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Old 04-13-2015, 09:27 AM   #341
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FrankenMiata LIVES!!



Most of the body panels are on. Now, a few "detail things" left to do and I should be road-worthy.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:01 AM   #342
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Now I'm pissed.

I had the car up on the lift last night, to tighten up all of the suspension bits, when i discovered that the right-front upper ball joint was really loose. I thought that this was just an oversight, but I soon discovered that the threads on the ball joint were screwed up. I don't remember it being that way when I put the front end together, but there it was.

So now I either have to replace the whole UCA, or try to pound out the ball joint and replace just that. I'm thinking to take the (difficult) cheaper way out and replace the ball-joint. If that turns into a fail, I'll just get a UCA from The Parts Group.

DAMMITALLTOHELL!!!
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:19 AM   #343
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So, after some research I found out there is a Moog part that allows replacement of just the ball joint - the problem is that it's meant for a NA and it about 1/8-inch shorter than the NB part.



I was expecting it to be a total PITA to replace the ball joint but (thanks to a 20-ton press) the extraction was painless and simple - and the insertion of the new ball joint was equally painless. Within 20 minutes I had the old part out and the new part in (notice the snap-ring for extra peace of mind).



The rest of the day was spent installing the roll bar



...and the top...



Unfortunately, the top was the major pain. Or, rather, the "brace" for the rain rail was the major PITA. I think that the brace got twisted when the car was in it's accident back in 2012 so that installing it into a straight chassis was a problem. Not all of the holes lined up and trying to apply enough pressure to it, to make the bolt holes line up was virtually impossible. I had to resort to a small screw-jack braced against the harness bar to apply enough pressure to get the holes to line up enough to get a nut on. That fiasco took almost 2 1/2 hours (and all of my feeble energy reserves) to complete. But it's done an over.

My to-do list now is;
- Re-do the brake line for the left-front wheel (I mangled that line trying to re-fit it around the turbo - unsuccessfully)
- New speed bleeders for the rear brakes
- Tighten the clamps on the re-route hose (found that after a water leak raised it's nasty head)
- Install the brake pads
- Clean up some interior wiring
- Install the shift lever
- Install the seats
- Install the steering wheel
- Install the tablet in the dash
- Straighten the rear bumper support (that was twisted as well - expecting a major PITA with that)
- Re-paint the wheels
- Bleed the brakes and clutch line
- Double-check everything
- New street tires (BFG comp2's)
- Triple check everything
- Go get my OBD test
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:48 AM   #344
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Progress (of a sort);

Shot of the (still un-finished) interior;


The arrows are to show (starting at the top);
  • The "ECU Stack" - stock on the top, MS on the bottom. To ease the once-annual GA emmissions-*****.
  • My gague-pod w/ EGT & boost gauges
  • Oil temp gauge in place of one eyeball vent
  • Low oil pressure idiot light (if you've read the thread, you'll know why it's here)
  • Missing, but functional eyeball vent
  • Tablet install
  • "Switch panel" with (left-right) intermittent wiper speed adjust, pushbutton start, manual fans.
  • Unfinished door panel
  • AFR500 AFR readout (gonna moe that one day)
  • NRG QR 2.5 & NRG steering wheel

It runs and drives under it's own power.

My to-do list now is;
- Re-do the brake line for the left-front wheel
- New speed bleeders for the rear brakes
- Tighten the clamps on the re-route hose (found that after a water leak raised it's nasty head)
- Install the brake pads
- Clean up some interior wiring

- Install the shift lever ****
- Install the passenger seats
- Install the steering wheel
- Install the tablet in the dash
- Straighten the rear bumper support (that was twisted as well - expecting a major PITA with that)
- Re-paint the wheels
- Bleed the brakes and clutch line
- Secure headlights & taillights
- Finish the door cards
- Secure hood & trunk
- Transfer antennae from old chassis (might just put a plug there)
- Double-check everything
- New street tires (BFG comp2's)
- Triple check everything
- Go get my OBD test
- Paint (or Plastidip)
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:54 AM   #345
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Bonus pic's;

Seat w/ belts:


Blurry shot of front caliper w/ SS flex line;


Cutting fabric for door cards;
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:08 AM   #346
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It lives!

FrankenMiata LIVES!!

Drove it home from the garage last night (midnight, to be exact)

Still a lot of details to take care of, but I have a running, driving car now (and I can STOP driving the PT Cruiser!!!!!!).
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:48 AM   #347
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Black fenders and hood, silver doors, green rear quarter, blue trunk & rear bumper. engine from a '97, head from a '99, crank from a '01...FrankenMiata indeed!
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:14 PM   #348
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OK, chased down some electrical gremlins; turn signals work, tail lights work. Changed out the break-in oil and installed the passenger seat. Gonna get the ODB check tomorrow (for the new license tags).

Next step - put in the larger injectors, re-connect the wastegate actuator and BOOOST!! (carefully, for the first 200 miles - then for real!)
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:01 AM   #349
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Went for the "Emissions Test" (actually, just an OBD check) on Sunday and failed - 2 codes; MAP sensor failure (because I didn't have the stick sensor plumbed into the IM), and VSS failure (because the airbag is gone - why this shows up as VSS failure is beyond me).

Side note: it beats me why GA is so ---- about the OBD codes. Some are important (O2 sensor failure, mis-fires, things like that), others not so much.

The MAP sensor is a quick fix, but the airbag fault takes a bit more doing. Both bags are out (driver and passenger - no lectures please), and the airbag "computer" is out too. So I've got to plug in the airbag computer (temporarily), then put in 3 ohm resistors in the connectors for the missing airbags. The problem is, with Radio Shack going belly-up, there's no easily found retail source for single resistors. So I ordered a sh*t-load of them from Amazon and they'll be here today (I hope).

After these are fixed I'll re-test.

Other things to do;
- oil pressure gauge is giving weird readings. The stock sensor has been replaced with a Bosch sensor - to get linear readings - and it has been working for years. Now need to figure out what's going on.

- small oil leak, don't know from where.

- radiator hose from the reroute interfering with IC plumbing to the TB. I think a 1/2" trim on the radiator hose will take care of that.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:23 PM   #350
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Update sine the last fail.

Replaced the airbag computer ($50 - Ebay). Put the 3 ohm resistors into jumpers at the connector right at the airbag computer - the ones at the connectors on the steering wheel, and on the passenger side didn't do jack. Now, no more blinking airbag light.

Cleaned off the connectors for the oil pressure gauge,and covered them w/ shrink-tube. Now they show "real" readings.

Trimmed the water hose - no more interference.

Fabbed up some sheet metal "shields" for the TB and the MAF connector - they could be dripped on from the openings from the Singular hood vents when it rains (everything else is pretty water-proof).

Still haven't found the oil leak - it hasn't registered on the dipstick (yet). It's probably a drop or two of oil per day. But it'll attract road dirt over time and will muck up my nice, pretty undercarriage.

Also, found a new leak at the brake line on the proportioning valve. Tightened up the fitting - will keep a CLOSE eye on that.

Now I'm on the "OBD Readiness" merry-go-round. All of the OBD codes are resolved, but the ECU says "not ready", so I don't pass. Two times now with no success. I finally dug up the Mazda drive cycle and I think to myself, "Who the hell drives like this?! No wonder I can't the damned thing to show ready." To make things worse (all GA LEO's turn away now) my registration is expired and I can't get it tagged until I pass the OBD test!

DAMMITALL, this is taking FOREVER!!

The bright side is that all of this stock ECU driving will assist with the 200 mile, second oil change interval (50 mile w/ break-in oil, 200 miles w/ dino oil, then FREEDOM to use T6 unicorn sweat).
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:44 PM   #351
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Had a "fun" weekend. Started out setting up the idle PID controls on Saturday. Got a good baseline, and was planning to do some autotuning in the afternoon. Started up the car after lunch and it was running like sh*t!

My first thought was that one of the plugs, or plug wires, or coils went kaput. But a quick drive-by to O'Reileys ('cause I didn't have a plug socket on-hand at the time) showed that I had spark. I limped home and waited for the morning.

Sunday dawned, and my game-plan was to check everything injector-related; continuity from the MS to the injector, fuel rails, injector activity. After burning all morning checking all of that (and finding nothing wrong) I finally decided to check the one thing I hadn't expected...cam timing.

Guess what...somehow, the intake side had jumped a tooth. 16 years of Miata ownership and I never had a cam jump a tooth. I guess there's a first time for everything.

Once I got that buttoned up, everything was running like a top. But it was late Sunday afternoon and I was burned out. Good thing this was a long weekend.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:10 AM   #352
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Monday: Ordered a used gauge cluster from Parts Group to deal with the P0500 issue. Decided to use the MS and do some tune refinements while I'm waiting. (BTW - closed loop idle is the ****, but you already know that) It's sooooo nice to get into the boost! Right now I'm saying, "I'll never need any more power, but we all know that's a lie.

Wednesday: Gauge cluster arrived so I pulled the stock injectors and plugged in the stock ECU. Went to start it up and...runs for 2 seconds, then shuts off. WTF! Played with the idle adjust screw but NFG. I've done this swap at least 2 times over the past two weeks with no problems, why is this happening now?! So I put the 650cc injectors back in, plugged in the MS and...no problems.

I have no idea what the hell is the problem. Maybe I screwed up the ECU by plugging it in w/o disconnecting the battery (but I've done that before with no ill effects).

Thursday: Got a "new" ECU from a local supplier (thanks Mazmart) but it's raining, so no joy.

Today: Going to re-install the stock injectors and the "new" ECU and see what gives. If that's a bust, I have some purple-top injectors from an '01 that I can put in place of the stock '99's and see what happens. After that, I'm not sure what I'll do.

This "emissions test" crap is bulls**t. I passed everything, but the ECU says "not ready" because the speed signal doesn't get to the ECU, and that makes me "illegal". But the kid in a slammed Civic with 1" ground clearance and 10* camber, and a fart can at 110dB is OK. That's a load of the purest bovine manure.

Once I get past this, I'm seriously toying with the thought of getting some ID1000's in place of the 650's. It's not that the FIC's are bad, I just want to be prepared for the day when I go for MORE POWAH!
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:39 PM   #353
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New stock ECU and purple tops went in yesterday, car started up like, "So...you were expecting something bad?", purred like a kitten.

Discovered the problem with the VSS - signal wire was shorted to ground somewhere in the dash. Pulled a new wire, soldered it in and - voila! - no more P0500. Now, just need to get the OBD checks to go "Ready" and I'm in business!!
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:44 PM   #354
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Finally legal (on Thu)!

Been re-doing the fuel tables and enjoying the boost. Life is good.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #355
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Congrats on getting the car legal.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:01 PM   #356
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Thanks. It was a PITA. But I learned a lot about re-setting OBDII Readiness Monitors, and drive cycles. Now nailing down the tuning. My to-do list is;

Tune-related:
- Resolve off-idle stumble on throttle tip-in.
- Eliminate weird lean condition under certain cruising conditions.
- Change from using "Simple" EGO Control to PID.
- Fine tune the spark map.

Mechanical/Electrical related:
- Frayed wire on the TPS connector [part ordered, should be in this week]
- Minuscule leak from oil pan (no significant oil loss, just messing up my fresh-painted pan)
- Equally minuscule leak at brake master cylinder [bent my own hard line, but ordered factory part from Mazda]
- Get a decent alignment, F & R
- New tires (the RS3's are almost EOL...RS3 V2's, RE-71R's, Rival S's, something else?)

Cosmetic:
- PAINT!!!
- Upholster the door cards
- Replace the windshield (cracked it trying to re-install the rear view mirror)

Last edited by rwyatt365; 06-08-2015 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:32 PM   #357
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To-do list update

Tune-related:
- Resolve off-idle stumble on throttle tip-in. [working on it, almost gone]
- Eliminate weird lean condition under certain cruising conditions.
- Change from using "Simple" EGO Control to PID. [in-process, PID needs some tuning]
- Fine tune the spark map. [in-process]

Mechanical/Electrical related:
- Frayed wire on the TPS connector [still waiting on the part]
- Minuscule leak from oil pan (no significant oil loss, just messing up my fresh-painted pan)
- Equally minuscule leak at brake master cylinder [picked up factory part from Mazda today, goes in tomorrow]
- Get a decent alignment, F & R
- New tires (the RS3's are almost EOL...RS3 V2's, RE-71R's, Rival S's, something else?)

Cosmetic:
- PAINT!!!
- Upholster the door cards
- Replace the windshield (cracked it trying to re-install the rear view mirror)

Last edited by rwyatt365; 06-15-2015 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:27 AM   #358
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Saturday I replaced some of the fluids (oil, coolant, trans). When I drove home the oil pressure gauge was reading ALLOFIT(!!). Since the gauge went to max when I turned the key (w/o the engine running) I figured that it was an electrical problem.

Sunday; spent several hours trying to figure out what was up with the OPG. Long story short - grounding problem with the pressure sender. It seems that the nifty new spacer between the block and the filter (where the sender is screwed into) served as an excellent insulator, so no signal path to the OPG. I ended up having to grind a flat onto the spacer, tap it, and run a ground wire from that to an oil pan bolt. Once done, that solved the "semi-working OPG mystery".

Now, I'm going to be driving every day with my detcans on, tuning my spark map.

This Sunday will be the first "outing" - a local autocross. My alignment is "eyeballed", my tires have been sitting in a garage for at least a year and I haven't participated in an autocross in over 2 years...should be interesting!
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:43 PM   #359
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Virtual dyno run from this morning;



Still have some work to do, but I'm encouraged.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:24 PM   #360
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Good steady progress. It must feel good to at least be able to finally drive the car.
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