They're actually pretty secure, I've got them screwed together and the top set are nailed only because I only needed them for this repair (I can twist them into a diamond and get them on/off with a single jack), though if one or both were to fail somehow it would just drop that wheel and perhaps have the car sit cockeye until I fix it, I've been using these mostly to assemble and torque down the front suspension. I'm paranoid about things going wrong so I made sure to test these things, though I can see where you're coming from.
I forgot to add, I installed some sill plates I got when we cut up my friends Miata, I think they look alright and protect a frequently scratched area. Here you can also see the DIYRoadster door bars and how they hug my Momo Start seat.
Reinstalled the aluminum to box in the IC/Rad. Needed some massaging to straighten up but otherwise bolted back on pretty painlessly. Tonight I spent part of the night getting the GV lip back on. Polyurethane is some rugged stuff, the accident hardly phased it at all.
I also cleaned the pistons of carbon again; a toothbrush, rags and brakleen and it came pretty clean. Rotated the crank a few times to work any carbon off the ring(s). Looks pretty good! Pardon the carbon buildup though, I was running rich for a while after reassembly last time.
Should hear back from the machinist this week and I can hopefully finally start reassembly. Gotta source a pair of the 6" fender->chassis brackets, headlight plastic covers and front splash shields+hardware. Also gotta roll these front fenders too..
Sounds like another 7-9 days after getting a 'real talk' with the machinist. I get that you're busy guy, that's why I'm not rushing you. Just wish a valve lash adjustment didn't take over 2 months to complete..
Very nice! I got the spray nozzles I ordered from Rosenthal yesterday. I had to scrape some paint down a bit in the grooves it squeezes into on the passenger side because the hole's were not quite correct (yay aftermarket!) but otherwise was painless.
In other news, my package from Planet Miata with all of the brackets I am missing arrives today instead of Monday. Headlight cowls and hood bumpers as well as both of the 6" brackets for the fender/bumper to the chassis connection which were siezed and broke off, I didn't feel like drill/tapping them because they were also bent up too.
Going to call the machinist today for a followup, hoping he doesn't delay again or I might not get to drive the car this season, we're due to move out end of October so this is cutting it close. Maybe I'll get lucky, I want to go to the track at least once this year and definitely dyno the new cams for a comparison for folks.
I got a call from the machinist, he's largely finished tipping the valves and is ready to assemble however the keepers are a little dodgy. He's finding the stems have a little play and he is very worried the valvetrain could come apart at redline so we ordered a full set of keepers from SuperTech and had them 2day shipped. With any luck, I'll have the head back in time for the weekend!
In other news, I have got most of the body work done on the front end. The fender/bumper/headlight area is out of alignment but it is what it is for now as we're moving out in October. I was hesitant to put mismatched panels on but the Montego is growing on me, I might leave them as-is.
I took a look at the squaretop manifold and decided to be productive and port/polished my squaretop a bit to get rid of the casting lines and a few lumps in the throttle body neck, you can see the comparisons in the pictures I've attached. In the future I'll get a Skunk2 TB and port match the intake to the new TB.
In the pictures, you can see I pointed out some casting marks on both sides of the neck, as well as some running the length of the inlet. There were also a pair of lumps, one for one of the TB mounting studs which I ground flush and sanded down. The other I assume is to shadow the vacuum port directly behind it. I decided not to grind it down flush but did polished it with the abrasive wheels. The selection of polishing stuff locally is dissapointing, all I could find was some sanding drums and 50/80/120/180 grit stuff and the reach was lackluster too, but it did what I wanted for now. I'll do some more porting when I have a bench to work at.
Wondering what folks think of this catch can, or a similar model with 1/2" or 5/8" size tubing? I'm thinking I'll cap the intake and tap some 1/2" or 5/8" fittings into the valve cover ports for tubes to run to the catch can and then a tube to run to the turbo inlet area, goal being to keep the crank case in vacuum and keep oil from weeping out of the engine seals.
Got bored tonight and grabbed the drill. I proceeded to step the 1/4" hole between the center baffle and the driver's side baffle breather up one size at a time gradually sizing up the hole until I felt it was closing in on the top of the cover; I ended up at 27/64 which is a pretty respectable jump from a quarter inch. It looks to have a good deal more volume to flow through it now though the baffle plate sits pretty low impeding the exit a bit. We'll see if this helps correct my seals weeping oil.
This will have to do for now though, I plan on revisiting the catch can idea next year. Probably going to copy bbundy's idea seen here at some point, sans the PCV port due to it's terrible baffles causing oil to spray out of the PCV port:
I will then consider dumping into the exhaust (unlikely), pulling into the turbo inlet tube (likely) or venting like bob (unlikely).
I dropped off the keepers and cam seals last night via the shops' mail slot. Might hear back today on a completed assembly (gasp!). We shall see. I also ordered a check valve for the PCV valve hose (insurance against pcv failure).
I'm going to run without a catch can(s) for the two ports and see how the engine responds; if I have oil in the intake I'll put a can on the PCV side. I'm not switching to the squaretop until I get a cams-only dyno anyway so some oil in the VICS intake is not a big deal. The exhaust port has never had issues with oil or residue but this drilled out VC might change that outlook drawing more air through the baffles.. We shall see!
Problems in new camshaft land! No clue here, but likely going to cost me the rest of the season in delays if it's really a problem with the cam/lifter interface...
In other news, I pained the valve cover with wrinkle paint and baked it a few times (heh), I attached a few pics showing how I taped it off. I also hit the casting lines around the edges with a Carbide bit and 50/80/120 grit sandpaper drums. Could have went finer but the paint covered it up pretty well. Make sure when you paint you check under/around any obstructions. I missed a small crevice you can't see on the pass-rear corner and there's a minor thin spot under the exhaust side breather port otherwise it turned out great!
I put 4 coats 8-9 minutes apart on in a hash pattern as directed like | then -- then \ then / each coat to almost running. I then left it in the garage for 24h to dry. It's a very slow dry so things were very soft when I checked up on it however after I baked it in the oven for 20 minutes at 200, waited 4 hours for it to cool and checked it out things were much better. I then baked it again for another 30 minutes at 225, another 4 hours to cool and one last 15 minutes at 300 (keep a close eye at this temp). FYI, the smell's not all that bad really, most of it comes during the first few bakings, having a window open helps a lot though I burned an incense and it covered a lot of it. No lingering smell, either.
Feeling stretched thin with work being busy as it is, I haven't even been able to put the head on the block yet. My plans tonight are to put the head on and clay test the clearances at Maruha's suggested centerlines which by the way, HOORAY they found the cam card for the cams buried under some boxes at the machinist shop. On them they had some suggested centerlines to use, race spec 105-110*, street 110-115* for both intake and exhaust. I'll have my break-in oil on Wednesday so I may have it running in time for MAPs Proving Grounds next weekend. Gonna be tight..
Also, may gopro the degreeing process so folks have a visual aid; something the Miata community is in need of. Thinking 110 would be a nice compromise between race and street and adjust from there.
Scurried about on Saturday picking up some 1/8" brass rod and an M3.5 tap, I tapped a 5" section of rod for an extension on my dial gauge. Worked pretty well, it sits firm but the brass threads shouldn't hurt the gauge if it's off a bit. Miata heads suck for degreeing, you can't get to the lifter around the cam, so that idea went out the window. Maruha was pretty clear I can run stock gears if I want to run their recommended settings and at 110* both cams seemed to show full open so I'll trust them on this.
I finished a mockup of the head on the block, I have to admit when I first assembled the engine I never clay tested or gauged clearances. I never imagined I'd actually get this far and that was 8 years and many many mods ago. But here I am today, so close to what I pictured when I started. So I've clay tested clearances and what I found was a little scary at first until I did some reading and calling around.
Piston to head: .035"-.04 (gauging clay is tough)
Intake to Piston clearance: .060" or higher all eight
Exhaust to piston clearance: .115" or more, all eight
Essentially, the bigger intake valves line up with the pistons relief cuts however they are not a large enough diameter to accept the valves. They were designed for stock valve sizes, are 7 years old and I'm sure Wiseco had no reason back in 2007 that they would have to worry about +1/+2 intake sizes. This might not be a show stopper however, the lowest overall clearance appears to be roughly .055-.06.
I was going off a .08 / .10 suggestion for intake/exhaust to piston clearance; however some research has lead me to believe I will be OK with a .06 PtoV clearance on intake as A; the piston is chasing the valve and B; I have (new) race springs (ST double 63# seat) to prevent valve bounce and a lower weight valve train w/ SUB which further amplifies the springs affects and C; the clearance piston-to-valve is greater than the distance piston-to-head by almost double. Re-cutting the valve pockets on the intake is a top priority once I pull the engine again (which is likely when I put the EFR on) but I have cabin fever and need some road time.
The exhaust valves fit into the relief pockets perfectly and that clearance of .115 should be a safe value. I can play with timing either way on the exhaust, I can only retard the intake which consequently will increase the piston-valve clearance. I might end up going this route, the overlap is powerful with these cams stock:
Intake Duration: 264
Exhaust Duration: 264
Lobe Separation Angle: 110
IVO is 22.0° BTDC ( - indicates ATDC)
IVC is 62.0° ABDC
EVO is 62.0° BBDC
EVC is 22.0° ATDC ( - indicates BTDC)
Overlap is 44°
I'll just leave this here for future reference;
ADVANCING / RETARDING CAM TIMING
Begins Intake Event Sooner Delays Intake Event Closes Intake
Open Intake Valve Sooner Keeps Intake Valve Open Later
Builds More Low-End Torque Builds More High-End Power
Decrease Piston-Intake Valve Clearance Increase Piston-Intake Valve Clearance
Increase Piston-Exhaust Valve Clearance Decrease Piston-Exhaust Valve Clearance
For those that didn't know, the Purolator L14619 oil filter fits the factory oil cooler, is substantially larger and has more interior surface area than the stock sized L14612. The rubber seal just barely (fully) contacts the water cooler/heater but in 2500 miles I didn't have a leak. I'll run it again after break-in, I'll use the factory 14612 until break-in is complete since I only got 4qt of oil. More filter is more better though, anything that might prolong the life of the engine.
The project progresses! Tonight I installed the fuel injectors, intake and harmonic balancer. Going to put the exhaust manifold and reroute neck on, then it's just a matter of putting the engine back into the car, hopefully tomorrow night.
Well! I've gotten the front end all buttoned up and cleaned the valve cover gasket area, it's all ready to seal up but I'm going to pour oil over the cams before I put the VC on tonight. Attached is what it'll end up looking like. I've also hit the clutch/flywheel and pressure plate with a dual action sander running 80grit. Took ~7 sheets but I got both sets ready to go, with minimal loss of material on the clutch (just needed scuffing on the glaze).
Whats left to do?! Well lets see, tonight I will install the reroute thermostat block, clutch and flywheel. Going to try to stick the engine in the car tonight if I can, the goal is to have it running tomorrow. Here's hoping!
Edit; the oil cooler sandwitch plate wont go on until breakin is complete, I'll do that after I change the oil.
Engine's in the car after some shenanigans with missing hardware, luckily ACE was open late so I got the studs I needed. Coolant's filled, the fuel is hooked up and all electrical connections are ready to go. Going to fire it up this afternoon, excited! Still need a windshield and driver's window though.
Thanks! Car sounds MEAN too with the new cams, I'm really digging the exhaust beat.
I did a filter dissection to verify proper breakin, just filter media and oil so I filled another with oil to prime it and slapped it on, I'll run the break in fluid for the first few hundred miles. I also finally put the car on the ground as well and have an appointment for Tuesday for the wndshield to get replaced but I'm going to sneak a ride around the block to seat the suspension so I can torque down the endlinks.
Not sure what to do about the airbags, the steering wheel I can slap a spare on to cover it up for now, but the passenger tore open a big hole hmmm.