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Old 03-13-2015, 12:55 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Along about this time my order from Flyin' Miata showed up. I'm glad I got the free shipping, all those bits were heavy. It was all well packaged but I was missing a couple of fasteners for the frame rails. I just ended up going to Ace as I didn't want to wait, I am sure if I had called FM they would have sent me what was missing. The instructions included were very thorough. Probably the hardest part of the whole installation (for me) was drilling holes in my floor boards. I would note that you want to remove the carpet as far back as you can, when I was drilling the first couple of holes one side had draped back down and my drill bit caught the insulation under the carpet. Not a big deal, just a minor annoyance but I should have propped it up better. I measured the frame rail locations on both sides several times, while FM allows for some leeway for the butterfly brace I wanted to have them as even as possible. I did the whole install myself, it does help having long arms to tighten those bolts on the inside of the frame rails. You do have to be a little creative when tightening the butterfly brace bolts as the stiffening on all the pieces combined with the exhaust on the one side makes it hard getting a wrench and socket in there.

Was it worth it? Yes! I have read a lot of stories about how people noticed the increased stiffness leaving their garage, and that is no exaggeration. For me the big revelation came when I was pulling out of my drive. The whole car feels like more of one piece. On that first drive I could actually feel the suspension working as it should, instead of the chassis flexing (I'm used to it now so don't notice). I can't say how well just the frame rails improve things, but I do recommend this to anyone who wants a stiffer car.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:57 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I replaced a few bits for the supercharger (bypass actuator, restrictor pill in the hose to same, idle bypass check valve), the check valve improved my boost a little since it appeared the old one was the original. Replaced the plugs, one heat range colder set to 0.032 per TDR's recommendations. I finally found out what was controlling the fuel for the supercharger, it was a DFMM (which indicated just how old my kit was). A little black box sold by Jackson Racing, this was basically the eBay resistor trick to tell the ECU that the intake temp was colder than it was, so more fuel was injected. Hey it worked, but I wanted something better.

Got her cornerweighted/aligned at a local place, they didn't normally do cornerweighting but turned out the owner had a set of scales from when he was dirt tracking, so he brought those in and they fixed me up. The tech who did the work is a nice guy who is very thorough. He loved the car. I go back there for any of my tire or alignment needs, it's good having somewhere that I can trust.

I had gotten a chip in the windshield while going out to dinner one night with the wife. SafeLite said they could repair it, but I would be able to see the repair. Since it was in my line of sight and I would just be annoyed, I had it replaced. Got some money off the bill because I removed the interior/exterior trim so they wouldn't have to. It was nice having a clear windshield without the years of little pits in it.

After some research I bought some Raammat to see if I could improve things on the noise side, mainly with the top up. I put it in the sounding chambers that connect the trunk with the cabin (you know, those openings that are on either side of the fuel tank). It was pretty difficult given the tightness back there and how the mat wants to fold over on itself on the sticky side. Got it in and it helped some, after talking to a local guy I bought a couple of nice fluffy pillows and put those in there as well. That helped even more.

I had purchased a Thompson oil filter relocation kit from a local guy. I installed it towards the end of my vacation. Had a slight leak from the fitting on one of the hoses (the PO had made up a set of stainless braided hoses) so I took that apart to try and correct it. Thought I had it done except for a minor weep, but that turned out to be wrong.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:58 PM   #33 (permalink)
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After some of the summer at home, it was back to work (hey, I have to do something to pay for all this!). While I was out, I bought a used combination switch (mine had the lettering on the cruise stalk worn off which looked bad), an instrument binnacle, Innovate MTX-L, Garage Star wiper cover, and a factory wiring manual. After some agonizing about it, I bought a BRP intercooled MP62 kit from someone right here on CR. I followed that up with the purchase of a Reverant enhanced MS2. Have I mentioned that I have a very understanding, wonderful wife?
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:00 PM   #34 (permalink)
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So, I got home the second week of October. I removed the leaking oil filter relocation kit, and took my stepdaughter to work. Car was dirty and needed air in the tires, as it was a little squirmy around corners. When I dropped her off she said she had forgotten how crazy I drive. I asked how she could do that! For the record I don't, it just seems like it to her (and of course it is amplified when in a small car sitting close to the road).

The KG Works gauge panel had finally arrived while I was gone, so that went in along with the needle caps. I also replaced the gauge hood and combination switch.


I installed the Garage Star wiper cowl, it is a nice quality piece (no picture right now, I'll have one of it later). I had to buy a longer bolt for the one rear corner on the passenger side, and I shimmed under the cover on the same side with two washers so it didn't get pulled down.

I had bought a spare valve cover somewhere along the way and sent if off for powdercoating. After some consideration I decided to get a catch can setup from the same guy. He put an AN fitting in the valve cover and I got some black hose and fittings to complete my connections. That all showed up looking just fine:



As you can see, I painted the lettering on the cover Mahogany Mica. I think it gives it a nice understated look which is what I like. My wife asked what was in the big box when the cover showed up, when I showed her she asked where it went. When I told her under the hood, she said, who cares? If you need any evidence of the difference in how men (gearheads) view cars versus (most) women, look no further.

And here is how it all looked installed (valve cover, catch can, wiper cowl):



If you look closely you can see where the catch can was mounted at the rear on the passenger side. It turned out I mounted it too low and it started leaking from the drain valve on the bottom from being vibrated against the body. Even though it was my fault, the guy who I bought it from had me send it back and he replaced the drain valve with a 90 degree fitting. While I was waiting for it to come back, I scored a NoPro washer bottle from eBay for $50. Installing that gave me more room to play with in the back corner, so the catch can mounting was modified accordingly. Note that the new washer bottle was installed as has been noted elsewhere, I extended the wiring harness and reversed the way the discharge hose was routed to the nozzles.

I got some grief over my oil fill cap, it was the one I had purchased earlier. During one of my frequent surfings of eBay, I found one that matched almost perfectly so that went on. In this picture you can see how all of this came together:


And I forgot that I had replaced the plug wires when I did the plugs, just went with a plain set of NGK blues.
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:01 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Here's a picture of her next to her (then) big sister:

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Old 03-13-2015, 01:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
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After looking through the parts of my new supercharger kit, I ordered some gaskets and fasteners from Stage One Tuning. This was who had taken over from BRP. Unfortunately about the same time the parent company decided to close up shop. There was one guy who was going through the piles of leftover spares and filling orders but he had to stop. I'm just glad I got what I needed before it all disappeared. I also got a ProSport boost gauge (have one on the Speed6 and it works just fine) and some luscious black vent trim rings from revlimiter. I replaced the huge folding cupholder the car came with, with a nice thin one. Unfortunately whoever installed the huge one drilled an extra hole in the lower part of the dash which is now in the open, so some day I'll be buying the bottom half of the dash to replace that. I'm just picky that way.

Reverant was having some problems with the MS. They would test just fine, but when put into a car wouldn't work. I'm just glad the man goes the extra steps to check that sort of thing before shipping them out. It kind of put the damper on my getting the MP62 install going though. I did go ahead and order the COP kit that Trackspeed Engineering offers. I could have put one together myself, there is certainly enough info available. However given my short time at home and how I have to cram so much into that time, I decided it would be easier and quicker to buy it all ready to install. I was right about the easier part...
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:03 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I bought a set of projectors off a guy on MT.net. Again I was going to put things together myself, but after having my brain explode trying to get everything straight with what was needed (type of bulbs, type of harness, etc) I decided it was going to be less painful to buy a whole kit from TRS. So that order was placed.

I pulled my vents to replace the felt as the middle two liked to nod at me. I had read up on it a lot and found the first one was a pain. What I used to release the hooks on the sides was plastic cut out of an extra cone of shame we had from one of the dogs getting snipped. It already had a curve to it which fit nicely into the gap between the vent and the dash, and the thickness is just right (Goldilocks would have loved it). I popped the vents apart as I wanted to remove all the old felt and residue, I know it's been done without doing that but I wanted to be thorough. The first felt pieces I had turned out to be too thick, so I picked up some sheets at a local hobby shop. They only had blue, I figured it wouldn't be noticeable so used it (four strips on each eyeball). As it turned out I was wrong, every time I glanced at the middle vent I could see the blue mocking me. It took a couple of weeks before I could get some black felt, but that got done. Glued rev's rings in place with some silicone and I was set. BTW, if you have considered getting a set of his rings, stop it and send the man your money. They are extremely well made, very heavy and really finish things off.
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Old 03-13-2015, 04:08 PM   #38 (permalink)
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That valve cover looks great. Much jealousy.

Quote:
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As you can see, I painted the lettering on the cover Mahogany Mica. I think it gives it a nice understated look which is what I like. My wife asked what was in the big box when the cover showed up, when I showed her she asked where it went. When I told her under the hood, she said, who cares? If you need any evidence of the difference in how men (gearheads) view cars versus (most) women, look no further.
Does she paint her toenails and then wear shoes?
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sploinkin View Post
That valve cover looks great. Much jealousy.



Does she paint her toenails and then wear shoes?
Thanks, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and it does garner a lot of comment. The powdercoating on that and the radiator overflow tank are about the only things I haven't done myself.

You should know enough about women to know that sort of logic won't get you far.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:20 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I bought some black braided stainless hose and fittings to redo the hoses for the oil filter relocation kit. Got that put back in and still had a slight leak. After fiddling with it a couple of times, I decided I really didn't need it and removed it for good. My arms can reach the filter in the stock location just fine, and as it turned out I needed the spot where the relocation housing went for my HID ballast on that side.

I bought a set of black cloth NB2 seats locally for cheap ($200). Sure they don't match, but I wanted something that felt better to me than my stock ones. They hold me in place a lot better.

I wanted to try modifying my valve cover with some pot scrubbers to help reduce the amount of oil that made its way out to the catch can. The how-to is here: http://mx5unleashed.com/tech/valve-cover.html
Note for those who have 2000 (and I presume 1999) Miatas, the compartment on the intake side doesn't have a partition as shown in the how-to on MX-5 Unleashed, so nothing to put a notch in. I used pot scrubbers instead of the steel wool used in the how-to, this seems to be what most people are now using. I tried sleeving the first pot scrubber with paper to get it into the lint screen but it didn't work too well. I ended up elongating the scrubber, pushing it into the lint screen for a distance and then shaking it like you do when you are trying to get a sock unrolled. That worked pretty well. As a side note, initially I picked up the lint screens at my local Ace, but they were aluminum. I found some at Home Depot that appear to be stainless and that's what I used. No pictures of that, mine looks pretty much like on the how-to.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:23 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I was having problems with the catch can filling up. As in, running the car for a couple of days would fill it right up. I tried several different things to correct the problem but nothing helped. I ended up just going back to the chrome valve cover with a stock PCV valve, I have to make sure the car is somewhat reliable while I'm gone as I don't want to burden my wife with having to turn wrenches (that lets me sleep easier at night too).

The parts pile for the supercharger swap kept building. I picked up a M-Tuned dual feed fuel rail. There was a hole on the one side that the PO couldn't tell me what it was for (it turned out the stock pressure regulator bolted right up). There are conflicting stories over whether you need the dual feed rail for lower horsepower levels, but this one popped up and I figured since so much else was going to be changed, why not?

Received my HID order so set about getting that done. I got lucky enough to pick up another set of headlights so those went on the car while I worked on the stockers. Did the bake and disassemble thing (with no grief about using the oven). I painted the outer chrome trim pieces body color, I used blue painter's tape to mask off the areas (like the turn signal recess) that I was going to leave chrome. When I removed the tape it pulled some of the chrome off with it, so much for it not sticking to things. I ended up solving that issue with a small brush and some model paint. Removed the orange cup off the turn signal so I could use one of those lights that doesn't look amber until it lights up. With the complete kit, installation of the projectors was very easy. Got the headlights all buttoned back up and then put the ballasts and wiring in. This was pretty basic stuff, I did find a door on the outside of the fuse box (you have to remove the fuse box to get to it) that has a 10mm head bolt underneath holding the power supply cable on. That was where I tied into the power connection for the lights. Ground went in the same area. Got everything all done and tried the lights out. Success! Well, almost. I only had low beams. Back to research, found out the Miata has a ground switched system so I needed to swap two of the wires on the connector plugged into the headlight socket. Did that and promptly blew the fuses for the headlights. Then started a long process of going back and forth, researching and trying different wire connection configurations with no luck. I would have either lows, highs or blow the fuses. Finally called TRS, and they said they had a new harness setup that should take care of the problem. We arranged for them to swap the harness with the one I had (I think I only had to pay shipping and maybe a couple of dollars more for the difference). I got the new harness and put it on, nice bright lights were now mine. If you order one of their kits now you will receive the updated harness so shouldn't have the problem I did. I can recommend TRS, they are another good vendor with great customer service. They have a very good forum too with lots of info on HID upgrades.

Here is a small shot of one headlight as finished:

I know a lot of people paint the reflector as well, but I wanted something that looked just a little out of the usual. If I change my mind I can always pull them back apart and paint the rest. I really like how it looks from the side now, but I have somehow not taken any pictures from that angle (shocking for me, I know!).
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:25 AM   #42 (permalink)
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During all this time I was buying various factory manuals on eBay, I now have everything (workshop, engine, 6 speed tranny, wiring, service highlights). The workshop manual was the most expensive but I waited until I found one that wasn't too bad. I am old school and prefer working from a paper book (I do have some stuff on computer but books work better for me). Since I keep my cars for a long time I like having the real manuals.

I bought a Canton metal radiator overflow tank from eBay, this looks the same as the one sold by Moroso and I suspect they make it for Moroso. I sent that off for powdercoating to match the valve cover. Also bought a set of Tuckin' 99 front fender braces. These are nicer in my opinion than the Boss Frog arms because you don't have to cut anything under the fenders. You do have to drill one 6mm hole.

I installed the braces on a coldish day, which gave me a couple of problems with fasteners (as in, I broke a couple). Taking the fenders off revealed a small collection of debris on both sides, it wasn't too bad and there were no signs of any rust so I doubt it had been in there too long. Couple of hints for those removing their Miata fenders. There's a nut inside back towards the door that is accessed once you pull the fender liner off. You do not have to remove the nut completely as the tab on the fender has a C shape. If you have the side skirts the rearward bolt on the bottom of the fender has both a metal ferrule and a plastic spacer that goes underneath the front (small) side skirt piece.

Got the braces installed finally and the fenders back on (no pictures, did I mention it was cold?). Even though I only removed a couple of the bolts in the door hinges, the doors sagged enough to throw off their alignment. I ended up going back a day or two later, removed the fenders again and adjusted the doors. I did that by using the car's jack to move the doors up and down and then tightening the bolts. It just took a small movement to get things where they should be.

One of the fasteners I broke was the ball pin for the hood lift on one side. I wrote to RSpeed asking if they had the part and what it cost. I got a nice response back asking my mailing address and that they would send me one out. Couple of days later the envelope showed up, but it was empty with a nice pin sized rip in it. I went back to RSpeed and humbly asked if they might have another one, they did (their last one as it turned out). I got this one ok although the envelope showed signs of similar distress so I suspect it had something to do with the machine it passed through. Even though this was no fault of theirs or the parts they sold, RSpeed took care of this completely out of their pocket. Needless to say they rate highly on my vendor list and I will keep buying from them.

Here is a picture of everything in place including the coolant tank (note this was before I switched back to the other valve cover). You can also see the final position of the catch can:
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:26 AM   #43 (permalink)
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About this time The Parts Group was parting out a 2000 SE with about 27,000 miles. I ended up buying the carpet (mine had some small burn holes in it), the power window switch, ashtray (original owner had put a pin switch in it for a garage door opener and it looked bad) and the jack. My jack was extremely tight, even after repeated lubrication and working it back and forth. It was so bad that the handle was starting to bend whenever I used it. Didn't want anyone to have to fight it in case of a flat.

Time to head back to work (again), as a going away present I got to drive her to lunch with my wife with the top down. I also won one of the picnic backpacks the car originally came with on eBay (but didn't get to see it until I got home in three months).
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:28 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Going to put a few small things here that I noticed I didn't touch on. When I put the HIDs in my headlights, I finished up by covering them with XPel film for protection. If you have never put any product like this on, it isn't an easy task. I did it while holding the lights on my lap which was a mistake. You really need to have them mounted on the car so they don't shift on you. A hairdryer doesn't really give you the amount of heat you need either, the lights have a pretty good complex curve to them so you need to be able to flex the vinyl a lot. Mine didn't end up too terribly bad, but I decided to redo them (this time with them mounted and using a Harbor Freight heat gun).

You may recall my mentioning a page or so back about buying a replacement inner fender liner. Just so you are all aware, I actually ended up getting a new one cheaper than what used ones are selling for on eBay. I had bought a used one initially but it was shipped folded up and was not in the pristine condition it was advertised. At least the seller was the stand-up sort and refunded my money. That was when I decided to buy a new factory piece, and was shocked at how inexpensive it was. Lesson here is always check how much the new piece will be first, you might be surprised.

I mentioned about my COP setup from Trackspeed Engineering being easy but not quick. I placed my order on 24 October 2011. At that time I was told it would be 4-6 weeks delivery, understandable since they are all made up per order. I heard from them about a month later saying they would be shipping after Thanksgiving. I didn't hear anything about shipping info so the third week in December I wrote them again. This time I was told they had experienced delays due a lack of time to put the kits together. This seemed a bit odd since I had been previously told they were going to be shipped soon. I was given a new delivery date and asked if I wanted a refund. I went ahead and kept my order, finally got the kit on 06 January. The kit is worth it, very nicely made and it comes with good instructions. I can't say if this is how things normally are with TSE or if they just had one of those times. Bottom line if you order something from them and don't hear within the promised time frame then get in touch with them. I would buy from them again if that means anything.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:29 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I had bought a set of Supra light green injectors. I have read the capacity of these is anywhere from 305 to 320cc. At that point it seemed like that would be what I needed with my M45. Then once I bought the MP62 I knew I would need something bigger. Some judicious research showed that 550cc should give me enough headroom to be safe. I decided on a set of EV14s from FiveO Motorsports (bought from them on eBay). I received them in good order and a test sheet was included with them showing the corrected output of each. Since that time I have read a few stories of people having problems with either FiveO or the EV14s. All I can say is that I had no such issues.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:32 AM   #46 (permalink)
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So, there I was back to sea with extra time on my hands. What else to do but buy more parts?! Good thing my wife loves me so. I actually didn't buy much compared to my previous sprees (at least going by my notes from elsewhere). I picked up the last remaining new NB CNC'd Lexan fan shroud made by 3/4Cobra (think that was his screenname). I finally bought a MiataRoadster short shifter, and a couple of Spal fans to complete my new cooling arrangement. I did buy some other stuff but it was for other vehicles.

I got home just the night before Mother's Day. After a night at a B&B, got home and promptly installed the short shifter. Well, not really promptly, I spent a little time letting all the two and four legged animals get reacquainted with me. I wasn't able to take a drive then to test it, but I liked how it felt rowing through the gears sitting still.

Picked up a new Walbro 255lph fuel pump. The car already had one in it, but since I was putting so many other new things on I figured why not. One less item for worry. Also bought a EUDM 4-2-1 exhaust mani with a MSM midpipe. I used her as a pickup one day, went to the pick and pull to get a front bumper cover for the wife's mistake (aka '99 VW Cabrio she bought so the remaining kids could learn to drive on an auto. Don't get me started about what all I've had to do to it in my precious short times at home). Got some looks driving home with it sticking out of the passenger seat.

I was trying to find the buzzing noise I mentioned a while back. Every time I thought I had it nailed down because it would stop after I moved something or insulated something, it would start again. This would elude me until I started the supercharger swap.

Before my next autocross I decided to try running with the rear sway disconnected. That helped me a lot with my power oversteer. I managed to win my class straight up against a 240SX with a monster turbo. He was running some 18" wheels that looked like boat anchors which probably didn't help him much. But I won!!

I had bought a set of those Teflon window guides from the Jake the Guideman who is pretty much everywhere. The job is pretty easy, it helped that I had the door cards off before when installing my speakers. That job has been covered well so I won't go into it. I have always had good luck working around the black goo that holds the vapor barrier in place, just peel it back and be extra careful where I put my hands. The muck that was in the window tracks was pretty nasty. If you haven't at least cleaned yours and relubed I recommend it. Even better is to get a set of the window guides (they're cheap) and be done with it all at once.

I raised the car about 1/2" in front, 1/4" in rear. It was sitting too low (11 3/4" front, 12 1/4" rear) and the ride was much improved afterwards. After that I installed the old 949 front/rear subframe braces I bought off one of the forums. The front one is just a flat bar with a thick middle section, the rear is sort of a flattened U shape. They go on easily. I didn't really notice any difference with them in place compared to the butterfly brace, but it's kind of hard to top that.

The last piece that I purchased for the supercharger upgrade was a set of braided stainless fuel lines made specifically for the M-Tuned rail. Given the location of the rail I feel a lot better about having something that is resistant to abrasion. After my ill-fated attempt at making hoses for the oil filter relocation kit I was just going to get some made up, but luckily these came along.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:34 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Drum roll please...now, what you all (may) have been waiting for, the supercharger swap! Spent about 2 1/2 hours pulling the M45 setup off the car. In the process found out where that damn buzzing was coming from. There was a bracket located underneath the U-bend inlet to the supercharger. Apparently some time when I had been working on things I moved it enough for it to contact the bracket. How did I know this? There was a nice shiny area on top of the bracket staring me in the face when I removed the inlet. Kind of hard to miss.

If you look just above the shock mount you should see a black box around the bracket that was causing the noise. I had already put touch-up paint on it when I took this picture. So for anyone with an NB and a M45 supercharger, if you get an annoying buzzing look there first.

Also removed the DDM Works CAI box, both radiator fans, upper intake manifold and stock fuel rail. Note that I bled the pressure off the fuel system first by pulling the fuel pump relay under the steering column and then running the car until it died (which didn't take very long). The stock fuel rail is pretty dinky compared to the M-Tuned piece. I had some trouble getting the stock fuel supply hose off, the manual showed it having a replaceable locking piece but mine didn't, there was just an orange colored locking piece. I ended up using a couple of jeweler's screwdrivers and some colorful language to get it off.

The next night I dove back into things. Removed the front bumper and both fender liners (I had new ones, they were both scraped from when I first got the car and it was very low). Worked on getting the lower intake manifold off, it was giving me fits until I remembered my own advice about removing things to gain easier access. Alternator came off and that did the trick. The coils came off for what should prove to be the last time.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:36 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Got back into it a couple of days later, didn't get as much done as I wanted because I had something in my eye that didn't want to come out. In any event, I removed the exhaust back to the muffler (this entailed removing the butterfly brace). I was going to start installing the EUDM 4-2-1 factory manifold and downpipe I bought, but couldn't find the gaskets. I was afraid I had put them back in the box it all came in and then threw it out. I was making one last check, pulled a couple of things out and there was the envelope with the gaskets in it on the floor. Woohoo!! I finished up by installing the new front inner fender liners, and sprayed some PB Blaster on the rear O2 sensor so I can pull it out. I don't think I will need it with the MegaSquirt, but I had to take a couple of other pieces to a welder so I was going to have them put a bung on the MSM midpipe. As it turned out, with the EUDM manifold and MSM midpipe, I was shy about 2" of having things mate up at the muffler. I decided just to put the '01 manifold back on (in hindsight I should have put the EUDM arrangement on). I figured out where the O2 sensor for the MTX-L would go, marked the pipe and dropped that off at a muffler shop to have them weld in the bung.

I swapped out the fuel pumps, this was fairly easy as it was the same pump so I was able to use the wiring connector that was already in place (for a change on this car, that bit of wiring was done correctly). I made sure to remove the restrictor pill from the fuel line as I wouldn't need it with the rest of my new fuel system. I removed the JR timing controller, boost and AFR gauges along with the auto-dim rear view mirror. I like those, have them in other cars, but this one was aftermarket and the readout was in the mirror itself which annoyed me. Plus I was not entirely sure it was working as I seemed to get blinded a lot more at night in this car than the others. The same idiot wirer installed the mirror, I found speaker wire used (they must have gotten a lot at a fire sale) and to show how much class they had, bread wrapper twist ties were used to hold the wires together running up the A-pillar. Picked up a stock mirror off eBay to replace it with.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:38 AM   #49 (permalink)
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I guess it was about this time I figured out I was going to have to pull the dash in order to replace the wiring harness that had been hacked up for the narrowband O2 installation. Out came the steering wheel, combination switch, shift lever and radio (and all the various trim pieces around them) to make life easier. Note that I did not pull the e-brake, which I was to later regret. Actually removing the dash was pretty easy, the bolts are all relatively easy to get to. Once that was out I discovered that the heater core would also have to be removed as the wiring harness passes through the firewall behind it. Had to pull the radiator anyway for the intercooler installation, so drained the coolant. I also removed the HVAC fan, it was dirty inside and the sealing foam around the top was breaking down.

Swapped out the harnesses, just took my time and fed the old one back into the cabin a little bit at a time (moving between the engine bay and the interior), the new one went in the reverse of that. The hole in the firewall is slightly behind the A/C condenser so that is what slows things up. Cleaned up the fan unit using Q-tips (only thing I could find that would fit between the blades) and used some household insulation foam to reseal the top (IIRC it was 3/8", available in any hardware store's insulation section).
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:40 AM   #50 (permalink)
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So the interior at this point was looking like this:

with everything that was removed sitting on the garage floor off to one side. The wife walked out and freaked. Asked me if I was doing more than just the supercharger install. I said, well yeah! She was not amused as her perception of the work required was way out of proportion to what was actually needed.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:41 AM   #51 (permalink)
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So moving ahead I had dropped off the MP62 mounting bracket and intercooler outlet pipe at a local welding shop. The bracket had two standoffs that needed welding back in place, and the outlet pipe required the bung for the IAT sensor welded on (PO had just threaded it into the pipe but I didn't want it blowing off). While I was waiting on that I pulled out the old carpet. Noticed some ringing of the metal so as I put Raammat along the tranny tunnel and beneath both seats for a little sound deadening. While everything was out I also ran the vacuum tubing for the MS from the intake manifold. I was going to use a tap off the top of the manifold and didn't want the tubing running across the firewall, so I located a plug on the passenger's side, put a hole in it and snaked the tubing through. Ran that along the firewall inside the cabin so it was safe and sound out of the way (would suck having a vacuum leak on that and not being able to get to it easily).

Changed the oil filter (easiest one yet!), put the lower intake manifold back on and installed the new 550cc injectors. Found out that it was better to put the injector spacers into the fuel rail before putting the rail on (they were very tight, I lubed the O-rings with a little lithium grease and gently worked them on). I had some problems with the little plastic spacers for the fuel rail hold down bolts falling off so I put a couple of dabs of blue gasket silicone on them to hold them in place.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:42 AM   #52 (permalink)
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New carpet went in, I only replaced the main section and the vertical section on the bulkhead behind the seats. I'll need to get the part for the package shelf cut and sewn up (so it doesn't unravel) to fit around my roll bar.

Not a very noticeable change from before I know, but it's one of the few pictures I have to share so I'm using it!

Got the dash back in place, scuffed up the e-brake handle some during the attempt. I was able to get the dash out ok with it in place, but really I should have removed it from the start to make everything easier (as I mentioned before). Ended up doing that so I didn't ruin the wood further. Pulled the radiator out of the car. Finally, put the exhaust mani back in. I called it a day at this point as I needed to get in touch with the guy I bought the MP62 from to see if he had any info on the mounting of the intercooler. I had been trying to decipher how the various brackets went but wasn't having much luck.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:45 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Ran around collecting bits and pieces. Wideband O2 bung was now on the exhaust pipe, IAT bung on the intercooler outlet pipe, and the standoffs on the supercharger bracket. Had to source a female-male reducer in order to connect up the stainless fuel lines, all I could find was brass so that went in for now and I'll see what I can find online. It's easily accessible to change once I get a stainless one. Got a response from the previous owner about installing things, and the intercooler was now in! Turns out I was looking at the bracket completely wrong, because it was shaped like the bottom of the 'cooler I thought the 'cooler rested on it. Turns out the bracket mounts on the back side of the bumper (using the bolts that normally hold on the power steering cooler) and the 'cooler mounts to two ears that hang down. Now I just needed for him to send me pictures of how the relocation brackets for the lower radiator brackets went. I had to make another run to Ace for some more fasteners, got some longer bolts to hold the overlay pulley on but failed to notice that the holes in the pulley aren't big enough for the shoulders on the bolts. Times like that I wish I had a lathe, instead I ended up getting a die nut and threading them all the way to the head. Got the fuel system completely connected up. Alternator was installed, took me a little bit to figure out where the bracket for the wires mounted to the lower intake manifold. EGR valve and pipe were back in, and the COPs in place on the valve cover. Made a gasket for the big throttle body and got that installed on the supercharger. Finally (for now), hung the 'charger in place to see how it was going to look. I was waiting for a power steering tensioner from The Parts Group, as I need to restore that to stock and I don't have all the parts needed due to how the M45 was installed. COPs were wired in, both sets (for cylinders 1/4 and 2/3) share the power and ground wires. I cut off the stock connector plugs, then twisted those two sets of wires together and soldered them. After that they were put into butt splices and crimped, followed by the individual wires for each cylinder set. A little heat shrink tubing went over all the connections. Nice and neat. The instructions provided by Trackspeed were easy to follow. Upper intake manifold went back in place, along with the dummy throttle body. Took some time getting all the wire harness plugs connected, I couldn't find the one for the CAS initially. I also had to properly use the bracket for the plugs on the front of the engine, for some reason it wasn't done right from the M45 install (I don't think it was due to any interference issues). All of that took some time, I mainly wanted to ensure the CAS wires wouldn't snag on anything. Did a few other odds and ends, the passenger side of the engine bay was all done. Just had to wait for the power steering tensioner to arrive so I could finish up with the supercharger itself.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:46 AM   #54 (permalink)
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I was sure I had some pictures of the intercooler brackets but can't find them. I'll hunt around more so I can post them. Reason for this is that while there are still some BRP kits floating around, trying to find instructions for them is nearly impossible. If I can save someone some searching that is a plus.

In any event I got the intercooler installed and it looked like this:

With this setup (maybe others as well, I don't know) on an NB you have to bend the brackets holding the A/C dryer/receiver away from the condenser in order to have the space for the intercooler. You will also end up slightly bending one of the hard refrigerant lines going to the dryer. This is a case where taking some time and doing it in small steps is the best. Kink that hardline and your A/C isn't going to work too well. Normally the dryer sits right in front of the left side of the condenser, if you look at the picture you can see how it's been moved from that position.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:47 AM   #55 (permalink)
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My power steering pump complete with tensioner bits came in from TPG. Took off what I needed and put that together. Unfortunately the auto-tensioner was resting on the power steering pump adjuster, and I didn't see any way to move things around. A lot of fiddling around and head scratching later, I came across a picture that showed a modified piece that BRP had included with their kits. Since I didn't have that I had to improvise. So what I did was this:


What I did was source the Allen head bolt for it, then used a drill bit to provide a recess for the head to fit into. I flattened the bottom of the hole as best I could with my Dremel. Not quite as good as using a milling machine, but I thought it would work. It would have, except for having to move the supercharger around later to try and get things aligned. In this picture you can see just how tight things are around the auto tensioner assembly:

Note the tool marks on the section of pipe to the PS pump, the only thing I could use to bend it was a set of Channellocks. You could leave it as stock, but then your belt wouldn't last long. In the end I removed the PS pump tensioner and tensioned its belt the old fashioned way.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:49 AM   #56 (permalink)
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So supercharger was in! What a PITA, there is truly no extra room for anything. The intake is via flex-hose, the plus for that is I won't have to worry about it vibrating on anything. Unfortunately the auto-tensioner was resting on the power steering pump adjuster, I didn't see any way to move things around. Back to another e-mail to the previous owner. Did some other small things, including pulling back the wires for the TPS. For some bizarre reason when the harness was made at the factory, several of the wires were twisted around each other. This affected one of three wires on the plug, it looked like I'd have to cut it to pull it back without having any stress on it, then solder it back together and cover it with heat shrink. However, while searching around on the Moss site for instructions I saw where they said you could use something small to release the tab holding individual wire pins into the connectors. Basically you remove a white plastic lock, then using a small pry tool (jeweler's screwdriver for me) you gently pry up on the locking tab holding each wire plug in place and then pull it out of the connector. The locking tab is located on the side of the connector where the white plastic lock is, if you look inside you can barely see it. The first one was a bit of a fluke, second took a couple of minutes to find the sweet spot, and the third came free in about 30 seconds. Put some wire loom on that from the main harness to the plug, then put the loom on the main harness and taped everything up.

After searching around town and not finding any bolts the right size for the overlay pulley, I bought a M6 die nut. About 5 minutes worth of work, and I had four flanged M6 bolts threaded all the way up...that didn't work. I removed the stock pulley and nested the supercharger pulley on it to see what the problem was. That's when I saw that there was an additional 5mm or so of space between the two pulleys that I hadn't accounted for (I thought the overlay bottomed out on the stocker due to its shape). Back to Ace where I lucked out and found four flanged M6 X 35 bolts that were threaded all the way up. That was what it took to get the overlay pulley in place. Or so I thought at the time...
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:51 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Started putting the gauges in, got the vacuum line for the boost gauge run into the cabin (via an existing hole for a previous installation) and the big line for the wideband. Put that one through the large gray wiring plug on the driver's side, I used some silicone to seal up the slit around the cable. If I were smarter I would have done this before I put the dash back in, would have been a lot easier. Next issue was finding some of the correct size wire to make extensions in order to wire them up to power and lighting, Ace didn't have what I needed and neither did Harbor Freight (although I did get a heat gun for use in the garage as the wife's hairdryer doesn't really cut it).

Without any wire available in my neck of the woods I decided to cut up the stock harness I replaced and use pieces of that. Put some extensions on my gauge wires so they would reach under the dash, twisted/soldered the wires together and put heat shrink over the connections. Painted the bezel of the boost gauge to match the wideband gauge (decided to go with black), once it was dry I had both gauges in just needing the power connections. Got some info from a guy on MT.net night concerning the relocation brackets for the intercooler, had to finally buy WinZip and got tired of waiting for them to send me my registration info so I took a look at the puzzle and put it together. I used the wear and corrosion marks on the brackets (and some common sense) and got it all in. I did have to cut some reliefs in the lower radiator support brackets, after that I was looking at the pictures the guy had sent and there were supposed to be two taper head Allen bolts for the one bracket which would have prevented me from having to do that. BRP truly did make it so you wouldn't have to cut anything up. The hardest part was bending the A/C dryer from in front of the condenser to beside it. I did find out that neither of the intercooler pipes can be in place when putting the radiator in, it's that tight.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:52 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Got all three new belts, the PS belt was too long (I thought) so I took it back and exchanged it for one that (according to what I read) was the right length. It was too short! I wondered if I just didn't have things set up correctly and the first one was actually the right one.

Cleaned up the bottom of the front subframe and inside the lower splash pan, when I had the oil filter relocation kit installed and it was leaking the oil ended up down there and attracted a lot of grit. Pulled back the IAT wires as the new sensor is located on the intercooler outlet pipe, I tried removing the wires from the supplied connector so I could do a neat job without splicing but I couldn't figure out how to undo the latching pin. Pulled the sparkplugs and gapped them properly, when I had that back in I cleaned the blue marking paint off the tops of the COPs. Mounted both Spal fans on the shroud, when I bought the nylock nuts for that initially Ace only had 7 and I needed 8. When I got it today it turned out the new nut took an 11mm wrench, since I hate having different size fasteners on the same pieces I bought another 7 when I made my second trip. Unfortunately due to the way Mazda made one of the stock fans (with the connector as part of the motor) I can't reuse stock connectors. Nobody local has any automotive connectors so I ended up running to Radio Shack. I did find out I can't install the radiator with the fan shroud on (or at least not easily) so that's a step ahead. It will be a little bit of a PITA getting the weatherstrip foam I have to seal around the edges in, I'll just have to lay on the floor to do the bottom. I did buy the correct flat head Allen screws for the sway bar brackets, at some point I'll source the lower radiator supports and replace the ones I cut up.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:54 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Got the undertray and front bumper on. Undertray has all the fasteners on it for the first time (some were missing). Zip-tied my boost sensing line in the engine bay. Scouted around town for an air filter but no one had what I needed, so that got ordered. That evening I put the fan back in under the dash (removed it to run the boost sensing line), did the sagging glovebox door fix, and installed new rotors/pads all the way around. I'm happy to report that I had no issues with any of the pins on the calipers, all were clean and had some lube on them. Finally got my gauges hooked up, still needed to figure out where to connect the wires to permit them to dim when the lights are on. I ended up using two of those add-a-circuit pieces for the power, put the one that needed constant power in the hazard slot and the accessory powered wires went into the radio slot. Wideband sensor was calibrated, midpipe put back in (could have actually had the wideband sensor installed a little more to the 12 o-clock position) along with my front subframe brace. Replaced the butterfly brace midsection and then bled the brakes using my Motive unit with the Miata-specific adapter. That was the first time for that, it worked pretty well although I didn't have any air in the system (when I push the pistons back into the calipers I open the bleed screw and then close it before it sucks anything back into the system). Wheels were on and car was on the floor. Now if I could only start the damn thing!
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Old 03-15-2015, 02:41 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

You should become an author
But proof i read (most of ) it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefmg View Post
For some bizarre reason when the harness was made at the factory, several of the wires were twisted around each other.
I just deloomed and simplified my NA harness, you wouldn't believe what shitty wiring, strange connections and twisty nonsense i found! They must have been made by drunk monkeys.
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