Sunday, November 16, 2008

Intercoolah and Baby Teeth

While I was taking photos of Mia for my recent post on her new winter footwear, I took the opportunity to snap a picture of the new, larger intercooler I installed a couple of weeks ago.

Below is a photo of the new charge cooler in place.  You may note that it is offset to the starbord (passenger) side.

Below is a photo of a stock Mazdaspeed Miata for comparison.  This is not my Mia, but she looked exacly the same.  The stock unit is quite a bit smaller, and would be almost completely blocked from view by my front license plate, even with the plate folded at the top and bottom as it is.*

Incidentally, these photographs show that I've replaced the 2 stock "tow hooks"---really tie-down loops  or tie-down eyes**---with larger ones designed for Spec Miatas.  These hooks are the black hoops visible on either side of the car's "grill" in each photo.  The new parts have much larger holes and project a bit further forward, which should make them easier to see and reach in the event that I need to be towed off the side of the road or or---more likely--out of the gravel at a race track.

* I should point out that I remove the plate for track days and autocrossing, both to get better charge cooling from the intercooler and to get better engine cooling from the radiator.  Oh, and, for what it's worth, I folded the top and bottom of the plate to a 90 degrees using a sheet metal brake in the machine shop at work.  It's amazing how much stiffer the plate is now.

** The "tow hooks" are intended for tying the car down during transportation from the Hiroshima plant to the dealer.  They aren't really intended for towing, though they work reasonably well for that, being secured to the chassis with 3 large bolts, though my new ones should work better.  Some Miata enthusiats find them to be unattractive and remove them.  These same folks call these parts "baby teeth" because of their location in the Miata's "mouth" port and their eventual absence.

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