Monday, 25 June 2018

Project.L update: 4-2-1 header, cooling system, Mazdaspeed strut brace

Last weekend, I managed to get the Lantis back on the road while Fulk was visiting to get his timing belt fixed.

First of, an adapter pipe was welded to the Hitech headers to accomodate the mounting of a flex pipe.

Then I had to drill the hole for the O2 sensor because for some reason that wasnt done before and re-cut the threads in the sensor bung.

I then coated the headers with matte black high temperature lacquer.

Since the paint is very delicate after application I let it out in the sun for a day before applying the heat gun for 1.5h.

After that, the paint had hardened enough to install the headers. The flex pipe had been welded to the Magnaflow cat. Luckily, the measurements I had taken were spot on so everything bolted right up.

Before thad, I had already installed a new OEM B6BF alternator that I had found on ebay that just needed a bit of modification with a different connector terminal and a bit of drilling:

This cured the bad disturbances the old alternator caused in my audio system as well as a loud operating noise.

For the cooling system, I had bought a new OEM water pipe connecting the water pump with the heater core. I got some silicone plugs to block off the heater for the throttle body and connected the BG GT oil/water heat exchanger with some silicone hoses and 90 degree brass connectors. 
The heat exchanger now is spliced into the cooling system before the heater core.

On a side note, I used two threaded rivets in the front frame rail left over by the webasto heater I removed for a more stealthy installation of the alarm siren bracket:

After reassembling everything with a new radiator and getting the car back to the ground, I flushed the cooling system with water before adding fresh coolant. 
Apart from a more challenging bleeding procedure due to a massive air bubble apparently forming in the oil/water heat exchanger everything was spot on and worked perfectly.

The paint on the headers was then burning in and happily smoking like a camp fire:

To celebrate the occasion, I swapped my old strut brace for a genuine Mazdaspeed part I acquired in spring:

As seen in the last picture, I also managed to buy a new set of my broken Italian signal horns that I really like. 

To celebrate the occasion I washed the car and took it for a drive :)

The engine still needs a lot of attention. but at least I can drive the car again.
Also still on the list: suspension bushes, brakes, cam shafts, seats... 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Project L: Status update cooling and engine

Progress is slow but steady on the Lantis.
In the last few weeks, i cleaned the engine bay, treated some minor surface rust, removed the heater and test fitted the new radiator and hoses.
Luckily i managed to fine a solution for the lower radiator hose:
The lower hose off a 2.0 Protege5 that i had laying around fits nicley and clears the A/C compressor without any issues:

The keen observer might also have noticed the cleaner bay and different exhaust header. I took the opportunity to finally test fit my Hitech Headers 4-2-1 header that I imported from down under some years ago.
So I went from this... this:

It lines up rather nicely with the catalytic converter. I chose to add a flex pipe to limit the stress to the material as far as possible since the header seems to be rather cheaply put together (which is a shame considering the purchase price). So I ordered this (amongst other goodies):

I will get this welded up as soon as I can.
I also fitted the water/oil cooler off a 323 BG GT to get the oil temperature up quicker and limit oil temps on the autobahn as well.
Not an easy job with the engine in the car since space is limited, especially with aircon. 

I ended up removing the alternator and some of the VICS components (to be able to remove tha alternator) to get the short threaded oil pipe out of the block.
This is the part I'm talking about next to its replacement:

I installed a new seal to the cooler and connected it to the small cooling route in line with the heater core. 

I still need to figure out the final installation of the hoses but it fits so far. I also ordered a new water pipe that connects the water pump with the heater core (the one that goes around the engine block) but that hasn't arrived yet.

Speaking of stuff that hasn't arrived yet, I dropped off the new wheels at the paint shop a few weeks ago and hope i can pick them up maybe next week...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Tech Tip: V6 Miata parts by crapengineering

Just found this and thought I might share.
This guy has been doing K-series RWD conversions for years and seems to offer a few very interesting parts for anyone thinking about V6 swapping their MX5:

There are also some nice sound videos on the site.

crapengineering site

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Story time: Fetching the new V6

Right, so a couple of months ago, in winter 2017, i got talking with a friend who was thinking about selling his MX3 V6. I had followed this car's story for a couple of years and after selling a Xedos 6 V6 at the time, a K-series shaped space remained to be filled in my life.
For several reasons I didnt want to swap a V6 into my Lantis (which would have been obvious) and since i really liked my wife's MX3 (no V6 though), I didnt have to think for too long about this opportunity.
Fast forward to early spring 2018, I finally bought a train ticket and travelled 6ish hours to Hamburg where i would be picked up by a guy in a fast Saab.

Of course, germans have to consume beer everywhere...especially on heavily delayed trains :D

Finally arrived, I indeed got to experience a kinda nice Saab on the way back to my friends house.
The following night consisted of car talk, night runs in an old E36, BBQ and a very friendly companion who refused to leave my pillow for the whole time...

At the next morning, i glanced out of the window and there it was waiting for me - good times :)

I set out to get the seized brakes street worthy again and changed the tires for my trip back home. Unfortunately the car had been sitting outside for a while and a lot of the suspension and brakes had  rusted and seized up. Still, could be worse...

Next up, a quick trip to the gas station to check out the roadworthyness.
I was in love already :)

Before I left, I collected some impressions of the other cars on set...

...and got a taste of RB26 awesomness.

Really good times. Unfortunatly, time flies when times are that good and I had to run since I had scheduled to pick up some parts for the MX3 on my way back.

After a couple of hours of driving, I left the autobahn for some nice back roads. The car had of course performed flawlessly although it has to be said that it was fitted with the worst set of suspension i have ever driven. Still, i was happy.

I even got spotted by a member of the german MX3 forum and received this while on the move:

I then arrived at my destination, MX3 parts country...

A quick swap later - much better:

I stuffed the car with a lot of goods, adding to many parts that I had gotten from the previous owner - more on that later. One fill up and a couple of hours later I arrived home, concluding a really nice motoring weekend. Did I mention i was in love already?

At the next day I gave the car a quick wash and parked it in our drive next to its new friends.

I added a MS oil filler cap and two series 1 seats i had floating around since the newer seats are incredibly uncomforable and unsupportive. They might receive new upholstery in the future...

Then took the car out for some moody pictures:

Since the wheels were only borrowed, I put on a set of old Azev A 7,5x16" with really old rubber - the car won't see the streets for quite a while so they are perfect for sitting stationary for a while.

The wheels will be replaced in the future but for now, they serve their purpose nicely. By the way, only a few days after the purchase, the MX3 V6 got featured in a german classic car magazine:

The car is now in hibernation in "my corner" of the local underground car park and awaiting it's future life...

I had to get it off the road since there is a lot of work to be done to it before it can hit the roads again. Rest assured that it will return from its time out refreshed and improved. Until then, I might occasionally dream of the sweet sound of the silky K8 V6...