@manwich When my ears hear "military grade," my brain hears "lowest bidder".
2002 K24A2-swap Mazda Miata
2004 Volkswagen R32
2006 Mazdaspeed 6
1988 Mazda 323 GTX
Best posts made by MarquetteLa
K24 Miata Swap Updates
Back in August I took three weeks off of work and drove my 2002 Miata from Colorado to my buddy Justin's place in Tennessee to swap a Honda K24A2 into the little roadster. The drive down was pretty uneventful, thankfully. The car hit 130,000 miles shortly before arriving at our destination.
Just about all of the parts we would need had already been delivered, but there was still some prep work to do. I powder coated my new front & rear tow hooks to match my new roll bar while Justin ceramic coated the KMiata exhaust manifold.
Then came the actual teardown. Justin started pulling components out of the engine bay while I stripped the interior.
This swap doesn't work with power steering (there's just not enough space for the hydraulic lines), so we took my steering rack apart to properly depower it, removing the internal seals and welding the pinion. Reassemble and bolt it to the new subframe!
With the dash pulled and the Mazda subframe replaced with the new KMiata subframe, it was time to crack the donor K24 open for its necessary prep work.
Engine prepped and ready for a new ACT HD clutch, specially-machined KMiata flywheel, and KMiata transmission adapter plate.
In the photo above, you can see the "hump" in the oil pan. The steering rack sits inside that hump. That's why you can't run hydraulic power steering with this swap; there's barely enough room for the rack, and none for the lines.
Motor mounted!! Let's mock up the manifolds and see how they look.
Pretty good! However, some of these clearances are awfully tight...
That's the transmission adapter plate about a hair's width away from the chassis. And this is the exhaust manifold collector flange nuzzling electron clouds with the subframe:
The engine mounts from KMiata are very stiff, so with some additional massaging these clearances should be okay.
And this is where we started to hit some stumbling blocks. Because I don't mind a little bit of functional ballast, I ordered KMiata's air conditioning kit. This A/C kit includes all new custom lines and fittings and brackets; you just have to source your own "universal" compressor, which KMiata identifies a part number for. The compressor I ordered, despite looking exactly like the compressor KMiata shows in their instructions, didn't quite fit KMiata's supplied bracket.
Justin was able to clearance the compressor a bit where it was making contact with the block and shimmed the mounting tabs with some washers to get it to actually mount up "properly".
Then we dropped in the "direct fit" Mishimoto radiator I ordered, only to find the passenger side mounting post wasn't really where it ought to be. We'll need to fabricate a new tab to reach the post.
At this point it was pretty clear that we weren't going to finish the swap in time for me to drive the car back to Colorado at the end of my three-week vacation like I had hoped. Bummer. But at the same time, we made the conscious decision to not rush the work or cut corners, but to do it right the first time, even if that means it takes longer. Could we have spent more time in the garage working on the car? Sure, but we also needed some time away from the project.
So, we decided that I would take a spare Honda Accord Justin had around back to Colorado while he finished the car for me in his spare time over the next couple months, hopefully in time for me to pick it up and drive back to Colorado before winter really set in. Have I mentioned what an amazing friend Justin is!?
Before I left Tennessee, we went ahead and installed my new Blackbird Fabworx NB GT3 roll bar since that's an easier job with two pairs of hands. Here's Justin, glad that we finally got it in place.
I really like this roll bar. The gold powder coat is a pretty darn good color match for my wheels, even if it doesn't look like it in this photo because of the uneven lighting:
That's the last photo I took of the car, back at the end of August. The car hasn't progressed much since then, because unfortunately about a month later, Justin had a low-speed motorcycle accident and broke his left wrist and right shoulder. He had surgery in October and started physical therapy a few weeks ago, so he's on the mend but it will take time. I'm just glad he's okay; racecars can wait.
So yeah, hopefully I'll be able to take some more time off of work next year to take the Accord back to Tennessee and finish the K24 swap in time to get some seat time with it in 2021.
And in the meantime, the Volkswagen R32 I just bought has developed a coolant leak! Joyous.
Sold the Mazdaspeed6 a couple weeks ago
As you might recall, I bought a 2004 Volkswagen R32 back in November to replace my 2006 Mazdaspeed6.
As soon as I bought the R32, I listed the Speed6 for sale on Facebook Marketplace and cross-posted the (very detailed) ad to about a dozen Mazdaspeed and AWD specialty groups. After dealing with about 40 low-balling idiots who contacted me through Facebook, I buckled down and paid the $50 to list the car on Autotrader, where I found the car for sale back in 2017.
I got about a dozen inquiries through Autotrader until the eventual buyer first sent me a message in late February. We talked it through and eventually struck a deal, which included swapping the summer tires I had on the MS6 wheels with the snow tires I had on the RX-8 wheels. As she would be flying in to Colorado and driving the car back home to Alabama, she didn't need the snow tires and preferred the 5-spoke RX-8 wheels.
In mid-March, she flew in to Denver with her daughter to pick the car up. She told me she wanted a Speed6 ever since they first came out but hadn't been able to make it happen until now. She would be driving the Speed6 as her new daily, and the 2009 Mazda6 she was driving would be going to her soon-to-be-driving daughter for use as a first car. Here's the last photo I took of the car, them about to start the long drive from Colorado to Alabama. Godspeed, Mazdaspeed6.
Anyone want to buy a set of MS6 wheels with snow tires in great shape?
First autocross not in a Miata AND new wheels!
I got my new 17" 949 Racing wheels mounted up with new Falken Azenis FK510 tires just in time for an autocross event on Saturday.
These 6UL wheels are 16.1 lbs each, and ~just barely~ clear the R32's front brakes with a 5mm spacer. I'm pretty happy with the fitment.
Here's my fastest run from the day. I took 4th out of 8 drivers in my class. There was a pair of mk2 Audi TT-S cars leading my class that were just ridiculously fast with their DSG transmissions and RE-71R tires.
I also took more than 2,200 photos of nearly all the ~200 drivers that competed. I'll be posting some highlights of those soon.
When I bought my VW R32 back in November, it had 96,000 miles. A little more than six months later, and it just hit 100,000 miles on my drive to work this morning.
The VR6 motor should keep spinning for at least another 100,000 miles, all while screaming its weird little heart out. Here's the most recent autocross event I participated in for a little sound sample
2006 Mazdaspeed 6 [CO]
Year, Make and Model: 2006 Mazdaspeed 6
Location: Near Boulder, CO
Seller's contact info: email@example.com
Asking Price: $6k Oppo price
- 2006 Mazdaspeed 6 Sport
- 135k miles
- NO RUST
- CLEAN TITLE
- Not modified
- Pulls hard
- No CEL or other dash warning lights
- Located near Boulder, CO
- Garaged its entire time under my ownership, and I believe for most of its life under its PO
- I’ve averaged 24.1 MPG across 33,747 miles. You can see all of my fuel data here (ignore the “city vs highway” stat): https://www.fuelly.com/car/mazda/6/2006/marquettela/636649
- 29Y paint
- Exterior is largely in good shape, with a few small blemishes detailed below in the Faults section
- Interior is in excellent condition.
- CD player doesn’t work. Dash cubby hinge broken on driver’s side (sale includes intact dash cubby replacement part)
- Sale includes MS6 wheels with summer tires and RX-8 wheels with winter tires
- Asking $6k OBO for fellow Oppos.
- Originally purchased in New Jersey by the previous owner. It was in NJ for a few years before the owner moved and had the car shipped across the country to Irvine, California, where it has lived most of its life (fun fact: Mazda North American Operations headquarters is in Irvine).
- Previous owner had all service conducted by Mazda dealerships.
- Previous owner listed the car on Autotrader (where I found it) because he bought a new Beemer M car
- I purchased the car in July 2017 when it was at 101k miles and drove it from Irvine back to Colorado
- Mazdaspeed 6 wheels in excellent condition wrapped in 225/45ZR-18 Sumitomo HTR Z III XL tires. Tires purchased in August 2017 when the car was at 104k miles. Used for three summer seasons.
- Mazda RX-8 wheels with some curb rash wrapped in 225/45R-18 Dunlop Winter Maxx WM02 XL tires. Tires purchased in October 2018 when the car was at 118k miles. Used for two winter seasons.
- Owner’s manual
- 2 keys, plus a third blank key
- Original Mazdaspeed 6-branded floor mats. Driver mat has a heel-worn hole in it, but the other mats are in great shape
- Official Mazda6-branded all-weather floor mats in good condition
- Intact dash cubby, not installed
- Aux cable compatible with OE stereo unit, not installed
- Some sweet CDs stuck in the broken CD player
- Wired for satellite radio
- Service records and documentation from PO dating back to August 2007 and 8k miles.
- Very light hail damage on hood and A-pillar
- Lower window trim on driver side has hail damage; passenger side is intact
- Paint chip on hood
- Paint chips on passenger side mirror
- Very light scratch on hood from tumbleweed; might be able to be buffed out
- Less-than-dime-sized clear coat damage on front bumper nose
- Paint damage on trunklid top and trunk spoiler
- Scratch on trunk lid near license plate
- Dash cubby hinge broken on driver side (intact replacement dash cubby included in sale)
- CD player does not work, but the radio and speakers sound great. Wired for satellite radio if you’re into that kind of thing.
- Transfer case leaks a bit
- Shifter pivot shaft has a small leak
- In very cold winter weather, on cold starts, there is a slight grind going into second gear. The grind goes away and it shifts into 2nd smoothly once the transmission has warmed up, which generally only takes a few minutes of driving. I just rev 1st out more and shift directly into 3rd until the trans has warmed up in cold weather.
- Car has clean title. All repairs were done professionally through insurance. Repair documentation included with sale.
- Previous owner was hit on the driver side in November 2012. Repaired for $1,981
- Previous owner was hit on the passenger side in September 2016. Repaired for $5,092
- In October 2017 I rear-ended a van at about 5mph when its driver second-guessed her merge maneuver in front of me. The van’s trailer hitch went through the passenger side fog light surround. Repaired for $2,830
Maintenance Under My Ownership:
- All service conducted by Coyote Motors, a Mazda specialty shop in Boulder, CO.
- Oil changes every 3k miles
- EGR valve replaced at 104k miles
- Radiator drain plug replaced at 104k miles
- Rear brake pads (Bosch BC1161) replaced at 111k miles
- Air filter & cabin air filter replaced at 118k miles
- Passenger side engine mount replaced at 118k miles
- Spark plugs replaced at 120k miles
- Corksport BeCuse beryllium copper injector seals on all four injectors and cylinder 3 fuel injector replaced at 126k miles. This solved an intermittent P0303 code it would sometimes throw on cold starts. Haven’t seen a CEL since.
- Fuel cap replaced at 128k miles
- Serpentine belt replaced at 135k miles
- Air bag recall done at 135k miles
- PCV valve replaced at 135k miles
- Damond Motorsport PCV plate and new gasket installed at 135k miles
- Damond Motorsport “stage 1” oil catch can kit installed at 135k miles
- Power steering pump rebuilt with new seals and new reservoir at 135k miles
- Positive battery cable terminal repaired at 135k miles
- Battery replaced at 135k miles
The odd & notable cars of Pikes Peak International Raceway Track Attack
Last weekend I autocrossed my VW R32 for the first time, but I also shot some motorsport photos for the first time in almost 600 days. I shot 2200+ photos from the event and ended up editing around 450 "keepers". I'm not going to post every single Miata and Corvette I shot, but I will share with you the odd and notable cars that ran.
2020 Toyota Supra
2011 BMW M3 (love the black & gold)
2018 Audi TT RS
2016 Porsche 911
1992 BMW 325i - patina'd
2020 BMW M2 CS
2005 Subaru STi with a neat dragon vinyl
2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder - this one almost went into a wall
1982 Ford Mustang with a carbon widebody
1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS
1987 Toyota MR2 with some neat TRD vinyl
1988 Mazda RX-7
2008 BMW 135i
1991 Mazda Miata turbo
1984 Mitsubishi Starion
1986 BMW 325
1993 Nissan 180SX RHD
1974 Datsun 260Z
1999 BMW 328
Pontiac Solstice racecar
2001 Lexus IS300
1988 BMW 325i
Subaru Justy - ELECTRIC SWAP
2009 Dodge Challenger
1987 Porsche 944
"1994 Ford Bronco"
1979 Mazda RX-7
1969 Ford Mustang
1965 Ford Cobra replica
2015 Subaru BRZ - Rainbow Edition
2015 Nissan Leaf
1988 Honda CRX - this CRX used to have a Gulf livery; it's been switched up for this year.
2008 Honda Civic
2019 Honda Civic Type R
2015 BMW X1
2012 Audi TT RS
2019 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43
2017 Subaru Forester XT
2017 Ford Focus RS
2002 Subaru WRX - puuuurple
2016 Subaru Forester XT
Subaru STi with a neat Subaru vinyl`
Rawr. VR6 noises within.
Decided to test out my GoPro and microphone setup with the R32. Suction mounted the camera to the sunroof glass and ran an external microphone out through the hatch and clipped it to the license plate frame between the exhaust tips. That cuts out most of the wind noise and allows the VR6 exhaust note to take center stage.
I'm enjoying this little car. I got it registered and slapped my Colorado plates on earlier this week. This video is actually my first drive with the CO plates on.
Now that I was able to register: Out with the Mazdaspeed 6, in with the VW R32
My Mazdaspeed 6's turbo is on its way out, so I've been looking for a replacement car. I was considering everything from a Volvo V70R to a BMW 330ci, but then I remembered my very first autocross ridealong back in 2012, which happened to be in an R32 with a talented driver. That run certainly made an impression on me!
With only 5,000 sold in the US originally, there weren't too many to choose from on the market. Until this very nice example came up for auction on Cars & Bids, that is! The bidding heated up in the last hour, and I ended up snagging the winning bid at the absolute limit of my budget lol. I'll be picking the car up in Vegas and driving it back to Colorado at the end of the month.
Anyone have recommendations on some sweet lightweight gold wheels I can run in the summer?
Latest posts made by MarquetteLa
RE: Life updates - TN Oppos assemble
@annoying_salman I suppose it depends on how you plan to use it. Main drawback of the D700 in this day and age is the small megapixel count I think. You don’t have much leeway to “crop to zoom”. Other than that, it’s a workhorse. Most of the photos on my instagram going back a couple years are D700 shots: https://www.instagram.com/marquettela/
Life updates - TN Oppos assemble
The last two weeks have been crazy. On July 8 I bought a very gently used Nikon D750 to upgrade from my aging D700. I was excited to put it to use that Sunday at my next autocross event, where I should have been able to recoup most of the new camera's cost from taking and selling photos of my fellow competitors. That didn't happen because I woke up Saturday morning to vomit, and I kept vomiting all day.
I visited an urgent care place that Saturday, where they diagnosed me with food poisoning. Fine, whatever. Except I just kept vomiting, and I couldn't keep any food down. For 10 days. Of course, I went to a different urgent care place on the 14th because it didn't seem like this was just food poisoning. The doc there diagnosed me with something I've never heard of before: cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. I've been using weed daily for the past six years here in Colorado because it's provided me with a host of benefits: better sleep, better mood, less anxiety, less depression, etc. It's not an addiction, and I stopped using as soon as (before, really) I got that diagnosis. But now I'm not getting those aforementioned benefits and it's already starting to wear me down again.
Anyway, I continued to feel awful after that second urgent care visit so I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist on the 19th to get their specialist opinion. After an exam, they referred me to the emergency room because of my general state (I hadn't eaten since the 9th). The ER treated me for complications from vomiting so much and eating so little. They ended up keeping me overnight. I was discharged the next evening, after being able to eat some simple foods and a general improvement in my condition. I've been feeling better since then, eating regularly and taking the prescriptions I was given. What a nightmare.
Oh, and did I mention that when my housemate and I were leaving to go to that second urgent care appointment on the 14th, we found a 45-day move-out notice posted to our door!? Apparently the owner of our rent house wants to move back in. We have to be gone by the end of August. This happened to me at the last house I was renting, too. God-awful timing, to say the least.
I really love everything about Colorado, except the housing market. I looked into buying a place instead of renting again, and I just got really depressed over what I could(n't) afford here with just my own income. Even the rental market is insane here these days. So I think I'm going to leave the state. My best friend lives down in Tennessee, where my Miata still sits half-built. So I think I'm going to stay with him for a bit while I look for a much more reasonably affordable house for myself to buy in nearby Tullahoma, TN. My boss is completely open to the idea (he lives in Nashville himself) so I should be able to continue working remotely without any hiccup in pay as I look for a place to live. I'm very thankful for that.
What I think I'll miss most about Colorado is the amazing racing community that Pikes Peak International Raceway has fostered over the past five years or so. They run their own autocross series (not SCCA-affiliated, and much more simplified rules in comparison) on their infield course. Anywhere from 150 to 300 competitors show up to every event, which gives me a solid customer base to sell my photos to. And they do sell! Honestly I've been completely buoyed by my fellow competitors' support this year after I took 2020 off from competing and shooting photos during the height of the pandemic. So I was really looking forward to continuing that.
TN Oppos, do you know of anything similar happening in Tennessee? I was looking the other night and only found parking lot-type autocross events in Nashville. Or are there any racetracks near Nashville at all, even? I'm used to driving about 2.5 hours to get to PPIR from where I live now.
Thanks for listening, Oppo. Any other Tennessee advice is welcome, too.