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Building My First SM

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#1
Lowlyslows

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Hey all!

 

I am in the research process for building a car. I am new to racing and my main track will be Summit Point. I purchased a very clean 1999 Miata with a LSD differential. Car has 100,000 miles on it but runs really well and has no rust. Original owner kept the car in a garage it's whole life and only drove it on nice days. I picked up the Spec Miata Constructors Manual from Advanced Autosports which has been a great read/guide. I am 6'3" 200lbs

 

I recently purchased a hardtop for the car. I also purchased a mounting kit to bolt the hardtop to the car. The hardtop was ordered new through Mazda but still needs to be built in Japan and shipped. I assume I need to order some Frankenstein bolts to mount it so those will get purchased next after the top arrives.

 

I am planning to use the roll cage kit from Miatacage.com with the upgrade shelf mount kit as well as a floor drop kit (not sure which one yet).

 

Question 1: I need to source a racing seat and with my height I would like as much headroom as possible. What do you guys recommended for a seat? Can I use any seat mount or are they specific to the seat?

 

Question 2: What do you guys recommend for a floor drop kit?

 

 

Thanks!



#2
Dave D.

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Being 6"3' I would recommend an aluminum seat( the thinner material will let the seat get lower) and really like the Kirkey 71 series seat as one of the better bang for the buck seats.

    For floor drops, hands down, Jim Drago's East Street kits fits the best. I have put 15 of these in and each one goes perfectly.


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#3
Lowlyslows

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Thanks for the response! I’ll look into the seat and drop. I do like the halo protection.

#4
Bench Racer

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Part of your research of building a Spec Miata should be going to a track and LOOK, LOOK and LoOK some more. Ask any question which your thoughts are not fulfilled. Ask owner and set in several different Spec Miata/different seats ideally where the drivers are 6 foot plus tall.

Most all Spec Miata owners will share info with you. In general, it's a close nit group and the ideal/goal is to increase driver capability and then have at it on the track.


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#5
Lowlyslows

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Part of your research of building a Spec Miata should be going to a track and LOOK, LOOK and LoOK some more. Ask any question which your thoughts are not fulfilled. Ask owner and set in several different Spec Miata/different seats ideally where the drivers are 6 foot plus tall.
Most all Spec Miata owners will share info with you. In general, it's a close nit group and the ideal/goal is to increase driver capability and then have at it on the track.


Great points! Currently summit is restricting people at the track. I’m in no rush.
Got any SM buddies that are around my build with seat suggestions?

#6
Alberto

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For seat, check this one out at Advanced Autosports

https://www.advanced...eight-halo-seat

Good choice on the shelf mount roll cage.  Really helps with seat clearance and positioning.

 

You can also get your harnesses there.  Whoever does your seat drop may be able to add the proper reinforcements for the harnesses and seat bolts if needed.

https://www.advanced...ollections/seat

And any eye bolts and such

https://www.advanced...dware-eye-bolts

 

Don't forget the hard top mounts and hood pins:

https://www.advanced...ollections/body


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#7
Lowlyslows

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For seat, check this one out at Advanced Autosports

https://www.advanced...eight-halo-seat

Good choice on the shelf mount roll cage.  Really helps with seat clearance and positioning.

 

You can also get your harnesses there.  Whoever does your seat drop may be able to add the proper reinforcements for the harnesses and seat bolts if needed.

https://www.advanced...ollections/seat

And any eye bolts and such

https://www.advanced...dware-eye-bolts

 

Don't forget the hard top mounts and hood pins:

https://www.advanced...ollections/body

 

Thanks for the suggestions! 

 

I will be doing the drop myself. Plan is to get the drop done and install the seat prior to getting the roll cage in. I already got the hard top mount kit. My car didn't come with a top so I need to order some Frankenstein bolts as well. New top will be here sometime before the end of the year.

 

Tomorrow morning I will start removing the interior. If I can figure out how to get pictures to load on this forum (always too big) then I'll show my progess.

 

Thanks



#8
Bench Racer

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Being you doing the floor pan, seat, hard to and then roll cage, you may be able to move the roll cage upper front tube to make the hard top connection bolts happier. Being your doing a miatacage roll cage call Sean Hendrick company owner and ask about room for hard top bolt room.


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#9
Lowlyslows

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Being you doing the floor pan, seat, hard to and then roll cage, you may be able to move the roll cage upper front tube to make the hard top connection bolts happier. Being your doing a miatacage roll cage call Sean Hendrick company owner and ask about room for hard top bolt room.

Great idea! I read they are a pain with the cage is installed. Thanks!



#10
Lowlyslows

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Update: just spent the morning removing the interior of the car. dash is out, all 3 hvac components, carpet, and soft top. I’m following the GCR and the constructors guide. One thing I’m not sure of is: can I remove all plastic interior trim? Is anything other than the dash required to stay when it comes to trim?

Thanks

#11
Rick Worth

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Doesn't the blower assembly and the heater core have to remain? 



#12
Lowlyslows

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Doesn't the blower assembly and the heater core have to remain?


They are going back in. Took them out to get the carpet and rubber mat on the firewall out.

#13
Alberto

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One thing I’m not sure of is: can I remove all plastic interior trim? Is anything other than the dash required to stay when it comes to trim?

 

 

Yep.  Only the dash is required.

 

Regarding the hard top bracket bolts, remember that you don't need to remove the hard top often so don't sweat it too much.  I've removed my hardtop twice in 10 years.


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#14
Lowlyslows

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Copy that on the dash! If I’m reading the GCR correctly, I can remove the cd and cassette player but must leave the hvac controls. I figure that this will be a good spot for additional gauges.

Just finished removing the black mat on the firewall. What a pain! Helped to loosen the clutch pedal assembly nuts(2) in the engine bay. Also helps to unmount the computer so you can see what you’re doing. Then I used a new blade (key) and cut the mat in several sections working it out. Took about an hour.

Next is to purchase some dry ice and remove the sound deadening material on the firewall and floor.

#15
Bench Racer

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When your in there prepping/cleaning remember there are two horizontal tubes which connect from the front down tubes to the structure at the firewall. See miatacage link, scroll down a bit.

 

https://www.miatacag...cage-kits-90-05


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#16
Lowlyslows

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When your in there prepping/cleaning remember there are two horizontal tubes which connect from the front down tubes to the structure at the firewall. See miatacage link, scroll down a bit.

https://www.miatacag...cage-kits-90-05


I see that. Thanks for the tip!

#17
Lowlyslows

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Being 6"3' I would recommend an aluminum seat( the thinner material will let the seat get lower) and really like the Kirkey 71 series seat as one of the better bang for the buck seats.

    For floor drops, hands down, Jim Drago's East Street kits fits the best. I have put 15 of these in and each one goes perfectly.

 

Dave, 

 

What's your opinion with this seat: https://www.ultrashi...iata-halo-seat/

 

I looked at the Kirkey 71 and like it, saw this brand on Advanced Autosports. Thoughts?



#18
Tom Hampton

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I have an earlier version of that seat in my car.  I've been perfectly happy with it.  Its protected me in a couple of solid impacts over the years with no issues.

 

The horizontal flat plat around the halo can interfere with the main hoop in installations for taller drivers....like you.  I'm 5' 11", 143 lbs.  So, I'm a skinny little shit.  

 

ETA: actually, looking more closely at the pix...it looks like they significantly shrunk the flat plate by folding it and reinforcing it.  So, I take it back, it probably fits much better without much risk of interfering with the hoop.  Nevertheless, this is always a primary consideration when fitting a seat to a new car...and bigger drivers have more challenges to work around.

 

I always recommend fitting the seat and the cage at the same time to be sure you can put the seat where you want it (centered and aligned to the steering axis).  The last guy who didn't listen...ended up with a seat that he had to move off-line and off-axis to get the seat in because he "couldn't wait" to start the cage.  

 

 

Dave, 

 

What's your opinion with this seat: https://www.ultrashi...iata-halo-seat/

 

I looked at the Kirkey 71 and like it, saw this brand on Advanced Autosports. Thoughts?


-tch
Build: www.tomhampton.info

video: vimeo.com/tomhampton

Support: X-Factor Racing

 

I didn't lose, I just got outspent!

Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#19
Lowlyslows

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I have an earlier version of that seat in my car.  I've been perfectly happy with it.  Its protected me in a couple of solid impacts over the years with no issues.

 

The horizontal flat plat around the halo can interfere with the main hoop in installations for taller drivers....like you.  I'm 5' 11", 143 lbs.  So, I'm a skinny little shit.  

 

ETA: actually, looking more closely at the pix...it looks like they significantly shrunk the flat plate by folding it and reinforcing it.  So, I take it back, it probably fits much better without much risk of interfering with the hoop.  Nevertheless, this is always a primary consideration when fitting a seat to a new car...and bigger drivers have more challenges to work around.

 

I always recommend fitting the seat and the cage at the same time to be sure you can put the seat where you want it (centered and aligned to the steering axis).  The last guy who didn't listen...ended up with a seat that he had to move off-line and off-axis to get the seat in because he "couldn't wait" to start the cage.  

 

Gotcha! I was going to get the floor pan drop complete and get the seat ordered as well as my helmet. Then, purchase the Miatacage.com roll cage with the shelf mount and start fitting everything in.



#20
Tom Hampton

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Good plan.  I'm sure the shelf mount will help a bunch with seat placement. Miatacage has the most clearance of any of the kits that I'm aware of.  My cage hoop goes to the floor---I also have a different cage.   

 

When I did mine I temporarily clamped my seat into position, and then tacked the hoop, cage sides, and door bars into place...making sure they cleared the seat and halo.  It took a few tries to get things goldilocks and all.  

 

My build is in my sig below.  


-tch
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I didn't lose, I just got outspent!

Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver




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