NC Miata - Removable Front Lip - Ebay Front Lip Install

Support the Blog & Save money! Buy 3 get 1 free on Continental Extreme Contact Force. Use promo code SHREDJESSEB3G1!

So our NC Miata fills a lot of roles. It's taught and continues to teach my GF to drive a manual, it's served as a track car for her, and it's a buddy or backup car for everybody else. With the needs of this car being so diverse, figuring out just what combination of parts will work for our NC Miata can be tough. We can't give up streetability, which instantly reduces a lot of options for making this thing as capable at the track as possible. Add on that I'm covering the costs of maintaining and upgrading this car along with my 1999 C5 Corvette and then budget considerations become a factor. So when it came time for the NC and front aero... the list of needs was long and the list of options was short. Even more interestingly, as far as I can tell nobody has done and documented this prior to my efforts here.

So I began with the NC Miata Ebay front lip, which cost just $79 shipped. There's a bunch of video out there on installing these, but nearly everyone is just attaching them permanently. I wanted to be able to remove ours if it affected streetability at all.

The plan: Utilize "rivnuts" and splitter braces / start rods to make the front lip removable.

NOTE: As part of my plan, I did the splitter braces from the lip to the bumper. This is NOT advised for a real splitter of any significance, and possibly not even advisable here. Still, the demand on this configuration is so much lower than an actual splitter that I personally felt safe doing this. Proceed at your own risk!

The parts I used:

The tools you'll need:

  • Handheld Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Ratchet and 8mm socket or 8mm wrench (Ratchet highly advised)
  • Phillips screwdriver for the strut braces
  • Socket/Wrench sizes I forget for the strut braces.

The process:

As is well documented on youtube for the ebay install, the lip does not fit right off the bat. There are three cutouts to clear the OEM lower bumper cutouts, and they are not correct. You will need to grind or cut those out to fit.

With that area clearanced, the lip will then press right up against the bumper and fit well enough. I gorilla taped up the lip to the front bumper to ensure it stayed in place, and then I measured out two locations per side to bolt the lip to the front bumper. You will want to verify whatever area you mark is flush with the bumper behind it so as the lip will be held to the bumper and not warped from the pressure. You will then drill pilot holes at the marked locations.

Next up, with your holes marked you will remove the lip and utilize the step bit provided for the pilot holes on the bumper. With those holes opened up, you will then use the rivnut tools provided to secure the nuts into the bumper. Easy peasy.

From there, you will drill out the holes on the lip large enough to allow your M6 bolt through. Then, you will take your M6 bolts with washers, and attach the front lip to the car. Be very aware of the torque you apply to tighten the bolts on, you're not dealing with steel and you can easily overtighten these causing a wide variety of problems for yourself, from spun rivnuts, to destroyed threads... all those headaches. The good news is they are reasonable enough to replace, but still, avoid that headache!

Next up you'll notice that while the lip is secure, the leading edge of the lip is quite flimsy. Definitely something you wouldn't want to trust at 100mph! You'll next want to take whatever splitter / strut braces you purchased that are hopefully better than what I got, and figure out a reasonable location near the edge of the front grill. This will let you pop the grill out and easily reach the nut on the back of the splitter brace to affix it to your bumper. Drill holes as nescessary for mounting to the bumper and then the lip, attach as nescessary and you're in business!

How it actually worked out for us:

So one thing I'll mention right away, is that the addition of the rear lexan spoiler helped the car a ton both on the street and the track in a very tangible fashion. The lip however, yielded no appreciable felt difference for my girlfriend. The only difference it yielded was a bunch of compliments on how it looked.

On the street, the car was quite bearable to drive around town and dealing with entries and exits to gas stations, speed bumps, etc etc. It's to the point we will likely just leave the lip on all the time.

On the track, my GF tested it out, and did set a PB time for herself, but she's focusing so much on technique and her improvements are nearly all there more than likely. Myself nor any other drivers running faster consistent times got to try it before and after, so just how useful it is on the track is also very much up for debate. I will note though that temperature issues were not present, and it did perform the 2 hour drive to the track, a full track day, and then a 2 hour drive back flawlessy!

Support the Blog & Save money! Buy 3 get 1 free on Continental Extreme Contact Force. Use promo code SHREDJESSEB3G1!