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 Post subject: Miata Based MK Indy R
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:10 pm 
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Posts: 253
Location: Laveen, AZ
Pulled the trigger a few months ago and put down a deposit on a MK Indy R kit from http://www.smartsportscars.com/. I decided to delay it when I found out MK were going through some modifications to use Miata running gear. It still uses a Ford Sierra steering column and a Ford Escort rack, reportedly a quick rack with 2.3 turns lock to lock. This past week I heard the kit was ready and about to make it's way from England to Phoenix, AZ so I paid off the rest of what I owed and now I'm waiting. Paul Smart sent me some pictures from when my kit was displayed at the Stoneleigh show in Coventry, England so it's famous already. Apparently, this is one of the first Miata based Indy's and will be the first to make it to the US. It's unlike me to buy the first of anything, so we'll see if I made a mistake.

The plan is for a reasonably fast build and get it running with a stock 1995 1.8L Miata motor and transmission I have in stock then to tinker with it. At this stage I'm not going to even go into the grandiose plans I have for it, I'll just let it develop when it's built.

It uses a modified Miata differential. Modified in terms of how it's mounted. The 'wings' were removed and the chassis has tabs to bolt into the back and there is a plate attached to the frame that the front of the differential bolts to. The uprights, hubs, brakes, etc. are all standard Miata parts and the rest of the chassis is the same as any other Indy R. I'm hoping this means it'll go together as well as other Indy's I've read about.

Here's the pics from the show:

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-Steve

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:09 pm
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Location: Laveen, AZ
Start at the most important part, and something I actually have:

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Miatas (and Locosts, I presume) respond really well to a good light set of wheels. These are Konig Retrack, which are about 13-14lbs each in 15x7.5". Mine are shod with Hankook Ventus R-S3. This wheel and tyre combo is what I'm using for Autocross on my STS Miata, 7.5" is the maximum width permitted by STS. I guess the Indy will run in D-Mod so I don't have that size restriction, but I'll start with something I know.

Also, here's my motor. It's a 1995 JDM Miata/Eunos 1.8L:

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It appears to be in pretty awesome condition and came with a transmission, the full intake, wiring loom, ECU, etc. Even the clutch seems to have some meat left on it, but the flywheel could stand a skim and the pressure plate is a little worn:

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-Steve

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Last edited by Anonymous on Tue May 11, 2010 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:47 am 
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Congrats on the start, looking forward to see how the kit turns out.
Interesting solution with the diff. I really want to see how the diff nose is mounted, kinda hard to tell from the pics.

BTW, you are aware of the fact that JDM and US miata engines are identical, right?

Moti

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:39 am 
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Location: Laveen, AZ
Yeh, I'm aware ... even interchanged some parts from that motor into my 95 USDM Miata ... :)

I only have a verbal description of how the diff nose is mounted, but I'll take photos when it shows up.

-Steve

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:23 am
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I'm definitely looking forward to this build. I am interested in this kit but with a bike engine instead. The only thing is that I wish it used all Miata parts (like the steering column and rack). :(


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Location: Laveen, AZ
TheReason wrote:
I'm definitely looking forward to this build. I am interested in this kit but with a bike engine instead. The only thing is that I wish it used all Miata parts (like the steering column and rack). :(


One can get the kit with mounts, exhaust header and other parts for many bike engines too. Suzuki Hayabusa and Yamaha R1 jump to mind. I was originally going to go that route but the price for the Miata engine and transmission was just too good. Going BEC later is one of my options when I get smoked by a corvette or an STI ... :)

I agree on the column and rack if only to make the car a single donor and the wiring simpler and adding a quick release steering wheel hub easier. I presume finding a wiring diagram for a Sierra/Merkur column wouldn't be too hard and the rack should last forever. If I forget remind me later and I'll offer up a Miata column and rack and see how it fits and take some pics so you know what mods might need doing. I know for sure the Miata rack is too wide as stock, but it's pretty easy to narrow. The Miata powered steering rack is a little faster than the non-powered one too but still not as fast as a Mk 2 Escort quick rack.

-Steve

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Sven wrote:
TheReason wrote:
I'm definitely looking forward to this build. I am interested in this kit but with a bike engine instead. The only thing is that I wish it used all Miata parts (like the steering column and rack). :(


One can get the kit with mounts, exhaust header and other parts for many bike engines too. Suzuki Hayabusa and Yamaha R1 jump to mind. I was originally going to go that route but the price for the Miata engine and transmission was just too good. Going BEC later is one of my options when I get smoked by a corvette or an STI ... :)

I agree on the column and rack if only to make the car a single donor and the wiring simpler and adding a quick release steering wheel hub easier. I presume finding a wiring diagram for a Sierra/Merkur column wouldn't be too hard and the rack should last forever. If I forget remind me later and I'll offer up a Miata column and rack and see how it fits and take some pics so you know what mods might need doing. I know for sure the Miata rack is too wide as stock, but it's pretty easy to narrow. The Miata powered steering rack is a little faster than the non-powered one too but still not as fast as a Mk 2 Escort quick rack.

-Steve
Steve,

That would be awesome. I didn't know that EMS offered the BEC for the Hayabusa engines...I would have the exhaust built because I heard bad things about them. What type of racing are you going to due with this car?

~Geran


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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Location: Laveen, AZ
TheReason wrote:
Steve,

That would be awesome. I didn't know that EMS offered the BEC for the Hayabusa engines...I would have the exhaust built because I heard bad things about them. What type of racing are you going to due with this car?

~Geran


Dunno what that EMS comment means. I know MK offers the Indy with Hayabusa stuff. I read the Hayabusa needs a dry sump due to oil starvation so it turns out very expensive. A lot of people use the R1 motor because it doesn't suffer from oil starvation.

I intend to autocross the car locally. I'd also like to try some track days with it and see how that goes. There's no organized race class locally the MK would be competitive in without a lot of work and money. It'll be a play thing ... something to tinker with and modify as I like, not built to a particular class or anything.

-Steve

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Sven wrote:
Dunno what that EMS comment means. I know MK offers the Indy with Hayabusa stuff. I read the Hayabusa needs a dry sump due to oil starvation so it turns out very expensive. A lot of people use the R1 motor because it doesn't suffer from oil starvation.

I intend to autocross the car locally. I'd also like to try some track days with it and see how that goes. There's no organized race class locally the MK would be competitive in without a lot of work and money. It'll be a play thing ... something to tinker with and modify as I like, not built to a particular class or anything.

-Steve
Steve,

I used EMS (European Motor Service) aka MK agent in the USA. Sorry I should have just said MK but I didn't. :p

As for the dry sump, I'm too concerned about that. I have plans running through my head (turbo kit) and the Hayabusa are prime candidates for them. :) The R1 ones are nice motors as well so I'll have to weigh my options when that time comes.

So don't have the NASA ST1/2 racing near you? I think we have the same plans for the builds.

Sorry to go off topic. When is your kit supposed to arrive?

~Geran


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:26 pm 
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Location: Laveen, AZ
TheReason wrote:
I used EMS (European Motor Service) aka MK agent in the USA. Sorry I should have just said MK but I didn't. :p


EMS isn't the same company as Smart Sportscars http://www.smartsportscars.com/? That's who I got mine from and I thought Smart were 'MK USA'.

TheReason wrote:
So don't have the NASA ST1/2 racing near you? I think we have the same plans for the builds.

Sorry to go off topic. When is your kit supposed to arrive?


It's not off topic, mate ... :D

I'll look into the NASA thing, but I don't think so. Not sure when exactly it's supposed to arrive, but it'll be in the next few weeks I've been told, just as I'm about to move house and the summer kicks in full monty here. :D

-Steve

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:52 pm 
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Sven wrote:
EMS isn't the same company as Smart Sportscars http://www.smartsportscars.com/? That's who I got mine from and I thought Smart were 'MK USA'.
I read it wrong on website but it is smartsportcars. :p

Sven wrote:
It's not off topic, mate ... :D

I'll look into the NASA thing, but I don't think so. Not sure when exactly it's supposed to arrive, but it'll be in the next few weeks I've been told, just as I'm about to move house and the summer kicks in full monty here. :D

-Steve
It looks like ST and PT cars run at PIR based on www.nasaaz.com. :) That good to hear you'll have it in a few weeks but sucks since it will also be a busy time for you.

My plan is to move to AZ or NM within 5-7yrs. :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:21 pm 
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TheReason wrote:
Sven wrote:
TheReason wrote:
I'm definitely looking forward to this build. I am interested in this kit but with a bike engine instead. The only thing is that I wish it used all Miata parts (like the steering column and rack). :(


One can get the kit with mounts, exhaust header and other parts for many bike engines too. Suzuki Hayabusa and Yamaha R1 jump to mind. I was originally going to go that route but the price for the Miata engine and transmission was just too good. Going BEC later is one of my options when I get smoked by a corvette or an STI ... :)

I agree on the column and rack if only to make the car a single donor and the wiring simpler and adding a quick release steering wheel hub easier. I presume finding a wiring diagram for a Sierra/Merkur column wouldn't be too hard and the rack should last forever. If I forget remind me later and I'll offer up a Miata column and rack and see how it fits and take some pics so you know what mods might need doing. I know for sure the Miata rack is too wide as stock, but it's pretty easy to narrow. The Miata powered steering rack is a little faster than the non-powered one too but still not as fast as a Mk 2 Escort quick rack.

-Steve
Steve,


Hi Guys, Paul from Smart sports cars here. havent posted on here for a while as I forgot my user name and password............DOH.
just to clarify a few points the new Miata based chassis uses the Miata steering column with a steering link extension with an escort quick rack. it was thought better to do it this way as the escort rack is reliable, quick and not expensive. We may look at using a miata rack in the future but most miata racks are power steering units.

to clarify my garage in FL was European motor service and we used to sell the kits from there. we moved to larger premises in central FL to use as a base for Smart sports cars but the EMS garage is under different ownership.

cheers Paul

That would be awesome. I didn't know that EMS offered the BEC for the Hayabusa engines...I would have the exhaust built because I heard bad things about them. What type of racing are you going to due with this car?

~Geran


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:09 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Laveen, AZ
skydivepaul wrote:
just to clarify a few points the new Miata based chassis uses the Miata steering column with a steering link extension ...


I'm back! My account is now re-enabled ... :)

Even better news on the steering column, thanks Paul! Really looking forward to my delivery date now!

-Steve

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:09 pm
Posts: 253
Location: Laveen, AZ
Paul tells me the kit is planning to ship from the UK on Thursday, sounds like he's putting a bit of a push behind it as the factory are agonizing over getting the exhaust header just right. I appreciate that as it's coming a long way and getting something replaced or getting some additional stuff may take quite a long time.

I wonder if the kit shows up before I move house. I'm due to close June 21st and move in during early July. I'm kinda hoping it doesn't arrive before I move so I can get it delivered to the new place. Like most of you (I guess) I have a garage full of tools, parts and other detritus I've collected over the years and I'll use this move as a catalyst to lighten the load and to also find stuff I thought I'd lost or couldn't find previously.

-Steve

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 4:41 pm 
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I think my anticipation is just as much as yours for you to get this kit. :)


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