better and the 65mph shimmy that I haven’t been able to eradicate is noticeably less.



    One of the KINOD regulars had a birthday on Friday along with another who sometimes makes the trip from Tehachapi (134 miles EACH WAY!). There’s another casual KINODer who’s birthday was earlier in the week so decided a cake was in order. Fun to celebrate together even if the latter two missed out on red velvet and creamcheese icing.


    Saturday morning I was berating myself for not having installed my Beatrush side latches or even made the cut to the B pillar so I could install the side strikers. I did take them off the Sunburst so I could measure exactly where they sit.


    Between estimating and cutting where the strikers need to sit vs removing the rollbar I’m really struggling with the choice of easy over proper. I do have a pair of red JDM spec seatbelts without the ripstop that I want to install so may wait and do it all at once though still undecided if I actually want to deviate from the black belts. These came off a 1993 import that went from Japan to the UK where I found them so technically that’s almost made it all the way around the world. Haha


    Other Turbo updates? Gas mileage is consistently a smidge over 20mpg no matter how I drive. Freeway mileage also doesn’t seem to increase it significantly but to be fair I haven’t stopped impressing myself with the continued tests of in-gear acceleration at speed.

    Finally found the right place to add the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca sticker from a special friend. Hoping it helps distract from the Miatagasm banner. Several at work have inquired including a comment from our head of HR but they weren’t willing to confirm there was any genuine concern ;). When people don’t know the joke I suppose there’s greater evidence mounting that this car really may be some mid-life crisis antidote some have presumed it might be. Little do they know what’s really behind my passion for this Roadster and you nuts.


    Mrs. R and I were out for a walk on Sunday and I finally got the question.. “do you literally take a picture of your car every time you come back to it?”. Truth be told, I do take a lot of pics of it and always turn around to steal a last peek when I’ve parked. Guess that’s just proof enough to me how much I’m still loving this little MX5.
    Last edited by oldgrayleather; 10-08-2018 at 11:35 PM.

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  23. #403
    Something clever Martin's Avatar
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    Can you adjust the fuel? I used to get 30mpg in my turbo 96. I suspect you are running very rich.

  24. #404
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power speedypenguin's Avatar
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    Love the way Benny looks with his newly painted hardtop! I can imagine the side profile picture of Benny is spot-on. Everything is cohesive.
    My Eunos Roadster, Jazz

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  26. #405
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    Sell those red seat belts to Eli, I think he will need a set for his 93LE

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