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#1
markgehrke

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Greetings to All,

 

Just acquired a 1990 NA as my first motorsports project, and am looking forward to building/racing, with SM being the end goal! Thanks again to Dave Stevens for the delivery of the car, really saved me a lot of trouble. I've got plenty of time for the build, and I know there is a lot of info/advice for me to absorb, but I'll do what I can to keep posts in the correct threads. If anyone is near Phoenix, AZ, and has anything to share with me, I'd happily get together for a good conversation! (I'll buy the beers ;))

 

The car has been completely stripped down, repainted, and reassembled with the SM suspension kit installed, and i figure it offers me a good base to learn the components of the car before it ever sees the track. The car is up on stands, and I'm learning how to take apart and reassemble each corner.

 

Since I don't have factory seats (or any for that matter),and cant really get any driving practice, I'm assuming now is the time to put a cage and seats into the car? 

 

One thing that I cant seem to find the answer to, is whether or not I can mount a hardtop to the car. The metal support that connects to the seat belt tower, which included the holes for the hard top mounts, has been cut out. Doesn't look like it can be replaced. Any advice is appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance for all the help, hope to be on track with a well built car very soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2
callumhay

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Welcome to the madness,! I hope you have fun with it. In terms of answering the question about the hard top, I don't know. However it is answerable in context if knowing your goals. It seems to me that you bought the car to learn the mechanical aspect of it and then get it on track...for sure a Miata is the perfect choice. The answer in that context is I'm sure that a cage builder could probably make accommodation for lack of the metal pillar there. Also to answer your question if it pertains to racing in SM class, beginning to look at the rules for SCCA or NASA or whoever you are racing with is necessary. For example a hard top is not required in SCCA, so you can go out and have fun without it...you just won't have a competitive lap time without it. Also if your plan is to make the car compliant, you want to make sure that removing that metal was legal. If it does not say you can, then you can't is the general rule. The SM rules are pretty clear, and for me reading them over and over almost always gives the answer. Maybe these thoughts will help you out. It's not a good idea to build a car that you hope will fall in to SM compliance, again the rules are pretty clear. But it's a great idea to build a Miata to take to the track as a race car, learn some skills and hang with those high dollar cars in the corners.

Have you had any thoughts on the seat? If the car is running it seems that's the only thing holding you back on at least driving the thing?

Cal

#3
Walter Vetter

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The removal of the seat belt towers is not permitted per GCR.
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#4
luvin_the_rings

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Walter is correct, the seat belt towers must be still in the car to race in Spec Miata.  You can probably cut some out of another junk vehicle at a scrap yard and weld them in.  Crazier things have been done. 

 

You can also race in other classes in SCCA like time trials to start, then graduate to ITC or the like.  Their rules are different than Spec Miata and you would be able to race in those classes.  Still lots of good competition there. 

 

You can also ask your cage builder to weld in your seat belt towers.  

 

Make sure you read the General Competition Rules, and don't be afraid to just get out there and start driving ASAP.  Once I got out there and learned a bit, I realized I wasted so much time perfecting small details that didn't really matter at my skill level.  The most important thing is to get out there and start practicing!  Getting it on the track with a safe roll cage and fire suit/proper restraints should be the first priorities. 

 

If you're a friendly guy, and bring beer, we'll help you out with problems that might otherwise take lots of money or lots of time to solve yourself.  USE YOUR RESOURCES!

 

Hope to see you at Chuckwalla for the NASA event, 

 

-Z

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#5
dstevens

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Welcome Mark, good to see you posting.  The towers are still in the car.   The inside of the tub was clearanced for the door bar of the original cage but with a bit of material you can add back where it was shaved.  It's a few inches square on each side.   I made it a point to leave the towers and take out only what was necessary for the cage.  It's a design I got from looking at cage installs for larger drivers.  My plan was to see if I could get the OK to bolt it to the cage at that point rather than using straps.  Otherwise I was going to replace that bit with some sheet and attach it to that.  

 

For stock passenger seat you can try Blake http://isellmiataparts.com or there is an outfit down in your neck of the woods called Miata Mecca.  https://miatamecca.com  I've used both and have been satisfied.  The passenger side (for your DE ride along) still has the stock mounts, it will bolt right in.  You could also get them from someone that's building a car from a stock donor.  The driver floor was flattened for a race seat (I was using a Kirkey) and attached to the previous cage.  There are no long the stock mounting points as the seat cross hump was removed when I installed the previous seat.  Had I not already sold the seat it would have been waaay too big for you.

 

You should be able to do your ride along DE in a street car.   Years ago in race school we used street cars with ride alongs and didn't get into the race cars until after a few sessions.   You'll be going over concepts that are applicable to driving in general and don't necessarily need a race car at the point.  That way you can get your first couple levels of DE going while you finish the car.

 

Have fun, keep us posted.



#6
Danny Steyn

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Hi Mark and welcome to our insane corner of the internet. And welcome to the amazing class of Spec Miata. Hope you will find as much fun in this class as we all do


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#7
Jamz14

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Attaching you cage to those towers isn't legal either.
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#8
dstevens

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He wasn't familiar with the terminology when he said the towers were cut.  The towers are fine.  And no one is talking about attaching the cage to them.   :) The inside skin of the tub is clearanced near the top of the door jam near where the stock points would mount to the inside of the tub.  Regardless of any legality attaching the cage to the towers is a bad idea from a design standpoint.  I know some designs attach to the package tray but I'm not sold on that either.  The more I do off road fab the less inclined I'd be to attach to the tub floor without bolt through backing plates on the bottom of the car.  Though to my knowledge no SM cages have failed by the footings ripping off the floor of the tub.  Anything welded to cab or body panels in off road is verboten.  The trucks are a fair bit heavier and the flips are more violent due to the terrain.

 

On my SM design the bracket would have attached to the cage near the point where the roof would attach to the tub.  I would have used what looks like a 1" thick shaft collar attached to a plate that attaches to the stock holes on the roof.  That's much more robust than using the stock inside mounting points using thin gauge strap or the factory method.  Instead of a radio box or drink holder bracket bolted to the cage think mega bracket attaching the roof to the cage at almost the same point as the stock points.  I swapped messages with one of the NASA guys during the build and was told to do it and let them see it.   

 

He hasn't found a fabricator yet.  If you guys know someone down there (Phoenix) that's reasonable post up and help the brother out.  I'd suggested one of Sean's kits and finding a real fab shop down there.  The one I've done a bit of business with down there was pretty steep on just the install and they're off road guys anyway that rarely do cars.



#9
OrangeCrush86

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#10
davew

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Welcome to the madness. My best advise is learn before you spend. Get a rulebook, available online for free, and read it. Get my book, available online for a small fee, and read it. Then reread the rulebook. Be very carefull on what you do. The basic SM rule is "If it does not say you can, you can not". Just because you think something would be better, cooler, faster, easier, cheaper, does not mean it will be legal. An illegal car is virtually worthless on the resale market.

 

Hope this helps

Dave


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