Destination SSM One Miata's Journey through Hell

21Jul/15Off

What Really Happened

It's cute. I read the end of my last post, and it was so optimistic. I should have known better...

IMG_3325BOE actually had their shit together and sent me all their parts when they said they would. Everyone else missed their targets by varying degrees. The transmission went deep into February before it was finished, so that was stopping me from assembling the full transaxle. Once I got the transmission, though, it wouldn't come out of the first gear I put it in, so it required a couple trips down to Portland to get solved.

IMG_3342Due to all the delays and the transmission issues, it was the middle of March before I got the motor in the car for first fitment testing. At this point, I had blown right through any chance of hitting San Diego/El Toro. There was a brief period where I thought everything might magically come together, but it just wasn't going to happen, so I settled in for what I thought would be the "safe long haul" for Crow's Landing in April...

IMG_3348The E153 conversion kit had several assorted fitment problems, culminating in needing to chop a small chunk out of my frame rail for a lobe on the transmission to clear it -- the same thing Glagola and others have had to do, so at least it was expected. After sorting through that and the pile of other fitment problems (axle clearance, shifter forks having a "bearing" made out of plastic, and other fun adventures), the motor was, finally, hanging in the engine bay supported by engine mounts, and I could start hooking things up.

By 3/22, I'd managed to get most of the important stuff hooked up and dealt with a bunch more random wire routing, bracket fabrication, and shifter cable madness.

IMG_3482The rest of the week was spent finishing up a pile of other fun tasks -- flushing all the oil out of the oil coolers and corresponding lines so that I could plumb them into the intercooler cooling loop (water to air intercooler), figuring out the tuning software since it had several issues getting my car to work out of the gate, slowly filling everything with fluids, fabricating mounts for the intercooler pump, etc. Projects just kept arriving out of the woodwork.

IMG_3486Finally, on 3/28, I had the first startup, which somehow went flawlessly. After spending the rest of the evening tracking down various fluid leaks and finishing up the remaining wiring and Clamhinge equipment, everything was finally in place and the car touched the ground! Some quick driving around the driveway determined that there was a pretty massive oil leak at the oil cooler fittings, which took some time to get working properly.

10421601_673750830868_2687974158906828802_nOn the evening of 3/31, the car hit the road for the first time and I managed to get some good early rough tuning in enough to get ~50 breakin miles with lots of engine breaking, varying rpms, and a decent bit of light to medium boost. My Facebook post that evening that came with this picture: "Mismatched colors, a rough-as-hell alignment, and a whole lotta broken-in motor. Damn this thing is gonna be fun."

I was right.

Posted by David de Regt

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