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Thread: This ain't no build thread!

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  1. #766
    Deep-state actor ☚ ☻ ☛ Agent☣Orange's Avatar
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    It's Karma, man. Probably stood up a girl in Sicily once.


    "No bueno..." Mrs. Phatmiata

  2. #767
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch
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    How did you get the timing belt off the cam sprockets without releasing the tensioner? Just pull it off?

  3. #768
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Thanks for bumping this up to the top, makes it easier for me to find it when I get home later next week! I released the tension on the belt and then just removed the cam sprockets, I had to transfer them over to the replacement head and needed to install new seals.

  4. #769
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Got home last week and made it in to the dealer on Saturday. Guy went right back and got the last shim. On vacation now but will be posting more next week so stay tuned...
    '00 SE, intercooled BRP MP62, Reverant MS2, Ohlins DFV, Konig Flatout (now X 2)
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    This ain't no build thread!

  5. #770
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Home Tuesday, took the day off yesterday to rest from our 12 hour drive. I did go to the dealer yesterday to order a new undertray, my old one slipped under the garage door while I was closing it a few months back and got damaged. Today I started off slow by washing the wife's car. While I was doing that the dealer called to say the undertray was in so once the car wash was done I headed up there to pick it up.

    Getting home it was time to dive back in. The exhaust camshaft had some surface rusting, probably as a result of some weird weather before I went back to work. I cleaned that up with a brass wire brush, some non-marring Scotchbrite pads, WD-40 and elbow grease. PSA, if you are going to have your camshafts sitting around for any period of time I would recommend coating them with some sort of preservative like grease.

    I had made up a sheet with all the shim measurements when I tore things down, and I couldn't find the damn thing. After some frustrated searching I found I had left it inside the factory manual. With that in hand I started in getting the exhaust cam set up. Put the shims in that I calculated needing, installed the cam and then checked the clearance. A couple were a little tight but the rest were fine. Next up was the intake cam. I used more of the new shims here, unfortunately they were all tighter than the exhaust cam shims. I'm going to go ahead and try running it as is, I don't really expect any issues.

    Once that was done it was install the new cam seals, cam sprockets and then the timing belt. Put back all the little covers for the timing belt, installed the spark plugs then installed the valve cover with a new gasket. All torqued properly of course (it's really hard feeling the in-lb wrench click when it's on a lower setting). Put the accessory belts on and tensioned those. Routed the intake hose where it needed to go, then installed the supercharger. Radiator was next followed by the location cover up top. At that point I decided to call it a day, I needed to reclaim my battery charger from one of my sons so I can get her started tomorrow. I didn't take any pictures because it's all work I have done before.

    Still to go is putting on the lower radiator hose and some fasteners on the bottom, including the new undertray. Front shock brace, cowling cover (I'm going to wait on that until after a test drive) and filling the cooling system. Then, test drive!

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  7. #771
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Got back into it today. Finished hooking up the radiator and other bits and pieces. Jacked up the front end and put my nifty filling funnel on the radiator. Had to go to the store for some more antifreeze. Once everything was full I went to start her up, only to find that the battery was low. I had it charging on a low amp setting overnight but when I checked it was only at 8.5 volts. Tried starting her anyway using the "Start" setting on my charger with no luck. I went ahead and set the charger for a higher amp setting to see where that would get me. Tried again a little while ago, still without success but the battery is up to 11.5 volts without the charger connected. Given the battery is 5 years old and my schedule I figure it is done for, so another battery is ordered. The charger is still connected in case I can get it back up enough to get her started to burp the cooling system.

    And for all of those who are visually driven, you have seen pictures of what she looked like stripped so here is one as she sits now:


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  9. #772
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    After I got the battery and installed it, tried starting her but she didn't want to fire. Gave her some gas and she fired, but sounded like she was running on fewer than 4 cylinders. Pulled the plugs and it looked like only firing on one cylinder. After some downtime while I cogitated, I yanked everything down again to see where I had made a mistake. Checked to make sure I hadn't screwed up on the timing belt or left an electrical connector disconnected but everything checked out. After it was all back together fired her up again with the same result. After some more downtime to beat myself up, I bought a set of feeler gauges that went down to 0.0015 (my other set only went to 0.005) and checked the valve lash. Apparently I am an idiot because all but one of the intake lash clearances were very tight, and the exhaust clearances weren't a whole lot better. I am not sure of the cause of this, my caliper did malfunction but I don't think to the degree that would have resulted in this. Anyway, with my new digital caliper and feeler gauge I checked everything and figured out what I would need for new shims to fix it. Got those on order and now just waiting on them to show up so I can see if this will correct the problem.

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  11. #773
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Stopped by the dealer yesterday on my way to Cars & Coffee in the Camaro to see if the shims had arrived. They had (not sure why I did not receive the promised call) so picked them up. First thing this morning I got busy. Got the shims installed per my last clearance readings, put the cams on and checked them again. There were several off so pulled the cams again and moved things around. Ended up doing this a couple of times but ended up with all the exhaust clearances in spec, and only a couple of the intake clearances off by a little. Assembled everything, turned the key and she basically started right up. Let her run for a bit to warm up, then hoisted the front into the air and ran her some more to make sure all the air was out of the coolant system. At this point everything is back together, unfortunately it's raining so I'm not going to do any test drive until tomorrow.

    Takeaway from this is to triple check your valve lash and make sure you have a set of feeler gauges that go nearly to zero.

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  13. #774
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! HarryB's Avatar
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    Adjusting valve shims IS a tedious process; glad you sorted this out!

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  15. #775
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Thanks Harry, I'm pretty happy it's finally working.

    Got up this morning and despite the threat of rain, pulled her out to give her a bath (first one since September some time). She cleaned up well. Piddled around and checked the normal things (tire pressure, oil/coolant levels etc) once that was done. Just got finished up and sat down to post this, look outside and the rain is pouring down. It looks like no test drive today either.


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  17. #776
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Weather cleared a bit and the roads were dry, so I took her out for a short test. Drove fine, did notice some stuttering at higher engine speeds so I'm going to check and see if any water got into the spark plug wells when I washed her. The new steering wheel feels great, and no airbag light came on. It feels so different from the wife's Camaro which I expected, but I prefer this. Yes, it's hard to argue with a honking-big American V8, but the Miata is so tossable that there is no comparison handling-wise. I can feel the road and it is so much more responsive (some of that is due to the front negative camber I know). It is just a much better balanced package overall, and for my tastes more enjoyable.

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  19. #777
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! HarryB's Avatar
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    You sound happy Mike! ;)

    BTW car looks stunning! I believe you have mentioned this again, but what's your ride height and wheel specs?

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  21. #778
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryB View Post
    You sound happy Mike! ;)

    BTW car looks stunning! I believe you have mentioned this again, but what's your ride height and wheel specs?
    Harry, you have no idea. I have not driven her since last September (total of 22 weeks away at work in that period, but still). Today was great.

    I'll have to dig out my last height adjustment for that, but wheels are 15 X 8, +25 offset (Konig Flatouts). Tires are 205/50-15 Rival S1.5. They seem to run a little wider than other 205s.

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  23. #779
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Had to take two days off while doing a head gasket job on one of the kids' cars. This morning I pulled the COPS, three of the plug recesses had water in them. Looks like I need to take even more care when I washed down the engine bay. Blew that out with compressed air, initial shot didn't get it all so I put a paper towel into the hole and then blew it again. Left everything open for a while to make sure it was all dry. Also noticed the 'charger belt had walked off one tooth so put that back in place, will monitor to see if I need to adjust the 'charger position.

    Then, since it is a nice day, I went for a drive. Took my favorite local backroad. It's amazing the difference between this and my wife's Camaro. Weight does have an impact on handling, if you doubt that then take a modern car with the latest suspension and drive it back to back with an older well-sorted sports car. With the water cleared out of the plug holes she pulled hard to redline. Even small throttle openings provided a push of effortless acceleration. It's sneaky fast compared to the sledgehammer speed of the Camaro's V8. I love this car.

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  25. #780
    Super Moderator Bryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefmg View Post
    Then, since it is a nice day, I went for a drive. Took my favorite local backroad. It's amazing the difference between this and my wife's Camaro. Weight does have an impact on handling, if you doubt that then take a modern car with the latest suspension and drive it back to back with an older well-sorted sports car. With the water cleared out of the plug holes she pulled hard to redline. Even small throttle openings provided a push of effortless acceleration. It's sneaky fast compared to the sledgehammer speed of the Camaro's V8. I love this car.
    You gonna be in town at the end of the month? Going to be working on The Tick

    (Really would love a ride in your car...seems so well sorted!)
    Quote Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
    I dont know a word you just said, but that **** sounded COOL.

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