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Scopecreep New Reader
2/14/21 1:29 p.m.

Once I had confirmed the engine was good, it was time to make sense out of the bin full of hoses and piping I received with the engine a few years ago.

Everything went together pretty well with the exception of the cheap Amazon IC I had purchased. The IC that came with the swap was in really bad shape (came off a race car) so I picked up the exact same one from Amazon.

What I didn’t account for was the previous car didn’t have power steering and AC and there was no way the Amazon IC was going to fit in the real estate I had available.

After kicking myself for a little while for not thinking about that, I went ahead and bought the Flyin Miata IC that was guaranteed to work with AC and PS (and it did).

I also needed an oil catch can so I got a $30 one on Amazon.

I keep any metal brackets that I don’t use in a plastic toolbox in the shed and after looking at the collection fairly quickly had mounts for the 3 hard IC pipes.

After acquiring  and installing several different size band clamps, verifying the MBC was turned all the way down and double checking everything,  it was time start checking the Voodoo box settings.

Since I was running the same wastegate pressure that the PO was, I decided to just leave the 2 pot settings alone on the Voodoo box and start slowly giving it more throttle under boost and ended up with this.

AFR at 11 running 8 psi which looked really good so I put the boost gauge in the drawer, mounted the AF Meter to the steering column and velcroed the Voodoo box on the heater box behind the glove box and called it a day.

Scopecreep New Reader
2/15/21 8:04 p.m.

While I was installing the turbo engine in the NB, every time of moved the engine, rusty water would come out so I didn’t want to put the new radiator in until I had circulated the old coolant through the old radiator to clean everything out.

The plan was to run it  for a few days and then install the FM radiator and fans but when I was moving the 92 SBY, the brake light came on and this became the new project.

The master cylinder was leaking from the back so I took it out and gave the area a bath. I had some black Rustoleum semi-gloss black in the shed and I shot a couple of coats on the bottom half of the brake booster. It wasn’t a perfect match but was close enough. After it dried, I taped off the everything and used some of the left over SBY paint from Automotive Touch Up and was happy with the results.

I had gotten stainless steel brake lines, Hawk HPS pads, and FM front and rear sway bars for Black Friday / Christmas so I decided to go ahead and tackle them since I had to bleed everything. It all went together pretty well with the exception of the driver’s side rear caliper that wouldn’t retract all the way with the Allen wrench. After a new one was picked up at O’Reillys the next day, I bleed everything with my Motive bleeder and after a couple of local drives to bed in the brake pads and the project was complete.

Scopecreep New Reader
2/15/21 8:51 p.m.

The 2015 Club had extremely dark tint on the doors and while it looked good with the black hardtop, it was impossible to see to pull out at dusk without rolling down both side windows.

As a result, it had to go. After several minutes with a heat gun, the tint was removed but the glue was still there.

I started with rubbing alcohol (with no results), moved up to mineral spirits (no joy) and finally got out the acetone and it cleaned the glue off pretty quick.

I left the dark tint on the rear window – not sure what it will look like in the sun . It helps with glare from following headlights so unless it looks really bad, it will probably stay.

Scopecreep New Reader
7/11/21 9:16 p.m.

It’s been awhile since I posted any updates but that’s not because there hasn’t been anything going on car wise.

I have wanted to autocross for years but never seemed to get around to doing it. With last year being a “lost” year, I decided this was the year to try it.

I attended the February TRSCCA monthly meeting and asked if they would be willing to assist me in organizing our Miata Club to participate in their events this year. They were extremely supportive of the idea and were a big help in the classifications of our Miata’s (we have members participating in CS, ES, STS, STR, STU and XSB).  They were quick to answer even the most basic of questions (no one in the initial group had ever been to an autocross). We’ve been really impressed with the organization and efficiency of their events, especially since almost half of the drivers are Novices this year.

I decided to use the 2001 SE with the turbo engine which put me in the XSB class (horrible PAX). At the Test and Tune I learned the Flyin Miata rear bar was way too much bar (serious oversteer) for autocross so I switched back to a stock rear which is much better. Since then, I’ve had intercooler piping failures in 3 of the 4 events. Each failure has been at a different joint.

I’m pretty sure the root cause of piping issues has been the braces I made for the hard pipes. The first two failures weren’t on the hard pipes (the third one was) but I’m pretty sure all three were caused by the hard pipes twisting under pressure. After the last event, I took everything apart and redid the mounting brackets so I think I’m good going forward.

We have a Saturday Open Seat Day and a Sunday Points Event in a couple of weeks so that will be a good test to see if I’ve gotten it solved.

I suspect the car may be too much for me at this point and time. I’ve run my fastest times AFTER I’ve blown off an intercooler pipe in all three events. I’m going to keep working at it but I may end up driving a stock Miata to learn how to drive and then add power after I do.

Scopecreep New Reader
7/11/21 9:43 p.m.

Since we acquired the’15 Club last year, the ‘08 GT has really been an extra car since one of the other Miata’s was better for everything I do.

It was my first Miata so it had a special place in my heart but it needed to go. One of the Miata Club members was looking to add a NC to his collection that has an NA and NB so we struck a deal and it moved on to a new owner.

It’s nice because I still get to see it at Club events and know it went to a good home and won’t be abused.

I took off the 17x9 RFP’s and put on the stock 17x7’s when I was preparing to sell it. One of our Club members running in the STR class (exhaust and intake modifications) had stock 16x6.5 wheels so it was uncompetitive. Once he decided he was going to buy some 17x9’s, I offered mine at good price and he got quite a bit faster and I got them out of my storage shed.

Scopecreep New Reader
7/11/21 11:18 p.m.

After a couple of events where I was faster in a Miata that was running rich due to unmetered air than with 8 Psi of boost, I started thinking I might need to walk before I ran and get something I could run in ES class.

Since it would likely take me more than a month in the Summer to return the ’01 SE back to stock (and I really didn’t want to because it’s a blast to drive on the road with its acceleration), I started looking for a bone stock 1.8 NA or NB that I could autocross.

After about a month of looking, I noticed the price of NA/NB Miatas was rising rapidly and couldn’t find anything that I was willing to buy for the prices being asked.

Ever since I got my first Miata, I always wanted a MazdaSpeed Miata. With the price of the NA/NB Miata’s going up, I decided I might need to get one now or be priced out of the market (which happened to me with 65/66 Mustang Fastbacks).

As a result, I expanded my search and found a bone stock 2005 Black Mica MazdaSpeed with 45K miles for a little more than a regular NB would cost with the same mileage. It was 5 hours away but the whole family left after work on a Friday in Mrs. Scopecreep’s CRV  and spent the night in a hotel.

The next morning we met the seller and after a test drive, Scopecreepette and I drove it back to Tennessee with Mrs. Scopecreep following us in her CRV. The round trip was drama free and we were home by 6 PM Saturday evening.

I had read that MSM’s aren’t great for autocross as the gearing (transmission and differential) don’t work well with the 6500 RPM MSM redline (vs 7200 in a normal NB2). Since I haven’t hit the revlimiter on any of the TRSCCA courses, I’m hoping it’s not a huge issue.

I ran the MSM at an event with the KYSCCA in June to get seat time and see how it would do. I went with a Miata Club friend who drives a 2002 SE Miata and we managed to get far enough from each other in the grid that we could ride along with each other. He ended up being .3 sec faster in his car which was an improvement for me compared to previous events (he finished 2nd, I finished 5th out of a field of 9 in ES).  The MSM is faster in a straight line (the stock recirculating value leaks so it’s only making 6 psi) but I hit the revlimiter shortly before the finish which slowed me down a little at the end (his was at 7000 RPM’s at the finish line).

The plan is to run the 2001 SE in XSB for the rest of the year and then set it back to stock and take the MSM aftermarket parts (AEM and FM intake, FM exhaust, Koni shocks, FM springs and swaybars, Forge recirculating valve) and store them. Run the MSM stock in ES starting next year and when ready, add the stored parts and move into STU when I feel like I need a new challenge.

JoeTR6 Dork
7/12/21 9:04 a.m.

The worst thing about autocrossing my MSM was the factory ECU.  You've probably noticed the bumpiness in power around 4500 to 5500 RPM.  The stock ECU keeps the mixture lean until after 5000 or so when it finally gives you the beans.  For me, this would usually be right at the worst possible time handling wise and I'd end up in a dramatic drift/slide.  A Megasquirt fixes this and the redline issue, but puts you into BSP.  The car is much more fun to drive, though.

Scopecreep New Reader
7/14/21 9:25 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

I’ve read a lot about the MSM ECU issues but I’ve not experienced them yet. I wonder if the recirculating valve leaking allowing only 6 psi is a factor.

I noticed the MSM comes on really late which is actually helpful as I’m not good enough to concentrate on steering, where to go next and how hard to push down the gas at this point. The 2001 comes on much earlier(around 3K) and if I gas it coming out of an element, the rear starts stepping out and I have to get out of it which actually slows me down. I can floor the MSM at just about any point and it drives like a NA Miata until everything has straightened out.

That said, I’ve been thinking about your post and have decided I haven’t really given the 2001 SE my best effort.  I’ve been using recycled 5 year old 200TW 205/50/15 tires that came off the 92 SBY because I had them and I’m cheap. Expect an update about it next week…

JoeTR6 Dork
7/15/21 6:52 p.m.

My MSM currently has 7 y.o. Conti DSWs, so I feel your pain.  Fresh rubber would certainly help, but also balancing the shock tuning and sway bars might help when you are coming out of corners.  After several years of tuning, my MSM is mostly neutral but will go tail happy when you drive it that way.

Scopecreep New Reader
7/16/21 11:44 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Seven year old Conti DSW’s have me beat for sure. That said, I ran one event on new Conti ECS’s due to rain in the forecast and they actually were pretty good (which is one of the reasons I’ve decided new tires are in order).

My MSM has completely stock suspension (including the original Bilstein’s and sway bars) and I was happy with its balance out of the box. I’m pretty sure the seller had different wheels and tires on it but put the original Hart wheels with new Direzza DIII’s on it for the sale. The new ones have a lot more grip than the 5 year old DIII’s that are on the 01 SE.

I’m finding out that looking for 200TW tires in July is pretty challenging. I ordered from 2 different websites that said they were in stock only to get a response that they are out of stock shortly after. The third order has shipped so hopefully I’ll have them shortly.

Scopecreep New Reader
7/21/21 11:58 p.m.

I drove the 92 SBY to Cars and Coffee earlier this month and decided I really needed to replace the driver’s side window bushing.

I expected to find the bushing flattened out with hardened lube but instead I found  no bushing at all.


After installing a new bushing and cleaning / lubing the tracks the window is now buttery smooth.


On Monday, UPS brought the 01 SE new shoes – they get mounted tomorrow and should be ready for autocross this weekend.


Scopecreep New Reader
9/16/21 11:02 p.m.

August was a busy month for Autocross with 6 days between July 25th and September 5th and the results were a mixed bag.

The new Rivals on the 01 SE were an improvement but the car just doesn’t have enough power to be competitive in XSB. That said, I really like how they look on the car.

At one event, XSB had a V-8 swapped RX7 and a NA Miata that had the full Flyin Miata catalog thrown at it (turbo, Hydra, coilovers, 15 x 9 wheels etc.). Both were seconds faster than me but were in the bottom half of PAX due to the stiff class multiplier.

 I ended up running 4 days in the 01 SE and 2 days in the MSM. As expected, my RAW times were better in the 01 but my PAX times were better in the MSM. I ended up getting my first “trophy” in the MSM which was really nice (4th out of 12 in Novice).

The 01 SE was completely stock when I bought it and since I kept all the parts (minus rubber brake and clutch lines) in the shed, I’m going to return it to stock (minus front sway bar and Koni shocks).

The next local region event is October 29th so I hope to have it completed prior to then. If all goes well, there are a couple of other region events close by the preceding weeks that I will go to if I can get it done early.

We’ve really been lucky with weather but our luck finally ran out at the last event – heavy rain during one session and a wet track for the other. I’ve got a lot to learn about driving in those conditions…

Scopecreep New Reader
9/19/21 1:51 p.m.

Scopecreepette and I made our annual pilgrimage to Fontana Village NC and MATG and had a great time.  They had the most cars ever register (over 1000) so I’d say the event was a success.

We had a couple of really good meals at Lynn’s Diner and really enjoyed the roads and seeing all the other Miata’s again.

We led a few other Miata’s out the Skyway to Bald River Falls and it was really nice this year with plenty of water.

The Fontana Village part of MATG was  bit of a downer this year. They moved the vendors up the hill from parking and the “Ice Cream Shop” was closed. It seemed too much like a workout with no reward at the end wink

Project work during August was focused on the 92 SBY.

The exhaust had a really annoying rattle so I ordered a full Racing Beat exhaust and intake in April and they were finally were delivered in July and August respectively. I don’t think it made it any faster, but it now sounds and looks much better.

I also ordered a 1.6 to 1.8 brake conversion kit (used calipers and brackets, new rotors and pads) from Treasure Coast Miata and am really happy with the additional braking it provided.

The braking effort is much more in line with the other Miatas and I don’t almost drive through the stop sign at the end of the street because I’m used pushing the brake pedal on the other cars.

bonylad HalfDork
10/4/21 9:47 a.m.

Maybe I missed it, but in your vid. The engine still looks NA, I see the stock airbox etc. Is the turbo setup still utilizing that? Sorta like a stock MSM setup? DOPE! 


EDIT - pretty sure the vid is mislabeled. I dont see the intercooler as in later shots.  Either way, BAD ASS BUILD!

Scopecreep New Reader
12/8/21 10:52 p.m.

In reply to bonylad :

The video was the turbo engines first drive but you are correct, it had the stock air box (with MAF so it would run) on it as I wanted to make sure the engine was good since I bought it on a pallet. I plumbed everything next (detailed on the first post on this page).

Thanks but I've got some posts coming where I undid it all  wink

Scopecreep New Reader
12/9/21 12:04 a.m.

Labor Day to Halloween was spent returning the 01 SE to “stock enough” for E-Street. It took a lot longer that I thought it would but I guess I spent the better part of a year modifying it so I shouldn’t be surprised.

I ended up pulling off the following:

FM frame rail braces

FM springs (put the Koni’s on the stock springs)

SS brake lines

SS clutch line

FM radiator and fans

FM downpipe and exhaust

FM Voodoo box

FM intercooler and piping

Turbo Engine

I thought about leaving the engine in and just pulling the turbo off and plugging the oil lines but decided to just put the LKQ engine back in.

I bought the following used: bumper insert; passenger side splash guard as both had been trimmed for IC and IC piping as well as the passenger side clutch line.

I also had to buy 4 new brake lines as I had thrown the old rubber ones away when I upgraded them.

I completed the work by October 17th and made it to an AX event to do a shake down before a 2 day event in my home region Halloween weekend.

The car successfully drove a 3 hour round trip and 7 runs and I only lost 1 bolt surprise. I pulled back to my spot on the grid and what looked like an intake bolt was laying there after the 3rd run. After looking for a few minutes I saw I was missing one of the bolts in the front of the intake behind the throttle body. I must have missed it when I was tightening everything back up.

Scopecreep New Reader
12/9/21 12:20 a.m.

On the way home from the AX on the 17th, I stopped for dinner and someone came in the restaurant asking who was driving the green Miata in the parking lot.

After a quick introduction, she let me know a pickup had backed into it and then drove away. This is what I came out to:

Luckily, they missed the light - It’s been awhile since I tried to do body work but after a couple of nights working on it, I’m pretty pleased.

I ordered some touch up paint and it should be almost as good as new once I get done with it.

Scopecreep New Reader
12/9/21 12:39 a.m.

Scopecreepette came home from college and attended her first AX event over Halloween weekend. She didn’t want to drive but wanted to see what it was all about.

It was a cold rainy day but she had a blast and says she’s going to try to make it home a few times next summer and co-drive.

We didn’t have a great day competition wise  (11th out of 31 in Novice) but we really had a great day overall.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/10/21 1:47 a.m.

Clean NBs are really aging well IMO.  I'd love to find a deal one for my own purposes.  Call me silly but I really think the only cars I'd buy right now are the right clean NB, the right clean GMT400 and a clean well priced non-rusty bugeye WRX.  I just don't have enough space for them.

Taking others to their first auto event is so much fun! 

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