Got these BC Racing coilovers put on… I’ll save the introductory debrief on these, since they’re the same ones as these. For Miatas, they come with 8k/6k spring rates, but I had them upped to 10k/8k.
Started on the rears first, which were really straight forward. The hardest part about doing the rear suspension was unbolting the top nuts on the driver side strut, since the large fuel hoses are in the way.
Installed along with Racing Beat sway bar end links. I decided to stay with the stock sway bars.
Now the fronts, which were not quite as simple as the rears. The difficult part was getting the struts out through the upper control arms. The method I used was to unbolt the hub/spindle from the lower control arm, allowing it to swing forward and give enough clearance. It took a bit of pushing and maneuvering, but eventually the stock struts were free and the new stuff installed.
Installing coilovers is easy and nut & bolt wrenching at its core, but I took my time because I have a necessity to give everything a clean while I’m in there. It soothes my OCD, I guess. All bolts were given anti-seize as well.
Here’s a test fit of the wheels.
After a lot of trial and error, the ride height was dialed in.
I confess that the car is lower than I initially intended and the wheels don’t have to be as aggressive. The form factor got the best of me. This is primarily a street car, after all. The fronts are spaced 5mm with hubcentric H&R spacers. I have to get another pair of spacers to match up the rears. Honestly, all I did was close the wheel gap, yet the frame rails are already only a couple inches off the ground. I can still use scissor jacks on the pinch weld, but just barely. Miatas are too low-friendly…
Look at deez nuts.
To wrap things up, I got an alignment today at Motorsport Techniques in Hayward. They did a great job in getting my specs very close to exact. Unfortunately, the rear of the car is too low for the range of the eccentric bolts, and they max out at around 3 degrees camber. I can deal.
There’s was a little anxiety driving the car for the first time today, because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Surprisingly, rubbing isn’t much of an issue with the fenders, aside from the front bumper-to-fender mounting tabs, which I ground down. In the beginning, what I thought was the sound of rubbing, was actually the Tomei 2-Way… it’s on the noisy side right now when taking turns, but we’ll see when the fluid is flushed. I spent 30 minutes in an open parking lot doing full-lock figure 8’s prior to the alignment to break in the differential. What a bore, almost fell asleep.
As for the exhaust: When idling, the car sounds close to stock. I even started to think, hey, this exhaust isn’t that loud after all. I quickly repealed that notion as soon as I drove the car, however. When you’re easy on the throttle, the car is actually quiet and unobtrusive. But once you give it more gas, the exahust SCREAMS. The drone on the highway is also deafening. Since the gas pedal is essentially the volume knob, I think it will be manageable for now.
So far so good, car feels solid and planted. Coilovers are on the firm side, but not excessive. Nothing blew up and there were no leaks – I’d say mission accomplished.