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
Finally started her up after being home for about 2 1/2 weeks after first removing the 'charger belt (less drag on the engine/starter). I also ordered a set of S Drives from a local place, the Toyos were just getting too hard (and close to the wear bars).


Set a new personal low driving temperature (around 25 degrees). Decided to go to Fuel for cars & coffee, while it was a little too brisk to travel all the way into Cincy topless I did go to my storage to pick up the hard top. Cold temps, crappy road surfaces, older Toyo T1Rs and a supercharger meant instant wheelspin whenever I wanted it. Fun times.

When I got home I installed the CarbonMiata seat belt extenders. They went in with no problems, however the seat belts don't retract properly now. I'm going to see if having the belts that accessible outweighs the inconvenience of the retraction issue. I then went about getting the wiring harness together for the new radio. Got that all done only to find out I had no output. Looking at the drawings, I no longer have a power input to the Bose amp. I think I can move an unused wire from another connector in order to fix this but I have to do some more research.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Finally started her up after being home for about 2 1/2 weeks after first removing the 'charger belt (less drag on the engine/starter). I also ordered a set of S Drives from a local place, the Toyos were just getting too hard (and close to the wear bars).

Set a new personal low driving temperature (around 25 degrees). Decided to go to Fuel for cars & coffee, while it was a little too brisk to travel all the way into Cincy topless I did go to my storage to pick up the hard top. Cold temps, crappy road surfaces, older Toyo T1Rs and a supercharger meant instant wheelspin whenever I wanted it. Fun times.

When I got home I installed the CarbonMiata seat belt extenders. They went in with no problems, however the seat belts don't retract properly now. I'm going to see if having the belts that accessible outweighs the inconvenience of the retraction issue. I then went about getting the wiring harness together for the new radio. Got that all done only to find out I had no output. Looking at the drawings, I no longer have a power input to the Bose amp. I think I can move an unused wire from another connector in order to fix this but I have to do some more research.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
A set of lightly used Ohlins became mine!

I picked up a 4-2-1 header off eBay a little while ago. It looked to be a Cobalt unit, fairly nice stainless construction. It came with header wrap that I removed to find corrosion underneath. I cleaned it off with a wire wheel, decided against spending too much time working on the discoloration that was left on what would be hidden anyway. I pulled everything off to install it, wanted to check fitment first as the last 4-2-1 I had which was supposed to be for an NB touched the front crossbrace despite a dimple in the pipe (I now think it was for a 1.8 NA). This new one has plenty of clearance there, however someone had added an O2 bung on the #1 cylinder pipe and that caused a problem with the 'charger bracket. I took it over to the local welding shop I use and asked them to remove the bung. I was hoping to have it back the same day so I could assemble everything but they never called. I'd just have to push her out of the garage (and then back in) the next day when my son came over to do the timing belt/water pump on his Protege.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
My son popped a tire thanks to the nasty potholes around here so the work on his car got postponed. I dropped off the wheels after finding out the S-Drives I ordered last week would be in that day. Picked up the header from the welder, they basically just cropped off the top of the bung and welded it shut. There is a little bit of it sticking inside the pipe but I don't have anything right now to get in there and grind it out, so I'm leaving it. Got that installed, it is a proper NB header as there is plenty of clearance around all the chassis bits. I couldn't go any further as the O-ring at the base of the dipstick broke so I had to replace that. While she was in the air I went ahead and installed the Beatrush PPF brace. Pretty easy to do, took me maybe 10 minutes not including pictures.
 

chiefmg

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









The picture of the header shows how clean I was able to get most of it, closer to the flange there is discoloration but I got rid of the majority of the corrosion. I had to wait until the following day to finish assembly, the dipstick tube O-ring broke and the dealer had none on the shelf. I got 4 just to have them on hand since I seem to pull the tube quite a bit.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
O-rings came in early the next morning so I got everything buttoned back up. Only took 1 1/2 hours to put the 'charger back in with all the ancillary bits installed. From some recent research it appears it is now recommended to connect the wideband ground to the power ground wire on the ECU (last place I had it hooked up was on the intake manifold where the ECU base ground is). Can't figure out which of the wires that would be so I sent a message to Reverant asking him for help.

Had to go back to London for another conference, the Ohlins showed up while I was gone. Looked at them when I got home, they sure are pretty. Hope they ride as well as they look. The next morning I checked measurements and set them per the instructions. PO had them about 1/2" lower and none of the springs had any preload.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Got the Ohlins installed, NSFW picture:



Reconnected the wideband where it was electrically, I had the boost gauge ground connected to it before but they are now divorced. With everything back together I took a little test drive. Didn't push it a lot due to temps and dampness, but the ride is very nice. The bypass actuator was hanging up a little so I had to make a minor adjustment.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Beautiful day here, so I was up early and washed her. Drove to cars & coffee with the wife, had a good time catching up with some friends. That afternoon I removed the Carbon Miata extenders, I don't feel they are safe with how the belts won't retract. I may try using a different spacer configuration. Also took a drive to do some autotuning of the MS.

Impressions of the Ohlins: driving the car with them shows how good suspension can be. They soaked up the usual bumps on the routes I drove that had the VMaxxes dancing around. Handling around curves is very good as well, I can't push it a lot as the alignment is off (I could feel things were a little light, like letting go light) but everything points to a major advancement. I am very glad I bought these.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Pulled the MS and proceeded to rewire the ground for the wideband. I heard back from Reverant but the wires he told me didn't make sense based on previous information from him. So I pulled out my manual and a diagram I found on line, crossed all my multiple digits and put a take-off in. Got it all back together and she wouldn't start. Thought maybe I had screwed up majorly so connected the wideband ground back where I had it and checked all the fuses. All were good so looked around some more, and found I had only connected two of the factory connectors to the MS patch cord. With that corrected she fired up. AFRs are much closer now, only about 0.3 difference between the gauge and TunerStudio. I loaded the software from Innovate and tomorrow will be adding a correction factor to adjust the input to the MS so it sees what the sensor sees.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Did the correction factor thing, but due to my misunderstanding initially I changed the numbers in both the wideband and the MS. Got that corrected so it's now only in the MS (that is easier for me to change with my installation). I dropped the Ohlins as much as I could, which was only 9mm but it looks good without being slammed. Had a little drive today and I like it. Now to get an alignment that week...
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
I received my package of switches for my next little project:
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Next small project. You may recall the new radio has power to the antenna constantly, so it is always in the raised position. Someone on Miata.net said he installed a switch to handle this so I decided to go that route. I found the SPST (single pole single throw) switch in my previous post on Amazon, got 10 of them for $12 shipped. I was thinking about installing it in the radio surround but it didn't look like it would fit. I prepared everything to install it in the ashtray, but while I had things out I made some templates so I can replace the plastic side radio mounts with metal ones. With the surround in hand I took some measurements and was pleasantly surprised to find the switch would fit. A little work with a drill bit, a razor knife and a file and I ended up with this:





Worked great, now I won't have the antenna up creating drag if I'm listening to a CD or using the BlueTooth.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Got her aligned, used a place well-known locally called Performance Alignment. I just let the owner go with one of his standard Miata alignments (think he calls it a fun street spec). Car feels much better than it did, he said I was running with toe out in the rear which explained the light feeling I was getting. Have to wait for the rain to go away and things to dry before I really hammer on it.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Next project was fabricating a spacer for the exhaust. Since I installed the Roadster Sport midpipe it has not sealed to the header (neither the stocker nor the Cobalt I have on there now). This is because the inner diameter of the pipe is too large to permit sealing of the stock donut gasket, and the flat gasket included with the midpipe doesn't have enough surface area to seal on the header. I picked up a piece of 1/4" thick flat stock from Ace, made a template off the stock midpipe and then using my angle grinder and drill bits cut it all out.



Installation of that was the next day, I may have to hog out the inner diameter depending upon the size of the pipe protrusion past the donut gasket on the header. Should solve my problem though.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Went out and test fitted the spacer, had to file out the middle some more to fit over the piece sticking out of the header due to its larger diameter than the stock piece. Then I looked for the CX-5 muffler donut gasket I had but without luck (I checked the stock muffler off that vehicle and found out the ID was the same as my spacer). Off to parts places I went, got one gasket from the local store but had to go to the dealer for the muffler gasket. Came home and worked on assembling it all (two gaskets, one spacer and the midpipe. I needed one more hand). Couldn't get it to mate up to my satisfaction, something made me compare the donut gasket with the midpipe. It mated perfectly to the flange, making me a very happy camper. Getting things aligned took some effort as the pipe sticking out of the header isn't that long once you get the donut gasket on it. Once I got that done I started her up and confirmed no leaks.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Was going on a cruise with a local FB Miata group, so cleaned her up. Washed her up good (neighbors received another confirmation I am crazy, it was pretty cloudy while I was doing that). Pulled out the mats and shampooed them. Removed the headlights and put some denatured alcohol inside to try and remove the haze that formed after I painted the reflectors. Swished it around, drained the excess and let them dry. There is a noticeable improvement. Also scrubbed the boot cover, I try to do that occasionally so it doesn't get too scuzzy. Just waiting on things to all dry now so I can put her together and be ready for tomorrow.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Had a blast on the cruise, there were 37 cars which was a bit much but we only lost one car.

I was thinking about what might have been causing the gas smell under boost, and I was getting an occasional stuttering hesitation while accelerating. I pulled the plugs and checked the gap, #1 cylinder was greater than 0.040" (last setting was 0.035"), all the rest were close to the last setting. I went ahead and gapped them all to 0.035, will see if anything changes next time I drive her. All the plugs showed a nice light gray color so at least my combustion was good.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Only able to take a short blast up to the store due to impending rain, but on that short ~4 mile run there was no sign of the stutter. I was hopefully optimistic that I took care of that problem.
 

chiefmg

MOTM July 2015
:
'81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '16 Camaro (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD
Went to my storage and swapped over to my Flatouts w/Rivals. Took about an hour drive that afternoon on the back roads to do some tuning. Car was running well, no more stutter although I did still have some excess richness under boost. Needed to send in my EV14 injectors and have them checked over so I can put them back in.
 
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