Sunday, December 9, 2012

AW11 MR2 build - "Akemi" Part 21

Wheels are on

alignment today.
-2* camber
0 toe
+6* caster

-1.5* camber
1/16th toe in

we will see how it feels on Saturday...

the alignment works BRILLIANTLY at the track, and I set fantastic times considering my tires

apparently I had a brain fart when I adjusted my shocks before the race, cuz when I went to reset them at the end of the day, I had apparently turned my right rear shock DOWN....for normal driving I have the fronts at 1/4, and the rears at 1/2, and I increase both by 1/4 for racing....which I did, but on the right rear i had turned it 1/4 the wrong way. DERP

new OEM exhaust came in yesterday. Paint is drying right now (i wanted it darker, as it was WAY too bright for my stealth car)
ok with much bolt snapping I got the HKS off. In my attempt of getting the OEM one on, I found that the flange on the cat is not flat, so it leaks a bunch there. And of course the cordless grinder's batteries are both now we wait.
RIP, HKS cat back.

clutch came in. Exedy OEM replacement kit. Pressure plate, disc, throw-out bearing, alignment tool. Also in the box were two bearings that look like skateboard wheel bearings and a copper sleeve thing.....I'm not sure if those are actually part of the kit or if I'm supposed to use them for something....anyone know? Also the kit is supposed to come with two different versions of the clip that holds the TO bearing to the fork, but it came with two of the same one. I hope my fork is the right one :idk:
Also got ARP flywheel bolts.

When it comes time to do it I'm definitely gonna need some help, I was thinking about taking it down the weekend of either the 6th or the 13th, take the flywheel in to the machine shop the following Monday, and attempt a reassemble whenever I get it back. I will probably need to borrow an engine hoist to hold my engine while I tilt it down, and I will probably need someone stronger than I am to help me get the transmission on and off, because I doubt I can bench press an E-series tranny.

Changed my oil today. I'll change the filter next oil change.
Odo miles: 249,618
correction: (64,214)
actual miles: 185,404

Transmission is out. It was a MASSIVE pain in the ass. like MASSIVE. getting it back in is going to probably be the hardest thing I've yet done on this car.
replaced rear main seal

old pressure plate

Clutch was worn nearly to the rivets. Also, the little dampening thingys in the middle were loose and rattle-y

flywheel has a bit of a groove in it, likely from the first clutch (I think this is the second this car has seen). I hope the machine shop can machine it out, since it's not deep, but if not, I may have to end up buying a new flywheel....We shall see

Resurfaced flywheel


Transmission is back in and everything up top is back together. Tomorrow I need to reinstall the axles and the exhaust and then theoretically it should be good to go.
Later that day.......
CV joint fell apart. Time to look up how to put it back together. Also need a new boot and some grease, and what looks like some kind of seal around where the CV housing meets the axle stub.


Got the CV's reassembled. Just waiting on a boot now. Also need to get grease. may hit up Brandon for that.


All is working great now.
Changed my SC oil today. Car has 188k, so the SC oil should be good till 230k or so. BGB says to change it every 60k, but I think since it's cheap and I'm running 2 extra psi, a slightly shorter change interval would be OK.

Also I made a DIY post about it. ... -a-4a-gze/ 

Found someone that makes an EGR blockoff plate. Now I can finally be rid of the already-broken crap that is just putting crap into my intake.

Deleted ze EGR. See the front page for my uber awesome write-up. Time-lapse vid to follow shortly.

the bolts were too far apart. I had to slot the holes to be able to put it on.
Dude on the forum gave me a deal on a ST front sway bar. This will give the same effect as stiffening the front spring rates (very needed) but will also induce understeer/reduce oversteer. Given how understeer-prone this car is to begin with, I have a feeling I'll be playing around with the adjustability on both bars to get a perfect set-up. Maybe middle setting on the front, stiffest on the rear.
I'm driving out to 64/81 to buy a set of BRAND NEW Toyo Proxes R888 R-compound race tires from a guy on VADriven tomorrow. 205-50-15's. $500 for the full set, $125 less than what it would cost from TireRack. I'm about to explode from excitement. Look how sexy these things are:
om nom nom nom
New front sway bar
Set the front to the "middle" setting and the rear to the "stiff" setting. Also found a nail in one of my rear tires so I got to go over to Sears. Luckily the manager wasn't there so I patched it my self FO FREE

This thing tightens up the front very nicely. This car changes direction INSANELY fast now. Interested to see what it does on the track.

put on the R-comps this afternoon and took it to a few empty parking lots and did circles in both directions to heat cycle them. My "R-Comp Tire Emotions Cycle" follows:
 When you see the price

When you spend the money

When you drive on them for the first time

On the serious.......the grip you guys.........the grip...........I swear they break physics.
Replaced my cruise control computer with one that was supposed to be working from a guy on the forums. Still nothing. I'm at a complete loss as to what is wrong with my system. I've checked that every mechanical component functions properly by themselves, replaced the switch, replaced the computer. BLARG
My alternator belt has been squeaking like a BANSHEE in the morning, so I decided to replace it. And since my AC doesn't work I got one that bypasses the compressor. So then I figured I'd just remove the AC system and save some weight.
That's the compressor, compressor bracket, the hardlines up to the steering rack area, and all related hardware. 24lbs. I'll get around to removing the rest sometime later.
Fun side-effect of removing AC compressor: I can actually access my oil filter now! No more will I be required to buy overpriced K&N filters for their coveted welded nut design! Truly this is the taste of freedom!
Also, picked up a Hella Supertones and harness kit from Adam. No idea when I'll have time to put them in, but soon enough my horn will be just as brain-shatteringly loud as Billy's.
Got Supertones installed. Turns out my horns already use a two-wire setup so I did t need the harness. I just took some 14g wire and spliced some male and female ends on them to connect the plugs to the terminals on the horns. They are in the factory locations, one behind the radiator one in front. 
While I was in there, and to get the front horn to fit, I went ahead and removed the rest of my AC system. Condenser, collector, and evaporator all came out so my car is 100% AC free. Saved another 16lbs for 40 total.  
I think I'm gonna start piecing together bits for a battery relocation. I think tomorrow I'm gonna go grab like 15 feet of cable, some ring ends, and some of that black plastic stuff you run wires through and maybe run the + cable in the car for when I'm ready to go.
I'd also need to measure the stock battery and make a box so that the OEM tie down stays there (it holds up the intercooler). I'd also need to fab up a tie-down bracket in the frunk. I think I'm gonna get the Braille No-Weight Race & Street Miata battery (part number B2015). It's completely sealed so spilling/venting isn't an issue, it's super light, super small, and has 574 cranking amps/425 CCA. Perfect.
Ran the new battery cable for the relocation. I'll put ends on it tomorrow and maybe start making the mounts for the new battery, as well as start planning what to build to replace where the old battery goes to hold up the intercooler.. I'll probably order the battery itself tonight.
Ordered the battery + tie down from newegg, shipped, for less than just the battery from WIN
Tomorrow I'll probably start making the box to replace the old battery.
Stock battery replacement box complete!  
Copy-pasted from a comment I made on facebook:
All I need is something big enough to crush the jacket on the ring end onto the cable. I'll then heat it up with a torch and fill it with solder as well to make a super good connection. Like this:
4:30 in this video:

The cable is wrapped in black wiring loom protector all the way back, and is routed through holes with rubber grommets in them, under the car through the central tunnel where it is covered by the plastic underbody covers. I also just ordered a 150A inline breaker as a failsafe against catastrophic hot wire grounding. All I need now is for the battery to come in, and to fab up a mount for the frunk. I'll probably go by Home Depot again tomorrow and get some sheet metal to make a cradle similar to this:

Also, there will be a tie-down to hold it in the box, AND I'm going to get rubber terminal covers so nothing in the frunk can touch the terminals.

Total cost of this project so far hasn't been cheap, but I'm excited anyway. I've wanted to do this for a long time.

Battery + tie down = $160
cable + insulation + ring ends = $45
metal+bolts to make the box = $9
in-line fuse holder (not sure if it came with a fuse or not) = $7

still have to get terminals, sheet metal, more bolts/nuts/washers, and at least 5 more cable ring ends, as I only have two now (new hot wire to stock hot wire = 2, one for new hot wire to fuse, one for fuse to next section of hot wire, one for hot wire to battery, one for ground to battery, one for ground to chassis for a total of 7)

I'm not going into this half-assed. I'm doing this right.
Got my battery holder-box-thingy mostly done today. Also the battery itself came in. It looks like I'm going to have to do more fab work than I thought though, because I'm not happy with the way it would sit in the frunk as-is. Good thing I got more angle bracket than I thought I needed.
My side-mount design failed miserably so I ended up putting it dead bottom center on the front wall of the frunk. It's all hooked up and works great. I'll have pics next week, I got it finished and immediately filled the frunk with stuff for this weekend.

Braille battery weighs 15lbs, stock weighs 36 for 21lbs of weight savings, plus the benefits of moving it forward and down in the chassis. So with this plus the AC delete I've saved 61 lbs. Not too shabby.
 Also here is a pic of Jack helping me solder a ring end to the stock cable.

Fe took the pic.
OK here's the box holding up the stock tie-down/intercooler bracket
And here's the battery in the frunk
The 150amp fuse is mounted behind the spare near the firewall.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

AW11 MR2 build - "Akemi" Part 20

my new 2000-2002 MR2 Spyder wheels. 15x6, 15x6.5 +45 weighing in at around 15lbs

I tried using paint stripper to get the paint off but it didn't work that well. I may try to give it another go, but otherwise I'm gonna see how much sand blasting costs. Then they will be painted bronze and become my daily driver wheels with 195's up front and 205's out back

broke 150 rwhp! WOOT. That's like....165 crank

gotta do something about that low end lean out....gruntbox will happen one day. Tires first.

Actually doing the math...Shannon's car has around 15% drivetrain loss from stock power levels. Assuming mine is similar, that puts my crank power at around 177

also video

Got one wheel 99.99% stripped back to bare aluminum. I still have a few little minor things to touch up, but it's basically done. Now for the other 3...
after that it's hand-sand with high grit sandpaper to make sure the wire wheel didn't leave it TOO scratchy, then acetone wipe, adhesion promoter, primer, paint, then maybe clear.

did a bunch of random stuff today.

got etching primer and adhesion promoter. also talked to the guy at the paint shop about what kinds of paint to use. they have a really cool cheap alternative to spray cans that I may end up using.

a oem size miata battery fits PERFECTLY in the frunk with room for the spare tire. This summer probably will see a battery relocation.

twosrus is having an EPIC sale on Koni Yellow's. normally $350/pair, now $280/pair. I may just buy these tonight.....

yeah....just bought koni yellows....most expensive mod I've done yet I do believe. So excited.


Front Koni's are in :)

found an AC recharge kit in the garage and decided to see if the fittings matched (to see if my ac had been converted) and it has, so I started recharging it, until I heard/saw that it is leaking out as fast as I can put it in >.<

also cleaned out my interior today.

the run from the compressor, up under the car (I THINK under the fuel tank, so not hard to get to), up to the condenser at the front and back again. The leak is happening somewhere near where the hardlines end/flex lines start at the engine bay firewall area.

Fixed the AC leak (I think) and re-recharged it. Also changed the accessory belts and fixed the fog lights.

future reference:
SC/water pump belt = duralast #375K5
alt/AC belt = dayco #5050405 (small # is 5PK1030)



pay no attention to the HORRID lighting. they look FANTASTIC. I'll probably work with Pierce some time next week to get tires put on (maybe Friday or something)

currently trying to see my options for exhausts. HKS is probably not gonna be able to come in, so I may have to get something fabbed :(

new lug nuts are here. all I need now is to get the tires mounted/balanced (also needs valve-stems).

also ordered the last oem muffler in North America. I'll use that till the HKS comes in at some point in the next decade, then probably just sell it at a mild loss.

AW11 MR2 build - "Akemi" Part 19

so yesterday i took care of a few little things that have been annoying me
1. took apart the trunk lock and made it work. first time i've ever been able to use my key to open my trunk
2. fixed the rattle from the c-pillar trim with a rubber plumbing washer
3. replaced a missing bolt from my front underbody brace

and then i went to re-mount my front wheels (gotta wiggle em while tightening lug nuts to make sure its centered) and because the alignment guy used an impact gun to put them on (BIG NO NO) the lug key tool snapped. had to use pierces tool again to remove ALL of my lug nuts and had to go to advance and get the same shitty horrible chrome ones corey has (no offense dude but those lugs suck BALLS). i now have CHROME...on my CAR.......sweet jesus that sucks. selling my 949's to Garett today and hopefully going by RPM and picking up some NICE lugs that will fit tomorrow.

changed oil today. used some off the shelf oil flush too. didnt really see a huge difference, but my engine is super clean inside anyway so I wasnt really expecting much.

When I turn the headlights on (or try to flash the brights), the lights pop up, but do not turn on. Instead, the relay in the frunk sounds like a freaking buzzer, the volts drop down, dash lights dim, rpm needle goes up and wiggles around, dash hazard lights stay on.

Possibly related problem:
for a while now, my brights will only turn on when they feel like it. If I pulled the lever towards me they will flash, but if I try to push the lever away from me to turn them on, the lights will cut off completely (unless they decide to work sometimes). This was of course before the relay/dash started going crazy tonight.

any ideas?

OK so this is WAY worse than I thought. Here we go...
Yesterday I removed the headlight switch just so I wouldn't have to mess with it untill I got a new one...
So today I find that while the engine is ON,
1. turn signals blink REALLY fast and on the correct side, but the dash signal is the opposite side
2. wipers work, but when i press it in to use the washer jets, volt gauge drops to 0, dash turn signals come on
3. hazard switch drops volt gauge to 0, rpm gauge goes crazy, and something starts buzzing (like the headlights were doing before)
4. flashing brights pops up the lights, drops volts, crazy rpm gauge, both dash turn signal lights come on for as long as I hold the stalk towards me
5. pushing brights stalk away does nothing

While engine is OFF, ignition switch is at ON
1. turn signals work normally
2. hazards work normally
3. washer jets work normally
4. brights same problem as above

when I got home from class I left the car running, went upside down and looked under the dash again. There is a light blue plastic bracket thing that a billion plugs plug into just to the left of the clutch pedel. This was not bolted down super securely so I wiggled it a bit, and lo and behold everything worked again. I think I need to unplug that stuff and inspect it for any bare wires, scorch marks, etc. Also, I need to find a spare nut to secure it down.... I HOPE that's the problem.....

found some people that had the same problem. Not my pics, but my car was the same. keep in mind that this is all way up under the dash by the clutch pedal and is a MASSIVE pain in the ass to get to/work on/take apart

reinforced the burnt solder.

shoutout to Pierce for mounting/balancing my new tires. Also found out my good wheels are actually +40 offset, not 38. word.

Changed my oil today.
listed mileage was 244015
less correction (64214)
actual mileage 179,801

ordered new porterfield hp r4s pads. gonna try and pick up some rotors tomorrow.

Changed front brake discs (NAPA premium blanks) and pads (Porterfield HP R4S) on Tuesday night. Gonna flush brake fluid and clutch fluid on Saturday at the work day at Corey's, as well as install my new fuel filter (never changed it as long as I've owned the car, figure now is probably a good time). I'm looking forward to having a solid, responsive pedal at the Autocross on Sunday.

flushed the clutch (wasn't bad) and brakes (was REALLY bad) so now I have nice firm responsive pedals again. Also replaced my fuel filter, which was kindof a headache. Working in a garage with a nice smooth floor is FOR THE WIN

part of part of my wishlist is getting crossed off. Dude on the forum was selling a rear pair of Koni yellows for $200 and I snatched them up. He has an 86 and he got ones for 87+, so they are opened, but never installed. They cost $375/pair new. SO MUCH WIN

koni's came in. He advertised them as 87+ but the part number stamped in the shocks is definitely the 85-86 part number. The early struts are smaller diameter than the 87+. He said these wouldn't fit in his 86, but the part number says otherwise. Also, they seem to have a slight bulge in them which may be what gave him a hard time.....I'm SO pissed. I don't even know what to do. All I can do is wait for his PM response.

Also they didn't come with new shock collar nuts like they're supposed to.

Things I'm currently working out:
I may be trading my 3S-GTE head for a set of early model MR2 Spyder wheels. 15x6 front, 15x6.5 rear. These would become daily drivers with 195's up front and 205's out back, and the Nippon's would become race wheels. Only thing is that apparently the Spyder wheels have been painted blue??? so I'll be stripping those and either powder coating or painting them myself, probably bronze (like subi wheels)

Also, since Korey's new car is an 86, I may trade him my 85-86 koni's for his 89 koni's

about my new exhaust
"Hello Jordan, sorry about the delay I just recieved work back from HKS Japan that it will be an additional 5-7 weeks before this one reaches the US. I have tried looking everywhere to source one of these systems for you but there are just none available in the US. I appologize for the extended delay. Let me know if you would like to keep it on order still since you are needing an exhaust sooner than later. Thank you for your patience, Russ."

BLARG. As long as it's here by May so I can pass inspection.

grumblegrumble rare car grumble grumble overnight parts from japan my ass grumble grumble hks usa gone grumble grumble