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wae
wae Dork
3/7/18 10:41 a.m.

I took a chance and drove it in to the office today.  Made it here with no problems and hopefully the return trip works the same way.  I did have a chat with a shop about bringing it in for some professional tuning help and I think I'm going to do that.  Before I take it up there, though, I need to get the toe under control so it doesn't just launch itself off the rollers like the old CRX did!  And before I can do that, I need to get the Miata out of the workshop.

Professor_Brap
Professor_Brap Reader
3/7/18 1:08 p.m.

In reply to wae :

I coil pack heat sheild would be helpful. I even run them on my NA neons. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/7/18 1:13 p.m.

Want a hand with the alignment?  We can use my garage on a day when weather is dry (Miata needs to hibernate inside until I replace the top)

wae
wae Dork
3/7/18 1:29 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

Want a hand with the alignment?  We can use my garage on a day when weather is dry (Miata needs to hibernate inside until I replace the top)

I would like a hand with that, actually.  You're a wizard with those strings!  Perhaps I can borrow the miata timing tools at the same time and then when I bring them back you'll be ready for us to do your timing belt?

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/7/18 3:24 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Sounds like a plan.  Looks like it’ll be dry Friday and Saturday.  Feel free to hit me up one of those days for help.  Evening Friday, and morning-afternoon Saturday are probably both good for me.

wae
wae Dork
3/8/18 7:24 a.m.

Awesome!  I think one of the kids is starting soccer season already for some reason, so I need to find out what is going on with all that.  

Before I drive it anywhere else, though, I think I need to top off the trans fluid.  I don't think I did a good job of sealing it up after I put the OBX diff in so it leaks a bit and shifting is a bit rough right now, so I think it might be a tad low.  I also really should solve the lack of idle air control.  Those things and the alignment are really the only things that affect the "normal" driveability of the car right now.  I'm afraid to really wind it out or push it if there's a chance it's running lean at the top of the VE table, but I don't have enough license to really give it more than about 1/4 throttle on public roads anyway...

wae
wae Dork
3/10/18 8:31 a.m.

I visted the eastside alignment shop and school last night and discovered a few things.  First, I discovered that I forgot I had camber plates!  It took a little bit of time adjusting camber the old-way with the slots on the struts )and not really getting anywhere) before I remembered that the top mounts were adjustable.  We set both sides on the struts to "all the way in" on the slots and then adjusted out the camber plates.  It was hard to get a good reading, but I think we finally settled on around 1 to 1.5 degree of negative camber.  

Once that was finished, I was learned how to use curtain rods to measure toe.  What always threw me about that concept was that I was thinking:

But what he uses are these:

It was quite simple to extend the curtain rod to go to a particular tread line on each tire on the front, lock it in place, measure it, and then do the same on the rear of the tire. 

One thing that really amazed me was how much change you get from driving the car around after an adjustment.  I know that's what "they" always say, but I didn't realize that we're talking about super significant amounts of settling.

At the end of the night, the steering wheel is once more straight when driving down the road and it's way less twitchy, which is very nice.  At 40+ there is a bit of a pull to the right, however, I'm not going to chase that down yet.

You may be asking yourself: "why isn't this twit going to work to get this perfect while he's at it!?"  Let's get in the way back machine and go back to when I got my indestructible axles from the Great White North.  In order to get those axles, they needed to hog out the hub.  So rather than send my old ones up there, I bought new ones from Rock Auto and had them delivered to them.  New hubs and bearings.  In deciding what to buy, I went with the really expensive ones with the really good bearings because I knew that I was going to be abusing them and the cheap Chinese FLAPS-brand ones weren't going to be up to the task.  I got all the parts back the day before a Rallycross and had to rush to get them installed and it was at that moment that I found they had forgotten to package up the new bearings with the axles and hubs they sent back to me.  So, I had to do what I knew I didn't want to do and go around and buy cheap Chinese FLAPS-brand wheel bearings and press them in.  So guess what has failed in under a year?  Yep.  Left side wheel bearing has a ton of movement in it, so that's going to have to be replaced.  The axle shop did send me the bearings at their own expense and I have them here, so that's good.  And with the 20 ton press, the bearing job won't really be that hard or take that long.  But it ticks me off that I was forced into doing something that I knew wasn't the right thing to do even though I had gone through all the work and planning so I didn't have to do it!

Oh well!  Just another task to get done before I can take it up and put it on the rollers.  35 days to go!

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
3/12/18 9:49 a.m.

FYI if you didn't already know.

The 2.4L coil packs do not fire the same as 2.0L It can lead to detonation, overheated cats, and failed plugs. 

It wasn't often mentioned during 2.4L swaps but you have to make sure you use the right computer or engine map with the respective coil pack. 

wae
wae Dork
3/13/18 10:30 a.m.

In reply to Advan046 :

I'm curious to know more about that.  I'm using Megasquirt for spark control and the MSD coil that I'm using cross-refs between the 2.0 DOHC and the 2.4 turbo, but if there's something non-obvious there I apparently missed it.

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
3/14/18 7:41 p.m.

In reply to wae :

Yes before I posted, I went looking for my notes on it. It has been about 16 years. 

I will keep looking. My neon files have been touched in a bit but I remembered seeing then around Christmas.

wae
wae Dork
3/29/18 7:09 p.m.

I had high hopes for the 2.4 turbo motor that I put in the car.  I was hoping for pretty decent HP numbers since the stock SRT-4 motor is supposed to make around 230hp/250ftlbs.  As it turns out, my tuning of the motor had it at just under 180hp on the Dynojet.  

While Jamal sweet-talked Megasquirt I learned that it is a really, really loud car.  It also is a really awesome-sounding car.  I don't get to hear what it sounds like at full song from the outside, so it was a really neat opportunity to be able to really feel and hear it!

In the end, I was charged for an hour and a half of dyno/tuning time which worked out to about $5.50 per horsepower:

Jamal recommended that I get an electronic boost controller and let Megasquirt control it.  He says that the manual boost controller is letting the turbo peak out early and then it's dropping off, but putting MS in charge of an electronic one would keep boost a little more steady.  Since the tuning cost less than what I expected, that just might find its way into the budget!  For now, though, I'm pretty happy.  I don't understand it well enough to know why the torque number is so much higher than what the stock capability is yet the hp number is basically the same.

What concerns me a little bit, though, is that it had way too little tire for the power levels I was at before.  Now it's got about 20% more power so I guess now it's all like

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/29/18 7:24 p.m.

Can’t wait to see it in action next month!

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/29/18 8:34 p.m.

For what it is worth, I made 170whp on that same dyno and that correlated to about 200 crank HP, based on quarter mile trap speeds.  So your tuning wasn't THAT far off from 230 crank HP.  (The current engine, in its current "worn out as all hell" state, made 208 on a Mustang aka "heartbreaker" dyno... and it's about a full second quicker in the quarter mile than the engine that did 170 at Coletti's)

Also, anyone in MF is now officially berked.  Sorry Tim.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/30/18 5:45 a.m.
Knurled. said:

 

Also, anyone in MF is now officially berked.  Sorry Tim.

I have a not-so-secret weapon.  Reliability devil

wae
wae Dork
3/30/18 7:46 a.m.
eastsideTim said:
Knurled. said:

 

Also, anyone in MF is now officially berked.  Sorry Tim.

I have a not-so-secret weapon.  Reliability devil

Yeah, you're not wrong.  

wae
wae Dork
3/30/18 10:48 a.m.

 

Obligatory video clips from the tuning session.  Because I totally failed at operating a phone, I failed to actually record the couple of times he got some fairly massive fireballs to shoot out of the exhaust.  I absolutely love the way that car sounds.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/30/18 2:02 p.m.
wae said:
eastsideTim said:
Knurled. said:

 

Also, anyone in MF is now officially berked.  Sorry Tim.

I have a not-so-secret weapon.  Reliability devil

Yeah, you're not wrong.  

I live my life one farm field at a time.  In those ten runs, or less when I break, I’m free.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
3/30/18 6:40 p.m.

Hey, that looks like an Audi 200 wagon.  20 valve turbo?

 

Oh, right.  Neon.  It didn't have this engine in it when I drove it home from Nebraska, did it?

wae
wae SuperDork
3/30/18 6:52 p.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

You know, I'm not sure what that Audi was.  They were putting the axle back in after replacing a seal in the diff and I was caught up watching that part.

No, the engine that was in it back then was the 2.0 DOCH with the SRT turbo.  That got a hole punched in the block when the wastegate vacuum line came off and it over boosted by a whole bunch.  It still makes all the fun noises but with a little more truck-like throatyness and some whistling.

wae
wae SuperDork
4/9/18 8:21 a.m.

Got the replacement wheel bearing installed on the hub over the weekend.  The longest part of the process was having to run out to The Hammer Store to get a new bearing separator since I managed to completely destroy my 3 jaw puller a while back.  Having that 20-ton press really makes a wheel bearing job a no-big-deal.

I want to go ahead and bolt everything together tonight so I can change the oil and otherwise prep the car to have it strapped on to the trailer on Wednesday night so that when the PE#1 gets cancelled Saturday morning I can just roll it back off.

wae
wae SuperDork
4/29/18 7:25 p.m.

I knew I had something dragging a bit and I assumed it was a rear drum.  In fact I was sure it was a collapsed soft line, so I had one sitting on the shelf here ready to put on.  Turns out, though, the rear wheels are turning just fine.

The front left, however, is dragging hard.  Like can't turn the tire by hand when it's up off the ground.  Kind of makes me wonder how that might have thrown off the dyno results...

I suspect, still, that it's a collapsed soft line but I can't get the bleeder loose to test that theory.  I've ordered up a new caliper, pads, and a hose.  The hard line is a direct shot up to the master cylinder and it isn't crimped or anything.  It could be the prop valve or the cylinder, but conventional wisdom is that the soft lines are prone to this and usually the culprit when this type of problem arises.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/4/18 7:52 a.m.

....and I accidently managed to order rear pads instead of front pads.  Great job, Bill.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
5/4/18 8:23 a.m.
wae said:

....and I accidently managed to order rear pads instead of front pads.  Great job, Bill.

That’s impressive.  At least one place I’ve looked doesn’t seem to believe the 1st gen Neon had optional rear disc brakes.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/10/18 12:28 p.m.

All the goodies finally showed up yesterday so I went ahead and did a simple caliper swap.  Easy, right?

Taking the old one off was pretty simple.  Get the car in the air, unbolt the caliper, knock it off with a hammer since it's on there so tightly, undo the hard line connection, and unbolt the soft line mounting bracket.  Took a couple minutes to get the old yuckness off:

Bolting up the new caliper was pretty easy.  Except something wasn't machines quite right:

The caliper and the soft line connector were interfering with each other, so I took a grinder to the caliper and clearanced it out to fit.

Good news is that the car rolls much easier now and when I do come to a stop, the left side isn't hotter than balls.  I can't help but assume that the added heat from the stuck caliper caused the wheel bearing problem.

wae
wae SuperDork
5/19/18 6:24 a.m.

Went to do a little prep yesterday evening to make sure everything is ready to go.  Motor mounts look good with no play and no signs of fracture.  Suspension and brakes all tight.  The intake needed a little re-engineering - everything was pushing down and getting into the shift linkage a bit, so I moved some wires around and brought the intake pipe up just a bit.  I threw in a new set of plugs after gapping them down a little bit from .045 to .035.  Exhaust mounting is solid.  When I swapped the caliper on the left side, I needed to also replace the pads since I put a big chip in one of them when I was trying to hammer the seized caliper off of the rotor.  To complete that job, I went ahead and swapped the pads on the right side so that everything matches.

In the process of driving it around, though, I managed to create a boost & vacuum leak.  Something has popped loose but I didn't have my boost leak tool over at the workshop last night.  I'm suspecting a little rubber block-off cap since it's pretty deteriorated, but I'm going to have to look after that tonight.  Shifting has also gotten a little wonky.  It could be low on Synchromesh since it does leak a bit, but the short shifter might need a little adjustment as well - there are the cables to consider as well as the rod brakes.  There's also a minor bit of tuning that needs to be done to handle a dip in revs right when the gas is first applied and as the clutch is released.  It seems to be going too lean and will cough and sometimes stall out.  Fixing that isn't a huge priority for tomorrow, but it is something that needs to be looked after.  Final list before getting the car on the trailer for the first points event of 2018:

  • Boost leak check
  • Change oil
  • Replace oil dipstick (that will probably require removing the dipstick tube to get the old one out)
  • Top off transmission
  • Re-adjust the shift cables and rod brakes
  • Check the mud tires and figure out which get mounted in the front
  • Mount the rally tires
  • Fiddle with the tune if it's not too late

In a perfect world, I'd have all day to get that done.  But the last soccer tournament of the spring season is today, so I have to take kid #1 there and  won't be back until after dinner, so hopefully that boost leak isn't too hard to find.  I'm glad it happened now, though, since I'm only able to make about 2 pounds of boost.  Much better than trying to figure it out between runs.

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