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BirgerBuilder Reader
2/22/19 1:31 p.m.
fidelity101 said:
wvumtnbkr said:

Good luck with the door handle.  They are expensive and hard to find.  Especially if you are looking for one of the same color.

I will be working on trying to print these with an improved design out of 316L once I get my hands on a set and our DMLS machines get installed come May. should be a permanent fix. 

Nice! I was just mulling over the idea of trying to bend/weld something up as a replacement since I'm trying not to put any real money into the car. Keep me posted! 

BirgerBuilder Reader
2/22/19 1:45 p.m.

This morning I finished reassembling the car and started it up, It was still bouncing around at 1500-1700 RPM. I set about trying to figure out the problem but then, the thermo wax melted. 


I adjusted the idle screw down to 750 and it ran, so nice. There was still an occasional little hiccup there, but I am stoked. 

I still need to figure out why it is so bouncy at high idle but that's an issue I can at least live with. 

So then I asked myself... What do I do now... I really didn't expect to get this far, I kinda of assumed something would be terribly wrong with this engine. 

I realized I'm gonna have to get it on the road now aren't I? 

So, I took it for a driveway test drive and it looks like I will need to fix, the brakes, the leaky exhaust, the clutch and the transmission... for starters.

The good news is that I have the transmission already, the only part that would be holding me back, budget wise. And with some searching...

Why are these a 1/3 of the price of any other clutch available? You know what, lets not ask questions. But if you need one, there is only one left. 

fidelity101 UltraDork
2/22/19 1:59 p.m.

you need the 86-88 style and make sure its non turbo as they are different. 


the throw out bearing is only difference between the S4 and s5 for clutch kits. 


high idle is typically vac leak, with those gasket surfaces I always add aviation form a gasket to prevent any leakages. especially after I had the flange surfaces machined, not sure why but a fresh gasket on a fresh surface wasn't good enough. 

BirgerBuilder Reader
2/22/19 6:46 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 :

Thanks for the heads up about the throw-out bearing. it says 89-91 in the title but lists all years from 83 up lower down in the description. I can order a throw-out bearing as well and still save money, I'm sure. 

Edit: Yeah, 12 more dollars shipped, so only half price now. 

wvumtnbkr UberDork
2/23/19 4:17 p.m.

I ran an s5 trans in my s4 for a long time.  Never did anything different with throw out bearings.  


What's different?

fidelity101 UltraDork
2/25/19 8:52 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

I thought the forks were different? but maybe you can swap the forks since they use the same ball stud pivot thing. 

BirgerBuilder Reader
2/25/19 1:48 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 :

I guess I can settle it when the clutch and throw out bearing arrive next week. 

I didn't really get to work on the car this weekend, I spent most of Saturday at my bill paying job, then cutting up firewood in the afternoon. 

Sunday I set about putting my 4 wheeler back together since it was parked behind the RX-7, I thought it would take an hour and a half, it took 4... I've never wrenched on one of these before and I clearly wasn't paying enough attention when I took it apart. After that, had to swap out a broken dishwasher and there goes the weekend. 

I did get to pick these up though.

Now why would I need a set of these... 

BirgerBuilder Reader
3/1/19 1:55 p.m.

I got the RX-7 rolled over onto the lift and I have to say, it's a lot nicer when a car can move itself.

Not well mind you, the whole transmission is kaput and two of the brakes are locked up but all the more reason to not push it anywhere. 

Step one: pull the stuck calipers off:

Not a great start... after this I went around the car and sprayed PB-Blaster on every exposed nut and bolt I could find regardless of whether I was planning on removing them. We shall see if it helps.

Luckily the other bolts were not so bad, I got the pads out.

And I have the fancy impact JIS screwdrivers to knock those hub screws right out! Right?

Hmmm. Not what I expected, Lets removed the whole hub. 

Luckily that came apart pretty easily. 

Those broken bolts though...

Drilled em all the way out and they were still hanging in there. Broke them loose and hack sawed the rest of the way. Well, the hub is okay at least, I'll have to see about the caliper bracket. 

Also, to get the disk off, the impact screwdrivers weren't turning it. Somehow, hammering a drill adaptor bit into them then using the impact gun on it got them out nice and clean. 

I ordered parts and was worried I'd be stuck waiting on them, I don't think that will be a problem, this is going hella slow...   

BirgerBuilder Reader
3/4/19 2:41 p.m.

Spent a lot of time in the garage this weekend but don't have a whole lot to show for it. 

I tried to get the broken ends of the bolts out and didn't have much luck. My Mapp torch didn't get hot enough to cook em out either. 

I ended up drilling them and then re-tapping them from m10 up to m12. 

So then I had the bright  idea that I would machine the old rusty discs because they had 9.6 mm left of the original 10. 

Now, I already knew this was a pain in the ass before I started and I did it anyway so, blames all on me...

It was super slow going, like I knew it would be. I got tired of turning that damn handle on the Rotary table, so I got an idea. 

I had this piece of crap laying around (It never worked right anyway) So, Chop.

Now where's that box of old belts...

After several add ons and modifications, I got some encouraging results! 

The astute among you may be able to tell me which brand of beer box is acting as a belt guide. 

Now, shortly after this, the motor burned up, which I was expecting. What I was not expecting, is that it smelled like almond cookies when it went out? 

Oh well, a 12v battery and an old dewalt drill later... 

And we are back in action. This actually worked well for a few hours before my brother came over to use the mill. 

Yup, a few hours, and they are not done yet. I told you this was a stupid idea, 3 out of 10, would not recommend. 


TED_fiestaHP Reader
3/4/19 6:21 p.m.

Mcmaster carr has lots of different thread inserts, comes in handy after you have to drill something out and tap larger.  Add a threaded insert so the original bolt can still be used.  They also have cobalt brill bits.   Been there....

Bent-Valve Reader
3/4/19 7:41 p.m.

Do you have a flycutter? I used an end mill on my discs. If you have indicated your mill flat it should work ok. 

We have similar mills I think. I recognize that short table and green paint!

Bent-Valve Reader
3/4/19 8:12 p.m.

If you have the same short mill, and you may have done this already, but I cut 4" x 4" square tube and bolted it to the bottom  giving it more height and a wider stance for more stability.

I added adjustable feet to level it up and its at a better working height for me.

I made the bigger fly cutter years ago, a HSS cutter and you can cut a nice relatively flat surface quickly. A funny story, I worked in tool and die shop, another dude was using a big fly cutter (12 inches) and set the depth BEFORE bringing the the cutter down to touch and started the mill and table into motion. As the huge mill whacked .120 thick chips of steel around the shop like a machine gun, it danced away as we tried to shut down. It was almost better than the terrified goat loose in the shop, we danced around on that one too, sparks flying as it ripped a cable almost loose from a big cnc mill and us trying to shut feeding equipment down, grab the goat, etc, ah those were the days.


Edit -- I keep looking at your power driven rotary table and wondering why I didn't think of that, it is so cool.

wvumtnbkr UberDork
3/5/19 7:50 a.m.

Rear rotors are very cheap.  Just but new ones.


Also, I'm guessing xx for the beer box.


Those rear brake assemblies can be very hard to find fyi.

BirgerBuilder Reader
3/11/19 3:04 p.m.

Relatively, All of these parts are cheap and should just be bought.... 

Also, the wife is trying to pay off all of her school loans, and we are saving up for a new house, and health insurance just went up so right now she is watching the bank account like a hawk. Which is annoying, but I far prefer a wife with a saving problem over a wife with a spending problem.

So I will continue beating my head against the garage wall trying to fix these brakes for 'no money'

Also the correct answer was Miller High Life

BirgerBuilder Reader
3/11/19 3:06 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

I do have a fly cutter which would work way faster but I think the room for error (as shown in your story) is much higher as well. 

BirgerBuilder Reader
3/11/19 3:16 p.m.

On with the saga...

20umthing dollars to fix it all, Fingers crossed.

I finished drilling and tapping both calipers and brackets, got some 12mm bolts for like 1.00$ (I do love the little Metric bolt shop right next door to where I work)

Next up, caliper rebuilds. Should be quick and easy, they look mint.

I had to make a caliper turner tool. 

Which I made out of the biggest chunk of metal near me for some reason. But it came out!

One side had some minor damage. I said berk it and reused it anyway. 

The other side was fubar for sure. 

What am I drawing in the background? See Meme in previous post...



BirgerBuilder Reader
3/12/19 2:57 p.m.

So in order to make this piston, first I need to break the parking brake screw out of there. 

I was unfamiliar with how these work but there is a basically a spiral cut hollow rod inside the piston that can only spin one way. So that it is free to move out but can not back up. Inside these pistons, there is a piece of flat steel holding it down that is then punched over and the burr holds it in place. I milled down the burr and it still wouldn't come out. So I drilled a hole in the side and pried it out with a screwdriver. 

Here is the piece I'll try and replicate, minus all the holes drilled in it, lol.

Well as I was getting ready to turn that down, I realized I don't have a boring bar with the depth necessary to cut all the internal sections...so that's on the back burner for now. 

My brother came over and put the one side that is usable back together. 

The front caliper on the passenger side was dragging too so we attempted to pull that off and "fix it, real quick" 

I wish I had some pictures/ video of that poop-show because, the pads, rotors, and pistons were all fine, the guide pin was a bit rusty...

Like, we needed the hydraulic press to get it apart, rusty. 

It was bent in the process but came out. Then I found the bleeder screw was broken off too...

Give me a fricking break here! So I drilled into the bleeder screw, thinking I'll fix it, or kill it trying. 

And... it mostly worked?

The threads are a bit tore up but it seems to seat down nicely. I guess we will see if it leaks when we bleed them...

Started making a pin to replace the bent/rusty one.

I really am a glutton for punishment aren't I? 




BirgerBuilder Reader
3/27/19 1:41 p.m.

So while I was browsing around for Miata parts, I came across this.

I see a door handle! And at the time it had only been there one day. Well, I wasn't able to make it there until 5 days later, and...

Son of a Wankel. 

Oh well, I did get the rear calipers and will hopefully be able to rebuild mine now. 

I also pulled the lower intake since I don't have a spare of that for my second motor. The one that may, or may not, go into the old MG. 

I also got the upper manifold and throttle body because... they were attached to it. Parts galore, now. 

wvumtnbkr UberDork
3/27/19 1:56 p.m.

There is a chance that car has an aluminum hood as well.

fidelity101 UltraDork
3/27/19 3:07 p.m.

grab that 5 lug parts off of it. also there is a 4 lug one that showed up in the junkyard here. but I got dibs on the door handles. you are gonna need the 5 lug rotors too as they are vented and dont match the 4 lug - they are just slightly different. 

BirgerBuilder Reader
3/27/19 3:14 p.m.
fidelity101 said:

grab that 5 lug parts off of it. also there is a 4 lug one that showed up in the junkyard here. but I got dibs on the door handles. you are gonna need the 5 lug rotors too as they are vented and dont match the 4 lug - they are just slightly different. 

That's what I was worried about. Do you have any idea if the pistons are the same? that's the only part I really need. 

BirgerBuilder Reader
4/1/19 1:48 p.m.

Well, my junkyard gamble paid off!

One, not-berked-up caliper piston.

The gamble being that the donor car had the 5-lug brakes with vented rears. Different calipers, same piston!

After what seemed like an eternity, they are back together.

My brother came over and helped me bleed 'em. and they worked! Great! 

The only problem was that the right front wouldn't stop working...

I had left the fronts alone because other than that stuck pin, they looked nearly new, no. Fresh...no. Umm, not completely used up. 

Anyway, I pulled the caliper apart and it wasn't the worst.

After a little clean up, things were good. 

Luckily, I had the fore-sight to buy a rebuild kit months ago. 

Success! Neeeever ending brake job! Is now complete. 

Everything is together and works! And stops working when you want it to, as well!

(Edit: I now notice this is the rear cuz I never took a picture of the fronts, but, you know what a brake caliper looks like.)



BirgerBuilder Reader
4/5/19 1:45 p.m.

Well, I drove the car in an exciting driveway-testdrive and the brakes are still squishy, but they work, and more importantly right now, they don't seize up, so I can move the car around.

However, while sitting in the car I noticed just how disgusting the seats are, all dirty and ripped up.

If only I had a pair of nice seats, just laying around, for free.

Well, those look much better, now don't they.

Don't get me wrong though, they don't fit or anything. They aren't from an RX-7. In fact I don't even remember what they came from. Maybe a Nissan, like, Pulsar? 

All I remember is that they were cheap, and I thought they would fit in an MG midget like 12 years ago. They didn't fit, and by some miracle, the mice haven't eaten them, so here we are. 

Also, I found about two fiddy.

So the only real issue is that the tracks are about 2 inches too wide, but the right-front bracket lines up like it should. Out with the grinder.

Add a chunk of metal and this highly accurate jig...

And viola! two bolts now line up great!

One down... five more to go...

I also pulled a little something else out of the attic...

Bad news guys, I'm starting to like this car...


wvumtnbkr UberDork
4/5/19 5:14 p.m.

You really should go back and get all the 5 lug stuff.  It is easy to swap and has many benefits.

BirgerBuilder Reader
4/6/19 9:55 a.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

You really should go back and get all the 5 lug stuff.  It is easy to swap and has many benefits.

It only had the rear calipers, discs were all totally destroyed. It had all 4 hubs at the time but nearly everything else was stripped out from the car. I'm willing to bet if I go back now, one or more hubs will be missing. That, combined with my desire to spend as little money on this car as possible is gonna keep me away.

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