What have you done to your Miata today?

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Finally got my injectors, and installed them yesterday. Managed to screw up a couple of the O-rings at the top (in the rail), first I knew of it was when I stepped into the pool of gas on the garage floor. So those came out (initially I thought maybe they were too short despite checking them before installation) and the suspect EV14s went back in. However, a couple of the O-rings on the adapters failed so I washed the garage floor again. Remember the saying when it rains, it pours? That was my day yesterday. Luckily I still had the original injectors so after measuring the new ones to ensure they were the right length, I used the original O-rings and made sure I got them in there correctly. Fired her up and she's running really well now with no sign of the AFR wackiness I had. Now I just need to locate a good facility that can rework the EV14s.

Today I picked up a a ported/reworked head from a local guy who decided to go a different route with his car. I won't be installing it until I am sure I have all the other little niggling issues resolved.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Gave her a good bath this morning. Back into the garage, up onto jack stands with the wheels off. Cleaned the inside of the wheels. Realigned/tightened the intercooler inlet tube, one of the clamps moved and I was getting a boost leak. Did some touch-up of paint chips, once those were dry gave her a coat of wax. Once my youngest got home from school, I employed his leg and flushed the brakes/clutch. He's getting pretty proficient at that! Adjusted the e-brake. Wheels are back on, vacuumed the interior and trunk. Scrubbed the boot cover, it's drying now. Just waiting on the wax to dry so I can buff it out.
 
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chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Forgot but I also finally got around to removing the yellow paint from the rear calipers. Fronts were done a while ago. I'll have to pull everything and likely use some sort of media blasting to get it all, but at least it isn't peeking out from the wheels.
 

aMaff

High Speed Low Drag
Moderator
:
1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder
Picked up a couple things in the last few weeks for the next fun thing:

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Mid-top boots, gloves, nomex socks & balaclava, arm restraints (open top car, no window nets, etc):

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Maybe I can get 3M Duct Tape to sponsor me!
(...riiiiight)
 

JamesCH

Ex FSAE. New MS3.
:
2009 Mazdaspeed3; 1991 Turbo Miata
Forgot but I also finally got around to removing the yellow paint from the rear calipers. Fronts were done a while ago. I'll have to pull everything and likely use some sort of media blasting to get it all, but at least it isn't peeking out from the wheels.

Try this stuff. It's pretty crazy.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Picked up a couple things in the last few weeks for the next fun thing:

Mid-top boots, gloves, nomex socks & balaclava, arm restraints (open top car, no window nets, etc):

Maybe I can get 3M Duct Tape to sponsor me!
(...riiiiight)

Never know if you don't try. Might want to rethink those pink boots though...

Try this stuff. It's pretty crazy.

Thanks for the info. I'll look into it when I get around to finishing the job properly.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Now that's a proper color.

Took her for a drive in the Hocking Hills area of Ohio with a bunch of other Miatas. A good time was had by most.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Installed a Heli-coil for the ground bolt located on the front of the intake manifold. Not sure how it stripped, but when I went on the drive over the weekend my AFR gauge would blank and then reset when I drove over a rough road. Didn't realize what was causing it at first. At least now I'm bolting into a piece of stainless thread.
 

JamesCH

Ex FSAE. New MS3.
:
2009 Mazdaspeed3; 1991 Turbo Miata
Brace for big update.

Got the head back from the engine shop after a valve job and steam cleaning:

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In prepping the head and the block for a new head gasket I was reading up on how people clean off the gasket surfaces. I didn't like a lot of what I read. Many people suggested using sandpaper, scotchbrite, and other abrasives. The thought of even a small bit of those abrasives getting into the oil sump gave me nightmares. So, after a bit of thought, I decided to use a razor blade to clean off any large chunks of old gasket, and steel wool with a little bit of ATF to clean off everything else. Steel is not going to be the most abrasive material in the engine (especially non-hardened steel in steel wool) and it will be collected by the drain plug magnet if it does get into the engine.

I then bolted the head back onto the block using a new HG and the stock head bolts. I ran up the torque in 4 steps. First, finger tight, then 20ft-lbs, 40ft-lbs, and finally 60ft-lbs. With AMSOIL assembly oil on every surface it went together without any issues at all.

Then I began re-assembling the engine.

Cams, HLAs, and a new water pump.
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Rear main seal installed with a FM rear main installer tool.
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At this point I decided to make a custom part for the coolant re-route modification. The reroute deletes the front thermostat housing, which also contains the fan switch sender. So, I made a plate that mounts the fan switch directly to the block, where the thermostat neck used to be. Right here:

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As I went about making the part on my CNC router I realized that no gasket exists that will work for this. At least none that I knew of. So, I sandwiched some gasket stock behind the aluminum I made the plate out of.

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And cut out a gasket at the same time the plate was cut. Hooray! Here is the plate (tapped and w/ counter-sink for an o-ring), gasket (before cleaning it up a little), new o-ring, and fan switch sender. I smoothed the plate's surfaces with 100grit sandpaper in a DA sander.

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I got liberal with the RTV when installing it, I was a little worried about leaks. Here is the plate installed with the cam pulleys, FM cam pulley tool, timing belt, crank timing pulley, and FM crank pulley tool all on the engine.

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With all of the front timing bits, covers, pulleys, etc installed, time for an adult beverage! The handy FM pulley tool has a bottle opener built in. Genius.

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Continuing to dress the engine...
 

JamesCH

Ex FSAE. New MS3.
:
2009 Mazdaspeed3; 1991 Turbo Miata
Resurfaced 1.8L flywheel with new pilot bearing.

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I put the engine on my overhead chain hoist and mounted the clutch, new throwout bearing, and the transmission after it got new front oil seals and a new tailshaft seal.

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Intake on...

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Turbo and manifold on...

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Dropping the engine and transmission back into the car.

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I used a bit of belt welding wire (SS) sandwiched under an extra bolt head to keep the fan switch wire clear of the timing belt.

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I re-did my oil cooler setup to use a narrower, taller, core mounted behind the coolant radiator and in front of a much slimmer fan. I like this setup a lot more than my previous setup, which was nearly inaccessible without removing body work.

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I also installed R4-S brake pads and flushed the brake lines. This handy little device that I assembled made life awesome. It regulates my shop air to ~3psi and applies that to the brake reservoir, making flushing the brake system a snap. I did all four sets of pads and flushed the whole system in around an hour by myself, including adjusting the e-brake.

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Other details that aren't captured in picture form: I installed frog arm chassis braces, used AMSOIL MTL in the transmission, filled the cooling system with just distilled water (I am planning on flushing it in a week or two), filled up with 4.5qts of 5W30 synthetic engine oil (planning on changing oil and filter as soon as the clutch is broken in, using 5w-40 AMSOIL synthetic), and finished the coolant re-route with all home-made parts aside from the Cadillac radiator hose.

Engine fired first crank!

Last night I took the car for a test drive. No leaks of any sort (holy crap!), fans kicked on with the temp gauge just below the half-way point, and everything seems to be working as intended. *phew*
 

aMaff

High Speed Low Drag
Moderator
:
1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder
Last night I took the car for a test drive. No leaks of any sort (holy crap!), fans kicked on with the temp gauge just below the half-way point, and everything seems to be working as intended. *phew*

What are you using for EMS? Were you able to log / check actual temps? I LOVE your solution on the thermostat neck... want another little side job? Seriously... let me know. If you could do another one tapped for the temp sensor, that would make me a happy panda.

When I get the car back from the fabricator, I'm planning on putting all new HLAs in, which requires taking the cams off and re-timing the engine, so I might as well do that the right way as well. I'd be much more comfortable having the temp sensor there vs having it where bEGI's kit puts it.
 

JamesCH

Ex FSAE. New MS3.
:
2009 Mazdaspeed3; 1991 Turbo Miata
I have an MS1 Hi-Res. I didn't look at the precise temperature, but the thermometer gauge read right where the thermostat opens, around 180-190. With my particular cooling setup my thermometer always reads below half-way.

Though, I really should benchmark when that happens... it would be most interesting to put a real number on it.

I will gladly make another one! Or several if there are other people who want them. I'll look at what it'll take to remake, probably with better gasket material, and PM you later.
 

aMaff

High Speed Low Drag
Moderator
:
1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder
I will gladly make another one! Or several if there are other people who want them. I'll look at what it'll take to remake, probably with better gasket material, and PM you later.

Very cool, much obliged. Sadly I imagine the market for people doing reroutes like this are pretty limited, but I'd love to be proven wrong.