2014-2015 Off Season Upgrades

First up, the engine… What started out as concern for the sustained well being of my stock valve springs ended with me installing ported ls6 heads, with some nice stiff springs that shouldn’t be phased by what I subject them to, and a more aggressive cam. The lift on my cam isn’t particularly high, a decision I made for reliability, however the duration and overlap have gone up drastically. It’s now a full embodiment of of the things that people who hate v8’s hate about v8’s. Loud, lopey, and very much not epa friendly…which I’m not proud of but on toy like this I’ll let it slide. Still not a power monster(in v8 terms, not Miata terms), but based on what’s done the wheels should rotate with the strength of nearly 400 horses, or unicorns since this is a Miata. Also for reliability I installed an ls2 timing chain. It’s a bit beefier and less apt to break when I occasionally scrape the rev limiter.

While I was at it I cleaned the hell out of everything that I encountered. Selective OCD at work…

I’ve also picked up ABS components from an NB. This project isn’t complete and is moving slowly. So far, there’s a mount for the ABS module and I’ve switched to ABS compatible front hubs and uprights. Next up is figuring out the mounting for the rear wheel speed sensors and tone wheels. I may have to stick my axles in a lathe to bring the OD down to the ID of the oem tone wheels but I still need to investigate the viability of that. Then wiring harness which is easy and plumbing which is just tedious.

I touched on the cooling system as well. Last season I ran a universal radiator that had been modified to work with my setup. The welds ended up being kind of dirty and there were some pinhole leaks that I repaired, by redneck definition, with some epoxy. That got me though the season. I have too many teeth and not enough flannel to leave the system in such a state so I had a new radiator made, by somebody capable of making welds that don’t leak, to fit my specifications. It’s nice–whether on track or sitting in traffic in a 105 degree desert, my water temp won’t budge.

Water pump bracket:

I’ve also installed Xida Clubsport v2’s. I chose 800 front 500 rear. The car may be a little over-sprung right now but I chose those spring rates with the intent to add some down force in the not too distant future and also because the F/R wheel rate ratio is about the same as what I had with my previous setup, which actually provided a pretty satisfactory balance. Also, I think my unibody must be in really awesome shape because I made literally zero adjustments to achieve 50% wedge. I just set the collars to be an equal number of threads up from the bottom and stuck them on the car.