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Mudflap's race to empty pockets

 
Old 01-28-2018, 12:13 PM
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Default Mudflap's race to empty pockets

Figure I'd finally get around to posting my build. Hopefully I'll be able to get inspiration and advice from some of you gurus.

Step 1. Buy an '04 MSM knowing absolutely nothing about these cars.
Step 2. One month later have a mechanic tell me that I have rod knock. Many $'s later I get it back on the road and have a blast with it.
Step 3. MS3PRO - tune it and spend the next couple of months enthralled with how fun and frustrating this thing is (the megasquirt).
Step 4. Push the little MSM turbo to 11psi. Getting 220 lb/ft and 200 hp (dyno'd, corrected for 5500ft). Not bad. But not terribly interesting.
Step 5. Buy 2560 and FM kit to install it all. Now I'm getting somewhere. Feels more like 230-240hp.
Step 6. Take it to the track. High Plains Raceway. Start spewing oil out every orifice.

Question #1. This engine ran fine at 8psi and 11psi. But at 15psi I'm seeing tons of blow-by. I've got oil showing up in the BOV, bottom of intercooler, EBC, inside the wastegate actuator. I put in a catch can and filled it halfway in about 30minutes of driving. QUESTION: Is this indicative on blow-by only? Could there be another source of the leaking? I pulled the motor and I've got the head off and everything looks great. I did a leakdown test and was at like 40-50%. ugh.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:30 PM
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So I bought a very blue VVT from a guy on here. He had done a lot of work on it - so I figured I could just drop it in. Wrong. Why do I always take the most circuitous route to get to my destination? I ended up just taking his engine totally apart. Along the way I discovered worn bearings and scuffed and worn pistons.

So here is what I've done to the VVT:

Block apart. Cleaned. Decked. Bored to 84mm.
Head apart. Cleaned. Surfaced. Valves ground, valve seats ground.
ACL main and rod bearings
Manley Rod little end bushing replaced and resized (too much play)
Supertech 9:1 pistons (84mm)
Crank ground down 0.5mm
Rotating assembly balanced will be with new ATI damper and level2 FM clutch

Next up:
Port and Polish the head
Port match the intake to the head
TSE EFR 6758?

Question #2: I want to go 3" on the exhaust. What is the current thinking on who to help with that?

Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Mudflap; 01-28-2018 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:11 PM
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Long overdue update and sob story.

Purchased:
TSE EFR 6758
Artech 3" exhaust
ATI Damper
Level2 FM clutch

Engine is totally stripped down and repainted the same powder blue color as the manifold and valve cover. I've got my wiseco pistons rings gapped to around .0185 on my 9:1 supertechs (84mm). Rod and piston assemblies are perfect and ready to go. (Note: I replaced my Supertech rings with the wiseco.)

Next, off to measure the crank main diameters and check the gap.. install 0.02" oversize ACL race bearings, torque standard main caps down to 65ft/lbs. OK. Now measure the gap using some plastigage. It measured 4mils. WTF? So I measure the bore gauge of the mains and it is nearer to 5mils. On a gap that is supposed to be 0.8-1.4mils. HOLY ****.

The bottom end had been line honed by my shop. The crank was ground down to a very precise 1.9467" across all 5 mains. The bearings are the oversized (0.02") race ACL bearings. The bearing hole size is 1.952". That's a .0055" gap! So the only thing that could have done this is that they over honed the mains in the block.

Can't make the mains hole smaller, right? Or can't make a crank larger in diameter..

So far the shop has had the block for 2 weeks and I've called twice with the same "we can't get to it just yet". Let's just say I'm concerned. Anyone have any advice for the 'attitude' I should have when speaking with them?
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:48 PM
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Well it looks like I'm on the every 6 months plan for documenting this. It is up and running.

Long story short:
1. Never trust engine shops unless you get good references from other Miata people. I ditched the block I was working on b/c the shop overbored it and messed up the decking. So I took my spare and re-built it. Good. Done.
2. The downpipe from TSE required a lot more big fvking hammer work than I expected (around the firewall). Also, the TSE manifold needed the areas around the bolts to be remachined flush.
3. AN fittings are damned expensive. Also, don't waste your money on Chinese crap. Just buy the good stuff from Jegs or whomever and win.

Now I'm breaking her in and adjusting this and that. Lots of work ahead to get all the various sensors and VVT and VICS working. Then I'll shut the valve on the wastegate and let 'er rip. or maybe 'let her R.I.P.'


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Old 09-24-2018, 05:06 PM
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This makes me nervous since I am about ready to take my block to be machined...and I don't know anyone who can give me recommendation...
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:28 PM
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dude sounds like youve been through it, glad to hear the new motor is up and going. I use the same machine shop every time I build a motor because I know he does legit work. Its tough to find a shop you can trust thats for sure.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:15 PM
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That is a grand total of 4 shops that I went to. The last shop was a reference from the local Miata Spec guys.

It was a nightmare. What I learned is not everyone is capable of doing everything. And you really should only trust the shops who are willing to say "we don't know how to do that." It's the shops who claim to know EVERYTHING and able to do EVERYTHING that you have to be wary of..
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mudflap View Post

2. The downpipe from TSE required a lot more big fvking hammer work than I expected (around the firewall).
Or get the downpipe modified. You aren't the first, or the second, and possibly not the third. Tony Montana, Joker, someone else I'm trying to recall...
It's a beautiful and expensive pipe.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:28 PM
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Boo! On the way home tonight the clutch was grabbing and caused me to stall out a bunch. Then I couldn't actually get it into gear. Then it started making an awful clanking noise....

Tow truck home. Frowny face.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:22 PM
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:31 PM
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Well need some advice...

I landed here because I couldn't get it into gear. I was fiddling with my clutch adjustment (in and out to try and get tranny to submit) and ended with this. First off, the tranny a 6-speed from a JDM engine buy a friend did. He never used it and so it is an unknown.

Clutch: Level2 FM clutch

Symptoms:
1. Trouble getting into gear. Had to try several times to push in the clutch (hard) to finally get it into gear.
2. Adjusted the clutch rod (careful not to go too far and block the clutch reservoir per FM instructions). Now can get into gear. But really doesn't like going into reverse.
3. Final straw was in traffic, couldn't get it into gear. Reached down and turned the clutch rod a few more times to make sure I could get the clutch depressed fully.
4. Could get into gear, but I could tell the clutch wasn't letting go, it kept killing the engine at very slow speed (<3mph).
5. Could not restart the engine in gear (with clutch depressed), had to start it in neutral, then try and get in into gear (jam it in) and would then immediately die because again the clutch wasn't letting go.
6. Try one more time.
4. Clankety clankety clankety as the clutch throwout bearing destroyed itself.

I didn't know you could do that... guess I found out the hard way.

Anyone have this experience or know what I did wrong? Is it always this difficult to set the clutch 'throw'? I feel fairly certain that if I just replace the bearing and put it back together - I'll be right back in the garage with a pile of thrust bearing parts.

Last edited by Mudflap; 09-26-2018 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:13 AM
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The 6speed was possibly damaged internally and no amount of clutch disengagement would help. The throw out bearing was pushed through the pressure plate fingers by your last adjustment.

My 6speed was hard to shift and would actually try to pull the car forward in neutral. Someone posted a YouTube link of the same problem I was having and it was a separation of the 4th gear assembly which is pressed together. Under load they are "un-pressed" and separate causing a constant sideload and dragging internally. I think it's a couple of pages back in my build thread.

Check out the trans and see if the input shaft spins like butter or peanut butter. The output shaft should not move at all if in neutral and turning by hand.

Alternatively, something else may be damaged inside due to being treated roughly during disassembly or shipping. They may have dropped the nose or the tail on the ground, possibly damaging the input or output assembly.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:34 PM
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Good suggestion Six. I believe my best bet is to put in a known tranny (my older one) and keep that variable out of the equation.

I checked the crank play last night. I'm a little concerned that my excess pressure wore out the crank thrust bearings. I'm at .009-.010 now. Which is a little suspect because I believe it was at .008. I know that spec (limit) is at .012, but I'm still nervous about it.

Now that I think about it. The behavior of not starting with the clutch in makes sense. The throwout bearing was destroyed so I wasn't able to depress the clutch. But it would start with it out of gear (neutral).
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:18 PM
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I've been semi-following your build thread and it sounds like you got the transmission issues worked out? I saw you posting in Ted's compound boost build thread and didn't want to derail his thread so I'm deciding to post in here, but I read that you mentioned you were planning to go get some tuning done at the Boost Creep. I'd like to know how that turns out as I may be looking for a tuner and I'm keeping my options open.

Essentially I didn't see them mention much about Megasquirt on their website and just wondering how proficient they are at it. The other only "local" shop that mentions anything about Megasquirt is Mofab LLC (formerly MAC Autosports) down in Parker and I'm not sure if I'd like to drive that far South.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:44 PM
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HmoobDude

Boost creep is great. You pay for what you get ($$). He was up and running fairly quickly with my megasquirt (tunerstudio) and was able to get a good idle and then on to the mapping. He's expensive because of his experience level and equipment (great dyno setup).
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:52 PM
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I'm fvcking terrible at updating this thread.

Update! I got the quick fix on the clutch explosion. When I bought the clutch no one mentioned the (required) beefier clutch release bearing. So one easy purchase and I'm up and running.

I've been running and tuning for the past couple of months. Running it on break in oil.

And now, this. I checked my oil last night and it has metal in it. Engine has to come out. I don't have a very good explanation, and this is hokey, but when I swapped out the break in oil for Rotella T6 5W-40, it made strange noises. Suddenly the valve train was more of a racket and there was a whooshing sound that kind of sounded like highly pressurized fluid against the valve cover. I was super meticulous with my measurements and clearances, so I'm at a loss.

I'm so bummed out. I just basically abandoned all other people, family (wife and kids) and activities in order to chase this dream and now I have to go back, head down, and dig in again.

There are no shortcuts. Unless you have money. Lots of it.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mudflap View Post
HmoobDude

Boost creep is great. You pay for what you get ($$). He was up and running fairly quickly with my megasquirt (tunerstudio) and was able to get a good idle and then on to the mapping. He's expensive because of his experience level and equipment (great dyno setup).
How's his availability? Did you have to schedule far in advance? What areas did he effectively tune aside from AFR and ignition (i.e: CL idle, AE, EAE, A/C)? Did he have the car for a few days or was the turn around pretty quick?

Louisville's pretty local to me as well, so maybe I should find some time to come check your Miata out.
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Old 12-24-2018, 03:40 PM
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The ups and downs of building an advanced build with ZERO experience. I'm basically just a new parent with all the associated and unfounded concerns. There is nothing wrong with the tiny amount of metal I found, the second oil filter I used was clean as a whistle. I sent the 1000mile oil sample to Blackstone for analysis. But likely, I just need to take a chill pill.
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