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
Hadn't done much lately due to honey-dos before I went back to work. Did get out for some tuning the other day. Was out today for lunch and electric karting with a couple of my sons, rain came while I was out. She has always been a bit touchy with the MP62, but it was much more noticeable today. Guess that extra pressure from the proper belt shows even at low speeds. It was fun but something to watch for.

Signed up for autocross on that Sunday, provided it doesn't rain I may have another video to post. I hear the thuds from folks dropping over.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Some fun. Had my temperature gauge go nuts as I was pulling into the lot for a cars & coffee. Nothing seemed wrong and it was fine on the way home. Then shortly before getting home I heard a new noise while boosting, sort of a rubbing metal with pfft pfft overtones. First time I looked under the hood I was concentrating on pulleys and the like. Went for a short drive and still had the noise, when I got home and looked again I found one of the clamps on the 'charger outlet hose and come loose. The metal noise was from the clamp bouncing around hitting the PS reservoir. That was a nice, simple fix.

Just got done prepping for the next day’s autocross. One rear sway end link removed along with various and sundry other things. I'll check tire pressures in the morning and be on my way.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
My best run from that autocross:


This was my next to last run, my last run was looking to be faster until I screwed up one corner and got very out of shape. (NOTE: I have no idea why there is no audio. The other videos I shot the same day were fine).

After I got home I washed the wheels then went to my storage to swap to my wife's wheels. The last one I put on had very low pressure in the tire. Got some air at a station close by, got home and tightened the metal valve stem and topped off the air pressure. Checked a while later and it was low again. A little investigation showed the screw-in part of the Schrader valve was loose (or maybe defective). Took it off so the wife can take it to the place that swapped the tires over to fix. Sucks this happened the night before I leave, but at least I found it beforehand.
 
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chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
My wife got that wheel/tire fixed, turned out it was a bad valve stem. So kiddies make sure if you buy those from eBay you get multiple sets. I had two other sets from a different place in the past with no problems, but you just never know. I had already bought another set (but different) so now one doesn't match the others. I'm probably going to get some 949 ones next time home so I won't have to worry again.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
A JDM MS spoiler was now mine. Not in my possession mind, but Rod (of Tetsuya Garage) won the auction so once it's in his hands it would be sent my way. Should be waiting for me when I get home.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
It had arrived:



Hand model was my youngest. Wife said there was a scratch on the bottom, but since it had to be painted that wasn't an issue.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
I bought a MM trunklid off eBay I had been tracking for a while. Never had a spoiler so it was ready to be drilled for the new one. Unfortunately I missed their shipping info (buried in the wall of standard text they had in all their auctions) that said they ship larger items via freight so need a commercial address. Not a biggie, they will instead just leave it at their nearest terminal for you to pick up. My wife was thrilled. Good thing I have a friend who was willing to get it for me if she somehow couldn't.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
My friend picked the trunk lid up for me a couple of weeks later. The freight company were idiots but at least it was well packed and in good condition. Earlier that week I bought a set of 949 valve stems since they finally got silver back in stock. Things were looking good for my return home the following week. Some pictures will follow.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Made it home (no thanks to American Airlines, they suck). That rear spoiler is pretty light, I was surprised given its size. I had to go to my friend's to pick up the trunk lid, then just had to wait on something else to arrive before taking it all to the painter. I also was going to have them repaint the front lip since I scuffed it when I misjudged my approach to a parking spot a while back. Going to also see if they have a good paintless dent removal guy to take care of a few dings.

BTW the 949 valve stems are beautiful pieces. Very lightweight and a quality crafted piece.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Trunk lid was in my possession. It was a lot worse off than the pictures showed, so either there was some creative photography or it had been sitting around with crap stacked on top/dragged off. If I weren't already planning on having it painted, I would be now.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Started digging into mounting the wing. First I stripped everything off the trunk lid in preparation for painting. It was very hard getting the third brake light out, when it finally pulled free I found the foam gasket around it was badly deteriorated and was causing it to stick to the lid. Removed the license plate lights, Mazda emblem and striker. Took some acetone to remove the markings the junkyard had written on it (not sure why it had to be marked up so much, seems one spot would suffice). Then it was on to the always nerve-wracking drilling of holes in the bodywork.

First thing was to place the wing on the lid and get it in the proper position. There is a slight curve at the bottom which makes it easier to get it set in the right place fore and aft. I measured the distance side to side from the edge, that ended up being about 4 mm. I had to adjust slightly to get the same distance from the front edge of the lid (I measured to the nearest part of the bracket, that distance for me was 377 mm). Once I had that all laid out I used painter's tape to give me some reference points when I removed the assembly.



I went ahead and marked the hole for the forward fastener, it's a through hole so that was easy. Went ahead, center punched the marks and then drilled them out. I used a 3 mm for my starter hole, I didn't have any metric drill bits the right size so went to my standard drill index. In order to figure out which bit was the best match I drilled into a piece of scrap 2X4 and then tested the fit with a bolt. I ended up using 13/64" for my final size.

Next I took the brackets off the bottom of the wing:



There are two small Allen-head screws holding the bracket into the bottom of the wing. Those attached to the trunk mounts with two through-bolts. The after bolt is the one used to adjust the angle of attack of the wing:



You can see the paint on the mounts wasn't the greatest so I had to get those sprayed up.

Once I had the trunk mounts separate I made a couple of templates from them on thin cardboard. I used these to locate the other hole needed to mount them. Pretty basic so no pictures of that (hard to take a picture when you are drilling anyway). If you have done this correctly the front hole lines up with a hole on the inner stiffening frame of the trunk for access to the nut, and the rear one will be close to the outside edge. It would be a lot easier if you had the templates, but if you take your time it is possible without it.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Right before I went back to work any readers may recall I had a leaking valve stem. I found out I had another one. I tried replacing it (I have a set of tire irons for motorcycles) but the sidewall is too stiff and I couldn't get access. I went and got my special wheels since I was going to change them out anyway, those are back on and the silver ones are sitting waiting for Monday when I can drop them off and get the 949 stems installed. Installed the driver's side rear sway bar link too that I took off for the last autocross. Since I'm in here, I also renewed the tag.

I was reading about people having issues running rich in boost similar to mine and someone said their IAT sensor had failed. I figured why not look at it and see if anything presented itself. I pulled that earlier, there was some discoloration on the upstream side of the plastic protector. I don't know how it was new, but the wire element inside was offset from center. I tried cleaning it with some MAF cleaner but it didn't really do anything. Just to be on the safe side I went ahead and ordered a replacement from DIY Autotune.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Didn't get quite as much done the next time working as I wanted, but pulled the front bumper and removed the lip (she looks naked without it) and sanded down most of my mistake on it. I picked up some bumper filler epoxy to finish the prep work, that way I will only have myself to blame if it doesn't look right. I still have to remove the double-sided tape residue I used to hold the HD lip on the bottom. Didn't quite get to the rest of the prep to the trunk lid either. I noticed the other day I hadn't put the Rivals/wheels on the correct sides so I fixed that. I know you are supposed to be able to move modern radials from side to side, but I stick with rotating front to back.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Took the wife's wheel set up to have the 949 valve stems installed. After I got home I went about getting the rest of the prep work done on the parts I want painted. Removed the remaining foam from the trunk lid brake light area and washed it up along with the spoiler. Brought the front lip inside to remove the double-sided tape residue. I'm not going to use adhesion promoter again for that, I ended up giving myself a blister on one thumb trying to rub it off. On to Plan B, I used a putty knife and gently scraped it away. Then I mixed up the Bondo flex part repair epoxy I got and applied that over the scrapes I put in it. While that was drying I finished up the tape residue removal with some acetone and denatured alcohol and got it all cleaned up. Sanded the epoxy down and have a smooth surface once again. Finally I sanded down the gas lid, my rattle can paint job still looked good but I had ended up with a depressed area which bothered me.

With all that done I loaded up the CX and went to the local paint shop I've used before. I guess they didn't want to do the work because I was quoted a ridiculous amount and given a delivery date of a month and a half. They didn't look all that busy. On to Plan B for this...
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Asked my friend about a body shop he has used, and stopped by there. Owner was great (he had a Model A truck on a charger sitting in his reception area), he quoted me a price half of the other place and said I would have it back in a week. It was nice not having to wait most of my vacation to install and enjoy my parts.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
I was asked by someone what it was I used on the front lip to fill the scratches, here it is:



Found it at Vato Zone in the body work section. Adam (revlimiter) posted about using something similar to fill the front emblem holes in his NB bumper cover, I don't remember where he got it from though (maybe Amazon?).
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Time for another round. I have been hearing a rattling noise from the exhaust hitting the chassis when things were cold. Hoisted her up in the air, crawled underneath and started hitting the exhaust with my hand. There was some contact with the front of the butterfly brace which I expected, but there was another noise coming from the rear. I moved to the back and saw this:



My 949 rear subframe brace was being contacted by the exhaust. I never noticed this before and judging by the amount of wear it is a recent development, possibly due to my changing to the MS header. You can see in the picture where it was hitting (look for the rusty bevel):



A little exercise with an angle grinder took care of the problem:



Put it back in to check and there was good clearance so tightened it back down:



I'm going to have to find some gold paint at some point but for now I just shot it with some Rustoleum satin black I had.

While I was under there I decided to calibrate the O2 sensor. It had been occasionally acting up (stays in heater mode) so I wanted to see if that would help. I found the only bad thing (so far) about the MS header is how it restricts access to get the sensor out. I finally got it loose enough to turn by hand, once out I went through the procedure for calibration. I noticed the cable was rubbing slightly on the horizontal edge that runs around the back of the engine compartment. I rerouted the cable when I put everything back together to give clearance there but now I was looking at having the connection touching the heater hose. A little piece of duct tape took care of that.

I picked up a new set of spark plugs so installed those gapped to 0.035. Old plugs looked good with little apparent wear, but for $10 why not? The new IAT sensor I bought from DIY Autotune came in a couple of days ago so that was installed as well. I checked the resistance of both old and new, they had the same value but that was at one temperature. Remember I am always looking at having it reliable for my wife when I'm gone, so what some might think is not needed I see as cheap insurance.

Finished up by cleaning the double-sided tape residue off the bottom of the front bumper preparatory to getting the lip back from the painter.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Went to my storage before heading into town and installed the factory gas filler door. Too much of a big hole without anything there while I wait on the other one to get painted. Had a boost tube come loose on me as I was heading to cars & coffee. That put a damper on my having a lot of fun. It was the same tube that has loosened before, it's the clamp on the inlet pipe to the intercooler (outlet of supercharger). I just got done trying a different configuration of the hose connectors I have but nothing worked except the way they were installed. So I just maneuvered things around a little until I had a better connection (hopefully anyway). I did notice the pipe on the intercooler outlet was touching the A/C condenser so I moved it around as well until I had ---clearance.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Ordered a set of the Feal extended top hats from Goodwin for the rear Ohlins, along with a couple of Speedthane Acura bumpstops. Should give me some more travel in the rear to keep from riding the stops.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
While taking my youngest to a doctor's appointment, I almost got creamed by a red light runner. Took me completely by surprise. Had I left that light quickly the way I normally do I would not have been able to avoid getting hit.

As I mentioned the mounting brackets for the MS wing had some paint issues. It took me a couple of tries to find something that was close, I ended up with Duplicolor engine enamel (with ceramic!) in aluminum. I cleaned up the corrosion and lifting paint, then shot it with the new paint. Prep work as per the pictures:





I didn't strip the paint completely off so the end result probably isn't going to be perfect but it will get me by for now. The main mounts are plastic and in good shape so I left them alone. Pictures of it all once the paint dries.
 
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