|Racing and modifying our car|
|October 14, 2008 - Hiding the battery.|
Bill relocated the battery on the Westfield from the factory location to the passenger's footwell. At the same time, the battery was replaced with an Odyssey PC680, about half the size and weight of a stock unit. Lower center of gravity and less weight? Sounds like a plan. There's no real loss of legroom, most people can just barely touch the battery with their feet.
|October 14, 2008 - While there haven't been a lot of updates recently, the car isn't sitting in the garage.|
After another trip to Moab for a big Miata event, the Westfield came out for an autocross over the weekend.
|October 14, 2008 - Bill tries his first autocross in five years.|
The course involved doing two laps of the lower section of the course. Bill was having so much fun he made three laps on one run.
|October 14, 2008 - With Keith driving, the Westfield posted the fastest time of the day by a margin of 1.7 seconds!|
|October 14, 2008 - We have a series of magazine tests coming up, so it's time for some serious work on the Westie.|
One of the things we're going to do is install a 1.8 engine, so out comes the faithful 1.6.
|October 14, 2008 - We were happy to discover that Flyin' Miata's aftermarket fans will bolt right up to the Westfield radiator.
|October 14, 2008 - Because the car will eventually be making ridiculous amounts of horsepower, we're considering an oil cooler.|
There's a nice mounting spot where the factory intake is supposed to go, although it won't get ideal airflow.
|October 14, 2008 - We have a race seat to try out.|
It's absolutely beautifully made. And a bit of a tight fit. Definitely not for the big kids.
|October 14, 2008 - Sport vs race seat.
|October 14, 2008 - Nylon bushings.|
There is no give to these at all. What will they do to the ride and handling? We'll probably wait until after the next couple of magazine tests to find out.
|October 14, 2008 - We've found with race tires that we start to get hesitation in hard corners with a partial tank, so we're installing a swirl tank.|
A low-pressure pump brings fuel in from the tank (the hose connected to the side) and a high-pressure pump takes fuel from the bottom. This reservoir means that even if we get a momentary drop in fuel pressure in a corner, there will still be lots of food for the engine. It's mounted on the scuttle where the battery used to sit.
|October 14, 2008 - Just when you think you're done with wires...|
We're installing a Hydra ECU to replace the Link unit we've run in the past as well as wiring in a 1999 instrument cluster.
|October 14, 2008 - We had some Line-X sprayed on the inside of the front and rear fenders.|
We also had some added to the front of the rear fenders to protect them from rocks. This is usually done with an aluminum sheet or (fancy!) carbon fibre, but the Line-X will survive much better. It's also much lighter than you might think because it's a very thin layer.
|October 14, 2008 - The rear fender installed.
|October 14, 2008 - We've installed 1.8 rear brakes in the car to give it a little more rear bias.|
We've also installed Carbotech XP8 pads front and rear.
|October 14, 2008 - The high pressure pump for the swirl tank lives happily down beside the motor mount.
|October 14, 2008 - Keith works inside the engine bay.
|October 14, 2008 - The 1.8 is in!|
Along with new front fenders, a new radiator fan, a new ECU, a later instrument cluster and a few other bits and pieces. One thing that helped was the fact that the flange between the exhaust manifold (reused on the Westfield) and the downpipe (discarded) is in the same location on the 1.6 and 1.8 Miatas, so our exhaust system simply plugged in! We did have to weld in a bung for an oxygen sensor though.
|October 14, 2008 - And of course, we had to check.|
This is a stock 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 manifold and turbo. And it's almost a perfect fit! It's quite possible the turbine outlet casting could be reused without too much effort.
|October 14, 2008 - The one piece of interference on the turbo.|
We reworked this motor mount to provide copious clearance without a strength penalty by making it narrower. The Mazdaspeed turbo is a bit smaller than we'd prefer, so we've given ourselves room for a Garrett GT2560R.