Prepping The Miata For Battle

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Prepping The Miata For Battle

Postby SlowMiataDrew » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:35 am

So I figured now is as good of time as any to start a thread to document Skippy's progress to turbo VVT awesomeness! I've got a couple of handful of parts left to sort out with some goodies on the way already.

First step: Get Skippy running on the MS3.

I picked up a Loren built MS3X about a month or two ago and I haven't done a thing with it yet. It is currently set up for a 96-97 miata so I'll have to change some of the wiring around to make it work. I looked at the wiring diagrams for my car and the 96-97 versions and found that they share a single wire between the two of them :bangwall: So I'll have to go in and re-pin pretty much every wire. I cracked open the breakout box and DB37 connectors and noticed there were some wires from the diagram that weren't used and some that were'nt on the diagram at all. So I think my best course of action here would be to pull ALL of the pins out and start fresh. I think I may enlist Loren's help on this project since he kinda seems like he knows what he's doing.

On a side note, I also picked up what I believe to be a 3.9 torsen swap this week that should compliment the power gains quite nicely. Gotta go back and grab the axles off the donor car when I get a chance to run to Harbor Freight since Aaron managed to break my breaker bar trying to get them off :smack: Maybe I'll do that this week.

Plans are to have the motor in and running by the end of October. Gonna try and make a splash in M3 this year and maybe some appearances in M2 if things go well! Ken will probably be glad I won't be stealing a spot from him in S4 anymore haha
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Prepping The Miata For Battle

Postby Blue_Heron » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:42 pm

Are you thinking of a particular turbo kit, or going full DIY?
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Postby Native » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:55 pm

Very cool.
Modded Miata = M3.
add forced induction = bump to M2.
I saw the guts of MSx when working on the Festiva once. Scary.
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:09 pm

Mostly DIY. I'm thinking of going with a Kraken manifold/downpipe and piecing together pretty much everything else from various sources.

Steve it doesn't look too bad. If it was only a few wires it would be fine but since I'd have to switch 20+ wires it makes so much more sense to strip it down. I shouldn't have to tear into the guts (hopefully). This would take more digging.
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Postby Loren » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:39 pm

MS3x is so software configurable that having to mod the actual ECU is rare. It's all wiring.

Always think ahead. If you're gonna do sequential injection, sequential spark, boost control or whatever, go ahead and run your wires. Mark them well, and document what you did. Will save you work/rework later.
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
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Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:22 pm


Loren wrote:MS3x is so software configurable that having to mod the actual ECU is rare. It's all wiring.

Always think ahead. If you're gonna do sequential injection, sequential spark, boost control or whatever, go ahead and run your wires. Mark them well, and document what you did. Will save you work/rework later.
Yeah I had already planned to throw extra wires in for the future add ins. I'll just have to figure out what all I would like to add in the future. Sequential ignition and injection are on the list already. I think I'll just add the extra wires and mark their output for future reference.
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Postby Loren » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:31 pm

SlowMiataDrew wrote:I think I'll just add the extra wires and mark their output for future reference.
:thumbwink:
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Postby twistedwankel » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Mazdaspeed 3 so what is the "x" for? I'll bite. :binky:
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Postby Loren » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:39 pm

MegaSquirt 3

The "x" is the add-on bit that gives you enough programmable outputs to pretty much run any engine, plus accessories, plus a few spare outputs.

MS1 was good. Basic. Required hardware circuit modifications to get it to work with whatever configuration you wanted to use it on.

MS2 was better. Faster processor. Bigger fuel and spark map tables. More available outputs. Still required hardware mods.

MS3 is better still. Even faster processor, yadda yadda. Ya still gotta mod it to the application.

But, add the "3x" card to an MS3... and that's where things get comparatively a lot "easier". You don't have to build circuits to drive your particular ignition system. You just select what system you have in the software and wire it up. You never have to open the ECU case. Everything you need is in software and wiring.
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
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Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:29 pm

Well I've been able to make some progress this past week or so. Got most of the wiring changes done on the Megasquirt. Just gotta wire up the breakout box now. Hopefully gonna power this thing up tomorrow and hope there's no smoke coming out 🤞 Also got the maintenance parts on the way for the motor. Gonna be doing a full front maintenance on this thing before it goes in the car just for good measure. ImageImage
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Postby Native » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:39 am

Progress! :thumbwink:
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:34 pm

So these finally came 🤩 hopefully going to be putting them in this weekend so I can test them out at the next classic. 10k/6k spring rates so we'll see how much of a difference it makes.

On a side note, I got the MS3 all wired up. It took me two tries because I failed to run the harness wires through the holes in the breakout box but it's all together now. Still kinda nervous about plugging it all in but I'll get to it soon. Gotta have it running well enough before the first open or so. ImageImageImage
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Postby Loren » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:11 pm

SlowMiataDrew wrote:On a side note, I got the MS3 all wired up. It took me two tries because I failed to run the harness wires through the holes in the breakout box but it's all together now.
There's a mistake you'll (hopefully) only make once! (I never did that, myself. :fib: )
Still kinda nervous about plugging it all in but I'll get to it soon. Gotta have it running well enough before the first open or so.
Bring the car over here sometime. I'll flip through your setup and make sure it all looks right, and we can give it a go.
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:30 pm


Loren wrote: Bring the car over here sometime. I'll flip through your setup and make sure it all looks right, and we can give it a go.
Sounds like a plan!
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:24 pm

Been very busy since the last update. Coilovers are finally in and MY GOD WHAT A DIFFERENCE! No body roll to speak of but it's still a little bit of a bounce house. Probably has to do with the 10k/6k rates. I'll get used to it though. Overall I am happy with the coilovers and I can't wait to test them out on Saturday. One small dilemma I am running into though is the passenger fender. The previous owner told me at one point they hit a mailbox. Slight fender damage. No problem. I am finding out now it is just a bit more than a slight problem, not a big problem, just more than a slight problem.

With the coilover out, wheel on and jacked all the way up I get quite a bit of interference with the bumper/fender during slight left turns. After further investigation I found that the bumper support looks like a crunchy cheeto thus bringing the fender and bumper closer to the inside of the wheel well. I also noticed what looks like the bumper mounting flange is also slightly bent.

Other than that, everything fits pretty well. I gotta get a new bumper support and pull the bumper to try and get that flange back straight. With that being said, anyone got any tips as far as this goes or know someone that would be willing to lend a hand? I'd like to not spend money trying to fix this issue and to be honest I'm ok with just cutting the small portion of the bumper/fender that is interfering but I'd rather have it done without cutting.

Aside from that, more parts for the VVT swap are arriving every day. The timing belt kit came in, I got the wideband and IAT I needed for the MS3, and my 1.6 Fidanza flywheel just arrived! Quickly marking things off my list as the time is ticking! I also got a boroscope to take a peek inside the cylinders. I was very curious since the motor has been sitting for over a year and a half now. As far as I can tell, things look great. The walls look clean, no scoring or rusting. The tops of the pistons are a little brown but i believe that may be from it just sitting. I tapped one of them with the camera and it came right off.

I think my goal for this week and the next is to get the bumper/fender issue sorted, get an alignment, have the MS3 looked over and get the wideband installed. After that I may be jumping into the slippery slope of porting and polishing. I planned on deleting the butterflies in the VCCS manifold and thought of it as a "while I'm in there" project. I'm gonna take my time but hopefully I don't sink too many hours into that project.

Incoming pictures... ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
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Postby Loren » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:11 pm

You could probably straighten that bent bracket without too much trouble. Just need a vise and a hammer.

Everything else seems to be coming along nicely.

Make sure you have proper bolts to thread into the Fidanza. Stock bolts will NOT fit.
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Postby Native » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:21 pm

Fun stuff, Drew! Looks like a long list is slowly getting marked off.
SlowMiataDrew wrote:No body roll to speak of but it's still a little bit of a bounce house. Probably has to do with the 10k/6k rates.
I run 10/6 rates, and wouldn't call it bouncy. Some sharp bumps are harsh for sure, and can make for a rough ride. If you're getting a lot of up'n'down, maybe your dampers aren't firm enough?
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Postby twistedwankel » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:46 pm

Loren wrote:Make sure you have proper bolts to thread into the Fidanza. Stock bolts will NOT fit.
The Fidanza stickers don't go on the flywheel. You can use them instead for a body wax.
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Postby CaptainSquirts » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:56 pm

That some pretty parts you got there. Looks like someone is excited for the new season 8-)
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Postby SlowMiataDrew » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:06 am

Native wrote: I run 10/6 rates, and wouldn't call it bouncy. Some sharp bumps are harsh for sure, and can make for a rough ride. If you're getting a lot of up'n'down, maybe your dampers aren't firm enough?
Yea I've been playing around with the dampening settings I think they're gonna have to be set on the firmer side. They should be valved correctly as that is what was taking them 3 extra weeks to ship apparently.


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