Destination SSM One Miata's Journey through Hell


The Miata is Dead, Long Live the Elise

Posted by David de Regt

10450276_628275863068_9111196888486650278_o[1]My last post was full of optimism for a serious attempt at a season of autocross with the car. Unfortunately, the reliability gods decided against that. Over the course of the season, pretty much everything in the engine bay caused some sort of problem. The season started with the supercharger breaking at the Crow's Landing Prosolo before I could even take any runs, then taking way too long to get fixed because, as always, vendors suck at keeping to their promises. That caused me to get it back on a Thursday night, throw it frantically into the car (the night before the Packwood Pro), where, during practice runs, the car showered its engine bay down with oil when something else failed. Later that event, the upper ball joints broke out of their press fits, requiring frantic tearing apart of the car between run groups to get them welded back in. It's just been a year of a series of unfortunate events everywhere I tried to take the car. In the end, after considering the option of towing my car out to nationals, I instead just went to nationals in Ron Bauer's DP car after almost bailing on the event altogether for the first time since I started.

10172764_623243607748_4414811543945212468_n[1]This April, despite the Miata seeming to be in okay shape, I enacted phase 1 of my SSM contingency plan and picked up an Elise from New York and drove it back across the country to Seattle. The plan was to daily drive the car (I had been dailying our Forester for a while and was getting bored of that for some reason) and slowly just mod it into a fun and fast street car. I also knew that, in the end, it was probably a better platform for SSM than the Miata, and that it would likely someday take over, but I was thinking it'd be a couple years before that plan started unfolding. I was wrong.

10583987_636369762828_5461914175468102933_n[1]Shortly after the SC blew up at Crow's Landing, I tentatively made the decision to move up the timetable for the Elise. The first step was that I wanted to make sure that I could actually kill two birds with one stone with the car. I wanted the true unicorn -- the daily driveable SSM car, and not just "could" daily drive, actually "want to" daily drive. So, I decided that the first thing to do would be suspension/wheels/tires for the car, so that it was in basically full SSM stiffness trim and I could try that out before committing to the full build.

10592827_636689142788_6586557377148567369_n[1]While researching how I wanted to do that, an opening came up in a local performance driving school (high speed exercises + instructed lapping of Pacific Raceway) that I'd wanted my wife to take for a while. I had the perfect excuse to throw some money at the car and test it out at the same time. After talking with Fred Zust at Blackwatch Racing, we hatched a plan to quickly ship me a bunch of parts and get the car together in time for the track day. Much to my surprise, everything showed up on time and I had time to actually get the car aligned and do some shakedown on the street before the event. Needless to say, the car was a blast on the track and worked great, despite being somewhat down on power (which I later verified on the dyno as ~15% down). I daily drove the car for a couple weeks and quickly decided that I was completely fine driving the car this stiff on the street.

IMG_2880When the Miata had the several issues at the Packwood Pro, it was really the death knell, after I had already gone that deep into the Elise. In a local event right after nationals, I took the car out officially as the "last hurrah", and, of course, to spite me, it immediately catastrophically broke again. It made it nice and easy to take the car home, roll it into the garage, throw it on jackstands, and immediately strip every sellable part from the carcass without remorse. Since then, I have been selling off the parts at a reasonable pace on all the major Miata boards.

With money coming in from the Miata parts, at this point, I've paid for a good portion of the first phase of the build of the Elise. I hope to have everything together by the end of 2014 to have a winter/spring to work on the tune and really dial in the car to be ready for the season next year. I'll be posting more detailing the build of the car as the more interesting parts start showing up and the motor comes out. The site will soon transform to only have history of the Miata on it and instead be focused on the Elise, so keep in touch.


Month of Slow Progress

Posted by David de Regt

I haven't posted much in the last month because, well, not a lot has happened.  I've been mostly just driving the car at events and playing with setup ideas while planning the next phase of the build.  I've now ordered a full set of custom control arms and spindle modifications with a 1" drop from Jon Brakke.  They won't be finished until after nationals, unfortunately, but that's what I get for not ordering anything until this late.  He's seen the pictures of the failed EPMiata arms and couldn't believe how underbuilt they were, so it'll be interesting to see how much stronger his will (hopefully) be.

Due to my dad running over the old hardtop at Lincoln this spring, I've also ordered a new CF hardtop from Axis Power Racing before realizing that they possibly weren't legal (it's a bit of a grey area, apparently.)  There's a proposal out to make them explicitly legal, which will hopefully pass, or else I'll have to use the top on a time attack car or something...  I also finally picked up the FM Little Big Brake Kit which required minor clearancing of the calipers to fit on the 9" rotor with the 15x10 6ULs, but is giving quite a bit better braking between them and the SS lines I finally added to the rear.  The V8Roadster Bump Steer Kit finally arrived as well, but I haven't had a chance to put them on the car yet.  Hopefully in the next week or so.

In the last few events, I'd been noticing that the traction control seemed to be getting increasingly invasive, so last weekend at a practice, I tried turning the TC system completely off, and was still getting massive misfiring coming out of corners (getting on the gas early.)  I tried replacing my 3 remaining Chinese Toyota knock-off coil packs with genuine Toyota ones, and, shockingly, my misfire problem disappeared, which was a welcome development.  At this point, it suddenly seems like I can put a lot more power down than I thought I was able to, so it will soon be time to up the power by quite a bit.  I keep finding myself floored and waiting coming out of slow corners.  Even with ~220 ft/lbs at the wheels that low in the powerband, I'm getting killed out of those corners by Bob Bundy, who has more like 350 ft/lbs down there, so I think some power bumps are in order for next season.

The only major issue the car's had for a while now was last weekend, when an apparently undertorqued crank pulley bolt came loose and bent/embedded itself into the crankshaft, while simultaneously allowing the supercharger to shear off the woodruff key and spread the keyway wide open on both the crank and the pulley boss.  Oops.  So much for that crank.  I picked up a new crank from Coop's Miata, got bearings overnighted from Flyin Miata, rebuilt the motor Thursday and Friday, threw it back in the car, and towed up to Canada for the VCMC Super Challenge this weekend.

The event went pretty well.  The course was an uninspired set of 7 very tight corners, each connected by either essentially a straightaway or a 180 degree sweeper, which isn't the greatest set of elements for the car -- all the grip in the world isn't terribly useful when you still are floored for 2-4 seconds out of every slow corner.  The event format was really neat, though.  At the end of the event, they take the top 30 drivers on PAX, add 10 randomly drawn drivers, and everyone takes a single run.  The bottom 20 PAXed times are eliminated, they change the course, and repeat.  Halve two more times, then the last group of 5 run for the final finishing order.  It's an interesting variation on the ProSolo challenge idea and really forces you to be both consistent and fast.  I managed to finish 4th overall, which was several spots higher than I was expecting.  Our current tires are up to ~50+ runs and the course was not well suited to the car in it current state, so doing this well was an unexpected surprise.  I also tried some Hail Mary setup changes between Saturday and Sunday which helped a fair bit (the car was very loose Saturday.)

Looking ahead to Solo Nationals, I've organized a local test and tune for Friday, where I'll finally have my first chance all year to really mess around extensively with shock and pressure tuning.  Unfortunately, with how absurdly busy I've been the last few weeks, the 2-driver reg deadline for the Pro Finale came and went without us noticing, so we're now on the waitlist.  If we don't get in, we might not even bother making the journey.  The idea of spending 8 days and a few thousand dollars of gas, hotels, food, and general costs for 5 minutes of  racing time on an unfinished car isn't the most appealing thing in the world right now.  As annoying as it would be to work toward this all year and then not go, it may be the right decision to make when the time comes.  In the meantime, we'll stare at the waitlist and hope.

Filed under: Engine No Comments

Dyno Attempt #1

Posted by David de Regt

On 3 hours of sleep, I ran down to get some 100 octane race gas, threw some more 92 into the SSM car, and we loaded it up into my dad's trailer to haul down to the dyno (the car still doesn't have a hood or fenders, and it's an unknown drivetrain, so towing seemed to be a good idea -- this proved to be a good decision).  We unloaded the car, I quickly wired up the TPS while Andre (of Pina Motorsports) started laying in a base tune and configuring anything I'd missed on the car, and then we loaded it onto the dyno.  We made it about 1/3 of the way through the base fuel map when suddenly the motor backfired lightly, cut out, and refused to even pretend to start again.

We debugged a bit and found that the cam/crank sensors weren't syncing properly, and were in fact syncing largely randomly.  We tried messing with it for a bit, but to no avail.  We did a quick compression check on #1 and found no compression, which implied something far more serious was wrong and decided to call it a day.  We loaded up the car and brought it back home, tail between our legs.

After getting some sleep (I was a zombie at this point), the next day I tore the valve cover and the timing covers off the motor and started toying around.  I quickly realized that while the cams were in sync relative to each other, and the crank pulley was correctly marking TDC (verified), they were nowhere close to correct relative to each other.  I assumed the Gates belt I'd used stretched and the belt had slipped, so I ordered a new timing belt and tensioner spring and started messing with other stuff in the car.

The next day, I figured I should tear the rest of the front of the motor off so that when the belt got there, I could just throw it on.  While I was disassembling, I realized that I could spin the crank and the cams weren't spinning.  When I got the crank pulley off, I realized the issue.  I'm using a bolt-on 6 rib pulley from Fast Forward Superchargers that mounts into the stock 4 bolts on the front of the pulley.  What I did not notice, however, is that the hole in the center is about 1mm too small for the crank bolt to pass through.  So, while everything torqued together properly, the bolt was over 1cm too far out from where it needed to be, so the woodruff key was no longer held in place.  After running long enough, it managed to vibrate its way out of the timing pulley and let it spin freely on the crank, while holding the normal crank pulley in place.  With that mystery solved, I properly reassembled everything in the correct order, and went back to finishing up some rewiring while waiting for the coil that I left at the dyno to be mailed to me.

I'm using this delay to redo some wiring in the bay that needed to happen -- moving things like the TPS, IAC, IAT, etc. around in the front harness to properly reflect where they'd moved to in the final configuration, which should clean up the engine bay quite a bit and make the car easier to work on.  I'm also installing a console-switchable fan onto the intercooler for waiting in grid.  Tomorrow the coil should arrive and I can try firing the car up again, and then take it to the dyno later this week to try again, hopefully with more success...


Finishing the Drivetrain

Posted by David de Regt

Since the day that I got the Manifold (March 9th, over a week later than it was supposed to be), I've been working pretty solid on the car every spare waking moment.  As it turns out, after taking 4 months to work on the project, Corky ignored all of my measurements and schematics that I sent to him, measured a random supercharger he had on the shelf, and designed the supercharger mount and collector based on that.  So, essentially every measurement on the manifold was wrong, not to mention that the collector output ended up being directly into the alternator bracket, as well as contacting the live post of the alternator.  So, after opening the package and a few minutes later realizing these lovely things, I've been constantly fixing the stream of problems resulting from this.

I first fabricated a new alternator bracket out of crap I had lying around to get the bracket out of the way, and tried several different slightly shorter accessory belts to try to move the alternator ever so slightly further over so that it would clear the collector output.  I then had to modify the alternator live stud to point further down so that it would clear the collector as well.  After all that, the manifold would actually bolt onto the engine.  At this point, it was time to put the stock manifold onto the car and get the car back to Doug's so that he could make the final exhaust and we could work on the rest of this fab.

Corky was also supposed to create a radiator and intercooler from cores, which, for the last 2 months straight he said he was going to ship out at the end of each week I emailed.  When I finally pressed him "now or never" last week, he said he had no idea when he was going to be able to do it.  So, that night I spent a bunch of time measuring the radiator opening and browsing the net for substitutes and ordered a 3-row (2.5" thick) 92-00 Civic radiator and RX-7 sidemount intercooler from CXRacing, which seemed to get me the best combination of what I needed at the measurements I needed to make them fit in.  I ordered them up, and they arrived just in the nick of time.  Doug had made the exhaust all afternoon Wednesday (March 14), and the parts arrived midday Thursday, aiming to make a Dyno session friday, and then autocross all weekend.  So, the race was on.  I came over at noon Thursday to Doug's and we started working.

The next step was getting the supercharger to mount to the manifold.  I had to grind away a bunch of material from around the supercharger mount so that there'd be enough room to get a wrench around some bolts, grind away a ton of material from the collector inlet and intermediate plate, so that some air could actually get from the supercharger all the way into the collector, and replace the studs with bolts, since studs wouldn't clear the SC at all.  After several hours on the floor of Chase Race with wrenches, a sharpie, and a die grinder, I finally was able to attach the supercharger to the manifold.  Not exactly a light pile of metal, all assembled.

There's a very careful order of operations to install everything.  Off the car, the supercharger and intermediate plate must be attached to the manifold.  From there, the manifold must be attached to the car, and only after that can the fuel rail squeeze around the supercharger and nestle its way into its home.  Bill Freiheit did a great job making me a quick supercharger to throttle body (I went with a 75mm Mustang 5.0 BBK throttle body, the BBK-1503) adapter, which nicely dealt with that portion of the setup.  I'll deal with the intake later on, but I'm hoping we can make something that curls down by the passenger side wheel well to pull fresh air out from under the car.

While I finished getting the manifold together, Doug had been working on making custom mounts for the intercooler and radiator and finishing up some other stuff (exhaust tweaks, etc.)  As it turns out, they work fantastically and fit great in there.  I was originally planning on getting custom ones made down the line, but it's possible I'll be happy sticking with these for quite a while now -- 100$ intercooler and 70$ radiator, can't beat that.  We finished those at about the same time, so I turned my attention to the intake piping.  Doug was new to welding aluminum, so this was a new game for him, and I'd never designed intake piping before, so I had a fun challenge of trying to fabricate legos that played nice with each other.  In the end, the assortment of stuff I got from SiliconIntakes worked great for really cheap, and we ended up with some functional piping.  Neither of us are particularly proud of our work, but it did get the job done.

The last major thing was the SC belt.  I'd managed to find the shortest belt that would go onto the setup (required forcing it over the crank pulley while turning it with a wrench), and then found a 6-rib Gates auto-tensioning pulley (usually used in mid 90s GM cars) and come up with a harebrained scheme that I figured just might work.  I did some hackneyed "measuring" with a sharpie, staring at the engine bay, and formed a plan.  We cut out a chunk of aluminum, drilled a bunch of complicated holes in it, welded on a bracket, attached it to the manifold, and, much to both of our surprises, it just worked.

Finally, there was a ton of other cleanup/finishing work -- doing some rewiring, fabricating a throttle cable bracket, running vacuum lines, etc.  Around 4 AM, we finally got the car fired up.  Remarkably, it basically fired right up without any fuss.  I spent some time futzing with the fuel map so that it'd be drivable, we identified 2 coolant leaks (one was easy, one was a total pain) and after celebrating with a quick beer I managed to finally get the car home a little after 5 AM.  It drove perfectly, and it was really hard to keep my right foot from squeezing out some more whine, even though I'd zeroed out the on-boost timing map and made the on boost fuel map super rich, just in case.  Even pushing just a couple pounds of boost on the drive home (really really light squeeze),  I could tell it was going to be fast.


It’s Alive!

Posted by David de Regt

Yesterday was an important milestone: the new engine fired up in the car for the first time.  I've been out of town a fair bit of the last 2 weeks, but I've been spending a ton of time on the car, so quite a bit has occurred anyway.

As planned, on the 9th my dad came over and we tore everything remaining out of the car.  The next day, I started working on the ABS changeout.  The first step was removing the old brick, which was pretty painless.  To keep from losing too much fluid, I just threw the lines into the new brick in the right places while I figured out what to do next.  The lines happily went in with the brick facing backwards, but that wasn't really what I wanted.  I designed the wiring harness to have the brick facing the stock direction, so I needed to fix that.

Talking to Doug, the stock lines should take the amount of abuse necessary to move everything where I needed, so I spent a while slowly massaging the lines into where I wanted them to mount and was fairly happy with the result.  After the supercharger setup is in place, and I know where everything will be in final shape, I'll cut into the lines and shorten them to be only as long as they need to be, but for now I've cirlycued everything to try to keep it as compact as possible while keeping stock line lengths in case I need to move it down the line.  I took the stock 05 bracket, lopped off some unneeded tabs, drilled some new holes into the bottom to utilize some existing threaded holes in the NA chassis, and mounted it up solidly.  This should be about as secure as the stock 05 mounting.

Next, I started on the NB subframe.  I'm switching to the NB front subframe for the better suspension pickup geometry and better steering rack.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize just how many parts are involved with this.  I had the rack and the subframe, not realizing that a ton of parts changed compatibility between the generations as well.  So, at this point, I just swapped out the subframe and ordered a bunch more parts from Panic Motorsports and moved onto the wiring harnesses.

I pretty heavily modified the transmission harness.  The stock harness runs a battery cable all the way down the PPF to the trunk.  I'm switching to a 2.5 lb LiFe EVO2 battery, and there was more than 2.5 lbs of wiring in the harness that I could eliminate by simply moving the battery up to the engine bay, and also remove the extra native resistance of the super long cable run, to maximize the starting effectiveness of the tiny battery.  As a result, I removed everything rear of the reverse sensor hookups and ran just a couple feet of the battery cable up to by where the stock fusebox goes, where I'm now mounting the battery.  I made some quick battery and ground cables and I was good to go.

Next the front harness went in.  I wasn't sure how everything was going to line up, so at this point I just threw it in the engine bay, to make sure it lined up with the transmission harness, that it could reach the ABS unit, and that I didn't miss anything obvious.  Surprisingly, everything seemed fine.  Wiring is everywhere, but who cares -- it's run, and, more importantly, so far everything's happy.  I tried hooking up the ignition switch, turning the key, and everything made the appropriate relay noises it should have, and nothing blew up.  Taking that as a good sign, I moved on.

After everything was done in the car that I wanted with the motor out, I finished putting the 1.6 sensors I need (coolant temp, fan switch, oil pressure) onto the 99 motor, added the clutch and flywheel, and put it in the car.  Corky still hasn't finished the radiator, so for now I had to ghetto rig up some radiator lines to get everything to line up temporarily.  I got that all working, hooked up all the sensors, filled all the fluids, and tried test firing the fuel pump to see if the fuel system would hold pressure.  Then I got a face full of fuel...

I'm using the M-Tuned dual feed fuel rail, anticipating vastly increased fuel flow over the itty bitty stock rail (on the supercharger setup, not right now).  It comes with a bunch of lines and fittings and adapters.  I was hoping that them being NPT would be good enough to seal, but I was very wrong.  So, on the first spot that leaked, I tried sealing it with Permatec high temp thread sealant, as suggested by several people on multiple message boards.  I let it cure for 24 hours, per the PDF on Permatec's site, then tried firing the pump again.  That spot sealed up just fine, letting the fuel gush forth from 3 other spots simultaneously once pressure built up.  Talked to a few more people and read more online, and everything pointed to getting yellow double-density teflon tape.  Went to ACE Racing, picked up a roll of it, and re-built the entire rail setup using three full wraps of it on every fitting.  Reassembled everything and fired the fuel pump.  Everything sealed!  For about 10 seconds.  Then it started pouring forth through the spot that I sealed with the Permatec goop.  I pulled that fitting out, cleaned everything off, let it dry, and then resealed that spot with the yellow tape.  Test fired the pump again, only to realize that, now that everything was sealing, the pressure gauge on my adjustable fuel pressure regulator wasn't moving because I had it hooked up backwards.  I hooked that back up the right way, started the fuel pump again, and was able to actually adjust my base fuel pressure to 50 psi and sit there and watch it pump.  Next.

At this point, new steering rack supplies showed up.  The weirdly sized stock M12x1.25 fine thread bolts and a hard line and power steering pump from an NB arrived from Panic Motorsports, and I quickly installed it all, hoping to put the steering issues to rest.  I got the power steering lines all hooked up and swapped the pump to the NB pump, and the whole system sealed and hooked up properly.  However, I then learned that the NB rack has a bigger steering column output pinion.  More research showed that I needed a new U-joint and a new intermediate steering shaft off the NB to go with the parts.  A call to Panic got those on the way, and, lacking any more drivetrain stuff to do, I went back to the motor.

I'm using the AEM plug and play EMS for 90-95 Miatas.  I bought it for several reasons, not least of which because Emilio touted its ability to run the 99 crank and cam angle sensors, allowing me to run sequential injection and direct fire sequential ignition.  However, it has no out of the box ability to do any of these things, as I quickly discovered.  I spent several hours saturday and sunday hunched in the driver's side of the cabin, laptop on my lap, swearing at the internet, and periodically causing ear-splitting backfires as I tried to make the damn thing work.  Finally, sunday afternoon, after trying several combinations of things that sounded like it kind of wanted to start, I tried doubling the fuel map (I'd scaled it up from the stock injectors to my new injector sizes,) and suddenly the engine roared to life at 3000 RPMs for a second or two and shut off.  After futzing with the fuel map for a bit, I was able to get it to reliably start and idle at whatever idle value I wanted.  The next step with the motor is road tuning the fuel map, which is going to require waiting until the steering components get in this week, but I'm glad that everything is running exactly how it should.

I spent this morning cleaning up the spaghetti wiring mess, fixing the tach (required soldering in a 1k resistor between power and the tach lead), making a bracket to hold the fusebox into the corner where I want it, and generally zip tying everything down to keep it tidy and from moving.  This afternoon I'm going to work on installing the AIM EVO4 data system and getting it to talk to the AEM EMS, then replace my dash with the AIM.

The race transmission is being rebuilt as we speak at Advanced Autosport, and should ship to me by the end of the week, so I'm using the transmission that came in the car until the new one shows up.  Doug is still working on the rear end swap (putting the diff/ring+pinion in, and adding abs rings to the non-abs axles), so I'm on the stock diff (haven't even looked to see if it's a VLSD) until that's done as well.  Axis Power Racing has sent the seats to the upholsterer and should be getting them back in a day or two, at which point 2 seats, a hood, and fenders will ship out to me, and I should probably end up with them early next week.  So, as things stand right now, next week is looking like when the car will take on semi final shape.  At that point, I can also take the car out on the road and see if this new ABS craziness actually works or not...


Motor Build

Posted by David de Regt

The motor build ended up, like everything else on this project, taking longer than expected.  Mazda Motorsports sent me some wrong parts, I kept deciding to replace more parts (hoses, o-rings, etc.), and then the M-Tuned rail didn't fit right.  Every step of getting new parts is another week down the hatch, and waiting for a decent response from M-Tuned took a while too.  Last night, though, I finally made the final necessary modifications (read: liberal application of angle grinder) and bolted the last things to the motor.  It's now basically ready to go in (sans needing a few sensors off the 1.6 motor that's still in the car) so I should probably talk about it a little bit.

The motor is, actually, a somewhat mild build.  It started life as a running-but-smoking 99 motor that I got from Panic Motorsports (who are awesome, by the way.)  I was planning on just throwing the motor into the car as it sat so that I could start figuring out the EMS/wiring harness situation piecemeal, but as the schedule continued to push back, I decided to just go ahead and do the full build straight off the bat.  So, I gave it to Eastside Machine, the guy who's done all my motor work for the last several years, and got it back with a bunch of nice new goodies installed.  I had them assemble the short block and head separately, and I took it from there.

For the block, I replaced the oiling system with 2002+ parts.  The later motor has a better windage tray/support plate, and the later oil pan fits it without modification, so I just used both. The new oil pump theoretically flows a little better as well.  I got some unnamed H-beam rods from 949 Racing and paired them with the crazy Wiseco pistons that Flyin Miata sells.  I'm using a stock crankshaft, wrapped in ACL Main and Rod bearings, held in with ARP main studs.  The full rotating assembly was balanced, then the clutch/pressure plate were balanced to it separately.

The head is pretty mild as well.  I'm basically just using everything Supertech sells.  1mm oversize valves all around, with their spring/retainer/seat combo pack.  Stock cams should make the wide torqueband I want, but can be reevaluated later if necessary.  I'm keeping the 99 puck-on-bucket shim system for now.  I'm only planning on spinning this thing to 8000 RPMs (for now?) so nothing too intense is necessary on that end of things under the current plans.  My main question is if the head will flow well enough without doing any other major modifications for the amount of air I'm going to be cramming through it, but there are several other people on MiataTurbo that are making similar power, with less built motors, so I'm hopefully safe.

I'm doing a coolant reroute (using the BEGi kit, flipped around), so I'm using a 99 head gasket (which has the fully spread-out coolant passages), and holding everything together with ARP head studs.  I'm going to be using a half-width radiator on the driver's side, so I'm running the coolant re-route down the hot side of the motor, which will keep all of the cooling system on that half of the car.  The intercooler will be on the passenger half of the radiator opening, so that can keep all of the forced induction goodies on that half of the engine bay.  Hopefully this will keep everything as clean as possible in what I'm sure will be a crammed full engine bay...

For fueling I'm running the M-Tuned dual feed fuel rail with 725cc Injector Dynamics injectors with an adjustable rising rate fuel pressure regulator.  The M-Tuned rail intersected the valve cover, so I had to grind down the tips a few mm so that it would clear.  I also had to grind away a bit of the third rib of the upper half of the 99 intake manifold so that it would clear the rail.  Nothing too major, but it all needed to happen or else it wouldn't bolt in and tighten.  Finally, I'm doing the standard Toyota 1ZZ coil-on-plug conversion (you can see it in the picture of the motor at the top of the post).  I got the very nicely designed mounting plate from Trackspeed, which made mounting easy.  These will be sparking through the NGK race plugs that Flyin Miata sells.  I'm trying out gapping them at 0.030 to begin with, and we'll go from there.

As you've probably noticed, for the first phase here, the motor is going in without a supercharger.  This will let me try to work kinks out of the wiring harness and get the EMS up and running happily without also dealing with forced induction.  Corky Bell is fabbing me up a custom intake manifold with integrated supercharger mount (see pic at right), but it's unclear how long that's going to take before it's ready.  That's the vision, though.

Filed under: Delays, Engine No Comments