2017 Mazda MX5 RF Track Car
My Mazda MX5 is not a daily driver. It’s street legal and I do occasionally drive it on an errand but it’s a track-focused car. I drive 60 miles round trip every time I go to the track and it isn’t uncomfortable at all. A bit noisy for sure. I wouldn’t be afraid to drive it across the country though. It is very reliable. In case you’re wondering, I’m still on the original V2 transmission.
Engine / Powertrain / Exhaust
- Good-Win Racing RoadsterSport Max Torque Standard Length Header with Ceramic Coating
- Good-Win-Racing SuperStreet TwinTip (sound clip w/header | sound clip without header | sound clip w/header on track)
- Custom Race Tune
- Exedy Stage 1 Clutch ⇒ Broke the OEM pressure plate
- Mishimoto Oil Cooler ⇒ Oil Cooler is a requirement when tracking IMO
- Koyorad Radiator with 18psi cap
- AWR Racing Motor Mounts with header heat shield – 88 durometer ⇒ Install Instructions
- OS Giken Limited Slip Differential (My GT car had an open diff)
- James Barone Racing Diff Mount
- NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs (LKAR7BIX-11S / 93501)
- Taped off Radiator and Air Guides ⇒ Install Photos
- Verus Air-Oil Separator
- Gold Heat Shield Blanket on the airbox
- Weight: 2360 pounds
- Height: 12.8″ front, 13.0″ rear
- Camber: -3.5°F, -3.0°R
- Toe: 0.0 F&R
- Caster: 6.4°
- Karcepts ND Front Camber Bushings
- Ohlins Road & Track DFV Coilovers from Miataspeed
- Swift Springs
- Front: 10kg:560lbs/in
- Rear: 5kg:280lbs/in
- Screw-in Spherical Bearing Inserts using stock top hats
- Karcepts Anti-roll Bars Front and Rear (0.120f / 0.095r)
- GWR Shock Tower Brace
- Paco Sway Bar Supports
- Front: StopTech C43 BBK
- Caliper weight 4.3lbs
- Bi Slot floating rotors on race hats (28.001.1118.CT.87)
- Optional Stainless Steel Piston Noses for reduced heat transfer
- Rotors are 31mm wide, weigh 13.2 with hat
- DR21 or 7416 pad shape
- Verus Brake Cooling Duct Kit ⇒ Installation video
- Rear: Wilwood Powerlite 4-piston in rear
- Pad 7912 / Pad area 5 sq in
- MiataSpeed 2-Piece Rear Rotors
- Speed Bleeders (SB1010S)
- Stainless Steel Brake Lines Front & Rear
- Raybestos ST-43 pads
- Front Part #: ST43R701T20
- Rear Part #: ST43R1000T13
- SakeBomb Garage Variable Brake Booster Controller ⇒ My review
- Repositioned Rear Brake Hard Lines ⇒ Photos
Wheels / Tires
- Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R 245/40-17 (100TW tires)
- Minimum 1/2 second faster than the Falken RT660 on my 2.7 mile circuit
- MiataSpeed RZ+ Forged Wheels 17×9 +45
- ARP Wheel Studs
- Muteki SR48 Black 12mm x 1.5mm Steel Open End Lugs
- Steering Rack Limiter Clips
- Rear fenders are rolled
Interior / Electronics / Seats / Harnesses
- Hard Dog RF Roll Bar, top doesn’t open anymore ⇒ Install Instructions
- ATX12-HD RE-START Battery ⇒ Install Instructions
- Sparco QRT-R Seats ⇒ Install Photos
- PCI Fixed Seat Mounts
- Schroth Flexi 2×2 6-point Harness ⇒ Install Photos
- NecksGen Rev 2 Lite HANS
- GuardianDesigns Corsa Zero Steering Wheel
- Raceseng Circuit Cylinder Shift Knob
- Flyin Miata Pedal Kit
- Element Lightweight Fire Extinguisher
- Blackbird Fire Extinguisher Mount
- AIM Solo 2 DL for Track Times & Data
- AIM SmartyCam for Video
- Apex Pro Digital Track Coach
- Mazda Connect AIO Tweaks
- PLX Kiwi 3 Auto OBD2 Scanner (for OBDII access to view codes & data)
- Innovative Motorsports Oil Temp/Pressure Gauge ⇒ Install Photos
Exterior / Aero
- Race Louvers Heat Extractors ⇒ Installation video and photos
- Verus Rear Diffuser ⇒ Photos with SSTT
- Good-Win Racing Transmission Cooling Air Scoop
- Mazda Motorsports GMX5 Tow Straps (0000-04-5996-SH)
- XPEL Door Edge Guard
- CravenSpeed Door Bushings
- Shorty Antenna
- Hella Sharp Tone Horn set
- LED Light Conversion Interior and Exterior
- Smoked Side Repeaters
- CarbonMiata Spyder Grill
- Plasti-dipped Emblems Front and Rear
- Custom Painted Engine Bay
- Removed Shark Fin
- Sound Tube Delete
- Hood Struts
- Stickers. Lots and lots of stickers.
Maintenance / Fluids and Parts
- Engine: Amsoil 5w-30
- Motorcraft FL816 Oil Filter
- Transmission: Motul Gear Competition 75W-140
- Differential: OS Giken OS-250R Full Synthetic Gear Oil
- Afco HTX
- VP Racing Stay Frosty Hi-Performance Formula Coolant
- Magnetic Oil Plug
- Quickjack BL-5000SLX ⇒ My Thoughts
- Proform Scales for Corner Balancing
- Falken RT660 245/40-17 (great 200TW tires)
- Nankang AR-1 245/40-17 (really like these 100TW tires)
- Good-Win Racing 12.88” Wilwood Dynapro 6-piston Big Brake Kit (knowing what I know now, I would go straight to the StopTech C43 kit.)
- Titan7 Forged T-R8 17×9 +45 (good wheels, no issues, I just liked the MiataSpeed RZ+ wheels having a bit more material and hopefully more strength)
- Springs 8kg/4kg
- Tires: Dunlop Direzza Z3 235/40-17 (not a fan)
- Tires: Falken Azenis RT615K+ 235/40-17 (great learning tire)
- 949Racing 6UL wheels (not a fan, one broke loose from my car and the other 3 wheels all had cracks) ⇒ Photos
- Dual Electronics XGPS160 BT GPS receiver
- Lifeline Zero 360 Fire Suppression System
- Walter Motorsports Hardened Transmission
- Ecliptech Shift-P2+ Shift Light (have, not installed)
Last modified December 4, 2021
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14 thoughts on “2017 Mazda MX5 RF Track Car”
Why did you choose 6.4 degrees for caster. On earlier model MX5s the rule is to get as much caster as you can for track/racing. The stock ND caster settings tolerance is around 7.2 to 9.2 degrees.
A lower caster helps in other areas. Three that I can think of right now.
I want as much camber as I can get. The process I use is to reduce the caster to 5 or so then dial in as much camber as possible. Once that is done, take the caster back up until it starts reducing the camber. In my case, that is 6.4.
Another benefit is reduced tire rub. I’m running wider tires and a lower height than stock. With that comes fender liner rub. By using a caster of 5-6, it centers the wheel in the well thus reducing, to mostly eliminating, fender liner rub.
Finally, it also creates a lighter feel in the front in which I like. I don’t like a heavy front-end.
Can you comment on the StopTech C43 brake kit vs. the Goodwin 12.88 BBK? I was thinking of purchasing the Goodwin product.
Hey there Ray, I wrote a bit on my brake system journey recently. Take a look at this: https://kentbigdog.com/my-brake-system-journey/ and let me know if you have questions. I’m happy to fill in the blanks. –Kent
I recently purchased a 20’ RF and found your blog. I bought mine with the 4/7 Ohlins, I see you switched to the stiffer springs, how much improvement did you see. I also noticed that you switched from the Titan 7 wheels, wondering why and are your new wheels better? I want to buy a track aet of wheels/tires. Also, what would you recommend dor too end tires.
Hey Brian, for track use the stiffer springs have been great. If you are primarily street driven with some track days, the 4/7 arrangement should work just fine. I have nothing against the Titan wheels. I think they are very good. I’m just slightly more comfortable with the Miataspeed wheels that have a bit more material. Miataspeed warranties their wheels even if you use them on track too. The 245/40 RT660 tires on a 17×9 wheel are great. You can also go with a 235/40 on a 17×9 and not have to roll your rear fenders.
Kent, thanks for the response. Another question, what are the benefits to switching out to the OSGiken LSD from the stock one., thanks Nrian
My car didn’t have an LSD, that’s why I went with the OSGiken. Personally, if I had the stock LSD, I’d probably stick with it.
Thanks Kent, that makes sense since you did not have an LSD. I don’t want to roll fenders at this time so I plan to stay with 235/40/17 for my 9″ rims. I am looking for a top notch track tire and that tire size limits choices a lot. I noticed that you liked the AR-1s and you currently have the RT 660s. Both come in the size I am looking for but since you have history with both what would you recommend? On my NC I had NT-01s which is my only 100W tire I have used but I think they are a bit outdated now. I also read good things about the A052s but they only come in 235/45 and I’m not sure if that will create rubbing issues…
If you can find the RT660s, they are a great tire. They’ve been sold out now for a few months but are supposed to be available again soon. The Nankang AR-1s are an awesome tire as well. Pretty equal really so I’d let availability and price be your guide. If you are going to use the car as a daily driver, the RT660 would probably last a bit longer. Nankang has a new tire in the US, the CR-1. I’d consider them as well. I haven’t tried them yet but I believe they are a 200TW tire and have been getting good reviews.
What alignment specs are you running? I want to run 245/40 17 tires on 17×9 et45 wheels. I know I’ll have to roll my rears, but what what about your fronts?
My current specs are
I didn’t have to roll the fronts. They are aluminum fenders anyway so pretty damn hard to roll.
Kent, thanks for sharing, I`m the one that wrote you through the Youtube video at Eagles Creek. Very interesting set of mods, some completely new (and I`d been researching…). So far I`m at a very early stage, did 4 HPDEs and more comming. Just have RCF brake fluid, Michelins SS (not a track tire, though), Borla exhaust just for sound and in order to remove the resonator, Ferodo DS2500 pads (I`ve the Club Brembo version that includes brakes, BBSs, eibach, Blisteins and LSD). Need to think my next move: should I invest in this one or move into the 2019 Club, earn some 26 HP and start from there? I just bought a MB C43 AMG for conmuting and ocassionaly for COTA, and my wife won`t be very happy if I swap another car this year. In your opinion, if you have to start all over again, which of this mods will help you to earn more in terms of laptime? Not because I`m racing against anybodyelse, but because probably this will be the result of a more trackable set up…
Hi Martin, the best way to improve laptime is to spend time improving the driver! The Club Brembo is a more than capable track car as-is. I’d run it for a while to see what you like and don’t like. If you are dying to make a change, upgrade the tires to a more capable track tire.
If funds aren’t an issue, then yes, I’d get a 2019 or later. Might as well start with more power. But I’d run what you have for a while, put some miles on it before you trade it in.
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