KentBigDog’s 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Track Car

2017 MX5 RF LE

Mods to Date:

Engine / Powertrain / Exhaust

Suspension

  • Alignment:
    • Camber: -3.0F, -2.5R
    • Toe: 0.0 F&R
    • Caster: 6.0
  • 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

Brakes

  • Front: StopTech C43 BBK
    • Caliper weight 4.3lbs
    • Bi Slot floating rotors on race hats
    • 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
  • Stainless Steel Brake Lines Front & Rear
  • Raybestos ST-43 pads Front & Rear
  • SakeBomb Garage Variable Brake Booster Controller (my review)
  • Repositioned Rear Brake Hard Lines

Wheels / Tires

  • Nankang AR-1 245/40-17 (really like these 100TW tires)
  • MiataSpeed RZ+ Forged Wheels 17×9 +45
  • ARP Wheel Studs
  • Rear fenders are rolled

Interior/Electronics/Seats/Harnesses

  • Hard Dog RF Roll Bar (top doesn’t open anymore)
  • Sparco QRT-R Driver Seat
  • PCI Fixed Seat Mount
  • Schroth Flexi 2×2 6-point Harness
  • 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

Exterior / Aero

  • Race Louvers Heat Extractors (installation video and photos)
  • Verus Rear Diffuser (photos with SSTT)
  • Good-Win Racing Transmission Cooling Air Scoop
  • MazdaSports Tow Straps
  • 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
  • Sound Tube Delete
  • Hood Struts

Maintenance/Fluids and Parts

  • Amsoil 5w-30 Engine Oil
  • Motul Gear Competition 75W-140 : Transmission
  • OS Giken OS-250R Full Synthetic Gear Oil : Differential
  • Wilwood EXP Brake Fluid
  • Royal Purple Ice
  • Magnetic Oil Plug
  • Quickjack BL-5000SLX
  • Proform Scales for Corner Balancing

Past Stuff

  • Good-Win Racing 12.88” Wilwood Dynapro 6-piston Big Brake Kit
  • Titan7 Forged T-R8 17×9 +45
  • Springs 8kg/4kg
  • Tires: Dunlop Direzza Z3 235/40-17 (not a fan)
  • Tires: Falken Azenis RT615K+ 235/40-17 (great learning tire)
  • Wheels: 949Racing 6UL (not a fan, one broke loose from my car and the other 3 wheels all had cracks)
  • Dual Electronics XGPS160 BT GPS receiver

Wants

  • Lighter Weight Battery
  • Lee Motorsports Hardened Transmission
  • FM Single Pass Radiator
  • Verus Front Splitter
  • Ecliptech Shift-P2+ Shift Light (have, not installed)
  • Short Throw Shifter

Last modified September 30, 2020

Some Video

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Launch EditionThe History

In March 2017 I bought a Mazda MX-5 RF Launch Edition. In the early 90’s I had a 1979 Mazda RX-7 and loved that car. When Mazda came out with the Miata I was always interested but other things in life took priority. In 2017 I decided it was time.

Then in September 2017 I learned I could take my car on a road racing track. I didn’t even know that was something. I signed up for on an SCCA Track Night in America at Motorsports Ranch in Cresson Texas. Before going I put in high-temperature brake fluid and installed better brake pads all around.

On the day of the event I was nervous but oh so excited. I figured with all the go-fast driving in my past I’d be another Steve McQueen. Not! After the first session, I came in with an adrenalin rush, shaking hands, doubt in my ability, and an immediate love of the track. I was hooked. I enjoyed every minute of my track time and when I got home, I vowed to make myself and my car better (oh that Miata roll).

I started to research upgrades and began ordering parts. I love to work on the car almost as much as driving it. Both loves haven’t stopped.

Join In

Interested in tracking your Mazda MX-5 2016+ car? Join us on the Facebook Miata ND Track & HPDE Discussion Group.

2 thoughts on “KentBigDog’s 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Track Car

  1. Martin Urcola

    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…

    Thanks again,

    Martin

    Reply
    1. Kent

      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.

      Join us on the Facebook Mazda ND Track Junkies page for more ideas and like minds.

      Reply

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