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Thread: 2000 Special Edition #2441

  1. #1
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    2000 Special Edition #2441

    I am going to start documenting the build for my newly acquired 2000 Mazda Miata Special Edition here that I got in April of 2020. I will be uploading a few posts to catch the thread up to the current date. I am excited to not only share the car’s progress but hopefully help a lot of people going through similar experiences. Your input on my build thread is encouraged and appreciated.

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  3. #2
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    April 17th, 2020

    The car was located 8 hours away from Orlando in Pensacola, Florida, so I started my morning bright and early with my friend Daniel, who was happy to help me go acquire my next dream car. When we got to the car it was in pretty much the same condition the owner described it: a great condition, 00SE with a Jackson Racing supercharger kit that only had 65,275 miles on it. The initial inspection went well. All the body lines matched up, so no signs of a previous accident (although I already had run a CarFax report before seeing the car). The interior was nearly all stock aside from a set of 2003 SE seats and an aftermarket radio. The main issues being that there was some poorly applied touch up paint on the passenger side quarter panel, a couple of spots on the frame rail that were dented in slightly, and the seat belt tower covers were missing. The engine bay was a bit foreign to me compared to a normal Miata, but what I noticed was that everything was nice and dry, so no major leaks, which was a wonderful sign. The Jackson Racing supercharger kit seemed to all be in order when inspecting it. At this point, it was time to go for a test drive. The car pulled really well once the supercharger kicked in, the stock suspension and nice tires were confidence-inspiring while being loads of fun still. The only identifiable issues while driving were that the clutch pedal feel was a bit mushy and seemed to engage at a less than ideal position and that the supercharger had a great deal of lag. The seller claimed it was because this setup was still running on stock ECU and a piggyback. After deliberating with Dan and weighing the pros and the cons of the car, I decided that I was going to take it back home with me. The car came with a large folder of previous service history and a box of original parts that came off the car, both of which I loaded into Dan’s car before leaving. Before leaving the city of Pensacola, we decided to drive around and take some photos of the newly acquired car.







    The drive home was not a difficult one but for sure a long one. Obligatory Gas station pictures





    After over a year of searching for an NB, I finally found one I would be happy to start building and enjoying. I think the funniest thing about this whole situation is that two days prior to the car being posted for sale, I purchased a Miata backpack picnic set on eBay that was only ever provided to 2000 SE owners who were lucky enough to purchase their car from a Mazda dealership that gave them a postcard to mail in after getting their car so that they could be mailed their “Special Edition Gift Set” free of charge. I bought it solely for the reason I had only seen one for sale five years ago on Craigslist and missed out on the deal because I had not seen the posting fast enough. To me, it was the coolest Gift Set Mazda issued. Lo and behold two days later I bought a matching car for my backpack. Call it a coincidence, call it fate, regardless I find it interesting.


    Last edited by lifebyevan; 03-12-2021 at 02:30 PM.

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  5. #3
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! Greasemonkey2000's Avatar
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    Nice find Evan(?)! Multiple times I scouted 00SE's, really like the color combination. No engine bay pics? Shame on you.

    As far as the supercharger feeling like it has lag that definitely isn't normal but lag is certainly subjective. Is this in a particular gear or rpm? The supercharger starts building boost around 2k RPMs, see dyno runs for examples: https://trackdogracing.com/dynoruns.aspx .

    While there may be several reasons why the supercharger isn't building boost as quickly as it should the most obvious reason, imo, would be bypass valve which is a common part to fail.

    While many balk at the m45s ability, I have thoroughly enjoyed the M45 on Misfire, my nb2, and plan on taking it to its ragged edge with hopes of around 220whp with the assistance of e85, 150mm crank pulley/62.5mm sc pulley, intercooler, methanol injection and a standalone ecu.

    Looking forward to seeing updates!
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  7. #4
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Good to see another of the best edition Miata on here.

    As Chad said, check your bypass actuator as they do fail. It's also possible that the bellcrank where the shaft of the actuator rides is worn, DDM Works used to sell a piece to fix that (Wonderbracket? Or something like that). Hmmm, just checked and it doesn't appear they still offer that. You can also adjust the actuator so it actuates differently. When I was running the M45 on mine the first few years, I found I had to adjust it with the change of seasons (summer/winter) to get rid of a hesitation. Or, you could just do like I did and find a MP62 kit and upgrade.
    '00 SE, intercooled BRP MP62, Reverant MS2, Ohlins DFV, Konig Flatout (now X 2)
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    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    Forgot about it with my previous post, but it wouldn't hurt to check the oil in your supercharger. For some reason the M45 is known to use the oil in the timing gear housing over time. When I was still running mine and pulled it to change the coupler, I barely got any oil out of it. Bearings etc were ok so I was lucky.

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  10. #6
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    The first thing I was most interested in with this car when I got it home was all the service history and records. Everything was piled into a single folder, so my first order of business was to 3 hole punch all the documents and organize them in a binder. Doing this was really satisfying because I was seemingly piecing together the history of my car, all the way back to 2001.



    The first owner, who put on 7,000 miles onto the car in its first year, is still unknown to this day. The only surviving record from the first owner is the window sticker for the car.



    The second owner owned the car from 2001 to 2006 and is the one that did the majority of the modifications on the car. Back in 2001 when the car was at about 11,000 miles, the owner bought the Jackson Racing Supercharger kit from Goodwin Racing and had it installed and tuned by Jackson Racing in Westminster, California. The dyno graph from Jackson Racing reads 149.7 horsepower and 128.8 lb-ft of torque. Aside from this main transformation, there are numerous records of maintenance, including frequent oil changes, MTL Redline transmission fluid change, performance tires, and more. In addition to the maintenance, of course, the owner had to slip in a few more catalog item modifications like a trunk light kit, chrome fuel lid, and dual exit exhaust. For all the money the second owner poured into the relatively new car back then, he never drove it much over the next few years. From what I am told, the second owner had quite a collection of cars and the Miata got the short end of the stick when it was replaced by a Jaguar XK8 or XKR (assuming the XKR because it was the supercharged convertible model) and sold the car with about 13,000 miles on it.





    The third owner is the farthest back my connection of the car ownership goes. I sifted through the previous maintenance/modification records and found his number and gave him a call. Luckily after 12 years he still had the same phone number and picked up right away! I spoke with the gentleman and he told me the entire story of how he came to find the car and the life the car lived while he owned it. Turns out that he recently got an insurance payout for a previous supercharged 1999 Miata that had been totaled and he was doing a nationwide search for a replacement. The third owner lived in North Carolina, so when he had found the car he had a pre-purchase inspection conducted at the seller’s local Mazda dealership. Everything checked out, so he flew out to California and drove the car back to North Carolina. He ended up owning the car from 2006 to 2014, so he owned it for the longest amount of time out of all the previous owners to date. From what the previous owner tells me, he did his best to find a balance of enjoying the car and taking it on little excursions like to the Tail of the Dragon occasionally, while not putting too many miles on the car. The owner tells me he ran a set of 15” 1995 M-Edition BBS wheels for quite some time on the car, which I find to be an uncommon, yet fitting, OEM+ wheel choice. A few tasteful modifications were made to the car under this time of ownership, like the Thompson Oil Filter relocation kit and Clearwater speakers. Garage kept, the car was well taken care of for numerous years. 2014 rolls around and the owner was wanting a car he didn’t feel so bad about driving a little bit harder than normal. He tells me that the 2000 SE was just too nice of a car. He put the car up for sale with about 41,000 miles on it in 2014.



    Ironically enough, the fourth owner bought the car mainly as a track car. The car remained in North Carolina under new ownership. The new owner prepped the car for some track use by installing some Kirkey bucket seats, G-Force harnesses, Hard Dog roll bar, and NRG steering wheel with matching quick release. The car was put on a set of TRM Motorsport wheels as well. He meticulously changed and flushed the fluids seeing as the car saw multiple track days per year; changing brake fluid every event, flushing the coolant every 6 months, changing the oil every 3 months/3,000 miles. One of the more interesting stories I learned was that the owner bought an original Mahogany Mica hardtop off a fellow 2000 SE owner who he raced with regularly, that crashed his car but did not have the hardtop on at the time of the crash. Eventually, the owner decided to sell the car in 2018 with about 62,000 miles on it.

    The car was sold to someone who had bought it for and gifted it to the fifth owner, who lived in Tallahassee, FL. A bit odd, but I sure would not be complaining if I was in his shoes. From my conversation to with this owner, the car was not used for much and the only thing he really did was sell the hardtop. Heartbroken, I asked why, and he told me he got an offer that he could not refuse for the hardtop ($1700!). Damn 00SE owners, grrrrr. Even though I am a huge fan of the soft top, I would like to have a hardtop to put on solely for long road trips and car shows. This owner only had the car for a short amount of time and sold it after less than a year of ownership. Apparently, he was in a personal bind and was forced to sell it. Here are a few pictures from the for sale ad on Facebook.





    Now the car transitioned to the final owner before I purchased the car (I know, this is dragging on a bit but trust me, we are almost there). Owner six is quite a wonderful person and I’ve developed a nice friendship with him to this day. Located in Pensacola, FL, the car stayed in the same area relatively. The main objective for owner six was to have a little fun with the car, clean it up a bit, and make it a bit more stock in terms of the interior. No stranger to Miatas, he removed the roll bar, racing seats, and steering wheel. He sourced the 2003 SE seats the car now has and also reinstalled the OEM wheel (thank goodness it had stayed with the car over the years). He thoroughly enjoyed the Miata and wanted to keep it but it ended up not being the best daily for him due to the fuel economy (avg. 21 MPG) and was looking to get into a Prius. The car was listed on a Miata enthusiast page on Facebook. A few hours after the posting was listed the seller received my deposit and we made arrangements to meet the following day. The rest is history.




    I truly enjoy discovering unique things about my car and the history behind it. Although it has passed through a few more hands than I would like, the car is in amazing condition, has super low miles for its age, and it's one heck of a machine. I look at the bright side and treat the car’s history as a fun little treasure hunt. Plus I get to talk to some really neat people and put a smile on their faces, telling them about where their old car is now and how happy I am to own it.


    Picture of the Miata at its first local meet up and cruise courtesy of my friend Brandon (@braccopics)
    Last edited by lifebyevan; 03-15-2021 at 10:37 PM.

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  12. #7
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    April 24th, 2020

    Now that all the paperwork for the car has been sorted, I can work on the car and record all the progress that is made easily by adding to the timeline of service history with my own write ups.

    I had a few days to work on the car at this point thankfully. First order of business is to track down why this supercharger has so much lag. I am after that instant response everyone talks about, not a T-5 second rocket launch countdown to when the power kicks in. Here is my untouched (by me) engine bay and what I was working with.





    I started off easy with the spark plugs, mainly because I did not know the last time they were changed. I chose to go with the NGK V-POWER ZFR6F-11 plugs because from my research these plugs should be fine for stock boost levels with the JRSC. If I notice any spark related issues I’ll step up to the NGK IRIDIUM BKR7EIX-11, but I doubt I will need to.

    Next on my list was this hideous wiring to a sensor in the dummy throttle body. I was not completely sure what this sensor was for based on what I read in the JRSC installation instructions that I had, but I figured it would be easy to fix and clean up. I chopped off the old connection that was some mixture of a female blade connector. I added a small piece of wire to extend the wire to its original length, crimped on a fresh terminal, added solder to the connection for reliability, and finished it off with some heat shrink. I covered all the new connections in some fresh loom wrap and connected it to the sensor.





    No noticeable difference with the supercharger lag yet. So next I decided to check for potential vacuum/boost leaks. All the clamps for the couplers for the supercharger seem to be on nice and tight, no problems there. Next, I volunteered a friend to act as my supercharger so I could quickly check for any major boost leaks on the intake manifold side of things. The easiest way to do this was to find some extra vacuum line, plug it up to one of the unused vacuum ports and have him blow as hard as he can for about 30 seconds, while I spray soapy water on all the vacuum connections. The line running from my cruise control actuator to a t-fitting by the manifold was the only visible minor leak that could be found. This would make sense because my cruise control doesn’t work. Since I did not have the correct length of vacuum line on hand, I just capped off that end of the t-fitting and secured it in place with a zip tie so I could continue diagnosing.

    No change in supercharger response. Now I knew I had to do a bit more learning on my supercharger and how the system operates to find the problem. Most posts I found online suggested something to do with the bypass actuator possibly being the culprit of supercharger lag. I also learned that while idling your arm should be in one position, and when blipping the throttle the arm should move downward without much resistance to allow for the supercharger to work properly. In my case, when blipping the throttle, the arm was not moving freely and it looked like it was sticking a bit.

    Reading through the JRSC installation instructions (which is my best friend at this point), I found a section about needing to lubricate the bypass actuator arm.



    My choice of grease in this case was a can of PB Blaster White Lithium Grease. With the aerosol straw, I sprayed around the area that the actuator arm went in and out of, drove the car around for a minute or two and repeated the process a couple of times. The lag felt like it was slightly improved upon but not by much. While inspecting the bypass valve, I noticed that the holes in the bracket holding the bypass valve seemed to have a bit of room for adjustment. I loosened the two bolts holding the bypass valve in place and tilted it back so when it pushed downward, it could do so from a better angle and maybe not bind.



    Sure enough, that was the ticket. Now the supercharger responds nicely and builds boost right away almost every time. Here you can see how much better the bypass valve is working.



    Last edited by lifebyevan; 09-30-2020 at 10:36 PM.

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  14. #8
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    Glad you got it worked out!

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  16. #9
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    May 6th, 2020

    While I was checking for vacuum leaks previously I noticed that it looked like my cruise control line needed to be replaced, which made sense since on the long drive home I noticed my cruise control did not work. Luckily, with a new vacuum line secured in place (and slightly rerouted for aesthetics) my cruise control was fully functional.

    Next I moved onto an oil change. Perfect excuse to replace that eye sore of a red oil filter. I decided to run Rotella 10W-30 and a genuine Mazda oil filter (B6Y1-14-302A).

    I recently placed an order for a few small maintenance items through Car Make Corns in Japan so I went ahead and installed those. First was my oil filler cap gasket (JZ01-10-252) because I had a slight oil leak from around that area. Easy and satisfying gasket to change out.




    Next was my hood rod prop clip. One of my pet peeves is yellowed plastics in engine bays. Replacing this made me happy since it was the only aged piece of white plastic.




    To finish off this little session I removed, washed, and refilled the windshield wiper fluid reservoir with some fresh fluid. Gotta keep all these Florida love bugs off the windshield somehow!

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  18. #10
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    July 17th, 2020

    Earlier this month I developed a check engine light on the car with the following codes:
    • P0172 (system too rich [bank 1])
    • P0300 (random misfire detected)
    • P0507 (idle air control system RPM higher than expected)


    As a good measure rather than trying to do an at home boost leak test, I decided to take the Miata to my friend Hristo who works at a VW dealership and has access to a smoke tester. For those of you that don’t know, this is basically a tank of air and a smoke machine that pumps smoke into your engine at a pressurized level to help visually see any unwanted areas that air could escape. We capped off the air filter with a coupler and a PVC end cap and fed the smoke in through the intake manifold. It took a minute for the smoke to fill the entire engine and pressurize but eventually we were able to see the areas that the smoke was leaking out of.



    The main source of the leak was the supercharger outlet gasket. There were minor leaks around one or two couplers that had seen better days that needed to be tightened and by the EGR solenoid. I just assumed that the EGR valve was open at the time. The main concern is the supercharger outlet gasket because that was where 70% of the smoke was coming out of and that is most likely the source of the high idle, causing me to run rich and randomly misfire.

    As you may have guessed it, there is no off-the-shelf paper gasket like the one currently installed on my 20 year old discontinued supercharger kit that I can buy as a replacement. I did countless hours of research online trying to find the best solution. The majority of people say to use RTV or a silicone gasket marker but I did not want extra silicone possibly extruding on the inside of the supercharger, causing any damage. I also read that you need a thicker sealant that won’t compress as easily. So I referred to the installation instructions for the JRSC kit to see what was originally used to maybe gain more insight. There was no mention of what to use in the NB 99-00 instructions but I found a good bit of information on the NA 94-97 instructions. Apparently they used a “1104 sealant”.



    Unfortunately, there is no 1104 sealant available for purchase in the states but numerous people recommend products like Hondabond 4 and Yamabond. These sealants are primarily used in the motorcycle industry as a sealant for engine and transmission casings. Just to make sure I called Moss Motors and asked to speak with someone who has knowledge about this supercharger system (since they own the rights to Jackson Racing now) so that I could get a final recommendation. The individual I spoke with had apparently been working for Moss since they bought out JR years ago and has the most experience out of anybody working for Moss. He recommended I use Hondabond 4.

    Once my Hondabond showed up in the mail, I worked on removing the old gasket. I removed the 4 bolts and 2 couplers holding the outlet in place and set it aside. I made sure to tape off all the openings for the supercharger that would be exposed in the gasket removal process.



    I opted to use a plastic razor blade at first to get started, but at a certain point all that was left was the really stuck on portions of the gasket and I had to wipe out the fresh metal razor blades. I always hold the razor perpendicular to the surface of the gasket and essentially “shave” the gasket off. This is a lot more time consuming than the traditional way of going in at an angle, but I found it provides the best results in the end and is least likely to cause any scratches or gouging on the mating surface.




    I followed the instructions on the container for the Hondabond and applied a thin layer to both surfaces, waited for about 30 seconds to a minute and then mated the two surfaces. It was suggested by the representative at Moss to hand tighten the outlet on and wait a few hours to fully torque the bolts down. Unfortunately, even following all the instructions, the Hondabond was not cutting it. The gasket material was just too thin and I found that the surface was not completely flat on both ends of the outlet so there was a tiny gap on one end of the mating surface while the other one was completely closed. The only solutions would be to have the two surfaces machined or to get a thicker gasket material so that a proper seal could be created.

    I ended up getting some generic Fel-Pro Karropak paper gasket material to use. I took my sweet time and cut a section of the paper gasket out, got a pencil and a razor and started cutting out my own custom gasket. Pressing the edge of the pencil or razor on the surface helped make the correct outline I needed. At the time I did not use one, but a single hole punch for the bolt holes would have been perfect for this application but it did not cross my mind until after the fact. A drill and some patience would suffice for me.



    This time, the paper gasket was just thick enough to account for the slight variation in the mating surfaces and make a proper seal. Cleared the codes, took the car for a drive and the CEL was gone. Hooray

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  20. #11
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! Greasemonkey2000's Avatar
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    If ever making a gasket like that for a metal surface, the easiest and most accurate way to do it is by simply cutting out a piece large enough to overlap all edges then use a small ball peen hammer to go around all edges, essentially cutting the outline for you and then gently tearing off any excess that didn't simply fall off. Easy peasy.

    I know Jon Bond Performance and others recommend a anaerobic gasket sealant for the mating surface.
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  22. #12
    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift HarryB's Avatar
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    Ball peen hammer is what I use as well, +1 to Chad

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  24. #13
    1,000 rpm - releasing the clutch lifebyevan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greasemonkey2000 View Post
    If ever making a gasket like that for a metal surface, the easiest and most accurate way to do it is by simply cutting out a piece large enough to overlap all edges then use a small ball peen hammer to go around all edges, essentially cutting the outline for you and then gently tearing off any excess that didn't simply fall off. Easy peasy.

    I know Jon Bond Performance and others recommend a anaerobic gasket sealant for the mating surface.
    Also something I had not thought of using. Great idea! I am sure this won't be the last gasket I make for this car so good to know.

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  26. #14
    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    You can do light surface milling using sandpaper adhered to glass. Adhere the sandpaper to a piece of glass, a piece larger than the mating surfaces, move the glass around the surface and let the abrasive do the work. You can see high and low spots pretty quickly. You can to the same to the outlet manifold by laying the glass on a table or bench and sliding the mating surface over the glass.

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  28. #15
    Nukuler banned! chiefmg's Avatar
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    In the picture of your prop rod, I see you are missing the rubber grommet for the top locating post on your radiator. NBs have four of them (two each top and bottom). Probably whoever replaced the radiator didn't move them over from the old one. I would recommend seeing how many (if any) you have and ordering what you need to.
    '00 SE, intercooled BRP MP62, Reverant MS2, Ohlins DFV, Konig Flatout (now X 2)
    __________________________________________________ ____________
    This ain't no build thread!

  29. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to chiefmg For This Useful Post:

    Agent☣Orange (10-02-2020),tsingson (10-03-2020)

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