Spec E30 Texas Edition - back from the dead?


OK - life is funny about getting in the way of race car projects… Job now sorted out hopefully and can make some more progress.

Have the SE30 suspension and exhaust installed. Still need to rip out interior, do the cage and the seats, etc…

Would like to run an HPDE but I need some tires. Don’t the Spec Miata guys run the same tire and wheel offset as SE30? Or at least close enough to work? Would like to beg, borrow , or steal a set of SM tires/rims and see how she does at a track day.

And - I need to rebuild the 3.73 LSD. The gears are good but the clutch plates are shot. Wasn’t there a shop that sold the plates and/or LSD rebuild kit for about $200?

All advise appreciated. Do any of you guys still street drive these things with the interiors ripped out and a cage installed? I would never run a halo seat on the street - but step one may be interior out, 4 point cage, and some Sparco seats/belts in - keep the AC on it and let my kid drive it to High School - until we get beyond the HPDE days…


centerbore for SpecMiata wheels is smaller than ours. They won’t fit, unfortunately.

Your car, with the spec exhaust, is going to be very loud for the street. My advice, if you’re going to HPDE for a while, would be to either keep your car streetable, or trailer it.

If you’re keeping it streetable, I would leave the carpet and interior in it, but remove what is necessary to install the back half of your cage, race seats, and belts.


I think you are thinking about Factory3 (which is no longer in business) for the clutch plates. I think you could get them through Bimmerworld or from Diffs Online.

There is a school of thought that claims that street driving a car with a cage and no helmet is too dangerous. I won’t go quite that far. I think it depends on how tight the cage is to the car body, how low the seat is mounted, and the height of the driver. If there is gobs of room between your head and the cage, then I don’t think it would be any worse than being in a real street car.

If I was going to drive the car much on the street I’d want to quiet down the exhaust. A super trap might tone it down w/o requiring modifications to the exhaust.

I’d hesitate to allow a kid in high school drive a “streetable” race car. The car will attract a lot of attention and peer pressure could lead to “showing off”. It really depends on the kid. One of mine could do this and never get in trouble. The other, well it if looked like it was even remotely possible (regardless of consequences) he’d try it.


It was Factory 3 - I think I still have a web link, which is probably now dead, I’ll try one of the other vendors for clutch plates. There was also a step by step how-to on the web - I hope that’s still up somewhere.

Bummer on the Miata wheels - I was hoping I could pick up a set cheap. OK - if I need to buy my own wheels - can you still get the Team Dynamics wheels for around $100 each? And assuming I don’t want to use expensive toyo RA1s for the street, what’s a good cheap 15/205/60 street tire that won’t be terrible for track days?

I’ve been driving with the SE30 exhaust on the street for 2 years - it is a big ricey for my taste - but not bad… but I’ve been cheating a bit - I ordered an extra midpipe and welded a cheap Ebay CAT into it. It passes the Texas tail pipe sniffer (required in my county) and I’m sure it quiets the car a bit. Been wanting to swap in the other straight pipe just to see how it sounds - but I’m guessing it will be way too loud given your comments.

My original cage plan was just a four point back half with a harness bar for the racing belts. I’d rather just do a bolt-in bar now - then build a full cage later when I get serious about gutting the car and taking the sunroof cassette out of the car.

My kid is about as mild as they come - given that his other choice is an LS1 powered Third Gen RX-7, I think the E30 seems pretty sensible… :slight_smile:

thanks for the input - Jim




I stripped a couple of the allen bolts inside and had to replace with hex head bolts. They were not easy to find in a pinch so I suggest you order some ahead of time online.


Thanks for the PDF - that’s the one I remember from the old Factory 3 site. I’ll order some extra allens as well.

I also have a rear main seal leak, so I’m going to pull the tranny, replace the seal, and install a new clutch kit.

Then I’ll tackle the diff clutch plates. Does anyone know if the Bimmerworld clutches will put the LSD torque within the “legal” SE30 range? I don’t want to do this job twice…