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Thread: MAINEly MX-5's

  1. #1
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    MAINEly MX-5's

    Hello, again, everyone! It's been a while. My last thread (here: https://mazdaroadster.net/showthread...063#post202063) dead-ended when I sold my 1991 BRG, #225. But there were cars before it, and there have been cars since... so allow me to start at the beginning.

    First, there was a 2004 Mazdaspeed Grand Touring in Titanium Grey. My first toe dipped into the Miata pond... I read a lot before looking for a Mazdaspeed, and the value-per-dollar at the time seemed hard-to-beat. I bought this one in the Carolinas, drove it back to Maine and all over for the summer of 2012. I sold it in the fall, then started looking for a PRHT-car.

    04MSMTupperware.jpg

    I really like the NC-PRHT. If I had more garage space and money, I'd own another one in a heartbeat. The retractable hardtop is, in-my-opinion, the best-of-both-worlds option. The only thing wrong with my 2012 Grand Touring was the color. Black is beautiful, but a ton of work to keep looking good. My apologies for the lousy cell-phone picture, I can't seem to find any others.

    12PRHT.jpg

    I intended to keep the NC forever, eventually LS-swap it, and put on miles whenever and wherever I could. Then I got married, and decided that a AWD, newer, reliable car for my wife seemed necessary. The NC was traded for a new Subaru Impreza, and I "downgraded" to a 1991 BRG.

    More on that in the next post...

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  3. #2
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    I love the aesthetics of the early NA's. One of my best friends had one in college, and was part of the reason I bought my Mazdaspeed in the first place. For a fraction of what I'd spent on the 2012 PRHT, I picked up a 50K mile 1991 BRG with a hardtop. Another fly-and-drive, this time from Buffalo, New York.

    As many of you know, the "modification bug" is dangerous, especially with the NA's. Before long, the car had a full compliment of Flyin' Miata parts... FM2 turbo, FM2.5 Suspension, etc, etc. It was making 205hp at the wheels, and was a tremendously enjoyable car to drive.

    91BRG View.jpg

    91BRG Front.jpg

    I fell completely in love with the NA-generation, and decided the only thing better than my 1991 would be a 1994R with a Borg-Warner EFR setup.

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  5. #3
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Ironically, I had voiced my sentiments about the 1994R to a few people... and before long, someone reached out and told me about a car in Wisconsin. It wasn't even listed for sale, had 40K miles, 2-owners, and was almost entirely stock. After a couple lengthy conversations with the owner, a check in the mail to hold the car for me, and a one-way ticket to Wisconsin, I was on my way to Miata #4.

    94R Forest.jpg

    I had never been to Wisconsin, or Michigan, or Canada. I was a bit worried about snow, as it was still springtime, but I made the trip without incident.

    94R Canada.jpg

    Has anyone seen "One Week"? It's an inspiring movie about a motorcycle trip across Canada with lots of pictures of oversize tourist attractions. I don't recall if this Adirondack chair was one of them, but it was worth a photo for me. Note the pinstripes and heavy 16" wheels.

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  7. #4
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    I swapped out the 16" (period correct as they were) wheels for some RPF1's, deleted the red stripes, detailed the car and drove it. I started looking at EFR kits from Trackspeed, and had big plans for the 1994R. I picked up a nice early dashboard that I never installed, along with some M2-1028 inspired pieces.

    1994R RPF1.jpg

    Lightweight RPF1's in the perfect fitment. Sticky Dunlop ZII's and manual steering are a sublime combination. I searched a long time to find M2-1028-esque wheel lugs. True story.

    It was about this time that the 1991 BRG sold, and I was ramping up for modifying the R, when things came to a head in my marriage.

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  9. #5
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Anyone guess what happens next? There seems to be a pattern developing here...

    The 1994R sold, shortly after my now ex-wife moved out. I was saddened to learn that the new owner lost the engine, not long after driving the car to Massachusetts.

    I was Miata-less, for a while.

    XTerra.jpg

    My daily-driver 2013 XTerra isn't as much fun as a Miata, but 4WD is essential for living in Western Maine year-round.

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  11. #6
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    After the divorce was finalized I had a bit of a slump. Eventually, I decided there was no time like the present, and that another MX-5 was in order.

    This car was in Idaho, and while I bought the car largely sight-unseen, I met the owner for coffee in Yarmouth, Maine.

    1991Daisy.jpg

    It's a 1991, B-Package car with a factory hardtop. It came with a set of 15x7.5 Work VS-KF replicas and 11,700 miles on the odometer.

    Before I agreed to purchase it, I made some phone calls... to Flyin' Miata, V8Roadsters, and a little shop in Daytona Beach called V8R Performance.
    Last edited by MLambert19; 03-20-2020 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Picture didn't work?

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  13. #7
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Midlife crisis in 3... 2... 1...

    V8RShop.jpg

    My 1991 among high-horsepower company in Daytona.

    You see, I omitted one little detail. Before I purchased this 1991, I took a trip to visit my parents in Edgewater, Florida. While I was there, dad and I went to meet Al Luddington at his shop in Daytona Beach. He tossed me the keys to a red NB with an LS-1 and a T56 underneath, and well, I was convinced.
    Last edited by MLambert19; 03-20-2020 at 06:54 PM.

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  15. #8
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Standby for V8 content...

    NewLS.jpg

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  17. #9
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone MaRcOp01o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLambert19 View Post
    I love the aesthetics of the early NA's. One of my best friends had one in college, and was part of the reason I bought my Mazdaspeed in the first place. For a fraction of what I'd spent on the 2012 PRHT, I picked up a 50K mile 1991 BRG with a hardtop. Another fly-and-drive, this time from Buffalo, New York.

    As many of you know, the "modification bug" is dangerous, especially with the NA's. Before long, the car had a full compliment of Flyin' Miata parts... FM2 turbo, FM2.5 Suspension, etc, etc. It was making 205hp at the wheels, and was a tremendously enjoyable car to drive.

    91BRG View.jpg

    91BRG Front.jpg

    I fell completely in love with the NA-generation, and decided the only thing better than my 1991 would be a 1994R with a Borg-Warner EFR setup.
    Hmm I wonder who has those wheels?

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  19. #10
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    They look every bit as good on your BRG as they did mine, Marco!

    I need the find some time to download and organize the photos from this build...

    Unless things change dramatically, I'm due to be in Florida April 13-18 with the car. Want to meet up and talk from 6' away?

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _

    Well, that didn't happen. The Maine National Guard said "No travel for you, try again in a month or so". Allegiant graciously refunded my tickets, and I'll have to hope everything on the car is okay, because it arrived in Maine this evening via Chadbourn Trucking, and I pick it up in the morning.
    Last edited by MLambert19; 04-20-2020 at 12:34 AM.

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  21. #11
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    The car arrived at V8R in Daytona sometime around January of 2019. Al had a lot of other cars in-work, so it took a while before mine hit the lifts.

    Stock 1.6L.jpg

    The stock 1.6L. Looking a little dingy from the long road trip. I really wish the car had a good bath before the work commenced.

    Empty Bay.jpg

    ...and just like that, the engine and drive-train are out! (I'm sure there was a lot more to it than that, but from what I was told, it was one of the easier removals he's done, due to a lack of rust and low mileage).

    Rollerskate.jpg

    Here's the complete factory "roller-skate". The suspension, rear subframe and a few other pieces are all that will be re-installed in the car. But not before some modification, powdercoat and new ILMotorsport bushings being pressed in.

    Like Tom Tharp of Tom's Turbo Garage and the Project Thunderbolt YouTube series, I was able to recoup quite a bit of my original investment by selling off the LNC 1.6L, 5-speed and Viscous Limited Slip Differential. 1.8L Mazdaspeed turbo parts, a 6-speed and Torsen would have brought more money, but I was pretty happy to see my parts going to breathe new life into a high-mileage one-owner NA6.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  23. #12
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    So, where was I? With the stock drivetrain removed, Al commenced with preparing things for double the number of cylinders and roughly four times the stock horsepower.

    The fuel system received an overhaul. Fuel Setup.jpg

    The headers were sent out to Performance Kote for a treatment of 2000 degree "Ceramic Grey" to help with underhood heat. Coated Headers 2.jpg

    The stock rear subframe was taken apart, measured, blasted, welded and sent for powdercoat in preparation for the 3.42 Getrag. Getrag Cradle.jpg

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  25. #13
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    I just noticed "JON" on the fuel pump, and before anyone asks... I have no idea. My name is Matt. Odd.

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  27. #14
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Then, of course, there's a fair bit of cutting, welding, bonking things with big hammers, test fitting, measuring, and so forth...

    The engine bay got corner brackets, followed by seam sealer.
    Seam Sealer.jpg
    Last edited by MLambert19; 04-29-2020 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Picture trouble...

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  29. #15
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power MLambert19's Avatar
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    Looking at pictures, I kind of wonder if the Flyin' Miata corner braces aren't a bit larger and better-fitting than the V8Roadster's pieces. Not seeing them side-by-side it might just be an optical illusion, but for those of you considering the swap... it might be worth checking out.

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