Ok, so I began tearing down my motor to see what caused it to blow, and what blew.
To do a proper motor teardown you need:
3/8 socket wrench
6pt socket set
12pt socket set
strong, thin flat head screw driver
rubber gloves (makes cleaning up soooo much easier)
zip lock bags
sharp, thin knife
straws (best ones are from McDonalds because they are thick)
-Remove one part at a time.
-Always label a bag before you start removing the bolts that hold it on.
-Put each bolt into the bag as you take the off, try not to make a pile of bolts and then put them into a bag. Eventually you will get sloppy and have a pile of bolts.
-Once a part is removed and you have the bag of bolts filled, close the bag and put it into the plastic bin. It is best to keep all you "eggs in one basket". This will help you not lose and bolts, which is a great feeling when the time comes for reassembly. There is nothing worse than tracking down a bolt at the last minute.
-If you are working inside your house because you live in an apt that has no garage you can buy a clear painter's tarp at walmart and tape it to the floor. Oil and dirt wipe up off of it very easily, and you won't have a dirty floor when you are finished tearing it down.
I will skip steps like a) switching socket sizes, b) labeling bags and putting them away.
For the most part this is a simple affair. There is not real wrong way or order to do this, but there are some things that you want to keep for your rebuild that a first timer might throw away without knowing better.
1) Remove the bolts from the rear main seal.
2) Mount the motor onto the engine stand. Use the top 2 bolt holes and the lower 2 holes on the BLOCK. The oil pan on the miata is a structural piece in that it bares weight. You will see that the transmission bolts to it as well as the block. Don't make the mistake of bolting the engine stand to the pan because it will just waste time when it comes to take off the pan.
3) Remove the accessory brackets like the alternator, ps, and ac brackets.
4) Remove the 3 bolts that hold the water pump pulley, and put it aside
5) Now you can easily remove the timing belt covers. They have 2 bolts each that hold them on. One was behind the water pump pulley, that is why you removed it (also because you will be getting a new pump).
6) Remove the bolts that hold the timing belt tensioner and the other bearing. Keep the bolts but toss the bearings. Even if they are in good shape you should get new ones.
8) Remove the 4 bolts that hold on the water pump. Throw the pump away.
9) Next, take off the valve cover and put it aside.
10) You are now going to remove the head. You want to remove the head bolts in the proper pattern, in 3 separate steps. Each time you go through the pattern you will release just a little more torque. If you don't do this you will surely warp your head. Then again, if you do it your head still might be warped
. The pattern I have always followed on 4 cyl heads is:
1 5 10 8 4
3 7 9 6 2
hopefully that lines up. 1, 2, 3, and 4 are are all the bolts at the corners of the motor. The numbers are...in order of how you should remove them, IN 3 STEPS.
11) Now you have the head off and you can remove the head gasket. If you plan to do any headwork such as deshrouding the valves you should keep the headgasket to use as a template. Otherwise just throw it away.
12) Remove the bolts on the front of the motor that hold on the oil pump. Turn the motor over on the stand so that the oil pan is facing upward. Remove the 2 bolts at the front of the motor on the oil pan that are bolted into the oil pump. Those are all the bolts holding it on.
13) Remove the remaining bolts holding on the oil pan.
14) This part is a little tricky. The oil pan, windage tray, and block are sandwiched together very tightly. You need to take a sharp knife and cut away the excess sealant on one side of the block where they all meet. You should now be able to look closely and see the windage tray between the two. You want to insert your knife in between the windage tray and the oil pan. Once you get the knife through, turn it sideways very easily. Do this down the length until it starts separating more easily, and then do it down the other side. You should now be able to remove the oil pan.
15) Remove the 3 bolts holding down the oil pickup tube, 2 on the oil pump, and 1 on the windage tray.
16) Remove the windage tray and pickup.
17) All you should have remaining right now on the stand are a block, pistons/rods, and a crank shaft.
18) You are going to remove the rods and pistons together. With the engine will upside down, turn the crank so that pistons 2 and 3 are at bottom dead center. Take great care during the next steps to not scare the journals, or the cylinder walls with the rod bolts.
19) Remove the nuts on the end of a rod, do not put them in a bag. Take both of your thumbs and push down evenly with medium pressure on the rod bolts. The rod and piston will separate from the rod cap, and move up into the bore toward the top of the motor. Remove the cap with the bearing still in it and set it aside. If the bearing sticks to the journal, remove it and put it back into the cap. Continue pushing down on the bolts with your thumbs until you hear a "click". The first ring (compression ring) just went out the top of the motor. Put the straws onto the rod bolts, they are there to prevent the bolts from scratching the cylinder walls. Now put one hand under the motor and grab the protruding piston. Push with one hand and pull with the other to remove the piston.
20) You will notice on the rod and rod cap that one side has a scratch across the cap and rod, and the other side does not. This is there to show you which side matches to which side. Put the cap back on the rod and hand tighten the nuts onto it. Set the piston and rod aside.
21) Repeat step 16-18 on the next rod. Once you have those 2 rods removed, rotate the crank 180 deg and repeat the steps again on those 2 rods.
22) Remove the main caps, in the same order and step as you did the head. Put the caps in order out of the way. You want each main cap to go exactly to the spot from which it came. Keep the bearings in the caps just as you did for the rods.
23) Lift out the crank shaft. Set it aside on a flat surface where it won't get knocked over. Stand it up so that the nose is facing toward the sky. Setting a crank on its side can warp it over time. Standing it up will prevent that because the counterweights keep it straight.
There you go, you have bunch of **** all over the place and you have no idea what to do with it
. The next step is to look at your parts to see what caused the damage that lead you to tear down the motor in the first place. Perhaps you are only building it to make it stronger, or perhaps you are building it stronger because you broke it first. If you can find what broke and deduce why it happened, you might save a headache in the future.
In my case I broke the ring lands on 3 out of 4 pistons. On 2 of them I broke both ring lands. My cylinder walls have a lot of vertical scaring. This shows that the pistons expanded into the walls and made contact. What caused it was too much timing in boost causing too high egt's.
I am taking my block to the machine shop in the next week. When I get it back I will be doing a thread on building it showing what measurements to take, how to take them, and the right tools to take them with.
EDIT: I added some pics. I have some pics that help show the last couple steps, I'll add them in a bit.