This is going to be a big photo dump of my latest adventures into 3D printing, both for prototyping and hopefully end usage. I purchased myself a 3D printer, Wanhao Duplicator i3, and I'll do a separate post for that soon. For now let's talk about my experiences with the intake parts I'm prototyping 🙂
I have no real knowledge in both 3D printing/modelling and engine intake theory, I'm just learning as I go, so there will be mistakes here and there. And therefore, not entirely sure if these parts/designs will make any measurable performance gains, but it's all fun anyway!
In my last post, I had just commissioned some prints of velocity stacks. Well I did some redesigns, and they can now be found on thingiverse.com, again it's still all a work in progress and I'm not expert in the design theory.
The velocity stacks are 105mm tall and designed for Silvertop AE101 throttle bodies.
Next up was designing an airbox for the ITBs and 105mm tall stacks, I pretty much modelled it using the same external dimensions as my Pipercross filter. I did this because I know for sure that it would clear all the brake and clutch parts in the engine bay and I also wanted the ability to easily change from filter to airbox. I can and will make a better design once I have this design fitted and tested.
For the Pipercross filter and this airbox to clear the stacks, a new mounting plate needed to be made. So I chose to print out a spacer that would be sandwiched between two laser cut plates, you can see it in the previous screenshot.
Below is my ideal design, will work on that soon.
The printed spacer for the filter mounting plate, had to be printed in multiple pieces due to the limited build volume of my printer (200mm x 200mm x 180mm).
Before doing the actual prototype print I decided to use some rubbish filament for a test print without support material, just to see how far it could go. It failed pretty quick when it got to the dome part, it recovered slightly towards the end though.
Here you can see the rear section of the airbox being printed, tried to minimise the usage of plastic and support material. This was printed at mostly 200micron layer height and the curved sections were printed at 100micron layer height, varying the layer height like this helps reduce print time as well as reduce support material for the sections with overhang.
Mid section being printed, by far the easiest part. Only needed support material for the mount flanges, this was printed at 280micron layer height.
And this is the front section being printed, all printed at 280micron layer height. This part had some design modifications to improve print-ability, also to reduce plastic usage and support material.
Since this is a prototype for test fitting, sections are glued together using Cyanoacrylate. Final part will either be epoxied or plastic welded together, not sure yet. Or maybe just use the print as a mold for carbon fibre?
It's amazing seeing this all come together as one piece, nearly 500mm total length. So happy!
Photo trying to show the internal clearances with stacks installed, minimum distance to walls is 25mm.
Some lessons I learned during this entire print are that overhangs causes prints to look like crap. So I've made the following design changes to help reduce overhangs.
- I added a chamfer on the inside surface to reduce the overhang angles under the "dome", this allows me to print with minimal support material, and the chamfer being only 20% solid means I use less plastic overall.
- The highlighted flat sections at either ends of the flange remove the overhangs and allows my printer to simply bridge that section, which my printer does very well. This makes the print look cleaner and also reduce support material.
- I found that printing holes on a vertical plane produces nasty overhangs and causes imperfections in and around the hole, so I opted to print only dimples instead of a through-hole. This improves the finish and I can just simply drill the holes post print anyway.
I also modelled this catch can and printed it out for test fitting. Unfortunately, the filament ran out before it completed printing. Was still able to test fit though!
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!
Started pulling apart my car today, the head is being removed so I can get that ported. The AC, all wiring, intake, strut brace and fuse box will be removed to make way for my custom tucked wiring harness.
I was planning to port it myself but have decided to send it down to Warren Heath Performance down in Melbourne. The head will received an extensive porting job as well as larger oversized valves, stronger valve springs and re-shimmed solid lifters. The camshaft going in will be 280degree duration and 10.5mm lift.
Didn't get too much done today but photos below.
Awesome post title ey?
I've been drooling over Project-G's bikini top ever since I bought my MX-5, was never sure how it would look in person with my "tall-boy" roll bar so I never ordered it. But I recently found an awesome deal that I couldn't pass up, I'm now in possession of a Project-G bikini top!
It's a black top with red-stitching and also came with a carry bag. I've sourced a front bow locally for little money so pretty happy overall =)
Blehhh not much progress lately, BUT I have acquired some more bits for the build. Also been talking with a few guys who are also doing the same ITBs and we've found a few more issues with the T3 manifold... The issue is that the TPS is located towards the firewall and hits against the clutch master hard-line. This is not an issue for all the US guys who have the clutch master on the other side of the engine bay (LHD).
So when I installed my new KG Works cluster I forgot to mention that my gauge hood also cracked. Was a pain in the ass but I was able to find a brand new genuine replacement :D. Apparently it was the last one in Australia too! Mazda have more on back order I believe.
The next part I found is a duct that is used in cars that don't have air-conditioning from factory. Since I'm removing my AC this part is perfect so that I can remove the ENTIRE AC system and still have functional air/heater.
Wasn't able to get a brand new one but Richard at MX-5 Plus was able to hook me up with this used part. Would prefer a new one but this is pretty decent.
Over the last week I've had a few parts cleaned up and also picked up a KG Works gauge cluster 😀
Since I'm going to be using the later model cam/crank hall effect sensors, I had my NB6 valve cover blasted and powder-coated in satin black. While I was there I also had the shop blast the NB6 water neck too, this will replace the NA6 water neck because I won't be using the fan switch. Megasquirt will control the fans now.
The work was done by Global Powder Coating, price was the lowest I could find and service/turnaround was good.
In my previous update I posted up about reassembling my ITBs. I had to use new screws to hold the throttle plates as the old ones were drilled out, they were replaced with socket cap screws but I was recommended to use something with a smaller profile head. I've now replaced the screws with button head socket screws.
Spent some time over the weekend dialing up the ITB adjustment screws, still a few things to sort out and hopefully they won't cause issues down the track.
Not much has been happening but some updates for the build so far.
I received my first batch of Brake Cylinder Braces, so took some photos of what it looks like installed. It's too hard to take photos of the install, so will be doing it on a bare chassis in a few weeks.
I've also decided to ditch the old style CAS and go with dedicated crank and cam angle sensors. They're used in later model BP4W engines as well as NB6 engines.
Started my ECU harness too. Re-used the ECU connectors and just de-pinned the terminals so I could solder new wires on. Was a tedious process but well worth it, sensors/injectors/coils connectors will be installed later.
Picked up this cool passenger foot well plate from MX-5 Plus. No idea what brand it is, but it looks useful as it'll give me more space for the MegaSquirt and fuse/relay panel.
Made a decision to get rid of the of standard coil/ignitors and go with the very popular "Toyota COPs". Coil-On-Plugs provide a much better spark as well as giving me sequential spark with the MegaSquirt.
After MANY months of development and testing, my Brake Cylinder Brace is ready! The first batch will be priced at an introductory offer of $100 and limited to 40 pieces. Install photos will be up soon.
Before setting out on this project I did some testing on various MX-5s to see how much movement/flex there is in the firewall. The process was quite simple, I sat in the car and stepped on the brake pedal as a mate measured how much the brake master cylinder moved. It was obvious right away that there was about 4-5mm of movement in various cars we tested. The movement/flex means that braking response is delayed, not rigid and more spongy
The Brake Cylinder Brace simply attaches to the brake master cylinder via the two factory studs and anchors onto the chassis. It's designed like a triangle because triangles are very rigid shapes, every side of a triangle reinforces each other so that load is divided. The brace uses these three mounting points to effectively stiffen up that part of the firewall so there is no longer any flex/movement of the brake master cylinder.
The brace reduces brake travel and improves response time under hard braking. The feel is more solid and precise rather than a soft and delayed reaction time. All this from one small brace.
Installation is very straight forward and requires no adjustments. The brace is designed to self tension as you install it.
Each piece is hand-made right here in Australia, everything locally sourced too. Didn't want to risk the quality or consistency of the final product so getting them locally produced was the only way.
The part only fits right-hand drive NA models.
All stock is located in Brisbane for immediate dispatch.
Price includes delivery Australia wide by Australia Post.
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