21 Apr 2013

Been busy. A test drive confirmed that the cooling issue has been solved once and for all. The engine now warms up quickly and then stays right at 82-83 deg C. Nice… and the cooling fan now does its thing as well.

The header was wrapped, for better or for worse. The turbo can use the heat and the engine compartment can do without it, so it’s a fair trade. We’ll see how the 321 stainless holds up.

A thicker and far more pliant Remflex exhaust manifold gasket replaced the stock part. There were leak marks on the stock gasket so the upgrade was a good idea.

The big brake parts arrived and they sure are… big! Even though they’re 38% larger (11.75″ versus 10″) they’re lighter than the stock parts. Got them nearly installed but forgot the -3 AN hose adaptors and new master cylinders. A spreadsheet program was used to calculate the new brake master cylinder sizes and it really underscored the advantage of the rear weight bias and larger rear tires: at 1 G, all four brakes are doing the same amount of work, and for this reason the same vented rotor is used at all four corners.

Lastly is the issue of the rear uprights and how the stock Miata rubber bushings are shifting, allowing the A-arms to directly contact the upright – not good. In the interest of time, a spherical bearing solution was ordered, though I have mixed feelings about them having to be welded in. We’ll see how that goes or whether an alternate approach is needed. OTOH, how long should a large spherical bearing last in that application… probably forever. Hopefully by next weekend the car will be ready for more outings.

Oh, and be sure to start visiting the┬áMidlana forum at http://www.midlana.com/forum/; as things shift from construction to driving and getting the book out, I’m starting to be more active on there.