Page 1 of 40 1234567811 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 590
  1. #1
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts

    NA6CE 1992 Form vs Function Build and History

    I bought this car in October of 2000.

    This will be a sort of stream of conscience mixed with memories of the car through my ownership and I will post pictures I might find from the past years. Some are embarrassing, some are pretty neat. It may seem disjointed times, but this thread and subsequent posts will try to just show the events that influenced my reasons for what have done to my car.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pics from a computer crash back in '05. Some will be photos given to me from friends. I know I have them, but I don't know their location at the moment. I started looking for my Miata around April of '00. I was originally looking for a RWD coupe. I considered a 240sx, BMW 3 series, and a Subaru 2.5RS. I even looked at other classics, like a Datsun Fairlady for the 60’s. It was to be a second car; something I would put away in the winter months had recently relocated back to west Michigan. The Miata sort of popped into my head from a soon-to-be good friend met through a car club. He had a white '94 r-pack. I knew I wanted a LNC, mariner and I looked for months. Fortunately, one finally popped up in early October, owned by a young professional couple. He was a marketing executive, she was a surgeon, so I had a good feeling it was well cared for. It was sitting in the garage, collecting dust. He was about 6'8" and couldn't kit in the car. She couldn't take both boys with her in the Miata. It had 38,xxx miles on it, B-package with Mazdaspeed stripes. He had bought her a Porsche cabriolet "so the kids could fit in the back seat" as replacement. I nodded in agreement, but rolled my mind’s eye.

    I took it home the next day and installed a Borla exhaust.

    I drove to the beach the first day I owned it in October 2000:

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    Unfortunately, my daily driver broke and I was going to have to drive the Miata through the winter. I was commuting about 50 miles a day, so I had to prep the car for winter.

    This would later become something I would regret a few years later.

    Fortunately, my daily had the same PCD as the Miata, so I took a set of wheels I had mounted r-comps on and mounted snow tires.

    The long winter of '00-01:





  3. #3
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    Wistful musing content:

    Looking back over the years, I can honestly say that my vision for this car sort of matured parallel to my career. I am an industrial designer, so my aesthetic "voice" became more refined as my career progressed. I am a HUGE fan of subtlety. I look at design holistically. I like the overall design to appeal, but to draw you in and make you look for details that delight and make you look for more. I don't like fussy or extravagant features, so yes, form does follow function. It's not a popular or easy design path. It takes a LOT of restraint and vision to see it through. More importantly, it takes a sort of graceful execution to pull it off right. It sometimes becomes more about what you HAVEN'T done that makes the design work.

    The Miata, to me, speaks of simplicity and character. Two of my favorite, sought after traits. I think it is too easy to buy stuff and start adding it to these cars. There are a lot of beautifully crafted pieces, some not so much, especially for the interior. I like looking at them in OTHER people's cars, but not mine. I have been influenced by ergonomics and anthropometrics, so I do not like my car, especially the interior, to be distracting and bright. It detracts from the driving enjoyment physically and emotionally. The interior is the interaction between the car and driver, so the experience of driving a Miata doesn't need to be distracted by bright metal pieces and bits. It's more about the interior performing in the background intuitively. I don't hate decorated interiors, it's just I don't like unnecessary aesthetics.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    The spring of '01, I got back into autocross with a local, non-marque car club. This was the first event of the year and I ran it top down in the rain:





    The nice part about owning a Miata is I already had deep experience with Mazda b-series engine and platforms from racing a few Escort GTs ('91 and '94). That was also the spring I met a girl in a local Miata club. She had a customized '99 sport with ghost flames and wore Doc Martens. She would later become my wife.



    The most vivid memory I have from this period, though, is on September 11, 2001. I was on a plane that day, flying to Milwaukee to catch my connection to NYC. I was preparing to be a part of a large presentation that afternoon in Manhattan, a few blocks from the trade center. I never made that connection. It was a blur of a day. The two coworkers I was with rented one of the last cars remaining and drove back around the south end of Lake Michigan, through Chicago, back to west Michigan. I remember watching the Chicago skyline as we drove through, expecting to see a plane fly into the
    Sears Tower.

    We eventually made the long drive back to work that afternoon. It was a nice, sunny, late summer day. I remember slipping into the Miata, dropping the top and spending the next two hours driving the lakeshore roads thinking about what had happened that day, how circumstances lead us to take an unusual flight over the normal direct flight we normally took to meet that client. It sounds corny, but the longer I drove with the top down and the sun covering me, putting mile after mile of scenic water front views behind me, the more the stress melted away. It was probably THE most connecting moment I've had with any car and probably what endured me most to this Miata from that point on.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kung fu jesus For This Useful Post:

    etikoner (02-08-2015),WASABI (02-21-2014)

  6. #5
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    In the summer of '02, my stripes were getting faded and cracking so I removed them. It was something I wavered on, but I never liked the visual bulk they added to the form. It was also about this time I started modding the car more and looking into adding power. It was also about the time I was banned from M.N, for the first time. I found another site that was composed of other M.N refugees. It was a small, eclectic group of people that would later become my closest friends to this day.

    The suspension saw the first upgrade with the addition of KYB AGXs. you have to keep in mind at this time, coilovers were pretty rare and expensive. I liked the stock height at the time. I recall reading around this time that '92s sat lower than most stock Miatas, possibly from a design or supplier change.

    I also admit that I had a Racing Beat style bar on the car for a few months at this time. It would be replaced soon after with a hardcore DD M1.

    By the end of '02 I was looking into adding a turbo. This was during the infancy of
    miataturbo.net. I placed the order for a Greddy turbo and started looking for the additional items needed.

    Annnnnnd I waited what seemed like an eternity for the kit to arrive.

    Unfortunately, I lost a LOT of these pics. 2002 also marked the first time I visited Deal's Gap. I drove with Roadster Girlie and another Miata owner in tow from west Michigan to western NC. It was one long day of driving. I shared a rented house with other Miata owners I knew only from yourmiata.com (Team Pointless).

    Having met a lot of these people for the first time was amazing! I spent a week there and had the time of my life! We spent the days driving all over the countryside in four different states, drinking and partying at night.

    This is John Palazzolo, a.k.a John Hammer.


    (this is a pic of his shunt at waterford hills raceway)

    He and his '94 r-pack inspired me to buy a Miata.

    I have now known john and his wife Julie for over 10 years now. He's been HUGE to rei-nterest me back into motor sports. When Tina and I moved to Charlotte, we met them when they came out to deal's gap in '04. It was part of the catalyst that inspired them to move there and they have been extremely happy ever since!

    John is probably the most passionate person I’ve met about racing. So much so, he left his career in radio in Kalamazoo to follow his passion. He worked freelance for online racing websites, the Speed channel and eventually moving into PR for Richard Petty Racing. He is also an instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the SRT Track Experience. He is still an active Spec Miata driver and competes in Lemons in a 320i (Hammer's Heros). His passion still keeps my dream to race more alive.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    I’m going to back up a little:

    2001 and 2002 also marked my experience with Miata Clubs.

    I belonged to Miata Owners of Mid Michigan (MOMMies )

    This experience was "interesting". John, Tina (my g/f at the time) and a few others were decidedly more interested in performance and motor sports. We would go on the "drives" with the other members, but we stuck out like sore thumbs. It was really pissing off the wine and cheese crowd in the club. The club had a yahoo email message system (remember those?). One of the club officers decided to lambaste me on there as a "gearhead" and for conceived profanities that I didn't make. This LITERALLY split the club in two.

    The gearheads and "fun" minded people left the club and affiliated ourselves with the Kalamazoo-based club (KAZOOM). MOMM went from a healthy membership and decent coffers to 1/3 the size.

    KAZOOM flourished.

    I take responsibility for being the target that destroyed that club. John and other
    KAZOOM members would host tech days at their homes and I would learn and help people I didn't even know. I always looked forward to them.

    Being west Michigan is nice...5 months out of the year. Fortunately, there are two VERY good tracks nearby; Gingerman Raceway and Grattan Raceway. Gingerman had an open track policy Tu-Th. you would pay $60 and run the road course from 5pm until dusk. Because west Michigan is up against the western edge of the Eastern time zone, there were nights you could get almost four hours of track time in one night! Because of this, I used to bring my helmet with me to work and leave right after for the track.

    My office was only 1/2 hour away. There were a few times I would go all three nights in one week. That was about 10-15 hours of track time in one week! This is where I started looking for functional performance pieces for the car.

    I added the r-pack front and rear spoilers that summer. i didn't know I was buying one of the last rear R-pack rear lips sold by Mazda at that time.

    By the winter of '02, I was prepping the car to go turbo. Because I was storing it in the winter, it was easy to do and take my time. The Greddy I ran up to 10 psi. It was a clusterfuck of zipties and cludges and I learned a lot of lessons from it.

    My involvement with KAZOOM also introduced me to Chris Lee at the Gilmore Car Museum Roadster meet sometime in 02, IIRC.

    I remember when this shot was taken, I was standing to the left of the photographer:



    Chris' car really started to open my eyes to what was possible.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    2003

    This year was really exciting for a number of reasons. First of all, I was now running my clapped together Greddy turbo. I was running more events with the Miata. Tina (roadstergirlie) moved in with me and we were now a two-Miata household with my DC2 Integra as the mule. I loved this mule! I rally crossed, even sheared the brake lines doing so and put into a swamp. The car went up and over a banked turn and landed up to its rockers in mud.





    I was frustrated with my current job and with the long Michigan winters. I needed to make a move and looked into moving to the Southeast. We were making plans to drive our Miatas to Deal's gap that July when I received a job interview in Charlotte. I interviewed over the phone and it went well. It was a position to work at a firm and grow my skills exponentially, again. I sweetened the interview process by telling the firm I would drive down there "just to interview" when really I was going to be there for DG2K3.

    I had recently bought a brand new 2003 Civic Si, so I decided I would load our gear in that car and follow Tina down in hers. I didn't want to worry about the Miata breaking down or showing up in a suit, all sweaty from driving in the humidity without A/C.


    (my old EP3…I loved this car. I regret selling it.)

    We shared the same house with our friends from Team pointless and I drove the EP3 to the interview. I would eventually land the job! I spent the remainder of that vacation at DG chasing Miatas off the mountain in the EP3. I had bought a set of wheels and r-comps from 91eunos at Deals Gap. Everyone we were staying with had a blast driving that car there. I was tag-teaming with a buddy from ATL who brought his WRX wagon scaring the crap out of the whine and cheese crowd attempting to drive the roads in the area.


    (91eunos – aka Colonel Rob and moxnix/gunny – aka Gunny Chris at the Eagle’s Nest, DG ’05)


    Killboy got a lot of great shots of the EP3 doing 3 wheeled stands around corners and breathing down the backs of a lot of Miatas. GOOD TIMES.

    It was through Team Pointless that I met Woolery, Marty (Jon Martin), Joe Alphonso, Peter Brusa, Stevan (Rogue), Chris (Sharpie) and whole others even before this site was created.



    In August of ‘02, I was driving to Grattan Raceway and centered a little mouse crossing the highway. The moment I passed over the top of the ball of fur, BAM! a hawk, diving from above, slammed straight into the hood! Fortunately, my cousin owned a really nice body shop. He made the repairs to the hood and convinced the adjuster my whole front clip had to be painted to blend the color properly. So, now my paint was "mostly original".

    Tina and I moved to Charlotte later that year, arriving on Dec 31,2003. The company couldn't pay to move the Miata, so we drove the EP3 and Tina's NB down. I left my Miata at my cousin's shop to have a lightened flywheel and ACT clutch installed.

    To get the Miata down to Charlotte, I had to network a group of friends to drive it down:
    John picked it up at my cousin's shop and drove it to Lansing, MI. From there, another friend drove it from Lansing to Detroit. Another friend drove it from Detroit to Knoxville,
    TN. I had another friend who had recently moved to Knoxville, TN, so I was going to pick it up there, 3 hours from Charlotte. So, after 3 months of waiting, I was reunited with my car by driving it home through Deal's Gap.
    Last edited by kung fu jesus; 07-09-2012 at 08:16 AM.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to kung fu jesus For This Useful Post:

    WASABI (02-21-2014)

  10. #8
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
    Drives
    1990 Spirited Green Miata!
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,469
    Thanks Given
    60
    Thanked 74 Times in 54 Posts
    KFJ I love reading anything you post. You are a great story teller... please post more
    1990 Miata, she was red but now she is Spirit Green!

    http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....d-a-love-story <--- build thread!

    Also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IHeartFlippyHeadlights !!! Its a facebook page dedicated to the awesomeness which is flippyheadlights! Not me, but the actual headlights! High time someone noticed how awesome these things are; check it out!

  11. #9
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    I have a lot more. I just need to edit and update the timeline.

  12. #10
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
    Drives
    1990 Spirited Green Miata!
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,469
    Thanks Given
    60
    Thanked 74 Times in 54 Posts
    Please do, but please add more miata
    1990 Miata, she was red but now she is Spirit Green!

    http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....d-a-love-story <--- build thread!

    Also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IHeartFlippyHeadlights !!! Its a facebook page dedicated to the awesomeness which is flippyheadlights! Not me, but the actual headlights! High time someone noticed how awesome these things are; check it out!

  13. #11
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    I will, but it is hard to just do a build thread without remembering those people and events that influenced me along the way.

  14. #12
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! I<3flippyheadlights's Avatar
    Drives
    1990 Spirited Green Miata!
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,469
    Thanks Given
    60
    Thanked 74 Times in 54 Posts
    Very true, your story telling makes it awesome anyway.
    1990 Miata, she was red but now she is Spirit Green!

    http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....d-a-love-story <--- build thread!

    Also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IHeartFlippyHeadlights !!! Its a facebook page dedicated to the awesomeness which is flippyheadlights! Not me, but the actual headlights! High time someone noticed how awesome these things are; check it out!

  15. #13
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    In Charlotte, I enjoyed the Miata much more. I could drive it year round and I was 2-3 hours from Deal’s Gap. At this point, we had my ’92 and Tina’s ’99. The ’03 Civic was the third car.

    I had upgraded the Greddy and was quickly experiencing the limitations of the system. I added a Link ECU and started the painful learning curve on that. I soon removed the kit, leaving the Link in the car to run NA. I was tired of not being able to rely on the car to run without some sort of hiccup occurring.

    I also tried some different wheels. I was riding on KYB AGXs with gen 1 FM springs.

    I picked up set of Compomotive 8 spoke wheels. 15x7, +35. Nice, but waaay too heavy! I think they were 17# each.






    I didn’t like the way the weight of the wheels made the car feel and it seemed to crash over irregularities in the road.

    Fortunately, a good friend of ours was parting out his NB and I bought his SSR Type C with diamond cut lips and anthracite centers. They were 15x7.5 +43. Weighing in at a little over 10# each, it was a HUGE improvement!

    He also sold me his M2 HDHCDD with harness tabs. I needed a new top and had recently converted to a like-new ’03 black soft top. I loved the glass window! The tailoring on the NB tops is far nicer and the swap over was easy! The rollbar fit in the exact same holes as my M1 HDHCDD, so I was able to install it myself in a couple of hours.







    I also added the fog lights so I could run them while I was driving. I was tired of other cars moving over on me while driving on the freeway. I wired them to shut off with the car if I accidentally left them on. A few times draining the battery was enough and I figured out how to wire them this way.


  16. #14
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    By this time, I had already added a 7-8# Fidanza flywheel and ACT xt00 clutch. The car had about 80k on it in 04 when we moved to Charlotte.

    A year later or so, I was at 98xxx miles. I wanted to eek out some more power from the engine, so I bought an extra head for rebuilding and porting and polishing.









    I had the spare head ported and polished, tanked, shaved, and gasket matched. The effective compression was now about 10:1. I wish I had upgraded the valves, but had the extra OEM set cleaned and angled. I also tested the valve springs and tanked the lifters. All was to spec. I got it back and reassembled the head on my kitchen table. My wife has an unusual patience when it comes to my automotive hobbies.













    Some buddies from Atlanta drove up to help me install it. I refreshed all the seals on top and added ARP head studs. I think the studs are a must. I also had the manifold and valve cover powdercoated to match.


    I had removed the Greddy by this point and sold it off, but now wanted to add a proper turbo system. I started gathering pieces to make an upgraded FM/BEGi system. I ran an FM 3 manifold, GT2554r turbo, 550cc RC engineering injectors, custom 2.5” downpipe, no cat, custom 2.5” exhaust, uprated fuel pump, BEGi 18” intercooler system. The system made 240 at the wheels on 15 psi. The turbo was maxed out, at this level, so I normally ran 10-12 PSI for daily use. I was also still on the stock VLSD, so I used a LOT of mechanical empathy to keep it from blowing up.

    I have to admit, the power was intoxicating! Taking down S2000s was too much of a temptation.

    This is where I lost my hardrive. I have no more pictures of this setup.

  17. #15
    Super Moderator kung fu jesus's Avatar
    Drives
    1992 Mariner
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8,159
    Thanks Given
    1,270
    Thanked 3,439 Times in 1,774 Posts
    In ’06, I picked up a set of Watanabes from Chris. They were originally on Joe Alphonso’s car (R*speed owner). Chris was in Iraq for one of his many tours. He lent them to me rather than letting them sit in storage. I was happy to oblige! They were wrapped in 195/60-14 Advan 042 Rs. The wheels are 14x6.5, +14.5, magnesium. EXTREMELY light!





    In the autumn of ’06, I received a job offer. It was in southern California and I accepted!

    We had already sold Tina’s ’99, so it was just the Miata and the Si. The company offered an extensive relocation package, so we put the house in Charlotte up for sale. A moving company packed up the house, loaded up the Miata, and shipped our stuff west. They offered to fly us out, but we had adopted a retired racing greyhound and didn’t want to fly her in cargo on the plane.



    We decided to drive out in the EP3 and make a little vacation out of it. Awesome road trip!



    We loaded the luggage on the roof, folded the rear seats and put the dog in the hatch.

Page 1 of 40 1234567811 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •