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eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/1/17 2:32 p.m.

Thanks Evan!

Another update - spent part of yesterday digging around on the suspension, and could not find anything that seemed to be loose.  However, the right lower ball joint had been replaced with a serviceable one at some point, but I did not see any grease on the fitting at all.  The upper ball joints look a little rough, but still seem secure.  I greased the ball joint, just in case. 

I had the wheels off two at a time, and since they had a lot of brake dust on them, I went ahead and washed and waxed them.  That should make it a lot easier to keep them clean later.

I also swapped the instrument panel back out for the correct one.  It now has an "idiot gauge" for the oil pressure, but it's better than having the earlier gauge, as it just showed 0 all the time.  From my understanding, it needs to have the earlier sender swapped in, too.

Finally, while the back wheels were off, I adjusted the parking brake, so it now works properly.  One of them was way loose, and I am wondering if some of the noise I heard under deceleration sometimes could have been the brake pad rattling. 

I didn't have time to take it out for a spin yesterday, so hopped in and went this morning.  Two miles out, I went to change from 3rd to 4th, and the car wouldn't shift.  Coasted it into a dive bar's parking lot, and called AAA.  After about an hour, got it home.  I had been assuming the clutch slave cylinder went out, but upon further inspection, the hydraulic hose has sprung a leak.  I have ordered the part (along with ball joints, just in case), but they may not be here for a bit, which is not good.   It eats into what little budget I have, and makes the odds of the car breaking the budget higher if it needs the suspension work.  I may need to sell the spare wheels at a giveaway price just to keep under budget, and have to hope nothing else goes wrong.

Current budget without the new parts on their way is:  $1975.75, so $31.25 left.  I think the hose will take around $14-15, after shipping costs are divvied up.  I have the spare set of wheels and the style bar up for sale, but no bites yet.  I may need to dig through the stuff in the trunk and see if there is anything that is an easy, quick sell, but I don't think there is. 

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/1/17 2:35 p.m.
HonestSpeedShop said:

I have some ball joints you can have for the price of shipping if you decide you need them. 

Please let me know what you'd want to have them shipped to zip code 45103, if you don't mind.  Just in case.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/3/17 7:49 a.m.

Pretty much no update but the budget update, and it's a positive one.  I potentially have the wheels sold, should be meeting with the buyer this evening.

Old budget $1975.75

+$12.28 for the clutch line (on the way) - $140 for the spare wheels = 1848.03. 

I have upper and lower ball joints on the way, too, and will replace those as needed, and hope to still have room in the budget for unforeseen circumstances.  I also picked up a cheap set of 14" stock Miata wheels for the street, just need to clean them up, and order some tires for them.

At this point, I'm giving it a 75% chance this will be our challenge entry instead of the S10. 

einy
einy HalfDork
10/3/17 7:57 p.m.

Be careful replacing upper Miata balljoints.  I think you really have to at least tack weld them in if you don't want them popping back out, as they are not supposed to be replaceable.  I think ....

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
10/4/17 9:49 a.m.

Definitely tack weld them in...preferably more if you are ever going to rallycross it. Otherwise you might be stuck in the garage trying to pop a ball joint back into the arm so you can drive home. 

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/4/17 12:20 p.m.

Wow, y'all are scaring me into considering just seeing if I can fit a new set of control arms in my budget. I'd been assuming it was a simple matter of pressing the old ones out and the new ones in.

So, if I hit them with the welder, is everything carbon steel, or are there any more exotic materials I need to worry about welding?

einy
einy HalfDork
10/4/17 1:39 p.m.

I'm kind of surprised to hear they are worn out.  The Exocet donor I got was beat to **** everywhere, without an undented panel on the car.  Heck, the right rear upright and lower control arm were even bent, it was abused that bad ... yet the upper balljoints were just fine.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/4/17 2:22 p.m.

In reply to einy :

I think they are alright, however the boots are torn...

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
10/4/17 2:54 p.m.

I would just run them as-is for the challenge. It really isn't a big deal pressing them in. I put two tack welds on them 180° apart and rallycrossed a couple years before it was an issue. It popped out when Pete was driving and hit a very large hole head on. I tack welded the new ones in 4-5 spots and haven't had an issue since. 

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/4/17 3:38 p.m.

Okay. I'll consider that.  I'm pretty sure I was hearing a ball joint related noise on some turns, so once the car is back on the road, I will not automatically assume its the uppers.  I'm leaning towards it being the one that looked like it had been replaced, since it looked like it hadn't been greased.

Parts should be here on Friday.  Until then, it'll be time to work on the S10, which is currently trapped in the garage by the Miata.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/6/17 8:31 a.m.

Fedex got here early.  Now I have to go through the whole day knowing parts are ready to be installed, but can't be until this evening crying

 

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
10/6/17 3:20 p.m.

I'm prepared to help by driving it around the neighborhood Sunday just to make sure everything is ready.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/6/17 6:33 p.m.

In reply to Jerry :

laugh As long as the weather cooperates, might as well.  Someone else can see if it needs ball joints or not.

Clutch line is replaced, but took a lot longer than I planned for. The lower connection could only be loosened about 1/12 a turn at a time before I needed to reposition the wrench.  Combined with having my handed twisted in a weird position, and being hunched over the car, I had to stop for a few seconds pretty regularly.  After bleeding out some very nasty fluid, I took it for a spin.  Seems fixed, and a quick check of the reservoir and line fittings showed no noticeable fluid loss.  I'll look again tomorrow morning after it sits overnight, just in case.  If all is well, at some point on the weekend, I'll take it out and see if the suspension noises I'm worried about are gone, or if it'll be time to start replacing ball joints.

einy
einy HalfDork
10/6/17 7:45 p.m.

Hoping your clutch slave cylinder is ok ... they seem to fail at a somewhat alarming rate, but on the plus side are pretty low cost if you need a new one.

 

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/6/17 7:57 p.m.
einy said:

Hoping your clutch slave cylinder is ok ... they seem to fail at a somewhat alarming rate, but on the plus side are pretty low cost if you need a new one.

 

I actually went out and bought one of those as soon as I got home from getting the car towed, since that seems to be the common thing.  Thought about replacing it at the same time, but it looks so easy to do, I'll only replace it if it fails.  Wll keep some space in the budget for it, just in case.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/8/17 9:07 p.m.

Not much new to report - was hoping Jerry could take the car for a spin while he was here, but the rain pretty much hit almost immediately.  I did order a set of tires for the street wheels in case we have to drive it down to the Challenge from Ohio, and a new O2 sensor in the hopes that it can cure a cold stumble that the previous owner already attempted to fix with new plugs and wires. 

If the car has to make the trip, I may try to tape up the tear in the top, but it's right down by where it meets the body, so may be difficult to do.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/9/17 8:25 p.m.

Got the car out tonight after working on the S10 a bit, and I may still be hearing some noise from the suspension, but if I am, it is a lot quieter.  It leads me to believe the replaced ball joint may be going bad, and greasing it just quieted it down.  Since the budget is okay right now, it's tempting to just swap out both lower ball joints.

Oh, and I picked up a seat cover on sale today for the torn up driver's seat.  I'll install it if it looks like it'll stay in budget and the car is going to Florida.  Otherwise, it can wait until I get back. 

O2 sensor is already shipped and on the way.  It's tempting to just toss it in and see if it clears up the cold hesitation.  It'd be a $56.14 hit, since I bought a Denso.  I know in theory O2 sensors are supposed to be pretty much universal (okay, if they are narrow band), but experience has shown me some cars tend to prefer whatever brand they came with from the factory.  Reading up on Miatas, they seem to be less sensitive than other cars, but I figured, why risk it.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/13/17 9:06 p.m.

O2 sensor came in today, but I was too busy with the S10 to install it.  I did take it on a parts run tonight, and was able to reproduce the popping noise I've heard in the suspension.  Seems like I can get it to happen after driving for a while, then braking relatively hard.  I am pretty sure it is coming from the right front.  I could just replace the lower ball joint, but it's tempting to just replace all four, as I don't have a ton of time for multiple cycles of testing and replacing parts.

The plan right now is to get the S10 out of the garage Saturday night, and park the Miata in there to be serviced on Sunday.  In addition to any suspension work and possibly the O2 sensor (after consulting my budget), I've got oil, transmission fluid, and gear oil to change.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/14/17 8:01 p.m.

My wife picked up some vinyl remnants from the craft store today, and made a shifter boot for the car.  She also cleaned the windows thoroughly.  I pulled it into the garage tonight and the plan is to change fluids, and at least 1 (but probably all 4) ball joints, and give it a good once over to see if there is anything else it needs.

High chance it'll be our challenge car.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/15/17 8:44 p.m.

Guess I should have listened to EvanB and left the upper ball joints alone.  The driver's side went fine, and I swapped out the upper and lower ball joints.  The passenger side, not so well.  After popping the ball joint, I went to loosen the upper control arm bolt.  I was able to get the nut and washers off it, but I could barely get it to slide out, maybe only a fraction of an inch.  After soaking everything in PB Blaster and turn the bolt to try to break up any corrosion, I tried again.  No luck, so went at it like this multiple rounds.  Then, looked at the threaded end of the bolt - didn't look right.  So, I turned the bolt while watching the end - it's bent.  Not likely to be able to get it out without cutting it and the lower control arm up.

I reinstalled the ball joint stud onto the spindle (still need to torque it and put a cotter pin in).  I'm hoping it's okay as is, and that I didn't do too much additional damage.  Tomorrow, I'll get the lower ball joint replaced on the passenger side, and take the car for a test drive.  If there is still a noise, it will likely be the upper ball joint, or one of the tie rod ends.  I've put in a rush order for ends, and they should be in on Tuesday.  I'll leave them off if the problem seems to be cured.

If there is still a problem, I'm basically screwed both on time and challenge budget.

 

Edit:  Oh yeah, somehow the deep 21mm socket I used to loosen the upper control arm bolt isn't fitting easily enough to use.  Maybe if I rotate the bolt so the bend is pointed differently it'll be able to be tightened back up.  I'm too tired and frustrated to mess with it tonight anymore.  I'll run out on my lunch break tomorrow and get a normal depth socket, I suppose.

EvanB
EvanB UltimaDork
10/16/17 7:57 a.m.

Those long bolts will bend easily in an impact. 

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/16/17 8:17 a.m.
EvanB said:

Those long bolts will bend easily in an impact. 

Yeah, did some reading up,  sometimes they get bent before a control arm does.  Looks like depending on where the bend is, I may be able to cut the bolt only, but I might have to hack up the a-arm.  Stuff that I could have handled if I'd found this a week ago, but for now, it all has to go back together.  Fortunately, I did not use a pickle fork on the upper ball joint, so while I may have damaged the boot (although it was already pretty bad), I hope I haven't further messed up the ball joint itself.  I grabbed the socket(s) I think I need when I ran out for breakfast, and will try to finish up work on my lunch break.  Then, I'll be able to test drive right after work.

On the lighter side, I've managed to retrieve a total of 6 rounds of 22 LR ammo from near the drain on the driver's side.  Two came out with needlenose pliers, but the remaining four required putting some gorilla tape on the end of a punch, and sticking it to a round (or two) at a time.  I'd try to add their FMV to the recoup budget, but they look like remington golden bullets, so it's not like they're worth anything.

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/16/17 11:19 a.m.

Didn't get as much done as I'd like due to having to clean up an antiseize spill, but the new sockets will let me re-tighten the bolt, once it's ready to be done.  Also popped the lower balljoint on the passenger side, but didn't remove it yet.  Right after work ends, I'll get out there, finish up the right front, readjust the parking brake, and take the car for a test drive.

Oh yeah, this morning, in case it gets driven to the challenge, I picked up a cheap battery powered speaker.  If it fits in the budget, maybe I should zip tie it to hole where the factory stereo used to be laugh

eastsidemav
eastsidemav SuperDork
10/16/17 4:01 p.m.

I need to learn to leave well enough alone.  Pulled the lower ball joint, which actually didn't seem to bad after I had it off the car, maybe a bit gritty in a couple of spots, then tried to install the new one.  It didn't fit.  The right side lower control arm appears to be reconditioned, and the bolt holes for the ball joint are slightly off compared to where the new ball joint is.  Guess I'll regrease the one that was on there while there's no load on it, reinstall it, and hope all goes well.  Maybe I should just ignore some noises until they get really bad...

wae
wae Dork
10/16/17 4:33 p.m.

I thought the purpose of the battery powered speaker was to fix any noises the car made...

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