Miata Build: Oh You Got One of Those – Part One

If I traveled back in time to meet myself in High School and told myself that I would eventually move on to a Mazda Miata, I’d be a bit puzzled. A long story short, I have decided to part ways with my 1989 Nissan 240sx SE and “jumped” over to a Mazda Miata simply because I need a change of chassis for a bit.

1994 Mazda Miata

For the unaware, I blew the KA24E in my S13 earlier this year. After contemplating if I wanted to drop in a new block to continue my eight year streak with the car, I decided that it was time to move on and try out something new. After test driving and inspecting a few Mazda Miata NAs and NB2s, I ended up buying this 1994 Mazda Miata in October mainly because of the price the previous owner was selling it at and what was included at that price.

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So what was included? It is a fully loaded model with tan interior, leather seats, premium audio w/msss, power windows, power locks, power steering, and ABS. In addition the third owner installed a Jackson Racing M45 super charger kit, mounted on Racing Hart Cyber wheels, and bolted on a set of Koni yellow adjustable shocks mated to stock springs. And while the previous owner before me only owned the car for a little under a year, he swapped in Hawk HP plus brake pads and did a little paint touch ups to the once fading hood and trunk.

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While I’m not too particularly fond of ABS and tan interiors, the supercharger and the well-kept service records are what sold me on this car. I was genuinely impressed by how well records of this car was kept and I was the FIFTH owner. Records of every maintainance, repairs and modifications dating back to 1994 were kept in a provided folder. As such, I plan to continue this trend and I plan to convert the documents to digital records since there’s so many papers in the file (nearly two inches thick!!!), but I’m getting a little bit off subject at hand.

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The included Jackson Racing M45 super charger. It’s 100% CARB legal and passes smog with ease.

Within the first month, I was “off to the races” and purchased some modifications immediately. First round of parts consisted of a Hard Dog Hardcore Hardtop X-Brace roll bar that I had my eye on. I also picked up an accompanying harness bar, a G-Force 6 point harness, and a KazeSpec Engineering seat mount for my Recaro Pole Position. In addition I picked up a Hard Dog hidden hitch so I can transport my mountain bike to the trails without issues.

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Package from Bethania Garage included the roll bar, harness bar, and the hidden hitch components.

As soon as the weekend rolled by, the roll bar was installed right away. During the install, I felt like a teenager again. I haven’t had this much fun working on a car in a while.

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At this point, the roll bar was sitting in the car for parcel shelf trimming and measuring.

Within the first week of installing the roll bar setup, I was driving around town with a big grin on my face with the top down. It looked so darn cool.

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Shortly after the install, the ricer in me couldn’t wait until I had time to throw in the rest of my other neat parts sitting in my room. In fact, I also put in an order for H&R race springs and Fat Cat bump stops to complete the Koni adjustables setup. Generally, I’m a all-outkind of guy, but this car had a pretty good template going for it so it felt right to continue down this path. In my research, the spring and shock combo worked really well for AutoX setups, so who am I to question track tested recommendations?

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H&R race springs and Fat Cat bumpstops fresh from the UPS guy.

As soon as the weekend rolled around after receiving the parts, I threw in everything I currently had sitting in my room. I just had to make this car suite my needs and separate this car from it’s previous owners… in a tasteful way, of course.

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H&R race springs installed in Koni adjustables with Fat Cat bump stops and a new, ricey boot.

For good measure, the Recaro also had to go in. Ironically, I find this seat a lot more comfortable than ANY adjustable seat out there. Imagine sitting in a seat where it feels like you’re being hugged the whole time. This was my first racing seat and I nailed my measurements perfectly in one go. I matched perfectly with the shoulder width, upper body height, and waist width.

Recaro Pole Position matched with a KazeSpec Engineering seat mount and a G-Force harness.

Recaro Pole Position matched with a KazeSpec Engineering seat mount and a G-Force harness.

As soon as everything was installed, I spent the following week driving back roads I haven’t visited since I was a teenager acting up to no good. After a few days, I determined the proper dampening levels to match the new springs and the car felt fantastic. And while one of my reasons for running on this suspension setup was to not run dumped, I humorously ended up with a setup that dropped me a little over 2″ and made the car rub going up my driveway on +43 offset wheels! Hahaha. After my last run of the week, I decided to take a few snaps that I included below. I didn’t bring my camera with me so enjoy these iPhone photos. Until next time, keep it classy!

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