My Girlfriend’s Miata: Part 1 – Flyin’ Miata Frame Rail Reinforcement Kit

My Girlfriend's Miata: Part 1 – Flyin' Miata Frame Rail Reinforcement Kit

by Daniel O'Donnell

Sure, there are some advantages to having a girlfriend, but as a car guy, the negatives can get in the way of more important things. Who’d want to go on long walks on the beach when you could be looking at cars, working on cars, day dreaming about cars, reading about cars and winning online arguments about cars? Trying to carve out a few minutes to actually listen to your significant other can be a real bummer. Luckily for me, Flyin’ Miata produces a slew of cool parts that work on my girlfriend’s 1993 Miata. This allows me to “bond” with her while, more importantly, improving her car for my own driving enjoyment.

 

Behold the interior in all it's glory! When purchased, the car was a very clean example, but the seats and steering wheel had seen better days. They have since been upgraded, but more will be in store to make the Miata comfortable and quiet, while still being ready for a spirited drive or autocross.

As mentioned before, the car is a 1993 Matsuda Kabushiki-gaisha Miata. This lovely example was purchased a year ago as an on going project for a young-at-heart 31 year old. She happens to be a coach at an all girls school and her daily driver is a Subaru wagon (insert joke about questionable sexuality here). Before this beast was brought into the MotoIQ fleet, a few improvements had to be made to make the car more enjoyable to drive. A new Robbin’s top was installed along with later model M Edition leather seats that had slightly fewer rips and tears than what was originally in there. We unsafed the car a bit by removing the airbag and replacing the assembly with an NRG steering wheel with Work’s Bell hub adapter. Cobalt Billet pedals, an NRG shift knob and eBay shift boot round out the interior, because she felt that, “the interior has to match the paint!” Finally we sourced a set of used NB Bilsteins with springs and changed out the heavy chrome rims that came with the car with an unknown brand of Craigslist sourced, surprisingly lightweight 15” wheels.

The whole goal of the car is a fun and enjoyable street machine. No major sacrifices to NVH will be made in the name of performance as we fix up this modern classic. As you might have guessed from the previous paragraph, budget is a big concern and Flyin’ Miata’s Frame Rail Reinforcement kit comes highly touted as one of the best budget mods in the Miata world. Miata’s are not known for their robust chassis rigidity and after years of previous owners jacking on the frame rails and seemingly high centering the car on pointy rocks, our example had the torsional strength of overcooked spaghetti. Much like our pasta, we prefer our chassis al dente, thank you very much. Fingers crossed, Flyin’ Miata will come to this chassis’s rescue!

 

Fresh out of the box, the Flyin' Miata Frame Rail Reinforcement kit is impressive. The rails are all stainless steel construction with significant machining to reduce weight. Everything is surprisingly burly considering the low cost of entry.
All the hardware comes very well organized and is of good quality. The Stover nuts were a neat surprise to find. Stover nuts reduce the chance of hardware backing off and falling out due to vibration.

Produced from 14 gauge stainless steel, the whole kit weighs in at a tick under 13 lbs. All the necessary stainless steel hardware is included. There are 24 bolts total, 18 long, 6 short. Word to the wise, the short ones go under the brake lines (ask us how we figured that out), which run on the passenger side frame rail. The kit includes Stover nuts as well. This is great because you don’t have to worry about them backing out, but this can be bad if you have to remove the hardware after everything is cranked down. Be sure to plan accordingly and have the right hardware in the right place!

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