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Old 03-16-2015, 06:22 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
You should become an author
But proof i read (most of ) it:



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.
Thank you for the compliment, and thanks for reading (most) of it. I don't think I could make it as an author, I have too much engineer in me for an imagination.

I suspect much of the factory wiring is done for a reason (like stress relief of the looms). It irritates us when we need to change something, but for stock purposes it does what it was designed to do. I'm just glad that we can easily move things around as needed.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:41 AM   #62 (permalink)
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I have too much engineer in me for an imagination.
Engineering can be a profession, a passion, or both. I'd argue that imagination is the appetite that motivates the passion. I have a LOT of imagination.

It's not too late to change!!!

FWIW I'm a mechanical engineer in aerospace. Welcome!
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...I'm a man of wealth and taste. Well. not so much the former, and I'm working on the latter.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:41 PM   #63 (permalink)
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I used to have a lot of imagination when I was younger, might still be some kicking around in there some where. I'm a marine engineer making ships move through the water.

Back to my narrative:
Fired her up! Unfortunately the supercharger belt kept jumping off, tried some adjustments but nothing was working. Back to research to figure it out. Nice to know that nothing was leaking or falling off after all I changed.

The next day I had no joy with the 'charger adjustments. If I aligned the pulleys the unit was all the way back in its brackets (towards the firewall) and when the engine was run the belt immediately jumped off two ribs towards the front. If the 'charger was pulled back towards the front the belt only jumped off one rib. Seemed like there might be some sort of vertical misalignment but there is no provision to adjust that. I fabbed up a bracket out of some scrap aluminum I had to hold the MS in place where the stock one sits, but made it wrong with the MS oriented 90 degrees off. When I got back underneath and took another look I realized that I couldn't do what I wanted so that got shelved. Trying to figure out what to do next about the 'charger alignment issues.

Next day I'm cautiously optimistic that I'm on track to get this damned supercharger belt aligned. Took the 'charger and assorted brackets off and took a good look at things. The main plate had a slight bend in it which I fixed, otherwise it was all good. The front and rear supercharger brackets that mount to the main plate were on correctly. Put it all back on and ran it with the belt moving off two ribs. Stood back and peered at it this way and that. It looked again to me as though the nose of the 'charger was cocked. Took it back off again and used one washer between the forward bracket and the main plate for the two bolts. Put it all back together, checked the alignment and the pulleys looked good. Started the car and the belt moved off one rib but it was otherwise fine. When I tried revving it the belt jumped off. On the plus side while it was idling it was steady at 1000 rpm (it had been hunting up and down during my previous starts). I loosened the forward bolts for the 'charger bracket and moved it to see about how much more I needed to shim things. After waiting for it to cool down I put in two additional washers under each bolt and tried it again. The three shimming washers helped a lot, I checked pulley alignment and was able to get it spot-on. However when I ran the car the belt still moved off one rib and I was hearing some unusual noises that sounded like they were coming from the nose of the supercharger. I tried making more adjustments but there was no change. Came inside to cool off, took an afternoon nap (I was thinking about things, honest!). Went back out a little later and checked the horizontal plane of both pulleys. The supercharger appeared to be more level than the crank pulley (remember, the engine is slightly higher in the front) so I removed the two rear bolts and pushed down on the rear of the 'charger. This time when I started it the belt immediately jumped completely off. So, I put the bolts back in again and put the belt back on. Started the car to see how it was, and the belt stayed on and in place! I did start using the belt the guy sent me with the kit which shouldn't have an impact because it's the same as the new one I bought (just has some usage on it). I revved the engine and it was making happy noises and the belt stayed where it was. Hooray!!!! There was a part of me that was annoyed because I didn't know specifically what fixed the problem (still don't for that matter).
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:42 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Kept getting a flashing CEL when I drove it. According to the MS builder, that is an indication of high coolant temperature. I didn't see any increase on the temp gauge, the rad was topped off and there was no leakage from the water pump. Someone else said they had a similar problem and it was their rad, plus they checked their thermostat. My rad was fairly new, and I had the thermo out but didn't test it. I found out my new parts from MS Motorsports weren't due for a few days, so I went to the local dealer to get a thermostat. Unfortunately they didn't have any in stock, so I used the Stant I had bought previously. Initially I thought I was an idiot and put it in backwards, however according to the service manual it was correct and you can only install the stock one in one direction. Couldn't find the gasket I had so made one of those. Put it all together and ran the car, seemed fine until I was pulling out of the drive to go for a run and the CEL started flashing. Back into the garage with her. When I checked the TunerStudio (what I'm using for the MS), the temp was 203. Now I was truly stuck, no idea what might have been causing this.

The next morning I went out and bedded in the new brakes. Took me a couple of tries as I kept getting traffic behind me on the road I use. Didn't they know I needed it clear?!

Another problem reared its head. The wife and I were on our way home from C&C when I noticed an unusual noise. Pulled into a gas station and checked, found the crank overlay pulley had loosened. I shut it off very quickly and called for a tow. Two hours later the truck shows up and took me home. So I then had to try and source an overlay pulley that bottoms on the crank pulley so I wouldn't have it happen again. And I was having so much fun! On the plus side, I can attest that the Ryoku Rob tow hook works as advertised. Good thing I had it too as the PO had removed the baby teeth.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:44 PM   #65 (permalink)
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When I pulled things apart on the crank pulley, I found that three of the four bolts holding everything together had broken off in the hub.

Not a pretty sight. I tried drilling them out using a right angle attachment on my drill with no luck. So I ordered a new hub from the local dealer and then pulled the hub off when I got home. Since I had nothing to lose I tried drilling them out from the back side, lo and behold they all came right out. Luckily I was able to cancel my order.

I didn't take a picture but the bolts were slightly protruding from the back of the hub, which means they weren't as tight as they should have been. In the course of my research about the overlay pulley, I found that Mazda used two different crank pulleys from '99 to around '01. One is cast, the other steel. There doesn't seem to be any particular breakdown for which one was used. The cast one has a raised area in the middle while the steel one doesn't. BRP originally included a spacer in their supercharger kits for use with the steel spacer. Apparently the person I bought my kit from had one of the cast pulleys and so didn't have to use the spacer. I called Track Dog Racing to see if they had or knew of a source for the spacers, lucked out again as they had one on hand that I bought.

Here are pictures of the two types of stock crank pulleys.
Cast:
Steel:


The stock steel crank pulley is in the middle.

Here's how the spacer fits on the overlay:
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:47 PM   #66 (permalink)
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There is a positioning dowel pin in the hub for the crank pulley, but another one was needed for the spacer to overlay. Off to Ace I went, they didn't have steel rod in the correct size so I bought the next bigger one and then used my angle grinder to reduce the diameter while slowly turning the rod. Worked like a charm. I checked the length of the pulley bolts before putting stuff back to make sure they didn't extend beyond the back of the hub, they were fine. I used the Rennenmetal crank holding tool while torquing the hub nut, you need to either get it or one like it if you are doing anything that requires removal of the hub. Started putting everything back together, when I got to the thermostat cover I heard/felt a snap as I was tightening the bottom nut. I felt around but didn't find anything so thought maybe something had just slipped. That thought went away when I started filling the coolant and it came pouring out of the thermo cover. Took it off to find the hole on the bottom had broken. The thermostat had slipped out of place and I didn't notice it, causing the cover hole to be stressed due to my tightening it over the thermostat. Back to Mazda to order a new cover.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:47 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Got the thermo cover and got the rest of the car buttoned back up (making doubly sure the thermostat stayed in place this time). I did occasionally get the flashing CEL for coolant temp but otherwise the car ran great. My boost gauge wasn't functioning so I wrote to ProSport, they wrote back saying my connection was bad. Sure enough I hadn't fully seated it even though I thought I had. Now with a functioning boost gauge! My gauge has the peak hold feature so I was able to confirm a max pressure of 10 psi. The car didn't feel as fast as when it had the M45, I think this is because the torque curve is flatter. Took a drive with the laptop hooked up to get some tuning done.

Since I had raised it when I first got home I had the alignment checked, readings weren't too far off so it only cost me $60. Before I went back to work I changed the oil/filter and redid the 3M tape holding my gauge pod on. I just couldn't bring myself to drill holes in the A-pillar trim.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:49 PM   #68 (permalink)
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While I was out to sea that time, I bought a Koyo radiator cap. The stock one I had seemed to fit ok, but they say you have to use theirs for a proper fit and I wanted to remove a variable from the mix of my temperature issue. I also finally scored a MSM rear spoiler, bought it from Treasure Coast Miata. Ended up cheaper than someone I had been negotiating with on this forum. Since I had that I went ahead and bought a new '99-00 front lip from RSpeed to replace my damaged stocker, as well as a set of Cobalt adjustable end links for the front sway. Picked up some nice leather pieces from Redline, shifter/e-brake boots, console lid cover and seatbelt receiver covers. Scored a set of factory original floor mats off eBay purely by chance, seller had listed them as being for an '01 with brown stitching. Found a used FM 2.5" dual exhaust on CL that I bought. Also got a 180 degree thermostat from TDR and a O2 sensor bung for the new exhaust (turned out I wouldn't need it). Once I got confirmation when I was to be headed home, I ordered a FM Happy Meal with the 13.45 pound flywheel as well as a couple of their specialty tools. This was due to some slippage I noticed with the MP62 when accelerating briskly a few times. Finally, I went ahead and bought a pair of the ProjectG vent windows.

While I was gone the wife went to drive it, I got an e-mail asking me where the battery was so she could charge it. After that was done and she drove it, she wanted to put the hard top on because she went to a friend's house with the top down and when she drove home it was too cold for her to put it up. A buddy of mine helped her get that on.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:52 PM   #69 (permalink)
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It didn't take me long after getting home the next time to start putting parts on. First thing I did was install the e-brake boot to see how it looked. I am a little torn as the color isn't quite a match for the interior but it does look nice. The day after I got home I tried installing the FM exhaust, removed the butterfly brace center section for access and then swapped things out. Had some trouble though with the slip fitting for the rear piece that goes over the axle, it was crimped from the clamp when installed previously and wouldn't go on properly. Not sure how the PO was able to get it off with that problem. I ended up just leaving the FM muffler on and put the stock midpipe back on. I installed the Redline shift boot, cleaned the interior and had a little fun running errands that was slightly curtailed by some rain. New muffler is louder than the Brainstorm that was on the car but I like it. While out I got a huge thumbs up from two guys in an older Civic hatch, complete with ricer ziptie X's on the rear bumper. At least he didn't try racing me. Did some prep work on the MSM rear spoiler so I could drop it off for painting. Removed the old 3M doublesided tape, that was fun.

Dropped the spoiler, front lip and new emblems off at a local place for painting that I've used before. Bought a cowl guard from the dealer as mine was kind of beat (normal breakage they get). Started the search for the ProjectG vent windows as I found all the rest of my parts but those. Took a little while but they finally turned up by the front door underneath some stuff the wife had piled up.

Got both vent windows installed after a day or two, the cowl guard came in so that went on as well. Vent windows work, they don't move as much as air as the old style (for you youngsters, think of the entire triangular vent window pivoting on hinges) but the effect is noticeable and I think will be nice to have in warmer weather.

Picked up the painted items, just to show that the fasteners for the stock NB spoiler are the same as for the MSM (save two):


Might answer the question for someone in the future. Note the MSM has two plastic clips that are about halfway between the outermost bolt and the center stud. I removed those. If you look at my trunk lid you will see how the stocker was installed. That strip of double sided tape at the center rear gave me fits, it was still holding tightly. I've seen some sort of tool that aids with removal of the tape, I looked for it the following day. I cleaned up the underside of the MSM spoiler and prepped it with some new tape. I got motivated and went back out to the cold garage and removed the front bumper to put the new lip and emblem on.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:54 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Got my new front lip installed, there are some small gaps in the same places where the original had them which makes me wonder if my bumper was tweaked at some point. I bought that tool I mentioned for removal of tape residue, it's called an eraser. Round wheel you chuck up in a drill, has about the same consistency as an art gum eraser. It does a good job but the leavings off the wheel go everywhere. Found out whoever installed the factory spoiler was an idiot. They didn't put any sort of tape or other protection down before drilling the holes so the paint got chipped. To top it off they didn't touch up the chips. I'm guessing minimum wage slave who didn't care about cars. I took care of that before putting the MSM spoiler on.

My Happy Meal finally showed up, and I ordered a battery as mine was showing signs of weakness. Best price I found was here: http://www.batteryweb.com/mazda-miata-batteries.cfm. Bought the Westco since it has a higher rating. I saw where some folks got one from O'Reilly's but when I searched their site online for the number, it didn't show up. I also considered getting the Marathon from Battery Mart, the ad says it's an AGM type but the specs show it to be sealed lead-acid. I didn't want to chance it.

Decided that I should just go ahead and do the timing belt/water pump while I'm going to have everything apart, one less thing to worry about while I'm gone. Ordered that off eBay and picked up a tranny jack from Harbor Freight. After a small amount of running I found a local machine shop so dropped off the thermostat spacer to get it machined. I'll be drilling/tapping the holes for the temp sensor and heater connection myself once I get things in place and mocked up. Oh yeah, and I also ordered the female-male adapter in stainless I need to fix up the fuel lines properly.

After some more research and cogitation, I decided to buy the front block off plate for the coolant reroute from BEGi. This is so I can run the two small hoses (from oil heater/throttle body and to the pump) from there. This was after I couldn't find any aluminum in town thick enough to make my own. I figured $20 wasn't too bad, but once shipping was added it came up to $37! Note that they later refunded part of the shipping cost. Received my stainless pipe adapter for the fuel system. Once I got the front plate and a couple of other things (like the hose that will be running from the back of the head to the radiator) I was ready to dive in.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:55 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Received the battery, timing belt kit and BEGi thermo cover. Spent a couple of hours quality time with the Miata, since it was finally warm enough I didn't have to worry about losing the feeling in my fingertips. Removed the supercharger, drained/removed the radiator, pulled the upper intake mani and alternator. Discovered the nut for the bottom of the PS pump that also holds on the bottom support for the 'charger was missing. Not sure what happened there, but I was sure to use some blue LocTite when I reassembled.

Did some preliminary cleanup on the Kia thermo cover and the square top mani that will be going in. I was thinking about using oven cleaner but it says not to use it on aluminum. Ended up using this degreaser I bought at a local auto parts store along with a brass wire brush. It got the grunge off, I'll disassemble the mani and use a powered wire brush to take off the rest of the crud and make sure it's presentable.

Picked up a flexible rotary brush (not wire) to clean up the manifold. Started on that earlier today, it looks like it will do a good job. Got the lower intake manifold removed along with the fuel rail and injectors. Pulled off the water pump pulley and crank pulleys (all of them). Replaced the brass reducer on the fuel line with the stainless one I bought. Oh yeah, and pulled the COPs.

Decided to become a scofflaw and remove the Miata's EGR. Got a set of blanking plates ordered, now just need to figure out what size cap I need for the exhaust mani.

Picked up the coolant hoses from the dealer and painted the radiator panels. Going to look pretty good if I do say so myself. I didn't fill in a couple of small scrapes in the aluminum, I want to see how well it will hold up painted (and if I will like it) before going all out on it.

Woke up early one morning, I've had some questions about the oil cooler lines for the coolant reroute that I haven't been able to find an answer for so figured I'd search one more time. Good thing too as I found this: http://www.boostedmiata.com/gallery2...l_001/reroute/ That should answer anyone's questions about how to do a reroute.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:58 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Got the tranny out but not without some finger mutilation. I'll spare you all the gory details but while loosening one of the PPF bolts the breaker bar slipped and I split the fingernail on my little finger on the FM frame rails. Old clutch and flywheel were removed, friction surfaces were showing what I think are signs of slipping.

Went to change out the front seal in the tranny only to find I got the wrong gasket for the plate so I had to research and see what I needed. Got the new rear main seal installed (that is a snap with the FM tool), flywheel installed and torqued, strangely enough there were different values for the flywheel bolts given in the factory shop manual and the factory engine repair manual. Clutch disc and pressure plate were also on, I'm waiting on the rest until I do the coolant reroute as I have better access to the rear of the engine with the tranny out.

I did the conversion of the flywheel bolt torque values from Newton-meters to pounds-feet and discovered the higher value in the engine manual is wrong. So I was faced with taking it back off and doing it correctly. For the record it is 71-75 lbs-ft.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:00 PM   #73 (permalink)
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My tranny manual paid for itself as it turns out the 6 speed front cover doesn't use a gasket but sealant. The oil seal is different between the 5 and 6 speeds but I did get the correct one. Got the flywheel bolts taken care of and the pressure plate/disc back in place. Then began the coolant reroute saga. Got everything off the back of the head ok, ran around town to pick up the fasteners, tap and drill bit needed to make things work. I thought I could put the temp sensor in the back of the head (there's a blanking bolt just above where the hose to the oil cooler comes off, had to use two washers to keep it from bottoming). Marked/drilled/tapped the side of the spacer for the heater barb and installed that using some Aviation Form-a-Gasket. Went to put it all together only to find that the outlet interferes with the temp sensor when located directly in the head. Pulled that out and tried to see how I could fit it into the spacer, but you have to have some sort of bung to provide clearance between the sensor and the thermostat. After some thought and realizing discretion is the better part etc, I ordered the BEGi spacer. It has everything already done, with what I've spent so far and what I needed to do in order to make the Moss spacer work, I would be above the $93 they charge. Taking a break then back out to button up the tranny and get all the underneath stuff installed. Today's the last warm day for a while so anything that requires lying on the floor will be done by tonight.

Some pictures for all you Gen-Xers who require visual stimulation:

Thermo location back of head-

Temp sensor in head-
Reroute parts-
Back of engine-
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:01 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Tranny was buttoned up, getting it aligned with the engine was interesting. Exhaust was put on, underbody bracing installed (except for mid-section of butterfly brace, I was doing something later with the exhaust and it's too big a pain to deal with it twice). I could basically put the front wheels on and drop it back down but it could wait. I was done for the day.

Next day torqued the tranny drain plug so I didn't forget it. Put a HD lip on the new front lip. Ordered a couple of gaskets for the shifter, one got torn during removal. Most of the day was a rest day, my body was so sore from worming under the car and out over two days that I needed it.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:04 PM   #75 (permalink)
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When I was installing the MSM rear spoiler I had the third brake light out and the gasket looked ratty. I finally thought to check and it is sold as a separate piece, so ordered one of those from Mazda. Finished up the painting I had started a few days before. Decided to tackle the sway bar brackets. Everything I read said you had to drill out the spot welds to get the stockers off. Initial inspection only showed me four bolts, I thought I'm golden. Upon closer inspection I found where the welds were hidden in between the bolts on either side. Supposedly if you have a larger than stock front bar and drive hard the stock mounts can rip off. I'm not shy about diving into corners and mine didn't show any signs of distress. I can see where they would have flexed though, so in that regard the AWRs are worth it. I was interested to see if I noticed any difference once I get her all back together (also have adjustable endlinks for the front now). As it turns out it's a moot point for me. The AWR brackets angle inward at the bottom, with my relocated radiator brackets there is interference between the two. I know how it could be fixed but I don't have the parts to do it. Back off they came and back on went the stockers. Mostly pissed because now I don't have the spot welds (no welder for me yet). Might have been able to figure this out beforehand if there were any installed pictures of those brackets. Oh well. Here's how they look without the radiator brackets in place:


Did the timing belt/water pump/front seals and that's all buttoned back up. Reroute stuff showed up from BEGi but I had to call it a day as my driving services were required. Plan was to hit it hard the next day and try to get everything done. We'll see how that goes...
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:06 PM   #76 (permalink)
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That was the main part of the coolant reroute done (spacer/thermostat/cover on back of head installed). Tight access does not even begin to describe trying to do this job (see pictures). I had to use a worm hose clamp instead of the stocker for the heater connection to the spacer as I couldn't get a set of pliers back there. Hardest part of getting things in place is making sure the thermostat stays in place. The longer bolt (needed because the Sephia cover has one raised attachment point) is way too tight, you have to really work on getting it started without it hitting the firewall. If you are thinking of doing this I highly recommend coordinating with a clutch replacement or something else that will give you access, had I had the pieces while the tranny was off it would have been a lot easier. At the very least you will want to remove the intake manifold. I know it will all be worth it.

After a short break I got the intake mani, injectors/fuel rail, valve cover all installed. Alternator was back in and belt tensioned, I had to go to town tomorrow to find some sort of locking nut for the PS pump mounting bolt before I can do it. Sway bar is in place. Tranny is finally filled and shifter back in place so it's all buttoned up.

FYI the square top intake mani has fewer vacuum taps than the US version (at least the one I have, not 100% if it's JDM or EUDM). I had to figure out exactly what I still needed (beyond the boost gauge, MS and cruise) and then get some splitters to make it work.

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Old 03-23-2015, 07:07 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Was cooling my heels (literally as it was cold, plus I had to watch the grandson for a bit) so decided to tackle the third brake light gasket. Got the old one scraped off, cleaned the surfaces, polished the lens with the headlight kit I have (note that my sticker was unharmed) and sealed it. Going to put the gasket on as soon as it all dries and then put it back in. You can see the gasket literally looked like something had chewed on it.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:08 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Had to extend the temp sensor connector due to its relocation with the reroute, the spare wiring harness I have wasn't the one with that connector but I was able to find the same color code wires so it's all the same. Put the wires on, soldered the connections and put heat shrink tubing over it all. Got the PS belt back on and tensioned. Put another washer on the front bracket of the supercharger to shim it out a little more, put the bracket on the 'charger and tightened down the moving pieces then took it back off again. Cleaned up and painted the whole bracket. Went to put the new battery in place and found some corrosion underneath the battery tray (plus it doesn't look stock) so got that all cleaned up and put a couple of coats of gray primer/paint on it. Also cleaned up the battery hold down and painted it.

Once the paint was dry the supercharger was completely back in, radiator in and filled, sway bar torqued down and the new adjustable end links installed. Unfortunately I had a slight weep from the thermo cover on the back of the head, so it had to be pulled back off so I could put me some silicone gasket on things. Here I thought I'd be able to do the little finishing touches (like adjusting the clutch pedal), I know it's going to be a fight getting at it with everything else in place. Might end up pulling the upper intake manifold.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:09 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Got the thermo unit out without too much hassle. At some point when I put it in the thermostat apparently slipped out of position (based on the impression on the gasket), I did make sure it was in place before bolting it down by reaching through the outlet port but maybe I was wrong. Oh no, whatever will you do? Glad you asked that Skippy. Silicone gasket maker is your friend, a couple of spots on the outside of the thermostat should keep it where it belongs. Had to get two new gaskets, first AutoZone I went to only had one but he told me another store had two. The guy actually said I could buy one there and then buy the other one from the other store. Um, no! I'll make one transaction thank-you-very-much. I gooped it all up and bolted it together to dry for a while before I went to put it back in.

Unfortunately things didn't quite work out the way I wanted. After letting things set up for 5-6 hours I took it back out to install. Got it in place reasonably easy, bolted down and while making the last few turns on one bolts I heard a snap. Broke the damn thermo cover in way of one of the bolt holes. So, took it back off, didn't really see any reason for it unless I had weakened it during my previous attempt. So it was off to the junkyard to get another couple of covers (just in case).
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:10 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

New thermo cover sourced from the junkyard (they only had one car with it) along with two new gaskets, turned out the place I normally go had the ones with adhesive on them. Cleaned everything up and put it back on the car. Filled the system and didn't hear any leakage. I had to research what the various solenoids on the passenger fender do to see if I needed to have them connected to vacuum or not, if not then I only need to hook up the line to the cruise and boost gauge. Got everything taken care of. She's alive! Took about a 10 mile shakedown drive. No abnormal noises, nothing fell off, drove normally. Almost anyway, I adjusted the clutch per FM instructions and it took up within an inch off the floor. Can you say abrupt? Dove in to the factory manual to get that figured out (which way to go with the adjustment). 490 miles to go before I could romp on it...
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:11 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Finally got the clutch broken in! First full throttle take-off was great. Forgot earlier but I did get some little plastic pins from Ace and drilled the holes in my gauge pillar to fix it firmly in place (I had tried using 3M double sided tape but the top kept falling away from the A pillar trim). Looked through the garage but never found the pins it came with. Also replaced the radio with one I got off eBay as the CD player sometimes acts up on the first CD, but the new one won't even accept any discs. Time for some mix and match I think (note: for anyone not reading all the way through, I found a double DIN radio/6 CD changer from a 626 that is a direct fit, including the wire connectors. Tributes had them too).

Fiddled with the radio, the new one I put in was having CD problems. The little rubber isolator at the rear got hung up somehow and gave me fits trying to get it out (like, it took over an hour once the locks were released). Swapped the faceplates out and put the old one back in, it now didn't work. Thinking the temperature difference between inside and outside had something to do with it (remember I was doing this in February) I left it for a few hours and tried again. This time it worked.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:16 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Did some research on my cold start problem, made a few changes to the MS settings. First attempt was worse but after I changed one setting back to what it was it fired right up. Have to do some more attempts to see if I took care of that particular issue. There are so many things to set/change with a MS it's easy to get lost. If you want to have an idea why it costs so much for ECUs get a MS and play around with the settings. It will give you an appreciation for those who develop any ECU.

Adjusted the supercharger bypass valve, seemed to be a little better. With the lighter flywheel the engine responds so much differently it's hard to compare if I made an improvement. Right now it doesn't feel as fast as it was but I am sure that is due to the engine being able to spin up faster.

Washed her in prep for cars and coffee on a Saturday. Went to that and on the way home picked up a 6" vise from Harbor Freight so I could start bending metal. Pulled the radio and swapped out faceplates again, all is right with the world and the new one is much cleaner (never could get what looked like Georgia clay residue cleaned from around all the buttons etc on the other one). Also bought some fender washers at Ace to put under the anti-theft fasteners on my hard top brackets, the ones I had on there were just a little too small for my liking. Nice day today so got to terrorize the area a little, people apparently put their brains in neutral (not used to the sun?) so I had to do some evasive maneuvers.

It's amazing how much easier jobs are with a workbench and vise to use. Here is what I have finally gotten around to fabbing in the past couple of days:

This bracket will mount in the same location as the stock ECU. I won't have to worry about interference with my right foot any longer. Going to shoot it with a couple of coats of Rustoleum black before installing. Wish I had a welder, then the arms wouldn't be held on with fasteners.

The visor blanking plates finally showed up. I sent them an e-mail a few days before since it had been over a week and I hadn't heard anything. Turned out they had sent them on that Friday. Not sure what the delay was. They did do a nice job of packing them and included another sticker for my tool cabinet.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

And the bracket was a no-go. The longer arm didn't allow the plate to mount where it needed to with the MS installed, so I had to work on V2. I did it with the plate in place but the MS removed so nothing would get damaged. I knew where it had to locate so it was a matter of bending the long arm, putting it on the stud and then seeing how it all lined up. Had to take a break as kneeling on the cold hard garage floor was a little tough on the knees.

A little while later, version 2 of the MS bracket was a winner:

If you look at the previous one you will see the new longer arm is longer where it comes off the main plate. This just goes to show you can't always use an old mount to fab up a new one. The plate is angled slightly while in place but there is no contact with either the clutch or brake pedal arms. Some more paint and it was installed.

Received my Xpel kit from Amazon. It was wrong, wrong, wrong. The kit I ordered was in it, but it didn't look proper so I did some research. According to Summit Racing, I received the kit for a third gen Miata. I had checked before ordering and the Amazon site said it fit my car. They also put three additional kits for three different cars in the package. I put a return in progress and ordered the correct kit from Summit.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:19 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

MS installed.

Took her out to pick up one of the kids after school and get some gas. There was some slight interference with my left toe so once I got home I pulled the bracket back out and cut off about 3/8" on the bottom edge (making it even with the MS box). Paint to come once everything warmed up and then it would go back in. If that didn't do it I had maybe another 1/4" I could raise the whole thing but I was hopeful it would do the trick.

I liked the extra view out the windshield with the visor delete. It is subtle but very noticeable. Received my new passenger foglight and the fog/cruise switch I bought off here. Now I just have to compare the two I have with the stock one to see which has the best lettering. I'll wait to put the new fog in for the new X-pel film kit.

It was official, MS bracket version 2.1 was a success. Bolted it back in place and even wearing my slip-ons that I work in (which have a larger toe) I got absolutely no contact. Pretty happy as it is a royal PITA getting that upper nut in place and tightened down with the MS in place. No test drives that day as the weather sucked.

NOTE: It appears my internal ruler is off a bit. I measured the piece I cut off the main plate when I picked it up from outside, turns out counting the width of the cutoff wheel I removed very close to 3/4". Thought about getting my new glasses checked!
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:21 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Well screw me sideways. Miata developed a miss when I was out doing some tuning, thought it was something to do with the tune. Restored to a previous point and drove it to lunch a few days later. Miss was still there, in fact was terrible leaving the restaurant so I went home. Pulled the plugs and I had coolant in cylinder #3. Just what I wanted to do my last 10 days home, pull the head off. There wasn't enough in the cylinder for the MityVac to suck out, so I turned the engine over with the plug out to purge it then sprayed some WD-40 in (we all remember what the WD stands for, right?).

Got the required gaskets ordered from the local dealer. Did four hours of work, everything was stripped off except for the head. I had to check the service manual to see if I needed to do anything special removing the bolts (the answer was no). I am extremely tempted to do the spacerless reroute, it would mean a little more space to work on the thermostat in the back as well as eliminating a joint for a possible leak. All it will take is drilling/tapping a hole in the head for the heater spigot.

Finally pulled the head off. There was no visible defect with the head gasket. All fasteners were tight. I'm at a loss to explain the problem, unless the head somehow has a crack in it. After some deliberation over several days, I decided that instead of beating myself up trying to get it all done (correctly) in a relatively short period of time, I'm going to leave her sit while I'm gone and dive in once I get back. That will give me some time to find a place that can pressure test the head for me and do a proper job skimming the gasket surface. My wife first accused me of doing it on purpose so she couldn't drive the car while I was gone, and then asked if I couldn't put the "old parts" back on and get it running. She is not a gearhead.

Just before I left home I bought a JR 4-2-1 header (one of the few that will fit underneath a SC). So I'll have a couple of other exhausts to sell when I get back.

And that will be it until I get home sometime in August. I did buy a set of used Corbeau brackets with sliders recently for my planned seat upgrade (I'm not telling which model I'm getting just yet).
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:22 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

My apologies for not catching/correcting some of my date related and tense entries, hopefully it won't be too confusing for everyone.

Bought some more items while out that time, a set of RB front sway bar reinforcement blocks, a set of revlimiter's new satin black vent rings (to replace my gloss black ones), and a used TopLoc. I had considered a TopLoc in the past but the Spec Miata plates were cheaper/stronger. However, having my wife put the top on one time while I was gone made me realize that I needed an easy way for her to secure it if she used it in the future.

Also bought these:
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:24 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Bought a set of Konig Flatout wheels, 15 X 8 +25. Apparently they were a limited production item, gold centers with a polished lip. I got mine brand new from someone who hadn't ever used them. After I posted a picture of the car, Goodwin promptly posted it on their site pimping the wheels even though they no longer have any to sell.

Bought a set of the factory hard top side strikers, that was all I needed in order to use the TopLoc (my hard top came with the side latches).

Got home finally, once I got settled in (greeting kids and pets) I started the great hunt. This is where I go through the house looking for where my wife has put all the things I bought while I was gone. Once upon a time she would make big piles which was great, now they just go wherever. So I get to have an Easter egg hunt for my Christmas presents (or so I tell myself). Finally found it all, so the installations could begin.

Up early the next morning (thanks jet lag) so I cleaned up the valve cover I bought just before leaving last time to get it ready for powder coating. Pulled the dash vents, removed the gloss black RL rings and put the new satin ones on. Hardest part of that whole job was cleaning the silicone residue off the vents themselves. I had to run some errands, tried to get a set of BFG Rivals ordered from a local shop along with some parts from the dealer. Also had to swing by Ace to get some socket head cap screws for my new coolant reroute thermostat spacer. I'll be making a gasket for it here shortly, picture to come later as I doubt there are many of you who have seen this one.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:25 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Here's the thermostat spacer:

Mounts to the back of the head, but the thermostat is accessible from the side which will make life a whole lot easier. With this, I can mount it to the head before I bolt that in place and not have to worry if I got things tight enough not to leak. As pretty as it is I am probably going to paint it just to provide some protection.

As it turned out, you can only buy the Rivals from Tire Rack. Went to my local dealer and when they called their distributor that is what they were told. Those are ordered for direct delivery to the dealer. Sucks because it is a great place and I wanted to give them the money directly.

Put the dash vents back in, I really like the way the satin black looks. They'll be staying in. I used clear silicone on the first set and found a couple that weren't being held at all points. I used black automotive silicone for the new ones, after setting up for a day they all seem firm.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:26 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

Tires came in so I dropped the wheels off. Those Rivals look sweet. One of the techs at the shop saw them sitting there and said, let me guess, Mike Green? I laughed.

Here's a picture of the vent rings. It's only the two middle ones, I didn't want to drop the top to get an overall picture due to four months' worth of dust buildup. Plus I think this will show the finish better than a shot farther out.


Tires didn't get mounted that day, the owner wanted one specific tech to do it (he has the most experience with the Hunter RoadForce machine) and he was too busy. So drooling had to wait. Balancing that out, I checked on the status of my seats to see if there was any update and they had been processed through the local USPS sorting facility.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:28 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Default Re: How I modified my Miata

That was a very good day, got the wheels/tires mounted and my seats also showed up along with the gas lid. My wife got the notice out of the mailbox, she came in and asked, What did you get from Thailand? Of course a lot of witty retorts flashed through my mind (I am that guy), then I considered her possible reaction to same and decided to keep my mouth shut (sometimes I'm also that guy). I'm did a test fit of one of the seats later once the humidity dropped.

And this is how the seats will look:


That was with it just sitting in there. I needed to get some flat bar to mount the seats to the Corbeau sliders I had, and get the used factory sliders I bought in order to cut off the seat belt receiver bracket and have it welded in place.

I did mess with the seats a little a day or so later, I tried putting the passenger seat on the driver's side to see if I gained any space with the recline knob on the inside. It was actually worse that way, so they will be installed in the normal location. Used my grinder to remove a little tab on the driver's Corbeau bracket, apparently their alignment jigs aren't the best. Replaced the quarter panel trim pieces, I didn't cut the new ones for the side strikers just yet. Oh yeah, and I drooled over the wheels some more.
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