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Old 03-15-2017, 11:19 AM   #2341 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

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great news!

I don't know if you need it but this is a good link also:

http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/wiring_ecu.html

Guillaume
That's a great page. Sean found that page a couple years ago, it's just about the only place I've seen where you can find that much practical info about pro wiring in one place without paying for it or getting directly involved in the industry. As with most trades, those who know how to do things at that level don't usually share that knowledge for free because that's how they make a living.

Reading RBR's page prompted me to do a lot more research about many of the individual categories that are briefly covered there, and eventually even take a course on motorsport wiring. It certainly doesn't cover everything in entirety, but around here we still affectionately refer to it as the "wiring bible"

RBR also has some other great gems on their site. One of my favorites, on their page titled "Secrets":

Quote:
7. Just because someone goes fast doesn't mean you should do whatever you think they did.

This path assumes they knew what they were doing, which isn't necessarily the case.

Take this path and you will be guaranteed second place.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:13 PM   #2342 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

If you've been googling race car wiring stuff, you've prob come across this build thread of an MR2. If not, you'll enjoy it.

mr2australia.com/mr2play/tm.aspx?m=96461

And some general info by the guy doing the build in this other thread. Look for posts by 'WIDEMR'.

mr2australia.com/mr2play/tm.aspx?m=91490

I'm planning to do similar wiring in an FC RX7 project, but it's still way off. Subscribing to watch your progress. It's awesome stuff!

Sorry, I can't post links due to noob status.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:11 AM   #2343 (permalink)
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Wiring: PART 1

Where to begin?? Fair warning, this is going to be lengthy. I'll have to cut this down and simplify for some of the other forums but here I’ll post all the details.

For the engine swap, the minimum wiring to get the thing fired up isn't bad, particularly if you opt to have V8R prep the engine harness for you (I did). You could certainly retain most of the factory wiring on the chassis side and just tie in where needed.

However... I had a few things on the wish list for this car that meant there was more work to do.

Over the years of racing and modifying this car, the wiring has become a bit of a mess with things added, wiring cut to remove things, etc. etc. There's even been a couple times in the past that I went to modify or fix something in the wiring and found it wasn't the way the FSM says it should be - I had modified it at some distant time in the past and now I couldn't remember how or why I did it.

To eliminate any potential for issues for the future, I decided the best approach was to remove all of the existing wiring on the chassis side from the car and start from scratch with good materials, practices, and documentation. This is also the most time consuming approach, but c'est la vie.

Step 1 through 10 of a big wiring project is all planning, long before any tools or wires come out. Drawing up plans, thinking about the systems you want to include and things you may want to incorporate in the future.

Here was my starting point, the electrical diagram for my new chassis wiring:



A diagram like this is the bare minimum to plan out a harness. But as soon as you go down this path, if there's an issue in the future you can't just open up a factory service manual to check the wiring diagram. None of that applies any more. The ease or difficulty of service/troubleshooting in the future now comes down entirely to the quality of the documentation you create. With that in mind, I took things a few steps further.

Working off the electrical diagram, I made a spreadsheet listing each individual wire that would be present in the harness - including the wire's name/purpose and where each end terminates. Each wire is assigned a unique numerical ID. If you've ever tried to identify a certain wire in a harness you'll know the struggle that can be - even with the multitude of wire colors that factories use you still end up with duplicates of certain colors and you end up having to break out the multimeter to test wires and sort out what's what. By assigning each wire a unique ID and labeling the wire accordingly (more on that later) there is no guesswork left to do, just consult the master sheet and look up the wire number.

Here's a screenshot of the top of the list. All in, there's about 100 wires on the chassis side:



A great feature with having this in spreadsheet form means that if you stay consistent with the info you put in each cell then once the list is done you can sort the list alphabetically by whichever column you need. This was really handy during the build as I could easily switch between sorting by harness, numerical order, system, etc.

The remaining piece to the puzzle is knowing how to lay out the harness. The simplest method is to just start laying wires in the car from point A to B to get lengths, but I wanted to be able to build the harness out of the car and also have the plans so that everything is replicable in the future if necessary.

I took measurements on the car and then drew up the build plans:



Now, much of the above is a bit overkill. The key info there is the lengths between splits and the layout. The rest isn't necessary but I like to be thorough - with this plus the connector diagrams that I show just a bit further down, I could build a matching replacement harness without any need to refer to the car or the original harness.

With the planning sorted it was time to start laying out the harness. I transferred the measurements to a 4'x8' sheet of particle board with screws placed at each branch split for turning points. Progress shot with the chassis and tail wires being laid out:



The wires are labeled with their ID number on both ends. Here is where the thermal label printer got a workout:





All of the wires used are milspec /32 series with tin plating and very abrasion/temperature resistant insulation. This stuff is a big jump forward from standard cross-link OE wire in terms of durability and is also more conductive and lighter weight. It sounds obvious but the wire is the core of the car's electonics and nothing else can make up for poor quality wire. IMO this isn't the place to scrimp.

Most of the materials for this build came from ProwireUSA. Excellent source for professional/milspec wiring materials and the staff is very knowledgeable. They're local to me but on the other side of town so I can attest to them doing a great job with order processing/shipping times as well.

With all the wires laid out the next step is looming things together. Time for some more materials! Here is all of the shrink tubing used in this build, in several various diameters.



Pictured:
Raychem RT-375; the clear stuff, for covering all the labels.
Raychem SCL; 3:1 shrink ratio, semi-rigid and adhesive lined for sealing bare crimps and also providing strain relief.
Raychem ATUM; massive 4:1 shrink ratio, adhesive lined and flexible
Deray V25; 2:1 shrink ratio, non-adhesive. This is similar to Raychem DR-25 but is a thinner (lighter) version designed specifically for motorsports.
Kapton tape (upper left); super high-heat resistant tape for wiring assembly. Serves as a barrier between the wires and the adhesive shrink tube so if you need to service the harness later you can cleanly cut the tube and tape off and you have like-new wire underneath.

Everything is tagged with its specs. You don't want to accidentally use an adhesive lined tube where you don't want it.

NOT pictured above is another loom material that I used in a lot of areas; resin infused braided fiberglass loom. It’s resistant to chemicals and can withstand a massive 1200 F. That’s quadruple what the good heat shrink tube can take, so this was my choice for the bulk of the chassis harness that runs along the trans tunnel and firewall. Overkill? Yep. I weighed the shrink tube vs. fiberglass loom and they are even, there’s no weight penalty for using either one over the other, except in cases of a run of just one or two wires where there is shrink tube available in smaller diameters than the smallest fiberglass loom. For wire runs of ” diameter and up it’s a wash.

Here I’m beginning to loom the harness with a combination of the fiberglass braid plus short lengths of adhesive tube that will later be shrunk down over the ends of the loom to prevent fraying and seal the wires where the harness splits. You can see that assembling the loom requires a good bit of forward-thinking because each section often needs several more various pieces sleeved over it that will be shrunk down later:



Also in that pic is the bulkhead connector already assembled. That connector contains each wire that will pass from through the firewall into the engine bay, which makes it very quick and easy to disconnect the engine side of the wiring from the car so the engine can be pulled quickly without having to disconnect the wiring harness from the engine.
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Last edited by ThePass; 03-18-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:12 AM   #2344 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

PART 2

With beginning to pin wires into connectors we can cover the final piece of documentation; diagrams and pin layouts for each connector in the harness. When I began the harness build this sheet had blank spaces next to each pin, and I filled the sheet out as I assembled connectors:



Looming an engine harness is rather straight-forward as nearly every wire begins at a common datum (usually the ECU). Looming a chassis harness can be a bit more complicated since you have wires doing a lot of back-and-forth from switches to fuses to devices etc. In my case, I planned to put the fuse/relay box and a distribution block for power and ground on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel for easy accessibility. Also along this same area of the harness I had multiple breakouts for connectors that would go to the switch panel. This all made for a dense bunch of splits all at one point requiring a bit of work to tidy up and seal.

Here the wire is as condensed as possible and wrapped in kapton tape, ready for the Raychem ATUM to be slid over and shrunk to seal the breaks:



And with the breaks all sealed up:



After the loom is in place the last step is pinning the wires for the connectors. There are a few popular options for connectors with different strengths. I chose to use the common weatherpack and metri pack connectors for ease of service. Each wire has a seal that is assembled with the terminal so that the wire itself seals to the connector - the benefit here is this eliminates the need to seal the whole backside of the connector. In this pic you can also see the short sections of clear shrink tube that are put on each wire before the terminal is crimped on and will be shrunk over the labels afterwards:



Terminals inserted into connectors, connector sheet updated with which wire went in which pin position and each connector’s name labeled on the loom behind it. These are the connectors that go to all the engine and auxillary control switches that will be on the center console:



Similarly finished ends that go to the fuse/relay box:



There were a few other connector types used for the harness as well. Some were OEM connectors that had to be re-used, and then there was the connector that goes to the Racepack IQ3S dash. This is supplied by Racepack with an extra long pigtail made up of standard cross-link wire. I needed to de-pin the connector and then rewire it with the milspec stuff:



After some digging I found this is a Motec M800 34-pin connector. What do you know, ProwireUSA has pins for those

Here’s the connector, new and improved:



For fuses and relays I chose this trick little combo box that takes both mini fuses and micro 280 relays. It uses metri pack seals and connectors:



Beginning to wire the box:



After much work, here it’s tidied up with service/strain relief loops on each wire:



The finished fuse/relay box and harness. The ring terminals go to a bus bar for power distribution and grounds. I put this whole assembly on connectors rather than build it into the harness so that it can be removed for service or additions without the need to take the whole main harness out of the car:



And after much more work, we’ve got finished harnesses, ready to go to the shop for install.

Main chassis harness (connectors to Racepack dash, OE brake pedal , GM gas pedal, fuses/relays, OBDII, all switches, tail harness, diff temp sensor harness) :



Power and ground to bus bars:



Tail harness (connectors to chassis harness to fuel tank, rear lights, and grounds):



Diff temperature sensor harness:



Engine control switches:


Racepack dash page toggle buttons:



At the shop, everything ready to go in. Oh, and this saves 10 lbs over the old wiring that was the already hacked and trimmed down factory harness:



The last couple days I’ve been installing the wiring and tying in the engine side of the wiring. Pics to come.
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Last edited by ThePass; 03-18-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:29 AM   #2345 (permalink)
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holy shit
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:25 AM   #2346 (permalink)
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Very nice work!

I especially like the spread sheet approach with each wire having a unique identifier. One of the things that has driven me crazy with the factory wiring is the many splices and branches that aren't clearly documented on the factory diagram, and how wire colors sometimes change on either side of a connector...

I've tried to document what I've changed/removed/added, but it's all scribbled notes in a composition book and a few diagrams on graph paper.... I am not worthy!
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:00 PM   #2347 (permalink)
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.....
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:23 AM   #2348 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

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holy shit
Quote:
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.....
Haha I will take these as good reactions.

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Originally Posted by Rodan View Post
Very nice work!

I especially like the spread sheet approach with each wire having a unique identifier. One of the things that has driven me crazy with the factory wiring is the many splices and branches that aren't clearly documented on the factory diagram, and how wire colors sometimes change on either side of a connector...

I've tried to document what I've changed/removed/added, but it's all scribbled notes in a composition book and a few diagrams on graph paper.... I am not worthy!
Yep you know the struggle! And the factory wiring diagrams usually don't even mention the connector locations, so the orange wire must go to an alternate dimension and it gets replaced by a blue/red imposter than isn't shown on any of the diagrams... FML.

If you're doing it over, might as well do it better
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:15 PM   #2349 (permalink)
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It occurs to me that I should point out; the wiring diagrams etc. that I've posted are intended as examples and inspiration only, there's no short-cutting the necessary work of planning the electrical needs of one's own car and developing their own wiring plan for it. I can only promise that my plans work for my own car, not for yours.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:59 AM   #2350 (permalink)
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Switching gears a bit, this car will need some serious brakes... and they arrived today

Newly released V8R 11.75" BBK with Stoptech billet STR42 caliper. Ohhhh yeah baby, track testing can't come soon enough!



Paired with my AP Racing J-hook rotors on V8R hats:

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Old 03-24-2017, 08:33 AM   #2351 (permalink)
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I should have waited until V8R released those! I just have the regular ST42 kit. Oh well, will upgrade when I wear these pads and rotors out.

-Henry
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:38 AM   #2352 (permalink)
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Am I missing the price or link for the brakes somewhere?
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:48 AM   #2353 (permalink)
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Am I missing the price or link for the brakes somewhere?
You need to up your wiring game bruh.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:04 PM   #2354 (permalink)
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I think you mean he needs to up his Instagram game

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRrJJO3Fs7o/?hl=en
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:29 PM   #2355 (permalink)
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thoughts on DR-25 vs v25? would you use them differently or are each good for a full loom?
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:13 PM   #2356 (permalink)
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Am I missing the price or link for the brakes somewhere?
I don't believe V8R has them on their site yet, and we are working on pricing etc. with a few options before we list the kit on our site.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:13 PM   #2357 (permalink)
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thoughts on DR-25 vs v25? would you use them differently or are each good for a full loom?
Pretty much interchangeable. V-25 is a bit thinner (lighter) and a bit lower cost so it was my choice. Honestly everyone just uses the DR-25 with yellow text for the street cred factor because it's recognizable at a glance.
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:30 AM   #2358 (permalink)
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Got the USM (Universal Sensor Module) sorted. The USM is a four channel add-on to the Racepack digital dash allowing the addition of any sensors you want. Black box in the pic below:



The USM is why I finally took the plunge on a digital display. The original plan had been to add at least two more Accutech SMI gauges to the two I already had in the car so I could keep track of temperatures of all the various important bits. I realized I was heading down a path to having a very busy interior with a lot of things to try to keep an eye on.

The digital dash simplifies everything into one place where I can program warnings for each input and leave the dash to monitor things while I just drive. The dash pulls most of the engine vitals info I need right through the OBDII but the USM makes it possible to add the extra sensors I wanted and simplifies the wiring by transferring everything to the display via one V-net cable.

The sensors are already installed in their various locations, documented earlier in this thread. Now, on to wiring up the sensors to the USM. Here I’m using milspec /32 wire same as previously, but this time in 22ga twisted pairs. The twisting is a method of shielding the signal from interference. Frankly, you don't need it for these types of sensor’s signals but here I used it because it helps keep things tidy:



Wiring within the USM box. The USM has a strain relief feature on the inlets which is a nice touch; tighten the outer nut and it clamps down on the wire to secure it in place:



The finished USM harness:



Mounting the box was done on the top/rear of the engine via a pair of simple brackets. Yes it’s tight back there. This is mounted to the engine so that all the sensor wiring can stay with the motor when it’s removed, just disconnect the single V-net cable connector:



With the box mounted we just need to run the V-net cable to the display. This could be done with one long cable that would need to pass through the firewall, or a bit cleaner version here that involves two shorter cables and a bulkhead connector:



Tidy



The remaining wiring to be done was to tie in where necessary on the GM wiring harness. Most of this was coming through the firewall from the chassis harness - things like ignition switch, start button, lights, fan, drive by wire throttle, OBDII, etc.

I blasted through this and forgot to take all but one picture - V8R advised that the throttle pedal signal is very sensitive to interference, so for this I ran a 6-wire shielded cable on both the chassis and engine side:



The rest was just patching stuff into the existing engine harness. The stuff I added is all on par with what I did on the chassis side, but I’d love to re-do the entire engine harness in the future so that it is all up to higher standards. However, for now it’s a good working harness and this thing needs to be running!

All of the wiring interface from chassis to engine converges in the rear right corner of the engine bay. Everything is set up to disconnect from the chassis quickly/simply and comes out intact with the engine. There’s only four total things to disconnect, all located here: main bulkhead connector, v-net connector, engine ground and one M6 bolt that holds the fuse/relay plate to the firewall. Not trying to hide wires or tuck anything away, the goal here is easily accessible and quickly removable:

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Old 03-28-2017, 09:45 AM   #2359 (permalink)
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Functional is sexy. Looks so good.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:17 AM   #2360 (permalink)
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This thread never dissapoints. The stuff dreams are made of, kudos for taking the time to do it right and being meticulous.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:04 AM   #2361 (permalink)
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This just gets better and better with every update..
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:22 PM   #2362 (permalink)
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Switching gears a bit, this car will need some serious brakes... and they arrived today

Newly released V8R 11.75" BBK with Stoptech billet STR42 caliper. Ohhhh yeah baby, track testing can't come soon enough!



Paired with my AP Racing J-hook rotors on V8R hats:

What exactly is making people choose between the wilwood bbk and the stoptech bbk? they both seem very competent but I still haven't seen anyone directly compare them
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:04 PM   #2363 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

The ST offerings are so new I don't think anyone's done a back to back type of test. The Stoptech caliper is higher quality and more rigid than anything Wilwood makes; ST does true motorsport parts whereas Wilwood does not. Doesn't mean Wilwood stuff isn't good, it's just not at the same level. Frankly, MOST people and MOST cars don't need to spend the extra money to go with ST over Wilwood, but high power cars and/or cars that see a ton of track abuse can make use of the benefits.

Keep in mind, the kit going on my car is not the Stoptech kit. It's a Stoptech caliper over the larger 11.75" rotor (ST kit is 11"). This is something put together by V8Roadsters and is the best of both worlds IMO.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:46 PM   #2364 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

FWIW, I did drive Morpheus for the first time with the StopTech kit (11" rotors) last week and while WSIR is not a track that tests the brakes when you have lots of grip and no power, the feel was incredible.
I'm registered for both Global TA @ BRP on the 15th and the weekend after at SMMR with SV, so I should have a better idea how well they work fairly soon
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:31 PM   #2365 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

Yea SMMR is pretty hard on brakes in a few corners
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:42 AM   #2366 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

Taking a detour for a bit, our tech day at the shop is coming up this Saturday and a couple days ago I realized that April 1 will be the one year mark to the day from when the car rolled in to the shop and the old engine came out. Decided the car should be on the ground and on display out front on that day!

So, the next couple days will be a bit of jumping around with random updates as I prioritize just the things needed to get the car on the ground.

Front Suspension

Clearly we were in need of some suspension to set the car on! Installed the following:
Feal 442 coilovers (4.75" of stroke )
Control arms with spherical bearings
Spindles with fresh hubs
R package tie rod ends
V8R upper rebuildable ball joints
Bauer extended lower ball joints



Notes...
- haven't sorted out the front sway bar yet but don't need that for Saturday.
- V8R front upper ball joints are tight until they lap in (takes a couple hundred miles). Correct assembly is to torque top cap down then back it off one "notch" of the lock ring and then install the lock ring. Reset the lash after first track day or 200 miles.

Setting the shock length/bump travel in the front (done with spring removed from the shock assembly):



Driveshaft

Installed the driveshaft with rear subframe and differential. Has to be done together as the Getrag has a long shaft on the flange to the driveshaft that the driveshaft slides over, so you lower the diff about 12 inches, install the driveshaft and then raise the diff with the driveshaft attached.

The CV joint on the driveshaft gave us some trouble, the CV wants to spring apart and has to be held together while installed. During first install something came unseated inside and the bearings locked up. Quickly evident as the drivetrain wouldn't rotate because the CV was locked at one angle. Had to disassemble/reassemble the CV (and order the proper CV grease) and then reinstall. Everything is in and happy now. Forgot to take a pic.

Axles

V8R Stage 2 axles - first off, examining these in person they are very nice pieces.
Comes marked as one long and one short. Long one goes on the right side. The CV joints in these are packed with grease and the grease can keep the CVs from compressing fully so at first it appeared the axles were too long. Pulled them out and worked the joints around while putting body weight on them and they shortened up a lot and then installed fine.

Current state of affairs in the rear:



So, axles, hubs and spindles are in along with the V8R upper pro series control arms. What's NOT in are my lower control arms complete with spherical bearings. The placeholders right now are factory arms with rubber bushings that were laying around.

This spherical bearing kit had some dimensional issues in some of the rear pieces. Unfortunately the company who makes the bearing kit has been working at a snail's pace to make the necessary changes. As this kit is here for evaluation, this makes it hard to recommend it, but hopefully that stuff will get sorted out soon. As a last resort I can have the existing pieces machined to work right myself, but they assure me they're working on corrected pieces. We'll see, but for the moment these loaner rear lower arms will get the car on the ground.

Ran into one more hurdle in the rear. The beefy axles are larger in just about every dimension than stock Miata axles. Where the axles passes by the coilover, it's very tight. There's juuuuust enough clearance from the CV boot to the lower cup on the rear coilover, so that is OK but the lower lock ring on the coilover has a larger OD than the cup below it and that ring hits the boot:



Can't have these two bits contacting with the axle spinning of course. I believe I have a solution figured out, Feal is sending over some parts that I think I can modify to make a custom low-profile lock ring out of. That stuff arrives Friday.

Fluids

Final thing tonight was getting fluid in the trans and diff since we'll be rolling the car around.

Trans is 75W90
Diff is 75W90 + 4oz Limited Slip Additive. Sounds like snake oil to me but OK we'll follow the spec.
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:58 AM   #2367 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

Lots of progress. Those tires are huge. Much grip. Very win.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:18 PM   #2368 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

I think I know what company you're talking about. Car looks great!

-Henry
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:45 AM   #2369 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hnguyen037 View Post
I think I know what company you're talking about. Car looks great!

-Henry
Just heard they have parts on the way to me, fingers crossed.
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:46 AM   #2370 (permalink)
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Default Re: My NA becomes a track car (Build thread)

Ticking things off the list.

Final install of the front brakes is complete. Confirmed fitment with performance friction pads that clear the bridge bolt. The backing plates needed a fraction of a millimeter shaved off the sides to slide smoothly on the guide plates then they were perfect:



Before the weekend I need a steering wheel! Steering wheel needs a steering column, that means I need the dash... and if that's going in I should get the IQ3S display mounted as well.

Needed a bracket to hold the IQ3S so I made this:



It piggy-backs on the two bolts holding the steering column to the dash bar and is slotted for adjusting distance from the steering wheel and vertical placement.



Still much to do in the inside of the car but now we've got a dash, digital display and steering column all mounted up and ready for a steering wheel:

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