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adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/23/21 6:30 p.m.
gszczyrbak said:

In reply to 2002maniac :

Haha.  I should know better.  Never had a Z3, but owned a 1980 528i e12, the first fives series.  I started the First Fives registry and website. They are still going strong on the bulletin board, but the website is badly outdated.

http://firstfives.org/

 

That's awesome, there's still lots of great info on there.

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
2/23/21 9:01 p.m.

Man, you are making feel bad about how little I have worked on my car this winter!! I better come up with some crap to get done so I can keep up ;)

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/24/21 8:17 a.m.

In reply to HopmanJones :

Haha. I'm mostly just biding my time until I get my transmission back. Still waiting.  I talked to Chris today and I'm next on the bench. but he's gotta finish work on one of his race team cars.

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
2/27/21 3:57 p.m.

 

Swapped out the springs from the cheap FCS struts. I put in Moog springs (81162) from 1st gen Mazdaspeed3. These are getting harder to find, but they are less than $50 new. I'm not gonna put these in the car yet as I want to do before-and-after ride height measurements. Plus I just don't want to do too many change at once. The front spring rate will be up slightly from about 140 to 175.

Looking at them, you'd think they'll lower the car a good bit, but the spring rate is higher so deflection should be less. My calculations indicate the drop will be minimal (barely measurable at less than 1mm), which is what I'm going for.

I also have a set of Moog rear springs from a gen 2 Mazdapseed3 (81693). Again, same deal. Overall free height of the spring is lower, but spring rate is up so ride height change should be minimal. The rear spring rate will be up to 218 from about 139.

Once I do this, the spring rate will be up all around the car, but more in the rear than in the front which should help get the car to turn.

FCS springs on the left. Moog MS3 springs on the right.  Same number of coils, but thicker bar diameter and lower free height.

 

 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/6/21 1:38 p.m.

Found a good deal on a Sparco Evo II US Seat. I'm waiting on a Planted Seat Bracket before I can install, but I put the Sparco in the car on a piece of wood for some test fitting.  It BARELY fits. Door closes fine, but in my preferred driving position, it is very close to the B pillar and is also very close to the center console.  Fits ME great though.  The harness pass-thru could be a tad higher for my liking, but the side bolsters hug really nicely, but not too tight.

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/10/21 3:12 p.m.

Learned an important lesson about exposed threads getting rusty, but more importantly about patience.  These pictures are the AFTER of fastening the rubber mount for my Mazdaspeed CAI. This is the second mount I've used because I had to basically destroy the first one getting it out.  It fastens to a body bolt hole that had not been used for a while.  The previous owner removed the bellows below the stock air filter. I think it was used for some of that structure.  Who knows how long it was exposed to the elements.

When I got the CAI, I just went ahead and tried to fasten the mount without cleaning out the threads first. I knew I should but I didn't have the right size tap so I just he-maned it into place but fell WAY short of fully seating it. Problem was I couldn't back it out either.  Anything I did to try to reverse it just twisted the rubber instead of backing out the threads. So I had a mount fastened several millimeters short of ideal and I was betting it would let the air filter bang around. 

Despite best efforts, I wasn't able to get the old mount off without destroying it.  This time I did it right.  Bought a M6 tap and cleaned up those threads nicely and was able to fully seat the mount with zero problems. Luckily it was a cheap lesson this time.

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/11/21 7:01 a.m.
gszczyrbak said:

Suffering from a little POD (Previous Owners Disease), I decided to fix this wire properly by crimping on a new terminal so I can use the supplied connector.  Getting the old terminal that the previous owner left in the connector out was easy enough. And I found what I thought would be the correct spade terminals at AutoZone.  But they are too large. I'm pretty sure I need 2mm wide spade terminals. The ones in the kit are 1/8" The only ones I could find come in a lot of 100 and are shipping from Hong Kong!  Soon I'll be swimming in 2mm gold terminal connectors. Who needs some?

 

Build threads save lives!  Well maybe not lives, but lots of hassle.  I was fixing this connector yesterday and realized I had no idea which wire went where. Then I remembered I snapped a pic for this post and was able to figure out that the longer wire goes in the spot to the right of the ridge along the middle of the connector.

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/14/21 8:44 a.m.

 

Mazda redesigned the clutch fork, pivot pin and bearing from the original.  This is a nice little "upgrade". Technically a revision since I believe this set of parts supersedes the original parts. Apparently with the original pivot pin, it was actually stressing the metal on the clutch fork enough to break it. It is a number of improvements (revised items on the left)

  • The new pivot pin is clearly broader
  • clutch fork is reinforced a bit
  • the spring that holds the fork to the pivot pin looks like a better design - less likely to fail
  • the mechanism for attaching the bearing looks much better.

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/20/21 3:52 p.m.

At long last, I'm going to reinstall my transmission tomorrow!

Things didn't work out with the first place I brought it for the limited slip differential install.  He was too swamped with other work to get to it, so I brought it to APTuning  in Lebanon, PA who turned it around in few days. Thanks to Hopman Jones for the rec!

Though no different looking from outward appearances, the transmission on the left with the MFactory LSD should be a world of difference from the stocker on the right.

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/22/21 7:39 a.m.

In case you are wondering, it is possible for one person to install a FWD transmission into a car on jack stands. It was difficult and I'm sore as hell from man-handling it into place.  It took several attempts including some where the trans almost fell off the transmission jack because I stupidly didn't strap it in place.  This out of round locator pin on the block was particularly demoralizing after prematurely celebrating success, having to back out the trans, fix this, and start again.

 

But it is now back in including a new mount from AWR Racing

I did the pass-side mount too which required relocating a ground connector that was under the factory mount.  The AWR mount is flat, where as the factory mount raises up and makes room for the ground.

relocated ground to a spot on the shock tower. I'm wondering if that is sufficient enough.  Doesn't seem as substantial as the spot on the frame rail. 

Pass-side mount installed

Still have to get the axles remounted.  Tried the pass-side yesterday and had hell of a time, so after a long day decided to wait until cooler heads prevailed.

Once the axles are reinstalled, its just the lower control arms, battery, front rotors and pads, fluids (brakes, engine oil, and transmission) and I'm ready to go. 

 

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
3/22/21 3:43 p.m.

Looking good Greg. The car is getting quite the overhaul. I'm glad that APT came through for you. 

I relocated that connector to the bracket on the rear passenger side of the valve cover that holds the connector leading to the O2 sensor. 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/23/21 7:17 a.m.

Doesn't look like much, but the the fact that front brakes are done means I am tantalizing close to finishing.  The axles are in. What a HUGE PITA! they are. Even though I had a new re-man driver's side axle the retaining clip on the axle was out of round.  I had to remove it, find a socket of approximately the same diameter and hammer it back into shape. For the passenger side, I found it easier to get the axle in with the intermediate shaft out of the car.

Minor panic when a output shaft seal spring fell out and I had no idea what it was - https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/what-is-this-thing-that-fell-out-of-my-transmission/182208/page1/

Lower control arms are done.  Battery tray is back. Just need to bleed the brakes, add fluids, check bolt tightness all around, do some tidying up of wires so they don't get wrapped up in the radiators fan or around axle shafts. (And remount the bumper cover of course)

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/23/21 7:19 a.m.

In reply to HopmanJones :

Thanks Adam. With the Susquehanna rallyx schedule out, I've got a date to aim for. Someday I'll make it down to a DC event. Are you going this Sunday?  Good luck!

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/24/21 8:22 a.m.

Ugh, I was so close to getting it back on the road, but had a little setback.  I did a poor job getting the spring back into the trans seal and when I loaded the transmission up with fluid it leaked badly.  So, remove brakes, remove LCA, extract axle, extract seal, seat new seal, get &#%! axle back in, LCA back on, brakes back on. Luckily I only had to do the driver's side. The pass-side seal seemed good.

After the extra time with that , I still managed to bleed the brakes, reinstall the front bumper cover, get the car back on the ground, install the battery, fill the tires with air, torque the axle bolts and wheel lugs.

I started the car for the first time in months.  And it fired right up. Of course there's a CEL.  I was expecting that after the problems I had with various broken connectors, etc...  Brake and clutch pedals feel good, I was able to put it into gear. 

I didn't get a chance to take it for a spin yet though.  And good thing, because while I was picking my daughter up from dance class, I suddenly questioned if I had tightened the pinch bolt on the LCA near the ball joint.  When I got home, I checked and sure enough it wasn't tightened at all.

After work I hope to tighten that bolt and take it out to go through the procedure to break-in the new rotors and pads. Then I'll find out what's going on with that CEL.

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/25/21 9:47 a.m.

Swapping out the trans (including lightened flywheel, clutch, pilot bearing, rear main seal, axles) was the largest car project I had ever taken on. I had never even done a clutch previously.  So I was pretty nervous about my likelihood of success. That is why I'm so fricking happy that yesterday I brought the car out for a successful maiden voyage. 

I bedded the new rotors and pads using the 5 quick decelerations from 40 to 5 and then 5 more again again from 35 to 5. My victory lap was short lived though as I suddenly realized that it was raining and I have a CAI now and I hadn't put the splash shield back on yet. So gingerly back to the house, avoiding the puddles along the way.

This morning with splash shield (actually skidplate) reinstalled, I got the CEL diagnosed at AutoZone and found out it was the MAP Sensor (P0108).  Sure enough, I forgot to plug it back in. I'm surprised it didn't run much rougher, but it wasn't actually bad at all. 

With that done, I'm cautiously calling it a success.  I realize that for many this would be no big deal, but for me its a big accomplishment. Can't wait for the first Susquehanna SCCA RallyX event now on April 17 when I'll get to really see how the limited slip differential performs.

paul_s0
paul_s0 Reader
3/25/21 9:57 a.m.

Well done, I'll be interested to hear how much of a difference all that makes.  How are the AWR mounts, much difference in NVH? 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/25/21 11:30 a.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

I'll give you a full NVH report once I have more time with the car.  But so far, it hasn't been bad at all except for while idling. But I'm wondering if that had more to do with the MAP sensor being unplugged. I went with their "soft" 70 durometer bushings.  And my RMM is from an eFocus.

 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
3/25/21 8:37 p.m.

Congrats on accomplishing the job.!(Seems like a big job to me too!)

Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/21 10:48 p.m.

Oh, great build. Following along.

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
3/26/21 10:16 a.m.

You have a lot to be proud of, it's a lot of work you have done by yourself and I'm sure it will be all worth it once the tires hit the dirt. 

spandak
spandak HalfDork
3/26/21 10:43 a.m.

I had the E Focus RMM in my MS3 and liked it.

Good progress! 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
3/31/21 7:45 a.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

Now with a little more time, I can give you a better NVH report on the mounts.  I have an eFocus RMM, and AWR 70 durometer "soft" transmission and passenger-side mounts.  At idle, it definitely has some significant rattling and shaking that wasn't present previously. (Could that be related to the lightweight flywheel as well?) But outside of that, it is very minimal. While driving, I notice my exhaust noise (Racing Beat CBE) more than anything else. I just look at it as the car doesn't like to sit still.  It wants to go! smiley

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
4/6/21 8:00 a.m.

Argh!!! Took the exhaust manifold off to install a MSDS header (more on that later), and had oil leak out of one of the exhaust manifold stud holes. It only started leaking when I loosened the nut on the stud, so nut exactly a gusher. I'm gonna clean it out and use some high temp thread sealant when I reinstall the stud and hope for the best.

 

 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
4/6/21 6:41 p.m.

As I said, I decided to do a header. Got a nice ceramic coated unit from MSDS. Getting the old exhaust manifold out was tough. Had to remove a bolt from the RMM and two from the pass-side mount so that I could push/pull the engine forward enough to extract the manifold and flexpipe.  

New header went in easily enough. I'm waiting on a new upstream o2 sensor as it was impossible to get the old one out. For now it will go in the spot as pictured. But eventually I want to move it to the lower position as it is only reading one cylinder in that location. Then I'll move the lower one to after the second (now only) cat.  But I have to have someone add an o2 sensor port first. 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak New Reader
4/13/21 4:47 p.m.

Well this is a little embarrassing. I stuck a piece of yellow duct tape on my steering wheel to mark the middle like what you see on race wheels. I wasn't precise and decided to move it. Removing the tape also removed a bit of leather too. Doh!


 

Oh well. It's not like my steering wheel was in all that great shape anyway. And I've been keeping an eye out for a good deal to replace it with a NRG or Sparco one eventually any way.  
 

 

 

 

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