NB MX-5 Hey, it's Minnie!

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Washed her dirty butt. Today I ran some errands around town, it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood so of course the top was down. It feels a lot easier to spin up the rears than I remember, fun times until a representative of officialdom takes exception to it.

I had some pop-rivets coming so I would be able to swap out the dash. Pictures may be provided.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
May 2016, picked up another set of Flatouts today from a local guy. They are silver and are going to replace the bronze Lightspeeds that are currently what the car wears when I'm gone. The wife will be very happy about this (these were a surprise for her), she hated the bronze.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
With all the rain we were getting here I haven't been able to drive and tune, so decided I would accomplish something else today. I swapped out the dash (the lower, parchment colored part) for the one I bought a few months ago. As a reminder, this was to get rid of a hole a previous owner drilled to mount a cupholder that I no longer use. It wasn't horrible, I took the time while it was all out to tie up some of the wires under the dash. It appeared that the antenna wire orientation had been changed around (this always caused me problems when pulling the radio as the wire was too tight) so I moved that so it was routed better. Also vacuumed under the seats, if you haven't done that for yours I would recommend it. You would be surprised how much crap ends up underneath, even if you try vacuuming from the front and rear of the seats you can't get it all.





Couple of hints when removing a NB dash. Go ahead and pull the steering wheel, the shifter and the e-brake handle. This makes life a lot easier. You can leave the passenger airbag bolted in place, it will come out with the dash. Remove the screws holding the fuse panel in place and move it out of the way. There are two big square electrical connectors (one black, one white) that need to be disconnected on the driver's side, and three on the passenger side (including the one for that airbag). You also need to disconnect the antenna cable, there is a short piece that goes from the radio to the cable from the antenna where it comes up by the shifter. I didn't take any pictures of this but I can write something up if anyone thinks it would be helpful.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Finally got to break her free of the garage the next day. I was occasionally getting a CEL while driving (with the MS the way Reverant has it set up, that usually indicates something), when the car is shut off and restarted it goes away. Rev asked me to get a datalog when it appears if I can. Of course when I was running an errand without my laptop in the car it came on. When I went out later to do some tuning it never showed up. I took a datalog anyway and sent it off, hopefully something will come of it.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
No joy from the datalog as nothing looked wrong.

Finally got around to getting my rear top trim correct. I noticed after I replaced the top that I would get a few water droplets in the trunk after washing her. After researching and seeing how mine was I figured out that I hadn't pulled the rubber on the rear trim over the rain rail. So today I pulled the rear carpet out, removed the retainers and then from the outside pulled the rubber flap over the rain rail. Then it was just a matter of putting it all back together. There wasn't really enough room for me to get a picture, if you are changing a top then take a look at the black trim around where the top attaches and you will see what I am talking about.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Managed to get a datalog with the CEL in place, sent that off for review. Saturday I went to storage and put the aluminum valve stems on the new Flatouts, also brought the center caps home. I put my usual stickers in place:



This time the guy I get them from used holographic chrome (he also sent me some normal chrome ones), I decided to use those to give the center of the wheels a little snap. Yes, I know I need to do some more cleaning of the caps. One of the caps has a little ding in it, unfortunately they are NLA from Konig so I'll have to live with it.

Got our good camera charged up and was able to get some pictures of the rain rail and rubber trim I was talking about before. In the first picture you can see the rain rail in the background (the textured piece) and the trim at the top. In the second picture I'm pulling the rubber piece attached to the trim out so it can be seen, this is what you want over the top of the rain rail.



 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
The wife was gone so I brought the new Flatouts home to do some cleaning. At some point tires were changed on them using an old-fashioned machine so each barrel had 8 pits with displaced metal. I filed those smooth, then cleaned off the residue from multiple wheel weight stickers along with what appeared to be quite a lot of tar. I'm not sure how that sort of thing gets inside the wheel. I will need to do some cleaning of the rim area on each but I don't have any good cleaner at the moment.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Reverant sent me the info I needed for the new .ini files, it included how to set the base timing which I had never done. Didn't think it needed doing since there is no distributor, but I was wrong. Let this be a lesson to anyone running a MS. I tried doing that the other day but I need to figure out how to connect my timing light to a power source since the battery lives in the trunk. I tried connecting it to the bolt on the engine compartment fuse box but it wouldn't stay in place.

I had noticed the passenger mirror seemed to be moving a bit, when I washed her a couple of days ago I checked and it was loose. After I pulled the door card and moisture barrier plastic off, I discovered all that needed to be done was to move the mirror and tighten the two screws from the top. This is for an NB, I can't say if the other generations are the same or not.

 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Finally got my base timing set. I used a set of jumper cables to connect the power leads of my timing light to the battery, I wrapped the positive connection with some left-over rubber shower pan liner I had sitting around so I didn't get a show. It wasn't too far off once I figured out which direction to make the adjustment (started at +4 offset, ended up at +5). Now that's done I can start tuning again.

I had been hearing a jingling noise with the clutch pedal out. It would go away if I barely touched the pedal. Given that I thought it might be the fork arm where the slave cylinder rod touches it. I pulled the rod back a little and put some assembly lube with moly on it. No more noise.

I dropped off the Lightspeeds and silver Flatouts at a local shop to have the tires transferred over. Picked those up this morning and put the center caps on, they will look very nice. I'll post a picture when I change over to those.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Kind of forgot to post this, but if you have a boot or tonneau cover do yourself a favor and lubricate the snaps on it periodically. Easy enough to do, I use some WD-40. Just turn the snap upside down, spray some lube in it and the blot out the excess. If it is free to move you will be less likely to rip out one of the fixed pieces and it makes it easier to put things in place.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Autocrossed her with the Cincy region SCCA at Wilmington. No videos unfortunately, it was a fun course. The lot they used there was big and the course was mostly twisty. Had some good transitions to challenge you. It was the first time I'd driven in a year, and the first time with the Ohlins. The car was better than I.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
As mentioned, I didn't get any video of my autocross event. However I did buy some pictures from the photographer who does those events (http://www.jlofoto.net). Here are a couple of them:



 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
As seems to be my MO, I bought a couple of items while I was away from home. A set of Gorilla lug nuts in silver for the new wheels, and a Mazdaspeed 4-2-1 header with the flex joint. While I don't have any issue with the Cobalt I'm currently running, I figure the construction of the MS will be of higher quality and the price was right. Pictures will have to wait until I get home.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Regular viewers of this space may want to sit down. Did some autocrossing today (June 2016). Lots of fun despite driving for about 13 1/2 hours yesterday and not getting a lot of sleep. Used my GoPro as promised, here is the link to my fastest run:


Apologies for the extended length, my son who was riding with me failed in his assigned task of turning it on and off. I had two runs after our lunch break but it rained right before we started so neither was any improvement.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
If the video blew your mind then hang on, because I have a lot (for me) of pictures.

Decided to get started swapping out headers, the day was nice without getting too humid so it's all done. I took a few pictures of the MS header showing the nice welds (excuse the out of focus, I took them in bright sunlight so apparently the camera didn't quite focus in well).

Inside runner:



Outside runner:



Flex joint weld:



Once I had the Cobalt off I took the same shots (well not of the flex joint since it doesn't have one).

Inside runner:



Outside runner:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7400/27866450392_a4143ce6dc_z.jpg

You can see the welds are a little finer on the MS. It doesn't really show in the inside runner pictures, but the MS seems to be smoother there.

Here are some side by side shots for comparison:

[img]https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7342/27866418952_6341fd9602_z.jpg



As you can see the section on the MS where it goes down to two pipes is shorter than the Cobalt uses. That proves the Cobalt isn't a copy of the MS (in case anyone wondered).

I didn't document the removal/installation of everything because it's all been done before. One thing of note, if you have a supercharger the three front upper studs are replaced with extended studs as that is where the mounting bracket for the 'charger is attached. If you want to save yourself a lot of aggravation remove those three studs. The header slips right out when you do.



I also removed the subframe braces I have (factory and 949) to allow for ease of header manipulation. I removed the dipstick tube for the same reason.

While I had the O2 sensor for the wideband out I calibrated it. Once I had that all done I went out to do some tuning. First startup gave me a nice pop out of the exhaust. Unfortunately once I got done with tuning I was getting a stutter under boost. I think I may have to be more aggressive with the throttle while tuning in order to get more boost showing so the fuel is correct.

And just in case there is any doubt, here is the money shot:



Good for at least 5 hp.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
I loaded a previous save point from TunerStudio that I knew was clean. When I took a drive I was still getting the stutter under boost. A feeling of dread gripped my bowels, long-time sufferers of this thread know the last time I experienced this it was due to the head gasket leaking coolant into a cylinder. I pulled all the plugs and everything looked clean. The plugs had a nice grayish hue to them, and there was no sign of liquid in any cylinder. I left everything open overnight in case some moisture got into the COPs, I'll see how things are in the morning after assembly.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Just so I can complete blowing everyone's mind, here a video from my fastest wet run on that Sunday. This was 5 seconds slower than the one I posted before, course doesn't look that wet but as you can see from my little wiggle it was.

 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
I'm happy to report I cleared the stutter. As mentioned I didn't really see any sign of water around the COPs, I wiped them down and inspected for any signs of flashover but they all looked good. Checked the plug gap and they were a little too wide so I regapped them to 0.035. I had a good drive and there was never even a hint of stuttering. Now I could do some more tuning (the gas smell under boost is back). Forgot to mention it, but it appears the 'charger pulleys are finally aligned well enough for the belt to stay put. I'm going to try putting a full 6 rib belt on to see if that is the case.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Happy to report I finally got the proper 6 rib belt working on the 'charger. Time to see if I've been losing any boost pressure with the narrower belt...
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
No tuning that day. I had to replace the hoses on a stepson's Focus (what a PITA). Still not done as the heater hoses (one of which had failed) had to be ordered from the Ford dealer. When I went to take a drive I had forgotten to plug my laptop in so it didn't have enough of a charge. Didn't stop me from a drive though. I did find out I was losing 1 psi running the cut-down drive belt for the 'charger.

I did crawl underneath and ground down the bottom of the inlet flange on my Roadstersport cat pipe. The flange is huge for some reason, the front of that pipe is supported by the header and with the flex joint on the MS it allowed it to sag enough to contact the butterfly brace. I took about 1/8" off (if you don't know, stainless is a b**** to grind), I could take some more off but that was enough for 1/16" clearance and the drive showed it was fine. My hands were filthy so no picture right now.
 
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