The Miata is an enjoyable car to drive.
It is the car I drive when I just want to relax and be in the moment, unlike its garage sibling (the Mazdaspeed 3), that requires me to have jet fighter like reflexes and awareness once the turbo spools up. When I drive the “little roadster that could”, I just want to turn on some tunes, take the top off and commute in serenity. Things have been going great with the car as of late, I have made some upgrades, fixed some mechanical issues, and the car has been rock solid. But there was a bit of an issue in the driver’s compartment that I found I could no longer live with.
The pedals. They have no cover on them. Which for the most part isn’t too bad, but if one were to happen to walk through a puddle of liquid (which can happen, especially with people running the a/c in the car in a parking lot) and then proceed to attempt to drive the car, it is a recipe for a bad time. Wet shoe soles on those solid metal pedals is akin to trying to use a vacuum cleaner on a sheet of ice.
Another small issue I was experiencing was that even after creating room for my legs with a smaller steering wheel and extension, I still couldn’t get my feet into the proper angle to heel/toe with any proficiency. The accelerator pedal for the NA Miata is very narrow. I tried bending the rod of the pedal assembly to try and get it into a position that works, but I was graced by god with size 12 feet. The problem I was encountering was not going to be remedied by the small amount of adjustability bending the pedal rod would fix.
As my frustration with the pedal situation in the car increasing, I decided to find a solution. That quest led me to 5XRacing.com, and the Accel Grip Pedal. I have purchased parts from 5x Racing in the past (they make a sweet copper shift bushing) and I had been eyeing this pedal for a time. The pedal is a piece of 1/8″ aluminum that shaped to fit the contours of the stock Mazda pedal.
There are 3 holes drilled into the plate (with accompanying hardware that includes lock nuts) and is covered with the same grip material that 5X Racing uses in its Miata grip plate kits for the floorpan. The price is reasonable ($25.00) and for an extra $12.86 they will throw in a set of Mazda OEM rubber brake and clutch pedal covers (grand total of $37.86). The Accel Grip Pedal is made right in their race shop, so turn around time for these, if any, is small.
The installation is a fairly easy one, sliding on the rubber covers on was probably more intensive than it should have been. Take your time with those and watch your fingers! A helpful hint would be to start the end closest to the firewall first, and then work your way back towards your seat. The lip of the rubber covers is much wider at the “top” of the pedal cover and it seems to stay on easier that way. The Accel Grip Pedal went on quickly, lay it on top of the stock pedal, line it up with the holes, and install the bolts and lock nuts. Easy peasy. Total install time for me was right around 25 minutes. It took me awhile to wrestle those new rubber covers, I would even install the Accel Grip Pedal first and let the rubber covers sit in the sun to soften them up a bit, it should make for an easier time installing them.
After the installation I took the car for a spin, I can say with the upmost confidence, that it is far safer knowing my feet wont slide off the clutch or brake. I did have to stop and bend the accelerator pedal as close to the right as I could. In stock orientation, the Accel Grip Pedal is way too close to the brake. When I was going to stop, I found that my wide foot was also contacting the Accel Grip Pedal and that was setting up a dangerous combination. Moving it as far to the right as I could reduced that issue, as well as driving with a different pair of shoes. After making those small tweaks, I can now brake without touching the accelerator and I can heel/toe with efficiency! The size of the Accel Grip Pedal also ensures that my foot will not fall through the gap between the pedals as I have moved it to the far right, no more getting the side of the shoe stuck under the pedal!
After looking at a lot of options for a solution for my issues, I am really pleased that I could solve almost all of them with a simple $40 purchase. Adding this pedal to the car has been one of the easiest and cheapest mods I have done to the car with the best bang for the buck! Commuting with the “little roadster that could” has become even better!