Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breakin' the Law


Smashy smashy!

Part of my preparation for the long-ass trip to Florida was to stiffen up my car for the excessive load it would carry. That meant I'd install Flyin' Miata's frame rail reinforcements, to hopefully undo the damage I've done to the stock frame rails, pictured. It turns out they're not intended to be jacking points. I was hoping the FM rails would also cure my notorious Miata shimmy. (It did not.)

The install itself was pretty straightforward and didn't take a whole lot of time. I spent a bit more than half an hour with a hammer pounding the old rails approximately into shape. My dad showed up to help, so he sprayed the holes with undercoating from inside the car while I drilled from underneath.

It's tough to get undercoating off your face. Ask how I know.

Tip: Make sure your face isn't on the other side of an aerosol can.

It does make a difference.

After putting everything back together, the difference is immediately noticeable. Well, it was on crappy Illinois roads. It's not perfect -- it didn't go from a floppy NA to an S2000 -- but I'd call it much improved, not a gimmick product. I don't know how it affects lap times, but I will say that I hope no one at the autocross course notices. This is definitely not an SCCA-legal modification, but I'm going to keep running in the same class as before. That's right, I'm a rebel. Breakin' the (inconsequential) law.

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