1997 Mazda Miata: sharpening the edge...

Mazda did a great job on the basic package. The average driver doesn't use this car to it's full potential even in stock form. But what happens when the driver is an ex-racer used to spending his time at the sharp end of the stick? To quote Duntov, the car needs to be "crisp." That's where we come in.

Part 1: Suspension

There is a fair amount of aftermarket support for the Miata, but to the novice that can be as much of a curse as a blessing... it's easy to make the wrong decisions. These cars are a delicate balancing act of chassis and suspension stiffness, and we've seen Miatas out there with so much spring that the suspension barely moves. If you're driving a fully caged racecar on a smooth track that's great, but if not, what's absorbing the bumps? Those squeaks you hear are the chassis flexing...

This is not going to be an all-out race car. The owner has been there, done that, and doesn't want it again. It will see the occasional autocross, but it's primary mission is to be an everyday play toy. We're building a car that works on the "real" streets we encounter here in So Cal: that means using wheel travel efficiently to absorb road imperfections instead of richocheting off them.

Looks pretty standard, but there's more here than meets the eye. What's up with that sway bar link? That's one our our little secret weapons (patent pending) to reduce the Miata's roll-oversteer issues. These are not available anywhere else: contact us if you'd like a set for your car.

Two more items you can't see are trick shock tops from the nice folks at Flyin' Miata, and our own custom-tuned bumpstops. Together these give the car quite a bit more bump travel before the stops come into play: not only does this contribute to reducing the roll-oversteer issue, it also improves ride comfort.

To keep a uniform increase in spring rate all around, we're using a mix-and-match of Racing Beat Street and Race springs front and rear. We've used KYB shocks many times over the years with good results: their AGX shocks are a great choice with our spring package.

These are fun little cars... if you've never driven one, you should.

Stay tuned for Part 2... where we prove once again that more power is always better!