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Thread: Thoroughly modding Minnie

  1. #871
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    I continued with research to try and figure out what was causing my stumbling issue. The morning of the car show it was the worst it had ever been, I thought she was going to die. As it turns out, a failing coolant temperature sensor can cause this. In looking ata data log I took I noticed the coolant temperature was fluctuating during the same time as the AFR swings. Since none of the ignition stuff I tried worked I figured why not? Ordered a new one up Monday and picked it up on Wednesday. After looking everything over and checking the wires that I extended for the sensor connector I thought it would be a good idea to use some heat insulation on the wiring at the back of the engine. Ordered that from Amazon and it showed up yesterday. Went about installing it all once I had it in hand.

    In order to ease access to the sensor I removed the shock brace, wiper cowl and brake booster hard line. That opened it all up.



    Once I had the sensor free I went about removing the gasket off it. This was not successful, so I went to Ace to see what I could find. Ended up with a neoprene rubber washer that I cut down to fit. Next I cut a piece of the insulation tube to slide over the wiring for the sensor. It was much larger than needed just so I could slide it over the connector, so I folded it over and zip tied it up.



    For the rest of the wiring in that area (ignition coils) I went with a split blanket that Velcroed together, as so:





    Here is the finished product:



    Since the fix I have not had any other problems with stumbling. I was curious about the gasket for the sensor though. The parts listing for engine relays on Mazda Motorsports' site does not have a diagram so no way of knowing what is what. The factory repair manual doesn't show anything either. I stopped by the dealer to see if their diagrams would show anything and they did. There are a couple of those on order now so I'll be installing one upon receipt.

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  3. #872
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    Re: Thoroughly modding Minnie

    Today I swapped over to the silver Flatouts with S-Drives since the temperatures are such that the Rivals aren't too happy.

  4. #873
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    Re: Thoroughly modding Minnie

    To identify a problem on a hunch and with a heat barrier, no less is an incredible feat. Thank you for the info and the pictures!

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  6. #874
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent☣Orange View Post
    To identify a problem on a hunch and with a heat barrier, no less is an incredible feat. Thank you for the info and the pictures!
    Thanks for the kind words but I'm not sure I deserve them. I feel like I should have figured this out sooner. The heat shielding is just for some additional protection, I think the new sensor took care of the issue.

    So, I picked up the gaskets from the dealer Saturday. They are these:



    You can see they are using aluminum now, just like oil drain plug gaskets. The recess on the thermostat housing for the reroute I have is a little smaller on the OD than the factory one so I used a sanding wheel on my Dremel to pare the gasket down to size. After a drive I checked and it's leaking a little so I will try making it a little smaller. If that doesn't cut it I'll go back to the neoprene gasket I was using.

    Forgot but the other day when changing wheels over I went to adjust the muffler hanger I had installed to shift things more to the right. Turned out one of the nuts had come off the U-bolt. I had one the same size lying around so put that on, but I think I will get some Nyloc nuts from Ace to keep it from happening again.

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  8. #875
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    After sanding the OD of the factory washer down some more it was still leaking, so I put the neoprene one back in. Swung by Harbor Freight and got their copper washer assortment. Compared measurements between the 7/16" copper washer and the factory aluminum one, the only difference was the copper one was 0.09mm thicker. After looking at the sensor itself and how it fits into the thermostat housing I have, it appeared as though the sensor was bottoming on the housing before it was completely seated. The way around this was to relieve the outer edge of the sensor. I tried a couple of methods (file, Dremel metal file and sanding disc), the sanding disc worked the best. Note I tested this on the old sensor so I didn't screw up the new one. After some work I ended up with this:



    Here are the copper washers:



    Cost was around $7.00 and now I have lots of those suckers for other uses. Sensor is back in place, weather sucks right now here so a test will have to wait.

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  10. #876
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    Been a while since my last post. Test drive went well. A few days later when I was driving to C&C on the freeway it started losing power. Pulled over to the side and she died. Sat for a minute than restarted her. The CEL was on steady but everything else was fine. Drove her back home and then began looking at anything to see if I could figure it out. Nothing presented to decided to do some datalogging. Got that all set up, on the way up my street the revs went to around 3500 and wouldn't come down. Back home it was. I was pretty disappointed in this development so she sat. I finally got my finger out a week ago and sent my log to Reverant to see if he could see anything, still waiting to hear back from him on that. I did try driving her the other day, the CEL was on but all else was fine. That is, right up until the power fell off and she died. Wouldn't restart, acted like the battery was dead so I had to get a jump and drove her home. She started right up a day or so later. At this point I am leaning towards something wrong with the battery or alternator, or maybe an iffy ground.

    Today I received these pretty things:



    I ordered them last week so shipping was very quick. Installation will have to wait now for a few months as I am headed to work. Same with troubleshooting the engine problem. Should be warmer then at least.

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    Re: Thoroughly modding Minnie

    I thought you were lost at sea. Good to see you’re around. Nice top hats. Be careful, those studs can strip easily.

    At first I was thinking crank or cam angle sensor but since you say it acts like it has a dead battery, I’m guessing that or the alternator.

  12. #878
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    I bought a new Supermiata QMAX reroute kit from someone I know who didn't use it. All I plan on using is the thermostat housing (I checked but 949 won't sell individual parts from the kit). The one I bought works fine but since I installed a new sensor and the gasket on it fell apart, I have been having trouble getting a good seal. If you check back in here you can see what I have done to try to make it work. The QMAX is configured so the sensor fits nicely with plenty of room for a factory gasket. One less thing to worry about for the future.

    Have about a month before I get home to be able to install these last few bits.

  13. #879
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    Re: Thoroughly modding Minnie

    You definitely don’t want to be messing with leaks once that thermostat housing gets moved to the rear. Did you put a straight edge on it to make sure it’s true?

  14. #880
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    It's been leaking where the coolant sensor threads into the thermostat housing. That is down to how it was machined, and the original washer I was provided has failed.

    Got home, checked the battery to find it under 2 volts. Wasn't that old but went ahead and bought a new one at the local O'Reilly's. I find it amusing that their part number is MIATA. Got that installed, she pretty much fired right up and I took her for a drive. Only PITA is that while the CEL wasn't in evidence initially, about 10 miles into the drive it came on. So I still have to figure that out (running a MS2 so I can't just plug in a reader to see what it is for). Going to keep an eye on the battery voltage to see if I might have some sort of constant drain.

    I went ahead and ordered a CAS, CPS and coolant sensor from Rock Auto so I had them on hand should they be needed (since the two sensors are known failure points for NBs). Those are in hand, along with the QMAX reroute. I had to order a new thermostat for that, for anyone interested you can get one from Amazon for $6 and change plus shipping.

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