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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Unrelated to the engine swap I've been considering the JASS Performance hardtop brackets (Front, Side and Rear) as my hard top never comes off, I might be a girl but I've never liked convertibles with the top down... It just ruins my hair 馃槀. Also the both front catches on mine seem to be shot and don't stay latched, I had both come undone once whilst on a spirited drive, Thankfully the side catches held on long enough for me to realise and find somewhere to pull over. So has anyone used the JASS Performance brackets? and if so any thoughts on them?

I kinda wanna get an idea of if its worth it the money as a full set is just over 拢110 with delivery from autolink or about 拢95 direct from JASS
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
well I threw the diff back in the car this evening which is a crappy job as it weighs a tonne but it all went smoothly so no dramas. With the diff in for hopefully the last time I started on making the mock up axle. The MX5 axle is 24mm in diameter and the Audi axle is 32mm in diameter but has a 26mm bore so I was able to slide one inside the other. To get the axles to center properly I plasma cut 4 pieces of steel that had a step in them to align and centre the 2 axle halves. So I threw the car on the ground set the inner joint so that it was about in the centre of its travel and then chucked a couple of tac welds on it. I unbolted the inner joint but guess what the outer joint had seized in place so I had to use the axle pusher plate thing that I made before



With the axle out of the hub I blasted it with the MIG welder and then once it had cooled down I pulled the axle apart to get measurements so I can get a quote and to get it ready to ship it off when I need to.



I was originally concerned that the axle would be substantially weaker at the MX5 CV joint due to its diameter but the Audi inner CV is only slightly larger in diameter so it shouldn't be a problem. Anyway with the axles sorted and out of the way I decided to finish the mounting the top radiator mounts.:



They're not the prettiest radiator mounts I've ever made but they do the job and the radiator is firmly held in place so that another job done. Annoyingly the mounts now clash on the underside of the bonnet so I'll have to remove some metal from the underside of the bonnet to get it fit and close nicely. Oh well gives me an excuse to add some lightness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
who are you looking at for shafts?

Rich.
Well I'm waiting on a quote back from an engineering firm I emailed but I've also looked at Berrisford, Prorace-Engineering and Branden Engineering.

so far I think the cheapest quote I've had is about 拢205 per axle (excluding CV joints) which isn't too bad
 

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Well I'm waiting on a quote back from an engineering firm I emailed but I've also looked at Berrisford, Prorace-Engineering and Branden Engineering.

so far I think the cheapest quote I've had is about 拢205 per axle (excluding CV joints) which isn't too bad
I know of a company just this side of the bridge that used to be called SZ Gears (recently bought out by Gilbert eng.) as my mrs's stepdad works there...


possibly worth a call?

Rich.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Random brain dump shit post:

So when I started this project I was slightly concerned about the new engine being about 25KG (155KG) as well as the gearbox being slightly heavier. Then recently I stumbled across the weight of an LS3 full aluminium engine... 183KG! I was shocked as I was always under the impression that it was a "light" engine and near enough the same weight as the 1.8L MX5 engine (even the lightest of the LS engines is still 160KG). Well as you can imagine I am a little less concerned knowing that although the M52 being a longer engine and some of the weight being further forward will have some effect on handling. I won't really know for sure until I get chance to take it on track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Well enough shit posting, I did actually manage to get some progress on the car this evening. My custom clutch line and the stupidly overpriced circlip arrived today so first up I threw them in the car



So the line connects into the back of the clutch master in the footwell then runs over the trans tunnel and through a grommet on the passenger side



The line is the perfect length and fits nicely, I may twist the line slightly so that it sits nicer but other than that its all good. Last thing to do on the clutch is find a reservoir and run a line to the master. After that I figured I'd go back to the radiator and finish up the cooling system. Normally on an E46 the coolant reservoir bolt to the radiator and has a bunch of connectors on the bottom for various coolant channels (Tee off the top rad hose, heater matrix return, block return, etc) the problem is that it won't fit and its plastic so I can't modify it. The M3's have a different setup with a separate coolant reservoir so I figured I'd do something similar.

I've had a random piece of 90mm aluminium tube for about 6 years, no idea why I bought it or what is was supposed to be for so I decided to use it on this project. I ordered a radiator neck and then when it arrived I started fabricating a reservoir. I plasma cut a top plate and welded the water neck into it then tac welded the top to the tube then cut the tube to length



I welded the bottom plate onto it and then welded the brackets onto it



I still need to weld in the fittings for the various in and outs but it looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I've never considered myself much of an aluminum welder as it's not something I do very often but I'm happy with that. So I positioned the reservoir far enough back that I could make it tall enough to make it the highest point in the cooling system to hopefully simplify the coolant bleeding process (BMW make shit cooling systems). I'll probably run the overflow to either the OEM Mazda overflow tank or I'll just leave it disconnected Nissan style

More progress coming soon
 

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Your hybrid driveshafts remind me of a setup I installed on a westfield once in the course of upgrading to an LSD. I had a lobo CV one end and a tripod pot joint on the other end. I mention it because one of the CV joints exploded after about 50 miles. The tripod pot joints were sprung on the end of the driveshaft to keep the joint centralised, but the lobro joints were not. I added a spring to the lobro end and it worked fine after that. It looks to me like your setup may only be sprung on one end.

Apologies if this isn't the case, I was dealing with Ford parts. I'm not familiar with the mazda or beemer parts.

Anyway keep up the great work.

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Your hybrid driveshafts remind me of a setup I installed on a westfield once in the course of upgrading to an LSD. I had a lobo CV one end and a tripod pot joint on the other end. I mention it because one of the CV joints exploded after about 50 miles. The tripod pot joints were sprung on the end of the driveshaft to keep the joint centralised, but the lobro joints were not. I added a spring to the lobro end and it worked fine after that. It looks to me like your setup may only be sprung on one end.

Apologies if this isn't the case, I was dealing with Ford parts. I'm not familiar with the mazda or beemer parts.

Anyway keep up the great work.

Ben
Neither joint is sprung in this case, The inner joint is a free moving AAR tripod (Standard VAG/Audi Part) and the outer is a fixed Rzeppa joint (Standard MX5 joint). The only difference to the standard setup is I think Mazda uses a Cross Grove or Rzeppa plunging inner joint; No real issue as they function the same just Tripods are considered inferior due to few contact points. The Inner joint also has the same amount of plunge as the standard Mazda joint and it is positioned dead centre of its travel at ride height so It shouldn't be an issue (Fingers crossed)

In the long run I am looking into doing some whacky crap to fit OEM rear BMW axles as they will be far easier to replace when something breaks. But that will be at a much later date as it will likely require either custom hubs or custom uprights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
For the past few updates I've been saying that I'll probably continue with the exhaust and I just haven't well I figured it was about time that changed. I spent Friday evening and Saturday finishing up the design of the exhaust and wastegate and then started welding on Sunday.



That right there is 80 welds that need welding, each weld is 239mm long so that is 19.1M of weld that also needs back purging. That also doesn't include welding on the exhaust tip as I haven't decided exactly what I'm going with it yet.



67 welds down and 13 left to go. I decided that 3 hours of solid welding was enough for one evening so hopefully I'll finish off the last bit tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Welding the exhaust took a little longer than I expected as I ran out gas part way through and had to get another bottle or Argon from my local supplier. Anyway that is all done now:



I decided to chuck the tail pipe out the opposite side to what is standard for a couple of reasons:

1. I look to screw with people and it always confuses MX5 people when they notice its on the wrong side (did the same on my MK1)
2. It's a little nod to the BMW as they all come out on this side

I'll probably weld some sort of exhaust tip on it at some point as 3 inch looks kind of small with the super aggressive bumper cut I've got on the car. I'll also change the ultra racing rear brace for a custom one with the a jacking point on it as well.

I've got a couple of days off work coming up so my plane is to get the intercooler piping done, then pull the engine out, weld the oil drain into the sump, paint the bay, finish the manifold welding and then start final assembly.

I've sent off the prop to be shortened and I'll be ordering axles this week so once that is all done that should be all the welding and everything mechanical out of the way. Hopefully in July I can get the ECU ordered and can start wiring. My goal is get the car drivable before the end of July but we will see how that goes. There will be some further bits that will need doing after but they can wait until I've recovered some funds
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
So after 83 welds on exhaust I decided that I hadn't got my fill of welding pie cuts so I did some more. 48 more welds to be exact



Nothing says racecar like pie cut intercooler pipes! So In reality I decided to pie cut the intercooler as it gives me far more flexibility than using an intercooler kit or mandrel bends and a length of 3 inch aluminium pipe is far cheaper than even a cheap ebay spec intercooler pipe kit. The hot/pre intercooler side is nice and short nd I was able to make it a single piece. The cold/Post intercooler side had to be 2 pieces it would not of been possible to fit it without either dropping the engine or removing the alternator which would not have been ideal.

I still need to weld in a port for the Idle control valve but I need to order the fitting so I'll do that when it arrives. I'm not going to run any kind of dump/blow off valve initially, however once I start to wind up the boot I'll chuck one in there somewhere. Next up today is tie up the last bits on the cooling system and then I can pull the engine out to finish any welding in the engine bay and then paint it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
over the past few days I've been slowly working through my list and getting things done. I pulled the engine out of the car, removed the oil sump and welded a return fitting for the turbo oil drain (this was an absolute dick to do, between it being cast aluminium and having 20 years of oil absorbed into it, it didn't want to weld nicely); I'm still not entirely sure how well this drain setup will work but I can always revise it and switch to a scavenge pump later down the line. With that out of the way I painted the engine bay, front subframe, gearbox crossmember, prop bearing mounts and engine mounts. I also finished welding and then wrapped the manifold and installed it onto the engine prior to putting it back in the car as it would be near impossible to do otherwise. I threw a standard clutch and flywheel onto the engine for now as I plan on upgrading this later. I was originally gonna switch to a basic solid flywheel and new OEM rated clutch but it seemed as waste as I'd need to upgrade once I start adding more boost so I opted to run a stock one for now. I also gave it a bit of a clean off as it was covered in dust and crap.



Next up I threw some Aerocatch bonnet pins in as I need a way to hold the bonnet down now that the normal latch is gone. With all of the drilling and grinding done and bay blasted out with compressed air to get rid of any dust I threw the engine in for what I hope is the final time. I also threw the gearbox on and bolted that up with some temporary bolts (I need to order the genuine bolts).



So this week I hope to get most of the final assembly done and to finish off the last little bits on the list:

Fully weld wastegate pipe
Wrap wastegate and downpipe
De-Power steering rack/Weld pinion
Replace outer tie rod ends on steering rack
Wire up engine with BMW harness and modify to work with existing Mazda harness
Change all fluids/Service engine, gearbox and diff
Install ABS sensor in front wheel hub to use for speedo
Wire up SGI-100BT to correct tacho signal and generate speedo signal for OEM gauge cluster

I've sent off the prop to be shortened already so that should be back in the next 1-2weeks and I've ordered the new driveshafts so they should be here sometime next month if all goes well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
There's still a lot to do but I feel like we are getting mighty close now. The prop shaft is done and getting picked up by the courier on Monday and the driveshafts should be in later this month as well.

I finished up the last bits on the exhaust, which involved finalising the fit up on the wastegate pipe, fully welding it out and then wrapping it along with the downpipe.



I also finished off the last of the painting on the car, started wiring up the engine with the stock BMW harness and installed new spark plugs and reinstalled the coil packs. I did however find that the cable actuated cam on the throttle body is damaged and the clips that normally retain the cable have snapped off. This normally would be the end of the world as its a drive by wire throttle body with cable backup but I can't use the drive by wire function. A replacement throttle body is pretty pricey at 拢120+ and changing to one of the earlier cable only throttle bodies is going to be a pain due to them requiring an adapter plate and different connectors on the harness so I think for now I'll just modify/repair it so that it works.

I've ordered all of the fluids for the car and they should be in next week so over the weekend I want to get the steering rack finished and finalise everything so that all that is left is to finish wiring when I get the ECU and to install the prop and Driveshafts
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
So I started today by finishing off the intake installation, getting the manifold torqued down and finalizing the Idle Control Valve feed off of the intercooler piping. After that I decided to try and finish off a couple of jobs that I'd been putting off starting with installing the wheel speed sensor to wire to the speedo. The reason I'd been putting this off is that when previously trying to replace the sensors on the front wheels both bolts sheered off and the sensors snapped in the hub. I opted to install the new sensor on the drivers side as I'd already gotten the sensor out previously and the bolt had snapped flush with the hub so was far easier to drill and tap. It was actually a surprisingly easy job and I got the sensor in without much of a fight.



After that was sorted I decided it was time to finally sort out the steering rack as I'd finally ordered to track rod ends. I'd been avoiding this as the last time I depowered an MX5 steering rack it fought me every step of the way. This one however was pretty painless and the most difficult bit was replacing the track rod ends. So I pulled out the pinion, stripped it down and cleaned it ready for welding.



So welding heat treated steels is a massive ball ache, thankfully this is not my first rodeo. I used a 312L filler road which a stainless steel filler for use on high carbon steel, tool steel and dissimilar metals, Its also used in cases where welding is required on heat treated steel that can't be re-heat treated.



With the pinion sorted I pulled the rack out of the housing and cut out the central seal. After that I started sealing up all of the old ports in the housing; previously when I've depowered racks I've just cut the ends off the lines and welded them up to make a bunch of plugs but it always looks like proper dodgy. This time however I wanted to do something different (also I'd thrown away all of the lines ages ago) so I grabbed a bunch of bolt, lock-tite'd them into the ports and then ground them off flush with the housing and then threw some paint on them so they don't rust.



I chucked it all back in the car and bolted everything back together, Unfortunately I was only able to change one of the track rods ends as the motor factors only had one in stock for today. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the clutch reservoir installed and plumbed up and then crack on with the wiring and servicing bits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
So I haven't taken any pictures recently as there hasn't been much to take pictures of but I have been cracking on with the various jobs to get the finished. I've finished plumbing up the clutch and installed the reservoir, I've re-plumbed all of the brake lines including rerouting the drivers side brake line through the inner wheel arch instead of under the chassis leg as there is no room next to the exhaust and wastegate pipe. I've finished trimming up the underside of the bonnet so that everything clears nicely and I've run a new throttle cable and "fixed" the throttle body with some cable ties so that the cable stays in place. I also gave the chassis legs a healthy dose of cavity wax to try and prevent any future rusting.

I've also now started wiring!. I got the BMW loom installed on the engine and I also stripped down the last of the Mazda loom ready to be spliced together. I've stripped the loom that runs from the rear of the car to the fuse box down to just the main power cable, the alternator sense wire and the reverse light switch as these are the only connections that run all the way to the back of the car. The rest of it along with the fuse box will get trimmed and reinstalled with a few modifications where required. The wires from the back car that normally run along the PPF will likely be run inside the car as without the PPF and with the exhaust routing I have there isn't anywhere to put them under the car. I'm considering upgrading the main battery cable as it looks a tad on the small side to be running the considerably bigger starter and everything else.

Joining the 2 looms should be relatively straight forward, of the 5 main ECU connectors only one them connects to the body of the car so that is the main connector that will need splicing. There are also a few secondary connectors which need to be wired in as well but I'm fairly certain they are just power connectors. I still need to review the various wiring diagrams to confirm everything before I proceed too far

I finally ordered the ECU today as well so when it arrives, theoretically I can start the engine once everything is wired and tightened down.

Currently everything looks like its on track for me to finish this phase of the build by the end of the month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
finding this info was a bit of pain for some reason which is crazy as anyone that's done a none standard engine swap would have had to work it out. So I figured it chuck it up here in case anyone else ever needs it and save them the hassle of trawling through the wiring diagrams trying to identify each wire one by one. This is the pinout for the X16 connector under the dash that links the main engine harness to body harness.

59001


59003
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
My prop shaft is finally back from getting modified (I say finally, it only took about 2 days from when they received it to when it was ready to collect). I also think I've got all of my wiring planned out and ready to go.

I've been through and mapped out the various connectors and have spreadsheets showing what gets linked to what. The only real difference I've found is that Mazda left the starter unfused but put the alternator after the Main fuse whereas on the BMW the starter and alternator are unfused. Not sure why Mazda fused the alternator and I can't be bothered to wire it that way as the BMW cable are considerably larger so wiring them into the fuse box would be a massive no. Because I am going to be upgrading the main battery cable and running it inside the car I'll like install a master fuse as close to the battery as possible just in case there is ever a short (I'd rather not have an electrical fire at this stage of the build)

I also found out today whilst looking through some info that the BMW IAT is not in the MAF where I expected it to be, It's in the intake manifold. Although that's not the ideal location due to heat soak it does mean I have the option of using the OEM Bosch sensor or the GM/Delphi sensor that I installed in the end take of my intercooler.
 
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