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NorCal '91 NA Spec Miata Build

- - - - - build na scca construction 1991 1.6L

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#61
joeg5982

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Poor maintenace is an understatement measured by those engine pics...Yikes!!

Looks like very few oil changes in it prior life.

#62
trekkor

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I also test fit myself in my seat with helmet on and discovered I'm about a inch short on headroom (not to mention being a little too close to the roll cage bar for comfort). The bottom of the seat is already just about on the floorpan, so I suppose I can move it forward a bit and tilt it back more...stupid tallness. Any suggestions?


I'm enjoying this build thread. Just about ready to get into this myself.

Regarding the seating problem, can you lower the mount or the actual floor itself.
Do you have a picture of the seat area without the seat installed?


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#63
Austin Robison

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Whew, I'm back! After a bit of a hiatus I'm back on the bandwagon prepping my car for the upcoming season. Tonight, I put on the spec suspension and pulled a few more extraneous plastic panels out of the fender wells.

 

Looks like my plastic guard under the engine bay is cracked, nothing a little tape won't fix until I grab another one.

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Taking the front struts out was easy once I learned the proper procedure: sway bar links off, bottom shock bolt out, two nuts on the top hat, and the long bolt through the inboard side of the upper control arm. Turns out the spring compressor was unnecessary, with the upper control arm disconnected it's easy to wiggle the strut out and get the coilover in there.

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The end link angle in the front looks a little funky, is that normal? I guess once the car isn't up in the air and the suspension is at ride height it will look better.

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Rears look better for angle:

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I also assume that I put the rear bar on correctly (the angle of the end links would be really crazy the other way around). The front bar looks symmetrical, yeah?

#64
Ron Alan

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Put both sway bars on the soft setting Austin...farthest from the bend in the sway bar. Make sure you load your suspension before you tighten any of the A arm bolts...put a jack under the LCA and lift until that corner of the car lifts off the jack stand...then tighten away! Did you put new bearings in the rear while you had the axles out? Repack the fronts(or new)?

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#65
Austin Robison

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Put both sway bars on the soft setting Austin...farthest from the bend in the sway bar. Make sure you load your suspension before you tighten any of the A arm bolts...put a jack under the LCA and lift until that corner of the car lifts off the jack stand...then tighten away! Did you put new bearings in the rear while you had the axles out? Repack the fronts(or new)?


I didn't have to take any of the knuckles off to get the struts in, so I haven't fiddled with the hubs yet, but I'll at least repack the fronts. Definitely will start the sways at full soft for the shakedown and then dial it in from there.

#66
Justin Fowler

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Update your build when you get a chance Austin! Love seeing builds

#67
Austin Robison

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Whew, it's been a busy couple of weeks at work, but I had a chance to get some work done on the car this weekend. Got the Torsen diff installed (thanks Ron!) but haven't swapped the axles in yet.

Of course, the PPF bolts were a huge pain and I spun one of the pressed-in nuts

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Nothing a little vise grip action wouldn't solve, though:
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All mounted back up. I'm a little wary of the spun nut, but I was able to get it up to the torque spec without a problem when reconnecting the diff housing to the PPF, so looks like all is well:
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#68
Austin Robison

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I also started the engine rebuild. After cleaning up the block, the crankshaft went back in without incident and the oil clearances looked great with the new bearings.

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#69
Austin Robison

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More interestingly, as I cleaned off the pile of carbon on top of the first piston I noticed a "10" stamped into the top. Ok, fine, I've got oversized pistons, no big deal with this year's rule change, though a little strange since I didn't remember the measurements of the cylinders I took to be in the oversized range (starting to question my calipers at this point). This is all well a good (other than having the wrong sized piston rings, but that's easy to fix) until I discover that I have three "10"s and one "20". Who puts mismatched pistons in an engine?

So...do I just grab another first oversized piston and call it good? Find a new block? Starting to look like it's going to be tough to be done by the first race ;)

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#70
Alberto

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http://www.attarco.c...main_page=index for used engines fyi if it comes to that...
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#71
Ron Alan

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Or call your buddy Ron :D

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#72
Austin Robison

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Yeah, an Attarco engine is on the list of possibilities for getting up and running. Easy enough to put my Haag head on it and call it a day. I think perhaps the next step is to go remeasure the cylinders and see if a .010" oversize will fit OK in the cylinder that had the .020". Might end up with lower compression in that cylinder, but wouldn't be the end of the world. What do you guys think?

#73
Danny Steyn

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Yeah, an Attarco engine is on the list of possibilities for getting up and running. Easy enough to put my Haag head on it and call it a day. I think perhaps the next step is to go remeasure the cylinders and see if a .010" oversize will fit OK in the cylinder that had the .020". Might end up with lower compression in that cylinder, but wouldn't be the end of the world. What do you guys think?


Austin - congrats on the build so far and on the helpful documentation of the process. WRT to the engine, if you're going to race you want the strongest possible engine so that it doesnt hold you back. Having put in so much time so far, I think it would be a big mistake just slapping it back together with the mismatched pistons. Do it right and you will have lots of fun racing ahead. Just slap it together and I predict you will do it again later and regret taking the easy way out. JMHO

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#74
Austin Robison

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Agreed, I'm trying to build it right the first time =)

I spoke with Ron a little earlier today, who told me that Mike Haag thinks I could still be ok and that the stampings might not be oversize markers. Time to go remeasure everything.

#75
Austin Robison

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Ok, I plead temporary insanity.

I went back and measured the crap out of my pistons and block. Standard sized pistons, block has not been overbored and is well within spec for the standard piston size. Guess I just psyched myself out with those stampings ;)

Anyway, I felt motivated after discovering that I was in fact, not totally screwed, and put the new rings on the pistons and bolted them to the crankshaft.

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Easy-peasy...once I figured out that if you over tighten your ring compressor you will hate life.

Rinse and repeat:

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#76
Austin Robison

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Also, I love this stuff:

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#77
Austin Robison

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And for extra bonus points, I reattached the oil pump and a new water pump. The old oil pump looked go, so it just got a new seal, and the old water pump was a giant pile of rust.

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#78
Alberto

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Sweet. Let's get 'er done this weekend. :thumbsup:
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#79
Austin Robison

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Many thanks to Alberto and Brandon this weekend for helping out!

We got a ton of work done:

After a little work, Mike Haag's excellent head goes on:
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Alberto and Brandon working on the drive axles:
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Nice work, boys!
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They also pulled the front hubs for repacking and put the R package tie rod ends on:
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#80
Austin Robison

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Meanwhile, I was busy reassembling the engine:

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Bolting things onto the block went smoothly. No surprises here.





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