omgpham…
11Jan/170

3D Modelling & Printing.

 

Ahoy!

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.

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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 - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:25207

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 - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2016083

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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More to come!

11Jan/170

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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Garage Star Coil-on-Plug adapter acquired!

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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.

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Some close ups of the pistons.

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6Mar/164

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.

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

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

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

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Vacuum rail installed and the old holes plugged up.

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

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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.

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

28Dec/151

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!

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

23Sep/151

Back Home!

 

Happy day! Car has been towed back home and first thing we did was remove all the front panels 🙂 Storing them in a spare bedroom for now, don't want to scratch anything during assembly.

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Colour is Audi's Aviator Grey.

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The entire engine bay was covered in blankets during the engine install.

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Hnnnnggggggggggg!!!

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Colour looks amazing in sunlight, the Audi paint code has a bit of pearl through it but can only be seen in direct sunlight.

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The freshly powder coated radiator and sway-bar brackets fitted up with new bolts.

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A quick mock up panel for the engine harness Deutsch bulkhead connectors.

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I had the front lip painted gloss black, will be interesting to see how well it holds up from all the abuse it cops 😛

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30Jul/150

Off To Body & Paint!

 

Today was a good day 🙂 my Mazda was towed off to J&D Quality Smash Repairs.

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Everything all set aside and ready to picked up.

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Looks tough without the rear bar!

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Tow drive arrived around 8.30AM and had her loaded up for a 30mins drive.

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Sort of weird seeing your car get towed away, good weird though.

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Once arrived at the shop, we continued removing a few more bits and pieces from the car. Things like rubber seals and everything in the door jams.

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Quickly cleaned up one side of the engine bay using wax & grease remover with 3M Scotch Brite pads. Cleaned up really well and gets the surface some what ready for primer and paint.

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Decided on the engine bay colour, this is Audi's Aviator Grey. Clear coats will be applied on top of this too.

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More updates next week!

22Jul/150

More Stripping.

 

OK another small update before everything is ready to be towed off to the panel/paint shop.

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Fuel lines were disconnected and capped off, fuel rail was also removed. Wiring was also pulled back into the cabin. Engine bay starting to look really bare. Next will be engine, brake booster, clutch master and all the hard lines.

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Since I was sending out the headlight assemblies out for blasting and powder coating, I removed the sway bar mounts to get them done too. Involved drilled out a few spot wells but whatever. They'll be powder coated black with the other bits.

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Door handles, window seals and antenna were removed. Still have to remove the seals around the front windscreen, and all the trims/seals on the hardtop.

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Front and rear bars off, rear garnish and rear tail lights out too. Forgot to remove the third brake light 😛

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My Nardi 330mm Deep Corn wheel arrived, also ordered an awesome wireless dongle so I can have remote boot release. I love the remote so much! Has fake wood grain, a red button and a telescopic antenna! I may ditch this kit and go with a 3/4-way kit so I can have keyless entry too.

16Jul/152

Respray Preparations.

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As some of you may know, the MX-5 is booked in for a re-spray and engine bay colour change. Body will be painted factory Crystal White and the engine bay will be Battleship Grey. Now the stripping and preparations begin!

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Seats were removed to make it easier to pull the dash out. Dash came out so I could pull the wiring harness completely back in to the cabin.

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Rest of the parts being stored away. The ARP CF mirrors getting sanded back and a new coat of clear too.

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Pop-up headlight assemblies will be disassembled and sand blasted, they'll be painted same colour as the engine bay.

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Part way through the long and slow process of removing everything from the engine bay.

7Jul/151

Jass Performance Interior Light Install

 

The MX-5's interior is known for it's minimalist nature, and with that comes the poorly lit interior. Vlad from Jass Performance has come up with a neat solution and below is my installation, with a slight difference.

Jass Performance Interior Light.

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The kit comes supplied with instructions and is plug and play.

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Firstly, you'll need to remove the visor and roof latch. This'll allow you to mount the light and tuck the wires away.

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The passenger and driver side lights mounted up and wires tucked away. It's a little bit tricky to do, try have someone else around to help out.

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The black wire has a small ring terminal which screws into your existing courtesy light, this just allows it to turn on with the doors and still give you the ability to switch them on/off whenever you please. My install is a little different to the standard instructions, I've added a plug and soldered the red wire directly to the factory light. So please note that soldering is NOT required.

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Lights working.

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And a quick photo to show how much coverage it has. Photo was taken without flash and in complete darkness.

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Second photo below was taken using a higher ISO setting on the camera, again no flash and in complete darkness.

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11Jun/150

Head Unit Relocation 2nd Update.

 

Received some feedback and discussion on my head-unit relocation last week, and as I often find, I decided to change it up to the better option.

Below are photos of where the head-unit was mounted, I made a custom MDF piece for that spot too.

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But it was obvious that the better position would be in the other corner of the boot, and mounted from above. Overall it looks a lot cleaner and more out of the way.

Started off by half removing some of the rear carpet, I than removed the bottom four bolts of the rear parcel shelf cover. Made it a lot easier to run the harness.

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Harness fed through and the head-unit case mounted up!

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Everything mounted and connected, works just as well as before.

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