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Thread: D Prepared Miata Build

  1. #1
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    D Prepared Miata Build

    So, as some of you know I'm planning on sort of taking the Miata and turning it up to 11 in the coming years (yes, this is a very long term build), and I didn't want to further clutter up my already cluttered up STS build thread.

    What I want this thread for at this point is as you may have guessed, planning. Bouncing around ideas (for the foreseeable future, mostly focused on weight reduction), documenting parts accumulation and eventually towards the end of 2010, a massive de-construction of the miata.

    The goal is a dual-threat machine, with the competitive emphasis being on D Prepared autocross, but also, eventually as time and budget allow, as a track day / hill climb / time trials car.

    The end result, for those that may not know what a D Prepared Miata looks like, is something like this (essentially an E/F Production club-race car):



    For the record: Yes, she will run most of this season (if not all) in STS trim. After that, depending on a few things, the evolution (Eviloution if you will) will begin.



    Last edited by aMaff; 02-23-2010 at 03:52 AM.
    ~Andrew
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  2. #2
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    1 of the biggest "need" expenses besides a roll bar (as required by the rules) is a good set of wheels. I had a few options I was throwing around:

    1. Cheap as F, I could go with boat anchor Diamond Racing wheels. They'd get the job done but sort of go against the very principle of the initial phase of this build: drop as much weight as possible (without spending mad $$), especially unsprung and rotating mass. Not really great looking either (I'm a sucker of function WITH form if I can have it)

    2. At the opposite end of the spectrum are SERIOUSLY crazy money, flyweight wheels, Keisers for example. I really didn't want to go that light, and I wanted a wheel that I wouldn't have to worry about bending or cracking every time I ran over a pebble. These were definitely out.

    3. Panasport ULs. We're starting to come back down out of the stratosphere here. Still really spendy. They're light AND strong, and admit it, who doesn't like how a set of Panasports look on a Miata? I know I do. And I REALLY had to fight with the decision, but in the end they just turned out to be too much money compared to the alternates.

    4. Superlite Minis. They're basically panasport look-a-likes, weigh just a pound or 2 more, but weren't really offered in an offset I was happy with. They could work, but if I was putting up money (I was), I wanted something that I would buy and would work as I wanted to. I was very close to buying these

    5. Real Racing wheels. Ugly as sin, and for the price, pretty heavy. But, they would be custom-made to my exact application.

    6. I stumbled over the Spin Werkes section on Racer Parts Wholesale's website and was fairly certain they were winners. They were less expensive than some of the other realistic options (Panasports, Real Racing), weigh the same or less, look decent (better than the Reals, worse than the Panasports lol), be very strong, and would be made custom to my application. You can ask anyone I've been discussing this with, I flip-flopped a LOT with the decision, but I couldn't justify spending more money and getting less wheel for my dollar.

    Last week these shiny little things showed up:






    Spin Werkes series 82s, 8.4lb each (about 1lb lighter than advertised!) in 13x7, 4" backspace. Hubcentric for the miata, with the Mazda-fitment 60* tapered lug seats with Mazda-fitment 12mm bolt-holes, in 4x100. When I say custom, I mean they can make them pretty much however you want them

    So, after a couple months (without budget) of deliberation, when the budget was there, that's 1 major building block sorted

    For those wondering why a 7" wheel would poke out so far on a miata: we'll eventually be running 9.5" wide cantilever bias-ply slicks (they'll look more or less like this), so you need that room on the inside to prevent any interference with the suspension.

    And to head off the "why only run 7" wheels!?": it's a wheel width limited class. You're allowed to run up to a 7" wheel without penalty. Anything between 7 and 10" incurs a 75lb weight penalty. Since I'm going to be pretty under-powered, I'm going for class-minimum weight if at all possible.




    The next, and biggest phase, will be weight reduction, but it's late and so I'll pick that up tomorrow
    Last edited by aMaff; 02-23-2010 at 03:26 AM.
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  3. #3
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Weight Loss Ideas

    Just for starters...

    The easy stuff:
    -The wheel / tire package will drop about 40 lb total (going from about a 35 lb combo with street tires to about a 25 lb combo with slicks) by itself.
    -Gut the dash (eventually remove it and replace with a light 'cover')
    -Remove all the audio equipment
    -Pull the bumper supports
    -Get the heavy ass stock-type battery out
    -Pull the ballast off of the seats (5 lb total lol),
    -The windshield surround
    -Windshield
    -Side and 'sail' glass
    -Soft top
    -The headlights, motors and hinges
    -A lighter intake
    -Gutting the tail lights to only keep the brake lights (Not a necessity, but if I want to track the car it would probably be for the best)
    -Windshield washer bottle
    -The carbon canister for the evap system (any reason should keep that?)
    -Windshield wipers and motor
    -Inner fender liners
    -Turn signals and the side markers
    -Trim the rear bumper
    -Air bag & stock steering wheel, and airbag sensors / wiring / etc

    The expensive / more difficult / diminishing returns stuff:
    -Fuel tank (replace with a 5 gal fuel cell)
    -Redoing the wiring harness, getting rid of much un-necessary wire
    -lightweight shocks
    -lighter, tubular control arms
    -lighter spindles
    -lighter calipers (wilwood maybe)

    what am I missing?
    Last edited by aMaff; 10-05-2010 at 01:24 AM.
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  4. #4
    Slap and Pickle Shadow102's Avatar

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  5. #5
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  6. #6
    Now, with more Zoom Zoom! TinmanMS6's Avatar

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    Turning it up to 11, huh? That's a long way from 3.

    Edit: Don't think I haven't noticed you slamming the door on any "DP" jokes so far.
    Last edited by TinmanMS6; 02-23-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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  7. #7
    Now, with more Zoom Zoom! TinmanMS6's Avatar

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    If I'm not mistaken (and I very well could be) there is more weight to be saved in rotors than calipers. 2-piece w/aluminum hats and swiss cheesiness, yo!

    Fiberglass? Legal?

    Dammit. Now I'm going to have to make myself minimally aware of the prepared ruleset. All I've ever looked at is XP, because the possibilities are awesome.
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  8. #8
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinmanMS6 View Post
    Turning it up to 11, huh? That's a long way from 3.
    No kidding...
    Quote Originally Posted by TinmanMS6 View Post
    Edit: Don't think I haven't noticed you slamming the door on any "DP" jokes so far.
    hahahaha I've been trying but it's bound to happen. Talk about a cruel joke on Miata and MR2/MR-S drivers...

    Quote Originally Posted by TinmanMS6 View Post
    If I'm not mistaken (and I very well could be) there is more weight to be saved in rotors than calipers. 2-piece w/aluminum hats and swiss cheesiness, yo!
    Not a bad thought, actually

    Quote Originally Posted by TinmanMS6 View Post
    Fiberglass? Legal?
    Fiberglass what? Calipers? Brake rotors? 0.o

    Quote Originally Posted by TinmanMS6 View Post
    Dammit. Now I'm going to have to make myself minimally aware of the prepared ruleset. All I've ever looked at is XP, because the possibilities are awesome.
    Get to readin!
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  9. #9
    Now, with more Zoom Zoom! TinmanMS6's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by aMaff View Post
    Fiberglass what? Calipers? Brake rotors? 0.o
    Haven't gotten to that rulebook yet, but hood (yeah, not much weight, really, but...), fenders, trunk? I don't know what's legal, but I'm pretty sure hood and fenders are at the very least.
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  10. #10
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    yeah, pretty much all of that. The problem is they aren't necessary, and very far in the 'diminishing returns' side of things, so it'll eventually happen, but it'll be a while. I may just get some cheap flares (as opposed to replacement fenders) to start off with
    Last edited by aMaff; 02-23-2010 at 05:53 PM.
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  11. #11
    Now, with more Zoom Zoom! TinmanMS6's Avatar

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    OMG. I'm looking at the rulebook...

    $$$$ $$$$

    Holy engine builds. And suspension. And...

    Are you going to swap to a depowered rack now?

    Holy crap, you basically need to keep your shell and (most of) the block.
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  12. #12
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    lol yeah I know that's right. RE the rack: I've already got a manual steering rack. And yes, they give you plenty of rope to hang yourself (and your wallet) with.
    Last edited by aMaff; 02-23-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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  13. #13
    Now, with more Zoom Zoom! TinmanMS6's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by aMaff View Post
    yeah, pretty much all of that. The problem is they aren't necessary, and very far in the 'diminishing returns' side of things, so it'll eventually happen, but it'll be a while. I may just get some cheap flares (as opposed to replacement fenders) to start off with
    Yeah, there's enough stuff you can do to pull weight out for free that there's not much point in throwing money at it yet. Pull the whole dash and bend up some aluminum to cover it. Yank your bumpers and start cutting whatever's under there. Throw out everything in the engine compartment that's not required to go, stop, or turn. We could go all day here.
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  14. #14
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinmanMS6 View Post
    Yeah, there's enough stuff you can do to pull weight out for free that there's not much point in throwing money at it yet. Pull the whole dash and bend up some aluminum to cover it. Yank your bumpers and start cutting whatever's under there. Throw out everything in the engine compartment that's not required to go, stop, or turn. We could go all day here.
    You did look at my list, right? I'll do the sheetmetal dash once I get a full cage in. Until then, just gutting the stock dash will do (free vs $ )
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    I can't wait to see this build progress! It sounds insanely fun, and cool.

    Details on motor. Higher compression, ITBs, custom exhaust manifold? Tell us more!!

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