3D Modelling & Printing.



Lately I've been spending more time learning how to model parts in 3D, still new so bare with me. It's not a new concept to me, but I am using Fusion 360 mainly now and sometimes a bit of SolidWorks.

I've done some prints in the past, a good example would be the bulk head connector plate I drew up and printed. Had it installed in the car while I waited for the final piece to be laser cut from steel.


And now I'm starting to move onto slightly more detailed designs. Starting of with "remixing" a design from Thingiverse.

4AGE Black Top Velocity Stack -

And my "remixed" version, which is basically modified for Silver Top engines instead of Black Top and increasing overall length to 115mm.

4AGE Silver Top Velocity Stack -


I than scrapped that design altogether and did one from scratch, increased the radius lip profile and removed the side bracing. The print below was done in ABS and I'll be testing it for clearance and heat resistance. If all goes well, I'll most likely print my final design in ABS. If not, other materials like Nylon and Poly-carbonate are alternative options for heat resistance.




And this is another design I quickly modelled. Main differences being the bottom flange, length adjusted to 105mm and the dimpled internal surface. NO idea how that'll work for airflow, good or bad, but it's fun drawing these and 3D printing them! The idea is from dimpled surfaces on golf balls, and I've seen shops machine dimples onto the back of inlet valves and cylinder head ports.


And this is how the print came out.... About halfway up the velocity stack, the wall was a tiny bit too thin and the dimples were too deep! Not something I was expecting, but I'll learn from this one and make revisions. This print was also done at 300 micron layer height, I think it needs to be 100-200 micro next time.


And finally, this is an airbox/plenum that will mount to my current Pipercross filter plate. Still needs some work here and there, but I'm pretty set on the general shape of it and the inlet is 4.5" diameter. The final product could be moulded from the 3D print and made with carbon fibre, or possible printed entirely out of fibre infused nylon for strength and heat resistance.


More to come!


Toda High Compression Pistons!


Welllll than...... A couple new things in this update, and possibly a second post regarding some stuff I've been 3D modelling for the build.

First up, managed to install this 5V oil pressure sender and input it into the Megasquirt for full datalogging and dash display through Shadow Dash. The tablet mounted using two magnetic mounts clipped to the eye-ball vents. Works very well and has a very strong hold.

It was surprisingly easy to get working, the sender needs +5v, ground and signal return to the ECU. I happened to use the AD6 input on my Megasquirt, and TunerStudio has a built in wizard to configure your sender.


Developed a slight oil leak into cylinder no. 4 so took valve cover off to replace the gasket. Remember to go genuine valve cover gasket! I've had nothing but trouble with non-genuine valve cover gaskets.


Finally bought some new tyres and fresh alignment done! Hankook RS3 225/45 R15.


Received and installed my IL Motorsport bonnet lifts, not sure if I like them yet.


Next up, I had some spare parts accumulating and was able to put together this LED bar kit. It's operated via RF remote control that looks like a bomb detonator, the LED light bar and associated electronics (now enclosed in water-proof case) are mounted just behind the front bar.


Garage Star Coil-on-Plug adapter acquired!


Toda forged pistons!!! They are 11.0:1 compression ratio and +3mm overbore, made from a special alloy with very littler thermal expansion which allows it to run factory Mazda piston-to-bore clearances. Toda also designed the skirt to allow usage of factory oil squirters. I also ordered the matching overbore head gasket from Toda.


Some close ups of the pistons.




That’s not a mod.


New update time.

First off, I won the "People's Choice" Award at the 2016 All Japanese Day. So happy!


A few small updates to the interior.


Push button start installed in the factory cigarette port, Jass Performance shifter boot, and my new Hazard Switch Kit.


This was a custom turned part my friend made for me. It's pretty much a quick connect fitting into a barb adapter. And it's used for my temporary idling setup.


Had this piece laser cut out of aluminium to mount the modification and build plates.


I also managed to install the Pipercross C604D air filter. The adapter plate was a custom one and the filter is offset towards the front of the car by 10mm, this was done to clear the clutch master cylinder and reservoir.


And there's very little clearance, so I need to find a more compact clutch master and reservoir solution soon.


I've had side skirts on my car in the past, but I removed them because they always seems to go wavey after awhile. This was using the skirts made from ABS plastic, but I'm pretty sure the polyurethane ones will do the same. Fibreglass ones should never go wavey, but the fibreglass ones I bought ages ago were wavey out of the box. It seemed like they were moulded off a set of wavey ABS ones.

So these are some new ABS plastic ones, but modified. I had some aluminium sheet (1.5mm thick) laser cut, and folded one side to give it some rigidity. I then wire brushed both surfaces to roughen it up, and a polyurethane based adhesive was used to hold them together. Lots of clamping...

Hopefully they'll hold up, will update how it goes after summer!


Side skirts installed!




Hazard Switches Installation!


OK! I'm excited for my new Hazard Switches kit 🙂

Item can be purchased below, use the shopping cart if you're in Australia, or use the PayPal button below (and in the product description) if you're located outside of Australia. Prices are in Australian Dollars and shipping is built into the price.

Hazard Switches! (International Shipping Included!)


Now the first job before installing your new Hazard Switches is to remove the tombstone. I won't go into this step because there are dozens of tutorials that already exist online. The YouTube video below is pretty good.

This is how you'll receive the kit, comes with the "plug & play" harness, switches, panels and brand new sticker.


Take note of the labelled bags and the markings on the face plate and switches.


Install the switch marked "R" in the top position of the face plate, and switch marked "B" goes in the bottom position. Switch locations and orientation are marked on the back of the face plate.


Once the switches are in, you can go ahead and install the backing plate and carefully tighten the nuts until finger tight, making sure the switches and face plate are in position. Once the nuts are finger tight, grip the switch housing and rotate counter-clockwise to further tighten down the switches.


The connector labelled "R" plugs into the top position, and connector labelled "B" goes into the bottom switch.


And this connector plugs into the factory wiring.



Manifold Vacuum Rail


OK! So last post was positive, engine started up, ran well and idled nicely. But that didn't last long...

While getting the tune sorted, I noticed that the vacuum readings were a little off and it turned out to be a vacuum leak due to a hose not being connected properly. Fixed the vacuum leak and then the engine didn't want to idle anymore... So I fixed the idling issue but that resulted in my brake booster not getting enough vacuum to assist the brakes 🙁

So the real problem was the vacuum set up, I think. So I've come up with a set up that mimics a few other off-the-shelf ITB kits. Haven't had time to finish everything yet, but will post update when I get it running again and report back on the vacuum set up.


These are the push-to-connect fittings I'm using, swivel tee fittings.


Marked out the holes and drilled 11.1mm holes so that I could tap a 1/4" NPT thread.


The fittings tested fitted and measured so I could cut the hoses. The hoses need be installed in the fittings while they're out.


Vacuum rail installed and the old holes plugged up.


Also test fitted the filter backing plate, some clearance issues here...


Installed a Garage Star Wiper Cowl panel, and need to make a new fuel hose because I had to go from dual to single feed fuel setup.


And finally installed and gapped the headlight covers, hate doing them so much.


Start Up!


This was not a smooth start up.... Ran into a few issues earlier on, car would crank over and sometimes nearly run but never more than than a fraction of a second. Went through and checked through the wiring and grounds, everything was good there, a quick visual inspection of the cam gear and cam lobes to see if they were in the right positions. And a whole bunch of things....

The ECU logs showed consistent sync loss, error no. 31. Something was wrong with the cam/crank sensors. In my particular case it was caused by the crank trigger wheel being installed backwards :P. And I actually did check it earlier on, but checked it incorrectly!



Once I flipped that trigger wheel around, it started right away! Here's a quick video of it, more to come later!


Back From Holidays.


After the last update, we went for a short trip. Then there was the house move.... So not a whole lot has happened with the build, but still some steps closer to start up :).

I finally received my laser cutting order, the original holes for the wiring have been blocked up and the bulk head panel is done too. All three pieces were painted with a clear-over-base rattle can paint system. Turned out pretty good 🙂

Would also like to look at redoing my brake lines at some stage.


This is the Jass Performance shifter boot. They're a direct bolt in part with a much more durable boot than the Mazda item. My brand new Mazda replacement lasted just over a year. Will be doing a group buy soon for these 🙂


Interior back together.


Borrowed a friend's Pipercross air filter for testing fitting. These have an internal height of 120mm I believe, more than suitable for my 75mm velocity stacks.


But the problem is that it doesn't clear the clutch master cylinder and reservoir. I'm currently talking to a few people with some possible solutions, more info when that's sorted.


And had my HKS headers ceramic coated by Thermal Edge Coatings.



Door Cards & Other Bits


Some more progress over the last few weeks.

I installed new door cards and door pull. The door cards are by CarbonMiata and door pulls by Jass Performance, both products available through my store. I also went with some larger diameter speaker grills, I think it works well with the rest of the interior.


The interior wiring is now completed.


Rear lip was painted gloss black and finished mounting that up.


I used some rubber sheeting to make a gasket for the bulk head connector panel, cost a couple dollars off eBay. Than used some spray on glue to position it on the panel.


In a previous post I mentioned I had to make a jig to mount my throttle bodies, well below are more details on this. Quality of the T3 manifold isn't the greatest. Basically because the T3 manifold doesn't have dowels and the throttle body mounting holes aren't in the correct positions, the throttle bodies were never perfectly aligned. This misalignment results in the butterflies not opening evenly. I confirmed this with a spare set of throttle bodies.

No matter what adjustments were made, the butterflies would either be out of sync at closed throttle or part/full throttle. Even adjusting the bypass screws wouldn't help.

Not too sure how important it is to have them open evenly, but it can't be a good thing if they're not...

Below shows a factory Toyota manifold with two locating dowels on each throttle body.


Throttle bodies mounted to the Toyota manifold and everything dialed in.


The jig mounted to the throttle bodies using the top holes.


Throttle bodies unbolted from the Toyota manifold and transferred to the T3 manifold. The threaded holes in the T3 manifold were not spaced correctly so I had to drill out the holes in the throttle bodies to get everything to bolt down.


Jig plate removed from the throttle bodies and trumpets installed.


Intake mounted up and injectors connected.




Wiring Complete!

So here we are, all done.. All those early mornings before work and late nights after work building the engine harness and tucking the body wiring. Pretty happy overall with the finish product, just a few changes I will make later. Just want to get the car running for now.

The 3D printed plate will be replaced with a laser cut stainless steel piece.


Engine harness complete!


Dummy fitted the intake so I could cut the injector wiring to length.


The start of the ECU side of the engine harness. All this is being recycled from the previous wiring setup. So handy having everything done with Deutsch connectors.


Terminating the shielded wires for the crank, cam and TPS sensors.




The washer bottle has been relocated to under the guard, I think it should clear everything on full lock and compression. It's a bit awkward to refill, but probably only needs to be topped up once a year. This washer bottle is from a Holden HQ I believe.





OK, a decent update. Lot's of photos.

Because I'm planning to use bulkhead connectors on the firewall for the engine harness, I drew up this plate to mount the connectors. It allows easy disassembly if any changes need to be made or replacing connectors etc. Because I'm recycling parts for this section, the connectors used are Deutsch 12-way DT and Deutsch 31-way HDP.

Had it 3D printed so I could start the wiring while I wait for the real thing to get laser cut from stainless steel.



Headlight assemblies in.


Brake booster, clutch master and radiator in.


Installed these Garage Star Fender Braces too. Pretty straight forward, comes with all new stainless steel bolts.


Because I had the valve cover sandblasted and painted, all the baffles need to be removed so the blast media can be cleaned out. Garage Star machined stainless steel valve cover bolts. I've got a whole engine bay dress up bolt kit to go on too.


Started on the body wiring tuck, wires are coming out of the side behind the front guards. This has been drilled, painted and sealed to keep moisture out.


Slowly cleaning it up and routing. I've used loom tubing for exterior sections, they provide more protection than just braided sleeving alone.


The wires re-enter the body from the side, drilled a 24mm hole and than sealed any bare metal. Ideally I should have done all the cutting/drilling before paint, lesson learned. I also picked up these wiring grommets from Clark Rubber.


I've had to make a few extensions to tuck the body wiring. Instead of soldering, I've been using these uninsulated butt-splice crimps and than heat-shrinking over it.


Using a factory hole to tuck the wiper motor wiring. I think the hole is normally used for the washer hose, but I'm relocating the washer bottle... More details on that later.


These exposed wires have been wrapped and loom tubed now. Interior sections are covered in a braided sleeving with heat-shrink on the ends.


The headlight assemblies back in, most of the wires are out of sight.


The dual horns installed, and the body harness is done!


Just so everyone knows, this part of the build is on a strict on budget, won't be MIL Spec or anything like that. Every part was either given to me for free or simply re-used from my old harness. It'll do for now, and I'll look into doing a concentric twisted MIL Spec harness later.

Below is the wiring for the coils, it is being terminated into a Deutsch 12-way DT connector. This connector contains wiring for the coil triggers (x4), coil power (x4) and the ECU grounds (x4).


For shielded wires (TPS, crank and cam sensors), what I did was strip the cable further back and unbraided the shield. I than twisted it up and heat-shrinked. It gets terminated into the bulk-head connector and continues onto the other side.


Finished the crank and cam sensors. This is all a dry fit, once I have it mostly sorted, the wires will be sleeved and heat-shrinked.


To tuck the starter and charge wires, I had to a slight extraction and feed them through the tunnel.


So my ITB manifold is shit... The factory Toyota manifold has two dowels per throttle body to locate everything into perfect alignment. If the throttle bodies aren't correctly aligned than they don't open equally no matter how many linkage adjustments are made, not great at all!

Below is my solution. I mounted my throttle bodies to the Toyota manifold, adjust everything and confirm their alignment. I than bolt the tops of the throttle bodies to a thick plate of steel. The throttle bodies are removed from the Toyota manifold and transferred to my Techno Toy Tuning manifold. DONE! Everything is spot on now.


Many late nights...