Seeking Advice

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6 years 4 days ago #325 by Shambus
Shambus created the topic: Seeking Advice
I've been researching track prep projects for my Miata online.

As I've really (unexpectedly) fallen in love with this car just as it is I want to do the minimum amount of modification that I have to.

This is my DD, even in winter, so I need it to be more of a street/sports car that I track a few times per season instead of a dedicated track car.

Honestly I know my skill/talent/experience level is still well below the level of this car in stock condition. My main concern is learning to drive faster/better while not hurting myself or my car.

So here is my plan:

Change all fluids
Upgrade brake fluid to DOT 4
Replace brake pads (I'm not sure if I should upgrade or remain stock)
Upgrade to Summer performance tires

Continue to learn/practice heel-toe downshifts (any advice here would be appreciated)

Wash/Wax/Detail

Run events at Gingerman/Grattan with instructor

Assess

Repeat

2001 BRG SE #923
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6 years 4 days ago #326 by countryboyshane
countryboyshane replied the topic: Seeking Advice
You have the right idea. I drove my MINI as a daily driver for a couple of years, went to the track a lot, and then decided to make it a dedicated track machine so I can speak to what you're experiencing.

The brakes are the first thing that will be pushed to the limit on the track. Brake fade and worse, your brake pedal hitting the floor after boiling your fluid, is something you don't want to experience. DOT4 is the way to go. The best bang for you buck that has great resistance to boiling is ATE Super Blue and ATE TYP 200. The only difference is the color between the two. You can get these for $13-15/liter bottle. I would also step up to a high performance street brake pad. While your fluid is now acceptable, you want a pad that won't lose too much friction when it's heated extensively at the track. The guys on the Miata forums can recommend a good pad that won't be too aggressive or dusty on the street but acceptable for a beginner at the track.

Tires are a fantastic upgrade, but I hope you have a separate set of wheels/tires for the winter. High performance street tires SUCK-ASS in the snow!

I would stop with the mods right there for now. You have the bare essentials. Learning the tracks, being smooth, and most importantly being SAFE with everyone out there is the priority from there on forward.

This is a very fun hobby. You will like running with this group a lot!

Studies show 100% of people die so you might as well have some fun while you're at it.
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6 years 4 days ago #327 by panozracer
panozracer replied the topic: Seeking Advice
As a Miata owner myself that is both street and track I would agree with the tires and the brakes. I use EBC yellow stuff on the Miata and they are fantastic for a car that size. The only other upgrade i would add for now is a good seat and harness. Those two items will do wonders for you. You won't spend all your energy bracing yourself on turns, the seat and harness will take care of it. If you need any assistance with the car I own Mufflers and More in Walled Lake. I take car of a lot of the 3 Ballers and would be happy to assist you.

Kenny
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5 years 11 months ago #337 by V6TA
V6TA replied the topic: Seeking Advice
Welcome

As a guy that tracks a DD you are on the right track with your plan. Spend money on track days. The Miata is a well suited track day car.
Hopefully my son will chime in, as he drove a DD Miata for years with 3 Balls.

For the first few years, all that was done to the Miata was a roll bar. He found one that fit under the soft top even when it was up.

He went with "redline" fluids in the trans and diff. Mobil 1 in the motor. Luckely power sreering fluid is not a problem on the Miata.

For his car (2002 model) he invested in a remote oil filter relocation kit, but only as a convinience feature.

I am not sure how long he ran the stock pads, but eventually found a Carbotec street pad and track pad that were compatable with eachother. This allowed him to swap pads the day before an event, run the event, then swap back to the street pad without issue. He usually drove to and from the track on the track pads.

I am not sure on the sequence of tire he has run, but I believe he has been running a summer performance Hancook street tire on the track.

You will be amaized how quick you can get a stock Miata to run. I would also recommend watching utube in car video of Miatas at Gingerman. It will help you learn the track layout. I watch incar video before every track day I run.

Looking foreward to meeting you. Good luck.

Glenn
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5 years 11 months ago #350 by 6spd2seat
6spd2seat replied the topic: Seeking Advice
Welcome, I think you'll love your Miata even more on the track. I know I have over the past few years. I've always run 3-season street tires (goodyear or Hankook) because they were cheaper and my talent sure hasn't been exceeding the car's capability.

I came to track days from C-stock autocross, so my car was stock at my first event. After that first event I put in a rollbar, primarily for safety, but it also did a lot to stiffen the chassis. It doesn't interfere with my daily driving position (I'm ~5'9"). I think it cost ~$550 and took about 6 hrs to put in at a leisurely pace.

I was into my second season before I started too overheat the Carbotech 1521 that I used for street/autocross. I was happy for at least 2 seasons with fluids, the rollbar, performance street tires, and brake pads.

Having ridden in and driven cars with a proper seat and harness, I would agree that after the fluids (car safety) and rollbar (your safety) it's the best upgrade that will help you be a better driver. I haven't done it because I didn't want to deal with it in a daily driven car or swap seats for events. I still debate it every winter though.

Your plan sounds great. A Miata is a blast on the track and bullet-proof if you're up on maintenance. Mine's been for sale for over a year, but I keep forgetting to put the sign in the window. Ohh well, maybe next spring.
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5 years 10 months ago #399 by Shambus
Shambus replied the topic: Seeking Advice
Ok, so here is where things stand. I've got the Carbotech 1521 pads. All fluids ready to go on the first warm sunny day we get and I've picked out my summer tires. What I can't seem to decide on is a roll bar. I want one for the track (roll over) but I don't want one for the street (rear ended with no helmet). I'll drive my car say 360 days per year with a max of 6 to 8 track days at Gingerman, Grattan & Waterford Hills.

2001 BRG SE #923

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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #439 by V6TA
V6TA replied the topic: Seeking Advice
I think our head should be safley below the roll bar without a helmet

<a href=" s259.beta.photobucket.com/user/94Roady/m...08/DSC_0213.jpg.html "

I supose you could make it removable.
Last Edit: 5 years 10 months ago by V6TA.
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5 years 10 months ago #440 by Shambus
Shambus replied the topic: Seeking Advice
I'm still researching proper race seat & harness set ups. I'm looking into lowering the seat to give more clearence for different roll bars etc. The more I've been thinking about it the more I want to put a seat/harness/bar my the car. Anyone have good ideas on seats that will work well for both street/track?

2001 BRG SE #923

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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #441 by gzfqy6
gzfqy6 replied the topic: Seeking Advice

Shambus wrote: I'm still researching proper race seat & harness set ups. I'm looking into lowering the seat to give more clearence for different roll bars etc. The more I've been thinking about it the more I want to put a seat/harness/bar my the car. Anyone have good ideas on seats that will work well for both street/track?


I use the Corbeau A4 which seems to be a nice compromise. Unfortunately it will probably not be any lower than your stock seat even if you have them shave the seat foam a bit. Otherwise some decent bolstering, belt pass thru and adjustable back.

"no matter how late it is it's never as late as it is later on"
1984 Mazda RX7
Last Edit: 5 years 10 months ago by gzfqy6.
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5 years 7 months ago #705 by Shambus
Shambus replied the topic: Seeking Advice
With my first track day in the books I know now that the only thing my cars needs is a roll bar and the only thing I need is more seat time.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

2001 BRG SE #923

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5 years 7 months ago #710 by Chadwicksracing
Chadwicksracing replied the topic: Seeking Advice
It was nice to meet you there. I was in the Orange Focus ST. I was in a similar place as you. 3ball has certainly helped me with my track knowledge/experience.

Chad

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