Wednesday, February 10, 2016

99 Miata - Total Class Prep

The Miata competes in an extremely competitive class (E Street) and even do pretty well with zero modifications.  The car already has most of the major modifications allowed (adjustable shocks, stiffer front sway bar, sticky summer tires) but when you are looking to compete against the best of the best, how do you overcome the competition?  Enter the sport package.
Rear shock/strut on the Miata is the yellow Koni unit, around that is the spring which has been upgraded, and to the left of and parallel to the shock assembly is the little sway bar that curves over to the left and will be soon upgraded.

For my year of the Miata, Mazda offered the Sport package, which upgraded the springs, rear sway bar, and added a front strut tower brace and a couple of cosmetic trim bits. My car is an LS trim level, which has a bunch of convenience and some performance upgrades over a base model, but not all of the performance upgrades possible that were offered with the Sport.
The little trim piece at the bottom of the front end may not add any performance but is key to upgrading the real performance parts for SCCA Street class. Thanks to this blue car, we will soon have one.

Unfortunately the SCCA won't let you just slap on the upgrade parts without converting the car to the full factory package (since this is supposed to be a stock class running cars mostly as they would have come from the factory). This means we not only need to add springs and a sway bar, but also a front strut tower brace, rear wing, and front lip spoiler....oh but not just any parts, specifically the ones that would have been offered on the car in 98/99 (since Mazda and the aftermarket have offered many different variations on these add-ons).
This blue salvage car is also donating it's strut tower brace. The black metal piece that spans over the engine and connects the struts/shocks on each side of the car to (supposedly) stiffen the chassis for better handling.
Major friend of the team, Big Kyle already had donated the springs so we were on the hunt for all the other goodies.  Since 1999 all these parts have only become harder to find with many being out of production.  As luck would have it, within days all the parts were found and are now tracking en route to the NMS South facility from all over the country.

Up next we're on a quest to pick up some ultra-light weight wheels.  Other than lots of seat-time, we think that will be the final biggest performance upgrade on the car to give us the edge in Lincoln later this year.

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