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Thread: Bucky, Sharka's little brother

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  1. #46
    Forum Sponsor revlimiter's Avatar
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    It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    I made it almost 17 years without breaking a Miata oil pan.



    I guess technically, I *still* haven’t broken an oil pan. My wife was driving at the time.

    See, we were driving home from the gym. She took our daughter to school and I met her there. I was driving Stormy, she was driving Bucky. We worked out and then left.

    It was a nice morning cruise home. No traffic in front of me. I made a light she didn’t and she ended up about 3 huge trucks behind me.

    There’s been some construction and there’s many huge trucks moving earth between our house and the gym. I’m guessing that’s where the huge rock came from. It was probably 7-10″ in diameter. Really sizable. Not enormous, but pretty big for a Miata. It was just laying in the middle of the lane.

    No one in front of me meant I had plenty of time to see the rock and dodge.

    One of the trucks between me and Sarah kicked it up. It rolled. She couldn’t dodge.

    BAM.



    She pulled over when the road allowed. Fortunately, it was just a small crack in the oil pan and the dipstick still had something on it after she shut off Bucky’s engine. I’ve read horror stories on the forums about engines bleeding out in 20-30 feet. But Bucky’s tough.

    At least I hope Bucky’s tough. I’ll find out soon enough. But there was PLENTY of oil left to dump out all over the road after she parked.

    We pushed Bucky back to give room for a tow vehicle.



    I called my dad who lives very close by and asked him to bring his SUV and a tow cable. A few minutes later, there he was… but his turbo Hyundai had no way to tow. Apparently the little tow eyelet that all modern cars have was not present on his. It’s actually an OPTION from the dealer, not a standard piece.

    Stormy had two tow eyelets.

    You can see what happened next.

    This is, for the record, the largest thing I’ve transported with a Miata. I thought hauling 4 wheels and 4 tires (both separate) was a good trick… but that was nothing compared to hauling a whole Miata with a Miata.

    Yo Dawg, I heard you like…



    And why did I do this and not just get Bucky home with a tow truck? Something was going on in the city and there was a 2 hour wait for a tow when we called them. AAA was an even longer wait. And we were under 2 miles from home.

    It was an unforgettable two miles. I’ve never tried to tow ANYTHING behind a Miata. Bucky was a first. I drove Stormy and my dad drove Bucky. Take offs from lights were fun. Braking for lights with two cars worth of weight and no vacuum assist was apparently fun as well. But we did it.

    Bucky got home.

    So next thing is to yank the engine and get that pan changed out. Bucky needs a new clutch too, so it's a good time to pull the engine. The pilot bearing in there now has been getting noisier and noisier. It'll strand me one of these days. I was putting off changing it out of laziness, but I have no excuse now.



    Notice the big dent in the subframe? It used to hang about an inch below the oil pan. Now it’s about an inch above. And the corner of the pan has a lovely crack.

    Poor Bucky.

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  3. #47
    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift HarryB's Avatar
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    Eeek, shit happens I guess. Good thing oil was left in the engine, should be fine really. Is the subframe straight? Looks like it had taken a hell of an impact.

  4. #48
    Forum Sponsor revlimiter's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about the subframe. I *think* it's straight and just had a big dent knocked in it. I plan to hammer it down a bit when the engine is out.

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  6. #49
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here!
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    Wow, that sucks, but very cool to see how you handled it.
    93' LE - FM II and more
    253k miles
    Smile

  7. #50
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone BRGNA8's Avatar
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    glad you got that sorted Adam

    Off topic, will you be putting racing stripes on Stormy like you did for bucky and sharka?
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  9. #51
    Forum Sponsor revlimiter's Avatar
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    Bucky's back baby!







    Nothing like pulling an engine. Except for when doing it on a fancy diamond plate plastic floor. Ugh. That floor is truly horrible for actually doing much in the way of garage work at all. It doesn’t really allow things to roll over it… and if that THING weighs a few hundred pounds, it doesn’t want to roll at all. It’s comfortable to work on, sit on, lay on, etc. But rolling engine stands or hoists? Nope.

    The floor doesn’t hold up to oil laying on it either. I had a puddle of oil under the car for a couple weeks without thinking anything about it. And that part of the floor is now permanently wrinkled and stained. Sigh.

    I’ll worry about the floor later.



    I hadn’t pulled an engine for a while and couldn’t find my old load leveler. I went to Harbor Freight and bought a new one – this one. This is the “small” load leveler. They had two models – one for $30 and one for $40.

    This is the $30 model. It sucks. Do not buy it. It binds up without much load on it regardless of how much you lubricate things. It’s just not meant for leveling a whole Miata engine/tranny combo. Just too small.

    The attachment method sucks too.

    Just say no. Get the $40 one. It’s blue, longer, and works great. (I own it now too.)





    Doesn’t look bad from outside but you can see the damage from the inside very well. At least all of the metal appears to be present. We’ll find out if a big chunk is hiding inside the block somewhere.

    You know... if the engine seizes a few months down the road. I didn't take the block apart to search for chunks of metal.







    Yup. Claw hammers – two of them. It takes a bit of leverage to get the oil pan free. The thing is pretty well sealed with the RTV around that pan. Lots of force needed.

    Advice on MT was pretty much “Pry until you think it’ll break, then pry more.” And that’s what it took to get the pan free.



    01-05 engines have a Main Bearing Support Plate, or MBSP. It’s different than all of the other Miata motors and requires a unique oil pan to make it work. The spare 94-00 oil pan I had didn’t work. That meant buying a new pan from Mazda.

    *sob sob sob*


    Pre-cleaning


    Post-cleaning


    Crazy clean.

    Since I only needed to change the pan, I left the windage tray and MBSP in place. No need to get them out anyway.

    An hour of careful cleaning with a nylon brush got the engine ready for more gasket goop.





    The gaskets only go on one way. Pretty pleased about that. No chance on screwing it up. Though they go on the windage tray and not on the pan as seen in the top pic.

    I went to the auto parts store and got a new tube of ultra grey gasket goop. I was rewarded with a new silver Matchbox Miata for my efforts! Pretty glad I decided to not just use the unknown-age gasket good that was in my storage locker.

    One unbroken string of goop later…


    New pan!

    The whole pan replacement procedure was only about 90 minutes of work. Most of that was removing the old gasket goop from the windage tray. It was actually very easy. I can kinda see why folks do this with the engine in the car and just wiggle it from around the subframe.

    I needed to do a few more things though…


    Bucky’s coolant hoses were all original. I think I replaced the top one when I did a timing belt change, but all of the rest were 15 years old. 16? Pretty old. Those tiny ones were worrying me. So out they came and on went new ones.

    Props to Treasure Coast for selling a full set of Miata coolant hoses. No struggling with multiple part numbers, just one stop shopping. (I found this after discovering Mazdaspeed Motorsports no longer sells them.)


    Bucky’s nose bearing was noisy. And… it had been noisy for like 2 years. At first, I could only hear it at like a drive-through ATM at first with a lot of stuff for the squeak to echo off of. But over 2 years it grew louder and louder. Any time I was driving next to a curb I could hear it screaming. It was going to eventually seize and strand me on the road somewhere.

    Fortunately, a reason to get the engine out of the bay presented itself.

    Might as well throw another stock clutch at Bucky while I had things out.



    New rear main seal


    New clutch

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  11. #52
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    DONE!!!

    Though I managed to not take a photo, Bucky also got a nice new CSF replacement radiator from Goodwin. It’s something like 2.5x the thickness of the stock unit and has no plastic end tanks. That was another part that was causing me stress. 16 years on a stock Miata radiator is pretty good.

    So the total work included…
    1 new oil pan
    – including oil pan gaskets
    – gasket goop
    – Matchbox silver ND Miata
    1 new OEM clutch kit
    – including pilot bearing and throw out bearing
    – new slave cylinder
    – new small OEM shift boot (old one was trashed)
    – new rear main seal
    Big box of OEM water hoses
    – 4 small hoses
    – 2 large hoses
    – 2 firewall hoses
    CSF 42mm 2 row radiator
    and some fluids
    – 3 quarts of Ford Motorcraft transmission fluid ($$)
    – clutch fluid
    – which was also shared with the brakes, which got bled
    – fresh 70/30 water/coolant
    – fresh oil and filter.

    And after all of that, Bucky drives like a new car. It’s astounding how well he runs. I’m ashamed to say there was probably a lot of overdue maintenance that got done with this oil pan job.





    Welcome back to the road Bucky!

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  13. #53
    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift Greasemonkey2000's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting Bucky back on the road! Certainly not the easiest of jobs. Dem 14" RPF1's look so right!
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  15. #54
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! Paul B's Avatar
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    Great work and documentation as always. Was curious how those CSF radiators were. Looks great.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  17. #55
    Supporting Member oldgrayleather's Avatar
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    Someone's been a busy boy! Congrats on getting Bucky back and thanks for sharing all the details as always.

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  19. #56
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! theothersawyer's Avatar
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    Glad Bucky is back up and running!

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  21. #57
    Forum Sponsor revlimiter's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! It's been great to drive the little guy again. I've not driven Bucky much since getting the NC. It's like hanging out with an old friend again.

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  23. #58
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    super clean!!! great write up!

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