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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/12/21 8:40 p.m.

It liveth (with apologies to Terry Pratchett - I feel like this thing has been Igor'd together, and not for the first time).

 

Good news is that now that there are actually functioning gaskets on the exhaust, it feels quieter even with the catted header and the Perrin exhaust on it. Sounds quite nice, too.

Have to finish installing the various wheelarch liners and bleed the brakes, after that I should actually be able to take it out for a quick spin.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/13/21 9:00 p.m.

No videos or photos this evening, but the wheelatch liners are installed, as are the rear areopanels. The front ones currently have a cospatial event with the jack stands, so I need to put the tires one, drop the car off the jack stands and lift it again with the Quickjack to hopefully get the rest of the panels on.

Oh, and the brakes are bled so I should now be able to actually drive the dang thing if I put wheels on it.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/14/21 7:06 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Getting close to the exciting part. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/14/21 7:09 a.m.

Yes!!

Light at the end of the tunnel that isn't an oncoming train!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/15/21 8:13 p.m.

A little more progress - put the wheels on and stuffed my Race Ramps under the front wheels so I could remove the jack stands in the front and fit the aero panels. That went well until I discovered that a) the fitting kit assumes that you have the mounting bolts from the original underpanels (which isn't the case, because the panel was missing), b) the panels haven't been missing so long that the threads have started to rust out, and not to mention c), that I have to drill out the remains of a couple more mounting bolts.

Oh well, time to get some generic Helicoil-style kit so I can try to fix the rusted out threads, and order a bunch more mounting bolts.

Got the car booked for an alignment Friday next week, so I guess I better get cracking...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/15/21 8:50 p.m.

I also just ordered track wheels and tires from Tire Rack. Falken RT660 on RPF1s, because I'm boring . At least I resisted the urge to buy gold RPF1s.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 7:19 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) said:

Yes!!

Light at the end of the tunnel that isn't an oncoming train!

That's what I'm hoping for, but I'm still keeping an ear out for that train whistle...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/21 10:06 a.m.

So, learned  a bit more. It turns out that the US model Frisbies only got the partial underbody panels (basically only on under the drivers side that protects the fuel and brake lines). So the kit I got for fitting the full set of JDM-yo underpanels did include all of the necessary hardware if there is no hardware missing on your car. It also explains why the threads are rusted out on some of the captive nuts, because there were never any bolts in them.

Of course it turns out that the car is missing an underbody panel - there is supposed to be a cover that covers the back half of the engine bay and the front of the transmission, and all that's left of that is two broken off bolts. I suspect that whoever either changed the clutch or did the valve spring recall went "ah, sod it" when they broke off the bolts and threw the cover away instead. I suspect it might've been clutch dude because there is also a cover missing at the bottom of the engine/bellhousing that you can only get at when you either take out the engine or at least lift it off its mounts.

Let's see if I can drill out the two broken off bolts, or if I have to replace the "frame arms" they go into. Fortunately the missing parts aren't that expensive, but it's another couple of hundred bucks...

Ironsides
Ironsides Reader
6/19/21 12:59 p.m.

I've broken several of those underbody bolts over the past few years (pro tip do not use an impact driver to install ;) )

They usually don't put up a fight and a simple screw extractor free's them. if not, the frame arms can probably be had on the facebook buy/sell group for cheap. There are TONS of these car's being parted out. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/21 1:06 p.m.

In reply to Ironsides :

They bolts look like they've been broken off on removal (thanks, rust belt). Brand new arms seem to be about $65-70 a pop from the right dealers, plus I found a used front crossmember with frame arms for like a $100 down in FL.

I'll try to drill out the existing bolts first after bathing them in CRC Freeze-Off. I do suspect that it might be easier to drill them out using a normal drill so the remains end up pushed into the frame arms. We'll see - got to get my act together and go into the shop first.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/21 8:10 p.m.

Managed to fix the rusted out threads in some of the captive nuts that hold the underbody panels with the el-cheapo Helicoil knockoffs. Yay. All four underpanels are now bolted on properly.

So far I haven't managed to get the two broken off M6 bolts in the frame arms to budge. Looks like I haven't got drill bits sharp enough to properly drill them out before my cordless drill needs a break, so I should probably try to find some good, sharp drillbits. Any recommendations?

At this point I decided it might be a good idea to pull our the rear seat bottoms as I have one of the Verus fuel pump flaps that I want/need to install. That turned out a less than stellar idea for my wallet, because this is what the seat bottoms looked like when I pulled them out:

YUCK.

Also, WTH is this? Well, things became a little clearer when I pulled out the other side's cushion:

Yay, we having berkeleying rodent droppings and signs of mouse urine on that side, too, just not as bad as on the driver's side.

I don't think those coins are going to pay for cleaning up this particular hantavirus biotope. Grrrr.

That's at least one cushion that I need to find used, because I doubt I'll get the one with the big stain cleaned up properly and that's not going back into the car as is, no, sir, no.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/21 9:20 p.m.

Yay - mouse droppings or whatever the heck it was cleaned up, car cleaned up and put back on its four wheels. Even managed to take it for a spin to the local gas station between thunderstorms.. Seems to be working OK with no strange noises, and the new used Konis on full soft make it nicer to drive. Plus apparently the Falkens the PO put on don't like to grip much in tight corners on a wet-ish road. Allegedly. Still need to replace at least one of the backseat seat bottoms, though.

Nay - I didn't want to book any HDPE events until the car was mostly ready. Turns out that everybody seems to be so hell bent on getting out of the house that events seem to be booked out for months. I'm now on the waitlist for three events between now and the end of July (both NASA and SCCA), plus I'm trying to find out who I need to talk to at the local PCA to see if they are willing to accept me into their DE program without their initial training based on my past experience. Wasn't aware of this requirement (my bad) and if that won't work I'll have to rejigger a bunch of PTO days I already cleared with work. Oh well. Doesn't help that I haven't been signed off for Solo runs yet with any of the local clubs so I can't really get myself into any of the more advanced groups. Not that I want to - I've been on the sidelines long enough that I really, really want an instructor.

Let's see if I manage to get any track time this year... Might have to put some regular brake pads on the car and just park it, err, enjoy it.

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/21/21 6:35 a.m.

Rockingham nc too far? Motorsports4themasses has an event Saturday 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/21 7:24 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

Yes and no. No, not too far under normal circumstances, but under current circumstances it's a yes - I've got an unproven car that I've driven about ten miles since the mods went on and about 50 miles in total, and my tow vehicle is out of commission. I'm on a waitlist for an event at Summit Point this weekend, which is much closer to me - have to see how that works out.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
6/21/21 8:33 a.m.

PCA initial training?  What's that?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/21 8:58 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

It's called "High Performance Driving Clinic": https://pcapotomac.org/activities/drivers-education/hpdc

Not sure if this is specific to my region or not. I reached out to the Chief Driver Ambassador for my region and he suggested I should get in touch with the chief instructor to see if they'll waive that requirement as I've obviously done a few trackdays with other organisations already.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/21 1:12 p.m.

Brown Truck Racing Supplies just dropped off four round pieces of rubbery goodness from TR. Can't wait to unwrap them after work.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/21 8:07 p.m.

Hubba hubba.

As you can see, they're definitely not gold or silver .

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/21/21 9:18 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

In reply to docwyte :

It's called "High Performance Driving Clinic": https://pcapotomac.org/activities/drivers-education/hpdc

Not sure if this is specific to my region or not. I reached out to the Chief Driver Ambassador for my region and he suggested I should get in touch with the chief instructor to see if they'll waive that requirement as I've obviously done a few trackdays with other organisations already.

Chief instructor emailed, let's see what they have to say.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/22/21 4:23 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:
BoxheadTim said:

In reply to docwyte :

It's called "High Performance Driving Clinic": https://pcapotomac.org/activities/drivers-education/hpdc

Not sure if this is specific to my region or not. I reached out to the Chief Driver Ambassador for my region and he suggested I should get in touch with the chief instructor to see if they'll waive that requirement as I've obviously done a few trackdays with other organisations already.

Chief instructor emailed, let's see what they have to say.

Well, I would have if I had used the correct email address. Let's try this again...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/22/21 8:54 p.m.

Took it out for another quick spin as I needed to get gas for the garden tractor anyway. Noticed a coolant smell when I got home and found that the hose clamps for the hoses on the filler neck were rather loose. I'm hoping it was just me spacing and not the worm clamps coming loose, because I really don't fancy replacing all of them.

Other than that, I need to stop driving this thing as if I was delivering tofu.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/23/21 8:53 p.m.

No tofu delivering today.

Went through all of the hose clamp and tightened them again, then topped up the coolant. Let's hope that fixes the coolant leak.

To celebrate that achievement I then went over the new rims with some Turtle Wax ceramic spray in the hope that it'll keep some of the brake dust from sticking.

Plus, I heard back from one of the local PCA chief instructors, and they're happy to waive the aforementioned HPDC requirement.

Alignment on Friday, let's hope I don't find out why there was a crash bolt on the passenger side front suspension...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/21 9:01 p.m.

Cleaned up the windows again tonight - PO was a smoker and probably smoked more in this car than he admitted to. Probably have to get an ozone generator, too.

Also fitted the wheels and tires and am now wondering if I should've bought gold RPF1s (kidding). Plus I got to use the pinchweld blocks and the QuickJack:

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/21 8:29 p.m.

Well, it finally emerged into the morning light.

Took it to the alignment shop, which was the first really longer drive after the work I put in. Looks like I managed to tighten the hose clamps enough to stop the coolant from leaking. Good.

The alignment was supposed to determine what I have for a baseline and determine what I need to do next suspension wise. The suspension on these is not that adjustable - especially compared to a Miata - at least not without aftermarket parts, so figuring out what it needs for track driving first seems to be a prudent approach.

Anyway, the results were mostly somewhat promising. It had a bit of rear toe out that we managed to correct, and I think we managed to find out why it had a crash bolt in the FR suspension - it has "too much" camber (-1.1 degrees, compared to -0.4 degrees on the FL). Factory settings call for 0.0 degrees front camber and camber isn't adjustable...

Rear has a little more camber, but also less than I'd like. Plus is looks like the adjusters for the toe arms are mostly seized into the bushings - the shop managed to mostly get the toe where we wanted it to be, but again we need more adjustability in the rear also.

Anyway, it's in "eh, good enough for a basic track day" state now and I can start keeping an eye out the additional parts I'll need to throw at it to get the suspension where I might want to have it.

The other good news is that even without a tune, just the header seems to have made enough of a difference that the torque cliff has been diminished to a torque dip. #winning!

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/14/21 8:24 p.m.

I've got a track day - well, more of a track weekend - coming up this weekend, so I needed to take care of some of those annoying small jobs. Here we have the annoying small jobs laid out:

The clutch needed bleeding anyway as the fluid looked horrible, so from the "while I am in there" department, I figured I'll also replace the bleed nipple with a Speed Bleeder and the rubber hose with a braided one. More important however were the Verus fuel starvation door and the MTEC clutch spring, with the fuel starvation door/flap being the most important item.

To install the fuel door I needed to pull out the in-tank fuel pump assembly, which hides under the rear seat. Fortunately the rear seat was still out of the car so after a bit of pulling, levering and getting a sticky gooey mess all over my arms, I managed to get to the fuel pump assembly and get the whole basket out. Pretty easy once I convinced the locking ring to loosen up a little.

Fitting the Verus fuel starvation door requires a set of needle nose pliers and guess what I couldn't find? Well, after an emergency trip to Harbor Freight, I now have more needle nose pliers that I can misplace...

Yeah, that out of focus little black flap at the bottom of the basket is where the fuel door goes. Make sure that you put the side with the O-ring against the assembly.

Assembly was mostly the reverse of disassembly. One thing I noticed was that there were traces of rust under the lid over the fuel pump, and it also looks like the black goo is losing a bit of its stickiness. I'm actually thinking that the discolouration at the bottom of the seat cushion was rust, caused by water seeping in via this lid. Probably have to reseal it.

This was the most important job done to avoid fuel starvation in long left hand corners. Next job was bleeding the clutch, which wasn't helped by the fact that I trusted the Internet with sizing the Speed Bleeder and the internet was wrong. So I quickly vacuum bled the clutch and postponed fitting the new line and bleed nipple.

Last job on the list was fitting the clutch spring. These cars have a helper spring to make the clutch action lighter, which is nice but a lot of people including myself feel that the clutch is too light and doesn't have a lot of feel. MTEC has a weaker clutch spring - the black one on the left of the picture.

Installation was about as annoying as expected, upside down in the footwell. Bad case of "I'm getting too old for this stuff", but I got the new spring in eventually. The clutch feel definitely improved, but I'm not sure yet if it's worth the hassle or not. We'll see.

I also ended up having to fit a bonus item. When I bought the car, I noticed that one of the mounting lugs of the OEM airbox was damaged, and between having to grind away some material from the mounting lug under the airbox (had a co-spatial event with the oil cooler lines), I managed to damage a second mounting lug. Fortunately someone on ft86club locally to me was selling the whole airbox assembly in good condition for reasonably cheap. So a quick job to replace just the damaged part that actually bolts to the car, right?

Well, that's when I found out that the airbox assembly for the mid-cycle refresh model is actually different from the earlier models and also requires a different filter. Fortunately this one came with a filter in decent nick, but as a result I ended up having to change out the whole assembly including the elbow. Fortunately this airbox clears the oil cooler lines without a visit from Mr Dremel.

Right now it's time to put the track wheels back on and get ready for a weekend at Summit Point.
 

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