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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Awhile back I posted in the newbie introductory thread and some of you may remember this photo:



Anyhow with so many changes happening to my car I thought I'd log progress and show much of it here. I'm using a blog a friend and I have started in which our goal is to bring together some of Northwest car culture. We've had a few posts to start and this is the first time I've blogged about my own car. I plan to take you guys through the progress and troubleshooting I'm sure I'll go through.

Let's start off with what the plan is thus far:

Currently I'm installing my friend Winky's old head (Some of you guys may remember his 1.7L ITB build thread here: http://clubroadster.net/vb_forum/89-roadster-projects/18582-winkyls-1990-b6-1-7l-itb-miata-build-updated-may-12-2009-a.html

He had the head shaved and new valve guides put in along with his Chikara Motorsports Stage 2 cam. I had the chance to sit in this setup along with a 6speed gearbox and 4.3FD and it was a memorable moment for me as it was the first time I had ever sat in a Miata with N/A engine mods. From the lumpy idle to the way the car would just love to rev up, I knew I wanted a similar setup from that point.



Anyhow his engine had a lot of blowby and the ports and valves were coated in carbon. Avoiding any sort of mickey mouse on this car I decided it was time to clean everything up and install new valve seals. And this is the current state the head is in now:



You guys can read the full blog post here: http://otcmaterial.com/ast-miata-part-one/

Cheers! :icon_cheers:

Austin
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi guys!

Well just thought I'd update everyone with the latest progress here. Lately I've been working on a couple of small things on the car. Mainly waiting for some parts to arrive so that I can throw the head back onto the car.



First things first is that I made this integrated digital gauge that reads both PSI in oil pressure and boost. I swamped out the OEM one in place of this digital gauge since I thought it would look much more cleaner than having pods on the tombstone or the a-pillar.

Second thing I've been doing is I've been practising how to weld with my TIG welder. It's been awhile since I've done any sort of welding so I'm trying to get the rhythm and consistency.






I started by practicing doing some passes on some scrap I had lying around, and eventually moved onto joining the pie cuts together to get used to welding around a bend. I'll admit it looks pretty awful but I'm slowly getting the amount of heat and amount that I should be moving the filler that I need for a solid looking stack of dimes.



A lot of people I've seen in industry don't backgas their products and when this happens they get this sugaring effect. I'm still waiting on a second regulator so I have been getting the sugar. It leaves a very rough texture on the backside of the weld and honestly it makes a different to how the exhaust gas flows. One of my friend's says that his exhaust has a slight "hissing" noise because of how the gas passes around these rough edges.



I'll eventually be doing some welding to fix my Maxim Works header which cracked, as well as doing my 3" exhaust system.

Check out the full blog entry here! :)

http://otcmaterial.com/the-evolution-of-ast-garage-part-2-otc-austins-miata-build/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So right now I'm waiting for a few things to arrive:

- Cam gears
- Exhaust fabrication parts

I cant degree the cams until the gears arrive so its one of the major things holding me back. The ones I got with the cams had so much slop I didnt feel comfortable putting them on.

Anyhow in the meantime I have been helping my friend Kalson with the install on his Exige.



Its interesting how the two cars compare in terms of install. The Exige (IMO) is waaay easier to work on once the clam is off. Everything is so simple and accessible, it makes working on double wishbone suspension a breeze.



One of the things I've been thinking about is a titanium exhaust system. Its amazing how light these cans are compared to the stainless steel ones. Makes me reconsider my SS choice.

Check out the full post here: http://otcmaterial.com/freezing-winter-garages-part-2-kalson-chans-lotus-exige-s
 

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This will be a thread that's well worth reading! Look forward to more updates from you or OTC.

Everyone should check out their blog, it truly expresses the NW region's (Vancouver in particular) car culture with good taste. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·



Thanks for the comments guys! It really means a lot to me to get some feedback and hearing that someone appreciates your work :smile:

Ok, so I know it’s not exactly “last year” and totally out of theme with everyone posting highlights for 2012 but 2011 was a special year for me. I started building the AST Miata this year, and it was then that I had decided to do a complete revamp on the cosmetic stuff and try to fix up the ugly body.


So obviously the red Miata seen here is not mine, and you might be wondering who’s it is. Well this is Jeff Ho‘s daily driver (Yes, the same Jeff with the E36 M3 we featured awhile back) and that summer was quite memorable for the local BC guys since it was the first and only year that the triple threat APL Red Miata crew existed. Jeff has since moved on and the car is actually back to stock form, waiting to be sold.




At the time my Miata was still in pieces and the original plan was to finish everything for the Revscene summer meet. Those plans soon fell through due to the sheer amount of work that needed to be done on the car. For those non-local to the Vancouver/ Pacific Northwest scene, Revscene is one of the bigger car meets that happens twice during the year (Once in Spring, once in Summer) and its one of the few larger meets that happen locally since car shows and the like began to die out. A lot of people come together just for this one day since its usually a pretty large event, not to mention the variety of cars you often see. Every club or shop comes with their own clique usually, this particular year we reserved a spot for our group of friends (APL Motorsports) but unfortunately never got to actually park inside the event due to the amount of people who had already filled a lot. Kind of a bummer but the fact that most of our cars brought attention to the street we parked on says something.



I can’t remember why but my friend Jordan was out of town and couldn’t attend that day but we agreed that I would drive his car to the meet. Now to me, I would see this car so frequently that it wasn’t anything new. What really surprised me when we showed up was the amount of attention Jordan’s car got. I guess it’s also because he’s one of the OG Miata guys locally as well so people are always interested in seeing what changes he’s made.

See the rest of the post and photos here! http://otcmaterial.com/revscene201/
 

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was hoping I could have driven down to the event as an excuse for more break-in mileage... but rain hit earlier than I anticipated. :\
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


For those following our Instagram feed, you'll notice that I've been busy working away on the Miata. One of the obstacles that runs right into the path of the Rotrex supercharger is the power steering unit. You can pretty much say that in order to run one, you have to give up the other. In my case it was an easy decision. Get rid of boiling the power steering on track? Yes. Clean up the look of the bay? Yes. More power? HELL YES.



Following the guides/DIYs found here and here it was relatively straight forward. A lot of guys weld up the pinion to reduce the slop found when the pinion twists to allow fluid from one side of the rack to the other. Some people say it's also a waste of time to do but since I had the TIG welder around and wanted to practice my welds I decided to take on the job. If in the end it makes no difference at least I got some practice in!



First thing first was to remove the pinion out of the rack assembly. Reading the on-line tutorials vs. actually doing it, I think it took me longer to read through the articles than it took for me to completely disassemble the rack and clean it. One trick I learned from one of my old jobs maintaining hydraulic cylinders was to angle the cylinder facing into the drain bucket. This came in useful so that all the power steering fluid didn't spill all over my floor. Be warned that once you pull the piston out it wants to rush out.



The hydraulic piston needs to be shaved off so that the air inside the depowered rack doesn't pressurize and add unnecessary effort to the steering resistance. I like aligning my Miata with maximum caster angle after getting my desired cambered angles so reducing the steering resistance as much as possible while maintaining adequate response is important to me so I can rice around on the street easily. I found the easiest way to cut this bad boy off was to use a cutoff disc and go slowly and cut "pie" sections out bit by bit. MotoIQ used a lathe which is nice and clean but I figured why not just hog off the unnecessary metal.



I grabbed a scrap piece I had lying around and practised a few passes before welding up the real thing. This was one of my first "real" projects playing around with the welder doing a full pass so I didn't want to screw it up. A lot of people say that the pinion is going to warp from the heat but honestly the thing is 1 inch thick... I don't really see any warp-age happening.



Here it is all welded up, it's not the prettiest welding but I'm sure it will hold. I used a silicon bronze filler so it's technically not welded together (the process is commonly referred to as "tig brazing") and is supposed to be more ductile due to the properties of the silicon bronze.



After buttoning up all the pieces together I decided to use the plug-kit I bought years ago from MiataRoadster. It's a nice kit that comes with black anodized aluminium plugs which replace the lines and cap off any dust from coming out. Instead of filling the rack with fluid I decided to re-use some of the Redline CV Joint grease I had from repacking my CV joint boots. It's supposed to withstand high temp heat so it should hold up to the see-saw action happening.



To finish things off I decided to install the R-package tie rod ends (Part Number N021-32-280As from Mazda) to reduce bump steer. I'll be running wider tires this year so anything to maintain grip will help IMO. Eventually I'll probably space up the rack too to help reduce bump steer even further.

I've been working on finishing the exhaust as well, it's been taking some time since I had to cut the rebar to fit my centre exit exhaust. Stay tuned for more updates on my car!

(link to blog: OTC's Steering Rack Depower)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maxim Works Meets Maruha Motorsports



Carrying on from the last post about power steering, part of the reason why I bought my TIG welder was because I bought an old Miller unit off my friend who didn't have a need for it any more. My excuse for splurging on equipment vs. outsourcing my exhaust parts to get fabricated is two-fold. One being that I was being itchy and all fancy and had always wanted to buy tools and machines to be more hands-on with my projects. And two being that I've always had a passion for fabrication and making things of lower value into a quality product. What I mean by this is that I like the idea of taking a bunch of metal tubes and welding them into something better (and functional). When I used to build scale models one of my mentors had taught me the saying "make this $5 toy look like a $500 art piece" and I guess it's stuck with me ever since.



I didn't want my work to look like crap but for sure it lies nowhere near pro level welding. I took a few weeks just to practice making passes and trying to get the consistency down and after many many times of grinding my tungsten I was ready to begin on the real stuff. My Maxim Works header actually started to fray at the flex pipe probably due to the abuse of swinging a heavy exhaust around on track. Needless to say it needed to come out and I decided while I'm at it I should try making an anti-reversion chamber (similar to Maruha Motorsport's baller header). I took the time to section one of the mandrel bends I bought to replicate the angle of the original*piece.



Being 2-to-1 transition meant that the pipe shape was not exactly cylindrical. The oval shape of my pipe on the left was the result of hammering and squashing the bend in a vice for a couple of hours. I knew that fitment of this part would be critical especially since welding between gaps is never fun, let alone on a crucial part of the exhaust. I didn't want to disrupt the exhaust flow as much as possible and if the parts weren't aligned properly there would be a "step" in the pipe.



Here is the finished piece with the transition to 3". The anti reversion magic is supposed to happen here where the 2.5" pipe extends past the beginning of the transition. There is where any back pressure is supposed to get trapped in the open space hence anti reversion.



I didn't want to cheap out on quality so I back gassed every weld. It gets really expensive since its like you're literally pumping out money as you let gas from your tank out into the open. I actually went through about two whole bottles and it was painful to have to pay for more gas each time. The benefits are that there is no more "sugaring" on the inside of the weld and according to my friend Chris, the sugaring actually affects the sound when the exhaust gas blows over the rough welds. In hindsight though, whether or not the cost will outweigh the effects of sugaring on any performance is beyond me.



This is how my welding looks close up. It's not the best as you can see inconsistency and the "dimes" could be a little less raised. Overall though I'm pretty happy since it doesn't look 100% pigeon ****.



Side by side comparison between my custom midpipe and my old Magnaflow one. They are almost identical with the exception of the pipe diameter.



Just to give you an idea, this is what a 3" exhaust looks like compared to a 2.25" one. Was it really necessary to go so big? Well, maybe not at this point since I haven't done any bottom end work, but the plan is to build the block next year after the summer. I don't reaaaally feel like making an exhaust again next year.




When it comes to things lining up, I didn't want to take any chances. I needed a cat to swap in and out for emissions testing so that meant that I needed to cut part of the midpipe out to use as a test pipe. The way I had laid everything out, I made the tail section of the header from a straight section of pipe. Less bends = less restriction not to mention it makes things simple instead of snaking an exhaust all around the underbody. Lining things up under a car that's only on jackstands is not fun. If I had a lift I think I'd still do the same thing and make the exhaust as straight as possible. I ended up slipping the flanges onto the pipe with both ends bolted up and tacking them on. After taking I would cut the pipe between the flanges and this would ensure that they were aligned at the correct orientation.

Things are slowly coming together and majority of the stuff left is just bolt on. On my next post I hope to show some changes to the drivetrain for this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks adamvanxxx!

A few weeks ago my 949 Racing twindisc came in the mail. Since I'll probably see it for a long long time I thought I'd shoot a short video on how it's put together. I've never had a twin disc clutch before so I was curious when the box arrived as to how it would look at operate. Pretty much it works as a normal clutch except the pressure plate has two stacks of friction material (hence the twin disc).

Check out the video below:

 

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Hey, new to the site and miatas, but I think I may have spotted your car around town a few times before. Keep up the awesome work on it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

I do apologize as this thread hasnt been updated for awhile. Nothing updates quite as well as a video so here is a teaser of what to come. Hopefully I can get everyone updated on what's happened in the last while but I'm excited to say my car is almost ready to be tuned :)

Stay tuned! (no pun intended) : 3gears:
 

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How did I miss this thread? Great read and a pleasure to the eyes! And the last vid, oooh lord it sounds nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Decided to insure the car for a shakedown and alignment and pretty much drove everywhere meeting up with my friends to check out the car.

Glad to report no problems yet! With the exception of an oil catch can hose coming off on the highway which scared the crap out of me when it clunked under the body.

My friend Rikaro helped me shoot a short driveby video of the car. Remember to put it on HD!
 
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