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Old 12-30-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default cwall's build thread

I have been trolling on the site for a while getting information when I need it but havent really done much posting. I have got to say, there is a TON of information on this site and it has been very helpful and a wealth of knowledge. I would have been lost a few times without a little guidance from here. Seems like every problem I have had at some point someone else has had the exact problem at some point or another.

For this project that I have going I am building a turbo '90. I have been working on it now off and on for the past 6 months or so; I work on it when I can. I really do enjoy working on these cars and it has been a learning experience so far to say the least. The car needed a rebuild from bumper to bumper and it was torn down to the bare chasis as one point. It is not perfect by any means but I has been trying to do things the right way.

I took a lot of time and upgraded the suspension. It has 01 sport brakes, FM sways, RB sway bar, mid, and rear braces, rear upper strut brace, revalved Bilsteins w/ swift springs, NB tops, and sleeves, Boss Frog Roll bar and door bars.

I did a rebuild on a motor. Had the block honed and checked at a machine shop and the head assembled there. Did some porting and polishing on the head. Other engine components I upgraded were a bigger radiator, LC-1, COPS, 460 cc injectors, and a MS. For the turbo, I was given a new ebay t3/t4 t04e with manifold. It is a little on the big side but it is something to get me started for now.

Few more things left and I can fire it up soon hopefully. But anyway, here are a few pictures of how the project looks so far. Just keep in mind that I'm only 20 and this is my first real rebuild. This is by no means a show car and its a work in progress. I will add some pictures as I do more work.
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Last edited by cwall424; 01-02-2012 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
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Nice build you got going there. No worries about show carness, we're the function over form forum.

What wheels are they? I only worry because of weight. Also, if you have any money left in the build budget, you might want to spring for a coolant reroute. Costs about $140 to buy brand new, and there are a few cheaper options.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:04 AM   #3
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Thanks! I am definitely a function person. The wheels are Rota slipstreams, about 12 lbs, fairly light. I have been looking into the coolant reroute, seems straight forward and something that I will definitely be doing at some point in the near future. Probably an upgrade this spring when I get back from school.

Just been very anxious sitting on this freshly rebuilt motor and havent been able to get the chance to get it to run yet! Gotta run the oil lines, new o2 sensor, bolt down the turbo, and fill it with fluids and it should be ready to go though.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:58 AM   #4
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Some pictures the exhaust side ports. Didn't snap any pictures of the intake side. Little bit of guidance, bunch of sanding bits, and a few nights in the garage. The first 3 pictures show before it was touched, during the process, and afterwards. First time doing anything like this. Took a while to get the hang of it but it was a learning experience. Just have to be careful and be patient is most of it. It isn't great but I was pleased with the way it came out.

Few other pictures included of the motor being assembled. Pretty standard assembly. Didn't do anything cool like upgraded rods or pistons. Just some new stockers. Put in a slightly lightened flywheel though. Took off about 3 pounds or so on a lathe. Probably won't make a difference, but still. Has an ACT clutch in it as well.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:08 AM   #5
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Nice build. Looks very, very clean. I'm in the beginning stages of a complete rebuild myself (blew up last motor) so hopefully I'll be where you're at in a few months. I've been debating trying some DIY porting since I have a spare head to practice on. Any good prep/reading material you used?


With such a short list of things left to do before you can start it up...why are you posting? Get to it!
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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Thanks! Doing head work was definitely the most enjoyable. I didn't do much research on it beforehand, but my father has done port work on about 20-30 motors so he pointed me in the right direction. Here is a thread I found though that shows some of the same work that I did.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/for...d/27115/page1/

As far as prep work, only things I did were clean up the head with some brake clean, cover the sides of the head where the manifolds sit with black sharpie, lay down the intake/exhaust gaskets and scribe lines where the gaskets lay to gasket match the ports. After that I just went at it with 80/120/400 grit sandpaper bits.

Best advice with the porting that gathered was just everywhere that there are sharp edges or rough transitions, make it smooth. Along all the walls of the ports you can run your fingers inside and feel casting marks, I removed those edges as well as smoothing other parts, like in the bottom side of the 90 degree turn area on the exhaust ports. Doesn't seem like it is an exact science, more of a feel. If you have a spare head go for it, I was in the same boat when I decided to do this work.

I am just waiting on some parts, ran into a snag with the oil lines, used a cheap brass fitting that snapped off inside the block flush. Luckily an easy-out did the trick. Now doing the smart thing and getting the right fittings.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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Whoa. That's some legit head work, nice job.

Power goals?
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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Whoa. That's some legit head work, nice job.

Power goals?
Thanks! I am only looking for about 190-200 hp to start out with. Figure that will keep me entertained enough....for now.

But I guess it more depends more on how well it gets tuned
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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For the rx7 lsd rear end install on this I ended up using the entire rear dif with housing out of the rx7, which meant that it presented its on problems: the snout on it was about 6-8 inches longer and the mount for it is on the opposite side as that of miata. To solve this I was able to use a custom driveshaft that was shorter and a custom bracket that looped around the rear end and attached to the PPF. The PPF was shortened by about 6 inches or so for clearance. Here are a few pictures of that install. The bracket that I used is made out of 3/8 steel plate and is reinforced very well. Not sure if I have seen something like this before but I will let you know how it feels for vibrations once it gets running. The driveshaft angle and tail angle were a little more than that of stock but within reason. It is a little tough to tell from the pictures how it attaches but it is a very simple design. The bracket mates to the stock mount points of the rx7 rear and attaches to the top and bottom lips of the PPF. Wish I had taken a few pictures of it when it wasn't on the car now that I think of it...
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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Nice looking build. Quite impressed with the head porting, looks great.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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Nice to see another CT miata. I am in Rocky Hill.

Good luck, let me know if you ever need a hand.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:24 PM   #12
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Nice looking build. Quite impressed with the head porting, looks great.
Thanks! any guess as to what kind of hp gains a decent porting job has? I know it increases flow and better flow helps facilitate the needed air for more hp, but does it make as big of a difference when you are forcing the air in under pressure as opposed to naturally aspirated? It was my own formulation of thought, and I could be way off here, that since the air is being forced in through the intake ports that the intake ports weren't as important to smooth and focus on as the exhaust ports. Since the exhaust gases don't have as much pressure being forced out as the intake gases have going in to the combustion chamber. Again, I could be way off here and more of a rambling thought I guess...thoughts and guesses gathered I suppose during the numerous hours of grinding


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Nice to see another CT miata. I am in Rocky Hill.

Good luck, let me know if you ever need a hand.
Well I am from Waterbury, not too far! Thanks for the offer
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:29 PM   #13
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Swift spring crew signing in.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #14
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Swift spring crew signing in.
How stiff of a setup did you go with? and what else do you have to go along with them?
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:00 AM   #15
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Like it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:20 AM   #16
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Did you really put stock rods back in that motor?
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:49 PM   #17
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Did you really put stock rods back in that motor?
Yup, but I'm building another motor this summer and I plan to put in Wiseco's and Carillo's. Didn't have the extra grand for the rods I actually wanted.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:02 PM   #18
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Another fellow CT member on board I see.

Looking good!
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:17 PM   #19
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Yup, but I'm building another motor this summer and I plan to put in Wiseco's and Carillo's. Didn't have the extra grand for the rods I actually wanted.
Save the money and get Supertech pistons and Eagle rods. It'll only be another $800 then.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #20
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Save the money and get Supertech pistons and Eagle rods. It'll only be another $800 then.
Agreed. No sense in dropping over a grand on rods and then another 500 on pistons.

You can get quality H-beams w/ ARP hardware for just over 300.

Also, what are you doing for a wastegate?
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