Sunday, April 26, 2015

AW11 MR2 Build - "Akemi" Part 26

New NAPA premium rotors and Porterfield HP R4S pads on the rear have rid the car of the brake noise and brought back the pedal bite. She's almost back at full strength, getting pumped for autocross test & tune and racing in July.

Left outer CV boot is torn and slinging grease. Hooray.

In the last couple weeks I've had to do:
the CV boot 
re-re do the rear brakes because one of the pads cracked, so new Porterfields, rotors, one caliper, and both e-brake cables (while I was in there)

front left inner tie rod is going bad

Front left wheel bearing has been loose, so I'm going to do that at the same time as the tie rod to do one alignment

And the flex pipe in my SV3 downpipe has developed a leak when cold

When it rains, it pours

Just replaced the left front wheel bearing and inner tie rod. Getting an alignment this week. 

For Christmas I was fortunate enough to receive a Techno Toy Tuning bomber bar.

I painted it to match my wheels

And here it is on the car

I have some more goodies on the way that will be mounted to said bar, replacing my broken Pep-Boys square fogs.

Hella 500 series rally lights

PIAA bar mounts with inserts to fit multiple bar sizes

And some Hella yellow laminate for teh JDMz

Hellas functional, yo!

This morning when I got in the car and pressed the gas to get it started, the pedal was SUPER stiff and then it wouldn't return. Tonight after work I bought one of these things to help lube the cable:

Did not work. Still gummy and won't return. Looks like I'm gonna have to get a new cable, and only NA cables are available. Apparently if you finagle it enough, maybe a little bracket tweaking and you can make it work fine on the SC. I can't tell you how excited I am to be replacing the throttle cable on this car in the dead of winter. Ugh.

I guess the WD40 soaked through the whole cable because it's the smoothest, easiest throttle action I've ever felt on this car. I guess it's been gummy the whole time and I just didn't realize. 

Today I got the winter tires on. They are General Altimax Arctic 185/60R14 on stock AE82 steelies (fun fact: this is actually the stock tire size for this car). Initial impressions: It's soooooo wobbly! The super deep tread + super soft rubber + taller sidewalls = driving on jello. 

Also, in my fanboy brain, there is some resemblance

Car got backed into by a friend last night. Both of my hellas are destroyed. Bumper cover is scuffed ($3 can of Krylon) and is cracked a little under one of the turn signals, but not bad enough to warrant me trying to track down another good-condition used cover from who knows where and swapping them.

Car started and ran like a champ this morning even in 1*F. About 1/3 of the way to work it started bucking and missing and trying to stall out, so I limped it off the road and popped the engine lid only to be greeted with smoke pouring out of the distributor along with the lovely smell of burning electronics. I (barely) limped it home and brought the wagon to work. Looks like I'll be pulling the dizzy soon to see what the hell happened. New ones are nonexistent but I can get a used unit online for around $125-150, add in a new cap and rotor, and $75 to get it rebuilt (new oil seals inside and new shaft bearing). That is, if the dizzy is actually toast.

Always something >.<

I used a mirror to look inside the dizzy itself and none of the electronics look burnt or blackened or anything. I'm thinking the smoke and smell were caused by arcing between the cap and rotors center contact (from the coil). That would melt the plastic and smell terrible.

New cap and rotor didn't help. Still smoking. I removed the distributor assembly and it looks like the internal shaft oil seal is leaking. I'm not super thrilled by how some of the electrical bits look, so I think I'm going to go ahead and get another unit for rebuild. Maybe I'll keep this as an emergency back up and rebuild it as well.

Status update: replaced the distributor inner shaft seal and outer housing seal and reinstalled. Car runs and drives fine but is still smoking a little (but not smelling like melting plastic this time). 
I believe what happened was the inner shaft seal leaked a bunch of oil inside the distributor which burned up the cap, as well as leaked out all over the exhaust manifold, which is wrapped in fiberglass heat wrap. 
I think the current light smoke is the oil burning out of the wrap, and should stop after a day or two of driving.

Got me some good stuff with which to flush my brakes/clutch before the NCCAR event.

Last week I also swapped out my 6-month-old-already-warped NAPA rotors for some Stop Tech slotted pieces. These were reasonably priced and even have the outer edges and hub surfaces painted to keep rust away from those exposed areas. Pretty neat.

The car performed exceptionally well at the track on Sunday. This was a much higher-speed course than I'm used to and the brakes were just awesome for this. Here's what I believe was my fastest run.

Unfortunately I did snap one of the brackets that holds the front sway bar to the underside of the car, and judging by the oil all over everything on the right side, I may have blown out the right front Koni shock. Weirdly I don't think this happened from the track, but from a bump on the access road that leads to and from the track. I have a new one on order from Amazon and will send the blown unit to Koni for warranty assessment.

Here's the offending sway bar bracket.

As you can see in this picture, it looks like maybe it was an aftermarket or old version of the bracket, since the new one (and the other one on the car) are both beefier metal.

Here's the RF coilover. As you can see everything is coated in oil. I didn't take an "after" pic because after I cleaned everything up I lubed up all the heim joints and bearings and stuff with motorcycle chain lube to keep it all loosey goosey. 

So now the car drives like a champ again, and drives completely straight. I'll probably wait to get an alignment, since I'm considering changing out my springs for something stiffer.