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moxnix HalfDork
3/17/15 11:07 p.m.

A Week of projects

Having a week off work I have a bunch of car and other projects that could really use working on before race season starts next weekend.

I am documenting it here because I am lazy and will get distracted and go ride my bike or something if I don't put it down someplace public.

1 - AutoX CSP Miata I bought a little over a year ago. I was told it was working with an MS-2 and VVTuner before the PO removed the Megasquirt from the car. Have not gotten it running yet.

2 - 2003 Spicy Orange MSP - LSD broke 10/17/12 and it sat for a bit before I figured out what I planned to do with it (Replace LSD in stock trans). Got it up on the lift summer 2013 and pulled the trans got the new LSD in but could not get the trans shifting correctly so never finished it up and things have been piling up around it. Have more cars so did not need to rush getting this ready.

3 - 1997 Subaru Impreza - Lost axle nut and killed front wheel bearing on 12/9/13. Replaced with junkyard knuckle and was still getting grinding noises from it. Started trying to figure out what was making those noises but got distracted with other things and it has been sitting in the driveway since. Have more cars so did not need to rush getting this ready.

4 - Normal house projects, oil changes, tire swaps, and misc crap like that.

5 - 1994 Miata - The new RallyX car. I should be trying to figure something out about making a bit of protection for the oil pan on this car. It has a bit of front end damage but I am not worried about that to much right now.

6 - 1988 RX-7 - This has been my rallyx car for the last few years. The motor is a bit tired and josh likes to make fun of my starting methods. Having bought a new RallyX car I am not sure what the plan is with this yet. Most likely going to sit around until I get sick of looking at it and figure out what to do with it. Have more cars so do not need to rush getting this ready.

7 - 1997 Miata - Current DD And former ES autox car. No real plans this week for it.

moxnix HalfDork
3/17/15 11:27 p.m.

Before/During the Weekend - Started trying to figure out what all I need to buy to get things done this week.

1 - CSP Car - I built an MS3X for the car but have been having a problem getting a crank signal from the sensor. I kept saying everything should be fine since it was working with the VVTuner and that requires a real crank signal just like I need. The Megasquirt was working fine on the Jimstim so I am not sure where my problem was.

Decided to actually check the crank sensor and see if it is bad or what. Looking behind the crank pulley I can't find the crank trigger wheel. Pull the pulley and nothing there. Time to order a new one.

2 - MSP - Start looking over the trans closer to see why it would not shift. Found it! Emailed localish mazda dealer at Midnight on Sunday to see if the part is in stock.

Hopefully this is everything additional that I need for my projects this week.

moxnix HalfDork
3/17/15 11:43 p.m.


Got email back from mazda dealer that they do not have it in stock but they can have it tomorrow so I told them to order it.

Started out with the easy projects since I am waiting on parts for the harder ones.

Wash off RX-7 rallyx wheels. They look rather dirty. I got the rally tires dismounted from the rims and went to town on them with the pressure washer.

3 wheels before, 1 after.

Before inside After Inside

Much better. Now I can actually store them inside without having to follow behind them with the shopvac.

While I had the pressure washer out I went ahead and washed the porch railing.

Lots of oil changes. Miata. Protege 5. E-350 All done.

Started tearing down the MSP transmission again.

moxnix HalfDork
3/18/15 12:01 a.m.


Parts are in at the dealer so need to make the trip in to town to get them.

New interlock sleeve, trans fluid, crank trigger wheel.

I guess the new one might work a little better than the old one.

Seems to be working better. Yes much better. Looking even better still.

Got the trigger wheel and crank pulley back on the 92 miata.

Plans for Wednesday - Recheck all connections on megasquirt(make sure it sees crank trigger now and can sync), finish rebuilding trans, Dinner out with some friends.

chiodos HalfDork
3/18/15 3:16 p.m.

You sir have a full blown case of automotive add. If you need to thin the herd, my miata would like a new playmate

irish44j UltimaDork
3/18/15 4:25 p.m.

All these years I've assumed you had some big spread out in a more rural area with a 5-bay garage. Now I see you've managed to cram all these cars into suburbia. I'll have to show this to my neighbors, then they won't think I'm so bad

bluej GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/18/15 5:06 p.m.

Sweet. Now I know who's local with megasquirt experience I can bug about getting mine up and running to start this season.

Love the msp, too. A good buddy (golfduke on here) had a silver one we had some fin with.

JacktheRiffer Reader
3/18/15 6:07 p.m.

This is an amzing thread. Fun to read and gives me inspiration for fitting all my cars in a small driveway.

moxnix HalfDork
3/18/15 9:46 p.m.

Is it Automotive ADD if you just don't get rid of cars?

I wish I had a 5 bay garage. 9 cars and a trailer do make things a little hard parking but we live on the corner of 2 cul-de-sac's so have a good bit of on street parking and with the lift 3 cars fit into the 2 car garage.

Experience? I can help you take over a year without getting the car running if that is what you want I think I am actually learning a decent bit about how it works but I just plan on getting it running and then sending it someone who knows what they are doing with it to get it tuned. The first thing I would say is that it would help a lot if you already have the car running before trying to install megasquirt or to run the additional wiring yourself instead of relying on what the PO told you was done.

My wife says I have an abusive relationship with the spicy MSP. The engine blew at about 30,000 miles and I sent it off to my parents house for a year or so to think about what it had done before rebuilding that. I had it working for a few years after that and then the diff blew so it has been sitting at my house thinking about what it did. Both are known weak points on this car. But I love the color and mazda has not made any more cars in that color so I have to keep it until they do. Come on Spicy Orange ND!!!!!!!!

My driveway can fit 5/6 cars if I pack them in I think. We normally have 3 on the driveway and 3 in the garage.

moxnix HalfDork
3/18/15 10:09 p.m.


The transmission is complete(I hope).

I'll stake my nuts on it.

Megasquirt I can finally see the crank trigger! Now I need to figure out why Spark A is not firing. Spark B works fine and spark A/B is working fine on the stimulator. I got out the oscilloscope and checked it when hooked up to the stimulator. But when hooked up in the car nothing.

Maybe I'll try swapping Spark A And Spark B tomorrow and see if Spark A works then?

Or maybe I need to dig thru the wiring harness for the COPs the PO installed?

Either or both ways that is one of my projects for tomorrow.


  1. Get the used Ultrashield installed into the CSP car since I stole the one that came with it for the rallyx car so I could fit into the rallyx car with the hardtop on. It is currently setup for somebody with much longer legs than me so I need to drill a few new holes to remount it correctly.

  2. Figure out that no Spark A thing.

  3. Move enough stuff around so that I can get under the MSP to start getting the trans back into place and see how many parts have gone missing there (I think I left them all sitting in places on the lift where I "would know where they are when I come back to it next week").

moxnix HalfDork
3/19/15 10:52 p.m.

1 - I moved the seat 2.5 inches like my wife said and she came home and said she needed another inch. I guess I get to drill more holes tomorrow.

2 - Checked the COP's harness and everything checked out fine. Swapped Spark A and Spark B and they both worked.

Swapped them back and they still both worked. So spark A is working now.

Tried to start it up and it started! It does not idle or stay running and if I give it gas to fast it dies but it will start up now.

3 - Cleaned out the area in front of the red miata so I can drive it forward and work on the MSP. Got under the MSP and found many of those bolts I thought I left there. These should be the transmission bolts. Motor mount and some other stuff. More bolts (I think these are suspension bolts and the lug nuts. Front subframe (with bolts)

Also worked on the timing display for RallyX. Toward the end of last year a couple of the LED segments got stuck on all the time so it was hard to tell your exact time since some of the digits looked like this all the time. The company that makes the display wants $400 to repair/test it so I figured it was worth a shot trying to track down the problem first. The upper row of transistors had gone bad and were always lighting the LED's. I replaced them on two of the boards. Now the display works again.

Friday I want to get that transmission into the MSP and see if I can get the idle/stay running thing to work on the miata and move the seat again.

mndsm MegaDork
3/19/15 11:48 p.m.

Goddamn, you have some go about you. Also, spicy msp ftw. Best orange ever. (Yes, hemi owners....)

JtspellS SuperDork
3/20/15 6:32 a.m.

Those are a lot of nice toys, would definitely be interested in the FC if you are ever willing to get rid of it lol.

And you should put that trans in the P5, not nearly enough power to break it

Michael_Green New Reader
3/20/15 8:12 a.m.

This post has received too many downvotes to be displayed.

bluej GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/20/15 11:02 a.m.

What seats are those going in the miata?

moxnix HalfDork
3/20/15 3:10 p.m.

JtspellS - Everything has it's price. I offered to put it in the P5 but my wife said no.

bluej - Drivers seat is a Ultrashield TDR Rally Sport Seat (16")
http://trackdogracing.com/ultrashieldtdrrallysportseatwcover.aspx Passenger is a UltraSheild pro drag (18").

irish44j PowerDork
3/20/15 6:56 p.m.

Shawn - nice job on the display. That was getting really annoying last year. $400 is crazy. How much do those signs cost new??

So why not put sliders on the driver's seat so you and Katie don't have the placement issue? Is it a matter of not enough vertical space?

moxnix HalfDork
3/20/15 8:49 p.m.

I want to say that display is about $1500 new.

The CSP Autox miata I have lots of vertical space since we run with it open. The rallyx car I need all the vertical space I can get since we have to run the hardtop. I already have the regular bracket why would I spend more money on some sliders for it when I don't have to? We actually have the about the same leg length I am just more accepting of different driving positions. So as long as the seat is in the right place for her and my head fits in the car I am fine with it.

moxnix HalfDork
3/20/15 8:57 p.m.

Friday - I got the seat moved.

Played around with the settings on the megasquirt but I am still having issues. I think at least one of the coils is bad so I am going to see if I can hit up the junk yard tomorrow and get a few new ones.

Started looking over parts to put the MSP back together. I think I need to replace that boot. I think this is the lowest the car has been in at least a year. I hate trying to get the trans lined up with the engine. I never seem to be able to get it correct without a lot of jiggling. No luck getting it on today and I doubt I have much time to work on it tomorrow.

irish44j PowerDork
3/20/15 10:16 p.m.

Throwback 10 years ago: CDC autocross....my maxima and your orange machine :)

Dusterbd13 SuperDork
3/21/15 3:39 p.m.

Dude, I thought I was bad.

You make me feel better about only having four cars to kerp after.

If you want to dump the msp, let me know. Im in love with those.

And my daily is a protege5

moxnix HalfDork
1/4/16 10:51 p.m.

Last year got a little busy with autox and rallyx events so to try to catch up with everything it may take a bit.


Got pissed off at the MSP transmission not mating up still so let it sit on the lift for longer.
Needed a skid plate for the RallyX miata. Measured and laid out the template in CAD. Transferred to 3/16 aluminum. Installed under car.

It was just a flat plate for the first RallyX since my friend did not have time to bend a front lip on it yet.

It picked up a bit of gravel in that first event.

Yeah it pretty much acted like a giant scoop and picked up lots of gravel.

I also noticed that the car was looking a little low. (thanks to Ed Palaszynski for the photo)

And broke the exhaust on the rallyx miata

moxnix HalfDork
1/4/16 11:07 p.m.


Quickly ordered the cheapest exhaust I could find on amazon.

Moved the spring perch on the RallyX miata koni's from the lowest perch to the highest perch. About 3/4" difference. That should help with the low ride height issue I noticed.

My friend got bent. Or he bent my skid plate something like that.
Looks much nicer now. All installed.

Also installed a new radio in the van for those long towing trips where you can't always get a radio station and you have heard those 6 cd's in the changer way to many times.

Frank_and_Beans New Reader
1/5/16 5:55 a.m.

Just a warning about putting a skidplate on a car with a cast aluminum oilpan. We had a local guy here toast the engine on his VR6 GTI, because a piece of gravel got stuck between the skidplate and oilpan. The next time the car bottomed out or put pressure on the skidplate on course, the piece of gravel punched through the cast aluminum oilpan, dumping the liquid contents of the engine on the track. So, in this case, the skidplate actually caused the oilpan failure.

I see you have had it on there for a while, so maybe it isn't an issue.

I rallycross a miata as well, and made a similar skidplate out of 3/16" aluminum. Paranoia has now caused me to unload an entire tube of red RTV at the interface between the skidplate and the oilpan. That way the void is filled, and no gravel can get in there. The downside is having to spend $8 everytime you take the skidplate off, but it's still cheaper than a new engine!

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/5/16 6:17 a.m.

just curious but do you like Mazdas?

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