Sharka

half of you phaggots have miatas. i want to see the other half. trollolol
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:34

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Before the plastic surgery.



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The official "This isn't a knockoff" symbol...



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Sharka's new ass! The install went great. No problems. I've got about 20 photos to add text around, then I'll post it on my blog and link back in a few places.

Hmmm. What's that badge below the keyhole?



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Prime knows Vintage.

This is a modified Mazda RX-2 wing badge imported from Australia. I scoured ebay for about 2 weeks looking for just the right badge. The problem with old Mazda text-only badges is that they all mounted centered on the trunk lids. That placement meant they were mostly huge. 8" wide and bigger. Finding a small one to fit on the GV panel's small space available was hard.


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Chrome dipped metallic awesome.


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Resist the urge to smack it.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:34

FM shock spacers

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I used two little teflon isolators for each shock because I couldn't decide what side of the spacer to put them on. Since I had spares, I used them.


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My hands are getting the parts dirty.


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Spaced down.


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My new ride height is 11.75" F / 12.25" R. About a half inch higher than I was before.


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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:34

Tiny update for this post. Pix of me driving Sharka at the track! I don't get out all that often and it's even more rare that there are guys with cameras, so I'm pretty happy to be able to see and share these pix.


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It was a non-timed "low speed" event. Basically Cars and Coffee at a track. Hence, there's a guy without a helmet in the S2k.


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And a bonus pic: a driver close up. I must buy a new helmet very very soon...
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:35

I got a new steering wheel.

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M2-1001 from PhatMiata's House of Rare Parts.


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Doesn't look 20 years old, does it?


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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:35

I have a few small interior parts to update this thread with. Nothing earth shattering, but I'm pretty proud of them.

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Sazaire Factory gift set.


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The key area was in bad need of something shiny.


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The odometer button matches the KG Works cluster perfectly. I felt the need to add a little red arrow to the image.


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The Sazaire gift set is quite nice. The ignition cover is DAMN shiny and beautiful. The odometer button matches my stuff nicely and doesn't seem out of place due to being somewhat short (a common complaint). And the little key cover is brilliant at the back of the console. But... it's a very small change. So I held off updating my thread till I had a bit more content.


And this is it.

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Take 1 neutered window switch...


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Add a metal plate cut juuuuust right.


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Measure carefully.


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Drill!


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Wire.....


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And finish with some switches and a sticker!


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[url="http://landwomble.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/custom-retro-electric-window-switches/"]Landwomble[/url] kindly helped me source the parts I needed to make a window switch to match his. So I spent the past weekend doing just that. Cutting, machining, wiring, and making that damn sticker. That sticker took me hours to get just right. My machine cutter helped, but it was still damn difficult.


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I've got a few more pix and a shit ton of text on my[url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/01/custom-retro-electric-window-switches/"]Retro Window Switch blog post[/url]. Go check it out if you want to see more.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:36

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I got something good in the mail. A Cappuccino washer bottle.



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Stock washer pump fits perfectly.


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this bolt in the firewall (use the brake booster as a landmark)


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and this hole in the corner are all you need to mount it.


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Hardware used. For details [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/02/nopro-washer-bottle/"]go to my blog[/url].


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Lots more pix and information on the associated blog post. [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/02/nopro-washer-bottle/"]Suzuki Cappuccino (Nopro) Washer Fluid Bottle - revlimiter.net[/url]
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/16/13 @ 14:36

more pages later... whew.
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mk2tmr2
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Re: Sharka

postby mk2tmr2 » 10/16/13 @ 14:41

It's making me smile to re-re-re-re-re-read all this stuff :)
I used to have a Miata. Before that, I had a Miata.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:26

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I did a tie rod end swap this past weekend. I went for the 93LE parts to help with bump steer. It didn't really bother me, but I thought I'd do something to address it and make Sharka a little nicer around town. And damn. Those rod ends are great! I didn't realize how much bump steer there was till it was gone. Or at least till it was a bit less.




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A pickle fork. I just love saying it. Pickle fork. Pickle fork. Pickle fork.



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The pickle fork in action.


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Rod end removed without destroying the boot.


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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:26

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Works Bell Rapfix QRSII - sorry for the lack of toy helpers.


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Hub-side


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Wheel-side

Not bad, eh? I scrutinized every quick release on the market for like a year. I finally chose this one. I liked the thickness (or lack thereof), the all-metal construction, and the idea that maybe not every thief might have a Works Bell wheel in their trunk.


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Connect 1 wire...


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Align the QRS like so. And then bolt it on.


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The install is half over already!


Notice the marking at the top of the QRS. That hollow triangle is the 12 o’clock mark for when the wheel is released, or “OPEN.” You line the bolt hole directly below that mark up with the top bolt hole on your hub. The V made by the five wiring connections should be pointed down.

Seriously. This is dirt simple. Maybe other hubs make this whole process much harder? Or other quick releases require wiring? It's a half hour job. And that's including the 20 minutes to take photos.


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The bolts must NOT poke through the wheel side.


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Bolt on the wheel.


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Line up the wheel and hub.


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Rotate the lock arm. Done!


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The turn signal is still easy to hit.


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Daikei + Works Bell = matching textures


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Total hub depth.


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One inch thin.


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Obligatory wheel-off shot.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:27

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I needed a head gasket. It seemed logical to get all of this other stuff too. Yay, Mazdacomp!


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ARP studs from 949 Racing.


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Also a spiffy 1-piece clutch hose from 949 to fix the FM one that burst.


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And this stuff too. I hear cars use them every so often.


I put some parts numbers of this stuff [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/04/head-gasket-time/"]on my blog[/url] for those who might need them.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:27

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So, I got Sharka's head off and was greeted by these crusty, yucky pistons. We can't have that, meow can we?


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#3 on the left and #2 on the right.


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#1 and #4. Notice how #1 is rather shiny? That's because the coolant leak was there. After I scraped the block, I found a thin oxidation trail leading away from a coolant port on the exhaust side.


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The magic liquid is Mopar Combustion Chamber Cleaner. (MCCC) It is super, super aggressive.


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This is after exactly 10 minutes. Zero scraping. Just a paper towel to soak up the MCCC.


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After 2 more soaks of about 20 minutes each.


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#3 and #2. These are the same pistons.


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#4 is happy.


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#1 practically looks forged.


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Obvious product photo.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:28

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Since I had the head off, I took the opportunity to help it flow a little better.


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The exhaust, pre-porting...


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Exhaust ported! By me!

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I took the head to a local Spec Miata shop. Because really, I have no clue how to do this sort of thing. I'd create a paperweight out of the thing at record speed. I was shown how to do it and given the die grinder. It was great.


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Ported intake. No re-engineering was done. Everything was just smoothed out in the right places to help it breathe a bit better.


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Decked. Valves lapped. No reworking of the bowl.

Nothing huge, but I'm happy with the work done. Every little bit helps, right?
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:28

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Coolant reroute parts!!! Ninja help optional.

This is the first half of my coolant reroute project. Nothing earth shattering. Just the same thing a lot of guys over at MT are doing. BEGI spacer, Kia water neck, and a really long pre-formed hose for some sort of truck.


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The front blockoff plate and adhesive gaskets from Napa. I decided to do the plate and leave the OEM front neck in place. There have been some freeze plug failures that sorta freak me out and keeping the neck means I don't have to move my turbo water lines.


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The 97 Kia Sephia water neck.


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Napa 101 thermostat (180*). It has been pre-boiled to make sure it works before I stick it in the back of the head.


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The big daddy. The BEGI spacer. I've got it filled full of sensors and plugs. I actually shot this after test fitting everything.


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This spiffy VDO sensor will power my extra gauge. And it juuuuust fits below the coil pack.


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Lots of threads sticking out. I need to stop by the bolt shop and get some slightly shorter ones.


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How everything fits on the back of the head. SO pleased to be able to fit things and measure clearances without having to use a hand mirror.


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Not much clearance for that one bung. I guess the 1600s without the oil cooler don't have this problem.


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I'm quite pleased and impressed with this VDO sensor. It fits in this tiny space. Also, notice the minor mod to the coil pack mount?


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A couple quick slices with the dremel and you can just slide the coil pack over that damn little bottom bolt. It's tight, but it actually works.


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This stays permanently mounted on the head. (credit goes to MT for this idea)

I typed a shit ton of stuff about all of these parts [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/05/coolant-re-route-1/"]on my blog[/url]. Go check it out if you're curious. And huge HUGE thanks to the entire MiataTurbo forum. Without all of the excellent coolant re-route information posted there, I'd... well, I wouldn't be doing a reroute.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:29

For complete info and meandering commentary, visit my [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/06/coolant-re-route-2/"]coolant reroute blog post.[/url]


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This huge hose is what got me started on the reroute idea in the first place. It's Autozone part number XL-1215. I have MiataTurbo to thank for this excellent hose.


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Spacer, gaskets, and Kia water neck all installed on the back of the head. There's juuuust enough room.


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The big hose has just enough room to slide over the neck and clear that bung.


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It routes nicely around the intake manifold. And there's plenty of room to bolt the IM back on with the hose installed.


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This is what's so great about the hose for MOST Miatas. It routes right to the radiator inlet.


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But I have an FM2 with a 94-97 throttle body. The intercooler up pipe wants to live in the exact same spot. No problem right? Just route the coolant to the other side...


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The idle air bypass doesn't like this. I don't like it either.


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Sooooo........... I got this nice M pipe. MiataTurbo was again the place where I learned about this hose's existence.


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Just slice off a V from the M to turn it into a Z.


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And cut the big hose in the right spot...


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Then I used this stock pipe (it goes on the exhaust side) to make a coupler. One side has a flare. The other side has badly cut grooves.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:29

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Easy!


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Clearance on the front. It doesn't look like much, but it is enough.


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Throttle body clearance.


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Sharka's new sticker book.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:29

The next few updates will be a little anti-climactic since I've got Sharka running. But I've got pix and stuff, so I'm posting anyway.

On the first try, Sharka didn't fire. Just a nice chug chug chug.... pop pop! chug chug chug... No starting, just some great backfiring out the intake and an awesome gas smell. Ew. After that initial disappointment of "oh man, it didn't work." I reasoned out the problem.


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I cracked open the valve cover and saw this. This is bad. The cam lobes shouldn't be sort of pointed at each other like this. The front ones should be pretty much like: << --- >>


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See, the Miata shop that helped me port the head did the valve seals and cam oil seals. I never even checked the actual cam timing. I just did the normal cam gear timing like always.


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Removing the bolts showed this. The little dowels should point up.


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A zip tie to keep the cam gears timed and a big wrench to rotate the cams. That's all. 5 minutes.


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ta-da! Sharka fired on the first crank after getting things correctly timed.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:30

I've got some pix from [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/06/miata-arp-head-studs/"]a post dealing with ARP head studs[/url]. I thought I'd include them here.


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The ARP head stud box and enough lube to do several sets.


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Chasing the threads. I don't know why I don't read about this more. Seems most threads I found on the topic had people not following ARP's directions in cleaning the threads.


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Yuck. Also, that's M11x1.5.


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Compressed air to blow out any leftovers. And tape over the holes to keep it from getting in the oil & coolant.


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ARP goop on the threads.


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Finger tight.


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A fine line of studs. Notice the fronts?


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The fronts do indeed stand taller than the rest. That's fine. It's supposed to be that way.


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Head gasket installed. Correctly!


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ARP washers on top. Stock on bottom.


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Showing the OD difference. The stock washers are wider. I used those to spread the force out.


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Head installed. Sorry for the lack of photos showing me and Ben dropping the head in place.


Lastly, do NOT phollow the ARP 80 ft/lb torque spec. [url="http://www.miataturbo.net/showthread.php?t=54746"]Read this[/url] and don't crush your head. I followed the stock 54-60 ft/lb torque spec.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:30

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I've had this sad thing in the rafters of my garage for like 6 years. Ages. I remember who I got it from, but no circumstances surrounding it. It's not an OEM top and it looks to have sat in the sun top down for all its life. And there's a ton of shit and cobwebs on it from my gentle storage methods.


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Uh oh.


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Moments later....


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Free! I got out a grinding stone to clean up any rough spots.


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Laying the front bow on... something?


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Bikini goodness! G-String that is.


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The center brace. I cleaned it up a bit more. This was a test fit shot.


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Fit in the handle.


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I can't get over how clever this is. Replacing the boot clasps with long bolts and then running the hidden straps to them? Brilliant!


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Hidden strap.


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Rear strap.


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Forgive the wrinkles. This was just a first fit. I also didn't even notice them when I was shooting.


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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:31

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2.5 lbs of Halon and Brey-Krause mounting bracket.

This replaces a 2.5 lb dry chemical extinguisher I had mounted in the trunk. It's been back there since I bought the 95. It was never horrible having the bottle in the trunk, but could I have really reached it if I needed it? Who can say. Fortunately, I never had to find out.


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The AMEREX halon bottle from OG Racing. I decided to stay with the 2 strap bracket that ships with the bottle rather than going to a single pin quick release. The bottle still comes free very quickly, and I can add a QR later if I want.


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"Me Grimlock like green label!"


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"Me Grimlock munch metal!"


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This is the Miata-specific extinguisher mount. I didn't think to measure the area around the hole on the rail they use. My Elise seat bracket interferes slightly.


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The die grinder made quick work of it. My cuts were good, but the sun makes it look like I fucked up on the right side there.


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And it fits!


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Installed! The fit is really good. I was worried the mount would protrude away from the seat too much since the Lotus seats have a slightly more shallow seat pan than the stock Miata seats.


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And most importantly, I can get to the bottle quickly from the driver's side. That was the whole point of this upgrade.

This isn't as baller an extinguisher install as a few cars on CR, but it will do the job well and looks nicely vintage while doing it. And maybe a plain ol' red bottle won't be as attractive to thieves as a nicer aluminum one.
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:31

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What's this?


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revlimiter Gauges - Version Rossa

I made myself some new gauge faces. Been working on them for months in between gauge commissions. My old ones had been in for over a year and I was getting tired of them. I wanted something a little more vintage.

These are inspired by the Jaeger gauges worn by a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.

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And at night...

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And as always, if you want a lot of my own personal brand of lame ramblings, I've got [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/08/2011-gauges-version-rossa/"]a whole blog post[/url] for these gauges.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:32

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I got a new dash. Well, new to me. It's 20 years old and in need of some love.


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yuck.


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before...


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After!

I decided to restore this dash from the back side working in. The first pieces were the ducting tubes. They ended up quite supple and clean. They started out a bit less.


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Not bad. Not great, but not horrible.


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And then I got the frame out. It looked much better in the car.

I realized I wouldn't be able to just hit a few small spots with a wire wheel and call it good. It needed a lot of help. So I ordered some stuff on the internet and cleaned/restored the back side while I waited.


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The back side came up nice.


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The only broken bits were these two tabs. They were broken before I started working on the dash and had probably been so for years. I figured a little Plastic Welder would fix it right up.


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Done! More on this later.


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This is what I got to take care of my rust problem. POR15. It's a 3 step process.


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Step 1: Clean and degrease.


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Step 2: Metal prep. This leaves a coating of zinc oxide.


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(the previously mentioned zinc oxide)
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:32

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Step 3: Paint on the POR15. It stands for Paint Over Rust.


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Done. The tiny can had enough for 3 coats of the whole frame. What you get after is like a hard candy shell. It's really impressive stuff.


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Frame installed. Looks awfully nice.


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A brand new gauge hood from Mazdacomp.


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And a brand new double-DIN tombstone from Japan. Overnighted of course.


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Restoration done. I was SO pleased with myself.

and then....


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CRACK.

The dash cracked right before my eyes. I rubbed my hands over the crack and could feel a high spot where the dash was being pushed up from underneath. The small bit of stress caused a crack. I flipped the dash forward and saw that the source of the stress was that Plastic Welded stud that I repaired earlier. My guess is that the whole dash had sagged a bit over the years due to those plastic tabs not being connected. meow that they were repaired, I created a stress area.

So... meow I get to repair the crack. And I'll probably create a couple more during the repair.

Oh well. I've got a whole hide of black leather in the mail to me at this very moment. I always wanted a leather-covered dashboard.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:33

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I had to take a break from the dash repair. I think you'll agree that my reasons were good.

NAKAMAE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Gorgeous stitch work.


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It attaches with velcro. I never knew.


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Mine had this one tiny problem. A little bite mark from the original owner's seat. It's right at the bottom of the passenger side (for LHD cars). Not in an area I'd ever see.


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I didn't let the fact that I'd never see the little tear stop me from repairing it.


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Cloth backing


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Filler glue


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Patch goo. I was worried at this point.


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Apply heat and the grain pattern. The little stick gets heated by an iron.

and....


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Fixed. A little of the repair goo got into the seam. Considering how nice the patch looks, I'm not too unhappy about it. The repair is great. It even feels like the surrounding vinyl.


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Nakamae squares compared to my diamond door panels. I wish the Nakamae stuff was diamonds, but they match pretty well. Even the finish of vinyl is similar.


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I’m very happy with Sharka’s interior. After I get that early dashboard restored and installed, I think it’ll be… (I can’t bring myself to type the d-o-n-e word.)
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:33

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My vinyl install tools. The tape measure managed to not be in this shot. And notice the hypodermic needle? That's the best tool ever for popping bubbles.


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Bottom edge marked


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Measuring out each stripe.


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First stripe done.


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2nd stripe. Notice the lack of contact paper? I hate the stuff. I'd rather measure manually.


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Heat gun: activate!


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Contact paper trimmed down to the absolute minimum.


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Before


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After! And a couple hours later, the contact paper came off.


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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:34

Sharka got something new.

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I'm so happy with this! No more little pictograms. No more orange text. No more Stig. The Stig was cute at the beginning, but I got tired of him kinda quick. This seems much more in keeping with the rest of Sharka's interior.


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This is how it looks without the AWD metal overlay. I... kinda like it more like this. I'm on the fence. It just looks so retro all in black.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:35

I got a couple things in the mail...

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Redline Goods shift boot and LOOSE-FIT brake boot

As far as I know, I'm the first guy to photograph the brake boot. I bought it sight-unseen in hopes that it would be nice enough to replace my 11 year old PBC brake boot with.

And it is.

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Old PBC boot - very hard and starting to crack


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Redline shift boot. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!


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Old PBC loose-fit brake boot. Which I always thought looked pretty good.


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Redline loose-fit brake boot. Blows my old one out of the water.


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I put up a full review [url="http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/11/redline-miata-shift-brake-boots/"]on my blog[/url]. A few more pix and a lot more of my own commentary. This is the cliff notes version in here.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:35

So... where were we? Oh yeah, a cracked dashboard.

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My fault.


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Out came the brake fluid to strip the plastic treatment off.


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The crack went all the way through. Bummer. I roughed up the dash with some 220 and wiped it clean.


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Coroplast patches from a big sheet I adopted last election day. I decided to use this lightweight stuff
rather than the heavy black ABS sheet that the coroplast is sitting on.


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Plastic welded into place.


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Stress relief holes drilled.


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Vee'd.


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Filled with plastic welder.


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Sanded flat.


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None of those little spars broke in 20 years.


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And then I came along with my dremel.


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A whole hide of black leather. The dash and a gallon of contact cement are present for scale.


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Rough shape traced out with lots of extra.


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Checking the trace a final time before cutting.


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Rough cut. Beep approves.


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Excess cut off. Beep is skilled with those shears.
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:39

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Outside for glue. I decided on my back yard rather than the garage. The more open air the better.


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The first layer painted on. I did the whole center at once. The small details around the edges were done
more carefully and slowly.


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Leather!


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Ready to be sliced open.


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Defroster vent covers. Metal mesh ala the M2-1006. This used to be a Target trash can.


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Formed to the vents.


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Epoxied in place.


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Flat against the dash. The defroster tube still bolts up just fine.


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Finished!


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Like a glove.


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Defroster vents.


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More defroster vents.


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Side defrosters. These were impossible to install. I used leather that's way too thick for the little clips
on the defroster covers. I sanded and wrenched and glued. Nothing held them down. Finally, I decided
on the little bolts. They match other stuff in Sharka's interior and don't look too horrible.


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This is what I did with the sides. I just sliced off the leather at a nice angle and called it good. I thought
the leather on the sides might invite squeaks between the dash and door panels. And you never see it
anyway. So... sliced off. It's just a leather dash TOP.


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Finished? But the crash pad seems to be missing...
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:41

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What the heck could these things be? Maybe some of my robot army can help...


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"Me Grimlock think it stink pretty."


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"This heavy! Me Grimlock strong, but this heavy."


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"Perfect fit. Me Grimlock am perfectionist."


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"Okay, that all for meow. Me Grimlock say bye bye. BYE BYE!"
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:42

Small update. Got a new battery.

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For both of my Roadsters.

The battery in my 2001 has been getting weaker and weaker. I've been nursing it along with a trickle charger. The other weekend, I forgot to put it on, and the battery died completely. 11 years is pretty good.

Sharka's battery went all at once. Suddenly, it was just dead and wouldn't be recharged by the alt. So... battery time. I just wanted some stock replacement batteries. A little research revealed that O'Reilly's had something awesome.

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It's a gel cell OEM replacement. The part number is MIATA.


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Mazda vs O'Reilly


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WTF? Iron Man is not pleased.

This is the battery that came out of Sharka. It was in there since I bought the 95 chassis a few years ago. I never really inspected it. Just saw that it said Mazda and assumed it was good.

but...

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Not good.

It's a standard flooded cell battery. Acid. It requires maintenance. It can explode. And it bears the Mazda name. I was totally fucking flabbergasted. I had no idea there was ever a Mazda wet cell battery. Somehow I missed this bit of trivia.

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Gel cell. Maintenance free. WOOT!

This is much better. This is what came in Sharka back in 1995 and what I pulled out of Bucky's trunk just this past week. AGM. Sealed. Won't explode.

And check out the spiffy little protrusions on the top. They're little braces for the stock battery tie-down to touch. I was far too impressed by this.

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So. Sharka has a battery again. And a new alternator that I didn't take any pix of.
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:42

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FM's badass fan kit and my little Koyo.


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Nude radiator


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This nicely bent piece of metal is the backbone of the FM airflow kit. It’s the fan shroud. It holds the fans a nice distance away from the radiator to try to get air flowing through it as efficiently as possible.

Anyone can add big fans to a radiator. Anyone. But maximizing their efficiency with a nicely machined shroud that fits on multiple aftermarket radiators? That’s not easy. But FM seems to have done it.

Fitment was spot on. Every little slot lined up with every mounting boss on the Koyo. I’m very impressed with how well these two unrelated aftermarket parts fit together.


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Weatherstripping installed

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Fan shroud bolted in place

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FM includes enough of these small spacer bushings to put two per boss. However, my Koyo has really long fan mounting bosses, so I only needed one to space the shroud at the recommended distance.

Did I mention I was really impressed with how well this stuff fit? Cooling parts NEVER fit this well. Ever!

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I could write a paragraph right here about how much I love my double-jaw ratcheting crimp tool and the perfect crimps it makes every time. I could go on about how much more secure they are than solders, especially with a nice heat-shrink splice connector like I used here. But I don’t really need to do that. It’s evident from the photo above. =)

Splicing the OEM fan connectors on was very easy. Just match up the black wires on the Spal to the black wires on the OEM connectors. The colored wires connect to each other. Not much can be easier than that. Still, I made sure the fans spun in the correct direction before closing the hood and calling it done.

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FM’s installation tip sheet mentioned taping up the edges of the fan shroud to maximize their efficiency. Sounded like a good idea to me and I had a huge roll of nice tape in the garage with me, so I sealed everything up.

Annnnd… the first time the radiator heated up, the tape came free on every edge. So I ripped it off and threw it away. Bummer, huh? I might try to re-seal it again in the future, but I’m quite happy with just the weatherstripping for meow.

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There’s a ton of room there. I think there may actually be more room with FM’s badass fan kit than there was with the stock fans. There’s CERTAINLY more room for my blowoff valve to live in. Before, it was kinda tucked into the supports of the air conditioning fan. meow, it has a bit of room all around.

But how the heck do the fans work?!?!

I’ve not had them in long enough to give a decent report. They’ve driven all of 50 miles. In the winter! That’s not much of a test. I’ll gather some data and post a short phollow up in a couple months. So far, I’m really impressed. But I want some data!

I’ll report back.
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:43

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T-bolt hose clamps! They're not just for boost.

Overkill? Maybe. But I’ve had a devil of a time getting my stupid lower silicon radiator hose to seal on the motor. The constant-pressure worm-gear clamp I was using just didn’t cut it. So I bought a bunch of these snazzy t-bolt clamps to get every hose in my cooling system sealed as perfectly as possible.

Yeah. I shopped at Jegs. What of it?

The Miata cooling system uses 1.25″ ID hoses. So, you want the hose clamp in the middle. The 1.5″ hose clamp on the left is too small (even though Jegs recommended this one for 1.25″ systems). The 1.75″ hose clamp on the right is way too big. The 1.625″? Perfect. I needed 6 of them.

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In-line Drain Kit with 1/4 NPT plug.

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Which would you rather have?

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Fits an OEM hose perfectly.

You might remember how I spliced two long hoses together back when I put together my coolant reroute. I hacked up a pipe and crudely machined a few grooves in it. It did not leak for most of the summer. No lie. Then, something gave way, and a slow drip started from that connection in the fall. Not much. Maybe a teaspoon of coolant was lost every week. But it was enough to bother me.

So, I upgraded.

That fine black piece of machined aluminum is meant to be an in-line hose drain. It comes with that little brass petcock installed. I unscrewed it and measured the threads. 1/4 NPT. I then ordered a nice black plug to go in that hole (along with the rest of the t-bolt hose clamps I needed) to delete the drain. I really just wanted this piece to serve as a nice coupler between my two coldside reroute hoses.

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Pesky lower radiator hose clamped.


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Awesome t-bolt clamps everywhere. Ninja approved!

Isn’t that coupler so much nicer than my old piece of pipe? I’m very happy with it. And I can report that it holds pressure perfectly. It has about 50 miles of use on it at the time of this writing.

The only hose clamp I didn’t replace with a t-bolt is on the back of the engine under the coil pack. That one isn’t leaking as of this moment. I’m sure since I’ve shored up every other connection, it will be the next to weaken. But I’m hoping for the best.

(Yeah. I know. I’ll be cursing at it next weekend for sure.)

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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:44

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SSR Star Sharks. My favorite wheel of all time. And they’re in my garage.

I’ll have a full post soon. I had hoped to make it today. But my new wheels decided they really REALLY liked my fenders and wanted to get to know them a bit better. I need to do a little work on those fenders before I can drive more than 5 feet. Gonna beat them with a hammer. :) I've also got a Parts Shop Max fender roller on the way to me in case I need to pull the fenders a bit.
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:44

No more gold nutz.

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I'm a lot happier with this. These are the wheels I've dreamed about for years. And if I wanna go back to gold nuts, it's just a few minutes work.
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/17/13 @ 12:45

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A wild pair of boxes appear.


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For real.


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SSR Star Sharks. Direct from California.


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They really look like this. The faded gold color is true to life. It's amazing to behold in person.


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30 year old stickers.


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SSR.


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Fronts


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Rears


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That's right.


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SPEED STAR!


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SSR wheel bolts too.


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And some 54.1 to 60mm hubcentric rings.


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My life is complete.
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andy
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Re: Sharka

postby andy » 10/17/13 @ 13:30

I like this thread a lot. You are a large inspiration on what I would like to do to my car.
atxsbigwalt
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Re: Sharka

postby atxsbigwalt » 10/25/13 @ 00:35

I'm glad I finally got to read the whole build process. The other thread had way too many posts to phollow. And, dang, I had no idea you had a boosted 99 motor. What #s are you putting down??

Out of all the cool parts you have I think I like the dash the best, the attention to detail makes it look so good.
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The Platypus
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Re: Sharka

postby The Platypus » 10/25/13 @ 02:19

Glad I popped back in here. Haven't checked in to your build thread in a while. Was thinking of doing something similar to a 1.6 dash I acquired, you did it perfectly.
Brandon

Flickr | Blog | Instagram - @bcgarage
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revlimiter
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Re: Sharka

postby revlimiter » 10/25/13 @ 12:56

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New rubber!

I ordered some Dunlop Star Specs to replace the Federal crappies that came on the Sharks. With the Federals, I could break the tires loose in 2nd gear. Fun but sorta scary at the same time. These are the 185/60s.

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Star Shark on scales...

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One 14x7-6 SSR Star Shark weighs 12 lbs. The 14x6.5 apparently weighed 11 lbs. I didn't get a shot of that because I Was across the shop bullshitting at the time.

Considering the sheer amount of material in the Shark, 12 lbs is an amazing weight. There's not much void space in the wheel face. I'm extremely pleased. This gives me a combo weight of 29 lbs up front and 30 lbs in the back, verified by my bathroom scale with me holding a wheel.

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Front fitment


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Rear fitment.
These were shot immediately after I mounted the tires and lowered the jack. There's about a half inch more fender gap than normal.


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Then I started this insanity again. I painted another set of tires.

This is the Icelandic tire paint that has tons of google hits referencing. It's made to stay flexible and not crack. And, I can report that it has not cracked at all. Very pleased with that. However, you have to paint 3 coats and let 24 hours pass between coats. So, every evening for three nights, I painted tires in my living room. lol

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I love the look of white tire letters. They break up the space nicely and take a lot of visual weight away from the otherwise balloon-y tire. And they just work so perfectly with the Sharks.

Sharka Star Shark Star Specs!

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