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#1
exninja

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Hi Everyone! I just created an account and thought I'd introduce myself. My name's Eric from Arizona and I'm a Mechanical Engineer. My family's always enjoyed cars and racing, and I'm no exception. I bought an Integra (awesome car) when I started college and later thought that I'd eventually turn that into a track car. When I graduated college three years ago I bought myself an '09 Cobalt SS (awesomer car). I gave wifey the integra to drive since her older car was falling apart. I now graduated with my master's and have a good job so we bought a Tiguan (still evaluating) for the wife cuz she wanted something bigger. That freed up the Integra. I went to my first track day with ProAutoSports in January, where my uncle tracks a street car uncompetitively. They have a small group of "Street Stock Miatas" which my instructor happened to lead. That was my first passive intro to SM. Now that building a track car was actually doable, I thought about it and it seemed that selling the Integra would be the best move since it had leather, a moon roof, working A/C, etc. I figured I could buy something else that didn't have the bells and whistles that I'd end up tossing or selling and use the excess to buy performance parts. After looking around I think that going with a Miata would be the best option. So here I am!

The benefits that I see for going into SM are that I can race the same car in 2-3 organizations with good parity. I don't expect to become a contender for any championships or anything, but I want to be able to have scheduling options. Everything I've read says that SM is the cheapest route to get into w2w racing.

My plan is to buy a car and build up to a Spec Miata over time. I only have the one driving class at ProAutoSports under my belt so I'll need to spend some time warning a license. I figure I can get a Miata and put the SM suspension in and start driving that in HPDE events while building up the car. I want to build my own because that's half the fun and I want to buy the car over time.

Where did you find your donor cars? I'd like to buy one with an engine that still has some life in it so that I can just swap out the suspension and go. Seems like people are very proud of their Miatas on Craigslist right now compared to the KBB.

I look forward to spending plenty of time here. Yes, I'll find Dave Wheeler's book;)

#2
Tom Hampton

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Welcome.

Craigs list is where I bought mine.

-tch
Build: www.tomhampton.info

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I didn't lose, I just got outspent!

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#3
James York

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Welcome,

A lot of people constantly watch craigslist, classified and internet retail pages for that donor you seek. Sometimes you can get lucky. Another option is to find someone with a dealer license that can watch the auto auctions. Like you have seen, some people really like their cars so finding something you want may take some time and patience.

You may also check the classifieds here. While you don't get the satisfaction or learning of building the car yourself, you might find a ride for less than you could do it yourself.

James York


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Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA

powered by:
East Street Racing, Memphis TN


2003 Spec Miata
#03

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#4
exninja

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I got a car! It's a '91.
Posted Image

There's plenty of maintenance to do on it, but it runs so I'm happy with it. It needs motor mounts for sure, which brings up a question:

I've seen a post that quoted the GCR that the Mazdaspeed motor mounts are allowed specifically, but I do not see that now. Are they no longer allowed, or do they count as offered for sale by Mazda so they are legal per the third paragraph of section C in 9.1.8? Thanks!

#5
exninja

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I've been doing a little to the car since I've gotten it. Pretty slow since I don't have a large amount of time. I've started by doing the normal maintenance that I have to assume hasn't been done.
Posted Image
Looks like for the most part my assumption is correct. The timing belt was tearing on the motor side, must have been rubbing on something. the water pump actually doesn't look TOO bad...
Posted Image
But it gets replaced anyways. When I was taking the rad out I just barely touched a water hose and this happened:
Posted Image
So I bought a new Thermostat housing. I figured by the nasty vibrations on the drive home that the motor mounts were shot.
Posted Image
Replaced those yesterday. That's all for now.

#6
William Bonsell

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Welcome and nice to know you will not have to deal with the type of weather we deal with in the Pacific Northwest. I will take exception with one comment you made and that pertains to SM being the cheapest route to W2W racing. That is hardly accurate. There are numerous cars which can be had for under $5K that you can race immediately...RX7's, Dodge Neons, VW Rabbits, and even an Acura Integra. As my son went the route you are apparently going to go and build your own Spec Miata, be prepared to spend upwards of $12,000 minimum to get a reliable, safe mid pack car. I suspect his total build cost including wheels, tires, safety equipment, etc is close to $15,000 including the $2500 donor car with 83K on the odometer and a hardtop.

And of course there are a number of SM's for sale in the $8,000-12,000 that would serve a new regional racer well. That is the route I went. Don't worry about all the go fast stuff right off the bat. There is no substitute for seat time. The art of learning how to drive these very capable race cars takes time and is much more important that whether someone next to you has a few more hp.

Good luck and, above all, have fun!!

Bill-
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#7
Todd Tagget

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Welcome!!! You're on the right track, there are a number of us who are just a few months ahead of you...
I don't want to differ with William but you can do a bit cheaper.. I paid $1200 for my donor, $600 for my hardtop,, picked up a spare engine/tranny for $350..
I'm still well under $10k on my project...
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#8
Alberto

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Nice. Looks like the typical donor car.

Keep the progress going.
Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#9
Stephanie Andersen

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Don't forget to get that thing out and get some lap times, even if it is just autocross. The parts support that Mazda gives us is great, you need two sets of race results per season to get the nice discount.
Stephanie Andersen
Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs and Milwaukee Region SCCA/Cen Div
SM #138



Buy some parts so I can go racing!
ISellMiataParts.com

#10
Michael Colangelo

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I will take exception with one comment you made and that pertains to SM being the cheapest route to W2W racing. That is hardly accurate. There are numerous cars which can be had for under $5K that you can race immediately...RX7's, Dodge Neons, VW Rabbits, and even an Acura Integra.


+1

Spec Miatas are great cars and make for good racing, but race ready and competitive ITA cars can be bought much cheaper than a comparable Spec Miata. Mid-pack ITA car: $5k-$6k, mid-pack SM: $8k-10k.

I currently own a Spec Miata and a Honda Civic ITA car, so I've got both ends covered. ;)

In any case, welcome and good luck!
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#11
exninja

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She's running again. I buttoned everything up from the TB/gasket replacements. I also found this guy stuffed in the intake when I was putting it back together:
tornado-1.jpg
I didn't know people actually bought those things.



#12
exninja

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Hey everyone!  It's been a while since my last update.  I have to confess, much of the reason that I bought the Miata when I did is because our first baby was on the way and if I didn't get the car then, who knows if I'd ever get it!

 

Anyways, since the last update it passed emissions and I drove it once in a while.  It didn't start once, which I attributed to a weak battery at the time.  Coincidentally I charged the battery and it started the next time I tried.  But then it refused to start again so I've parked it since.  I'm going to try cleaning the ignition switch first.

 

I've also been rethinking what I want to do with the car.  I'm straying away from the SM route and going towards building an Exomotive Exocet.  I'm thinking that this is more of the kind of build that I want to do, and the final product that I want to have.  It'll still be a Mazda-powered racer so it qualifies for the site, right????  I also made a GoFundMe page to try to get random people to just throw their money at me.  I figure that if people will give money to lazy 21-year-olds to play video games and buy beer then they'll also give money to a reasonably successful mechanical engineer to build a tube frame car.  Perfectly reasonable in my head.  Link is in my signature:)



#13
Ron Alan

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Old thread...to bad you didnt revive it a month ago! There was a exocet chassis in the bay area for months and the guy finally  gave it away practically. It was built and running with a 99 motor i believe minus the body parts(installed)for $6k. He had no takers, His last advertised price was $2000 for the frame.


Ron

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2016 NASA 25HR E3 Champion(Car owner)

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#14
exninja

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Old thread...to bad you didnt revive it a month ago! There was a exocet chassis in the bay area for months and the guy finally  gave it away practically. It was built and running with a 99 motor i believe minus the body parts(installed). My guess is he finally sold it for $3-$4k?

 

Efffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

 

If anyone out there sees something similar come up somewhere and that thought of "seems like someone I know might want one of these..." then that person is me and maybe you'll remember to point me that way:)

 

I've got quite a while (I figure 18 months-2 years) before I come up with all of the money for this.  Lots of honeydo's around the house that this has to compete with, not the least of which is a yard landscape revamp:(



#15
Ron Alan

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Went back and looked at the thread...edited my first post


Ron

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2015 NASA 25HR E3 Champion(Car owner)

2016 NASA 25HR E3 Champion(Car owner)

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Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver





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