spudwerks: Pilots Log

January 28, 2009: In the engine department,there has not been a load of changes and it appears that the only thing that is up soon is a good engine cleaning before the Miata events start to kick in. I also need to replace the foam filters with some dual layer HKS sponge and we should be set to go. As mentioned on the Body page, I will be replacing the HKS ECU with a MegaSquirt unit as well as a WB O2-A/F meter. The HKS cam gears continue to erode a bit - a shame really. Would think those would hold up better over time.

November 28, 2007: Wow - been a long time, but safe to say the IRTB's have ben rock solid since. Really impressed with that fact as well as several mountain runs and altitude changes with no adverse effects. Have gone through a few different cam covers - was trying to spruce up the engine bay and just got tired of red...I think the HKS cam gears have something to do with it (they are always to blame) - so there really is an art to engine bay design. To date I am still using stock internals, but had some additional fuel maps added to the F-Con Pro (street, track and circuit) and really fun to play around with so much ECU power. May end up replacing the HKS gears with some nice Maruha ones. Scotsman Michael Tough contacted me with the deal of the century - a used Pitcrew single unit exhaust system (extremely rare one piece). Was installed in 2007 - and was slightly off center, but a quick adjustment to the rubber hangers and the cat bolts lined it right up nicely. Also fabricated an aluminum hanging system that can be adjusted to any angle. The sound is just addictive - very 1960's Jag.

New Beast Breathing Fire - May 14, 2004: My new project is just about complete. I decided to sell the Supercharger and pursue a unique power upgrade that I had only seen in print from Japan to date. Individual (fuel injected) Throttle Bodies have been around the Eunos enthusiasts for years in Japan, but sadly the US market never saw a unified kit made for the masses. While we (the US market for example) continue to place value and our egos in HP numbers, I wanted something that not only sounded good but something that was rare and unique - and yet allow me to use this as a daily driver if needed. What you see here is the first R.S. Aizawa ITB 1.8 NA8 kit on a US Miata. Coupled with the very strong and versatile HKS F-Con Pro ECU, this setup is a very cohesive and integrated that works practically flawlessly. More info to follow shortly. For now there is some engine clean-up that is needed with some vac lines and wiring looms.

AMENDMENT: Added a Koyo dual radiator after a freak accident when my original radiator exploded during idle testing with the ITB setup. We later found out that the pesky Mazdaspeed 1.3 bar cap I had been using was just too much for the OEM radiator (was fine up to this point for 4 years). Thank god we shut the engine down and closed up the runners as soon as the explosion happened. Very scary stuff. Stick with your factory radiator cap!

March 14, 2004: I found a used Racing Beat stainless header that I am in simply in love with. Excellent construction and incredible mid to high torque and HP increase, this set of pipes was exactly what the Tater needed with the upcoming ITB setup. This was also one of the easiest headers I have installed to date. RB really put some money into development on this one.

January 13, 2004: I have been away far too long with no updates to my web page and here is a small update for you. I added a wonderful ZOOM exhaust from Japan that simply makes a very vintage Z-Car sound. Low and burbly, this exhaust fits like a glove and looks great from the rear with the slash tip. Stay tuned as more performance and engine mods are on the way.

My Mantra - Within every living creative there lies a soul. The soul that gives the body life and essence. The same thing can be said for any car...for within the car there lies a mechanized soul, but there also lies a harmonic balance between the driver and road. You have witnessed it before - maybe driving late at night on a road and everything about your Miata just seems perfect. Your car is operating like a new sense of excitement - the suspension, the electronics, the body cutting through the wind - your car's soul becomes alive again.

Behind the spirit of your Miata lives a wonderfully engineered Mazda engine. Whether the you have the 1.6 or 1.8, or now the 2.0, the Mazda Miata just seems at home with any 4cyl engine size. And while not a powerhouse by any far stretch of the imagination, the Miata's engine is well suited for high revs and makes the car fun to drive. At times I really miss the rev-happy 1.6 engine from my 1991 Miata. While owning a 1.8 now for about 5 years, I can say that this engine is quite different. The best way I can describe it is by suggesting that the 1.8 engine just feels a tad heavier in the revs, but the power increase is addictive and super easy to work on.