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Discussion Starter #121
To finish of the water pump from last time, there was one thing missing, the wiring and ECU control.
So while the pump WAS working, it was pumping coolant, but it was just some temporary wiring.
As such, let me introduce you to the Bartine Engineering mosfet control board do-hickey which is triggered by the MS3 ECU to allow PWM control of the pump.
With this (and the help Alex's wiring skils) the pump is now ramped up dependant on coolant temperature so that it can function like a thermostat.
It seems to work well however time will tell once the car is up to speed and we can log coolant temps to see how they stabilse.


Also from a temperature perspective, I've wrapped my intake in this ebay spec gold tape. The stuff gives off a nice glow so I'm hoping it will help reflect radiant heat and aid in keeping intake air temperatures down.
I may also wrap the intake tube from the intercooler to the trottle body... perhaps I will see how this goes first. I'm assuming it will be able to hold up to the on track demands.



I've hit an important milestore, it's finally time to start thinking about finishing off the next phase of body/aero on the car. This is exciting because this is kind of all that's left before we take the car out for a real drive. (of course, the car is never 'done' but you get the idea...)
So a few items have started happening. Firstly, I've been considering redoing the front guards/fenders and cutting them in half, something like the shape shown with the blue tape line.



Secondly, is the new Lightyear wing that is going on the car. This is going to require a little bit of home engineering to get it mounted and fit up, and will need some endplates as the old ones appear to have been donated somewhere for the greater good. How do you lose wing endplates?


Mocked up on the car just for a bit of fun, however it needs a lot of attention before it will be mounted up for the final time. New mounts, some cleaning up of the surface finish, and maybe a gurney flap?


So.... she's getting closer to being back in action now.
For the moment, we are going away for a short trip overseas to visit family and take a little time off. As soon as I'm back I have no doubt I will be straight back to it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #122
So long time no post... this is going to be a little lengthy, so bear with me.
To continue the talk on the Lightyear wing element from the last post, lets start with the mount.

While originally I was just going to bolt it directly onto the old aluminium mounts, somehow along the way I convinced myself it was a good idea to invest the time into mounting the thing 'swan-neck' style.
This specific wing was a prototype and wasn't manufactured with these top mounts in mind, so to make it strong enough to support the forces it will be facing, I re-purposed the underside mounts into spreader plates, glued them in place and temporarily screwed them down.


Then drilled through the screw holes to run bolts to the top side which attach to the top mounts.


New upper 6mm plates in the 'swan neck' shape were made to attach the thing to the existing (although slightly modified) uprights.


Made some carbon end plates with a foam core, about 8mm thick so they are pretty beefy, but at least we won't see any inward bending on the underside when at speed.


Still needs some cleaning up and refinement but the bulk of the work on the wing is now complete. It's just about as wide as the body of the car, around 1660mm or so.


I did a quick front guard/fender hack job, should theoretically make for better wheel well airflow. I literally just marked out a line, and had at it with the angle grinder. Nothing particularly fancy here. You can just see a section of aluminium under the lowest point of the guard to hold it securely and avoid any movement when at speed.


With the wing now mounted and front guards cut, the car was starting to look pretty aggressive again.


And then it was time to fix the front end. The first step was to work on a new splitter, I wanted to try build something that would be easily removed to make loading on the trailer easier, and ideally nice and wide.
I started with a sheet of this aluminum composite panel stuff. It's nifty but perhaps a little too weak for a splitter. I can only find it in 6mm sheets here in Melbourne, anything stronger or thicker is a lot more costly and harder to source.


Doing this sort of work results in a garage that's a complete mess....


Anyway, with some persistence, I got the front end done. I also blocked the OEM fog light holes with some sheet aluminium, and the gap between the bumper and splitter is just filled with plastic garden edging. (it's a little too heavy but such is life.)



Then believe it or not, my worst fears were to become reality, the splitter composite panel just wasn't strong enough for the span it covered without additional support. How did I find this out?


Well I took the car for a sneaky little test out to Phillip Island to iron out some bugs and see what needed fixing/refining etc. Clearly, the splitter was one of those things.


Despite the splitter needing to be trimmed down to stop it failing, the car worked! Well, mostly. There's a small list of issues that I need to work through but the thing is getting back out there on the tarmac.





Some of the said issues included:
  • Missing a front swaybar endlink (no front sway made for a bad experience)
  • Loose exhaust clamp.
  • No oil pressure sensor to ECU.
  • No speed sensor to ECU.
  • ABS doesn't seem to be working. (this is a worry)
On the upside, I've got most of those fixed now (except the ABS, that's still a concerning once), and finally starting to drive the car again which had been sitting (although, not being left untouched) for nearly 3 years.
And, I have entered the next MX-5* club sprint day at Winton Raceway a few hours north of Melbourne in about 3 weeks which will be nice as a proper event to really start pushing!
 

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Discussion Starter #129
Took my MX-5 out to Winton Raceway last weekend for some fun.
The car is really starting to get settled, and I'm slowly seeing fewer and fewer issues.
And, as such, I'm able to focus more on just driving the thing.

It has quite a bit of pace now, so there is a fair demand on the brain to keep up and be able to focus on where to position the car.

I did have a couple of small issues, firstly I swapped to a 4-port MAC valve, which was plumbed backwards resulting in hitting boost cut, so swapped the hoses on that for an easy fix. And, I am cooking brake fluid after about 4 or so hot laps, so more time needs to be invested in brake cooling, and perhaps better fluid.

In the end the car achieved a 1:28.9 laptime, which I'm fairly confident is the fastest an MX-5 has ever been around the track.

Nonetheless, here's some in-car video.

 

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What kind of brake fluid you running currently? I'm sure fabricating some brake ducts won't be difficult for you.:icon_cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #131
What kind of brake fluid you running currently? I'm sure fabricating some brake ducts won't be difficult for you.:icon_cheers:
Not the greatest stuff, well it's a half mix of 600degF 'race' fluid, and off the shelf $10 generic DOT4.
Step 1 & 2 will be a fluid bleed and some better brake ducts for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Hey so I've made some changes to the car recently and I haven't had a chance to mention them in detail here, so time for a little update.



BRAKES

Firstly, I've swapped out the front brake calipers and rotors for a new AP Racing based setup sourced from V-Sport in Sydney.

It's an interesting kit, it's chunky... really chunky, but still fits under some 15" wheels.
This AP kit runs a Commodore spec rotor that is available over the counter at almost any parts shop and while it is almost exactly the same diameter as the Wilwood at 296mm, it is critically 28mm thick. The caliper is an AP Racing CP9200, which offers increases in pad area and thickness of roughly 30% over the Wilwood Dynapro4 pad.

I believe I have good reasons for why this is the right move for my car. The larger caliper and rotor make for more thermal mass, as I really felt I was working the old Wilwoods harder than they could cope with. The pad depth is great too, so much more life to a set of pads compared to the little pads of the old Wilwoods.
It's a pricey kit, but if I want to be able to actually drive the car then it is kinda necessary.








That said, this doesn't mean this AP kit is for everyone and it doesn't mean that the Wilwood kits are no good. Do your own research and find the right solution for your application.
 

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Discussion Starter #133

SUSPENSION BUSHES

The second part of todays fun is an upgrade to my suspension bushes.
The existing bushes had spent their entire life over the last 6yrs (or more) in 2 separate track cars, AND I was suffering from a failed bush in a front upper control arm, so things were due for replacement/upgrade.

I opted for the SadFab delrin bush kit (with poly+bronze sleeves in certain locations to ensure suspension doesn’t bind). I was happy to justify the slight premium cost of this over something like one of the off the shelf poly kits as this SadFab kit had all the right answers to maintain free suspension movement and avoid the binding issues of typical poly bushes.

Naturally, this is a fairly extensive job. Obviously including the removal of all the suspension arms, so it took me a good couple of days over a weekend. I am lucky in that I’ve had the suspension apart before, and I live in an area where corrosion isn’t a huge concern, so all of my cars undercarriage comes apart quite nicely.

Bush removal and installation is more or less as per any bushing replacement. Although the delrin bush needs to be reamed after install into the arm as it may deform slightly and this reaming ensures that the supplied sleeve fits perfectly with just the right amount of freedom of movement. Also, because the MX-5 has cam adjustment bolts for the lower suspension arms, this means that the bushes may not always be perfectly square, as such there are certain locations that require a poly bush (rather than 100% delrin). To alleviate the negatives of poly, the kit includes a kind of “double sleeve” (a sleeve with a bronze insert) for the poly bushes to maintain the free movement and avoid the dreaded binding issues. Installation of the poly is much the same, but without the reaming step.

If you are curious on the "proposed benefits" of this kit, I suggest a read of the Bushing Mega thread on the MiataTurbo forum, here: https://www.miataturbo.net/
In terms of performance, I took the car out on track at Winton after these bushes were installed. There was no perceivable change to the ride quality, a mildy sharper and more distinct feel to the suspension, but not a night and day change that I can detect.

I think for the price/performance of the delrin solution, it's not the kit of choice for an every day street car, and really it's targeting the track oriented/enthusiast MX-5er more than anything.






Thanks for reading!
 
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