“My Girlfriend's” Miata: Part 7 – LRB Speed Aero Cooling Panels
An update for My Girlfriend’s Miata Project has us dipping our toes into the world of aerodynamic performance. I feel as this is an often overlooked aspect of street car performance and another area we shall address as we try to improve all aspects of our Miata platform. We’ll hold off on improving downforce/reducing drag for a future article and instead start with improving reliability through better control of the air for the cooling system.
The more I work on it, the more I notice that Mazda put a hell of a lot of time and care into this platform. From the factory, the radiator has a well designed shroud to channel air into it, but there is definitely room for improvement. The biggest area for upgrade on our particular Miata was that the factory plastic shroud was damaged and falling off. It can’t really work right if it isn’t really attached. That being said, even if it were in perfect condition the OEM shroud left a sizable gap that would let our well-channelled air bypass the radiator, reducing cooling efficiency. Why they did this I am uncertain, but this was unacceptable after installing our beautiful Koyo radiator and had to be addressed.
When I saw the issue with the factory shroud, I knew immediately what I would do if I were to improve upon the design. I’d keep everything as is, but add a seal between the panel and the bottom of the radiator to force all the air through the radiator instead of allowing a large amount to bypass it. I began an internet search looking for the best undertray designs the aftermarket had to offer and when I laid my eyes upon LRB Speed’s design, I knew I had to have it.
LRB Speed is a husband and wife team based in Florida who just happen to have an unhealthy obsession with all things rotary. Established in 2014, their goal was to improve upon commonly failing parts of older, FB Mazda RX-7s by replacing said parts with more durable materials. When these upgrades started to hit the market, Mazda enthusiasts of all stripes wanted to have LRB design and manufacture parts for their models. Naturally, LRB began making parts for FC and FD RX-7s, as well as Miatas, RX-8s and they have even branched out into other vehicle makes.