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Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
4/23/16 3:17 p.m.

I'm hoping to get the money order out to you Monday morning.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/23/16 11:53 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

No worries. It's all in a box. Ready to go.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/26/16 5:24 p.m.

Nothing much to report, except that I got sick of spending more time looking for tools than using them, so this happened

Only had to take about an inch out of the workbench to get it to fit. Actually getting it home was a bit of a debacle as well - I thought it would fit in our Honda Fit, but it didn't. Then Home Depot didn't have any trucks to rent, so I had to borrow my father in law's F250. Worked out though.

I also discovered that I have a bad rear wheel bearing, so I ordered both sides. At this point the only things not being replaced in the suspension are the tie rods - I almost feel like I should just replace those too, but they feel fine and I don't want to spend the money. Since I'm popping out the rear hubs, I ordered ARP studs so I never have to do that again - I bought the F body ones that are the same size but cheaper. Wish they had a bullet nose.

Looks like I'm autocrossing the orange Miata again this weekend, so I have to get it up in the air and get the old broken exhaust off so I can replace it.

Someday this thread will be interesting (probably not)

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
4/26/16 10:07 p.m.

Latest batch of bits and pieces came in

Got started on installing them tonight. I'm really liking having a press - I could do this stuff without it, but it's just so much less work with it.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/2/16 9:59 p.m.

Anybody have any opinions on tie rods? I was planning on reusing the ones that were on the car, but at this point, they're literally the only part of the suspension I'm not replacing. Including wheel bearings and studs. So, I kinda think I should just go for it - it looks like they're about $80 a side from Mazda, a bit cheaper from Rockauto but they'll be Mevotech brand.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
5/3/16 9:21 a.m.

I've heard good things about mevotech. Look into proforged as well. Very impressed with their quality.

NickD
NickD Dork
5/3/16 9:23 a.m.

Through a Federated Auto Parts, I got gennie Moogs for $65 a piece after tax after I had to mangle one with a pickle fork (Berkeley pickle forks, seriously). Haven't had any issues.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/3/16 9:48 a.m.

In reply to NickD:

Was that just for outers? Or both inners and outers? That's not a bad price for both, but Mazda Motorsports is close enough that I might just do OE. Also, I recently bought one of these makes ball joints way easier.

Duster, where do you find the proforged stuff?

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
5/3/16 9:56 a.m.

Summit, Amazon.com, etc. I usually buy through summit, but I have them on speed dial, and get my stuff in 1-2 days if it ships from Georgia.

NickD
NickD Dork
5/3/16 10:36 a.m.

In reply to cmcgregor:

It was outers. My outers would not seperate from the spindle with any other method of persuasion.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/3/16 4:39 p.m.

Ordered the Mevotech Supreme stuff from Rockauto. The little heart on the page has never let me down before, and it's hard to argue with ~$100 for inners and outers, both sides. Hopefully it works out.

In reply to NickD:

When force isn't working, sometimes more force is the only solution!

NickD
NickD Dork
5/3/16 4:53 p.m.

In reply to cmcgregor:

Brute force and ignorance, sometimes it is the answer.

So, you going to roadtrip this sucker down to Miatas At The Gap? You totally should.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/3/16 10:44 p.m.

In reply to NickD:

As much as I'd like to, I don't think I can swing the vacation time this year. Maybe next year.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/3/16 10:47 p.m.

Finished up the second rear wheel bearing tonight, and pressed in the studs.

If you're thinking to yourself, wait, that's not right.....then you're experiencing the same sensation I did after pressing in the 4th. This is mid removal.

That's more like it.

Pressing the hub into the bearing.

Have I mentioned how much I like this press? Everything is so much easier. I wasn't even upset that I did the studs backward the first time - just went "oops" and redid them.

NickD
NickD Dork
5/4/16 6:13 a.m.

In reply to cmcgregor:

Bummer. I was planning on going but my friend from TN who was supposed to go with me and said he was going to rent the hotel room just recently revealed that he never did because he decided he really doesn't want to go for a myriad of (stupid) reasons. Which pretty much berked me because all the hotels are booked up.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/10/16 10:44 p.m.

Still plugging away at this. I repacked my (new) front hubs with Redline CV2 tonight and pressed in the longer ARP studs - another totally unnecessary thing that hopefully means I never have to do suspension work on this car again. It was easier than I was expecting once I got the hang of it - I did an old one with some play in it first for practice, but that went pretty smoothly and now I have a spare. Think I'll do the other old bearing as well so I have a set of backups. Since I bought the F-body studs that conveniently have a very similar diameter to the Miata ones, but are much cheaper and come in packs of 5, I could actually have a fully plug and play backup hub.

It seems like people are very hesitant to do the repacking, but people who do a lot of track driving say it extends their useful life significantly. Think there's a market for "blueprinted" hubs from someone without an existing retail presence? I kinda like this kind of work sometimes - if I could do a few a week and sell them for a decent profit I'd consider it a nice hobby.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/12/16 11:08 a.m.

Just to change things up, I actually started putting some things back on this car, instead of taking them apart. Threw on the front lower control arms in the dark last night because I'm sick of looking at it on jackstands in my driveway.

Progress!

I also redid my grease zerks in the rear uprights, because I'm an idiot and put them on the back side instead of the front.

I'm looking for a set of seats for this car for cruising around in - my wife has never loved the race seats and she probably won't fit in them much longer anyway ( due to the impending arrival of our first kid, not for any other reason). I found a decent looking set of seats from a 95 M edition on miata.net, but the guy hasn't gotten back to me. Anybody have anything nearby? I'd like NB surfboards if I can find them for a decent price.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/14/16 8:44 p.m.

Pictures!

This happened

To fix this

Which meant removing this

During which I discovered this

That's not converting anything. Guess I'm shopping for a new cat.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/18/16 8:52 p.m.

I've spent the last few days troubleshooting my lawnmower. I hate small engines (and carburetors).

Finally got the carb rebuilt and threw it on, then checked the oil...yeah it was full of gas. So I drained 4qts of (mostly) gas out of the sump. I'm amazed it didn't just lock up.

But anyway, I stole some time to do some work on the Miata. The Magnaflow cat I ordered came in, so now I'm waiting on exhaust wrap to do the header before I put it all back together. I've heard all the arguments against wrap, but what I am in desperate need of right now is heat management, so I'm going for it.

I also started getting the shocks prepped to put back on - I bought this set of VMaxx used, and they came set up for an NB, so I got a set of the shorter springs with tenders so they stay seated at my preferred ride height.

One of the perches was not at all interested in moving, but I got it turning with liberal application of Kroil. And force. Race parts don't like winter weather. I'm also using an NB front swaybar, so it was hitting these tabs on the shock bodies. Since I don't have ABS, they went bye-bye. Saved a few grams too!

Allow me to use this time to sing the praises of this harbor freight angle grinder. It's not the most powerful, but it's perfect for stuff like this, because it's way easier to control than my beefy Craftsman. And, it was stupid cheap. Cheap enough that when it stops working, I'll just buy another.

Finished!

I didn't worry too much about grinding the welds perfectly flush. Figured I'd err on the side of caution (and not cutting through the shock body). This means that the front suspension is DONE! Parts are starting to go on, and the list of E36 M3 to get done before I drive it is dwindling. For reference, that would be

-Check trans and diff pinion angles, shim if necessary

-install driveshaft and axles

-install control arms and shocks

-wrap header and install exhaust

-steal pads, rotors (and possibly lines) from orange car

-replace master cylinder grommets

-find better seats (still trying to buy those '95 M edition seats. Failing, mostly)

-install steering wheel and set up racing seat on stock rails

-change fluids and drive

-wash, buff, and polish

Lots to do still

Lof8
Lof8 HalfDork
5/18/16 9:10 p.m.

Cars looking good. Nice work.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/20/16 7:29 p.m.

Took the day off today. I've spent the last week working on this

Finally had to bite the bullet and buy a new carb, since I rebuilt it and replaced the float needle but it's still just pouring gas into the oil.

In order to get my lawn mowed while I wait for that to come in, I picked up this off Craigslist

And since my lawn looks like this, (half of it at least),

I hope I don't have to do that too many more times. It sucked up a lot of time I would have preferred to spend on the Miata.

But I did get some work done. The front suspension looks like this on both sides now

And the back would be in a similar state, but I discovered this

Let's compare to the other side

berkeley. Paired with the significantly newer bits on the driver's side front, I'd say this old girl has been crashed pretty hard at some point.

My options, as I see them, are replace the subframe or try to bend it back into shape. Since I just got the diff all bolted up and happy (except for the driveshaft bolts, because those are apparently different for 1.8 and 1.6 diffs), and since I really, really am sick of spending money on suspension parts for this thing, I'm going to try for the "bend it back into shape" option. What are the odds that works out for me?

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
5/24/16 9:34 p.m.

Still haven't decided what to do about the subframe. Leaning towards some persuasion and hoping I can get the alignment close enough. Whatever.

I did some wrapping tonight. Started with this

Small runners done

And here's where I discovered that 25' of 2" wrap is not enough. So this went about as smoothly as anything else has.

If I don't get to drive this thing soon I don't know what I'm going to do. Running short on patience, motivation, money, and time. I'll be away for the long weekend, then have a few more weeks to get it together for the next SCCA event.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
6/7/16 7:42 p.m.

No pictures, but I got some more time on it. I decided to swap the subframe (with persuasion from the board), so I dropped the old one tonight. Apparently it has become standard practice to drop a rear subframe in my project cars. Oh well.

I got the header wrapped once my second shipment of wrap came in - waiting for parts to arrive has become a theme. I also picked up a very nice NB passenger seat for my copilot, and a (matching!) gas door to replace the chrome abomination that makes getting gas a 2 person operation. I picked up the required driveshaft bolts as well.

Hopefully there's not much more to buy for this thing - I still need a battery, and a stereo would be nice but not altogether necessary. Should be mostly on the home stretch.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
6/10/16 4:42 p.m.

Pictures!

Finished the wrap

Got the old subframe out - pictured next to the new one. It's too bad this thing is bent, it's pristine - no rust at all

Quick coat of paint to take care of the surface rust on the replacement

Went back down to the basement and threw together the rear knuckles and upper control arm to make install easier, I had to sand down the bushing on the upper knuckle just a touch

Moved on to the engine compartment to deal with the only rust this thing has - brake master has been leaking

Pulled the master, punched myself in the face HARD pulling the pin off the brake pedal so I gave up on the booster for now.

I need Mazdeuce to come and detail this thing after seeing his Insight thread.

This is all from yesterday. Then, this morning, I got the new subframe in, diff back in, rear lower control arms bolted in. Hopefully this weekend I'll get the rest of the suspension together and maybe get the exhaust all bolted up too.

cmcgregor
cmcgregor HalfDork
6/13/16 10:59 a.m.

Started Sunday with both sides looking like this

Ended Sunday with both sides looking like this

Looks like progress.

My brother-in-law's bachelor party was Saturday, so I was struggling a bit on Sunday. Mostly because I was ridiculously sore from karting - we went to K1 speed and had a fantastic time. Those things are fast!

Anyway, it's getting there. I got the driveshaft bolted into place too. Picking up some fluids today, and POR to take care of that rust spot. Still hoping I can make autocross this weekend, but we'll see.

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