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1996 na8c mx-5

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  • BRGNA8
    replied
    02/10/2017

    Hella Sharp Tone Horns
    One of the biggest let downs for the MX-5 is the fact that it has a very poor horn. It's not nearly loud enough given the size of the vehicle. The MX-5 is by no means a big car and although I'm always enjoying the drive, I'm also very wary of other motorists and always defensive driving. The other day I was coming home and some idiot in a Lexus decided to merge into my lane without any indication. I slam my brakes and luckily there wasn't anyone behind me otherwise it would have resulted in an accident. I honk my piss poor sounding horn at him, change lanes and catch up to him. Upon getting up side by side with the driver, I realise he is wearing earphones and was completely oblivious to the collision that almost happened. My horn didn't even phase him nor was it loud enough for him to notice me. We exchange profanities at each other; me because he almost crashed into my car and him because he doesn't know why there's a guy telling him off as he believes he did nothing wrong (again, he was wearing earphones and most likely, I was in his blind spot) and we both go our separate ways. Ever since then, I decided I needed to upgrade my horns to something a little louder.

    I decided to buy the Hella Sharp Tones horns, which is a dual horn set with a high and low tone. It also comes with a separate relay so I'll be wiring these up. I opted for these over the Supertones as I like the sound of them more and to me, they sound much crisper. I also decided to give the Nautilus a miss because I didn't like the idea of the compressor not working which was the main reason why it got such poor reviews from what I read. Given that the Hella's have 115dB of fury, the sound will be definitely piercing enough for anyone to hear, even those who wear earphones in their cars (which I still think is a stupid idea, but I digress).

    Hella Sharp Tone Horn set. They come with a yellow "grille" around the horn module and even though I know that the horns will be hidden behind my bumper and no one will ever see them, I had to do something about that yellow.



    Scuffing up the paint so that it can be repainted.



    Ready for a professional rattle can satin black paint job.



    Much better, even though I know no one will ever see these behind the bumper.



    Stock horn. The single tone "meep-meep" won't do.



    Stock VS Hella Sharp Tones.



    Making wires. Eye terminal and female spade connector, then crimped and heatshrinked for the ground. One for each horn.





    Routing the power wire.



    Power wire routed to fuse box with fuse socket tap ready to accept the 15A fuse blade. Protective sheathing to cover the wire.



    Wiring them up. The horns fit nicely there. No need to drill another mounting point as you can use an existing hole left there, courtesy of Mazda.



    The new horns sound amazing. And very loud! Super happy with the install and so glad to be rid of that piss poor OEM horn. The MX-5 will now be heard as well as being seen on the streets!

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    30/09/2017

    Nakamichi CD-400 Headunit + Polk Audio DB651 6.5" Coaxial Speakers
    The headunit which came with the MX-5 was a Sony, specifically a Sony CDX-S2010X. Try saying that three times. Now, I'll admit that the headunit suited the interior when I picked it up in that it didn't seem too...flamboyant as other aftermarket headunits I've seen in other NA's. It was nice and subtle and it lit up green to match the interior lights. However, I wanted something which was still an aftermarket headunit but looked OEM/factory. Enter the Nakamichi CD-400.





    The door panels came out and I cut the wires which were hooked on to the old speakers. They seemed to be an aftermarket speaker of some sort and the wires were soldered on to the speaker terminals rather than having them connected with spade connectors.



    I took out all the old cables, routed the new speaker cables through the firewall and soldered and heatshrinked some female spade connectors to the end of the wire to make the speaker install cleaner. I ended up removing the blue plastic sheath from the positive connector and just used heatshrink.



    Upon removing the speaker though, it appears that the person previously installed the sound system used blu-tack to hold the speaker in position before screwing them down to the door. This left a pretty nasty residue which had to be cleaned before I could install the new speakers.



    Love this stuff...



    Plastic scraper used to get all the crap off.



    All clean.



    The new speakers are a pair of Polk Audio DB651 6.5" Coaxials. Nothing too crazy, bang for buck and excellent sound.



    I also had some XTC foam speaker baffles which was used. Fitting foam speaker baffles serve a dual role. First, they help keep dirt and grime away from the delicate driver components to help maximize speaker life. Second, by forming a tight mounting seal around the speaker, the baffle can actually help reduce panel-to-frame resonance for better sound. Added bonus of it also acting as a water proofing measure. Once this was all wired up, the new speakers and baffles were screwed into place.

    XTC foam speaker baffles mounted to the door with wires fed through for the speakers.





    Removing excess foam.



    Taking out the old headunit wasn't too hard. Upon removing the tombstone and gaining access to the rear, the wiring to the Sony harness was done surprisingly well. It was all soldered properly and heatshrinked and it was neatly wrapped in electrical tape. I was quite surprised by this clean install because it certainly didn't seem like the same care was used when the old speakers were wired and mounted.



    Since the headunit was soldered into the factory harness, it meant that I couldn't use an adaptor harness to hook up the new headunit. This would have been so much easier rather than soldering and heatshrinking. Wires were cut and using the now cut Sony harness as a guide, I matched the wires on the Nakamichi harness and soldered them all and covered it with heatshrink.



    Nakamichi harness soldered, heatshrinked and zip-tied to make it neat.



    I also managed to get a pair of JDM factory tweeters from an NA8 Eunos Roadster. It seemed liked the MX-5's in Japan got treated to Pioneer branded tweeters whereas ours were no name.





    Again, much like me getting the Nakamichi headunit for how it looks and not for its SQ, I got these tweeters because the silver trim ring around the tweeter suited the interior look I was going for. It was just a bonus that they were made by Pioneer. The grille was a little scratched up in a few places so I decided to take the tweeters apart, mask up the silver trim and give a couple of coats of satin black on the grille.



    Masked it up and made sure to get tape between the grille and the edge of the trim. Fingernails helped.



    They turned out pretty well.







    Overall it was a faily straight forward install. The Nakamichi is in along with the new Polk Audio speakers and I have to say, the sound is pretty incredible. I'm not a huge audiophile but I can already tell the difference. There was one downside to this install. The old Sony headunit was smart enough to turn on and extend the power antenna when the radio was on and to retract when the system was either off or playing the CD. The Nakamichi headunit isn't as smart in that it seems like the power antenna stays extended when you simply turn the headunit on, whether it's on CD, radio or AUX. It's a little annoying and I have found that many people seem to splice in a toggle switch or something similar to manually extend and retract the antenna but for now, I simply unplugged the power going to the aerial so that it stays down as I hardly ever listen to the radio anyway. Many thanks to Sari for lending me a hand with the soldering and wiring and to Mike for sourcing and sending me the tweeters from YJA.

    From this...



    ...to this...





    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    20/09/2017

    RevLimiter Custom HVAC Panel + RS Products Classic A/C Trim Ring + Fan Knob + Sliders
    Ever since I've updated the gauge cluster with some custom made ones from RevLimiter, I've wanted to continue that theme with the HVAC panel as well. The OEM HVAC panel didn't really "fit" with the gauge cluster. When I initially got my custom gauges made, I could have also bought the HVAC together but I decided to hold off on it...and I'm glad I did. Adam had recently announced that his gauges and HVAC panels are now being made from a different material. Quote :

    "Gen3 gauges are laser cut from aerospace polymer and digitally screen printed to create a dial face that exceeds OEM quality. Using spot color printing, the gauges feature extremely vivid red zones and translucent black warning light areas. They’re also extremely tough and can be cleaned with water or chemicals."

    To put it in other words, the new Gen3 gauges and HVAC panels are OEM textured semi-gloss surface and the colours "pop" more than the old Gen2 material, which was more a matte surface and the colours weren't as vivid. I'm contemplating whether I should get my gauge faces re-done in the new material as it would be brighter, but given that they're not exactly cheap with shipping and my that my current ones do the job perfectly well, I feel like that that money could be better spent elsewhere. I decided that I wanted the HVAC panel to match my gauge faces with the text and font being kept consistent. I opted for the "Version Stirling" and made a few custom changes including the numbers on the dial to replicate the numbers as shown on my gauge face.

    My car never came with A/C so it never came with the A/C button from factory. But, when I pulled off the OEM fan selector knob to be able to remove my HVAC panel, I discovered that the module which allows A/C was also in my car but it's just that it's not hooked up to anything since there was no A/C. It was a pleasant surprise as I do plan on installing a complete A/C system in the near future together with the NB heater core upgrade and this was one less thing to worry about when trying to source the parts. I also had my HVAC panel made so that it includes the A/C indicator below the fan selector knob so that when it is activated and when I get around to installing the A/C, it will light up. This was just forward thinking. I also decided to install my RS Products A/C fan selector knob, slider buttons and fan trim ring.

    The install was straight forward. Adam has a HVAC panel install guide on his site complete with illustrations which helped a lot. Overall, I'm very pleased with the result and I think it's really starting to take shape. Thanks again to Adam for making this for me.

    OEM HVAC panel. Really need to put in my Nakamichi headunit too...



    Eyeball vents and tombstone out.



    The vents had a thin film of dust which needed cleaning.



    Much better.



    The slider buttons have a tiny little hex screw on the bottom, which need to be unscrewed before being able to take the HVAC panel off completely.



    HVAC panel off.



    OEM HVAC panel that will be modified.



    Nothing to it but to just peel back the old panel. I was lucky in that my panel was still pretty fresh and new and the majority of the glue stayed on the panel which is good because it will be re-used with the new panel by re-activating it with heat.



    Old stuff gone. Lot of little bits of dirt and dust on there as you can see. The panel was given a good wipe down before the new stuff went on.



    Ready for the new.



    RevLimiter Version Stirling custom HVAC panel and fan selector. I customised the font and numbers to replicate my gauge cluster to keep it all consistent.



    Double sided scotch tape was applied on the fan glass to make it adhere to the new fan selector insert.



    Did this on the panel as well.



    Placed the HVAC insert onto the panel and re-activated the glue with a hairdryer. I also added the RS Products fan selector trim ring.



    The old bulb which would be lighting up the panel was probably the same one from 21 years ago. I decided to update it with some T5 white LED's. This will make the panel illuminate brighter than stock.



    Old VS New. Big difference.



    LED's installed.



    New fan selector insert attached. Notice the A/C indicator on the bottom. It is blacked out but it will light up when activated and when I get my A/C installed.



    Result.



    Slowly coming together. That headunit really needs to go. It's next on the list of things to replace.



    Lit up.



    Success!

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    17/09/2017

    The MX-5 Club of NSW held their annual "President's Picnic" event day, which is an event with probably the largest gathering of MX-5's in the calendar year. It's a chance for MX-5 owners to get together, showcase and display their cars, catch up with old mates, meet new people and talk all things MX-5.

    As a member you have the opportunity to win an award if you decide to enter your car. You can enter it in the Concours d’Elegance category, which is where prizes are awarded for those in the best or most original condition, the Show 'N Shine category where prizes are awarded for the best NA, NB, NC and ND on show taking into account originality and/or external modifications and trim, and then there's the Best Modified & Performance category for NA, NB, NC and ND which look at the nature and quality of mechanical, interior and exterior modifications taken into account. You also have the Best in Show, Peoples Choice and Best Ladies Car on Show awards.

    The event was held at the historic Ebenezer Church grounds which is the oldest church in Australia, established in 1809 and to this day, they still conduct weekly services. Some 130 MX-5's turned up today and roughly 190 attendees. With blue skies, no clouds and the sun beaming down and ambient temperature of around 22 degrees celsius, it was an absolutely fantastic day to hold such an event.

    I wasn't expecting to receive anything as I was happy to just chat and talk to the owners of some really cool MX-5's which were on display but I managed to receive the People's Choice award! Unexpected and stoked! I had a lot of people approach me and ask me various things about my car and I met and talked to some great people which is what I think these events are all about. I had a DSLR for photos but I forgot to charge the battery last night (rookie mistake). Excuse my potato quality photos which were taken from my phone and thanks to Breno for the drone shots. Thanks to the MX-5 Club of NSW and all the volunteers for making this a successful event.

    96-BRG being displayed in a sea of awesome MX-5's. The black NA belonging to my mate with some sweet BBS RS's and big plans for the engine in the not too distant future.



    Fantastic day for a car show.









    A Fiat 124 Abarth also decided to join the party.



    The Concours d'elegance contestants.



    Red NA and red ND.



    Perfect weather for the event.



    Drone shots.





    Managed to win the "People's Choice" award!

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    16/09/2017

    As much as I like to tinker with and modify my car, I also like to make sure that my car is looking presentable too. I personally find that there's something therapeutic about cleaning and washing my car. I generally consider myself to be a clean person and I try to keep my cars the same way by giving them a wash at least once a month, vacuuming the interior, getting rid of any dirt, dust and grime and protecting/prolonging the paintwork.However, ever since I purchased the car back in 2015, it has never had a full detail. It has been washed, sure...but it was never given the full treatment. As a result, fine scratches and spider webbing had appeared on the paintwork which you can't tell from afar but can definitely tell when up close. It's these scratches and webbing which gives the paint a dull appearance. It was time to restore the paintwork and give it the detail that it needs.

    I'm by no means a professional car detailer but I know enough to know what to do to help bring back the shine and depth to the paintwork, to remove the scratches as well as how to maintain the paintwork going forward. The steps I used were :

    1) Rinse car down to remove as much dirt as possible before hand wash. Using a snowfoam lance would help but I decided to just rinse it down with water.

    2) Use two bucket method to hand wash car with super soft lambs wool wash mitts and pH neutral shampoo.

    3) After wash, cleanse the paintwork with a claybar to remove any surface contamination. This will lift and remove all the fine dirt on the paint and will result in a smooth glass-like finish.

    4) Restore dull, faded or heavily swirled paint with a heavy cut polish, cutting pad and random orbital buffer. This was the boot lid for me.

    5) Remove moderate swirls and oxidation with a medium cut polish, polishing pad and random orbital buffer. I used this for the rest of the car.

    6) Enhance gloss and depth with finishing polish. finishing pad and random orbital buffer. This gives the paintwork that extra shine and a deeper gloss.

    The next steps would have been to use a high grade carnauba wax like Swissvax and a paint sealant such as Gyeon MOHS+ but I didn't have either one of these products so I only got as far as polishing and I just finished it off with a quick detailer but I have to say, the paintwork really did come up amazing after all this. The wax and sealant would have topped it off.

    Remember to always make sure the car is cool and preferably undercover/in shade before starting any washing or detailing. Never let a product dry on the car unless it states that it must on the label.
    I'll let the pictures do the talking.

    Rinse down the car with water to remove any loose dirt before hand wash.



    Products I used. From left to right :
    * Menzerna HC400 Heavy Cut Compound
    * Menzerna PF2400 Medium Cut Polish
    * Menzerna SF3500 Super Finish Polish
    * Dodo Juice Ferrous Dueller Iron Remover
    * Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild Maintenance Shampoo
    * Dodo Juice Supernatural Shampoo
    * Dodo Juice Gentle Grey Clay Bar
    * Mint Clay Bar Lube
    * Optimum Instant Detailer + Gloss Enhancer



    Since I would be doing a full detail, I decided to use the Dodo Juice Supernational Shampoo. pH neutral and a highly concentrated shampoo. One pump for every 3 litres of water.



    After the wash, I used the Dodo Juice Gentle Grey clay bar and the Mint clay bar lube to clay the car.



    This is the result after one quarter panel. Remember to fold the clay bar to reveal a fresh surface of clay before moving on to a different panel.



    This was the boot and rear of the car. Pretty hectic.



    This was the door and rear panels.



    This was the bonnet.



    After a wash and clay, you can now see that there are some scratches and marks on the paint. This would be rectified with polish.



    More scratches and marks needing attention.



    Mask up the rubbers and black plastic trim on the car to prevent it from leaving stains from the polish. If they're not masked up, these can leave a white chalky residue from the polish.



    Prepping the car for polish by masking up all the rubbers and black plastics.





    My bootlid was particularly bad with all the fine swirls and scratches and spider webbing, so I used Menzerna HC400 heavy cut compound to remove them.



    Use a correction buffing pad and put four 5c sized dabs on the pad. This was probably a little bit too much for my application. You can use less than the amount shown here and achieve the same result.



    Spread the polish by first dabbing it onto the car with the buffer



    Start with the lowest speed of the buffer and distribute the polish to the area. Go slow and make a few passes with the buffer before gradually increasing the speed until most of the polish has disappeared. Then wipe off the remainder of the polish off with a microfibre cloth.



    The rest of the car wasn't as bad as my bootlid, so the whole car was then treated with Menzerna PF2400 medium cut polish.



    Same as before. Using a medium cut foam pad, you only need a small amount on the pad. Distribute the polish by dabbing it on to the car with the buffer before turning it on.



    The MX-5's never came with a clearcoat so unless your car has had a respray and a clearcoat was sprayed on, your pad will turn into the colour your car is when polishing. Keep this in mind and remember not to go too crazy with the buffer, otherwise you might fade the paint.



    After a full once over with the medium cut polish, you can truly see the results and it's already looking 100x better. To enhance that gloss even further and to give the paint an extra layer of depth, I finished it off with Menzerna SF3500 super finish polish. Again, same principle. Use a finishing pad and the amount of polish shown should be enough for one door/panel.



    Dab and distribute the polish on the area you'd like to work on.



    Lowest speed first, then gradually build up the speed and work the polish in.



    I also took the time to polish the lips on my wheels with this wheel polish I received from Barrel Bros when I had my wheels refurbished by them.



    I gave my windows and windshield a clean too with Dodo Juice Clearly Menthol glass cleaner and a streak-free glass cleaning cloth.



    It's really hard to tell but the photos do not do it justice. I didn't have good lighting to highlight just how well the car came up. After all that work, the car is definitely looking a million times better and the BRG paintwork is so much deeper now. Very pleased with the result. I'll take some better pictures soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    09/09/2017

    Fujitsubo Legalis-R Catback Exhaust + SARD Sports High Flow Catalytic Converter
    Decided to install the catback and the high flow cat today. To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be such a pain in the ass to get the old system off but it was. Upon further inspection, it seems like that the previous owner had put exhaust tape around the muffler tip and the exhaust pipe itself had a lot of rust. It was definitely time to upgrade. I tried to take photos along the way but I didn't take as many this time around.

    Car jacked up, ready to take off the stock exhaust.



    Rusted out pipes.



    Exhaust finally out!



    Close-up of the muffler. You can see someone had wrapped the tip in exhaust tape.



    Stock cat. This thing absolutely refused to come off the exhaust. I was able to get it off from the manifold but it was being one stubborn pain in the ass.



    OEM exhaust manifold. (Picture came out blurry)



    SARD sports high flow catalytic converter ready to go!



    In order for the OEM exhaust to come out, I needed to take off the rear bumper. This gave me a chance to give everything a thorough cleaning. I had previously given a good clean behind the rear garnish and realised how dirty it was.



    After a good scrub it came out real nice!





    There was a lot of caked up dirt accumulated over the years behind these black flaps. Happy to say that it's now all clean.





    New exhaust on!











    Video clip of OEM vs Fujitsubo catback exhaust.



    Overall, I'm extremely happy with the exhaust. When it is idling, it sounds pretty much exactly like the OEM exhaust, i.e quiet and non intrusive. When it is at wide open throttle, the sound from the exhaust is there but it's not overly or obnoxiously loud. At normal speeds it does not drone and is very comfortable.

    I would recommend this exhaust if you're wanting a catback which mimics the factory exhaust in terms of sound and livability. If you're after noise, this isn't the exhaust for you as I can imagine a lot of people saying that this is too quiet for an aftermarket exhaust. For me however, it was exactly what I was looking for and couldn't be happier. I will record another video soon.
    Last edited by BRGNA8; 09-09-2017, 11:15 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    03/09/2017

    My engine bay has gone through a few changes since I've owned the MX-5. It started off from being a complete stock standard looking engine bay as it was a 100% factory original car, but as I've added things like intake pipes, strut bars etc over the years, the overall look changed with every mod.

    Decided to get the intake pipe powder coated in the same textured black as my rocker cover and intake manifold. Initially I left the pipe polished because I thought it would go well with the strut brace and tie it all in but in hindsight I should have done it back then. It looks so much better.

    Factory looking engine bay.



    Polished intake pipe.



    Engine bay as it currently stands.

    Leave a comment:


  • sean69
    replied
    Wow what a beauty, Fujitsubo always made nice product, can understand your impatience.. nice stuff for the miata. have fun with it !
    Sean

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    03/09/2017

    Fujitsubo Legalis R catback. Can't wait to install this and to finally have a nice exhaust note on WOT!











    SARD sports high flow catalytic converter. This will be mated to the catback.

    Last edited by BRGNA8; 09-20-2017, 11:54 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    10/08/2016

    Went on a drive with Dan in his supercharged NA6CE MX-5 to Lithgow via Bells Line of Road. Sydney's been having some amazing weather and I have been taking full advantage of this where and when I can!

    Bells Line is a nice bit of road to drive but I never really had a destination. You can take this road and travel all the way to Bathurst and to Mount Panorama and the race track if you really wanted to but thats a good 2.5 hours. SO whenever I'd drive on Bells Line I'd normally make it to just before Mt Wilson and then turn around and go back. But this time, Dan's friend opened up a cafe in Lithgow so it was nice to drive the length of the road all the way there and then drive all the way back again. Top down, of course!







    Pit stop on Bells Line of Road.



    Stopped by at Mt Wilson before heading back.



    This place looks better in Autumn as all the leaves are still on the trees and are bright red, but it still had a charm about it!

    Last edited by BRGNA8; 08-18-2017, 12:39 PM.

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  • welby
    replied
    Looks good mate

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    05/08/2017

    Driving through Old Pacific Highway. I love coming here on the weekends and tackling corner after corner on the blacktop. It gives me an escape and it's where you can just drive for the sheer love of driving. Not only that, you always see cool bikes and amazing cars on this road. This particular day there was a silver 240Z following me; a car which I intend to purchase as a new project hopefully sooner rather than later. It was a lot of fun going through the twisties with the 240Z right behind me.

    Gorgeous blue skies, suns out, no clouds, top down, gloves on, music off...and just drive...

    Many thanks to Q Stop Photography for these photos!
    https://www.facebook.com/qstopphotography/



    Leave a comment:


  • Ontrack
    replied
    Nice car and nice photography 😎

    Leave a comment:


  • BRGNA8
    replied
    19/07/2017

    Practice shots on the Canon 50mm L lens...

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  • BRGNA8
    replied
    02/07/2017

    Crisp and sunny Sunday morning. Couple of photos taken by a friend of mine before going on a drive. I think the next free weekend I have, a full wash, clay, wax, polish and paint correction is in order...













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