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1996 na8c mx-5

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  • 10/10/2017

    Nakamae Aluminium Door Locks
    I finally got around to installing the Nakamae door locks. I had initially wanted to wait till I removed my dash and carpet and strip the car back before installing them but since the interior was coming together nicely, I thought why not. KG Works also have something which look very similar to the Nakamae door locks but they differ in that they come in parts and need to be assembled with your original locking mechanism, meaning you need to DIY the parts with what they provide you, the door lock slider itself is a different shape and doesn't resemble the OEM lock slider and finally, they're made of plastic and is chrome dipped. Although the door handles physically look identical, the fact that they are plastic and too "blingy" as a result of them being chrome dipped was enough for me to look for alternatives.

    The Nakamae door locks are 100% full replacements for the OEM locks, are made of aluminium which gives it a more brushed look and nicer heavier feel and has perfect fit and finish. I managed to score the very last Nakamae door lock set for the NA MX-5 right before they were discontinued so I got pretty lucky. I also went ahead and got a pair of brand new OEM Mazda door cups. Mine had a hairline crack on both left and right cups so I thought this would be a good time to swap them out.

    Nakamae replacement door locks.



    OEM VS Nakamae.



    Removing the door panel to gain access to the locking mechanism. You can see that the handle is also a bit scuffed.



    Very easy install. Just pop these two tabs holding the wires which control the door lock and the door opening latch.



    Comparison. FYI there is a specific lock for both the left and right door, denoted by "L" amd "R" on the lock.



    Replacement OEM door cups.



    Installed. Looks much better.



    Also went ahead and put heatshrink on the ends of the spade connectors which go into the relay for the Hella horns. Ran out of heatshrink last time so thought it was a good idea to atmosphere-proof them.




    Next to install : 93LE speaker grilles. Need to get the doorcards updated first...

    Comment


    • 14/10/2017

      Got some new floor mats from CocoMats to replace the temporary eBay mats I've had in my car for two years. When I first received them, the driver side didn't fit properly and the heel rest pad was stitched on slightly crooked, but after an email informing them of the error, they were very apologetic and sent me out a replacement drivers side mat. I had to draw up a template and send it off to them so that they can make the mat to fit my car.

      I have to say that although the initial purchase wasn't 100%, the after sales support and the fact that they kept in touch and replied to my emails within a day or less really impressed me and made this whole ordeal go much smoother than expected. I wouldn't hesitate to buy again and I'd highly recommend it to any of my friends who were looking for replacement floor mats for their vehicle.

      CocoMats that I ordered. Passenger side was great. Driver side didn't fit. The cutout for the footrest was wrong.



      The old "temporary" floor mats that I bought from an Australian seller on eBay that lasted me two years and which came up as "tan" when purchasing but in reality, a light beige.



      Hard to tell but the heel rest pad had to be shoved under the footrest pedal to get the driver side to fit. Not only that, the heel rest pad wasn't stitched on straight. It was slightly crooked.



      Heel pad way too big and spanned the entire width of the mat.



      The original CocoMat I received on the left VS the replacement CocoMat I received after they used my template to create the mat. Notice the heel pad is now straight.



      Fits like a glove. Super happy and very impressed with overall quality and customer service.



      Also swapped out the left and right door strikers for a brand new set that I received as a gift from a friend who had recently sold his NA. He was going to put them on his car but he had no use for them as he doesn't own an MX-5 anymore. My passenger side door always needed a little bit more force for it to close and I'm not exactly sure why. Driver side has always been fine but after I swapped the strikers out, the passenger door now closes very easily. A gentle push and it's closed. It could have been that the original striker was sitting slightly too high or too low perhaps? There were nothing wrong with the old ones aside from the fact that they were oxidised a bit.

      OEM door striker. Nothing wrong with it aside from slight oxidisation.



      New striker on top and old striker on the bottom.



      OEM freshness.



      Done.



      To be honest, I wanted to work on the engine today by taking off the rocker cover, take out the camshafts and give the hydraulic lifters a good service and clean. Even though my car doesn't have the hydraulic lifter tick noise, it's something which will need tending to eventually. I also wanted to take the intake manifold off to replace two auxiliary coolant hoses. They can be accessed without taking the manifold off but I think it may be easier this way. With all that said, I decided to leave all that for another day, replace these door strikers and just watch the 2017 World Time Attack Challenge on live stream which was on at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend. Lots of cool cars, including the RE Amemiya GT300 FD RX7 and my personal favourite, the Mazda 767B. Keiichi Tsuchiya also brought along his Hot Version TRD N2 AE86 and was one of the judges for the drift event.

      Here's a little teaser photo from yesterday. Mazda 767B being warmed up to go out on the track and in the background, the Drift King himself Keiichi Tsuchiya with the Hot Version AE86. SO much awesomeness in one photo :

      Comment


      • hi

        indeed so much awsumness in this last pic of yours, 767 B and at background Drift king & his AE... makes me drool where was this pic shot just curious
        cheers oh and congrats on your 96, love your late upgrades alll in subtle details

        Sean

        Comment


        • 19/12/2017

          MOMO Futura 350mm Wood Steering Wheel
          For some reason, the NA8 BRG's came with a black leather MOMO steering wheel and matching black handbrake. Ever since I saw my friends NA6 BRG which had the wood Nardi and wood hand brake handle, I wanted them and was kind of bummed that mine didn't come with it. So when I began modifying, I got my hands on a Nardi Classic wood steering wheel and an Arrive mahogany hand brake handle. I loved it. I loved the look of it and to me, given that the car had a tan interior and BRG paint job, it felt...complete.

          One day, my friend Dan tagged me in an instagram post of a car which has a particular steering wheel he thought would look great with my MX-5. It was a wood MOMO wheel, but at the time I had no idea what it was called. After some research, I found out that it was called a "MOMO Futura" steering wheel. It looked retro and to me it looked very cool. Naturally, the next step would be to see who sells it and where to get one from. Turns out that this particular wheel had been discontinued a while ago and it was becoming harder to source one. I looked on YJA and other places but to no avail.

          Then one day as I was scrolling through some instagram photos, this person had posted that they were selling a MOMO Futura steering wheel. It looked to be in great condition for a second hand wheel and the price was reasonable. After some messages back and forth, we agreed on a price and soon enough the wheel was in my hands, all the way from the UK.

          Upon receiving the wheel, I realised that there was a little bit of wear on the 2:00 position compared to the rest of the wheel but that wasn't too bad. A little bit of the wood had also split near the spokes but again, nothing major. The really impressive thing was that the wood colour was pretty much a perfect match with my hand brake handle. The MOMO is a 350mm compared to the 360mm on my Nardi so now it's a little harder to see the top of the cluster (i.e indicator lights) compared to before, but the grip is definitely a lot thicker than the thin grip of the Nardi and it feels really good. Plus, the 10mm difference in diameter surprisingly made a pretty big difference!

          Overall, I'm very pleased with steering wheel. I do plan on restoring the wheel very soon by sanding the grip and reapplying the varnish to restore the nice gloss the wheel once had. Also, I'm currently borrowing a MOMO horn button from Dan for the time being but I also plan on getting a new customised horn button for the wheel from Adam. Stay tuned!

          MOMO Futura 350mm wood steering wheel.



          Slight colour difference between the Nardi Classic and the Arrive hand brake cover.



          Pretty much a perfect match with the MOMO and the hand brake cover.



          Before : Nardi Classico 360mm wood steering wheel with ND Tokyo horn button.



          After : MOMO Futura 350mm wood steering wheel with MOMO classic horn button.

          Comment


          • Back to your regularly scheduled programme! In the 96-BRG and the first shot of 2018: the interior as it currently stands. Re-upholstering the seats will be next. New foam, speakers in headrest in Nakamae tan leather, quilted to match.

            The wooden MOMO steering wheel will also be getting a restoration later on too by following the guide posted by Revlimiter.

            Comment


            • 04/02/2018

              Haven't had much of a chance to drive the MX-5 lately as life stuff got in the way as it usually does. However, I did receive a package the other day and it was for my Pit Crew Racing high rise 4-1 headers, my replacement soft top latches and the inner door-to-glass inner rubber weather strips.

              First up: Pit Crew Racing high rise 4-1 headers. Will be installed when I install the ITB's in the future.



              I managed to get a really good deal on the these headers. I have yet to install the Maxim-Works 4-2-1 headers but I will be getting around to that very, very soon. You may ask why then did I get the Pit Crew Racing headers? Well, again, I got it second hand at a price I couldn't refuse and plus, it was a bit of forward thinking because when I eventually go ITB's, I am wanting to change the headers over to the high rise headers as I think they will look amazing in the engine bay. I'm not putting them on just yet because I'm afraid of the headers fouling against the Mazdaspeed airbox I am currently running. Thus, once the ITB's are in, that airbox will be redundant, therefore there should be more clearance on the passenger side for the high rise headers.

              I decided to change out my soft top latches for brand new OEM items. The old latches were fine but it was getting on a bit, looking a bit worn, a bit tired, a bit rusty in the spring, etc. I'm planning on giving the old latches a refurbish and going to do a DIY on them and see if I can get the latch polished. I've seen it done before and it seems tedious with all the sanding and polishing, but it's doable so it'll be a little project. The new OEM replacements are factory fresh and feel amazing. They latch on much nicer and gives a solid "click" when you close the soft top. A very simple install. Three screws on each side holding the latches to the soft top.

              OEM goodies. Inner weather strips and soft top latches.



              Old latch. The foam cushion underneath the actual latch has deteriorated, the plastic covering for the latch adjustment has cracked and generally, looking very old and tired.



              Closer look at the latch. Going to do a DIY project on this.



              Pitting corrosion on the latch. Have seen a lot worse in other MX-5's though.



              Still functional and operates as intended. Just needs a bit of TLC.



              New OEM latches installed. Feels wonderful with a very reassuring "click" when closing the soft top.



              So smooth.



              The inner rubber weather strips were also given a refresh. I swapped out the outer weather strips already a couple of months ago and albeit the inners are usually in better condition than the outers, it is still the same strips when the car left the factory floor some 22 years ago. It was certainly not in bad condition but you could feel the rubber being a bit hard in certain places and not as flexible as it should be. Again, another simple install. Take the door card off and the strips are held down by bending the tabs.

              Taking off the door card and the inner weather strips. You can see the holes where the tabs are meant to be inserted and then bent to keep them in place.



              Giving the top of the door card a good clean to get rid of dirt and grime which had accumulated over 22 years.



              Old strip on the top, new one on the bottom.



              I can safely assume that this has never been cleaned ever since the car rolled off the factory floor.




              Couple more updates coming very soon. Maxim-Works headers will be installed very shortly, followed by a set of Flyin' Miata frame rails, Paco Motorsports fender braces, Torsen LSD and brand new Mazdaspeed bushings with refurbished control arms. Stay tuned...

              Comment


              • 31/05/2018

                ZOOM Engine Start Push Button
                There were a few redundant items in my car. One of them was the power mirror adjust switch. Ever since I swapped over to the Runabout M2 mirrors, this switch was no longer being used. After seeing how good it looked on Ben's (bcpopham) NA8, I decided to take the plunge and get the Zoom engine start push button. A little gimmicky, but hey, it's all in good fun.

                ZOOM push button.




                RetroModern items
                Ken from RetroModern sent over a care package. I've always liked his stuff and especially wanted to get a knurled dimmer switch. He said he had one in stock so I jumped on it. He also sent over his knurled trip meter reset stalk, knurled vent ring nipped and knurled A/C fan knob. It should tie in with the rest of the car.

                RetroModern goodness.



                Knurled dimmer switch with Zoom engine start push button.



                Knurled A/C Fan Knob.



                Knurled A/C Trip Reset Stalk.




                Also, tried something different. Swapped wheels with my friend Dan for a short term to see how 15's would look on my car. 15x8 +25 Enkei Apache II's wrapped on 205/55/15 Bridgestone RE003's. As much as I love my 14" Watanabe's, it's always good to try something different.



                Love the fatness.



                Also, trying out new steering wheels and colour combinations. Momo California 360mm and Garagestar Handbrake handle.



                Picked up an '88 Momo Indy 350mm for cheap. Going to refurb it with the Momo Futura.




                Keep in mind, this is all short term. Just trying things out for now. But I've decided my next set of wheels will be a set of 15's. Keeping the Watanabe's though, but having an extra set is always nice.

                Comment


                • 03/08/2018

                  Recently, I was given the opportunity to do a short blog piece for Bridgestone Australia on one of their more popular street performance tyres, the Bridgestone Potenza RE003's. It's easy when you have a platform like this forum to write whatever you want but when you're limited to words, it gets a bit trickier trying to say everything you want in the least amount of words possible. Thanks to Jerry who was my contact guy for Bridgestone, Dan for lending me his awesome 15" Enkei Apache II wheels and Joseph from JHUI Photography for always taking quality photos!

                  I wanted to hero the RE003's and show just how capable they are as an everyday performance street tyre. It's a shame these don't come in 14's, otherwise it would be wrapped around my RS-Watanabe's already. But, I'm in the market for a new set of shoes and it seems like 15's might be the way to go. The car did feel a little heavier with the steering and it lost a little bit of the nimbleness that comes with having 14's, but really, I'm clutching at straws here. It's still every bit as fun and the extra tread make it noticeably grippier through the twisty stuff.

                  If you have 5 minutes to spare, have a read and any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Link is down below.

                  https://www.bridgestonetyres.com.au/mazda-mx5-build














































                  Comment


                  • Looks good. I have been thinking I need one of these. I like the fastback tops they put on them. Nice region for a photo shoot.😗
                    Last edited by Ontrack; 08-11-2018, 02:19 AM.

                    Comment


                    • 20/10/2018

                      It's been a bit of a hiatus in terms of mods for 96-BRG. Life and other things tend to take priority as it always does and I haven't had a chance to take it out for a proper drive since the MX-5 Club of NSW's Presidents Picnic last month. It sat in the garage after that day and sadly, the freshly washed/waxed/polished paintwork now has specks of dust all over it (which reminds me, I need to look into a car cover...)

                      I haven't had a chance to do a major mod on the car for a while and I've been itching to get some things done such as installing my frame rails, taking the dash out for a complete overhaul and refurb, as well as re-building a set of wheels which will used as a second set next to my current RS-Watanabe's. But since I had a bit of time today, I did something I've been wanting to do for a while but kept putting off. I polished up the indicator stalks. "Indicator stalks?" I hear you ask? Yes, indicator stalks.

                      The OEM stalks were okay and there was nothing wrong with them. However, after 22 years there were little pit stains and imperfections on it which irked me. I thought that it would look much better if they were polished up since it would tie in with the rest of the cluster and the interior. But, the reason why I kept putting it off was because this was one of those things which requires a lot of prep and time in order to do it properly. For it to turn out the way that I wanted, I needed to be meticulous and patient. Not only that, most of it will be covered up by the steering column shroud after it's completed and it isn't something which will be noticed immediately by most people. However, "the devil is in the details" as the saying goes and I have to say that it turned out much better than expected. To say that I am pleased with the end result is an understatement. It matches the rest of the interior so well.

                      Using multiple grades of sand paper, wet and dry sanding, being patient with those hard-to-reach places on the stalk and making sure it has full coverage, to finally polishing the stalks with a Dremel and polishing bit, the whole process took well over 4 hours. However, just know that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Given the way that it looks, I'd say it was well worth the effort.

                      OEM indicator stalks. Notice the imperfections and pitting.



                      Definitely asking for a refurb...



                      This side isn't as bad...



                      The different grades of sandpaper I used to prep and sand down the stalks. I also used a 120 grit and 250 grit not pictured here.



                      In progress: after the 250 grit.



                      In progress: after the 400 grit wet sand.



                      In progress: after the 1000 grit.



                      Final step of polishing the stalks with the Dremel using Pikal metal polish.



                      Polishing them up.

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                      Result.



                      Very pleased with the end result. I decided to swap out the Nardi for the moment and go to the Momo Futura 350mm.



                      P.S I plan to refurb this steering wheel in the very near future by sanding the grip down, repairing the splits and and re-varnishing by using Adam's (RevLimiter) restoration guide.

                      Comment


                      • 21/08/2018

                        A few months back, I purchased a Momo California wheel from their new "Heritage" line. If I'm honest, it was an impulse purchase as Sparesbox were having a 25% sitewide sale or something at the time and it was too good a deal to just walk away from it.

                        I decided to purchase the Momo California as it still retained that classic oldschool period look. The wheel comes in two trims: black leather wrapped with white stitching grip or a mahogany wood grip. As much as I think wood goes well with a BRG and tan interior colour scheme, I liked the look of the black leather and I thought it would be fun to switch it up from the Nardi Classico wood or Momo Futura wood that I have previously used in 96-BRG. The only thing I didn't like about the Momo California steering wheel was the polished spokes. There wasn't an option for a brushed or matte finish for the Mom California. I personally feel that the polished finish on the spokes ties in better with oldschool 60's and 70's muscle cars. However, despite this I decided to bite the bullet, buy the wheel and see what it looks like in person.

                        When I put it on 96-BRG, I felt it didn't quite tie in with the rest of the car. The polished spokes of the Momo California was too "in-your-face" compared to the rest of the interior trim and it took away from the overall interior subtlety. I took it off, placed it back in the box that it came and put it into storage. Can you say "buyers remorse"?

                        Fast forward to October 2018 and although I wanted to sell the wheel and get rid of it, I decided to keep it. I was determined to do something about the polished spokes and I figured a DIY would be the best way to go. You would have read in my previous post that I recently purchased a variety of sandpaper in different grit ratings as I was planning to polish up my indicator stalks. Well, the sanding madness didn't stop there. I took the steering wheel out of the box, wrapped up the leather grip with thick layers of painters tape all around, applied some wax and grease remover to the spokes and started to sand it back on what was a brand new steering wheel. I was pretty nervous as I felt like I was ruining a perfectly good wheel which would have easily sold had I decided to sell. I've now reached and surpassed that point of no return.

                        Much like the indicator stalks, patience is key. I started off with 400 grit wet sanding, then to 600 grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit, 1500 grit, then finally 2000 grit, before going over the spokes with some metal polish to rid the wheel of any light scratches from the sanding. To be honest, I didn't find any DIY articles on how to perform this whole procedure nor did I find anyone who had attempted to do something like this before, so I basically took a shot with this whole experiment and it was a bit of a gamble. But, I'm happy to say that the gamble paid off and I achieved the look that I wanted. I haven't put the wheel on the car yet, however I might change it up soon because it came out much better than I expected. I'll let the pictures do the talking.


                        Momo Heritage California 360mm steering wheel with black leather grip and polished spokes. Notice how the polished spokes is too "in your face" with the rest of the trim bits.

                        I also trial fitted a GarageStar 6061 aluminium hand brake handle.



                        Taped up and already hit with a few rounds of 400 grit sandpaper.



                        In progress: wet sanding the spokes using 1000 grit.



                        A few hours later, here's how it turned out after it was cleaned up. The painters tape is still on as I still had a bit of polishing left to do to rid the spokes of tiny imperfections. But overall I'm very pleased with the way it turned out..



                        I did not bother sanding and polishing the back of the steering wheel. This photo was taken so that a compare/contrast comparision can be made between the front and the back of the wheel.



                        Painters tape off, ready to be installed.



                        The original polished look of the steering wheel, which has been retained to give you an idea of how much "bling" was on the spokes.

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