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Thread: KMiata SCCA Solo XP swap

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  1. #1
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    KMiata SCCA Solo XP swap

    It's finally getting close enough that I want to get started on prep work for this project since I've got most of the parts needed now.

    The first bit of prep was the steering rack, and so as to not lose the NB rack bolts I figured I'd put the bolts into the threaded holes in the V8R-sourced subframe.
    3 out of 4 had powder coat completely boogering the bolt holes. On the upside, the thread pitch of those holes is M12x1.25mm, which is the M12 tap I don't actually have in stock.
    A quick Amazon shopping trip and a couple days later, the tap comes in.
    After chasing the threads in the good bolt hole and 2 of the 3 bad ones, I realize 1 of the engine mount brackets completely blocks access to the 4th. Improvise and overcome right?

    Turns out, a 5/16" 12-point socket makes a good-enough narrow access tap wrench for an M12 tap.



    Nickolaus G recommended I check the rest of the holes on the subframe, and sure enough, the news is equally "good".

    Nope.


    Nope.


    Nope.


    Nope.


    Nope.


    Next move is to run to home depot to get some 3/8 rod (since I'm apparently out) to make a bore-polishing sanpaper flap tool to clean these out before I try bolting this whole thing to the car. Probably need to clean up the surfaces where the eccentric washers bear on the subframe as the powdercoat is probably way too thick there and might limit adjustment range. I'll re-paint everything to prevent rust, but it'll be a lot thinner than whatever 1/8" of powdercoat they slapped on this thing with no protection on bolt holes....
    ~Andrew
    Atlanta Region SCCA
    114 DP

  2. #2
    No words bazooka joe's Avatar
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    Oh boy! Should be a fun thread !

  3. #3
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    SITREP:
    Good news: I got the bores cleared out.
    Bad news: they're banana shaped and the bolts won't go in.



    The bolts bind up solid as soon as they get to the 2nd weld, so it's super warped
    I could bash it in with a hammer, but that's going to lead to some serious suspension bind. And I don't have a 15mm reamer sitting around (and a mill big enough to fixture this damn thing in) to fix it myself.




    I appear to have been the very unlucky person that got a bum part. David with KMiata has been awesome to work with and has been super apologetic. He says he's only seen one of these in the last 2 years once the production kits started going out, and they're going to get another one sent out ASAP. Super frustrating, but I'm glad to be finding it now rather than in a couple months when I'm starting in earnest.
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  4. #4
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Steering rack's ready to go (minus a couple zip ties to secure the boots).
    New inner tie rods, new R Package outer tie rods, and my home-brew steering limiters.

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  5. #5
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    I got the ends of the frame rails where I cut out the bumper bar boxed back in, for both strength and safety working around that area.

    MIG welding thin, old sheet metal with .030 wire is a pain in the ass but I made it work. I need to get a bigger piece of copper to use as a heat sink for stuff like this, but the little Harbor Freight copper spoon did the job.





    And of course, a little "grinder and paint make me the welder I ain't" to complete the look.



    I wanted to finish the bumper-bar part today as well (boxing in the ends, and welding the 'ears' to the bar), but I broke the bandsaw blade (it just never ends...) so I'll mess around with those tomorrow.
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  6. #6
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    It's no secret that I don't like the way they tension the accessory belt in this swap. I absolutely believe them when they say it works and is reliable on their & their customer race cars, but I picture myself in a wet, gravel or sand paddock space at a track or on the side of a mountain, needing to replace an alternator or water pump, and losing half of those damn washers in the dirt.
    Given that, I had grand plans of turning up a couple sets of custom length spacers (one to have as a spare) on the lathe, until a different option was presented.

    The alternator on the 08+ Accords and 09+ TSXs (from a K24z3, vs the K24a2 that I have) has a single-bolt bottom mount that runs parallel to the engine. IE: It can swivel. IE: If I can figure out a way to make that work, I can use a simple turnbuckle style tensioner and never worry about losing a boatload of small parts just to change a belt.

    The alternator mounts on the side of the "water housing". A weird aluminum casting that bolts to the driver's side (in this RWD configuration) of the engine that the water pump bolts to in the front, the thermostat housing bolts to in the rear, the alternator on the side, and the big stock tensioner bracket (that I cut off to route the coolant hose) on top. It *appears* that I can simply swap to a later water pump housing
    Off to EBay to load the parts cannon!

    I got the z3 water housing in and things looked ok to start with, but I found 2 problems.

    1. the bolt bores are different sizes / lengths. The z3 housing uses 2 long studs (vs 1 long and 2 short), and then 1 long bolt and 1 short (vs 2 long). That's fairly minor, I just need to grab a stud and bolt. I could honestly get by with 3 bolts, but the studs help when sliding it on the first time when it's covered in RTV so I don't screw that up horribly.

    2. This one's bigger, and will require a little help from my friends. The K24z3 housing is on the left, the K24a2 housing is on the right.
    The z3 housing uses 3 of the 4 bolt holes the same as the a2, but the one at the upper right (sharpie pointer) is in a different location.
    HOWEVER: The hole from the original a2 pattern is *nearly* drilled through in the z3 housing so I've got something to work off of.



    I didn't want to have my machinist go through all the trouble of milling this thing down if the hole pattern wouldn't line up, so I used a slightly undersized drill-bit to knock the bottom of that bore out. This way, the original bore is still there to locate an endmill off of to bore it correctly.

    That top bolt is actually tight but it's sitting on that step in the casting on the back side of the bolt. We (and by we I mean Dave) will mill in a flat for the bolt to sit flat against.



    The alternator and a turnbuckle that looked to be about the right length are coming in on Thursday, then I can play around with where I want to actually mount the thing. I might use 1 of those bosses at the top, I might pick up on 1 of the water housing bolts. We'll see.
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  7. #7
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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  8. #8
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Good news: KMiata is having another subframe sent out today.



    While I wait for that to come in, I figure I might as well do some of the small things. I have a depowered NB rack as specced out for the subframe mounts, but didn't realize (until reading through the full documentation) that the 2 small hydraulic fittings on the main tube of the rack housing need to be cut off. So, I did that, then picked up a couple small 3/16" rivets to JBWeld in





    Once it sets up I'll clean that up & throw some paint on it.
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  9. #9
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    I thought I was done with the rack, until I had one of those "oh shit, you dumbass" realizations while drifting off to sleep last night.

    There is a shoulder on the new style Inner Tie Rod locking washers that goes on the OD of the rack, vs the old style washers that sat on the OD of the tie rod's threads.
    I realized the rack limiters I made are a really snug fit on the rack, and might not clear the washer. I pulled the boots off and turned the rack through its full range of motion and sure enough, I'd managed to reduce the total travel by another 1/4 turn or so (1/8" per side, give or take).



    I threw it in the lathe and put a counter-bore in it to clear the washer on 1 side, but still ride nice and snug on the rack:



    Much mo' better.




    Of course, taking those staked on washers off broke the areas that were staked, so I clocked them 90 degrees and had 2 fresh areas on the shoulder to put new stakes in. Those plus red loctite (again... removing the inner tie rods wasn't fun) should be good to go now.
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  10. #10
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Finished off the bumper bar side of things today. Welded the ends, then welded the 'paddles' to the bar.

    I'm pretty proud of this one. Turns out, getting welding practice makes your welding better.




    All welded up, with a couple coats of paint.



    On to the next. Probably going to finish up the steering linkage next, then start working on the fuel system.
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  11. #11
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Got the cooling system pretty much wrapped up, I think. Probably going to put some more anti-abrasion sleeve and a bit of retention where it wraps around the front of the engine, because while it doesn't touch while not loaded, I imagine when it's full of water and moving with the car & engine, it'll definitely rub there. Worst case it's easy / cheap insurance that I'm not wetting down the course / track.



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  12. #12
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Radiator fan mounts.

    Mock up:





    Confirming fitment





    And finally, speed holes. Ain't nothing lighter than a hole! (phrasing?)

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  13. #13
    No words bazooka joe's Avatar
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    You’ll be done for the hill climb?
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  14. #14
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Not KMiata content as much as XP content, but these are currently being CNC'd

    Last edited by aMaff; 07-17-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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  15. #15
    High Speed Low Drag aMaff's Avatar
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    Been chipping away at a bunch of small stuff, but pieces are starting to fall into place.

    Apparently they now have a 'universal' upper coolant housing that doesn't need to use the Miata's stock temp sensor, but I didn't know that, and I've already got this one (and a Miata coolant sensor...) so why not use it. I plan on using the Honda cooling sensor, so I just needed something to plug the hole. I chucked the temp sensor into the late to knock the connector off, and learned that the whole thing is basically 2 pieces. The brass "housing", and then the connector / sensor assembly. As soon as the parting tool touched the join between the 2, the sensor broke free and could be pulled out. I cleaned the end up a little to make it a little more low-profile:




    Next started work on putting together the intake manifold. The gasket is...whatever the opposite of port-matched is. There was a really significant (1/8" or so) step, all around the notch for the injectors. The rest of the port wasn't great either, but that bit around the injectors was awful. Kinda hard to see in the pictures, but I opened it all the way up and smoothed the transition between the gasket and port.




    Still looks pretty rough in the "after" picture, but I took it apart and deburred and smoothed everything out off the head.




    I've ordered the rest of the fuel system components today and some tubing for an intake.

    I say that... there's absolutely going to be something I missed or some angle fitting I wasn't expecting to need, but it'll get me most of the way there.
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