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Zach’s (iheartroadsters) 2017 124 Spider Classica Slow Build and Journal

The goal: Use a low-tech (re: base trim) roadster, add select luxuries (leather and heat/cooling), a bit more power, tighter suspension and end up with a “just right” mix of a Grand Tourer and a dedicated AutoX racer that can do both jobs competently and still be enjoyable to drive in the Southern California traffic. A jack of all trades roadster without being too hardcore in either regards.
This will not be an all-out build throwing the most expensive parts in a short time frame, but rather a slow build supported by my weekly bonuses using suitable quality parts; and I expect it to a slow evolution over a couple of years.



Most Recent Pictures







Modifications List
Stock: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica | Base (No Options) | 6-speed Manual Transmission | Grigio Moda Exterior with Charcoal Cloth Interior

Accessories
- Cobalt Folding Sunshade: [ Ordered ]
- Cobalt Hood Lift Kit: [ Ordered ]

Drivetrain
- Mazda MX-5 Club (Trim) Limited Slip Differential/Pumpkin: Planned

Electronics and Lighting
- Cobalt Interior Footwell Lighting Kit: [ Ordered ]
- Gentex GENK3345S Auto-Dimming Mirror with RCD, Compass and Homelink: Planned
- Ventura Technology MX-5 Back-up Camera Kit: [ Ordered ]
• CHMSL Flasher Unit: Planned
• Dash Camera: Planned
• Daytime Running Lights LED Conversion: Planned
• Dome Light LED Conversion: [ Ordered ]
• Rear License Plate Lights LED Conversion: [ Ordered ]
• Trunk Light LED Conversion: [ Ordered ]

Engine
- Auto Ricambi Stainless Exhaust with Muffler Delete: [ Ordered ]
- EuroComplusion Oil Catch Can Kit: Planned
- EuroComplusion V4 Air Induction Kit: Planned
- Forge Motorsports Atmospheric Blow Off Valve: Planned
- RoadsterSport 124 High Flow Midpipe: Planned

Exterior
- CravenSpeed 124 Platypus Pro-Series License Plate Mount: [ Ordered ]
- CravenSpeed MX-5 Stubby Antenna: [ Ordered ]
- Mopar Accessories Red 124 Grille Badge: Planned
- Mopar Accessories Splash Guards: Planned
• Abarth Rear Bumper Swap: Planned - Tracking Down Correct Part Numbers
• Full Body Vinyl Wrap Color Change to Metallic Blue: Planned - Ordered Vinyl Samples

Interior
- Mazda (Europe) Accessories Center Console Storage Net: [ Ordered ]
- Mopar Accessories 124 Trunk Cargo Net: Planned
• Custom Red Leather Interior with Italian Color Stitching: Planned - Awaiting Leather and Stitching Samples

Suspension and Chassis Strengthening
- Blackbird Fabworx MX-5 ND Roll Bar: Planned
- Eibach (Europe) Sportline Spring Set: [ Ordered ]
- Good-Win-Racing 36/58 Sport Bump Stop Kit: Planned
- Koni Yellow Sport Shocks (Front and Rear): Planned

Wheels and Tires
- 949 Racing Forged Alloy Lugs Set (Silver): Planned
- ARP Long Wheel Stud Kit (.507”, Knurled): Planned

Winter Set:
- Mazda (Europe) MX-5 ND Sport 16x6.5 Rims (Gunmetal): Planned
- Continental ExtremeContact Sport 195/50/16 Tires: Planned

Summer / AutoX Set:
- Advanti Racing Storm S1 16x7.5 + 35 Rims (Matte Black): Planned - Powder Coat Bronze
- Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R 205/50/16 Tires: Planned

Maintenance Log
• 5 mi (01/25/2017): Purchased and Took Delivery from Alfa Romeo/Fiat of San Diego
• 2450 mi (04/29/2017): Oil and Oil Filter Change at Alfa Romeo/Fiat of San Diego

Many more mods planned and to come, these are but the start of it all!



Right Off the Lot Pictures









Thanks for reading and following along with my slow but inevitable (I always say my cars will stay stock, they never do) build! It may take awhile for everything to come together, but in the meantime I’ll be enjoying the top down motoring fun of blasting through back roads in the SoCal canyons. :)
- Zach
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And a quick, short bonus post for the better half’s car, since it’s close enough to probably interest a few on here as well:

The Better Half’s Roadster: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport
2.0L N/A I4 | Manual 6-speed Transmission | Ceramic Metallic Exterior | Black Cloth Interior | Options: AKE


Mods List
• Cobalt Folding Sunshade
• Cobalt Twin Tip Muffler
• CravenSpeed ND Platypus Plate Mount
• Mazda (Europe) Center Console Storage Net
• Orange Virus Custom Tune via ECUTek

Many more mods to come for the ND as it will be converted to a full AutoX-dedicated race car once it’s paid off and replaced with a new DailyDriver for her in ~2 years.

Maintenance Log
• 37 mi (07/17/16): Purchased and Took Delivery from Cory Fairbanks Mazda (Orlando, FL)
• 1500 mi (09/05/16): Oil and Oil Filter Change by Mazda of Gainesville (Gainesville, FL)
• 1890 mi (10/12/16): MX-5 Hit in Parking Lot by Ford F-150 Brutal Image (Not Safe for Roadster Fans), Major Front Right Damage (Gainesville, FL)
• 1900 mi (12/17/16): MX-5 Shipped from FL to CA After Repairs Completed by Mazda of Gainesville (San Diego, CA)
• 9500 mi (04/15/17): Oil and Oil Filter Change, Tire Rotation by Mazda of Escondido (San Diego, CA)

The Siblings Together




 

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Zach’s (iheartroadsters) 2017 124 Spider Classica Slow Build and Journal

Maintenance Log
• 5 mi (01/25/2017): Purchased and Took Delivery from Alfa Romeo/Fiat of San Diego
• 2450 mi (04/29/2017): Oil and Oil Filter Change at Alfa Romeo/Fiat of San Diego

Thanks for reading and following along with my slow but inevitable (I always say my cars will stay stock, they never do) build! It may take awhile for everything to come together, but in the meantime I’ll be enjoying the top down motoring fun of blasting through back roads in the SoCal canyons. :)
- Zach​



Aloha @IHeartRoadsters I bought my Abarth @ AR/F of SD. Frankie (Finance Manager) was my POC and Tom (GM). Both great guys...made the purchase painless...

Like your mod ideas..look forward to reading about the evolution of your Spider.​
 

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Aloha @IHeartRoadsters I bought my Abarth @ AR/F of SD. Frankie (Finance Manager) was my POC and Tom (GM). Both great guys...made the purchase painless...

Like your mod ideas..look forward to reading about the evolution of your Spider.
Thanks @Dfnsmn34! Frankie was also my point of contact throughout the sale with Tom helping as the GM. Frankie was an absolute pleasure to work with, came out with a decent deal and is definitely someone I would recommend to others. Glad to hear they took great care of you as well!

- - -

Guess I’ve fallen behind on updating this post, but things have been quite busy and hectic for me, so progress on the 124 hasn’t really moved. I’ve had a few goodies show up, and am waiting on a few more.


First up a ginormous box from @SBRocket showed up with a like-new AutoRicambi Muffler Delete. It was a pleasure to work with him; especially as he was exceedingly quick to ship and it arrived much faster than I thought it would, easily one of my better online transactions.




Also had my order from CravenSpeed show up with their Stubby Atennea and Platypus Front License Plate Mount.




And last but not least I also had some of my vinyl samples finally make their way to me (front left to right - Avery Satin Pearl Cielo Blue, Avery Gloss Bright Blue Metallic and 3M Gloss Blue Metallic):



Despite how amazing the Satin Cielo Blue looked in pictures online, I’m definitely not feeling the look in person up against the car. I will most likely go for the Avery Gloss Blue, but am still debating the 3M Gloss Blue.
Of course, the better half suggested something out of left field to look into a deep bronze or lighter brown color based off a Jaguar we saw, and I’m considering that idea as well.


Hoping to have the exhaust and CravenSpeed parts installed by this Friday, along with some LEDs for the interior and exterior that should be arriving this week. Still waiting on a CarbonMiata order with the quilted carpet and some plate frames, as well as an order from Cobalt with a sunshade, footwell LED lighting kit and hood lift kit.

Also just placed an order for the European Eibach Sportline spring set as well as the Mazda Center Console Storage Net. Waiting on EuroComplusion to release details on their intercooler, and then I plan on ordering their intercooler, oil catch can, V4 Intake plus a Forge blow off valve.
 

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I'm a little surprised that your build-out plans didn't include any brake replacements, especially if you are planning to do autox.
 

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I'm a little surprised that your build-out plans didn't include any brake replacements, especially if you are planning to do autox.
I haven't decide which direction (more specific, which brand and product) I'm going with which is why I haven't listed it yet.

My gut keeps telling me that Good-Win-Racing's 4-Piston Front and Rear Caliper Upgrade Kits with the upgraded slotted rotors will be more than enough for my street/AutoX combo.

Of course, I'm also very drawn to Good-Win's 12.88 Big Brake Kit and Wilwood's Big Brake Kit for the ND, especially since I ran Wilwoods on my Sky after I started AutoX.

Once I figure it out, I'll add it to my plan (and probably order it sooner rather than later as brakes is usually the first thing I prefer to upgrade, especially before adding power). :)
 

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So I guess it’s time for another update since I’ve installed a few things, had a few more arrive and such.

- - - New Parts:


First up I had some of my LEDs arrive from Amazon, specifically BriteNWay W5W T10 Cool White 5-SMD Wedge-Type LED Bulbs for the license plate lights on the rear bumper (comes in a 10 pack, you only need 2) and a set of CuteQueen White 31mm 4-SMD Festoon LED Bulbs for the dome light and trunk light (comes in a 4 pack, you only need 2). If anyone in SoCal wants to pick up two of the extra license plate bulbs, I’d be happy to meet up as I have 3 extra sets I don’t need.
Installed them real quick, as it’s very easy to replace the bulbs, but I’ll have to wait until later to get some good night pictures of the difference they make.



Next up I had my leather and stitching samples finally show up so I could figure out the specific color combo I want before I commit to a large interior order. Specifically I wasn’t sure which green stitching I wanted to go with as the Medium Green looked wonderful in pictures; but didn’t look so great in person.

My plan is to redo the seats with the red leather, with the headrest having the perforated section, and the body of the seat being re-done with quilted diamond pattern to match the new carpet. I’ll also be ordering a matching shift boot, e-brake boot, door cards, dash lower panel and armrest cover. At some point I’ll pull apart the actual dash and cover the black smooth plastic (cluster surround and radio surround, etc) in the red ultra-suede. Everything will have matching “Italian Tricolor”-inspired stitching; with the green traditionally stitched on the left, the white X-cross stitched in the center and the red traditionally stitched on the right.

- - - Installed Parts:

Finally got around to installing some parts last night and this morning!

AutoRicambi Muffler Delete:




CravenSpeed Front Plate Mount: (Yes, I realized after I took this pictures that the plate is crooked - pulled the plate off, tightened it a bit more and its all good now)



CravenSpeed Stubby Antenna:


- - -

We gave both the roadsters a much needed bath last night and tok them to Carlsbad “Cbad” Cars and Coffee this morning as well, which had a nice turnout of cars and quite a bit of interested in our pair.


Lastly, we went for a Palomar Mountain run earlier last week, but I forgot to share some of the pictures:




Still waiting on a few more parts to show up over the next few weeks, mostly small things, until I place a bigger order from EuroComplusion (waiting on those intercooler details!). Probably won’t be too many big updates until I order a bunch of stuff around Black Friday and install it over Christmas break later this year.
 

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Happy New Year y'all!

Sorry for going AWOL for a bit, had a change in life circumstances as my liver decided to pick a fight with Renal Cell Carcinoma. Still have the 124 and a pile of (growing) parts to install on her once I'm feeling a bit better as I'm still on treatment. Drove the 124 for the first time in three months around mid-December and am now back to work, so hopefully soon I'll have the energy to start wrenching again.

I have changed my plans a little bit for the 124 though, as we've scaled back the plans for the MX-5 a little bit (the better half is thinking of getting a new Wrangler as a DD, which would leave less mod money for the MX-5). Hopefully I can throw together an updated first post soon and have one of the moderators edit it for me - though I really wish the boards were enabled to let us edit our own posts. Updates will on my build will come soon enough, but in the meantime I'll be stalking everyone else's builds to see what's new.

Anyways, enough rambling. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year and get plenty of top-down motoring fun in!
 

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My prayers are with you. I've walked that path with throat cancer so I do understand what you're going through. That was 13 years ago and I still here to bitch about it. Life is good!!!

Heal fast, heal well AND get on this project soon!!!!

Paul
 
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