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Thread: mrpham's build

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  1. #1
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Crystal White MX-5
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    mrpham's build

    Hey all.

    My previous car was a Nissan S15, built for track and street duties. Served me well but I sold so I could get an RX-7. Well instead of doing that, I've invested the money and bought an MX-5 instead. Should keep me entertained for the next 6 months or so, that's when I'll hopefully get my rotary fix.


    Modifications so far:
    • 1.6L Engine from the NB6 (solid lifters, cam/crank angle sensors, etc...)
    • Extensively ported head
    • 280 degree camshafts with 10.5mm lift
    • Oversized valves
    • Stronger valve springs
    • Toda adjustable cam pulleys/gears
    • HKS headers
    • Toyota AE101 ITBs
    • Garage Star/T3 ITB adapter
    • T3 Velocity Stacks
    • UNI filters
    • Outwears filter booties
    • Innovate MTX-L
    • Relocated brake prop valve
    • NB 5-Speed gearbox
    • Lightened flywheel 3.5kg
    • Cusco 1.5way LSD
    • 4.778 diff ratio
    • Every nut and bolt re-zinc plated
    • Painted block
    • MegaSquirt DIYPNP ECU
    • Bluetooth ECU Connection
    • Custom ECU mounting
    • Toyota COPs
    • CNC cut COPs bracket
    • OBX dual feed fuel rail
    • Aeromotive FPR
    • Short shifter
    • Custom wiring harness, body and engine
    • FD3S RX-7 fuse folder
    • Dedicated engine fuse/relay panel
    • Flex-a-lite 16" thermofan
    • 42 Draft Designs Catch Can
    • GarageStar radiator cooling panel
    • 52mm aluminium radiator
    • MX-5 Plus custom exhaust
    • Yellowspeed Racing coilovers
    • Broadway Mirror
    • Frame Rail Braces
    • Low-Profile Headlights
    • Garage Vary front lip
    • Project-G Bikini Top
    • Carbon fibre side mirrors
    • Side Skirt Diffusers - http://omgpham.com/mx-5-miata-side-skirt-diffuser
    • R-Package rear lip
    • MX-5 Plus offset number plate bracket
    • Genuine hard top
    • Hard top brackets
    • KG-Works cluster
    • Vented front window
    • Momo Team 280mm steering wheel
    • Sparco Sprint V fixed back seat
    • MX-5 Plus Tall Boy roll bar
    • Whiteline sway bars
    • Genuine strut tower brace
    • Hankook RS-3 225/45/15 tyres
    • OG-San 15x8 +25mm with 5mm spacers to make it +20mm


    My blog - http://omgpham.com/

    How she currently sits (page 9):


  2. #2
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Crystal White MX-5
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    Had all four guards rolled yesterday, so the inner lip is now flat. Work was done by FineFitment and I can definitely recommend them to anyone that needs some extra clearance for wheels.

    http://omgpham.com/guards-rolled-wheels-arrived


    Car jacked up ready for some guard work =)

    Also took a quick photo of the MX-5 Plus exhaust, love the lobster tail TIG welding!



    Guard roller mounted up ready for action.



    Before and after shots of guard inner lip.

    MY BRAND NEW WHEELS!!!!! Axis OG-San 15x8 +25
    I ordered Axis OG-San wheels from JDMYard, they were by far the cheapest I could find. Email response was fast and shipped out the next day. Definitely recommend them =) . The Axis OG-San wheels are replicas of the SSR Formula Mesh, which are the replicas of some BBS wheels. I ordered them in 15x8 +25 gold finish.



    For tyres, I've again chosen to go for maximum rubber instead (like my S15) of the stretched look. But I also wanted to avoid getting semi-slicks or R-Compound tyres for a car that I will most likely drive on a daily basis. So I decided on the Hankook R-S3 in 225/45 R15. These were hard to source in Australia and they sell for $335AUD, compared to $110AUD from TireRack in the US. After shipping and other fees, the tyres cost me just under $200AUD each landed at my door. Total saving of $540!!


  3. #3
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    So my tyres didn't arrive last Friday... damn Customs held it for an extra day to inspect it. So should be here tomorow (Monday) and hopefully get some time to get the tyres fitted.

    In other news, did some more work on the car =)

    http://omgpham.com/under-bonnet-mysteries

    I'm a bit OCD when it comes to wiring, I like everything to be neat and tidy. That means all wires bundled together, all connections soldered and heatshrinked. So every time I get a new car, I go through all the wiring to make sure everything was done right. Unfortunately, this is never the case...

    While cleaning up the engine bay wiring, I found something really strange. Check out the photos below:



    Had to do some intense detective work to figure this out. Turns out it's a 1.5kOhm resitor that is in series with the coolant temp sensor for the ECU. This temp sensor's function is tell the ECU when to use the cold map (rich fuel mixture), this resistor in series tricks the ECU into thinking that the engine is actually cold.

    In parralel with the resitor is a thermoswitch which closes when temperature rises to a specific point (not sure what temp though), this then shorts out the resistor and everything is back to normal so the ECU now thinks that the engine is warm.

    I believe whoever did this wanted the engine to run on the cold map for longer because of Mazda's stupid coolant routing desing. This design flaw causes the rear of the engine to be hotter then the front. Meaning that the coolant temp sensor at the rear of the engine is reading warm when the engine is actually still a bit cold.

    Although the mod works, there is no reason to have it. After removing all that junk, the car runs normal and no longer runs rich. So confused why they did this.... so silly!

    The thermoswitch used - http://www.ngt.co.jp/en/Type03.html

    Also spent the weekend replacing all the hoses and flushing out the coolant. Pretty happy to brand new hoses in the engine bay =)


    Intake and hoses removed.


    All back together and happy again =)

    And just another sneak peak before the new wheels and tyres go on.
    Taken while we were at MX-5 Plus.



  4. #4
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    http://omgpham.com/wheels-tyres

    Tyres finally arrived from TireRack in the US. Took a bit over a week because customs held it back for further inspections.... totally BALLS.

    Quickly got them fitted up and installed on my MX-5 yesterday, first impressions were good but the alignment was all over the place. Had way too much toe and was crab walking all over the road. Turn-in was excellent though, steering is a bit heavier going from the 185 wide tyre to my new 225/45 Hankook RS-3 but still not too bad.


    Today I got my alignment done at Rick's Wheel Alignments in Albion, I've been to these guys in the past and each time they have exceeded my expectations. Definitely recommend them =)

    Aligned for mostly daily/hard parking with a bit of track work. Final alignment settings are:

    Front
    • Camber : -3.0 degrees
    • Toe : ZERO
    • Caster : 5.0 degrees


    Rear
    • Camber : -2.0 degrees
    • Toe : ZERO


    The 15x8 +25mm wheels are a very safe fitment, I could probably do with a 10mm spacer on the rear and 5mm spacer on the front.



    And just some preview shots before I get some real photos taken.




  5. #5
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    So a pretty big update =)

    http://omgpham.com/valve-stem-seal-leak

    After doing a cruise through Mt. Nebo, I had lost about 800mL of oil. There were no leaks so the oil simply burnt up in combustion. This is usually caused by old piston rings or valve stem seals.

    A quick compression test showed all cylinders produced identical compression readings, this rules out piston rings as the cause. When valve stem seals leak, blue smoke is usually seen when you start the car up first thing in the morning. Oil slowly leaks past the seals into the cylinders overnight, then burns up as you start the car up. My MX-5 did something different though... Under engine braking/over-run, the crank case vacuum sucks oil past the seals. Then as soon as you step on the throttle again, huge amounts of blue smoke escapes from your exhaust.

    Was thinking about blowing up my engine and putting a new one in, but did my research and found that it's fairly cheap to fix.
    So here it goes =)



    Firstly, I drained all the coolant and removed the top water hose as well as the intake piping. May as well remove the filter and air flow meter so you have more access to the exhaust manifold bolts. Everything was set to TDC, no need to though since the head is coming off.



    Valve cover removed and showing the nice clean insides.



    Cam pulleys removed and exhaust manifold un-bolted.



    Camshafts and cam caps removed.



    BOOOYAHHH! The head is off =)



    I decided to keep the intake manifold on the head to make removal easier. But will be removed before I send it to the engine machine shop.


  6. #6
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Engine Out - http://omgpham.com/engine-out

    After receiving my cylinder head back from Chilton Engineering, they informed me that my head was no good. The head tested too soft, which meant it overheated some time in the past, valve springs were damaged, valve seats were damaged. Pretty much scrap metal... To purchase a second hand head would cost around $500-$600, whereas buying an entire engine would cost $800 and also means I'll be replacing this "short nose crank" engine with a later model "big nose crank" engine. I obviously decided to go with a replacement engine =)

    I was initially planning to remove just the engine and leave the gearbox in but this proved to be more difficult, so both engine and gearbox will be removed as a unit. The following had to be disconnected from the gearbox:

    • neutral switch wiring
    • reverse light switch wiring
    • speedo drive cable
    • clutch line
    • Power Plant Frame
    • shifter


    While under the car, I also drained the transmission fluid so that it doesn't leak too much as we tilt the gearbox out of the engine bay.

    Some photos now:


    Bonnet removed to make it easier to work one.


    Radiator and fans removed.


    Exhaust headers removed.


    Shifter removed revealing ripped shifter boot.


    The damaged head... =(

  7. #7
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    She's Heartless - http://omgpham.com/shes-heartless

    Had some time today so went ahead with removing the engine out, I like to call it a heart transplant. Was a pretty straight forward process and easy enough to do by my self. Tried to take as many photos as I could remember, enjoy =)


    Before I could start, had to remove the front lip because it couldn't clear the engine crane. Stupid ride height...



    Chained up and slowly lift and tilt it out.



    And it's out!!!!!


    Once the engine was safely outside of the engine bay, I split the gearbox away from the engine. Once that ws done, I saw that the clutch was getting old so decided to replace it while everything was out.



    Picked up a Exedy Heavy Duty clutch kit from NPC. Price was awesome and came with the clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing.

    That's it for now, should be picking up the replacement engine tomorrow. Then more fun =)

  8. #8
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Crystal White MX-5
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    So instead of buying a replacement NA6 engine, I bought a NB6 engine. Still 1.6L but was taken from a JDM 2002 NB Roadster. Has solid lifters instead of hydraulic lash adjusters and makes about 10HP more, uses my original wiring etc... More details later.


  9. #9
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Crystal White MX-5
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    Brisbane, Australia
    Join Date
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    Thanked 197 Times in 61 Posts

    Bought my replacement engine on Saturday from MX-5 Plus, but instead of picking up a regular 1.6L B6 engine from a NA6 I purchased a 1.6L long engine from the NB6. In Japan, the NB series Roadster (MX-5) had the 1.6L engine up until 2005. The cast iron block is identical, but the head and intake are different. The hydraulic lash adjusters are replaced with solid lifters and cams have more lift. The CAS is no longer used and replaced with a cam position sensor and crank angle sensor. The NB6 also uses the crank-shaft nose/pulley/cog, water pump and oil pump from the 1.8L BP engine.

    To run the NB6 engine in a NA6, there are two options. First option is to swap the entire NB6 wiring and ECU into the NA6, the other option is to use the following NA6 items on your NB6 head/block.

    • intake
    • exhaust
    • CAS
    • rear water outlet
    • front water outlet
    • alternator (using the NB6 pulley)
    • air con (if you have it)
    • power steering (if you have it)


    In addition to this, you will need a modified intake cam-shaft. The NB6 intake cam-shaft doesn't have a slot for the CAS, so the NA6 cam-shaft end is cut off and pressed into the NB6 cam-shaft. Pretty straight forward and costs $100 to do.

    Now all that info is out of the way, here are some photos of my progress so far.


    Showing the revised crank nose, difference between the short nose crank-shaft bolt (right) and the revised crank bolt.


    Removing the old front seal, new front seal in. May as well replace all the seals and gaskets while the engine is out.



    Removing the sump was a bitch because the baffle is bolted under the oil pickup, and this results in the sump being "stuck" until you seperate the baffle from the sump.


    Brand spanking new water pump =)



    Pulley boss attached, and most of the external parts attached.


    Engine finally off the stand =)


    New rear main seal in and flywheel on (nearly anyways).

  10. #10
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Crystal White MX-5
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    Thanked 197 Times in 61 Posts
    New Radiator - http://omgpham.com/new-radiator-stuff

    After finding out my radiator was leaking, I ordered a eBay special China radiator. Bought one for my S15 and it was pretty decent, especially for under $200. I ordered the 52mm dual core aluminium design for a low low cost of $175 delivered to my door from Melbourne.



    Test fitting it, a bit of squeeze because its 52mm thick. But so worth it =)

    Also I took my valve cover and water outlets to get blasted at Chilton Engineering, they turned out looking brand new! Much better then paying over $300 for brand new items through Mazda.



  11. #11
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    Crystal White MX-5
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    Engine Swap Completed - http://omgpham.com/engine-swap-completed

    So stayed up late last night getting it all ready, completed everything apart from gearbox oil and timing. Didn't run into problems, just followed the service manual etc.. Did everything by myself, actually pretty easy to pull/install engines in the MX-5.

    And now the photos I managed to take =)


    New clutch on and aligned, my freshly blasted alternator case.


    The modified NB6 intake camshaft to allow use of the CAS.


    Timing belt TDC, timing covers on.


    Gearbox mounted and ready to go in =)


    Lowering it in slowly, easy does it.


    BBOOOOooooooooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa h!!


    Exhaust manifold and valve cover back on.


    52mm dual core aluminium radiator mounted up.


    Intake back on and temporary catch can installed.


    Bleeding clutch with a "one man brake bleeder kit" and filling gearbox with oil using a funnel and hose.


    THE END

  12. #12
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
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    While doing the engine swap I noticed that my shifter boots were ripped, lower boot was leaking oil from the turret t00. So below are some details and photos of the entire process.

    The part numbers for my 1990 MX-5 are:
    • lower boot - M514-17-480A
    • upper boot - NA01-64-481B


    Had some troubles finding the lower boot though, fortunately there is an alternative part no. M513-17-480A which you can use too.


    Firstly remove the gear knob, I find using some rubber gloves helps a lot. Then proceed to remove the centre console, this then reveals the upper shifter boot.


    After removing the upper boot, this revealed by ghetto shift boot. Had to do this while I was waiting for the replacement boot, just helped to soak up any leaking oil.


    Photo on left shows the damaged lower boot, then next photo is the lower boot removed. Take this chance to check your turret oil level and fill up if needed. Becareful not to overfill or oil will be pushed out once you put the shifter back in.


    Shifter out showing the ripped boot. To remove the boot, oil up the shaft and pull it off up the shifter.


    New lower shift boot, to install just oil up the shaft and slide it on.


    When putting the shifter back in use a bit of sealant, then slide on the new upper boot and you're done!

  13. #13
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
    Drives
    Crystal White MX-5
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Thanks Given
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    Thanked 197 Times in 61 Posts
    Bought my self some awesome presents,a MX-5 Plus Tall Boy roll bar and a Sparco Sprint V fixed back seat. I chose the Tall Boy roll bar because it sits 50mm taller than the standard version, bit safer and allows for taller seating positions if needed. The Sparco Sprint V is popular within the MX-5 community because it bolts up to the standard rails, but good because it actually fits inside the car!

    There are more photos of the install after the break, but I was pretty slack with the camera this time round.







    Some better photos when I got the roll bar home.


    The hardware that came with the roll bar kit.



    Carpet and plastic trims removed ready for the roll bar install - the supplied spacer for the top mount - roll bar installed!


    Roll bar and seat installed =D

  14. #14
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
    Drives
    Crystal White MX-5
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    Brisbane, Australia
    Join Date
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    Thanked 197 Times in 61 Posts
    Small update...

    I recently ordered a new steering wheel, made a risky choice and picked the 280mm diameter Momo Team. It's ridiculously stupidly small.... Upside is that it feels like I'm driving a go kart and the response/feedback is amazing. Steering effort is increased but still manageable, only difficulty is reverse parking.


    My small ass 280mm diameter steering wheel.

    I also bought a proper oil catch can to replace the temprorary one I had. It's made by 42 Draft Designs and I had one in my Nissan S15 too, build quality is amazing and has a filter inside to properly catch all oil vapours.

    I purchased it locally through Carformance:
    http://www.carformance.com.au/produc...catch-can.html

    The multi-layer filter used inside the 42 Draft Designs catch can.

    Now some photos of the catch can install =)



    Just used some U-Bolts to hold the catch can to my strut brace, and left over hose I had.

  15. #15
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! mrpham's Avatar
    Drives
    Crystal White MX-5
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    256
    Thanks Given
    1
    Thanked 197 Times in 61 Posts
    Garage Star Radiator Cooling Plate - http://omgpham.com/garage-star-radiator-cooling-plate

    Ordered a Garage Star Radiator Cooling Plate, pretty decent price of only $60USD shipped from the US.

    So below are some photos, enjoy =)


    The build quality is very good and comes with all hardware to install, also a sticker =)



    Definitely helps clean up the engine bay, also has added cooling benefits by keeping airflow directed through the radiator.

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