The Not-A-Project Miata Project

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Loren Williams
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Postby Loren » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:54 pm

With a bunch of help from Ken and Bill, the transmission swap is done! Those guys are awesome!

So far, I really like the gearing of the 5-speed with the 3.9 diff. Bear in mind, that I also fitted an 8-pound flywheel. It feels a little off at really low RPM, and I need to learn how to launch it effectively. But, once you're rolling, it picks up as you'd expect a light flywheel Miata to.

Revs at 60 mph are about 2800. It REALLY calmed the car down on the road, which I like a lot. It's strange. Revs are only 100 RPM lower, but it feels like more than that.

Will it accelerate slower than it did? Well, I never measured it before. So, I have to assume stock as a baseline, or slightly faster due to the header and intake. I'll try to do some 0-60 testing after the clutch is broken in. I expect it will be really close to the same with the light flywheel making up for the deficit of the gearing.

In other news... the rear main seal wasn't leaking, but was replaced. The cam cap seal (where a cam angle sensor would be on an NA 1.8) is leaking like a sieve! And either the front main seal or a front cam seal is leaking significantly, as well. All of that will be addressed when I do the timing belt and water pump.
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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 jev61 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:52 pm

Loren wrote:With a bunch of help from Ken and Bill, the transmission swap is done! Those guys are awesome!
Remember ... not a project! Congrats on the swap, you will like not needing third gear on course. You will begin to hate "Loren special" decreasing radius turn-arounds. Ha!
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Postby Loren » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:12 pm

They're only decreasing radius of you don't plan ahead.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
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 Loren » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:01 am

Another autocross today. The car felt great in general. My launches could have been better, a tenth or two lost here and there. The acceleration felt good. Certainly no slower than typical, maybe even a touch faster. The only real problem was that the car wanted to understeer out of turns, which limited my ability to accelerate in a couple places.

Net result of all excuses:
2/10 from poor launches
2/10 from being on the wrong tires (all of those who finished ahead of me are on RE-71's or Rivals vs. my 205 Dunlop ZIIIs)
2/10 from not having sufficient front camber
2/10 from having the front swaybar too stiff
2/10 general alignment and setup tweaking
5/10 general driver improvement

I was 7/10 away from 1st in S4. And I feel like there's at least 1-1.5 seconds to be dialed out of the car and/or driver.

Trying to not fall into the trap of procrastinating, I just ordered the extended lower ball joints that will allow me to max the front camber to the class rules. That will help. I'm also going to soften the front swaybar. With all of that, I'll do a full alignment on the car and then get back to testing. If those changes end up pushing me all the way to oversteer, I may remove the rear swaybar to balance it out.

You'll note that I'm not at all denying that there's a good portion of time to be had just by me learning to drive the car better. I gave this some thought, and ultimately decided that I'd rather tweak the car suit my driving style than tweak my driving style to suit the car. Basically, I'm making the car easier for ME to drive the way I want to drive.

Oh, and I absolutely LOVE the drivetrain setup on the highway! In annoyingly inconsistent I-4 traffic, it was HUGELY flexible and insanely responsive. Going 75 and need to be going 60? Don't even have to touch the brakes. Just lift throttle (early enough) and it'll slow right down. Ready to speed up again? Reasonable throttle response and acceleration in 5th gear from 45 all the way to 80. (65-80 is a lot better than down around 45, of course)
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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 CaptainSquirts » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:40 pm

5/10th for driver? Think you could eeek out that much on that course?
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Postby Loren » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:45 pm

I'm not so vain as to think I'm driving the course perfectly, no. There was easily a second out there that an alien driver could find. I'm just saying that *I* should be able to find at least some of it!
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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 CaptainSquirts » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:20 pm

Jesus. I myself can see a tenth or two at the most. But a second i cant even fathom. I always thought you were an alien, but what does an alien do diff compared to you would do? Only thing I could think of is more of a car manipulation.
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Postby Loren » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:19 pm

I don't drive "loose" enough to be an alien. I'm generally precise and in control. That will only get you so far.
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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 twistedwankel » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:25 pm

Most people drive a lot faster in other people's cars simply because they don't have to fix them or know the car's limits yet. (They always find limits given 2 runs.)

The Professor drives even faster when he is driving your car with you in it and he will talk you thru the whole damned course while critiquing car setup and not hit anything. :smack: And it doesn't seem to matter which wheels drive it. :smack: Uncle Steve gets faster too if you make $10 wiper wagers. :wise:
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Postby Loren » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:37 pm

I just had an epiphany. A project car implies never-ending improvement and development. Always "improving" the performance. Never leaving it alone.

I maintain that this is NOT a project car. I have an "end game", and it is not at all extreme. I'm almost there. The car feels like I want it to feel, drives like I want it to drive. Just needs a little more front grip... which I'll get with the combination of adding some camber and maybe reducing the front roll stiffness. With that, the car should be "done" from a performance perspective.

But, the check engine light is on for some EGR-related problem. The car is overdue for a timing belt and water pump, and the associated camshaft seals are leaking. The intake is slightly louder than I want it to be. The airbag light is blinking. And the passenger side power window cable just snapped! So, I had to remove the inner door panel and wedge a pair of vice grips in there to hold the window up. :roll:

Epiphany: This is not a project. It's a RESTORATION! :bangwall:
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
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 Evil MS3 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:39 pm

Loren, i have a complete passenger door with all the window stuff in it. You can have it if you get it out of my garage lol
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Postby Jamie » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:35 pm

Loren wrote:Epiphany: This is not a project. It's a RESTORATION! :bangwall:
Potato, patahto….
Evil MS3 wrote:Loren, i have a complete passenger door with all the window stuff in it. You can have it if you get it out of my garage lol
That's the one with the leaded window in it, right? :)
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Postby Evil MS3 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:49 pm


Jamie wrote:
Loren wrote:Epiphany: This is not a project. It's a RESTORATION! :bangwall:
Potato, patahto….
Evil MS3 wrote:Loren, i have a complete passenger door with all the window stuff in it. You can have it if you get it out of my garage lol
That's the one with the leaded window in it, right? :)
Shhhh don't tell him!
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Postby Loren » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:15 pm

I may have a window regulator in a box on a shelf somewhere. I just need to get motivated and look for it. If not... sure, I can take a door out of your garage. I think I already have one out in the shed.
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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 jev61 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:29 pm

Not a project ... we'll be the judge. :)
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Postby Loren » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:13 pm

It's starting to be a major pain in the ass, that's what it is!

Today, the cooling fan relay had a melt-down. Now I have no cooling fans and no AC. Haven't had time to look at it. Hope it's just the relay and not some weird wiring problem like Matt has been experiencing.

I'm gonna replace ALL of the major relays, I think. I've already experienced a sticky starter relay, not the cooling fan relay blew up. Failed Fuel Pump relays are not uncommon, and I think either the main relay or main fuse have been known to keep Miatas stranded, as well. I'm just gonna spend the money and replace a bunch of that stuff.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
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 Jamie » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:40 pm

Loren wrote:Now I have no cooling fans and no AC.
AC...who needs AC?! Roll down the windows!
I think either the main relay or main fuse have been known to keep Miatas stranded, as well. I'm just gonna spend the money and replace a bunch of that stuff.
I've been through so many main relays that I just keep a spare in the glovebox. Just like I keep a spare slave cylinder in the trailer.
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Postby Loren » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:51 pm

AC would have been nice on my drive home. In lieu of that, being able to put the passenger window down would have been nice, too. And not having to think about idling too long at a stop light with no cooling fans. That would have been awesome.

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Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
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 Jamie » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:45 pm

Sunshine on my roof
Fall breeze could blow through my car
If window rolls down
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Postby AScoda » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:42 pm

It is contagious
The phenomenon has spread
Haikus everywhere
Loren wrote:Freakin' Drew and his freakin' Mustang. :no:
dan wrote:Freakin' Drew and his freakin' Miata.
Rawkkrawler wrote:Freakin’ Drew and his OTHER freakin’ Mustang!

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