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Thread: What have you done to your Miata today?

  1. #8596
    Out there... chiefmg's Avatar

    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 GT (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD

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    Oct 2005
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    Miata: Finally got started on the cylinder head. Here are the main tools I used:







    Here are the seals:



    949 uses the same exact seal for both intake and exhaust valves. I removed the keepers, retainers and springs on the intake side first, here is what that looked like:



    Compress the spring with the first tool until the keepers are clear of the groove they fit in, then remove them (I used a small magnet to grab them). I used the same magnet to pull out the retainer and spring. I then grabbed the seal with the removal tool, rocking it slightly side to side until the seal popped out. It was good I did this as the very first seal was completely torn. Not sure when this happened but I would have had a massive leak for sure.

    After cleaning everything up I proceeded to install the new seals. First I used some engine oil to lubricate the seals so they would go into place with no damage. Then I unwrapped the straw and put it to use, here is how:



    Had to fold it a little to get it started in the seal. You then push the straw down over the valve stem and use a 10mm socket to seat the seal, like so:



    This keeps the groove at the top of the valve stem from tearing the seal. I was able to push the seals in place with my thumbs, but I did take the precaution of tapping on the socket with a dead-blow hammer. A couple of them weren't quite all the way home so it was good I did this step. All that has to be done then is to put the spring, retainer and keepers back into place. There should be a thin metal washer below the spring, this is the lower spring seat (it gives protection for the aluminum of the head from the spring). I found one missing so ordered a complete set. One thing to note, the springs go into the head with the coils that are the tightest down (you will know when you see this). I found four of mine installed wrong. I tried putting the keepers in by hand but it's very difficult. Instead I used a little trick I read about which is to use some plastic (I used a storage bag). You place the plastic over the top of the retainer once the keepers are in place. Then use the spring compressor and compress the spring until the keepers fall into the groove on the stem. Works great. For now I have everything assembled except for the one valve that was missing the lower seat. Once I get the parts in I will redo all of them as several looked as though someone had taken a Dremel to them and hogged them out. Maybe that is how they are, but I seriously doubt it.

    Apologies for the picture quality, all of our good cameras had no battery so I was forced to use my phone.

    I also managed to locate my old shift and e-brake boots so put those back on, along with the console lid that had leather on it.

  2. #8597
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
    muffled screams
    Protege5 & Protege FS Moderator

    1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder

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    Sep 2005
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    Machined and installed steering rack limiting stops on the depowered-but-not-really steering rack, installed the rack in the car and roughed in the alignment. No more tire-to-swaybar interference with the 10" wheels







    ~Andrew
    Atlanta Region SCCA
    114 DP

  3. #8598
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
    muffled screams
    Protege5 & Protege FS Moderator

    1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder

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    Sep 2005
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    Since I first made ballast for the racecar, I have gone to bigger wheels and tires, added all the aero bits, added power steering (and the heavier PS rack), and a few Hill Climb safety bits and bobs. As of this morning, the car was about 59 lbs overweight.

    Started at 1983 lbs (minimum is 1924). I got down to 1932 (ie: 8 lbs over), with about 1/2 gallon of fuel in the car. I wouldn't really be comfortable with that tight of a margin, but I never run it that low, fuel wise, so there's a bit more wiggle room than it would seem.

    I was able to drop 1 of the two 5/8" thick lead plates, and cut about 1/4 off the other one.

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  4. #8599
    Out there... chiefmg's Avatar

    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 GT (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD

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    Got back from our Christmas trip. Went to the dealer to pick up the lower valve spring seats I bought but one was missing. They ordered me another overnight (that is what I call service) and I picked them up yesterday. Today I had a little time in between granddaughters being born so went ahead, brought the head back inside and commenced work.

    Here is one of the seats:



    They are the same for both intake and exhaust, so you will need 16. Here is one of the old ones next to the new factory ones (new one is on the left):



    As you can see they are completely different, and the one I removed has been hacked up. All of them were like this. Since the factory one does not have the markings I have to wonder where the ones I removed came from.

    Here is a picture of a valve spring, the tight coils are shown on the bottom which is installed down nearest the valve:



    I followed same procedure I documented before. I did try something a little different on a couple of the valves where I placed the keepers inside the retainer before setting it in place on the valve stem. This worked ok, although I had to be a little more careful when putting the valve compressor in place.



    Finally, here is how I used the plastic to hold the keepers in place while compressing the spring:



    I would recommend using clear plastic so you can see when you have the spring compressed enough for the keepers to fall into place. And that is all there is to the job. Easy-peasy.
    Last edited by chiefmg; 12-30-2017 at 12:18 AM.

  5. #8600
    No words bazooka joe's Avatar
    Donated: $40
    Miata & NEMOC Moderator

    2016 Miata Club, 2004 MSM, 2014 CX5 Touring, Honda 1976 XL 175

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefmg View Post
    Got back from our Christmas trip. Went to the dealer to pick up the lower valve spring seats I bought but one was missing. They ordered me another overnight (that is what I call service) and I picked them up yesterday. Today I had a little time in between granddaughters being born so went ahead, brought the head back inside and commenced work.

    Here is one of the seats:



    They are the same for both intake and exhaust, so you will need 16. Here is one of the old ones next to the new factory ones (new one is on the left):



    As you can see they are completely different, and the one I removed has been hacked up. All of them were like this. Since the factory one does not have the markings I have to wonder where the ones I removed came from.

    Here is a picture of a valve spring, the tight coils are shown on the bottom which is installed down nearest the valve:



    I followed same procedure I documented before. I did try something a little different on a couple of the valves where I placed the keepers inside the retainer before setting it in place on the valve stem. This worked ok, although I had to be a little more careful when putting the valve compressor in place.



    Finally, here is how I used the plastic to hold the keepers in place while compressing the spring:



    I would recommend using clear plastic so you can see when you have the spring compressed enough for the keepers to fall into place. And that is all there is to the job. Easy-peasy.
    Good stuff!

  6. #8601
    Registered Member RallyFlowBro's Avatar

    2010 Mazda 5 Manual Transmission

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    Dec 2017
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    Philadelphia
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    9
    Hey guys. I don't have a miata but I did see this badboy today roaming around northeast philly. LS swapped and sounds amazing.

  7. #8602
    Out there... chiefmg's Avatar

    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 GT (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD

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    Oct 2005
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    N KY
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    It's been too freakin' cold here for me to want to get out in the garage, also there is something (cold or flu) going around the house and it's been kicking my ass. I did get up to the dealer the other day and ordered a new plug for the cylinder head where the CAS is on other models. Figured while I was getting everything else new on the head I might as well take care of that to prevent any surprises. I also picked up a soft top insulation piece off eBay, it says it won't work on a factory top but I am banking on my ability to do so.

  8. #8603
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
    muffled screams
    Protege5 & Protege FS Moderator

    1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder

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    One of my codrivers came over and we spent the day re-dialing in the setup on the car after the diet & new steering rack. We re-did the corner balance, improving the front/rear balance while maintaining 50/50 cross weight. We then re-did the alignment after the ride height changes (from the balancing) and the new steering rack. My brother and I roughed the front end in last week after we installed the rack, but I knew it needed the rest of the work too before it could really be finalized. Should be good to go now.

    I have a few odds and ends I need to wrap up (clean the wiring up again, etc) but all the big work is done and she's ready for the season to start next month.
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  9. #8604
    Ex FSAE. New MS3. JamesCH's Avatar

    2009 Mazdaspeed3; 1991 Turbo Miata

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    What sort of alignment do you run?


    Maturity is knowing that you were an idiot in the past. Common sense is trying to not be an idiot right now. Wisdom is knowing that you will still be an idiot in the future.

    2009 MS3
    2008 RX8
    1991 MR2

  10. #8605
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
    muffled screams
    Protege5 & Protege FS Moderator

    1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCH View Post
    What sort of alignment do you run?
    It's TOP SECRET!

    (yeah ok, no, I'm not that guy)

    Front: -2.75 camber, 4mm total toe out, and as much caster as I can dial in and get the camber I want.
    Rear: -1.75 camber, zero toe.

    With the power steering system, I'm going to start experimenting with removing a bit of caster and see how that affects things. It'll help keep dynamic camber in line.

    Also, I'm embarassed at our abject failure
    I got sick of turning the same collar back and forth in ever decreasing amounts and swinging the needle hundredths of a percentage point either side of the mark, so we called it good. 0.03% is well within the "take a dump between runs to move the needle" territory lol

    Last edited by aMaff; 01-08-2018 at 10:00 AM.
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  11. #8606
    Out there... chiefmg's Avatar

    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 GT (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD

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    I've been ailing so haven't gotten anything done lately. Now that I am finally recovering, I took the plunge and bought a Momo Fighter steering wheel along with a MS hub to mount it on. Hoping by the time it shows up I will be fully fit and can get on with work.

  12. #8607
    Out there... chiefmg's Avatar

    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 GT (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD

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    Steering wheel and hub showed up today:



    The wood is slightly lighter than the stock parts, but I don't think it will be too bad since the wheel is a distance away from the shift knob and e-brake handle. My resistors showed up too, so once it warms some more I will be able to get this installed.

    I thought I had bought a new horn trim ring from eBay, but the seller wrote me the following day to say their inventory was wrong and they had none left. They also checked with Momo but it is NLA. I'll have to find another source if I want one.

  13. #8608
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
    muffled screams
    Protege5 & Protege FS Moderator

    1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefmg View Post
    I thought I had bought a new horn trim ring from eBay, but the seller wrote me the following day to say their inventory was wrong and they had none left. They also checked with Momo but it is NLA. I'll have to find another source if I want one.
    I *may* actually have one of those kicking around somewhere. Let me take a look around and see if I can lay my hands on it.
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  14. #8609
    Out there... chiefmg's Avatar

    '81 RX-7 GS, '00 Miata SE, '06 RX-8 GT (wife's), '15 CX-5 GT AWD

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    Quote Originally Posted by aMaff View Post
    I *may* actually have one of those kicking around somewhere. Let me take a look around and see if I can lay my hands on it.
    This one? https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/O9kAA...zxZ/s-l300.jpg If you have one that would be amazing.

  15. #8610
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Protege5 & Protege FS Moderator

    1992 Miata / 2003 Pathfinder

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    Not that one...and I can't seem to put my hands on the silver one I *should* have
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