Taking a detour for a bit, our tech day at the shop is coming up this Saturday and a couple days ago I realized that April 1 will be the one year mark to the day from when the car rolled in to the shop and the old engine came out. Decided the car should be on the ground and on display out front on that day!
So, the next couple days will be a bit of jumping around with random updates as I prioritize just the things needed to get the car on the ground.
Clearly we were in need of some suspension to set the car on! Installed the following:
Feal 442 coilovers
Control arms with spherical bearings
Spindles with fresh hubs
R package tie rod ends
V8R upper rebuildable ball joints
Bauer extended lower ball joints
- haven't sorted out the front sway bar yet but don't need that for Saturday.
- V8R front upper ball joints are tight until they lap in (takes a couple hundred miles). Correct assembly is to torque top cap down then back it off one "notch" of the lock ring and then install the lock ring. Reset the lash after first track day or 200 miles.
Setting the shock length/bump travel in the front (done with spring removed from the shock assembly):
Installed the driveshaft with rear subframe and differential. Has to be done together as the Getrag has a long shaft on the flange to the driveshaft that the driveshaft slides over, so you lower the diff about 12 inches, install the driveshaft and then raise the diff with the driveshaft attached.
The CV joint on the driveshaft gave us some trouble, the CV wants to spring apart and has to be held together while installed. During first install something came unseated inside and the bearings locked up. Quickly evident as the drivetrain wouldn't rotate because the CV was locked at one angle. Had to disassemble/reassemble the CV (and order the proper CV grease) and then reinstall. Everything is in and happy now. Forgot to take a pic.
V8R Stage 2 axles - first off, examining these in person they are very nice pieces.
Comes marked as one long and one short. Long one goes on the right side. The CV joints in these are packed with grease and the grease can keep the CVs from compressing fully so at first it appeared the axles were too long. Pulled them out and worked the joints around while putting body weight on them and they shortened up a lot and then installed fine.
Current state of affairs in the rear:
So, axles, hubs and spindles are in along with the V8R upper pro series control arms. What's NOT in are my lower control arms complete with spherical bearings. The placeholders right now are factory arms with rubber bushings that were laying around.
This spherical bearing kit had some dimensional issues in some of the rear pieces. Unfortunately the company who makes the bearing kit has been working at a snail's pace to make the necessary changes. As this kit is here for evaluation, this makes it hard to recommend it, but hopefully that stuff will get sorted out soon. As a last resort I can have the existing pieces machined to work right myself, but they assure me they're working on corrected pieces. We'll see, but for the moment these loaner rear lower arms will get the car on the ground.
Ran into one more hurdle in the rear. The beefy axles are larger in just about every dimension than stock Miata axles. Where the axles passes by the coilover, it's very tight. There's juuuuust enough clearance from the CV boot to the lower cup on the rear coilover, so that is OK but the lower lock ring on the coilover has a larger OD than the cup below it and that ring hits the boot:
Can't have these two bits contacting with the axle spinning of course. I believe I have a solution figured out, Feal is sending over some parts that I think I can modify to make a custom low-profile lock ring out of. That stuff arrives Friday.
Final thing tonight was getting fluid in the trans and diff since we'll be rolling the car around.
Trans is 75W90
Diff is 75W90 + 4oz Limited Slip Additive. Sounds like snake oil to me but OK we'll follow the spec.