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Project: Respect The Roadster – ACT Clutch Upgrade

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With Formula Drift and SEMA preparations out of the way, let’s get back to business on this Respect The Roadster project! A performance clutch was one of the top items on my list. Though the Miata felt really good in third and fourth gear, first and second felt a bit weak and noisy, so we looked to Advance Clutch Technologies. We went with their ZM2-XTSS – XT/Perf Street Sprung kit and light weight XACT Streetlite Flywheel. This set up will allow for smooth engagement on both track and in daily driving. The kit is also designed to handle as much as 315 ft/lbs of torque and more than enough horse power, even if we decide to turbo the car later.

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Project: Respect The Roadster – Koyo Radiator

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When doing my research on forums and other sites, I found that plenty of people having cooling issues during those long hot track days. Being in Texas, where it can get up to 105 degrees in the summer, we wanted to make this a non issue. We found the Koyo’s 37mm radiator not only fixed this problem, but swapped out perfectly with the OEM without a hassle. This Miata radiator is a complete plug and play application that won’t interfere with thicker aftermarket sway bars. That was a big selling point for me since I are adding some Whiteline products soon after the Koyo radiator install. Just a side note – this thing look so clean! More instal pics after the jump.

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Scott’s Twincharged 1JZ RX7 FC

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What you are looking at here is Scott Pham’s 1987 RX7. It started life as a Turbo 2 model with a turbo 13b that Scott proceeded to build out, but after having endless problems with the setup he decided to move on. Scott parted out the motor but kept the shell in his backyard because he was still in love with the chassis. There were stints with various other cars but one that stuck around for a while was a Cressida with a big turbo 1.5JZ. Scott loved the motor but wanted a change. A handful of cars later Scott also decided that he wanted to start competing in the local Evergreen Drift Pro Am series. The car? That old RX7 he had sitting in his yard but this time with a whole new monster of a JZ motor for it, the result being a twincharged 1JZ.

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Project: Respect The Roadster – BC Racing Coilovers

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We were looking for a set of coilovers with adjustable dampers and adjustable hight options without having to spend an arm and a leg. The BC Racing BR coilovers were exactly what we needed. They have have adjustable hight, adjustable dampers, and can also be rebuilt if ever needed. You can look to spend a lot more for other coilovers with similar options. Also, though our goal is better performance, these also look great and the gold kinda matches our gold Enkei RPF1′s. Our friends at Texas Track Works did the install, alignment, and fender roll.

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Project: Respect The Roadster – Wheels and Tires

1999 Mazda Miata on 14x7 +19 Enkei RPF1 with 205/55r14 14 inch Toyo R888 Tires being mounted by Texas Track Works in Fort Worth Texas

Wheels and tires are usually the first upgrade or modification people do when modifying their cars. It was definitely at the top of our list as the right combination can dramatically change the look of the car and how it handles. We were looking for a light weight wheel and a meaty, grippy tire combo for our Miata. We found both with this combo: 14×7 +19 offset Gold Enkei RPF1 Racing Series Wheel and Toyo’s R888 205/55r14 meaty Proxes tires. The Miata previously had 15×7′s with 205/50/15 tires so we wanted a tire that would end up close to the overall diameter of the 15″ set up. The 55′s worked well and were only about an eighth of an inch smaller than the 15″ set up – though you can hardly see the difference. We headed over to Texas Track Works to get these bad boys on.

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Project: Respect The Roadster – Overview

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Welcome to our first WMD project car post. The “Respect The Roadster” project will be broken down into multiple install post. This being the first post, we will give you an overview of what’s to come, and some background on why we chose to go with the Miata platform. Also, we’re not experts on the Miata platform so we’d love to hear from you. Share your opinions and/or experience with Miatas in the comment section! So let’s get going.

Being part of both the Enkei team and WMD has given me the opportunity to travel to many motorsports events, conventions, and the like. I have been surrounded by car people for the past 5 years and have heard multiple people in the industry rant and rave about how the Miata as an amazing track car platform. How the Miata is a great car to track and daily drive, reliable, and has plenty of aftermarket support. In fact, my first ever business trip with Enkei included a stop at Good-win racing who specializes in Miata aftermarket parts. I can’t lie, at first I wasn’t too fond of the idea of purchasing one for our first project car, until I drove one. I drove a stock Miata and was really impressed with it’s handling and decent amount of power. But most importantly, it was just fun to drive. I attended a SCCA Autocross event at Texas Motor Speedway a week back were about half the drivers were in Miatas. I spoke with a couple of the drivers there of the idea of doing a project Miata for WMD – they were all very supportive of the idea and offered an overload of advice.

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Drift Video: Nate Hamilton Progress Part 2

Check out this awesome video by Corey Denomy. Nate Hamilton gives an in depth walk around of the car that him and one44 motorsports built for their 2013 rookie season of Formula Drift. He talks about changes to the motor, new additions and sponsors from last year, and about the design and wrapping of the car. Looking fresh in that WMD Hachi Roku crewneck Nate! – WMD

Watch Part 1 HERE

Raw Vids: Nate Hamilton’s Formula Drift S13 – Pt 1

We will begin posting these quick videos from our features – Hope you enjoy our first one featuring Nate Hamilton’s Formula Drift S13. Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Nate’s build!

Music: Modest Mouse – Dramanine

Formula Drift Rookie Nate Hamilton: Part 2

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Made my second stop at Nate Hamilton’s shop and as you can see, the engine made it in and was being worked on during my visit. Nate is using a LS7/LS3 built by LG Motorsport – a bigger motor than what he ran last year. It’s basically a LS7 head with a LS3 block. LG Motorsport will tune the car as well. This year, Nate picked up Holley as a sponsor so will be using Holley throttle body, fuel rails, etc. More photos after the jump.

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A Visit with Formula Drift Rookie Nate Hamilton

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Had a chance to catch up with Formula Drift rookie Nate Hamilton at his shop just outside of Dallas, Texas. Nate will begin his rookie season of Formula Drift this April in Long Beach. We’ve been following him around for a couple of years so definitely looking forward to his first run at the pro level. He’s building a brand new S13 similar to the one he ran last year in which he earned his Formula D pro license. Last year’s S13 will be used for demos, local stuff and perhaps some international events. More photos after the jump.

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Video: Nate Hamilton XDC Dallas

Nate Hamilton winds down the season and ends up winning third overall in the XDC season. He earned his pro license this year so expect to see him in Formula Drift next year! Congrats to Nate on a great season. – Alex

Tim’s True Form Racing Evo IX

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We had the chance to shoot Tim Schoeppner’s True Form Racing Evo IX at Texas Motor Speedway during the XDC / Time Attack / HIN event. Check it out and tell us what you think! Photos by Alex Nunez. Full specs and more pics after the jump! – WMD

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