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Old 11-05-2014, 06:45 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about this Brad but you will have er up and running in no time! You ever considered doing a slight tint/smoke on the taillights? Just have a body shop put some black in a clear and shoot them, it will keep them from hazing in the future and I think it would look really good.
I actually ran tinted stock tails for a while and decided I liked the black bezel with clear tails, which is why I replaced the stock tails. No plans to tint the aftermarket lights UNLESS they start hazing and I have to cover up the defect.

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Hope you get her all sorted.

When you do, some Zeromotive rear canards would go great with your other aero.
I actually looked at those canards for my last Miata and for a while I thought I might give them a shot. Turns out I have full side skirts left over from my Wizdom body kit (never installed) and I decided I would try to modify them into something LIKE the Zeromotives. It would take a lot of trimming and some fiberglass work but doing it that way would make it custom - so I can blend them with both the flares and the body. Not there yet on this car but on the list for a future project. There definitely is quite a bit of wheel overhang because of the crazy offset - I'd like aero for both the dynamic benefit PLUS the protection of the rocker panel. Might even line the side facing the wheel with aluminum since it's sure to get road debris abuse.

--------------

Last night I got the car up on jackstands and removed the front wheels, supercharger intake pipe, supercharger belt, alternator belt, COP setup and valve cover. Tonight I'll try to remove the undertray & sway bar before removing the SuperMiata crank damper pulley and lower timing cover. At that point I should hopefully see the problem.

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Old 11-06-2014, 02:04 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:42 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Using the facilities at lunch time to check a squeak - I'm still working on the Timing belt job!





Pretty sure this is the first Miata on a lift in my shop. Had to use a floor jack to lift it enough to get it onto the shop lift.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:02 PM   #64 (permalink)
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You work on "Italian stallions" for a living, im so green with envy right now. I thought you worked in aviation, Brad? I mean I know Ferrari's "fly" but.....
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:14 PM   #65 (permalink)
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You work on "Italian stallions" for a living, im so green with envy right now. I thought you worked in aviation, Brad? I mean I know Ferrari's "fly" but.....
I worked for Boeing, contracted to NASA from 1996 to 2012. Two years ago I decided I wanted to get out of the Texas heat and get into the automotive industry as my next career path. Moved to Southern California and got a job here at FastCarsLTD as the Operations manager. We specialize in Ferrari but see Lamborghini, Masarati, the odd Lotus, Mercedes, Alpha's, Jags... and have all the facilities to do all service work and most of the restoration work ourselves. We have one or two entries into the Pebble Beach concours every year - took 3rd this year for a white 59 Pegaso.

---------------------

Phee is back in action. I tore everything down and found the crank pulley had stripped the teeth off the timing belt, about 15 of them, all in a row.



Cleaned up the front of the motor, installed a new red IL Motorsports timing belt, new lower and mid timing covers and a new crank bolt. Everything went back together pretty easily after getting the crank and cams timed correctly. Gotta admit, the FM ninja tool made things easier- won't do another timing belt change without it. She started right up and idles as smooth as ever. Can't wait to hit the canyons in the morning.

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Old 11-12-2014, 02:16 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Took Phee up to Supercar Sunday and a light canyon drive before and after. She's purring as nicely as ever but with the new wheels and sticky tires.

Ordered up a completely custom set of gauges from revlimiter - can't wait to see how those turn out. Got a spare cluster from the wreck and I have taken it apart, cleaned up each component and will install it into the car after it's complete.

Also got a couple pieces of leather interior trim from Redline Goods. Thinking just one or two more pieces is all I need to finish out the interior. Biggest change will be the center console. I've already covered the tombstone and want to cover the aging plastic running down the center of the car. Once again - having a spare center console is nice.

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Old 11-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see the gauges! You should consider doing a couple extra things that I think will really make any set of gauges have a little more pop:

1)shave the needles down to make them thinner, which when viewed by themselves its not as obvious but when you compare them to stock ones it is but even to the discerning eye it is still noticeable.

2) color the needle tips or needles to go with the color scheme or other aux gauges

3)cut off the rear part of the needle on the speedometer and tachometer for a more uniform look to the other needles.

Example, mine:

vs stock(thanks to Revlimiter for pic)


With the two pics you can see the difference in needle thickness and i mostly did this to match the aux. gauges and why I painted the tips red to match the Westach aux. gauges I am using, like so:

but come to find out the tips on the Westach gauges are safety orange(just doesn't show in pics very well) so I plan on doing another set of needles and removing the back side of the speedometer and tachometer needles.

Just a couple ideas, either way I'm sure yours will turn out great like everything else you have done so far! Sorry for dumping pics on your thread but I figured a visual aid would be helpful.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:18 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Thanks for the ideas! I've been lusting after a KG works cluster since I bought my Miata but decided I could put something together less expensive and more unique.

My interior seems to be polarizing; people either love it or hate it. I'm on the lover's side, so I'm thinking the gauges will be keeping a similar theme with the interior. I've got trim rings and have considered the needle caps to match. All my lighting behind the cluster is white or red. The whole panel glows with red light at night and the needles appear red because of that. Daytime they look white - like the tick marks on the gauges. I like the difference between the night/day appearance. So many of revlimiter's examples have such a great visual impact from day to night. Can't wait to see mine in action.

My starting point:



I've also covered the hood with Redline Goods leather trim and I have removed the clear plastic from the front. Might look for the individual gauge lenses as some point.

Not a whole lot to work on besides getting axles for my LSD/ABS car. Once that happens and I complete the install, she's track ready. Tentatively going on the 22nd to Willow Springs.

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Old 11-21-2014, 06:15 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Got my brand new Revlimiter gauges designed and ordered - they are on the way from NewMexico as we speak. Better than I ever envisioned - they have a Phoenix graphic on the tach and they are quite simple in terms of markings. Just as soon as I can, they will be installed into Phee. Can't wait.



I drove Phee to work today and after a few tweaks this evening, I'm going to try for Cars & Coffee in Irvine tomorrow morning. She's fun to drive - I wish my commute was longer.

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Old 11-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #70 (permalink)
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kicking myself for not buying the red timing belt! DOH!
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Got my brand new Revlimiter gauges designed and ordered - they are on the way from NewMexico as we speak. Better than I ever envisioned - they have a Phoenix graphic on the tach and they are quite simple in terms of markings. Just as soon as I can, they will be installed into Phee. Can't wait.

I drove Phee to work today and after a few tweaks this evening, I'm going to try for Cars & Coffee in Irvine tomorrow morning. She's fun to drive - I wish my commute was longer.
Awesome! That's crazy coincidence because I was originally thinking about using a Phoenix for the Warbird theme so I am excited to see how yours turned out! I honestly never get tired of seeing Adam's gauges and they honestly keep getting better so one day I might have to do a revision of sorts. I still can't believe how fast you swapped everything over!
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:12 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Cars & Coffee Irvine a couple weeks ago.





Last time I drove Phee, she stalled out when I came to a stop three times on my way home from the Canyons.

To me that indicates a vacuum leak and so I decided to take a look this weekend. Almost immediately I found I had popped a clamp on the charge pipes. Hooked it back up and the stall is gone. Glad it was an easy one.

Since I was in the engine bay poking around I decided to install the TrackDog header heat shield. It's a little tighter fit than I had envisioned.



In this photo you may notice the hood has been removed.



Looking at a vented CF replacement - leaning towards the ViS invader hood.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:40 PM   #73 (permalink)
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I went ahead and decided on my replacement hood and pulled the trigger on several supporting parts. Picked up some used hinges off eBay for $20 shipped. Got the Cobalt gas shock hood lift kit from Moss and I ordered the ViS invader Carbon Fiber vented hood. Is it a little rice? YES and I love it. I'm actually considering having the hood painted but no matter what Im going to install it first and run it au natural for a while. It arrives this week but I'm short on time for installation - will probably get installed next week.

I'm also considering removing the track dog splitter. I'm not thrilled with the fitment because of the flares and low offset wheels - it's too narrow. Think I really need to do something more custom... and robust. I'm just not a fan of how thin & flimsy the splitter is. In talking to some race guys, they actually suggest that I make a splitter out of plywood and after I get the shape dialed in, I can have it wrapped in fiberglass or Carbon Fiber, then painted or coated.

I'd like to combine that piece of hardware with a flat under-tray for the nose of the car, so that I can use it as a base to seal in the radiator/intercooler stack with some decent ducting. Ambitious projects I know - but I know and have access to shops that have the right equipment needed so a little time is all I really need to dedicate.

Drove the Malibu canyons yesterday morning. Once again, my favorite part of the week. Sitting at the base of Topanga at sunrise - looking backward towards the beach.



On the way to drive a canyon a little further north - shot of PCH.



Phee ran very well. Pushed a little harder through the drive this time - nothing out of the ordinary. Very minor slides on a couple of very tight decreasing radius turns but I made it a point to stay in 3rd gear for most of the drive. Never downshifted unless first upshifting to fourth on some straights.

I have also raised the suspension in the rear by about 5mm over the course of a couple weeks - small adjustments. On hard cornering I would actually rub the left rear flare with the tire (but not the right side?). Raising it seems to have solved that contact problem. The wheel gap is actually pretty even front to rear now. I think it had a bit of a reverse rake after installing the wheels/flares initially. I might even raise the front just a tiny bit.

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Old 12-10-2014, 10:14 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Box arrived unblemished and I was happy with how it was wrapped.







Looking forward to mounting it but I have to remove the front fenders in order to change out the hinges so I need a few hours.


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Old 12-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #75 (permalink)
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You got a new hood as well? I'm having mine painted as we speak. What are you buying next so I can buy the NB version of it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:50 PM   #76 (permalink)
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I miss driving the roads out from Calabasas to Malibu.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:33 PM   #77 (permalink)
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You got a new hood as well? I'm having mine painted as we speak. What are you buying next so I can buy the NB version of it.

Freaking hilarious- I saw yours in your thread and thought NO WAY! Like you said though- NB version!

Next? FM butterfly brace, I think. Already have the frame rail reinforcements but they are not yet installed.

I also have the gauge cluster, some interior trim and the Torsen install on the to-do list. Need to wait on the butterfly brace till after the Torsen so I'm not unbolting recent installs.






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Old 12-16-2014, 09:34 PM   #78 (permalink)
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I finished up the install last night... And it rained all day today. Had to drive to work and park outside so I covered the vent with some vinyl wrap.

The install was a little more involved because I swapped out the hinges too- which means the fenders had to come off part way. After bolting it loosely to the hinges it latched right away. I adjusted the gaps and tightened the nuts. Adjusted the headlight covers to be flush with the hood, bumper and fenders. Right out of the box fitment.



Just a little adjustment of the bumper needed to close the front gap but I'm pretty happy with it. It's a little more intense than I thought it would be but I like the vent location as compared to other options out there. As far front and center as possible.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:13 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Looking good. I have the stock nb butter fly brace so I'm skipping that. After I get my oil cooler and catch can set up going I'm going to focus finishing my intake manifold. I'm hacking up a 99 intake manifold and going to try something with vics to see if I can pick up some torque. After that I was going to start look at chassis stiffening. I'm thinking door bars, fender braces and a rear diff brace.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:20 PM   #80 (permalink)
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I came in this thread because of Adam's post about your gauges. Nice work.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I came in this thread because of Adam's post about your gauges. Nice work.
Did my own rings - nothing permanent yet - just feeling out some combos.

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Old 12-18-2014, 06:59 PM   #82 (permalink)
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You definitely have a good build going on!
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:16 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Cars and coffee Irvine- went early and almost didn't make it in to the lot. Apparently this was the last one until a new venue can be found. Really too bad - this was one of the reasons I love living in Southern California.



And then Supercar Sunday after a canyon run on Sunday.



I like the CF bling for now. The car will probably look pretty sweet without the hard top. At some point I do think I will have the hood painted, maybe with just an exposed CF accent or maybe a stripe or something. Not sure yet - I need to let the idea percolate.

Still working out a way to mount the gas shock to the hood - bought some aluminum stock to make some brackets as well as some sheet aluminum for some custom ducting and/or wheel well gaurds. Where the fenders have been cut there is now an open area that extends inside the fender to the door. It collects rocks and dirt.

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Old 12-27-2014, 01:16 PM   #84 (permalink)
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One of the first projects I knocked out as soon as the holiday vacation started were the aluminum wheel well liners. It took a while to get the right shape. I made a cardboard template (actually I made three different ones) and kept trimming it until it fit like I wanted it to. Then I traced that template onto the sheet aluminum and cut it out with some shears. Two simple L brackets are attached to the backs of two of the bolts that secure the fender flares to the fender, so I didn't have to drill any new holes in anything. After getting them mounted, I used a mallet to form the metal around the irregular shapes in the wheel well.

Here is a shot of the passenger side.



I used underbody coating while mounted.



With the wheel mounted you can't tell there is anything modified (besides the fenders and the crazy offset wheels). Already went for a couple of short drives with them installed and it's awesome that I don't hear gravel kicking up inside the fender.

I also added some ducting between the bumper and the stock under-tray, directly underneath the intercooler and radiator stack. Up till yesterday it was open air - anything coming through the bumper could spill down and under the radiator stack. Now it's enclosed the entire width of the radiator all the way forward. Next I'll take a look at making something to box in the sides of the stack. It will be much more complicated because of the intercooler piping and ABS hydraulics & wiring in the way but maybe I can figure out something. I took a look at making an airbox for the filter as well but it is really packed in there. A box would enclose a very small area and I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.

I also finished up the new hood install with a pair of RSpeed gas shock hood raises. Couldn't use the setup I had on the OEM hood because the attachment points require attaching a bracket to the hood. The RSpeed kit uses a fender bolt and a hinge bolt as attachment points so I don't have to mount anything to the fiberglass hood subframe. Love how it's on both sides as compared to the single just for the sake of symmetry.



Close up so you can see the attachment points. Really elegant solution if you ask me - pleased with the quality of this kit... assuming it lasts!



Planning on some canyon runs and maybe visiting Supercar Sunday tomorrow.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:53 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Currently attacking the differential install - finally.

The information I had on my existing diff was right but incomplete. The Torsen I have from the donor car came with the two piece axles. A stub/flange installs into the pumpkin and then the axle bolts to the flange. Apparently after only a couple years of production, the, "two piece axle" went away and was replaced by the one piece - direct fit swap. I picked up what I needed and swapped out the driveshaft, differential and axles.



A few weeks back I popped an E-brake cable on the Wilwood rear calipers. This is the second time I have popped a cable and replacing the cable is kind of a PITA because it's above the driveshaft. Getting both hands in the right place while avoiding the exhaust, driveshaft and PPF is tough, especially because the Ebrake parts are small. Instead of getting a replacement cable from Flyin Miata like I did the first time I broke the cable, I had a guy at work weld on the end crimp rather than soldering it like the factory did. We had to replace the little end piece but found it on McMaster Carr. This part should no longer be the weak link in the system. While I had the differential and driveshaft out, I swapped out both the Ebrake cables with my welded ones. FM actually has a permanent fix for this issue but I wanted to see if my way works too.

Next I was thinking I would install the FM frame rail reinforcements and I have been considering the butterfly brace (BFB). I've read up on the install and if I do decide on the BFB, I really need to do the frame rails at the same time so I can get everything lined up before drilling holes in the car. I'm not there yet because I think I have a couple other things in line to get done first.

One of those things is some additional tuning that will be done when I remove the rising rate fuel pressure regulator from the system and bump up the fuel pressure on the 5x adjustable. Also some O2 feedback tuning to tighten up the throttle transitions. That should be only a couple days of work once started so I just need to decide when to get into it.

Oh and I saw this on a car and liked it enough that I googled it and bought one for myself.


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Old 01-16-2015, 12:29 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Got a bunch done over the last week. Finally finished up the Torsen install - everything went pretty smoothly. Got the stubs out without much drama, and the old axles only a little stubborn coming out of the hubs. She's working like I remember in my last Miata... since the diff actually came out of my last Miata!

Since I bought the car last year I also have had an intermittent slow start. I replaced the ignition switch a few months ago and the problem seemed to subside for a few days. Then it came back and has been pretty constant. Sometimes I get erratic voltage at the starter and it took a few tries to get it started but it always did start. Anyway I decided to figure it out once and for all. I hate throwing parts at things but I swapped out both the battery and the starter yesterday and now everything seems fine. Starter was a little PITA but it's not the first time I've done the starter. She sounds totally different than my last starter. Gonna have to get used to it. So far she has started right up the first try every time. I think it's sorted.

Picked up a set of Rotas with a different offset than my Volks. Exact same size and tire, different color and this is a +0 offset.



Unfortunately, these have a slightly different backspacing than my Volks and they interfere with the calipers, right where the wheel slopes away from the mating surface (against the hub). Since the price was right on the wheels/tires and the NT01s on these are good enough for a few more track days, I'm going to mill out clearance from the wheel using the machine shop at work. It won't be much, but it needs a small step to miss the inside edge of the caliper. Future project I guess. Interested because I think these will actually allow me to go a little lower.

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Old 01-19-2015, 05:23 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Yesterday I got back out into the canyons for the first time since the differential was installed. Ran with a 2014 Boss 302, a 2014 BMW M4 and a 2015 M3 turbo. I had no problems keeping up all morning. I was definitely ringing out the motor in second and sometimes third gear but rarely shifted into fourth even when the straight would have allowed it. She's LOUD in some parts of the canyon.

I hadn't really planned to push the car too hard - I wanted to make sure everything sounded and felt right after swapping out the back half of the drivetrain. But my buddies didn't really give me the option. We went faster than I wanted to go but not more than I was comfortable. Everything went very well - nothing at all unexpected, no strange noises, no sensor warnings, no rubbing I could hear and nothing leaking after the 2 hour run.

Got out just to take in the view for a minute.



As far as I'm concerned, Phee is ready for a track day. There isn't anything I would change about the setup except I might install the frame rail reinforcements I already have and get an alignment since that hasn't been done since the flare install.

Stopped by Supercar Sunday after the run and the car was SO dirty from the canyons. You couldnt even tell I detailed it Friday. Oh well. I'm not sorry.
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:21 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Default Re: Meet Phee

Another wash and another sunday canyon run with the top off for the first time this season. Think I'll leave it off for a while. Early morning was a little chilly but I expected that and layered up. Had to wear gloves until the sun warmed things up a little.

Once again Phee ate up the canyons without a flaw. If fact, each time I drive her things seem to be getting better? Fewer squeaks and rattles - she seems to be settling in a bit. I think the Torsen swap actually made the car significantly quieter - even though I kept the poly differential bushings. I didn't realize how loud the open diff was, mostly on deceleration and a constant whine on the highway. Both those things are gone now with the Torsen installed. I was ready to go back to OEM differential bushings to get rid of the NVH but now it seems I don't need to. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

You'd think my wheels are all gunmetal...



But you would be wrong. Just brake dust.



I picked up the FM lightweight flywheel and need to find an excuse to install it - probably during installation of the frame rail reinforcements since I have to get the car up in the air for a few days.

I'm still debating on and off about additional bracing. Right now I only have a front and rear strut tower brace with a tow hitch/brace. Along with the frame rail reinforcements and the roll bar, that's all my last Miata had in terms of stiffening. I have been thinking I could add the butterfly brace, fender braces and door bars to finish out stiffening. Just not sure if the money, time/effort and benefit all justify each other, which is why I have not pulled the trigger yet. Besides stiffening I feel like all these parts provide a little more protection to me the driver in any kind of impact. The only negative might be making things a little more difficult for myself when I have to do any kind of maintenance or work that requires removing the braces. Door bars could make getting in and out more of a pain. The debate continues.

Last edited by jumbosrule; 02-04-2015 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:07 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Default It's the little things...

I know I've been guilty of doing things just for the bling and this is just one more time, I guess. A while back I bought a full set of silver billet fender washers off ebay. I put them everywhere I could find a spot in Phee - fenders, cowl cover, Valve cover, on the headlight covers, radiator shroud, etc...

Loved it. still do. But I also purchased a full set of red billet fender washers for a different car. After installing all of them on THAT car I decided it would look so much better in Silver, while the red would probably look better in Phee. So two hours later the swap had been made. As my wife calls it - jewlery for Phee. But hey, they ARE functional! I trashed all the bolts that came with the washers and replaced them with 10.9 bolts, black nitride. I did keep SOME of the silver washers in Phee's bay so that they didn't clash with the valve cover or against the coolant overflow reservoir. I like the balance.

Phee's engine bay!

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Old 02-11-2015, 04:37 PM   #90 (permalink)
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