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Thread: What did Chief do to his Mazdas today?

  1. #1721
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Autocrossed her today. Have a lot of things to post, and some videos once I remember my YouTube login and I recover from being in the sun all day. It was a blast, here are a couple of pictures to tide folks over.



    '81 RX-7, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD.

  2. #1722
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Woke up this morning feeling like someone beat me with a baseball bat. Not going to get into everything just yet, I did manage to get onto my YouTube channel so here are the promised videos:

    https://youtu.be/OL8SVuWYTAw

    https://youtu.be/_ioiwwsSbf0

    Course was bumpier than I expected. There were a lot of minimal height changes which weren't bad, but they were exacerbated by pavement cracks so you might be set for a corner and then get bumped by one of those. First run was a 56.925. The next two saw me improve about 0.4 seconds over the previous time. Run 4 saw me improve by 1.2 seconds over the previous, and run 5 saw me improve 1.6 seconds over the previous (final run was a 53.397). Most of my time was made up in the slalom on the back side of the course where I kept my foot in it longer.

  3. #1723
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Haven't done too much since Sunday. I did reconnect the rear sway, while there I noticed the muffler has been moving around enough to contact the diffuser so I'll have to clearance it a bit more. I have also been having issues with the left front wheel contacting the fender liner under short/sharp deflections. A quick finger comparison with the right side shows I have less clearance there so when I put her in the air to swap the front sways I'll get that fixed. I have also swapped the driver's seats around so I'm back to the NB2 stocker.

    Thoughts on the autocross. The bumpiness I mentioned made it difficult for me to get up to speed initially. My two years' layoff showed in my first run where I was off-line in a few places and got caught out. They had two traps set up so the course was divided and you can see where you were making/losing time. My first section times were pretty consistent and looking back I don't see where I could have made up any time there. Second section is where I made up the time, mostly in the slalom section where I kept my foot in it longer. Don't know if I could have really done a lot better than my final run without other changes to the car.

    Brown Santa made me a happy man today. Managed to score a rare part, purely by chance when I was doing a search and came across someone on another forum who had spoken about having one and wanting to sell it. I got in touch, he still had it and the deal was done. Now I just have to get the screws needed to install it and then test it out.


  4. #1724
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Had some free time to myself this afternoon so jumped into things. I opened the sealed bag my trap timer was in and found that someone had it out in the open previously. This was a good thing though as the mounting bracket had been modified so it would fit a Momo wheel:



    I ran to Ace to get some appropriate fasteners then proceeded to get it installed. First, the mount:



    You put four screws in to hold the wheel first, then the last two (seen) are what hold the mount in place. After that the trap timer goes on bottom first on that lip you can see sticking out. There is a small Allen screw that goes into the hole at the top, and that is all there is to it.



    I need to break out my teeny-tiny jeweler's screwdrivers in order to install the battery, and then I can try to figure out how to operate it. One thing to note, with the timer in place the horn button is very recessed so it can't be operated as you normally would.

    Once that was done I pulled the front undertray and swapped back to my MSM front sway. The big JR sway I used for autocross showed signs of side-to-side movement with one of the bushings getting split. I won't be putting that back in. I took measurements of both front shocks, both the overall length and the preload on the springs. Both measurements were the same, so something else is going on there. I will get some good measurements with her on the ground and then adjust the length of the driver's side to match the passenger side.

    Finally although I didn't address it today, here is the rubbing the exhaust is doing on the rear diffuser:



    Not horrible, but I will clearance it some more.

  5. #1725
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: This morning I installed the battery in the timer. Remember I said there were teeny-tiny screws? See at the right side of the rectangular cover for those.



    Turns out it uses two LR44 batteries, the other one was already in place. Popped the second one in and she booted up to this screen:



    Those with keen eyesight will notice it is set for January 01, 1996. I left it like that while I ran some errands. This afternoon I sat down to see if I could figure out how to get it set. As it turned out, it wasn't that difficult. First of all, there are four modes: Stopwatch, Alarm, Time and Countdown. The "Mode" button scrolls between those screens. I put it in Time mode and then pushed buttons to see what happened. Once in the Mode desired, pushing the Recall button starts numbers flashing. In this case the seconds were flashing first. If you push Reset the seconds go to zero. Pushing Lap changes to the next value for setting, in this case minutes. Using Reset will change that number. Continuing in this manner for the hour, date, month, year and day everything was changed to reflect current time. Honestly the only thing that was different from what I expected was the reversing of the Reset and Lap buttons to make changes (from what I normally see with other electronics). Now I have the date and time right in front of me. The stopwatch and countdown timer works as you would expect them to. Start the counting by pushing Lap. Pushing Lap again will give you a stop reading while the main timer keeps counting. Pushing Reset once will stop the timer, pushing it again resets the numbers. Not too sure about the need for an alarm though as I am not planning on sleeping in her any time soon.

  6. #1726
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Measured the height of the front coilovers and compared them side-to-side. Turns out they were only a couple of mms different. That got me to thinking and after I hoisted her ass into the air I checked the recommended spring length on the installation instructions against actual. Turned out both sides were off by 5-7 mm. I made those adjustments to bring them into the correct length. All of the nuts were tight so I don't think anything moved, I must have just done them wrong the last time I messed with them. I double-checked the length of the rear springs but both were correct.

    Then it was on to the main event. I took a good look at the muffler the other day and found the driver's side was hanging lower than the passenger side, which allowed it to contact the lower diffuser. Note that NB1s have four hangers for the muffler, while NB2s only have three. The FM muffler I have only has three mounting points. I used urethane hangers thinking that would provide enough support, but with the extra piping of the dual outlet muffler the weight overcomes the lone hanger on the driver's side. I found that the piping had been resting on the 949 subframe brace I have in the rear (this is the piece I had previously relieved for some clearance). You can see the height difference here:



    After some research I found this lovely little number:



    Since I don't have access to a welder, this seemed like it would do what I needed. This is where it needed to go:



    For easier access I removed the lower diffuser. Figured I would be able to get it cleaner while it was off, and it was a good thing I did as I was carrying some extra weight around from MATG:





    After some playing with the hanger and removing the excess material, here is what I ended up with:



    Final comparison shot to see how the muffler is even side-to-side now:



    Test drive showed I am no longer rubbing on the front driver's side fender liner, and I have less vibration being transmitted into the car. I had noticed what I thought was more vibration when I first got her all back together in May, but thought maybe because it had been so long since I last drove her I had forgotten the normal level of vibration. I'm now pretty sure that was due to the exhaust sitting on the subframe brace.

  7. #1727
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Had a little break while I went for some work-related training. Last week was the eighth anniversary of my buying her, there have been a lot of changes over that time.

    While I was gone I was thinking about the unusual and intermittent issue I have been having with stumbling after the car has been running for a bit. This was showing with the AFR gauge swinging up and down. One thing I came across is the fuel pump relay tends to fail gradually and causes the sort of problem I have been seeing. Since they aren't that expensive I went ahead and ordered one so it was waiting when I got home. Went out today to install that sucker, and in the process found out what everyone was bitching about with changing it.

    First of all, it is mounted on a bracket underneath the dash (just inboard of the steering column) with four other relays. After fighting it for a bit and not being able to get the relay to come off the bracket I decided to just pull the bracket. One (hidden) 10mm nut later and with all the wire connectors removed I had it in my hand. The problem with the fuel pump relay (and only that one in this group) is the raised nub that locks into a hole in the mounting tab, seen here:



    You can't really see it but the nub is beveled to make it easier to insert, however the high part of the nub interferes with easy removal. My solution was to use a couple of jeweler's screwdrivers to lift the metal bracket enough to provide clearance for the nub to get the damn thing off:



    Once the old one is off the new one slides right on. Then it's just put the bracket back in place and get the nut on (my work experience with working blind helped a lot with that), then reconnect all the relays. It's been raining here and I have done a lot of driving lately so I'm waiting until tomorrow for a test drive to see if that will fix the problem.
    Last edited by chiefmg; 09-23-2018 at 05:15 PM.

  8. #1728
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Unfortunately the fuel pump relay didn't solve my shuddering problem. The rain finally let up and I drove her Wednesday/Thursday for some errands. It didn't seem as bad as it had been when it did occur (wishful thinking?) but it was still there.

    This morning I washed her and then went to run some errands. As I pulled out of the garage I heard an unusual noise that was kind of an intermittent ping, like something was turning on and off. Pulled back in and popped the hood, what I saw was the supercharger belt moving on and off the pulley corresponding with the noise. So shut that sucker down and drove the wife's car instead.

    When I got home I poked around and found the 'charger belt was rubbing on the power steering pump pulley along its bottom edge. Easily resolved by loosening the 'charger mounting bolts and moving it back forward where it belongs (around 1/8"). What is puzzling is that all the bolts were tight, so how did the damn thing move? Just got back from a test drive and all is well. For now at least...

  9. #1729
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Think I mentioned the driver's inner fender liner getting damaged when I had the issue with the front suspension. Since that sort of thing bothers me I ordered a new one. Got that in last week so installed it today. Here is the damage I am talking about (look about the middle of the picture):



    Notice the three holes at the top of the picture. Getting to those is the hardest part of the whole replacement unless you want to take the whole front end off.



    This is the area I am talking about where those three fasteners go:



    I am used to working by feel but know that not everyone is comfortable doing that. If you have a very small head you can get in there to see to line up the holes, otherwise you will have to remove more than I did. If that's the case do it, so you don't get frustrated or break something else.

  10. #1730
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Headed for my first car show tomorrow. I washed her yesterday with Dawn to remove the old wax, today after some errands I applied Zymol cleaner wax I have had for a while to see how it looked. Here is the result:





    She'll be in the sun tomorrow so we will see how shiny she is. Passing rain squall squashed doing that today.

    After eight years of ownership I finally got around to replacing a screw that was missing off the front of the passenger side side skirt. I could never find it on the Mazda drawings I have access to. Lo and behold while surfing eBay I found it. Was at the dealer this morning and they had some, so that is done.



    Also while surfing eBay I came across a complete intake assembly for a '99-00 (from airbox to crossover tube) that was pristine. It was apparently removed when the car was new and set aside. No idea if I will ever need it, but given the hoops I had to jump through when the 'charger ingested a bearing I thought it would be nice to have. For less than $100 shipped it's mine now.

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