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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/27/19 10:24 p.m.

Don’t spend too much time looking for subframe bushings. Control arms and diff are about it. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/27/19 10:57 p.m.

It was the diff bushings. That's what I meant.

 

I pulled the diff last weekend and they were trashed. So new ones will go in this weekend along with the new brake lines. It's slowly coming together since I am not traveling right now for a few weeks. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/30/19 9:21 a.m.

Finally into the new house and settled in so more time to work on the Miata. 

 

So first of all, did a refresh of the entire brake system. New pads, Rotors, brake lines and a good flush to make sure she stops on a dime. 

 

Then I got around to cleaning up the gauge situation and am in the process of adding a couple new gauges. I still need to finish up the wiring but here is how it looks: 

 

Then, did the foamectomy to the drivers seat. Didn't take any pictures but I basically cut out the hump on the bottom of the foam and that gets me just under the roll bar. So I should be track legal now without the need every time to put int the race seats. In prep for that time though, I did get the harness bar in for the roll bar and got a pair of 6 point harness. 

 

Finally, finished up the rear diff install and replaced a couple of questionable rear bushings with the Mazdaspeed bushings. I was surprised my account was still good since I haven't actively campaigned a mazda (or anything for that matter) in a decade. With the right combination of tools that was actually really easy. I expecting it to be a really hassle but I got them in pretty quickly. 

Took it to work the other day so I was able to get about 120 miles on it. Couple of quick observations. 

1. The delrin differential bushings sure calmed a lot of the vibrations that the car had. That kind of tells me how bad the factory bushings were in the car. 

2. I really like the sound that the FM turbo exhaust has. It's just right in the loudness and sound and made even an hour on the interstate not horrible. 

3. The top and roll bar are totally incompatible with one another. It rubs badly when lowering and needs really to be replaced before I rip a hole in it. I'm not sure where I want to go with this one. I have been eying up a bikini top for it and then getting a hardtop for winter. We will see. I may shop for a good used NB top too since it is an M2 HC HT roll bar. 

4. The clunk I've been chasing in the rear suspension has been narrowed down to the rear shocks. I'm going to take those apart hopefully this weekend and make sure everything is all tight and if they are then it looks like new shock time. Not sure what I'd get yet. I may make it an all Fox house. We will see. Not sure yet if I want to spend that much and may go Vmax. 

5. I actually enjoy driving this car a little bit more than Betty. There is something about a totally almost childish car with all of it's turbo noises that just feels alive under you. 

 

So what's next? 

1. I've got a new set of the extended ball joints and LE/R Tie rod ends to get installed. That will get rid of a little of the bump steer and give me all of the camber I want. Any luck, I'll get those done once I get back to town this weekend. 

2.  Time for some cleaning up of the Inter cooler pipes and updating the inter cooler. It still has the old school steel pipes on it from the original install. Time to upgrade that to silicone and add in a coolant reroute. 

3. I've got to get the wipers working a little better. They suck right now. So it'll be either a motor rebuild or a new motor I think. I'm going to clean all of the contacts here soon just to cross that off the list. 

4. Go run her hard all over Colorado. 

5. At some time, She will have some hood vents to help keep it cool and plus I just like how they look. 

 

Mike

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
4/30/19 11:12 a.m.

Looking good!  Once you get that wide band wired in you can retune the Link so it'll actually adjust the A/F ratio under boost.

I was eyeing the FM updated intercooler, seems like a much better routing arrangement.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/19 11:48 a.m.

The new IC setup is a whole lot nicer and is more efficient to boot. It's a good upgrade.

It's possible to adjust the top, that may be all you need to get your clearance. Basically, there are three big bolts on the sides behind the interior panels. Loosen those and move stuff around. The Hard Dog install instructions should have more info. The NB tops are lighter and more waterproof, but you'll need the frame off the NB at the same time. Check with SM shops.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/30/19 2:36 p.m.

Yeah. The new FM inter cooler setup is the one I've been eyeing. Keith and I chatted over email about it. 

 

For the Top, I am pretty sure it's because it's the streamline Robbins top and not the factory style. That and it's the older style streamline top which was a leaker anyways in the best of situations. I've never been a fan. I'll fiddle with it some more. It's just not folding up right and catches in the rollbar. I did find that the guide straps are on the wrong studs to I'll try fixing that later today and seeing if that is the solution. 

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/1/19 4:37 p.m.

Tried changing the strap attachment last night and no go. I think it'll be a new top for that thing. Was thinking through the options and a factory style top with the zippered window is darn close to a bikini top any ways. That may just be the route I go down. It'll be the cheapest route. Maybe I can sell off the current top and get a little bit of the cost recouped. 

 

I've signed up for an HPDE in June with it. Looking forward to some track time. I'm doing it at PPIR so if something breaks while out there, I'm a quick uber from the house. :) 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/4/19 7:26 p.m.

I forgot how much better NA's run when you regularly bounce them off the rev limiter. When I first got the car I thought the wheels were way out of balance and I needed to go get them balanced ASAP. Nope. It just needed a good old Italian tune-up. I drove her another 100 miles today top down and it was a perfect day for it. So much fun. I need to find some good canyon roads to go play at. Every time I think I found a good road it turns into dirt and nothing I want to take a dropped miata on. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/12/19 6:24 p.m.

So mechanical work has hit a pause for now till my new suspension stuff gets in. There is one piece on back order so it won't be here till the end of the month which is fine because my schedule is nuts till then anyways.

So today became spring cleaning in the Booth garage. I took some time and clayed and cut the paint and topped it off with a good wax. I see why the good Doc didn't feel like cutting the car up. It's really good paint for a 25 y/o car. The only trouble spots are typical spots for a sports car that is actually driven. 

 

I'm really enjoying the car a ton. 

 

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/15/19 7:33 p.m.

Got some good news that my new suspension will be waiting for me when I finally get home next week. Whoo hoo. So I'll have something more to do over memorial day weekend. Tie rod, ball joint, and coilover installation over my long weekend off. 

 

I went with the Xida GS as it just fit what I'm trying to do with the car perfectly. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/17/19 3:34 a.m.

I’m glad to hear the wheels were balanced okay since it had me concerned about my tire shop.  The wheels look nice with this lugnuts.  If I end up keeping my Miata I will regret that sale. 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/17/19 6:44 a.m.

Yeah, The wheels are fine. Dusty as all heck right now but perfect balance. I'm going to look for something off the wall and different for her when I stop in Japan later this year. 

It was running through years of sitting around and not getting run a lot. I think she has seen more miles in the last 3 months than the last 5 years. I ran some seaform through her and just ran her hard and so much better. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/23/19 8:30 p.m.

So....long weekend means plenty of time to get some work done. 

 

Got my new coilovers in today.

 

Nice shiny new set of the Xida's ready for install. I got the GS version. I'm really interested to compare and contrast with the fox on Betty. I know different car and suspension but should be interesting. 

 

While I'm in there, it'll be time for some extended ball joints installation and the R/LE tie rods. With this, I should be close to the have more in the car than I paid for it but to be fair the entry price was cheap.

 

Also, a little aesthetic upgrades. From Adam over at revlimiter, I got a nose badge to replace the missing mazda badge. I also got the matching horn button too for the new steering wheel coming in. They look sharp.

 

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
5/24/19 8:26 a.m.

If it makes you feel better, you can send me more money.  That way the entry price will be higher and you won't have that much into it.  LOL!

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/24/19 9:07 p.m.

Lol....ummm let me sleep on it. 

 

Good thing about having a lot of east coast customers is fridays of holiday weekends is quiet by 2 so I was able to get a lot done. 

 

 

Got 95% done in 4 hours. Just need to do a rough alignment to get it to the setup guys next week. 

 

The extended ball joints give it a lot more camber already. I'm happy with the day of work.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/27/19 5:21 p.m.

Got the final 5% done today and I'm very impressed with the initial drive. I didnt push it at all because the alignment is a strong guesstimate that at least tracks straight but didn't want any craziness without a proper setup done. 

 

It soaks up the bumps like a champ and I heard the bumps more than felt them in most cases. Betty the NC feels better and more direct than this one does but I'll see after I get it all setup if that changes. It's an interesting comparison actually. 

 

Next step is to get the modern intercooler installed and  I got a good price on a momo monte carlo for the car so that will go on as soon as the hub shows up from Japan. After those 2 things are done really the only other things on the list are probably a new top, a coolant reroute, and the up to date 2 piece down pipe.

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/1/19 5:50 p.m.

Knocked off an easy one today. The new steering wheel install. Took all of about 30 minutes but It's another thing checked off the list. Looks really good and the horn button from Adam over at rev limiter just looks great in there. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/2/19 3:44 p.m.

So just a current run down on the car specs after all of the changes:

1994 M 

63340 miles

Full FM2 with Link EMU 

Updated to the current intercooler design with the silicone pipes. 

Full FM turbo exhaust. 

AEM Water and O2 gauge

FM Butterfly Brace

FM sway bar set

Xida GS coilovers

Alpine head unit with BT connection. 

Delrin Rear Differential Mounts. 

Mazdaspeed replacement bushings in the rear. 

SS brake lines with Porterfield Ra-1 brake pads

Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel 

Revlimiter Horn button/Front Badge

Hard Dog M2 HT Roll Bar with Harness Bar

Really the only thing left is update the downpipe and decide long term what to do with the top. I'd like to also figure out a better seating situation. 25 Y/O seats are broken down. I like street driving it too much for a full race setup. I need something in the middle. 

 

Overall I'm really happy with the project and it has been a lot of fun both working on it and driving it. 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/19 11:16 a.m.

Major scope creep in 5..4..3..2..1

 

So I started to install the new intercooler setup and that lead me down a deep rabbit hole. So with the new intercooler setup, it required the turbo to be reclocked to change the outlet location. So I started that process and while in there did a deep examination of the health of the turbo. Well the shaft play was more than I would like. So, I had a choice....either live with it till it goes 100% or do something about it. Since this will be a track toy, I wanted top notch reliability so time to fix it. 

 

I wasn't a huge fan of the spool characteristics so I went with a small turbo. A GT2554r. So while I was there, again thinking reliability, I wondered why the PO had a beautiful head done up for the motor. Well curiosity killed the cat and next thing I knew there was a used head on the work bench and a new one on the car. No signs of any issues with the head but I did gain a little compression with a thinner head gasket and smaller CC head. Also, it was a really good time to do the coolant reroute so all of that went on. Temp control on a turbo car at altitude is a challenge so over the winter I'll be venting the hood too.

 

So while I was in there, I looked over the health of the AC unit. Well, the compressor worked but the entire system had been dry for who knows long. So again with the thought of track toy/weekend toy, off it all came. The bonus is the open holes in the firewall now are the perfect spot to run the wires for my gauges.

 

So next thing I started looking at was the power steering. I had the chance to take a spec Miata out at Pueblo a few weeks ago with a properly de-powered steering rack and that was a great thing. So I rang up a friend who preps them and a few days later a new rack was sitting here. Took the time to put in new bushings as well along with fabbing up some rack spacers for a bump steer correction along with the r model rod ends. 

Finally for some weight loss, the passenger airbag got dumped too. No reason to have a 25 year old bomb in the dash especially when the driver side is already gone.

 

I am also taking time to refresh all of the hoses as well. There should be no obvious failure points left when I'm done.

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/15/19 10:25 p.m.

Keep finding more dirty little secrets in this car. I found a second tap in the oil pan that was not being used. Not sure why it was there as it was on the passenger's side of the car and not the bottom of the driver's side like every other kit I've seen. There was also a capped off EGR tube which I'm sure helped emissions....not. That got taken off and cleaned it up. Finding so much dead weight in the car. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/19 10:40 a.m.

That's some serious scope creep!

The biggest problem with the little 2554 is temperature. You're also going to have to tune carefully to avoid detonation at higher engine speeds as that little turbo chokes off. I love my 2554 street car, but it wouldn't be my first choice for track work unless you're aiming at a very conservative power level of 200 rwhp or so.

Was the second oil pan tap for a temp sensor, perhaps? IIRC the Link could only run EGR if it didn't have a wideband.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/16/19 1:26 p.m.

That's exactly what I'm targeting Keith.

I'll take the trade-off of a little top end for the mid range punch. My target HP is in the 200 range at 10 PSI. If I find I don't like it, I'll just throw a new CHRA into the T3 and update it with ball bearings. I also want to keep the motor in one piece. It's already down over 100LB with me in it from when I took delivery so that will help too. 85 for the car and 15 for me. 

 

To be honest, with my schedule I'll probably only make 2-3 track days a year and if I find I'm doing more I'll either go NA and drop a K24 in it over a winter or just go all in W2W and run spec miata. Since Betty is living her new life in PA now, this will as much be my street toy as well. 

 

For the second oil pan tap.....I really don't know what it was for. It's high up in the pan and doesn't look like a oil temp port but who knows? This car has been messed with a lot over the years.  Oh and I didn't realize it had a knock sensor till I changed the motor mounts this weekend. I was like....HMMMM this isn't stock. :)

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/22/19 5:22 p.m.

And all progress has ground to a halt. I had an accident about 3 weeks ago with a rental car and managed to re-break my hand again. It's a weak spot that has broken now at least 4 times that I know of. Since it's my dominant hand any wrenching gets aggravating after any period of time.  So I just get a little bit done at a time and then have to quit. So only 30 minutes to an hour max at any time. 

 

So hopefully it heals quickly but I see this dragging into winter and little track time this year. Oh well. 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/23/19 3:43 p.m.

Get well soon.  As maddening as it is going 100% not wrenching probably equals faster healing.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/23/19 4:58 p.m.

Oh, that sucks! I hope you heal fast, and well!

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