Having poured over the pages of Keith Tanner's 'Find it, Fix it, Trick it' as an introduction the world of the lil' Mazda MX-5 ('Mazda Miata' in the US and 'Eunos Roadster' in Japan) this book ('Miata MX5 - Performance Projects') seemed like the next logaical step, to add greater depth to my knowledge and reveal more layers to the lil' roadster.
It's worth pointing out that the book only covers the Mk1 ('NA'), Mk2 ('NB') and Mk2 'Facelift ('M2.5' or 'NBFL', depending on where you are in the world). It only briefly mentions the Mk3 ('NC') model, which was hadn't even been released when this book went to print for the first time.
If you're used to a comprehensive workshop manual (e.g. Haynes, Clymer, etc), then you might initially think that this is a little on the 'thin' side (I did), but it worth reading through and seeing what's actually on offer here.
The sections are all logically laid out, with 'getting yourself organised' (what tools are needed, how to get the car ready, etc), 'general maintenance' (there's a surprising amount of things that need checked, not least with the transmission); before moving onto the more advanced enhancements and modifications that can be made to the car.
There's an expectation that you're going to have a reasonable level of mechanical understanding (e.g. you're more than happy to do an oil change), with a little more help offered when approaching things like a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) installation. Suffice to say, some of the projects are reasonably advanced, but they're put in such a way as not to seem impossible to someone that's prepared for the job.
Chapters (or 'Projects') are concise, giving an outline of the pro's and con's of the task, what'll be needed (parts and tools), along with guidance on getting the jobs done. Again, the projects aren't exhaustive and are focused around the more common work that's done (how to swap a roof, how to service or upgrade brakes). There's a number of performance enhancements set out, which is where I feel the real value comes from.
Some enthusiasts might know all these things already (for the internet is a wonderful thing), but the book sets it out in a 'no nonsense' format and takes away some of the pitfalls when comparing different models and specifications.
If you only enjoying 'driving' your MX5, then perhaps this isn't the book (although the general maintenance is still valuable). The real treat is for those that are looking to maintain, upgrade, enhance and sensibly modify their MX5 and their driving experience.
Note: Yes, the book's written primarily for the U.S. 'Miata', but most of the information can be applied to Mazda MX5's and Eunos Roadster models as well (if you remember that the steering's on the other side!)
I just set my timing up using this amazing book, and set it to 14deg BTDC there is a noticeable difference with the MX5 feeling a bit more lively. Love the quality colour images and the explanations are well done too; if I can understand them pretty much anyone can. I've fitted a cam angle sensor and a cam cover gasket too, I'm also looking at fitting a NB head on this car although I may need a few more tools before I attempt that one.
What this book does is give you an enthusiasm for the MX5 and it gives you a good understanding about your car. I also bought Mazda MX5 1.6 Workshop Manual to compliment it and give me a grounding of the fundamentals of this amazing car.
I have grimy fingers again for the first time in 20 years, taking me back to my youth and all the tinkering I used to do with cars.
This guy really knows how to push a miata to the limit. He gave up his programming job to work on Miatas fulltime - when you love cars that much and have a technical background, imagine what you can do with the combination? There is a Cool project for connecting your own computer to your engine systems for diagnostics and performance calibration. I don't quite understand it yet, but it is possible. ;)
This is a great book as it covers some regular maintenance plus upgrades. What I like the most is it gives you an idea of how hard it will be to undertake as a project. Loads of photos to help you along.