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BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/5/13 7:14 p.m.
z31maniac wrote: Just have someone move the flange on the cat and call it good!

That's mostly the plan, apart from the "find a matching flange" part - the flanges are a different size, too.

Harvey New Reader
8/7/13 10:56 a.m.

Interesting progress. So, the blower is on the back burner?

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/7/13 4:35 p.m.

I'm trying to get the car back on the road to catch at least the late summer track events out here, so the blower is likely to become a winter project.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/7/13 11:44 p.m.

Today it was time to take a couple of steps forward, and a step back.

I bumped up the rear ride height a little as I suspect that the mishap with the drive shaft resulted from the suspension almost bottoming out on the way to Laguna Seca - it certainly sounded like a couple of metal parts met courtesy of the famed Californian potholes, and those were parts that shouldn't have met. In an attempt to alleviate this problem, I moved the spring platform up another 1/4".

Rear end buttoned up again, it was time to go from this:

Back to this:

I'm getting pretty good at removing and refitting the EGR tube, but I can't say that it's much fun. I've got fairly small hands and thin arms so I can embrace the gearbox and get both hands around to the EGR tube but is this a pain in the proverbial or what?

Oh, and side by side it's fairly obvious that the Maxim Works header is a bit longer than the USDM stock one:

Sorry for the crappy cell pics, I forgot to grab the real camera (and I took the wrong cellphone, too...).

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/21/13 10:24 p.m.

Bringing the thread up to date.

Now, with shiny, throaty exhaust:

Also got the not-so-shiny intake fitted, at some point I need to take the time to polish it properly:

Next, it was time to put in the recently cleaned NB injectors. First, time to pull off the fuel rail, drop the plastic spacers down the side of the engine three times with mucho swearing before I could put the clean injectors in.

All buttoned up, ready to roll:

On the celebratory test drive following all this work, I noticed that the inertia belts didn't lock, so it wasn't exactly very safe to drive as is.

A set of FIA harnesses that at least look vaguely street legal are on the way, should be here tomorrow so I should be finally halfway safe in the car again and be able to take it on the track on Saturday, only four months after it was on the track the last time...

z31maniac PowerDork
8/22/13 8:35 a.m.

Don't feel bad! Mine hasn't been on track since October of last year. Things kept coming up, happening, then the thought of needing another motor, I somehow turned that into selling off the old suspension/brake setup and dropping $4k on a new one.

I have a problem.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/22/13 9:39 a.m.

Tip for those stupid little escape artist spacers on the fuel rail - when you're reassembling, a little dab of RTV will keep them stuck to the rail.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/22/13 2:27 p.m.

Thanks Keith, I'll try that the next time I have to pull off the fuel rail.

Just got an email from my wife that a parcel from Schroth has arrived. Woohoo. More expensive toys.

Apexcarver PowerDork
8/22/13 2:37 p.m.

Are there any real issues with blocking off the EGR on an OBD1 car?

I have a raceland header for mine that I am putting on in a few weeks and bending up my spare to work with it has been not-fun. (I have a spare motor to play with that is not in a car)

Need to review some rules stuff and see if there is any chance whatsoever that its STS legal for SCCA, plus in a few years I might have to put the car through a sniffer test.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/22/13 2:59 p.m.

IIRC the real issues are slightly higher emissions at part throttle and potentially slightly higher combustion temperatures. IIRC most of the non-US NAs are running without EGR anyway and you have to block it off when you fit aftermarket engine management, too.

Apexcarver PowerDork
8/22/13 3:01 p.m.

I just read the rulebook, as it is emissions equipment, I don't see how I can delete it. Dang.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/22/13 3:56 p.m.

The Jackson Racing header is CARB legal, so I'm guessing that it has the EGR fitting. Bit more expensive than the Raceland, though.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
8/25/13 8:59 p.m.

I did get the belts in the car in time, slapped some SFI padding on the rollbar (needs revisiting as the padding prevents me from closing the roof) and got my backside down to the PDX & Time Trials event. Well, PDX for me...

The car ran well and thanks to the exhaust it at least sounds faster, plus I was faster on that track than before which I attribute to the better suspension and tires. OK, "faster" in my case means "slightly less of a rolling road block" as it tends to mean that the guy in the GT-R only laps me once or maybe twice in a twenty minute session than every second lap. I still got a sore arm from pointing by almost everybody but I'm getting to the point where at least the Spec Pinata and "almost SM" cars don't pass me like I'm standing still anymore. Plus, the instructor was happy enough with my driving to let me loose on the track on my own, which to me was a major accomplishment.

The main downside was that I ran into some handling issues with the car during the second of four sessions which culminated in the car going into what I'd describe as a tank slapper in motorcycle terms in a low speed corner, and one that I wasn't overcooking according to the instructor either.

I had a jolly good time though and am looking forward to the last two trackdays of the year up here.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
10/19/13 9:05 p.m.

Not much happened since the last update. I went to the last local PDX of the season, car ran OK and it's now time to put the winter wheels and the hardtop back on, as soon as I get some Beatrush H/T latches.

After driven back from work one night I decided that it was past time to do something about the fireflies that are attempting to illuminate the road in front of the car. Fortunately, at that point someone posted about the special offer from Busdepot on their H4 lights, so tonight I went from this:

To this:

Sorry about the crappy cellphone pics, someone forgot to charge their DSLR...

ea_sport Reader
10/20/13 8:19 p.m.
Swank Force One wrote:

What kind of jack stand is that? I am using HF jack stand but the shape of the top of the jack stand is a bit too pointy that it digs into the chassis.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
10/20/13 8:26 p.m.

Those are the 3 ton HF stands fitted with the optional rubber cover. Those make a massive difference - I bought them because I had the same issue with the stands being a little too pointy for my liking.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
12/22/13 2:07 p.m.

Finally, some more updates. Haven't had that much time to play with this car because I'd been traveling and also because other things got in the way.

Anyway, it's winter so it's hardtop time. When I ordered the rollbar, Moti warned me that the OEM hardtop side latches were unlikely to fit and that I needed smaller ones like the Beatrush latches. Project-G kindly supplied them so a few weeks ago, it was time to play with them:

Time to pull out the OEM latches and bolt the shiny ones on:

After taking off the OEM hardtop latches and putting the little hook on, we're all done and the hardtop holds on to the car securely once more:

The latches wouldn't unlatch with both the lock washer and the larger washer in place so I pulled the lock washer from the front bolts. After all, that's what Loctite is for. Job done, the latches now engage and disengage beautifully. I do however need to put something on the rollbar to protect the power coating as the exposed bolt heads already scratched the finish. That, or I'll get a couple of button head allen screws to hold the hook plate in.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
12/22/13 2:41 p.m.

The one big issue I need to solve was the seating position. Even with the low seats and Bride Low Max rails in the car, I couldn't really get comfortable in the car - knee angle was wrong, I kept banging various extremities against parts of the car and I couldn't fit into the car with a helmet on if I didn't take the seat cushions out. Given that a lot of the tracks around here are 4+ hour drives away, it didn't particularly make me want to use the car on anything but the local track.

For various reasons I didn't want to modifiy the attachement points of the seat rails to the car, so anything I came up with needed to fit the original attachement points. Some research suggested that the Garage Star seat rail would probably be my best chance to get the seat lower. I've bought some smaller parts from Ken before and was very happy with the quality, so I ordered one of his seat rails.

Off came the Bride slider:

Then it was time to bolt on the Garage Star seat mount and figure out the correct position of the seat on the mount.

My first attempt was a dismal failure, I couldn't get the seat back far enough to be any more comfortable. I left it alone for a few days, but the fact that I could get the seat back further on the slider kept bugging me, so I eventually went back to investigate more.

Turned out that one of the captive nuts for the rear mount had a messed up thread. I was tightening down the the bolts by hand, but I couldn't get the bolt far enough in without tools, so the seat would hit the bolt. After this "Doh" moment I ran a tap through the thread. Of course that fixed the problem. Oh, well, I bought the big HF tap & die set for this car after all...

With that out of the way I finally managed to get the seat back and low enough on the mounts. Phew.

I love the quality of the seat mount, the only detail I wasn't 100% happy with was that the harness would potentially rub on the sharp-ish edge of the mount when I had the seat in the correct position.

A bit of rummaging around the garage yielded a piece of fairly thick rubber, so I improvised a protector for the lap belts. Problem solved.

Of course they're on both sides of the seat...

With the seat finally in, things are looking much better now:

I can finally sit in the car with a helmet on my head and the seat cushion in place without banging my head against the hardtop. I also have more clearance between seat and steering wheel despite tilting the seat back a little. A slightly smaller steering wheel is still in order, though, but at least I finally sorted out the seating position.

amg_rx7 Dork
12/24/13 11:50 a.m.


BoxheadTim PowerDork
12/24/13 11:57 a.m.

Yippee indeed, although I now have to figure what to do to squeeze more power out of it .

  • Bolt on the JR M45 supercharger kit I have, which will require some additional engineering to make it the way I'd like it to be
  • Get the new Kraftwerks Rotrex kit, which will make it a bolt on affair and produce more power
  • Forget about forced induction, get an 01-05 engine and stick ITBs on it
amg_rx7 Dork
12/24/13 4:38 p.m.

You could also have the existing head re-worked. Depends on what your goals are.

Get it on track!

BoxheadTim PowerDork
12/25/13 5:32 p.m.

I'd like to get at least 150 rwhp (which is stretching the limits of the M45), but I'll settle for noticeably more torque and a little more power. I'm mostly running at the local track at ~4500', so every little bit helps.

Reworking the head is an option, but if I got that route I'd probably just find a 99-00 head and bolt that on instead. From what I've seen, that's likely to work out a bit cheaper. Either way I'll also have to think about megasquirting it first.

And today's "build" picture with the car wearing my Christmas present:

BoxheadTim PowerDork
1/21/14 11:26 p.m.

I would like to point out that I did not overnight these parts from Japan. Regular mail was fast enough, and now I should be able to fit the steering wheel I had always promised my 911, unless I messed up the back of the envelope calculation.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
1/28/14 12:09 a.m.

As mentioned in another thread, the seating position was still not quite right and that kept bugging me, plus it made the car uncomfortable to drive.

So tonight I took out the seat for the umpteenth time and played a little more with the adjustment. With the seat still tilted back a little, I managed to find another 1/2", which does make a noticeable difference. Not sure if it is enough of a difference, but the car feels more comfortable. This additional distance to the pedals came at the expense of the seat not being 100% straight, I now have to take the seat out to unlock the hardtop and the seat cover on the one ear of the seat is now rubbing the B pillar, but it might be just enough.

Just have to try it out once the bad weather passes. If it arrives at all.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
2/9/14 8:25 p.m.

Still working on the seating position , I've ended going back to the original position, so I still have to remove the seat cushion. It was pointed out to me that a Recaro Profi SPG would possibly be a better fitting seat for my requirements, so I'm debating if I'm coughing up the money it'll or wait until I know if some of the cars I'm currently pursuing work out on not. Anyway, while I'm trying to figure out that and the rest of my life , it was time to work on the Miata a bit more.

Time to take off this wonderful steering wheel:

Explosive device removed :

Right, time to decide if I just use a vise grip to drive the car or not:

Decided having a steering wheel would work better, so I put on the Daikei boss. Fortunately it came with enough pictures so I didn't have to get our Japanese speaker in the office translate the destructions for me:

The big advantage of this boss over the original Momo boss one is that it "just bolts on" - if you check the web for mounting instructions on the MOMO one, pretty much everybody complains that it has to be modified to fit the NA. This one just fits.

As I've always wanted a car with a Momo Prototipo and don't have a Porsche to bolt it into, it would've been rude not to mount it to the Miata instead. It's a little smaller but not so small I can't see the instruments. Makes the whole cabin feel like a nicer place, too. With the 40mm spacer on the Daikei, it's pretty much perfectly positioned.

While I was tearing apart the interior I figured it was time to finally mount - or at least mock up - the new gauges. So, time to take our the center console and the tombstone:

Gauges look OK, fortunately the two oversized gauges fit well and there is still space for a regular sized gauge in the center:

Looks pretty decent, if I may say so myself:

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