Building a Track Car – Really close to completion

With the seats finally bolted in and the interior just about complete I was waiting for the coil-over shocks to arrive from Flyin’ Miata.  Friday came and so did the UPS truck with the box from Flyin’ Miata.

I took them over to the shop where the Miata is and unpacked and assembled the shocks.  Part of the kit was the NB (or later version of the) Miata mounts that convert my NA to use these shocks without any problems with limited suspension travel.  The upper shock mounts and bushings went on to the new shock assemblies along with the springs.  I chose the sport springs rather than the track springs so that I wouldn’t kill myself when I did travel on the street.  I can order the track springs separately if I ever feel the need.

The next task was to remove the old shocks and springs.  This was not too bad to do, but it did require disconnecting the upper A-arm from the front spindles and the upper control arm from the spindles at the rear.

With the suspension able to dropped low enough for me to pull out the old shock and spring assemblies it was also enough clearance for me to slip in the new V-Maxx assemblies. 

Bolted in place

They sure looked nice bolted into place.

Next I had to set the ride height front and rear.  That required spinning the spring perches on the threads built-in to the shock bodies.  Flyin’ Miata gave me a starting point in their installation documentation. 

The bottom blue rings are spun on the threads to adjust the ride height

The bottom spring perch consists of two blue threaded rings.  The top ring sets the height of the car and the bottom ring, just underneath, locks it in place like a jam nut.

On the front shocks I was to measure 9 and 3/4 inches from the bottom of the bottom ring to the center of the mounting bolt that holds the shock to the lower control arm. 

On the rear the measurement is 5 and a half inches.  The coil-over V-Maxx shocks come with a pair of wrenches to spin and lock the adjustment rings.

These are the rears before being adjusted up - a lot.

I spent a great deal of time moving the rings into the proper position.  I would measure and spin and measure and spin until they were at the appropriate settings.  Then I dropped the car down (I had been doing this while it was up in the air on the lift) and let it settle a bit and measured from the fender lip to the center of the wheel.  Flyin’ Miata recommends about 12.5 inches on the front and about 13 inches at the rear.

It was a little low on the front and quite high on the rear so back up in the air it went and off came the wheels so I could access the spring perch rings.  I set the rear measurement down to 4.5 inches and the front to about 9.5 inches.

The next time the car was brought down to ground level the fender gaps were just about right.  I decided to go for a short test drive and fill the fuel tank.  I added a little over eight gallons of gasoline so that amounted to about 62 more pounds of weight in the rear.

A lot of turns to go.

The fender gaps were just about right so I felt it was time to bolt on the new wheels and tires.  The new wheels are black Enkei RPF1 wheels in 15×7″ mounted with Bridgestone 205/45-15 RE-11 tires.

Unfortunately I discovered that while the stock 15″ rims cleared the new brakes without an issue, the new Enkei’s did not. The rears just barely cleared the calipers and the front calipers rubbed enough to stop the wheels from spinning.

The fronts can't rotate with the 15" Enkei wheels and the new big brakes.

This was definitely a setback.  I had hoped to get the car over for and alignment and corner balancing.  Not this weekend.  I hopped on to the Tire Rack site and ordered a set of the same wheels in 16 inch diameter with a set of RE-11 Potenza tires.

With not much else to do Mark and I put the hard top on and I went about using the special mounts to bolt it to the chassis.  Things went pretty well with that.  There are always a certain amount of varriation in cars and tops that some holes needed to be re-shaped, but for the most part it was just a job of bolting things together.

I am very glad that I bought the steering wheel disconnect as things are quite tight with the hard top in place.  It looks like there will be just enough room for me and a helmet.  Sorry Noel.

I am hoping to have the set of wheels in tires in later next week and perhaps I will then be able to get this aligned and on the road.

Wish me luck!

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This entry was posted in Automobiles, Car Stuff, Care and Feeding, Cars, Life and Cars, Modifying Cars, Racing, Road Racing, Sports Cars. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Building a Track Car – Really close to completion

  1. Tim S. says:

    Ouch, what a pain in the ass! I’m sure Tire Rack will get them to you quickly and she will be rolling by next weekend. I’m planning on playing some pool this Friday, so maybe I can get a look at her all finished! I’m not sure I’d fit in for a ride though… 😉

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