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Discussion Starter #1
To appease Mr. PhillyB, here is my LS1 Miata build thread :)

I bought a '99 Miata in the summer of 2010 and it looked like this:

100k miles, hardtop, American Racing 15s w/ crappy all seasons, aftermarket horn, and awful fog lights.

I registered the car, went to school, then went to the boyfriends house and it got me my first speeding ticket :( I parked it, put it on craigslist, and let the MS3 scold it:


But... there were big plans for the miata so I kept it. Ripped off the ugly fogs and painted the wheels chalkboard:


Shortly after I bought a 4-1 header, midpipe, and muffler for it to open up that 1.8L of fury.


What must we do to a miata after this? Reduce wheel gap! Tein SS coilovers installed:


For the safeties... Hard Dog Double Diagonal installed 8/2011.


Graduation gift from me to the miata? 6UL 15x9 with 225/45R15 Hankook RS3:

Picture taken after 100 miles, looks like I need to turn harder.

Have I bored you yet?



Whale? Rhino? Mountain for the miniature golf course?


04 GTO Engine w/ Tremec T56 :burnout:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Day 1 with the engine, we unpacked - it came with EVERYTHING. All accessories, ECU, O2 sensors and the part of the exhaust they were in, pedals... everything.
At the end of the day it looked like this:

We used a borescope and checked the cylinders. The cross hatching looked good. The compression was between 180-190 on all cylinders (cold, haven't actually heard the engine turn over).

Then I ordered more parts: subframe, k-members, clutch kit (Competition Clutch lightweight flywheel), and oil pan from V8R and took over the dining room (aka "car part room").

The oil pan arrived Friday, 8/10 after I ordered everything 6/21....

The miata took the trek to EECMM 2011 w/ my fiance sean (socks) and Carolina Mazdas. We came back on Sunday and the tear down began on 8/6/2012.

The old engine, on its way out. Nothing wrong with it, other than it being a n/a 4cylinder:



All the interior had to come out:


then it was time to remove 13 years of dust, dirt, and grime:

in hindsight, we should have done this part after all the grinding and cutting. we made a mess:


cutting takes you from this:


to this:


then banging gets you here:


and once you cut and bang, its time to test fit. We didn't quite get enough clearance on the first try - the passenger side head sits further back and I got the kit that mounts the kit in the "standard" position to maintain balance (the other option is 2" forward). So it went in, came out, and went back in:





have got a few good tips from some other v8 miata folks, one of them being the drivers side tunnel mods. we ended up banging out the tunnel a little too much, and ran into clearance issues with the gas pedal (nobody wants that), so theres a little more to do before we weld it up and start putting things in finally.

For now, we are painting suspension parts waiting on more things to arrive. The mig welder arrived today, cam should ship tomorrow. I still need to order the rear end but probably going with Getrag LSD and the blockhugger headers so sean can fabricate my true dual 3" exhaust (always wanted :D)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
8/26/2012:
While waiting on more parts to arrive we went ahead and modified the stock LS1 windage tray. The new pan is considerably smaller than the stock pan to clear the subframe so a section had to be taken out for clearance and another part to fit the oil pickup.


We cut these gussets out on the inside:

and were supposed to reuse them, but after all the banging, they didn't line up so well. So instead we bought some 3/16"x1 1/4" mild steel stock and welded those in it's place

Painted them white to "match" the inside.

We relocated the radiator brackets ~1.5-2" forward and the a/c condenser brackets 1" forward.


Then taped off and painted all welds and trans tunnel with rubberized undercoating


I think I'll get some split vacuum tube or something to go over the edges where the transition white/black is, it doesn't look great at the seams.

For those of you that know my mazdaspeed... you shouldn't be suprised by this:

Painted the stock frame rails so it shows through the cutout in the V8R rails.

This weekend, we had a few friends over itching to wrench on something so we tore into the engine.
Stock cam came out:


New cam went in (Comp Cam 224/224-114 from Texas-Speed). PAC 1218 .600" Single Springs were installed:

I wish I had a picture of the cam going in but I only remembered to get the camera when I saw the guys doing this. Looked too ridiculous to not take a picture. The guy with the mask would also protect his favorite body part every time the spring was released.

Engine was cleaned up:


But sadly this is where we had to stop because the head bolts that came in the Summit Head Replacement kit were 2" too long :(

ARP head bolts and rocker arm bolts come in Tuesday (8/28) (est.)
ASP balancer should be here Wednesday (8/29)
Flyin' Miata order (Headers, Fuel setup, and misc) should be here Tuesday (8/28)

Today, I put the clutch and brake master cylinders back in and added sound/heat insulation to the cabin:


It's all in, just have to add a little tape here and a little glue there to make it permanent. Then all the carpet will go back in.

On another note, this is our driveway on Saturday when people came over, it's not just me that has a thing for white cars


 

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ill be watching this thread! this is awesome, G/L with ur build
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
10/14/2012
Is it time for an update? Switching jobs has left me with less time in the afternoon than I’d like.

While waiting on parts, I wrapped the hood (which has been sitting in our guest room) with HEXIS pearl white vinyl. I must admit, I’m not as thrilled with the color as I thought I’d be so I haven’t ordered more. I have enough to do the hood, hard top, trunk, and windshield surround.


It has a bit of a green/pink hue to it but sitting on the car in the garage at some angles looks just like the stock color. I’ll have to actually see it on the car before I do the rest.

We ordered new head bolts from summit. Poured oil in the heads to let it drain through and hopefully collect dirt that may have gotten in.


We cleaned out the head bolt holes with a vacuum, fast food straws, and electrical tape.


Put the head on with ARP head bolts, torqued them down, and drained all the oil.

The oil pan wasn’t leaking, but it didn’t look like the gasket was stable. We had to install the dipstick anyway, so we removed the new OEM gasket and tried using RTV gasket maker but that proved to be a bigger hassle (kept getting into the oil cooler passage). I think we tried this two times with different waiting periods but it was just a mess. So we cleaned it all up and used the gasket again. Looked great. The end. For any of you that may try this… there are two smaller bolts that hold on the modified oil pan, one is recessed into the pan and the washers that come with it will not fit. We grinded it down to fit in the hole with the bolt. Not sure if it actually needs the washer, but we had it so we made it work.
Here is a picture of the dipstick – it’s really close to the oil baffle but that’s where it fit. We scored the dipstick at 0.250” below the baffle when the engine is right-side up or above the baffle in this picture.


We made new brake lines instead of bending the old ones – it turned out to be easier than we expected and much cleaner looking:


We dropped the rear sub frame. Unfortunately, the car was not raised high enough to just roll it out. In hindsight, I should have put on my old wheels (narrow) because we rocked it back and forth to be able to roll it out (one of the wheels under the center and the other clear of the mudflap)


Also… should have loosened the axle nuts with the car on the ground but it wasn’t going back in so we tried an impact, then a blow torch, then a breaker bar with 6’ extension, … heat eventually worked. Then came the BFH to get the axles out.


Only one mushroomed a little but I fixed that up with the angle grinder.

Then we worked on adding the tabs to the rear subframe to mount the Getrag 3.23 LSD (from Cadillac CTS). It is important to get it mounted to create a 1.5* angle for the driveshaft.



We put the rest of the accessories except A/C, belt, valve cover gaskets and rear main seal on. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to torque the rear main seal so we wrote it on the wall and called it a day.

Next weekend, the engine came off the stand to put the Competition Clutch flywheel and clutch on.

Kind of hard to torque something that isn’t mounted. Thanks to our friend Mike for trying to hold it steady.

The transmission went on


And it went into the car for the last time!


But wait…

Why is rear main seal still written up there? Fail. Gotta love having a chalkboard wall though – it saved a lot of trouble down the road. Out the engine came, transmission removed, pressure plate almost removed but brand new ARP bolt broke off.


New ARP bolts ordered from Summit at 830pm arrived before 10am the next day. Bolt drilled out. Put back together, erased off the wall. Engine went back in for the last time (fingers crossed)!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stock miata power steering reservoir modified and reused then mounted in stock location – the GTO one looked like crap.


Measured for the line with a welding rod and had one made at Aeroquip in Charlotte, NC



Headers installed, coilpacks tried to install, headers removed, coilpacks installed, headers installed. To say it’s a close fit is an understatement.


From the beginning, I knew I was going to contract out the wiring harness. Socks bravely took on this task. He modified the GM harness and the stock miata body harness to play nice with each other. After he did a few of the wires we bumped the starter and checked the fuel pump. The GTO pulled more current than the miata battery can supply so we jumped it with the BMW.


We filled it with oil (6 qts) then drained some out because it was too high. There is still old GTO oil that drained out as well so maybe this wasn’t such a bad thing. Bumped the starter some more to get the oil moved around. Put the fuel pump relay back in to prime the fuel rails. It doesn’t hurt to tighten all the lines one more time before doing this or you could end up with fuel spraying underneath the car like we did. Not the first time this has happened so I took off the metal plate covering the tank and Sean took off the line to stop the siphon. We put everything back on and tightened everything. Then we left the garage to air out a bit. After lunch we successfully primed the fuel rail – took about 5 times of turning the key (it stays on for 3 sec each time) before it was complete.
Sean mocked up an intake:


Now what? We try to start it of course.
http://youtu.be/Y9WtJoYzDfU
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
10/28/2012
We installed the driveshaft, which is a bigger pain than it should be. It is a cast piece and where the cast is filled, a nub is left. With the nub, it doesn’t seat flush against the diff. I tried and endmill but it kept catching the side, then a dremel which was extremely slow. Sean ended up drilling it out with a drill bit.

The last thing that was going to take some time was getting the headers coated. I talked to a few places in Charlotte (semi-local) and decided on Calico Coatings. They gave a lead time of 10 days but I nagged them until they shorted it to a week. Sean dropped the headers off at my dad's house Saturday and he (masterofnone if he's on CR) graciously took them the rest of the way on Monday to drop them off. I was surprised when barely 4 days later, Friday, I get a call saying they were ready. Everyone I knew in Charlotte was busy so I left work at 3 hoping I could make it before they closed. Picked them up at 4:52, 8 minutes before they closed. Success.


Saturday we went to work. The headers went in:


The interior went in:


Transmission and differential were drained and filled (Mobil 1 ATF and 75W90 respectively). The clutch was bled, the back brakes were bled… the front brakes didn’t want to be bled. Looking it up, this is fairly common when the lines are completely empty. We waited until Sunday for my dad to bring his newly purchased powerbleeder. After reading the directions, that worked like a charm. We tightened a few things down, zip tied the ECU in place, and put the car on the ground!

Forgot how low this thing sits… since the beginning of august it’s been 18” off the ground.

For the detail oriented folks: the trunk is missing because I was planning on vinyl wrapping it last week.

Taking a quick peek under the car showed us that we should not drive with the exhaust ½” off the ground. Front wheels came back off to raise the front a bit. We also noticed the toe was way out. I would have been able to turn-in like crazy but decided I’d like to at least attempt saving the tires while I can. We eye-balled the toe in until it was about straight. An alignment will be in the cars immediate future. Wait… and alignment is only needed if the car actually spends time off of jack stands. Time for a drive! The appropriate cell phone video camera devices came out and around the block we went. Mike - want to post your video?

The body panels were put back on and I think I’ve decided I like the vinyl. Going to wait and see what it looks like in the sun to fully decide.


Intake, midpipe-back, radiator fans, and alignment will be the next steps then after a few hundred miles change all the fluids and check torques.

Total time to driveable LS1 miata? 3 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Sean's video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU01WU0yTD0

My Dad's videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2sI7WZD3Mo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRmtqTEKuHc

The speedometer has since been fixed. The flyin' miata instructions wanted the Dakota speedbox to be hooked directly to the vehicle speed sensor. We hooked the speedbox up to the ECU speed sensor and used HP tuners to adjust the signal to 48000ppm (what the speed sensor outputs). Then we could calibrate the speedometer with the speedbox. After doing all this, not sure that we needed the speedbox but, it's in there so we're using it.

Radiator fans were wired up. I ended up taking Sean's 12" slim fans he was going to use on his RX7 and attached them to my old CX racing radiator. It was wired up using the stock relays and set the on temp to 199F and off 196F. After a test drive the fans were not working :(. As it turns out, following the flyin' miata instructions was a mistake for this. The LS3 ecu outputs a switched power but GTO ECU outputs a switched ground so we were double grounding the relay. So we sent power to the relays and let the ECU ground it. Fixed!


We marked off a 3.5" aluminum pipe and cut it for the intake and finished it off with a AEM filter. It will eventually be black but right now it's coated with engine heat coating. We secured it to one of the originally power steering reservoir mounting holes with a piece of bent aluminum welded to the pipe. Definitely not the best location for this intake but it will work for now.


Black friday I went to get an alignment!

Me: it has an aftermarket clutch, reverse is hard to get into and it's not where the knob says it is.
Tech: where is reverse?
Me: have you driven a GTO?
Tech: yes
Me: It's there

They weren't able to do the camber alignment but told me to come back when a more experienced tech was there. He straightened the steering wheel quite a bit though.

 

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subbed.
 

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need more video! sounds so bad ass
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all!

Car has been raised up, back to having wheel gap but at least I can get out of the driveway:


Socks is redoing the exhaust - resonators are coming out and high flow metallic spun cats are going in. Hopefully finished by Christmas.
 

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Socks is redoing the exhaust - resonators are coming out and high flow metallic spun cats are going in. Hopefully finished by Christmas.
Got some work done on that today. The reason we're redoing it is that we weren't crazy about the vbands. because the car rides so low, the vband clamps were constantly banging on the ground. wanted something that could take the abuse a little better. I also wanted to try to tuck the exhaust up a little higher. The right bump in the road could scrape the exhaust. There was some ghetto from where we ran out of bends and had to piecut pipe to make bends.

anywho, bought a few more bends, some vibrant stainless 3bolt flanges, and a few magnaflow cats. I thought we'd lose the resonators at first, but they should be able to go back in and tuck up nicely.

here is the cats welded in. the transmission case impedes on the cutout on the V8R transmission crossmember. the case also leaves far less room on the passenger side for the exhaust.



and here is how they tuck up nicely. the old setup was about a full inch lower. It probably wouldnt be so bad with a dual 2.5" exhaust, but Bonnie wanted the full dual 3". She knows the 375whp this car is probably making wont last long. I bet she's squeezing or boosting before 2014.



I got a little further back, and got one of the resonators mounted and tig'd into place. I may work on it again tomorrow evening to get the other resonator in place, if so i'll post up some pics then.
 

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awesome cant wait to see this thing all finished up and rippng down the street. great work so far!
 

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Well this build came out of no where! I love it haha all the awesome w/ none of the suspense.

If you don't mind me asking, what did the whole swap start to finish cost you? You make this swap look very DIY-able for anyone with a decently advanced set of tools, mechanical ability, and an empty garage bay.
 
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