In this section I would like to explain some of the modifications that have been done to the car. I am often asked what I have done to the car or how I have set it up to enable the car to drift at bit easier. I would like to be clear that some of the modifications in this section 1)void warranties 2)drastically change the way your car handles and/or drives 3)shorten the life of your engine/drive train/suspension 4)are done to my personal driving style/tastes and are not always recommended for others

With that being said, I take no responsibility for any issues that should arise from performing the modifications that I detail in this section.

 

Cusco RS LSD

My car originally came equipped with no lsd, and I quickly found that at an autox the quick wa around was not via peg leg! I quickly installed a oem Torsen LSD and it worked very well at the time. The torsen is much like a 1way lsd in feel, and was great to learn on. However after I felt to need to hold more angle and go faster a true clutch type lsd was in order. After doing some research I opted for a 1.5way RS unit from Cusco. I am of the opinion that the Miata doesn't need nor will benefit from a 2way unit. The car is already oversteer prone with its weight balance and short wheelbase. Since the install the car is much easier to control, gets more angle, and is much easier to control off throttle. Because of the RS springs the unit is also the most responsive lsd I have ever driven and locks very quickly.

Cusco Spin Turn Knob

Not really all that important, but I was bored and had an extra $20 burning a hole in my pocket. The spin turn knob allows the ebrake to be pulled and released without the need to press the release button. I don't use it much, but it has come in handy on a few occasions. A note with the install, make sure you unscrew the stock button and replace with the spin turn knob while the ebrake is disengaged.

Bride Exas III full bucket seat w/ Takata Harness

Maybe one of the most overlooked items. I am of the opinion that a full bucket seat is one of the 1st and most important upgrades to a serious drift car's modifications. Since its install I have finally been able to feel the true potential if the car. No more bracing myself using my arms or legs. This fully allows you to concentrate of driving the car and taking it to its limits without wearing yourself out. Combined with a good 3" harness (Takata in my case, but there are plenty of good brands out there) you will be glued to your seat.

Tein RA Coilovers 9F/7R

After much research and the want to replace my previous spring/shock combo, I decided on the high end Tein RA. I talked to many coilover owners and the general consensus is that a 2kg f/r spread is perfect for the car. I have to say that the setup does work quite well and the car rotates very easily and predictably but still is manageable for daily street driving on the lower end of the 16way adjustability.

Goodwin Racing Willwood 4 wheel brake kit

With the addition of the turbo kit came a quick 120whp jump that required more brake. In addition to stopping better the full 4 wheel kit keeps the brake balance as close to stock as possible while going with aftermarket brakes. I still feel that the front bias is still upped although not as much as a front only brake upgrade. This front bias is welcome for me since its nice for using the brakes mid-drift. It allows me to change angle with the brakes.

Quality alignment (updated 7/16/05)

The alignment of the car is crucial to performance. Regardless of what you plan on doing with your car an aggressive alignment is key. For drifting the general rule of thumb is 2-3 degrees of negative camber, max caster allowable, and toe set to the drivers taste. Unfortunately the car is not like the popular S chassis cars that allow almost infinite adjustability via an arm for each adjustment. The roadster is aligned using eccentric bushings. This means that the front camber & caster are dependant on each other in the front, and in the rear camber & toe. I decided on a fairly aggressive alignment and it works very well for its intended purpose. The car does get a bit quirky on the highway as the rear tends to follow the front, due to the toe settings I choose. I should also note that its not a bad idea to get your car corner weighted after setting your desired ride height, and before your get it aligned. Click the image to the right for my current alignment.

Tie Rods

With the addition of the RP Speed drift tie rods, I was able to obtain more steering angle. I do not have an exact degree of increased angle, however the difference is very noticeable. Upon my fist outing with these rods installed I found it nearly impossible to spin the car. I had been used to the amount of angle attainable but these tie rods allowed me to drift past my previous angles.

RS Aizawa 22pc Full Pillow Bushing

The Miata uses rubber bushings in the suspension arms. Over time and harsh use these bushings rip, tear, rot, and basically tear themselves apart. A good way to tell if your oem bushings are in need of replacement is seeing how much play they have. Get the car on an alignment rack, align the car, and then see how much you can change the alignment simply by pushing/pulling on the wheel and arms. 9 times out of 10 you can drastically change the alignment this way. Now just think of what those bushings are doing while your driving! I decided to replace my worn oem bushings with full pillow bushings from RS Aizawa (I believe they have stopped producing these, however Jet's as well as Biot now produce their own 22pc full pillow bushing kits). Install is a bit tedious and long, however the end result is amazing. The car feels much more solid, steering feedback is vastly improved and sideways the car is much more stable and readable.