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Old 07-28-2016, 05:52 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by 1999LFX View Post
It's been a while since posting, but I wanted to give you guys still building a little encouragement. Have done a lot of autox since the LFX swap, but finally got around to doing my first track day. Within my group, I was able to keep up with the vettes and 911s, and in the below video was running with a really nice GT40. I couldn't be happier with the setup. Driving the car has been a blast, but it's been a lot of fun talking to people that stop by after each run to check out the car after seeing it on track.

Little traffic in the first two minutes, but after that things open up and get a lot more fun:
GP010355 - YouTube
sounds to me like your exhaust note has settled in very nicely.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:16 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by 1999LFX View Post
It's been a while since posting, but I wanted to give you guys still building a little encouragement. Have done a lot of autox since the LFX swap, but finally got around to doing my first track day. Within my group, I was able to keep up with the vettes and 911s, and in the below video was running with a really nice GT40. I couldn't be happier with the setup. Driving the car has been a blast, but it's been a lot of fun talking to people that stop by after each run to check out the car after seeing it on track.

Little traffic in the first two minutes, but after that things open up and get a lot more fun:
GP010355 - YouTube
Why don't you name your Youtube videos, so they are easier to find. And I'm working on mine as a budget like building my own subframe etc.. So I need to find a wiring diagram to mount up the gas pedal etc for the body harness
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:38 AM   #183
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Did you post a budget breakdown on google docs somewhere? I dug through this thread and the one on the Atlanta forum but I can't find it. I'd love to look at it again as long as my wife doesn't see it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:35 PM   #184
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I'd love to look at it again as long as my wife doesn't see it.
yeah, them womens don't need to know everything....
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:37 PM   #185
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I kept a detail cost sheet of my first major build. My wife new how much I spent on each major thing, but when she saw the total at the end (as I was getting ready to sell it) she almost had a stroke
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:02 AM   #186
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So - about that wiring guide...

Uhm..

So we got a little busy. I originally wanted to get the wiring guide finished with the A/C working - that turned into a bit more of a debacle than I had anticipated and it still isn't done. Sneaking the hoses around the NA's framerail requires a bit more customizing than we had hoped for. And if you've ever had a project car before - you know that it isn't ever quite "DONE" done - there's long tail errors to fix.

And boy howdy did we have some.

Since we were using the E39a ECM, it doesn't have "good" alternator control. Our battery wiring is 2awg straight to the starter, then an 8awg crimped in the lug to the fuse box. The car will turn over just fine, but unless the battery is tip-top charged - it won't fire unless the ECM is getting enough juice. That led to a few issues - and us leaving it on the float charger whenever it wasn't driven. And the first breakdown on the side of the road - swapped in a battery from my other miata, no joy - took the old battery home and charged it - no joy. Eventually with a cheapy OBDII -> Bluetooth dongle and the Torque app, I noticed that we were only getting about 10 psi to the fuel rail.

Huh - that's not right.

So began the great fuel issue. When we got it back in the garage, pulled the fuel line off - and what came out was "powdery". We're using the Wix 33737 filter/regulator, but though, eh, maybe this was just a bad batch of gas.

A few days later - low on power - pulled out Torque - again, low pressure. This time it just was not behaving. I pulled the hard line from the back of the fuel rail this time - spilling gas all over hot headers on a 95 degree Georgia day. Fun times. That was enough to relieve whatever trash was in the rail and get home - where we proceeded to reroute our fuel line and incorporate an additiona 10micron filter from Summit. I also backflushed the fuel rail with a syringe and managed to pull some of the gunk out - it was white and very fine, like coffee creamer. Definitely getting past the wix filter.

With the new filter inline, everything was working much better. For about 2 weeks. Then that filter got clogged up. And the way I had designed it meant we needed crows foot wrenches to undo it from the hard line, and it still spilled fuel all over hot exhaust. Queue version 2.0 - this time far enough away from the headers to not ignite and you only need a 10mm and 2 adjustable wrenches to pull it off. Good thing too - because 2 weeks later.. yeap, again. At least the filter was catching it.

Except this time it wasn't the filter. It only died about 2 blocks from the house - so we towed it back in and - no whine from the pump. This was a brand new walbro 255lph hp from 949 and it was dead in less than a years time. Furthermore, the fuel sock was completely disintegrated. I reversed the polarity on the pump and it spat out something chunky and proceeded to run. We got some elbow-length gloves and proceeded to wipe all the gunk and crud we could from the inside the tank - it didn't look rusty, just specs of white crystals all over the tank. We tossed on a new fuel sock and called it good.







For another week. This time - new pump - it was kaput. No reverse polarity was fixing this. New sock. And once that was in, we took it down to the shop and dropped the subframe and tank and had it cleaned out. While the tank was out, we swapped the Wix 33737. I took the old filter and cut it open -



So.. Uhmm.. yeah. That's the fuel problem. Just wish that was all the problems...

The vibration problem

We had a problem with vibration - we weren't really sure if it was suspension or driveshaft or engine - or what. It started out subtle enough, but eventually it degraded enough so we could reproduce it - 2500 rpm was the worst vibration, starting about about 2000 and levelling off around 3000 - in any gear. So that mean.. ugh.. clutch. Really didn't want it to be clutch. We doublechecked everything else that wasn't clutch. I scoured CTS/Camaro forums looking for similar issues. Some people reported it and said they badgered the dealer until they fixed it, but didn't really say what the fix was.

It was the clutch. So we pulled the transmission out. Turns out - you really can't get the transmission far back enough from the bellhousing with the LFX. But being stubborn, we ended up loosening subframe bolts to get enough droop and with the right twist in the transmission - we got the transmission off.

This was waiting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceJcB8iyDcA

Out with the old and busted dual mass flywheel, in with the new Spec stage 1 single mass. We took a bathroom scale - stock flywheel, clutch, pressure plate = 48.6lbs. New stuff = 33.2lbs. And it looks nice. While we were there, we swapped out the concentric slave cylinder (more on this later).



So - we had to drop the front subframe out. While we were there - changed the wheel studs to ARP, I cleaned up some of the wire routing, new pads and rotors up front. With the clutch in - no more vibration!

But there was still a clunk. I didn't mention the clunk did I? Ah, well, there's a clunk. It seemed like it would "pop" when you went over seam in the pavement. Very hard to reproduce when you wanted to - and no amount of jiggling, prying, or pushing on suspension components while it was in the air would give us a similar sound. So - again - onto the CTS/Camaro forums and sure enough - the front differential bushing was blamed for a lot of NVH.

There are a few ways to swap the component - and even some tools you can rent to press the old one out and press a new one in. Or you can upgrade from the stock bonded-rubber-to-metal to higher-durometer polyurethane mount for $50. But I wasn't sure if this was going to work at all - so cheap was the order of the day. And I found a thread talking about the Energy Suspension 3.2125G bushing as being the right ID and OD, just a little long to fit. So for $20, we gave it a shot - cut a half inch off the poly and bushing by passing it through the bandsaw - and that clunk went away.

The ECM problem

Our dropout is from a 2013 with the E39a ecm and wiring harness from and automatic. And despite double and triple checking my wiring modifications, cutting a hole in the transmission tunnel so I could swap out the VSS sensor because there's not enough room to pull the sensor out - I just couldn't get a valid VSS signal. The E39a had some troubles controlling the alternator - supposedly - since it relies on the body control module to give it charge data - there is an override availible in HPTuners, but I was told it's a bit sketchy. So we didn't like running the E39a.

So - I went looking for another ECM on LKQ. Not that I'm particularly a big fan of LKQ - but you can at least see pictures of the car you're pulling the part from. But good god their web interface sucks - mostly client-side driven, so really hard to parse. I found a 2012 E39 ECM from a Camaro, and all was right with the world.

Except I didn't realize it then but I had made the mistake - again - of grabbing an ECM from an Automatic car. No problem - I'll just reflash it with a 2-day subscription to GM's tech service. Nope - das is verboten - stand-alone / bench flashing without the rest of the modules in the car is not allowed. Argh. The tune was working pretty well though, aside from VSS - except we started throwing bank rich codes in the LTR's. That meant that the ECM was pulling 25% of fuel and it was still running rich. My dad actually notices soot on the bumper before the code was thrown. I swapped the O2 sensors around, seeing if it was a sensor issue - nope. Then I read about "lazy" MAF sensors on the Camaro forums. Ah-HA! So we got a new sensor - and that didn't do anything. Dammit. But I realized something - the MAF cartridge measures air speed, but not volume. I realized that we had a 3.0in intake piping, but the "stock" camaro piping was 3 1/4. 1/4in doesn't sound like much - and I know someone with more knowledge of fluid dynamics will chime in - but 3.25^2 * pi = 33.2 vs 3.0^2 * pi = 28.3 - 33.2 / 28.3 = 1.17 = so there's a 17% difference in cross section. I pulled 20% authority from the MAF frequency table and the LFX really liked that.

Still unable to get VSS working I shipped it up to V8Roadsters and had them throw a tune on it to test if their stuff could get the VSS working - it came back, but something was.. funky. We own HPTuners - They use EFI Live. The car just didn't want to drive right. So I reverted my tune to something approximating "stock" and shipped it back to v8roadsters - and somewhere between - the ECM got fried (heck, it could have been shipping damage - I didn't static bag it..) Kaput. Back to the E39a, and back to LKQ. This time was much easier though - I found a VIN decoder card

https://service.gm.com/dealerworld/v...013%20r1.7.pdf

So from that, I knew I needed a 1G1FE, 1G1FF, or 1G1FG vin - a lot easier than looking at LKQ's interior pictures to see if it was a stickshift or not. Found one, ordered, and it should be on my doorstep in 2 days since it's coming from about 50 miles away. A week passes, so I call. "Oh, it's shipping out today". 2 days pass with no movement on the tracking number. "Oh, it's coming today - sorry, catching up from the holiday weekend." I told them I would call tomorrow if I didn't see movement on the tracker - and I got a new tracking number. Yay!

Except when I got the package - the ECM was from a Chevy Captiva. I found another manual Camaro ECM (this time in California) and called them back to express my displeasure. All told it took almost 3 damn weeks, but I do finally have a manual Camaro ECM in the car. And VSS works! This is important for reasons I'll get into later. The ECM isn't perfect - performance wise, it's fine - but it's throwing p0300 codes (random misfire) at light load cruise about 2000rpm. Again, looking on Camaro forums - this might be a software update issue that (argh) I might not be able to get since standalone programming ist verboten. I'm playing around with different values between the Automatic and Manual before I disable to code completely - you can't feel the car misfire, so I don't believe it's a "real" code.

So - right now I'm just working on.. the slave cylinder problem. And this one is kicking my ***.
The new clutch and flywheel feels way better than the old one ever did. The pedal engagement is every bit as good as stock. And I hate lightweight flywheels - but this one is very manageable. For about an hour or two.

With confidence growing in the LFX's driveablity and with the new clutch, fuel system, ECM all in place - my dad took it up to the north GA mountains for the Polar Bear run on new years eve. I got a call a few hours later - and trying to bleed a slave cylinder on the side of the road while it's lightly snowing sucks - especially after you get a face full of brake fluid. We ended up uhauling it back to the shop. Once it was bled - hey, no problem right? Pedal felt great.

For about 2 hours. Again. Argh.

I'm having trouble bleeding the damn air out of the system. I mean - I've done it all at this point.

We've done your typical build pressure and open the bleeder valve bleed. Harbor Freights Mightyvac knockoff that I've used for years. Gravity bleeding. We've used a veterinarian's syringe with tubing over the end and reverse bled the system, pushing fluid from the slave up to the master like some gross enema. I took the brake-assist vacuum pump, hooked it up to a battery and pickle jar and built a power bleeder. Air keeps getting into the system. (And before anyone says it - yes, the master was bench bled).

The end of the clutch line is the nifty dry-break system with an O-ring. With the system deadheaded and stepping on the pedal, we've noticed no fluid leak. We've replaced the O-ring with the closest we could find in our harbor freight kits. Tonight I stuck the old slave cylinder on the line and gave the clutch a few pumps - I'm glad I put the whole assembly in a baggie because I managed to pump the entire reservoir out.

I *think* whats happening - I watched a video while trying to see if there's some trick to bleeding a concentric slave - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YzTeyMUNjI - and noticed they install a new spacer on the transmission face to edge the slave further forwards on their aftermarket clutch. Spec didn't mention anything like this in the kit we got - but I'm wondering if the slave being able to be pressed fully forward is leaking out / letting air in. I think the failures got more prevalent after I adjusted the clutch rod so the engagement point wasn't on the floor. If anyone has any ideas - I'd love to hear em. I'm going to find something to hold the slave back tomorrow like a pipe and c-clamp and pressurize the line to see if I can spot any leaks. I really hope we don't have to drop the subframe again.

Project cars, amirte? But it's getting closer to being daily-able, and it is pretty damn quick.

Oh - and I still need to get the A/C working.

On the upside - I have the wiring harness from my 94 Miata here on the floor, along with a harness from a 2011 LS3. So maybe I'll get around to documenting that - they're pretty close to the same. >
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:40 AM   #187
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Lots of stuff happening on my build, eventually I'll throw up a thread. On the LFX front we bled the clutch and managed to make it ~60 miles to our shop, with a support vehicle behind with all the tools necessary for a roadside clutch bleed. I was thinking that somehow we were either overstroking the slave cylinder with the design of the SPEC clutch, or we had swapped in a bad slave when we installed the new clutch. I had adjusted the clutch rod right before all the badness started, so I thought overstroking was possible. I had readjusted the rod so the clutch was once again on the floor and after 60 successful miles, I thought "cool, fixed it". Next test drive made it 6 miles. Queue midnight slave cylinder bleed in a Dollar Tree parking lot. Argh.

Really wanted to avoid dropping the subframe. Ended up dropping the subframe. We're getting faster at it, only took 4 hours to disconnect all the hoses and wires and drop the engine out. Was more perplexed when the slave cylinder looked dry. Looked at the pressure plate and...


What's the spring doing at the bottom there?


Sonofabitch.

Less than a thousand miles, completely chowdered. I think this explains why it was so inconsistent - it would wedge in the cover plate, and bleeding would relieve the pressure allow the spring to escape - until it got stuck again.

Spec's warranty looks pretty crap - 120 days from purchase date. Ours broke within 3 months of install, but we didn't diagnose it in time. Lots of dissatisfied customers on other forums with springs falling out. Gonna call their support line tomorrow and see what they can do for us. Wonder if we can run the stock friction disc with the spec cover plate.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:45 AM   #188
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Not a fun problem to have. Part of my main motivation for finding a low mileage, full dropout was to avoid some of this sort of headache. While the SPEC clucth/flywheel save a ton of rotating mass, I was concerned about thing exactly like what your experiencing detracting from value of that improvement. Hopefully they'll throw you a bone given how close to the warrenty window it is.
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:50 AM   #189
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I'm not that optimistic, judging from other forums - and those forums span the breadth of cars - BMW, VW, Fiero's, Ford, Chevy - a lot of complaints about failed springs and very little "shipped me a replacement", more "sold me a discounted clutch". Lots of outs on this type of warranty repair, like improper install / break in or general hoonage - but afraid there as no driving abuse in this case. It just straight up failed. I'm wondering if we could shove the OEM disc back in if the dimensions match since the pressure plate looks mostly okay. Gonna have to take a closer look at it, depending on what Spec says.

But I'm glad the problem is identified - I spent a lot of time thinking about it and testing theories to avoid another subframe drop, and I never considered this possibility.

And the goal is to have working A/C when it comes off the lift this time, as I have begun welding aluminum. Muhahaha.
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Old 04-28-2017, 06:51 AM   #190
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I spoke with Spec while at the Mitty. He said they had had problems with the sprung disc doing exactly that and recommended going with a full face solid disc. I'd contact them and see what they say since it is a known problem
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:24 PM   #191
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I talked to them at the mitty as well, mainly spitballing hydraulic and finger height questions. Since the input shaft isn't supported by a pilot bearing it can cause quite a bit of axial load on the springs and cause them to jump out. Looking through some other photos, it's interesting that the flywheel side of the spring holders look fine.

Just got off the phone with spec - and yeah, discounted replacement non-sprung clutch was recommended - emphasized this was daily driver, non-raced, non-souped, half the weight of a camaro failure. I'm going to measure the input shaft runout on the transmission - fearing that maybe the dual mass failure tweaked it. Rockauto carries a replacement input shaft (and bearings) - so that might be a little telling.
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Old 04-29-2017, 05:48 PM   #192
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The problem with some of the "solid" disk spec clutches is that they just put spacers in place of the springs. Just dont buy them. If you want to save weight just send an auto-flex plate, some measurements and $800 to quartermaster and get a 7.5" twin disk.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:47 PM   #193
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Not really looking for a performance upgrade - I have a hatred for dual mass flywheels, which is why we stuck with stage1, didn't opt for the upgraded pressure plate.

Spent some more time scrutinizing the parts today - pressure plate looks fine, input shaft doesn't have any play via the "grab and shake" method, and no visible runout. Friction disc, other than the springs, look fine - no gouges, rivets look properly pressed.

Specs un-sprung stage 4 disc is a puck clutch. Really don't want a puck clutch - I've driven them, and while they can be streetable they are annoying in traffic This build isn't cuz racecar. We won't need the extra clamping force. OEM disc is too large to fit underneath the spec pressure plate.

Looks like I'll be pestering them for ThePass's disc. https://www.miataturbo.net/engine-pe...g-85075/page9/
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:16 PM   #194
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That is the disc they recommended when I spoke to them
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:15 PM   #195
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We must've gotten someone that hadn't read that memo. When we called in November, we laid out "daily driven, non performance", asked specifically about Pass's disc, and still got told "stage 1 should be just fine for stock driveability".
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:51 PM   #196
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Got everything buttoned back up with the new rigid organic disc in. Yeap, sold to us on discount. Once everything was retorqued and bled, we turned the ignition and met a fuel leak at an AN fitting that goes into our auxiliary fuel filter mounted on the firewall, and no amount of adding extra ugadugas to the fitting was preventing the leak. So we went to summit with Plan A and Plan B. Plan B was expensive - remake the hose with new fittings and purchase another fuel filter, which came out to ~$200. Plan A - toss in EAR-169108ERL - a conical sealing washer for AN fittings, and costs $14 for 4. Plan A worked.

I also changed some of my wiring around - going from multiple wires spliced together in a single copper lug hydraulicly crimped, into a bus bar. Next time we drop the engine I won't have to de-pin the fusebox, just disconnect the lug from the bus bar.

Impressions on the disc - overall, very positive. The rigid hub is very subtle on engagement, if you didn't know it was there you wouldn't notice it.

As an added bonus - our P0300 random misfire code has disappeared. I think what might have happened was the spring would rattle around enough to get picked up by the knock sensors.

We also switched our tranny and diff fluids from OEM GM grape lube to royal purple. Noticeable improvement in gear whine, though we still have some diff whine from 60-70. Need to add a smidge more GM friction modifier into the diff to see if that will quiet it down.

Next up - air conditioning.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:10 PM   #197
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I wanted to say thanks for documenting your swap. I've got a 2015 LFX (auto ECM), and a manual going to a FR-S and based on your issues the E39A clearly isn't the way to go. It's funny how I found my way here. I just cleaned up the wiring harness this weekend and when I didn't see a wire for the VSS I started searching,, and found your thread. My search for a E39 will start tomorrow.

I didn't catch if you modded your harness yourself or of it's from V8Roadsters. If you have any additional information on you harness mods,, I'd love to hear about them.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:02 PM   #198
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Modded the harness myself - and I still intend to do a write up on it, but it's a doozy. And I keep making minor changes here and there to it. The E39A and E39 are pin-compatible, and it's really pretty easy to repin the ECM connectors. I scavanged some of the wire that went into the auto connector, ordered a "Bosch 1 928 402 868 3 Way Connector Kit" off of ebay for the VSS connector, fused power, ground, and connected the VSS in.
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Old 07-02-2017, 05:20 PM   #199
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Not to shift your blog, but this may be the easiest place to find a bunch of guy's who have been thru the build/ info struggle. I'm beginning my 2002 NB to LFX conversion, and am trying to pin down a few of the wiring issues that I haven't seen the answer to anywhere. I'm using V8R's harness; the LFX ECU runs both cooling fans by sending a ground signal to close the relay's, and power up each fan, as needed. Trying to locate the AC, and Engine fan relay's in my car has led to multiple locations, but I think they are the two relays just behind the driver's side headlight. (see photo) However the wiring colors don't agree with what I'm finding on Mellings site. First, do I in fact have the right two relays? The forward one, AC, appears to have the color codes agree with millings, but the second has: Black/yellow, black/red, Blue/black stripe, and solid pink. Size wise, I'd guess the pink, or the blue/black wire would be for the ground signal. Correct?
Second question; with lots of different approach's for the fuel pump, will my simple plan to power it from the ignition key "on" position wire, which I will power the ECU, and a fuel pump relay work? Thanks, the handful of guy's who have posted their solutions here have been super helpful for me to understand where I'm going with this project! Tom
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:05 PM   #200
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The Mellings guide is useful, but not great - it doesn't list the harness interconnects very well and thats where a lot of wire colors change. See if you can get your hands on the factory wiring guide. In the NA, those two relays would be for the fan and the a/c clutch, with the main system fan relay being in the underhood fuse box. I don't know off the top of my head the NB.

To the second question - the fuel pump relay is already powered by the key, it needs a ground from the ECU to turn on. In theory all you have to do is ground that wire to make it work in that way - but I think that's less safe, since in a accident you can have fuel pumping. Which is why I added the inertia switch from a Ford.
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