Jump to content
TrackJunkies.Org

Out with the NB, in with the NC


JoshEE

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone,

So I've been on the forum a while but never been super active, I just bought @Hollywood's 2008 NC Miata, and talking to him he convinced me it'd be a good idea to start a build thread if for no other reason that I could look back on where the car started and see the progression.  I've wanted to do a build thread on previous cars but have always been too lazy, so this time I'll try to keep up with it.

A little background on me, I'm 35, I grew up in San Antonio and moved to Austin for college and stayed ever since.  I just moved down to Dripping Springs (just SW of Austin) recently to get a little more space and quiet, as well as a garage upgrade.  My wife and I just had a baby ~5 months ago.

I've been into cars since just after collage when I met a group of friends who was into bikes/cars.  My vehicle history is fairly long, the more interesting ones are... CB750 (cafe racer project), VFR800, 2X '80's 4Runnrers, '83 Bronco, C5 Z06, C6 LS3, E36 M3, LS1 Swapped FC RX-7, GRM $2009 Challenge car with buddies that had a turbo BP, Fiesta ST (current DD), aaaand I think that's it?

I got into track stuff a few years back through a couple of those same friends at a TWS event.  I initially started with the C6 but realized quickly I was in way over my head car capability wise and if I wanted to learn how to drive I needed to get into something with a lower performance ceiling and much lower consumable costs so I could spend that money on track time.  In order to do that I bought a $4k pristine 2001 NB Miata that had been sitting on some dealer lot in Austin for a while.  I enjoyed it stock on the street for about 10 minutes and quickly started buying parts.  I kept it reasonable for a while with just some light safety and reliability stuff and some cheap coilovers and wheels/tires and did a few trackdays (mostly with TDE) to get my bearings.

Once I got fully hooked I started splurging on parts and went basically for a Supermiata S2'ish build (w/o the power) and gutted the interior, halo ultrashield, XIda's, poly bushings all over (with the sweet bronze sadfab kit), RC1's, etc...  At this point I also bought a truck and trailer to be able to push myself further on track, and to be more comfortable in the drives to/from, so I was pretty much all in.

5.thumb.JPG.3ebcf151dc0976e42d293356ad9f9a06.JPG

The car is still in this setup and is a ton of fun, very responsive, neutral, easy to push to the limit and doesn't bite when you go over etc...  But I've basically ruined it for the street and it's track only at this point.  It's also fast as hell in the corners but leaves something to be desired in the straights, and if there's not a Miata in similar state of prep in the run group I'm in it's too slow to play with most other cars.

To fix that issue I piggybacked with my buddy and bought all of the parts to do an Ecotec swap on the car.  I figured this would make the power of the car more closely match it's handling abilities, and let me keep pace with more people during events.

Then it occurred to me I have a horrible track record of actually finishing engine swap projects, and it was very unlikely I would be able to finish it in a reasonable timeframe with a new kid here and a likely second one on the way in the next year or two.  Since the car is also pretty track focused I also won't be able to enjoy it all that much as full weekend events are not something I can realistically do very often for a while, and even if I join H2R to pop down and do shorter events, I don't want to have to screw around with the truck and trailer every.single.time.  And if I'm honest with myself, I just want a new project to do stuff in a way that applies the lessons I've learned from this build.

Enter my grand plan to build the exact same car in a very slightly different shape!

85FA8EB2-8183-4B75-B504-C9B4CF77CB0E.thumb.jpeg.42af114852a3b1ccf77de9af634712d7.jpeg.ffb939d67372e794a2da8d7a28c4ee1d.jpeg

I've been eye'ing NC's for a while now.  There have been some sweet builds from derekyarbrough857, edison_GTI, eflove (let's be real though this one is insane awesome I won't get close to that), Bryan Z. on mt.net, and a ton of building vendor support for the platform (XIDAs!).  I like the combination of a more modern and comfortable interior that I can actually fit a good FIA seat in, a better starting point for power (easy 2.5 swap!), better chassis, blah blah blah.  It just seems like the time is right at the moment for the NC platform to be able to make something that's a great street/track hybrid for not a ton of money.

My plan is to keep the mods reasonable and not go over the edge for the next ~4-5 years so I have something I can enjoy on backroads in the hill country as well as the occasional track outing while kid(s) are still little.  I've already got a parts list together and have started to order some stuff, but I'll have to go into that later as it's time to go feed the baby and get to sleep.  Thanks for reading if you made it this far and I'll try to be sure to update as I make changes to the car.

 

Link to post

I was super tempted by this car for many of the same reasons you chose it...very similar life situations and priorities. Then I went the complete opposite direction, and picked up a full on racecar *facepalm* haha!

 My NB is fun, but I dubbed it the NBeater for a reason! Might be time for a bit more creature comfort...Excited to see where this car goes- happy for you Josh!

Link to post
28 minutes ago, skillman11 said:

The 2.5L swap really transforms the car. Unless you are really handy and have a great memory of where all the bits go, I would pay Dynatronics to do it so you are on the track and not in the shop fixing mistakes like I have been.

I think they're like around ~3400 out the door including parts? Comes with a warranty too. Sounds like an awesome deal TBH.

Link to post
On 12/4/2019 at 10:09 PM, cabowabo said:

Nice! I've been eyeing the NC's myself, great pick up. 

Thanks!

On 12/5/2019 at 6:59 AM, joesurf79 said:

I was super tempted by this car for many of the same reasons you chose it...very similar life situations and priorities. Then I went the complete opposite direction, and picked up a full on racecar *facepalm* haha!

 My NB is fun, but I dubbed it the NBeater for a reason! Might be time for a bit more creature comfort...Excited to see where this car goes- happy for you Josh!

Thanks Joe! You have to stay the course, I'm living vicariously through you.  I think of you as the version of me that isn't lazy ?  I was happy to see you living that Miata life!

source.gif.4e5637b8e419f09d2f76099d07509b71.gif

On 12/5/2019 at 8:41 AM, tyhackman15 said:

Welcome to the NC and Fiesta ST club haha.  We should meet up some time and you can take my 2.5 NC for a spin.  

Haha, an exclusive group for sure ? You still out at H2R?  I'll be out there with a buddy on the 19th, one last track outing in the NB before I start disassembling it to part it out.

 

3 hours ago, skillman11 said:

The 2.5L swap really transforms the car. Unless you are really handy and have a great memory of where all the bits go, I would pay Dynatronics to do it so you are on the track and not in the shop fixing mistakes like I have been.

3 hours ago, Hollywood said:

I think they're like around ~3400 out the door including parts? Comes with a warranty too. Sounds like an awesome deal TBH.

Yep, Dynotronics is the plan when it gets to that point, I'll enjoy the 2.0 for a while though while I get the rest of the car prepped/sorted, adding power will be the last step.  I think @derekyarbrough857 mentioned on a Slip Angle podcast a while back they did his swap for like $5k out the door, that included a fabricated intake manifold and cams.  I'll definitely go that route when it's time, like I mentioned in my first post I have a pretty bad track record when it comes to actually finishing engine swaps.

 

For a quick update on the car, there were some good Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to be had so I've got the following parts on hand or on order to start getting the car ready for track:

  • Sparco Ergo (M) for driver seat, Evo2 for passenger, brackets from PCI, re-use my Schroth Enduro's from the NB
  • Daikei hub adapter, reusing the NRG QR and Sparco 383 from my NB
  • Blackbird Fabworx NC RZ roll bar
  • Comp motor mounts from Goodwin
  • Goodwin triple pass radiator
  • Moroso aluminum expansion tank
  • New tstat also, having an issue that I think is air in the cooling system, might as well replace the tstat in case that's actually the issue while I'm in there
  • New gates HD serpentine belts
  • Fluid update as-needed, Sam already did some of the work here

I hope to get all of the above installed over the Christmas break while I've got a couple of weeks off of work.  Stuff I'll be getting on order soon as cash frees up from parting out the NB:

  • Spindle bushings for additional camber
  • Sways/end links from Goodwin
  • SS brake lines/pads/rotors/goodwin ducts - staying stock brakes for now, thinking G-Loc R10 for front and R8 for rear, I like that combo in the NB, any input here?
  • 17x9's and 245 RS4's - I'm thinking RFP1's, proven lightweight wheels, reasonable cost, has the right offset in a 9 inch.  Main downside is they may not clear the biggest brake kits if I go that route in the future, they'd be fine with the budget brake kit from goodwin though.  Will probably wait to get 10's until off in the future when I upgrade power and want to go 255 RC1's.
  • Oil cooler - Not sure here, goodwin has a kit that looks like it has a solid heat exchanger mounting solution, but I saw there may be issues with an adapter/filter hanging off the stock location, Xero Limit has a kit that's slightly more expensive but fixes that issue.
  • Miata Roadster shifter kit - I emailed and Bill said the NC 6 speed kit is currently in the initial prodcution run, I loved this shifter on my NB so will jump on one for the NC when they're available.
  • Good alignment -  From what I've been reading around 2.5F/2.0R for camber, max out caster, and no toe sounds like a reasonable starting point.  Any input here?

At that point it should be setup well to be safe and reliable on track, but still very street-able.  Anything I'm missing on this list that needs to be addressed on an NC?

Further off plans, probably in order, include:

  • Intake/Header/Exhuast
  • XIDA's - Not out yet, I'll run the Fat Cat setup for a while and wait for initial round of XIDA's to get into peoples hands.
  • RX8 Hubs
  • 255 RC1's
  • 2.5 Swap
  • Hood vents
  • Would love am AIM 1.2 MXS, but it's definitely a luxury purchase

 

Link to post
On 12/9/2019 at 12:55 PM, JoshEE said:

I hope to get all of the above installed over the Christmas break while I've got a couple of weeks off of work.  Stuff I'll be getting on order soon as cash frees up from parting out the NB:

  • Spindle bushings for additional camber
  • Sways/end links from Goodwin
  • SS brake lines/pads/rotors/goodwin ducts - staying stock brakes for now, thinking G-Loc R10 for front and R8 for rear, I like that combo in the NB, any input here?
  • 17x9's and 245 RS4's - I'm thinking RFP1's, proven lightweight wheels, reasonable cost, has the right offset in a 9 inch.  Main downside is they may not clear the biggest brake kits if I go that route in the future, they'd be fine with the budget brake kit from goodwin though.  Will probably wait to get 10's until off in the future when I upgrade power and want to go 255 RC1's.
  • Oil cooler - Not sure here, goodwin has a kit that looks like it has a solid heat exchanger mounting solution, but I saw there may be issues with an adapter/filter hanging off the stock location, Xero Limit has a kit that's slightly more expensive but fixes that issue.
  • Miata Roadster shifter kit - I emailed and Bill said the NC 6 speed kit is currently in the initial prodcution run, I loved this shifter on my NB so will jump on one for the NC when they're available.
  • Good alignment -  From what I've been reading around 2.5F/2.0R for camber, max out caster, and no toe sounds like a reasonable starting point.  Any input here?

More camber! I'm at -3.5F can't recall the rest, but I can shoot you a shot of my specs if you'd like.

 

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

Alright I knew I'd be terrible making updates, finally getting around to it a month and a half later after a little less progress than I'd like.

I installed the Sparco Ergo driver seat, Sprint passenger seat (there was a slight change of plans), 383 steering wheel, got all the airbag light defeat crap in, and put in an android auto head unit since I realized how great it is having that available after getting the FiST.

Getting the Ergo in was pretty straight forward, just time consuming taking it in/out a bunch to get the position right.  The NC definitely has more room for a drivers seat than the NB did, the Ergo is nice and centered and feels great in the car.  It is just slightly higher than I'd like, mostly because of the cushion thickness.  The back/bottom cushion is all one piece so I need to cut it into two so I can pull just the bottom piece for track duty.

I ended up returning the Evo2 as it was the new QRT version which has offset side mounting surfaces and requires a special side mount bracket and wouldn't work with the PCI brackets.  The shoulder dims must also be a little different than previous as there wasn't a chance it was going to clear the door panel, yet I had seen people with Evo2 and Evo2 US's in NC's over on MT.net clear just fine.  I'll just throw in my old Sprint for track days where I know I'll have passengers, otherwise I'll keep the stock seat in there so on the street the passenger is comfortable and has all of the safety devices functional.

Steering wheel install was straight forward, as was all of the stuff needed for the airbag light.  Head unit was also easy to install and I'm pretty impressed with the quality of the mounting kit, the plastic texture and gloss is almost identical to the stock piece.

Pics of the setup, note the tight clearance on the Ergo to the convertible top door seal and support bar.

IMG_20200126_113745.thumb.jpg.f338caca3f598d25b383ab1c0b8f29b2.jpg

IMG_20200126_113738.thumb.jpg.c1a2d3866917cb32e53af322f9b250d9.jpg

IMG_20200126_113721.thumb.jpg.653867b0857a3cd4f2fb72461b4d806b.jpg

The BBFW roll bar still hasn't arrived, they were overwhelmed by orders when they had their new years sale so have been slow catching up.  I'm not really in a hurry, but unfortunately haven't really been able to drive the car more than a quick run around the block since the 3 point harness won't work with the Ergo in, and I don't have shoulder harnesses until I get the roll bar in.  Hopefully it'll get here soon.

I'm also still waiting on getting the rad/overflow tank/tstat and motor mounts in, I ended up taking what time I had over Christmas to tear down the NB to get the parts up for sale.  Lucked out that a buddy bought the shell along with a bunch of parts which made it easy on me, I have listed the rest for sale here.

Bonus 4x4 miata pic after my buddy and I pulled the drivetrain and threw on some bilsteins he had from a lifted miata he bought.  I'll miss this car!

image-20200111_085845.thumb.jpg.f4de6ebe9fce0ace273e43b6b207905f.jpg

Link to post
  • 3 months later...
On 5/26/2020 at 10:19 PM, Hollywood said:

Any updates @JoshEE?

Sadly not a lot of progress here, I've been halfway through the roll bar install for about two months now.  Hard to find the motivation when actually getting on track seems so far away with all the stuff going on.

Also my time and funds were redirected to this:

image.thumb.png.461d44447fe15f70c887541aae2de169.png

I figured since I'll be at home so much for the foreseeable future (not going back to the office until Sept if at all during 2020) it made sense to put efforts towards something I'd be able to use a little bit more often.

Once I get my VVT motor and ecotec + swap kit sold it'll give me the kick in the pants to get the rest of the parts on order and finish up the first stage of the build.

Link to post
×
×
  • Create New...