Monday, November 8, 2010

Did you expect something classier?


I got under my car to fix my broken exhaust hanger for a second time. The strap I used before broke shortly after I got this car back on the road. I took this opportunity to put in a new muffler.

So I grabbed a Thrush Turbo universal muffler with 2" ID connections. Since the Miata's stock piping is 1-7/8" OD and I, of course, was too cheap to buy adapters; I just stuck exhaust clamps on and cranked the shit out of them. I sealed up the gaps with muffler cement. I cut the hangers off the other muffler and welded them on the new one, but I welded the inlet-side one (that was broken off the OEM muffler) in the wrong place. It was late, the sawzall blade was shot, and I'd lost interest in perfection in my already ghetto setup, so I did the strapping job again on that side. I may revisit this oh who am I kidding? It's gonna stay shitty forever.

I had a glasspack on the ZX2 for a long time and it droned unbearably while cruising, which is why I went with a more normal muffler. I have a long commute.

This setup is quiet at idle and even at a fast 4,000 RPM cruise (at 80 mph). No booming, no droning; perfectly civilized. It rips pretty nicely when you're on the gas above 3k RPM. No, it's not a classy burble and it's not a low tone by any means, but I'm enjoying it. I'm sure it's not good for my gas mileage.

Horsepower? Pfft. Who cares? It's quiet when I want, loud when I want, and the pipe doesn't bang on the subframe brace anymore. I call that a success.

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In other news, I'm now using the wet weather tires from my LeMons racer on the Miata. They're taller than stock by about 1.5 inches, which means they rub the fenders and fender liners often. But they look nicer than the shitty 13" steelies I had on before, give much better grip, and best of all, don't make the car shimmy at highway speeds like an alcoholic detoxing.

I also switched oil to Castrol 20w-50, and it has stopped burning oil entirely. Gas mileage also dropped about 15% (to ~27 mpg), and anyway that heavy oil isn't ideal for winter. I'll be searching for a happy medium with my next oil change.

2 comments:

  1. Are you planning to drive the Miata through winter? I guess it's better than the Nixonmobile...

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  2. Yeah, I've driven it a couple winters already. I have snow tires, which are nice. It's a little demon in the snow. And I loooooove drifting.

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