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Old 06-23-2014, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default My intro

Pushing 50 yrs old, have a '99 NB with 140k miles on it. Bought it for the kids but love driving it when they're not. May have to get one later if I ever give up 2 wheels.

Mech engineer by day, decent (if slow) mechanic other than troubleshooting electronic stuff, which I hate. Good thing my son is getting a EE degree. I'll make sure he's good with a wrench if he can just tell me which piece of black magic in the electrical system needs replacing.

Ride and race motorcycles for my hobby. Enjoy sailing, when I can sail on someone else's boat, rented or just slum along. Going crazy trying to get this NB running again after blowing coolant out and overheating. Following that, replaced head gasket, surfaced head, new timing belt and water pump along with all the gaskets, hoses, and belts. Now having ignition (I think) problems. Trying to perform due diligence searching before posting, but patience getting thin.

Hope I'm okay here as I'm not a huge modification and big power guy. Just heard from a former endurance racing buddy who has moved from bikes to a Miata with the Corvette engine in it that this is the place with serious expertise, so keeping my fingers crossed that y'all will answer questions from a mere stock engine troubleshooting vagrant.

Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:31 PM   #2
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Racing motorcycles at age 50? I don't want pics of them but maybe just audio of your brass ***** clanking together when you walk.

This forum is full of MEs, EEs, NEs, and various other disciplines (or the undisciplined), so you'll fit right in. Post pics of bikes, cars, track photos, etc.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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Default trial pic... not a Miata

Double down and try to post a pic???
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:35 PM   #4
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That's pretty damn cool. I am impressed. Even if you were the slowest guy out there, I'd be impressed, haha. I track my car in a racing seat with a harness, fire suit, and a rollbar and still feel insecure sometimes.

Maybe some of the other guys will check in soon.

BTW, we have a big motorcycle thread on this forum also.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #5
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Always nice to have mech engineers on the site. Welcome.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:53 PM   #6
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Welcome.

Post some pictures of your engine bay. Occasionally we can spot a misplaced wiring connector.

Timing is the biggest concern though, it's easy to get wrong. If you can pull the valve cover, take a picture of the crank pulley at TDC, and then a picture of the cams (without touching anything between pictures), we'd be able to tell you if you've gotten it right.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowdave1 View Post
Trying to perform due diligence searching before posting, but patience getting thin.
Typically if you make an intro thread and don't seem like a total jackass here to turn his miata into a "drift ****" so he can impress his honda friends, then most are happy to help out.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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Welcome, slowdave1. Check out the Miata Gallery and post up some pics!
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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Thanks folks! Have some pics of the timing setup on the 1st or 2nd installation, but don't know I have any of the final installation (4th or 5th?). On the last one, I did have some quandary. Previously, I was doing it with the front end accessory belts out of the way and timing via the crank timing gear mark, which is very clear. On the last time, I realized I needed to replace my water outlet (backside of the t'stat housing that butts up against the head) and so took off the top timing belt covers, valve cover, cam gears, and removed the belt from the cam gears so I could get the back cover off and get to the bolts for the water outlet. So, when I re-timed it, I had to do it off the crank pulley for the accessory belts, as the cover down at the crank was still on, along with accessory belt pulley. There were two marks and I'm not POSITIVE I got it right, but if I'm wrong, I'm within about 10 deg crank, which I don't think would be enough to get a no-fire. Verified this (TDC location) with screwdriver on top of #1 piston through spark plug hole, but as you know, that's not a good absolute TDC indicator (not much movement right around TDC).

Still, can't figure this being the problem since I have no spark and the engine has run and not run (and ran well at least once if not twice) during the time period where I have not touched the cam timing.

Here are some of the pics from one of the earlier installs. Doesn't tell you much other than that maybe I wasn't a complete idiot once. I may have been a complete idiot later when trying to time via the accessory pulley marks though. Hope these pics aren't too large.









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Old 06-24-2014, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
That's pretty damn cool. I am impressed. Even if you were the slowest guy out there, I'd be impressed, haha. I track my car in a racing seat with a harness, fire suit, and a rollbar and still feel insecure sometimes.

Maybe some of the other guys will check in soon.

BTW, we have a big motorcycle thread on this forum also.
I always say there are two ways to get quick on the bike: a) take a lot of risks, get fast quickly, and crash alot, or b) race for a long time and inch up on it. I'm in my 15th year of racing now, so obviously taking path b. Fun part is I'm decently quick (in endurance racing) and can occasionally hand it to the younger guys on the track. Talk about fun!! :-)

Side benefit: staying in shape to be able to do hour plus stints on the racebike is my main/only motivation for getting out and doing the hard work on the bicycle for cardio and not turn into Jabba the Hut. Can't have those 20 year old kids outlasting me in the 100 deg weather! lol
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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I've got good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that your timing doesn't look horrible, the bad news is you need to take it completely off to reinstall the rear timing cover, so we can really be sure it's correct.

A quick snap of the #1 cylinder cam lobes at the above position is helpful too, occasionally some people use the wrong pin. Intake cam lobe should be pointing at 9 o'clock, exhaust cam at 3.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:47 PM   #12
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Awesome bike pic, welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
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Default One more thing...

One more thing:
Read this on miata.net (sorry for the cross pollination):
Quote:
-Primary coil winding: 1) Disconnect the igntion coil connectors. 2) Check for continuity between terminals A and D (the outside terminals of each coil). 3) If there is not continuity, replace coil.
There was more there, about the secondary checks (which my coils pass with flying colors), but I couldn't find any primary specs in the manual. My primary for the #2/#3 coil indeed has an open circuit between the outer pins (A&D). So... is this guy right and does that mean I have a coil problem? I was most concerned that I had different open/continuity patterns on the primary side between the two coils. Still doesn't explain why none of the cylinders fire and/or have spark, but...
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I've got good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that your timing doesn't look horrible, the bad news is you need to take it completely off to reinstall the rear timing cover, so we can really be sure it's correct.

A quick snap of the #1 cylinder cam lobes at the above position is helpful too, occasionally some people use the wrong pin. Intake cam lobe should be pointing at 9 o'clock, exhaust cam at 3.

Hope that helps.
Way past you there. This was the first time I put the belt on. I believe the second was when I realized I needed that back plate on there and it can't sneak in after the belt and sprockets are on. The third might have been when I realized I needed to replace the water outlet pipe. Or there might have been a few more in between there. I'm getting pretty smooth at it. Unfortunately, these seem to be the only pics I took though.

Yeah, I checked the lobes and they're right. I'm fairly confident in the cam positioning, other than the +/- 5 deg like I mentioned because the last time I had to do it from the crank accessory pulley reference, and there seemed to be 2 marks. But I'm close enough to run, pretty sure, and reinforced by the fact that it has run (pretty decently) at times with this cam timing. I don't want to overlook it, but seems that would rule out cam timing as my primary issue. Do you agree?

Last edited by slowdave1; 06-24-2014 at 03:52 PM. Reason: didn't mean to sound like an arrogant noob
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:43 AM   #15
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Okay, hate it when I find a thread like this 6 mos later and the guy never followed up with the fix (or that he pushed it off a cliff). So, for lack of anything better to do, I replaced the coil pack and it fired right up and is running like a champ. Got some new fuel in it now, and an oil change, and it's purring right along like nothing ever happened. Will get a fuel consumption number at the end of this tank, but I think we're pretty much home free at this point (knock on wood).

And THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP! Great forum with lots o' friendly people and good technical info. Really appreciate it!

Last edited by slowdave1; 07-21-2014 at 02:45 AM. Reason: to tell y'all how awesome you are!
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:19 AM   #16
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+1 and props for follow up post.

Also, note that there are a surprising number of cyclists on this site. I find riding on the street and driving the Miata similar… cars don't see you or estimate your speed / distance correctly. I have the scars to prove it
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