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Rodan UltraDork
6/10/24 1:29 p.m.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized the KPower guy couldn't have been right...  the CPS is in the front cavity where the timing chains run and is not sealed off.

Here's the inside of the timing cover:

You can see the CPS sensor is in the main area behind the cover, and will have oil exposure...

Unless I'm missing something.... ???

Rodan UltraDork
6/17/24 5:17 p.m.

More to come later, but I did manage to get a lap from High Plains uploaded to YT...



Rodan UltraDork
6/21/24 5:07 p.m.

High Plains was only the first stop for this trip...  

We left HPR on Sunday and pulled over Loveland Pass on I70 to the KOA campground in Silt, CO, where we spent the next few days.  No racing here, just a few days off between weekends.  We drove the E36 to Glenwood Springs for breakfast at the Honey Butter Diner, and then on up into Aspen and up to Independence Pass.

The E36 continues to be a great cruiser, and even made 30mpg up and down the mountain.

Rodan UltraDork
6/21/24 5:17 p.m.

On Wednesday, we made the short hop into Grand Junction for Flyin' Miata's Summer Camp 2024, and got set up in the paddock at Grand Junction Motor Speedway.

We'd had some issues with the transfer switch in the RV not switching to generator with the generator running.  Without power from the generator, we couldn't run the A/Cs if we didn't have hookups, and we needed to because it was HOT.  I called a mobile RV guy, who came out to diagnose the problem and see if we could get the part while we were there.  He showed up, and of course, when I started the generator, it switched over and was providing power.  So, for a fee of $225, I got a dianosis of "I dunno"....  Fortunately, it worked for the remainder of the trip, so now I need to try to figure out what's going on.

Anyway, we were set up, and early Thursday I got the cars unloaded for the track day.

The pits were full, as usual...


After HPR, I had spent some time while we were in Silt re-looming part of the wiring harness.  I separated the crank position sensor wiring from the VVT and oil pressure wiring that it was previously loomed with and ran it through a silicone hose for a little extra insulation.  My theory at that point was there was some EM interference distorting the signal.  All that was done, and I thought we were ready to go.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/24 5:25 p.m.

That last sentence is ominous.

Of course, I know how this turned out...

That E36 Touring is a lovely thing.

Rodan UltraDork
6/21/24 5:31 p.m.

We were ready, but the car wasn't interested...

I managed to get one clean lap in the first session, but there was no grip and it was slow.  The CPS signal was cutting out regularly.... and my wife didn't even complete her session, though I did get a pic of her on track.

I continued to fight the problem for the rest of the day, even to the point of running the wiring directly from the CPS to the ECU, bypassing the harness and firewall connector.  And it had no effect on the problem.  We were done for the day, and the next as well, as I'd exhausted the potential fixes that I had access to tools/parts for.  It was a real bummer.

The upside was that I got to spend the following day talking to folks, looking at cars and taking some pictures, something I'm usually too busy with driving the car to do.  And there were a lot of nice cars there! Photo dump...

Turbo K


Another K (he was K swapped last year, but added aero and a few other mods)


Rotrex supercharged BP (whose day ended worse than mine, but he was driving it the next day...)

That's not dust...


Beautiful custom NA w/ VVT swap



Rodan UltraDork
6/21/24 5:33 p.m.

Did I mention it was HOT!?

The dog was a little irritated that she had to wear her shoes to go outside on the hot asphalt...

Rodan UltraDork
6/21/24 5:42 p.m.

So the track wrapped up Friday, and Saturday was the open house at FM.

It was a great time, as usual and we got to talk to many old and new friends, including the great staff at FM.  On Sunday we drove over Grand Mesa in the E36, a bit ahead of the Miata group from FM.  There were over 60 cars, and I figured that it would be a little unwieldy, so we scooted out early.  We made several stops and never saw the group, so I'm guessing it was slow going!

We were tired, the dog was tired, so we rested for a day and pulled out for home on Tuesday.

Back over Loveland Pass we went on I70.  The rig pulled the grades, but it sure wasn't any kind of speed demon...

Even with 11 liters of Cummins, pulling 54,000lbs up and over 10,000 ft is hard work.  I just geared down to stay in an efficient rpm/boost range, and geared down again on the downhill side so I could maintain a reasonable speed on the exhaust brake.  I was amazed how many folks went flying by on the downhill with a pickup pulling a big 5th wheel... pretty sure there was no way they were getting stopped if they needed to.

We took our time and rolled into home yesterday.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/24 6:09 p.m.

The group drive wasn't all that slow, but it made an ill-advised detour through Palisade to pick up one car that hadn't fueled up beforehand. The start was also delayed as cars kept on coming in. Final count was 60-80, depending on if you counted the Canadian group that also left early and when you stopped counting :) 

It was good seeing you.

Rodan UltraDork
6/21/24 7:05 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Glad to hear it went well... groups that big can be tough to manage!

Great to see you and all the FM folks as well.  Bummed that we missed Bill and Teri at the dinner on Saturday, though.

docwyte UltimaDork
6/22/24 12:18 p.m.

In reply to Rodan :

That's just a little bit slower than I usually go on the passes around here, lol!

Rodan UltraDork
7/4/24 5:25 p.m.

Happy 4th of July!

Over the last couple of weeks, I've mostly been attending to little things around the house, or with the various projects... catching up after 3 weeks on the road.

Now that the Miata is 'mostly finished', the Capri has moved into the prime spot in the shop for some long needed attention.  


I did get out for a ride on the Interceptor last weekend.  Looking West toward the Huachuca mountains and Miller peak.

Looking South... that mountain (Sierra San Jose) is in Mexico, and if you look carefully, you can see a dark horizontal line - that's the border.

Looking into Lavender Pit at the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee

Rodan UltraDork
7/4/24 5:36 p.m.

Of course, I've also been continuing to try to figure out the CPS signal issue with the NA.  The diagnostic process had reached the point of diminishing returns, and I was about at the point of shipping the ECU off for an examination.  The problem had always felt more 'physical', i.e. loose connection than EM/RFI interference, and had degraded over time, so I started thinking in those terms.  I woke up at 3am one morning and the IACV (idle control valve) popped into my head.

When I first had the car on the dyno, the aftermarket IACV (should have bought OEM Honda) had melted down (literally smoked itself).  We disconnected it, and the tuner worked around it.  The connector was slightly melted, but showed no continuity between the contacts, so I zip tied it out of the way and we forged on.  The car idles fine without it, so I completely forgot about it.  The important thing is that the IACV was supplied 12V on the same circuit as the CPS and Cam sensors.  It never occurred to me it might be the problem while we were at the track, but I decided to go back and check it again.

Once again, I couldn't get continuity between the contacts, but I cut it out of the harness anyway, and... problem GONE.  No more cutouts, car ran fine.  I took it out and ran it through the gears several times without any issues.  Here's the connector in question:

Even on the bench, I couldn't get any continuity, but something must have been happening dynamically with the car running... because removing it seems to have fixed the issue.  I don't have an explanation, but I do wish I had thought of it while we were at the track, because it literally took less than 5 minutes to remove the connector and tidy up the wiring....

We have a local AutoX coming up in a couple of weeks, and I'm going to sign up and see if the car will make it through the day without problems.

TurnerX19 UberDork
7/4/24 6:10 p.m.

The culpret here is the carbon black pigment in the plastic, combined with probably heat. It would be an interesting experiment to hook it to high sensitivity ohm meter and warm it.

Rodan UltraDork
7/12/24 10:55 a.m.

Since the Capri has been on the lift, the Miata went up on stands for its pre-event inspection...


My BIL has decided to fly out later in the summer to ride his bike back to Wisconsin.  He asked me to do an oil change and have a good look over his bike.  I wanted a good baseline for mine as well, so both Interceptors got oil changes.


Also, some parts came in for the Touring.  The stock suspension is getting a little tired, and I've been looking at options for replacement.  I would have preferred to replace with OEM, but the OEM M-Sport Touring stuff is mostly NLA even in Europe.  After a bunch of research, I settled on H&R OEM Sport springs and Koni Yellow shocks.  This should be about as close as I can get to OEM M-Sport.

I still have a bunch of small parts to order for the suspension swap, and I'm debating doing the bushings (which will make it a much bigger job), so I probably won't get to it until later in the Summer.

Rodan UltraDork
7/12/24 11:06 a.m.

In other news, my RV carport finally arrived...  kind of a big investment, but keeping our RV out of the destructive AZ sun is a big deal.

The crew was supposed to arrive on Wednesday, but finally showed up at 10am on Thursday.  They spent about 45 minutes unloading steel, then took an hour and a half lunch.... indecision

Apparently, we don't make anything anymore...

It's not uncommon for workers to be Spanish speaking here in AZ.  Usually, at least one of any given crew speaks enough English to communicate.  Not this crew.   Getting through the necessary conversations about the construction was a little difficult.  Once they got rolling, they got the bones up by the end of the day.

They are supposed to finish today...

Rodan UltraDork
7/13/24 12:06 p.m.

The RV Port is finished.  I'm hoping the workers didn't half-ass anything, because they went after dark on last night (Friday) getting it finished.  They certainly did a crap job cleaning up...  I spent about two hours this morning cleaning up sheet metal screws, cigarette butts, fast food trash, water bottles and raking gravel to fix all the divots they left with their ladders and other activities.

Everything on the structure looks good from what I can see, but I don't have any experience with these.


I loaded up the NA for the AutoX tomorrow, and parked the truck and trailer under it for today.

Doesn't quite fit, but I didn't expect it to... that's not the designated mission.  I'm going to wait to move the RV and stacker in until the county inspector signs off on the building.

Rodan UltraDork
7/16/24 3:57 p.m.

NA update...

Ran the NA at the local AutoX yesterday.  Good news is the crank trigger issue seems to be fixed. 

Also turned in a respectable performance at the AutoX, considering it's not really my thing.  Surface was concrete, slippery and pretty challenging.  One corner in particular had a seam before the apex, and diminished grip after transitioning past the seam requiring a lowered entry speed to prevent big understeer mid corner.  I ran in the first group, and all the fastest times were set by the second group, after the dust was blown off and there was some rubber on the surface.  I managed the fastest run in my group, and 9th overall out of 27.  Ended up 1.5 seconds off FTD (CAM-S C5 'Vette).  I was entered in SSM and was 3 seconds faster than the only other SSM car (Rotrex supercharged NB2 on 275 Hoosiers).  

Pretty happy with how things went, but definitely reinforced why I don't do AutoX on any regular basis:  8 hour day for 6 minutes of seat time.

docwyte UltimaDork
7/17/24 10:00 a.m.

Yeah, as much fun as the seat time of Auto-X is, I can't wrap my head around spending all day (and then some) for maybe 5-6 minutes of seat time.  I did it back in the day because I couldn't afford to risk my car on track and it was much cheaper than a track day.  Now I'd rather spend the money and get hours of track time instead of a scant few minutes.

Rodan UltraDork
7/19/24 2:31 p.m.

RV carport was signed off by the county "inspector" yesterday.  Not that he 'inspected' anything.  Took one look at the structure from 30 feet away, and started working on his iPad.  Wasn't out of his car for more than a couple minutes.  If you're going to make me spend $$$ on a permit, you could at least act like you take it seriously....

Anyway, I'm just glad it's done, and I got the stacker and RV moved in this morning.  Just getting them out of the AZ sun will add years to their lives.  I can even squeeze my truck in if I offset from the stacker's tongue a bit.  The orientation is spot on for the sun's movement to keep everything completely shaded through the day.  The back might get a little sun in the winter, under the half wall, but that's nowhere near as intense as the summer sun.



Shavarsh Dork
7/19/24 5:15 p.m.

Nice job finding the crank trigger issue! 

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