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Old 09-03-2014, 01:36 AM   #41
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Oh boy. This is all copy-pasted from my post in our OMO-MRLS-Caravan group, so please disregard cellphone typo's

As some know, I discovered a broken water pump a few weeks ago. The part that broke was the upper alternator/ tensioner mount, which happens to be a threaded hole on an ear of the cast aluminum water pump. I picked up a Gates water pump from Midwest Miata Parts and tore the entire front of my engine apart 2 weeks ago some night after work and changed the water pump. This also led me to finding some keyway damage on the crankshaft similar to a "short nose" 1.6 issue. I fixed this with Darren's help and tried to put as much mileage on the car before we left as I could. I think I got two tanks of gas through it. It was running great but It was apparently not enough.

We left Columbus as expected, car was great(as great as no air conditioning or cruise control can be on 2-300 mile freeway stretches) all the way to St Louis. In STL we pulled off the freeway to go drive under the arch and as soon as my car idled down off the freeway the accessory belt started squealing. I didn't think anything of it. I had just done a full timing belt/water pump replacement a week earlier and must have gotten tons of oil and grime all over that belt and pulleys. After we left town we stopped to refuel. This was the first time in 4 or 5 hours that I had turned the engine off, as I left it idling at the previous truck stop bathroom break. Chris popped his hood to check his oil. That's when I popped mine to check as well. I immediately noticed my alternator was sitting a little crooked and the belt alignment was obviously off.
It was not until we stopped for the night that I told the group I might have some adjustments to make in the morning. I still didn't know what was actually wrong. We all actually had a good laugh about it in the Waffle House parking lot before we checked in. Super loud annoying belt squeal while we cruised around on surface streets was the only hint I got. It was dead silent on the freeway and honestly was running great.
The next morning I unpacked my trunk(which is only slightly easier than unpacking Joe Podelco's) and got my toolkit out. My simple fix was to loosen the alternator tensioner, remove the belt, clean it and reinstall. Easy peasy. Shouldn't have taken me more than 10 minutes.

As soon as I put the ratchet on the bolt head and applied a smidge of torque, I saw the worst case scenario. The whole alternator and bracket ALL moved left half an inch, taking a chunk of the water pump with it. Needless to say it did not go back in the same spot
I knew I was done right then and there. I drove on the last broken water pump longer than I'd like to admit because I could never find the issue. But this break is way worse and allowed the alternator to drop vertically. I may or may not be able to "make it" to Laguna, but no way would I risk running the track day. And then the 2300 miles home.
So I let it sit all night after tightening the belt a few turns.
Once the others woke up and got back from breakfast we went our separate ways. They kept heading out 44 west, and I eastward.
I drove behind semis and hypermiled a 308 mile tank out of my 1.9, standalone ecu pig. I couldn't apply more than 3/4 throttle or the belt would squeal like crazy. It was slipping badly enough that it would not charge both of the accessories I had plugged in at the same time. I don't have a radio in the car so I was using a Bluetooth JBL speaker and had a two port USB adapter in the cig lighter. I did most of the 12 hour drive from Springfield Missouri to New Albany Ohio in silence.
Tomorrow I hop on a plane to Vegas. I'll stay with a couple good friends for a day before driving a rental car out to Laguna for Friday and Saturdays festivities. I'll drive back to Vegas on Sunday and meet my wife who already had this Vegas trip booked for while I was in Cali and we'll go see the Grand Canyon on Monday since I missed that stop on the OMO Caravan.

This failure mode is actually quite a bit worse than the one i found a few weeks back. This time it broke a much larger chunk off and actually slipped downward vertically, totally ******* with the belt alignment.




TL DR:
Car broke. Limped it home ~700 miles From nearly Tulsa, Oklahoma to New Albany, Ohio in 12 hours, by myself, with no AC, cruise, or radio because the alternator would only actively charge one thing at a time plugged into the cig lighter. Flying to Vegas tomorrow, driving to MRLS friday.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:06 AM   #42
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Awwwww man! That certainly sucks. In for knowledge. It'll be interesting to see the post-mortum as I'm not familiar with this particular failure mode. My condolences for not making it with the Miata, but I'm sure there will be plenty of folks willing to give you a ride. Just don't forget to pack you're helmet!
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:14 AM   #43
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yeah huge bummer man.
I've never seen one come apart like that, not to mention twice.

is the engine solid mounted? only thing I can think of that would crack the ear off like that is massive vibration.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:13 AM   #44
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Doward and I might be working out an agreement to use my car for his track reservation. I wanted to get a track time but was woefully late in registering.

So when I drive up I'll ride shotgun if it ends up working for him and he does decide to use it for the sessions.

It'd be a blast to see how an experienced driver handles my car on a track and how the car itself does on the track. I just hope that if it works out the car can handle the sessions ok. I'll definitely have the laptop open running logs to make sure there isn't any alarm bells going off.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:21 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
yeah huge bummer man.
I've never seen one come apart like that, not to mention twice.

is the engine solid mounted? only thing I can think of that would crack the ear off like that is massive vibration.
That was Trackspeed's first idea too. Mazdacomp engine mounts, but old school MMR solid delrin diff mounts. But I've had those for years and years now. I think the issue is a series of events tracing back since I swapped to the Superdamper. I did not apply Loctite or use a new bolt when installing the damper and it came loose enough to damage the crank keyway. I think while it was loose it shifted and started tugging the accessory belt and broke that first water pump and more importantly might either bent the lower mounting pin or wallowed out the holes the lower pin goes through. That could be allowing the alternator to flap around a bit even after fixing the crank and pulley.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #46
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Wow, talk about bad luck. Hope things work out to allow you some seat time
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:02 AM   #47
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I wanted to type up a big blog style post, and I will, but this photo sums it up so well.
Borrowed an Ohio club friend's '04 MSM w/rollbar and rivals. Tried on the Blackbird Fabworx trunk and got lucky enough for a photo.



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Old 09-13-2014, 01:31 AM   #48
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Godddddd I hate that I missed the corkscrew. The slope of that thing is unreal when taken from that angle.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:04 PM   #49
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Just wait til you're diving into it from the top, Jeff!

Great photos.
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #50
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very cool.

moar pics plz
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:11 AM   #51
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From here on out, I dub thee "The what I actually did [email protected] thread"

Left central Ohio on Sunday around ~2pm.


Drove until dark.


Went through St Louis, saw the arch. We actually exited the freeway to go park by the arch for a photo, but there was a baseball game and downtown was packed. We got called a "gay parade" and drove over some super shitty roads. I think these bumps are what/when my water pump actually broke.
We never did end up stopping, we just got back on the freeway and kept driving.


Parked at the hotel on the west side of Springfield, Missouri:


This is where **** got cray. The next morning is when I attempted to clean my accessory belt thinking I must have slathered it in grease and grime 2 weeks before hand when I replaced the water pump and such.


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Old 09-15-2014, 01:31 AM   #52
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So after breakfast on that Monday, Labor Day, I started back east while the group went west with the goal of Albuquerque.
~750 miles home, solo, in holiday traffic through STL, Indy and Columbus. Check out that epic carbotech dust:


My wife helped me find as cheap a flight as possible that morning. Cheap meant flying out of Cincinnati instead of Columbus. We live ~15 minutes from Cbus, and 2.5 hours from Cincy. Cheap also meant roundtrip instead of two one ways. My wife's plan for while I was gone was to go see our friends in Vegas who are getting married next year. So she was scheduled to be there Thursday-Tuesday. I flew from Cbus to Vegas on Wednesday, stayed with them that night and drove to Monterrey Thursday. I ended up driving back to Vegas the Sunday of MRLS. For triple the cost, I could have flown into Monterey and out of Vegas and saved a day of travel.




Good food in Vegas. Japanese curry:

PreRunners everywhere:

Landscape shot:


Driving from Vegas to Monterey:



BTW, I kind of want a hybrid to replace my Passat wagon(that I dont ever drive), so I reserved a Prius online with Hertz as a sort of extended test drive. Turns out I only reserved a "hybrid sedan-seating for 5" so I ended up with a Ford C-Max instead.


More landscape shots. I love it out there so there will lots of these to come:


Almost to Boron/Buttonwillow I think?:




Coming down some sort of Sierra Nevada **** towards Bakersfield, California. During this descent, I put the car in neutral and coasted for like 8 miles on the tripmeter. C-Max got 37.8mpg on this Vegas-Monterey trip.
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Last edited by doward; 09-15-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:39 AM   #53
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Bakersfield meant civilization, a fuel stop, and rush hour traffic. So I hopped off and grabbed dinner:


Leaving Bakersfield, I thought there was a drought or something?


Back up into some rollers, not sure if still Sierra Nevada or Pacific Coastal at this point.


Racing the sun to the west coast:


OMG BEAUTIFUL:


OMG MOAR BEAUTIFUL:


I was making good time, so i skipped the 101 and went for the coast, Cambria.


Caught my first glimpse of the Pacific, EVER, after climbing some hill in a random rich neighborhood that had a "coastal access" sign off the highway 46 or 44 or whatever road i was on. Bonus Prius sighting.


Wow....


This **** was FREEZING and i'm an Ohio kid who does "polar bear plunges" in the winter.


From there on out I didnt take any pictures until the next day, but I drove HWY 1 up from Cambria to Monterey at sunset. 112 miles of Amazing pretty much all to myself that time of night.
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Last edited by doward; 09-15-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:56 AM   #54
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Woke up on eastern time, so I went for a jog on the beach, Monterey Bay beach.


Met JeffBucc at the breakfast spot:



Had breakfast with E02k, JeffBucc, 18psi, Turbofan, and a few others. Then we kinda got split up. I went to meet my Ohio friends and KINOD at the home depot parking lot to await our designated Wolf Hill group entrance time.
Thats where I spotted a wild Type R.


Max's montego blue widebody/fastback that I love:


Driving from home depot up to Laguna Seca:


Top of the hill access road at LS:






Turn 9 from Wolf Hill. 9 is amazing. Better than Corkscrew to me.


Cars at the hill:





This happened:



Back to the hotel after free bbq dinner and ND drive by. I was able to walk up and get a suite the day of, at the "sold out" host hotel, on the 11th floor, with an ocean view.



KINOD hotel party that night. Really bad idea the night before a trackday.... But Embassy Suites does a free happy hour so....





Next day Miatas at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca happened. I didn't take any pics because **** you, you weren't there.
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Last edited by doward; 09-15-2014 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:08 AM   #55
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Sunday I drove back to Vegas. Saw more desert and more prerunners and this sweet truggy.


Stopped in Baker, California for some Alien Jerky and Del Taco.


Thats when I caught up to "hurricane Norbert?" This storm was bizarre. I have never experienced anything like it. The winds blew a bunch of dust up in the air, then rain started falling through that dust. There was literally mud falling on my windshield, MUD, from the SKY!



Got to Vegas, spent time with friends and Wifey. Took wifey to Hoover Dam on Monday while friends were at work.



Saw some cycle bros:


Worked more on my tan:


Flew to Cincy Tuesday night, landed at 11:38pm eastern time, drove 2.5hrs to Columbus. Laid down in bed around 3am, woke up for work at 6:45am...
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:50 AM   #56
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Nice photo set!

Minor nitpick -- Monterrey with two "R"s is in Mexico, the one in California is Monterey.

--Ian
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