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Old 05-28-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default Just Another F20C build... <Preview>

My F20C build is scheduled to start at the end of June. It'll mostly be done by a local race prep shop, with a little help from me when I have time.
I picked up the engine, 'box, manifold, ECU and loom last week. Today, I took the car to the prep shop and we got down to a bit of serious measuring.
My aim has always been to put an F20C in the car without moving the steering rack, and today, we figured out a way to do it. It won't be easy, but it will be the most ideal solution from a performance point of view...

Anyway, here's a few (rubbish) photos from today. They're all cropped to hell, in a very noobish fashion, to make sure they creep in under the 1200 pixel width. Also, I'll get hold of a better camera when the build starts to avoid an orgy of internet photo-flaming by you lot But for now, deal with it
Attached Thumbnails
Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda1.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda2.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda3.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda4.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda5.jpg  

Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda7.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda8.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda9.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda10.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda11.jpg  

Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda12.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda13.jpg  
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
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It starts tomorrow. I'm unbelievably ridiculously excited. So updates and photos will follow shortly.
After seeing so many people on here say "do it once, and do it properly", that's exactly what I'm going to try and do. I've worked like a nutter for a year, and I'll be doing everything I want to do to this car over the next two months. Bushes, dampers, half cage, tyres, 'adding lightness', carbon buckets w/6 point harnesses.... and an F20c engine and 'box moved back 8", through the firewall, with the driving position being shifted back 6".
Did I mention I'm excited?!
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:25 PM   #3
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Looks like this will be a proper build that will kick ***. Good luck and good job so far.

Much better pics needed but you're definitely on the right track to a winning build thread
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:37 PM   #4
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Thank you
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenwilliams View Post
and an F20c engine and 'box moved back 8", through the firewall, with the driving position being shifted back 6".
Did I mention I'm excited?!
I guess that is how you are going to make it work without modding the steering rack...
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:16 PM   #6
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Yes. That's what is required to clear the rack. The engine to gearstick length (you know what I mean!) is 2" shorter on the F20c, hence only moving the seat, pedals and wheel back 6". I'm only 5"6, so the seat can be simply bolted back where it needs to be with no further modification.
It'll be interesting to see what it does to the weight distribution. The F20c engine is lighter and the gearbox heavier, which shifts it back even more. Once we've messed around with battery location etc, I think we'll be able to get it pretty damn close to 50:50.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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Car is now off the road for a couple of months, and I have a very ropey 200k mile Audi A3 to drive around in. It's comfy, it handles in a hilariously uninvolving way, and that's probably the last I'll mention of this Audi unless I crash it, which is semi-likely.

The Mazda's dash is coming out on Monday in order to start the electrical work. Things will happen reasonably quickly now, which means half decent photos will also, at last, start to appear this week as stuff gets under way.
Also... John Barker from Evo Magazine (UK car mag) had a poke around my car today, and a poke around this project in general, and he likes it a lot. I've read Evo mag for over a decade, so this has kinda made my day

Edit - Below is a photo of my car in a workshop. Exciting, huh. The other photo is of a custom dash for a very old Bentley (the racing green one next to the Caterham in the first post photos) that will cost the owner almost as much as the labour for my entire project. No joke
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Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda-qprep2.jpg   Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda-qprep1.jpg  

Last edited by owenwilliams; 07-09-2011 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:13 AM   #8
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So, so in for this. I love that you're going the extra mile to keep the weight centered in the chassis. Bravo, sir.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #9
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Great looking build you've got going.

Is it being built by the same people who recently finished rebuilding JB's Capri?
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Yes it is. Did you used to own a red Begi'd mk.1 btw? Circa 250hp? That was the first turbo mx5 I drove. I'd still love to know what the spec of the brakes were, 'cos they felt great.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenwilliams View Post
Yes it is. Did you used to own a red Begi'd mk.1 btw? Circa 250hp? That was the first turbo mx5 I drove. I'd still love to know what the spec of the brakes were, 'cos they felt great.
Not me, I've never owned a Red one. I currently have a FM/homebrew Rs-ltd.

Last edited by Buck65; 07-10-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:33 PM   #12
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Ah sorry. I'm getting confused with GrahamC, who's also on mx5nutz.com like yourself.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #13
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THERE'S A ******* HOLE IN MY CAR.



Where the engine used to be.


The engine came out the car today. After more measuring, Quent (boss of shop) and co have come to the conclusion that the gearstick will be coming back 4 inches, not 6, assuming a half inch gap between the steering rack and the front of the engine. Cutting right into the bulkhead is still going ahead as planned.
The car was corner weighted with pressure gauges before anything started. The front:rear distribution was 52.5 : 47.5. Which puts us bang on course for achieving a 50:50 weight distribution as a handy bonus as a result of moving the engine back to avoid moving the rack. Did someone say 'two birds with one stone' ?
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Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda-no-fucking-engine.jpg  
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:00 PM   #14
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Any miata colour experts out there? I need to decide quite soon what colour to paint the engine bay. I was going to go with just plain old black, then red, then...... maybe the body colour. Problem is, I don't know what the body colour is called.
As a 1995 R Limited Eunos, it 'should' be Montego Blue. But it's not. Montego blue is a blue/green, and this is a blue/purple. The overspray on the inside of the doors looks basically purple.
After much Mazda Miata colour internet geekery, I've narrowed the colour down to one of the following: Stormy Blue, Strato Blue, or Twilight Blue. Either way it's strange, because according to everything I've ever read, Mazda didn't do a blue/purple NA.
So, any suggestions as to what the hell this colour is?!
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:13 PM   #15
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No idea on the color but I am definitely in for updates...
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #16
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Another hole appeared in my car today. This time, the hole is where part of the bulkhead and all of the dash used to be.

So, the dash is out. Unsurprising news on the instrument binnacle - the dials are attached to a PCB. This probably means that I won't be able to simply take out the existing tacho and insert an 80mm Stack 0-4krpm, 4-10.5krpm tach as I had planned. Instead, I now have a FANTASTIC EXCUSE TO BUY MOAR STACK GAUGES. Likely candidates are Stack 80mm tach as mentioned, 80mm speedo, Stack Pro oil pressure, Stack Pro oil temp, Stack Pro water temp, and Stack fuel level gauge.

Other news - We need to work out what to do with the heater matrix. It's obviously right behind the bulkhead. In terms of whether the engine will fit behind the rack and come through the bulkhead and still clear the matrix, it's "very tight" at the moment, apparently. I had a good look at it after work today, and I see no reason why said heater matrix can't be moved backwards maybe 20mm, perhaps fractionally out of the dash. The guy there when I turned up was someone who wasn't working on my car, and he wasn't sure of how much clearance needs to be found. I'll find out tomorrow. I don't think it'll take long to find a decent solution.

Further news - I forgot to take my proper camera, so here is a single phone photo. If you close one eye, then squint pretty hard with your remaining eye, the photo quality looks excellent.
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Just Another F20C build... &lt;Preview&gt;-mazda-sans-dash.jpg  
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:59 PM   #17
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Very cool solution to the steering rack issue. Will be watching this build closely. The car will effectively be a mid engine miata, very cool. Interested to see how you handle the exhaust.

One bit of advice, take tons of pics, once you have done that take a bunch more. You can never have to many photos when documenting a build.

IMO one shot of the heater is not enough. You need several pics to allow us to see what is happening.

Keep us posted
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #18
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I love hybrid cars and this one will for shore be a good one. I am in for updates as the come.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:17 PM   #19
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Thanks. I'm aware that you and everyone else have moved the steering rack, so I need to choose my words carefully here - in my opinion, moving the steering rack is an extremely sub-optimal solution. If I had to move the steering rack - which would certainly corrupt the steering in some way, no matter how you went about 'fixing' the geometry - I would not put this engine in the car.
Quent is taking LOADS of proper photos documenting the build as they work on the car. I need to arrange getting them off him as we go, 'cos at the moment, we're on course for me taking a few crap photos, then the build finishing, then about a hundred decent but out-of-date photos getting uploaded. So I hear you on the photo thing.

We've looked at the exhaust in great detail. I have some ideas, and Quent has some ideas. I've been researching back-to-back dyno plots and owner research on the Naturally Aspirated section of the s2ki.com forum. Those Honda guys get very, very into their details, and spend serious time, effort and money conducting research on their engines, which I like. Long story short, the result of me reading up on this F20C engine is that this car will be running no cat, I'll be retaining the standard manifold (header), the exhaust pipe diameter will flair smoothly from the manifold donut gasket up to 70mm, I'll run a single silencer (no resonator), and I will, of course, be running the exhaust the neatest way I can out the back of the car. Or, possibly, dumping it under the car. A side exit looks tricky at the moment. Also, trackdays generally have around a 100db drive-by noise limit, so that's also a consideration. Although I'm tempted to not be held back by that and just do what's best for the performance of the engine without deafening myself, and deal with the trackday noise limit situation when it arises.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:51 PM   #20
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LOL, no polite way to say I think your solution sucks.
But, I'm okay with that. Looks like I need to throw my track tire and brakes on and take a proper video of the car on track. Here are the facts of how this car works, steering is light and predictable, no rub of tie rod to wheel, stable under braking. The best solution? No, but I personally wouldn't go the route you are going either. Also, I had the engine cranny combo bolted in the car in one weekend.

I am in no way offended that you don't like my solution, but you can' t argue my results.
Build pics showing all progress please.
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