The Weekend

This weekend I did quite a bit, I did some more planning for the engine swap and had a talk to Anthony from Dahtone Racing. I’ve decided to hand the job over to him, Purely to the fact that I know it will be the quickest way to get the engine in, And that warranty will be covered if something goes wrong, As a professional has installed it. In saying that, I will be there every day after work tinkering on it myself.

Saturday, I mocked up the oil cooler in front of the driver’s side tyre right in front of the air duct. I managed to get it sitting in a great position without the lines getting in the way of anything. I’ll need to make up some mounts now.

Sunday, A set of NB series II tail lights popped up on MX5-Cartalk, And they had my name all over them! A few messages later I was at Andrews door grabbing these puppies. As some might know, I’ve always been debating whether to get these lights or not. Now I say that I am extremely happy with my decision.

Normally these would take 10 minutes to install, But because I am so difficult it took me a little longer. Reason for this is because I have my rear reflectors tapped into the tail light harness. Me, Being a smarty pants figured that I could use the series I loom on the new tail lights, But the bulb holders are of different shape, So that was a no go.  Anyway I tapped the new loom, Soldered the wires and plugged it all up, It really is amazing what a small change can do.

So now I have my standard tail lights for sale, Which are in immaculate condition mind you, There isn’t a scratch on them! I’m looking for $180 for these and will ship anywhere in Australia. Tomorrow I will be picking up my engine and ringing around to see if I can find a 6 speed and a Greddy oil cooler adaptor locally.

Ultimate Design Tail Lights Installed

So today after work I installed those LED tail lights for the missus, Very easy to install and we had no dramas. One thing that I was a little worried about, Was that the USDM 240sx’s had a different wiring layout to the JD/AUDM 200sx’s, But thankfully this isn’t the case. The old lights are now for sale too, If anyone is interested. Some coilovers and Origin wheels are probably the next items on the list for the S14.

Stick around!

Before:

After:


Beatrush PPF Brace


Last week, I ordered a Beatrush PPF brace direct from Laile themself. Three days later, It arrived at my work. Just yesterday I managed to get around to installing it. The quality of the brace is exceptional, good welds and great machining with a solid design. Laile supply spacers too, Just incase your exhaust design hangs low, Or you wish to keep the factory bracing that the NB’s have.

Installation was a little harder then I thought. You need to remove the two PPF bolts and two bolts on the rear subframe. You use the OEM bolts for the PPF, And the bolts Beatrush supply for the subframe. If your doing this on jackstands, Prepare for a very tedious installation, As it’s very awkuard with the lack of room. Make sure you have your factory jack handy too, As you’ll need to raise the diff in order to line the PPF bolts up for reinstall. With the install complete I found the car to be less “gittery” whilst turning, Which is what I wanted as the locker causes alot of movement within the drivetrain. The only problem I had was that the subframe bolts didn’t like up 100%, Which is a shame.

There it is, The finished result for now. It hangs rather low and I don’t really wanna scratch up the PPF brace, So I might cut the OEM bracing in order to raise the PPF brace. Seeing that the bolts don’t line up I might use a smaller bolt & nut combo so they can sit flush with the brace, And not protrude as seen above.’

I’ll need to take the car for a good drive to feel the effect the PPF brace has created.

iConcept Tie Rod Install

So yesterday I installed the iConcept tie rods. I did some research over the web to see what I was getting myself into and then decided to have a crack at it. This tutorial helped me grasp what needed to be done, Be sure to have a look at it too. Anyway I jacked up the car (that’s a mission in itself, I really need to get a slimline jack), And took the shrouding off to get better access to the steering rack. I then took the wire and clamp holding the boot and slid them all to the left. Look what we have here. 


I used a screw driver and rubber mallet to remove the safety lock on the OEM rod (the square thing with bent tabs in the above picture), And then started unscrewing the OEM rod. Now was the perfect time to do a comparison on both the OEM and iConcept tie rod. See below. 


As you can see, The iConcept tie rod is a much more superior piece then the OEM rod. It’s much thicker and allows a longer thread on both ends more adjustablity, And the option to run a spacer to further increase lock. 


I installed the new rods the hard way, I screwed one end into the ball joint (which is bolted to the steering knuckle) and then screwed the other end into the steering rack, It was a pain in the ass this way, As you needed to get the tie rods ball joint aligned perfectly for it to screw into the steering rack. The easy way would be to remove the ball joint which is bolted to the steering knuckle, Screw the tie rod into the steering rack and then refit the ball joint. 

Anyway installation was pretty smooth sailing, I did have one hiccup though … The passenger side rods was slightly threaded at the end, But nothing I couldn’t fix with Mr. Angle grinder. Here’s a snap of the tie rod in its new home. 


Make sure you get a wheel alignment as soon as you can, As the toe will be all over the place and the car will steer like utter shit! So the moment you’ve all been waiting for … How much extra lock do the iConcept tie rods offer, I’ll let the pictures speak for themself. 

OEM Tie Rod 


iConcept Tie Rod

 
The pictures are a little different regarding angles etc, So I apologize for that, But you can still see how much lock is achieved with the iConcept. These tie rods are a great option for the NB guys now that Secret Element do not plan to make any more NB tie rods. You can get these babies from Yahoo Japan, Or contact either Jesse Streeter to source you some.

Just remember, You’ll need to have a lowish offset wheel to be able to utilize the extra lock. Don’t think you can gain extra lock with stock wheels, As you’ll be hitting chassis and suspension components. Just as a rough guide, An 8 inch wheel with +25 offset will just cut it, It might rub from time to time though.

Not much left for me to do before the next event. I might change the oil and fit that camera mount tomorrow. Stay tuned!

FM Butterfly Brace Install

Today I headed off to Dahtone Racing, to get the Flyin Miata butterfly brace installed. All went rather smoothly until we got to the centre section of the butterfly. The exhaust is too far to the left, So I’ll need to hit up Adan to adjust the exhaust … again. Regardless, the frame rails alone made a dramatic difference to the NB’s rigity, Reducing the infamous scuttle shake.

Wild Weekend Pt.2

There was something else i was eyeing out too. I’ve been meaning to get myself a rear sway bar for some time, and one popped up on the MX5-Cartalk.com forum. A whiteline 16mm adjustable rear sway bar, Perfect!

I got around to installing that on the Sunday.

And a comparison photo from standard to the whiteline.

Installation was pretty simple, undo the four bolts that tie the swaybar to the chasiss, and the one bolt on each endlink.
 
However, you will notice that trying to get the standard endlink onto the upgraded sway bar will prove to be a big challenge. It is certainly doable though, just be patient.

I will be sure to report the outcome of a thicker swaybar on the MX5, as soon as i can drive it!

Nopro Washer Bottle Install

My Nopro washer bottle finally arrived today, and i wasted no time on installing it.

Opening the Australia post satchel reveled the kit.

Unless you can read Japanese, the instructions supplied with the Nopro washer bottle kit are pretty useless.

The quality from Nopro is second to none, it could pass for being OEM. With the Nopro washer bottle kit, the only thing you need from your factory setup is the water pump, it’s quite easy to remove with a little bit of force.

The Nopro kit includes a new seal for the water pump, there is a bit of variation between seals, so its best using the one supplied, And again, not too hard to install the water pump into the Nopro bottle.


Right now that the bottle is ready to install, you now need to have a quick look in the engine bay for the mounting location. In the picture below you will notice the red circles, the left circle originally had a rubber grommet inserted in it. The right circle has a threaded hole that is perfect for the bolts supplied with the kit.

Once you have located the mounting points its time to install the washer bottle.


Now that the washer bottle is installed its time to do the wiring. Look for the plug you pulled out of the pump.  The wires supplied with the kit are to make an extension to the relocated pump.

There are two plugs and four terminals supplied with the kit, expose the wire, crimp the terminals and insert them through the plug. Be sure to check the wiring colours before commencing.

Reroute your water lines and the washer bottle install is now complete!