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Thread: What did Chief do to his Mazdas today?

  1. #1711
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Today's mission was to install the RB front sway bar bushing blocks, and troubleshoot the cruise control some more. I looked at the cruise first. Figured I'd take a look at the vacuum hoses to make sure I had no issues. As it turned out I did have an issue, and a big one. I am an imbecile. PSA, a vacuum motor (what the cruise actuator is) works a lot better when it is connect to a vacuum source. Way back when I was getting frustrated with this I removed the connection to the actuator so I didn't have any leak issues. Had to make a run to Ace for a tee (I am also running this line to the boost gauge), then made the actuator connection. Just got back from a test drive, and I have cruise control again! Note the problem was down to that clutch switch I replaced. I haven't heard of anyone else having this problem, it is usually the pad on the clutch pedal missing but it makes sense. How many times is that switch cycled during a normal drive?

    While I was at Ace I looked at M8 X 1.25 bolts again. Ended up buying some that were 50mm in length. After the vacuum hose connection (but before the test drive) I hoisted her into the air and pulled the engine belly tray. Removed one of the bolts from a sway bar bushing bracket and checked it against the tap I bought the day before. It matched up so I knew I had the correct size. I then proceeded to check the tap against the new bolts. Again they were fine. Next was looking at the longer bolts I had bought previously. What I found REALLY pissed me off. Three of the bolts were the correct size/thread pitch, the other one was M8 X 1.0. Some fidiot had put it back into the wrong package. What is ironic is I had just had a conversation with an employee at the very store a few days ago about how people can't put shit back in the right place. I had checked the bolts against each other but totally missed that one was off.

    With that mystery solved I proceeded. Removed all the stock bushing bolts and chased the threads with the tap. I then ran one of the longer (60mm) bolts in to check for clearance. It was bottoming out so I decided to remove a little length. Here's a tip, if you are cutting a bolt down put a nut on first prior to removing material. Once you get the length you want file the end of the threads to put a bevel on them (I used a thread file I have) and then remove the nut. It will clean up the threads for you so you will be able to get the bolt started. I cut them down to about 55mm. Then I put everything together. I found the blocks I have weren't drilled correctly so it was tough getting them on both bolts. After some trial and error I ended up starting the bolt enough to get the locknut on and have about 5mm of thread showing, then putting the block in place. After that what worked best was to run the bolt all the way up while backing off the locknut slightly so as not to jam it up. If you do it correctly you will end up with the bolt tight and the block close to where it needs to be so you minimize the amount you have to tighten the locknuts (and trust me, you want to do this because of the tight quarters you are working in). I was thinking about putting some blue LocTite on the threads for the locknuts but couldn't really get in there. Since I was short one longer bolt I ended up using one of the new 50mm bolts in the front position on the driver's side. Thanks to interference with the lower radiator support on that side that is what I needed to do anyway. Even then it was tight, if you look at the four o'clock position from the bolt head in this picture you can see the shiny spot where the bolt head rubbed on the bracket while being tightened (couldn't get the camera to focus on that spot):



    Here is how they look, notice how they match the color of my front sway:



    When you tighten up the locknuts be sure to go back and forth, front to rear and retighten the nuts. I had to do this many times on each side to be sure they were all tight enough. This may have had something to do with how mine didn't want to slide easily over the bolts, but it's good practice in any case.
    '81 RX-7, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD.

  2. #1712
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Washed her before a trip to Cars & Coffee. Tested all modes of the cruise control successfully. Going to be a relaxing trip to MATG.

    I also found that the hose for my lumbar air bladder had gotten trapped on the seat hinge and cut. Pulled it off the pump, cut it back and put it back on. Lumbar is working again.
    Last edited by chiefmg; 07-29-2018 at 12:13 AM.

  3. #1713
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Since I have my cruise control problem fixed, I decided to reinstall the steering column switches that don't have the lettering worn off. Pulled the steering wheel to get at those. While I was at it also decided to try one of the 3.3 ohm resistors I had bought for the airbag light. Kept it simple on that this time, folded the wire on each end of the resistor twice and applied some solder. Cut a piece of heat shrink to protect from grounding and installed that (note: it's a PITA since the wire doesn't have anything supporting it. Needlenose pliers came in handy). Put the switches in place and assembled everything. I'll give it a proper test the next time I take her out.

    Touched up a couple of small paint chips that have been bothering me. One on the front mascot, the others in the gas lid bowl. Tomorrow planning on doing a clay bar and waxing.
    Last edited by chiefmg; 07-30-2018 at 09:42 AM.

  4. #1714
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: First thing this morning, washed, clay barred, washed again and dried her. Will be waxing a little later once she's completely dry (and I attend to my honey-do list).

    When I pulled her into the garage the airbag light did not flash at all. I'm going to reserve judgment on this being the final fix, but I am hopeful. If so then I will transfer the connectors over from the GS resistor to one of mine so it will stay in place better.

  5. #1715
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: I was doing some reading on M.net today and found that the crease in my soft top above each window was because I had installed the tension cables incorrectly. While I was waiting for her to dry for the waxing I figured I would take care of that. It's fairly simple to fix, you just pull the top back off the front bow also removing the front weatherseals and channels. Here is how it looks when it's wrong:



    And here is how it looks when it is correct:



    Note this was taken on the opposite side from the incorrect installation (so you aren't seeing things. Well maybe you are, but not in relation to this). I used 3/16" dia pop rivets with a grab of 3/16 to 1/4".

    This is an easy mistake to make with aftermarket cables as they are different than the factory ones, and as you can see from the initial picture the tab fits very nicely in the recess in that configuration. The proof is in the pudding though, here is how it looked when the cables were wrong (note the crease above the window):



    Here is how it looks with the cables correct:



    I expect it to smooth out over time. It is interesting that the top is now easier to latch despite the cables having more tension on them.

    I went ahead and cut the connectors off the GS airbag resistor and soldered them onto one of my 3.3 ohm resistors. That was installed then.

    Wax is on the car and I also put another coat of the RaggTop protectant on. If I don't polish the wax off tonight it will get done in the morning.

  6. #1716
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Buffed the wax off this morning. Still have some more to do today but nearly ready for MATG.




  7. #1717
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Had a blast at MATG. Made it 10 miles on the trip down before having to stop to put up the top. It stayed up for the next 2 1/2 days, rain was fairly continuous. It did dry out some Friday and was mostly dry Saturday. Coming home Sunday was good too, had some overcast sky north of Knoxville but that finally cleared up.

    She performed well the whole time. Managed to have a guy I know from another forum with MS experience take a look at my MS settings on Saturday and he did some tuning. He pulled a ton of fuel out and smoothed my VE table out a lot. She runs great now. Still some extra fuel under high boost but not as bad as it was. He also found my EGO control was not enabled which meant I was always using more fuel then I should have been (instead of using AFR feedback from the wideband the MS was only operating off the VE table settings). I went from getting 23.6 mpg on a complete freeway tank on the way down, to 25.2 on a tank combined with about 100 miles on twisty roads including the Dragon and freeway.

    On the trip home she started acting up a little. AFRs were jumping around although the engine never missed a beat. Also had the temp gauge move a little above normal. I stopped to check for any problems but nothing presented and when I got back on the freeway the gauge was where it normally is. For the AFRs I am wondering if the COPs got damaged when I had some water in the plug wells a while back, so will be changing those for a spare set I have to see what happens.

    This morning I washed her dirty ass (cabin I was staying in was down a gravel/dirt [aka mud] drive so she got really messy). Had some house work to do then crashed for a while. I just got done swapping back to the stock NB2 seats from the Recaros.

    Something I found out is that a FM butterfly brace acts as a superb road grader/scoop. Every time I ran on the driveway to the cabin I would end up scooping up some, which would then fall out around various corners. The last time I used it as I was leaving I managed to miss all the high spots (or I had just planed them all down past where it was an issue ). Got to meet a few new forum people as well as reconnecting with old friends. All in all it was a hoot.
    '81 RX-7, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD.

  8. #1718
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: A few of the 2000 SE gang at MATG. I used to think I was special until attending last year, there were quite a few of this trim.



    Overlook on Rt 28:



    Just prior to washing her after getting home (for the record, she was way dirtier while at the Gap. Gravel/dirt-mud drive to the cabin I was in):



    Today I got around to swapping over to the spare set of coils I had. Started her up and she was running on 3 cylinders. So, back to the other set. I had forgotten about one of them being bad, will probably look into getting a new set as both of the Toyota sets I have were used when I bought them.

  9. #1719
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: After washing her the other day I noticed the front of the diffuser and my PPF brace were dirty. You may recall I spoke about how dirty she got at MATG, this underneath shot is an indication of that (this was after two times rinsing off the underneath):



    This morning before C&C I jacked her in the air to take care of that. I knew there was probably still some gravel trapped in the butterfly brace so decided to dig out whatever was there. To paraphrase Colin Chapman, I added lightness:



    I don't know where in the hell that piece of wood came from. PPF brace has some scratches now too, but it's otherwise all good.

  10. #1720
    Now with pictures, but not for you! chiefmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N KY
    Miata: Since I am finally going to do an autocross I decided to put the driver's Recaro back in for that. Also figured I would install the larger JR front sway I have to see what that does for my handling. Picked those up from storage yesterday and went about putting them in today. In the process found the underneath of the car in front had a lot of mud spray (go figure). While I had the undertray off I washed it up.

    Seat went in ok, I had an extra seat belt receiver lying around so I put that on the seat to keep me from having to swap it around. Hoisted her up in the air, removed said undertray and went about pulling the sway bar. Got it out and the bigger one in with just a few hiccups. Had some issues with the bushing brackets lining up so I pulled it back out and turned it 180 degrees. Finally got the bolts in along with the braces. Checked to make sure my end links were even and the bar was level, then put the undertray back on.

    The mail lady brought my new COPs during this work. I thought I might as well suck it up and buy some brand new ones to see if that corrected some of the minor problems I have been seeing. Some research showed Denso coils available on both Rock Auto and Amazon. I ended up going with Amazon because they were a little cheaper overall with free Prime shipping. FYI, the new number for these is 673-1300. I put each one in place and marked the sides to clearance so they wouldn't contact the valve cover. Used a sanding drum on my Dremel to take care of that. The coils came with some rubber gaskets so I decided to give those a try and see if they keep the plug wells dry. Buttoned up everything and she fired right up. I also changed out the air filter for a slightly smaller one I had lying around, I was using it originally but changed it for the bigger one when I was trying to figure out what was causing my fuel dump under boost.

    After all that I can't get out for a test drive today. We are having rain of biblical proportions so that will have to wait.

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