2012.04.07 - MegaSquirt Modifications

MegaSquirt Mods
- DB37: Added (unused) wires for A/C, 5v ref (for TPS), fuel pump, idle
- DB37: Added wire for launch control on pin 29
- MS1v3: Switched launch control input from SPR3 (pin 5) to IAC2A (pin 29)
- DB37: Added wire for EGT logging on pin 6
- MS1v3: Jumpered SPR4 (pin 6) to JS4 for EGT logging

Figured I'd better record this before I forget.

I tweaked my DB37 harness for the MegaSquirt to add an input for EGT logging as well as to add a few other wires and bring it more in compliance with the "standard" configuration @ MiataTurbo.net just in case I change my setup later.

I'm so tired right now that I'm losing focus on what I've done, so I'm going to stop now for the night. I need to go to bed.

2012.04.03 - Replaced Fuel Injector Seals

- Replaced fuel injector seals

I've been having an occasional issue where I get a strong fuel vapor smell in the engine bay on hot days when driving for long distances with the AC on. This is also associated with an impression that the engine is not running quite as well as it should be, though I am not certain if this is related or simply due to the very hot intake temperatures. It was suggested that one or multiple injectors may be leaking vapor under heavy load, and to my knowledge the injectors have never been replaced or serviced, so I decided to replace all of the seals.

I won't really know how effective this solution was until the next time I drive to Houston during the day, but the old injectors seals were noticeably hardened so it was probably preventative maintenance even if this doesn't solve my issue.

$13.08 - Altrom 200-400 4-piece fuel injector seal kit (4x)

2012.03.25 - Tombstone Gauge Mounting Modification

- Shaped and finalized hood on "tombstone"
- Sanded, primed, painted

I've been working on a method to mount some new gauges to the dash. I decided to add a hood to the "tombstone" on top of which the gauge cups can be mounted. I cut a panel out of 1/8" ABS plastic and used a heat gun to shape it around the top edge of the tombstone. I attached it using some RapidFix adhesive and further shaped it with the heat gun. Once in place, I drilled the mounting hole for the first gauge cup, and then positioned the other two gauge cups and drilled the remaining holes. Because of the curvature of the hood, I had to do some more reshaping in order to get the gauges to sit level/horizontal. I also added a couple of upright braces to help keep the middle from vibrating. It's not entirely beautiful, but I think that it will look good when it's all said and done.

LEDs from SuperBrightLeds

$40.46 - LEDs for interior (including new ISSPRO gauges)

I finally ordered the remaining LEDs for my interior lighting and gauge cluster, as well as the new gauges that I'm in the process of installing.

1 WLED-xHP5: LED T10 Wedge Base Bulb - WLED-GHP5: Green (new boost gauge)
1 NEOx-xHP: NEOx High Power LED Instrument bulb - NEO3-RHP: 3mm NEO3-xHP Red (hazard switch)
1 NEOx-xHP: NEOx High Power LED Instrument bulb - NEO3-GHP: 3mmNEO3-xHP Green (popup switch)
1 74-xHP3: Wedge Base LED bulb - 74-CWHP3: Cool White (* To replace one which shorted/burned out)
4 74-xHP3: Wedge Base LED bulb - 74-GHP3: Green (new EGT and clock gauges)
2 74-xHP3: Wedge Base LED bulb - 74-RHP3: Red (gauge cluster warning lamps)

Body Parts from RSpeed

$686.29 - R-package style front and rear bumper cover lips, replacement finish panel, and KG Works rear spoiler from RSpeed.com

After the GV lip was destroyed by a railroad crossing in Houston, I finally decided to bite the bullet and replace it with an R-package style lip as well as to order some other pieces that I've had on my mind. I still need to obtain a new front and rear bumper cover though.

2012.03.18 - Tire Rotation and Readjusting Things

- Rotated tires front to back
- Readjusted parking brake
- Modified heat shield on cat
- Readjusted butterfly brace

I apparently tightened the parking brake too much, so I had to go back and loosen it a bit today.

Also, the brace was occasionally rubbing/vibrating against the heat shield on the catalytic converter. That had the interesting effect of making the exhaust rumble/resonate through the interior of the car, but it wasn't any louder from the exterior of the car. I had to drop the rear section of the butterfly brace and cut/chisel a corner off the heat shield crimping to clear the brace. I also ground just a tiny amount off part of the upright on the brace in order to gain additional clearance.

2012.03.17 - Flyin Miata Frame Rails + Butterfly Brace

- Adjusted parking brake at rear calipers
- Cleaned wheels
- Installed Flyin' Miata Frame Rails + Butterfly Brace

The parking brake was in dire need of adjustment, and since it finally wasn't raining on one of my free weekends, I finally got it done. Unfortunately, I've discovered that the self-adjusting gearscrew on the passenger side is partially stripped. I think that when I do my brake job this summer I will replace both rear calipers.

I also took the opportunity to install a set of the Flyin' Miata frame rails and the accompanying butterfly brace. It went fairly smoothly, although it took a bit of time and effort to get everything aligned properly and tightened down. My arms feel like jelly. Thankfully, my dad helped me tighten the inboard bolts--which would have been very difficult for one person to do by themselves unless they have extremely long arms. Once the rails were tightened down, the butterfly brace was a bit overly snug between them, so I had to use a jack to raise it to the proper height while I tightened the bolts. Tightening the bolts was a real challenge as well, and I'm fortunate that I've got a variety of tools. I ended up needing a shallow socket, a small breaker bar, a universal joint, a 6" extension, a swivel-head ratchet, a regular ratchet, and an offset wrench in order to get at all four bolts. The only reason I didn't end up cursing the guys at Flyin' Miata is because they warned me in the installation instructions that I would want to.

** I'm way way overdue for a lot of updates to this thing. I'll try to backfill the updates as best as I can at some point in the future.

2011.12.17 - Intercooler Fitment

- Test fit cold-side intercooler pipes
- Test fit intercooler
- Began fabrication of mounting brackets for intercooler

Today started off well but eventually ended in frustration. I began the process of fitting the intercooler to the car (I don't intend to permanently mount it until I am ready to go turbo, but I want to get it ready). It is an extremely tight fit due to the A/C components on the car, but there is one position that will work well. Once I determined this position, I began the process of mocking it up into place and creating some brackets to mount it.

Everything was going well until I started to weld the brackets onto the intercooler. There is something wrong with the liner on my gun, and despite my best efforts it only got worse (to the point where I do not trust it to be used again). I may need to find someone local who can do a little bit of aluminum welding for me, or else look into a better welding machine (possibly TIG, or a MIG with spool gun). :(

2011.12.11 - Coolant and Intake Plumbing

- Installed S-shaped radiator hose to upper radiator hose
- Mocked up and cut one of my pipes for intake plumbing
- Took measurements and ordered more parts

I haven't updated this in a while, but that's primarily because I haven't had time to do any physical work on the car lately. I have been spending way too much money on parts though. I have acquired a fair collection of aluminum pipes and silicone hoses in preparation for (A) intercooler install and (B) cold-air intake until I am ready to actually install an intercooler.

In order to gain some clearance for the cold-side piping coming off of the throttle body, I had to pick up a radiator hose with a couple of tight 90-degree bends (NAPA p/n: NBH 9008). I also picked up a short 1.25" stainless steel hose coupler and some more constant torque hose clamps. It's all a very tight fit, but it gives me a lot more space around the throttle body now.

After making room with the hose, I mocked up my first piece of pipe and cut it to fit. It's distressingly difficult to estimate how/where things are going to fit and align in such a tight space, but I think it's going to work out OK. This pipe will ultimately be used with the intercooler, but I think that I can simply reposition it and that it will also work fine for my cold air intake. Hooray for multi-purposing parts!

I will make a post later with a compiled list of parts and expenses for this project(s).