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Everything posted by ProZac

  1. Hah, haaaard pass on an old actual flare, can see a smoky ending there! But, a USB re-chargable torch that doubled as a powerbank, in flare formfactor.... that would be the tits.
  2. Oooooof, very cool. Looks like a bit too big of a diameter on the shaft though (lol), really stressing that plastic?
  3. I started building the wiring harness this thing actually needs! Sooooo, let me immediately pivot and tell you a story of ECU's and their mounts. I've got 3 ECU's planned for this thing. To get the thing fired up, leak checked, heat cycled, maybe a couple of drives around I've got a stock super early S6 8bit POS ECU. I've actually got a couple, once with a case and one without. To drive the thing a little longer term, and maybe get a little more jam out of it I've got a Power FC. yes, I can *hear* the eye-rolls, they're antiquated, old, past their used-by, and all that... But, TBH, that still work just fine in a pretty mild setup. Add to this that I've got (borrowed, as they seem to be genuinely hard to buy?) a datalogit to go with it, and there is still pretty active development around tuning these, I should be able to get the thing going pretty well on this :-). In its final form though, I want an e-throttle on it, and I've had a Link Fury kicking around on the shelf for a couple of years, so this will find its way in here. This also has the benefit of a built in wideband controller. I don't really like external wideband controllers that rely on analogue voltages :-/.\ I only want to build one wiring harness for the thing though, so it has to cater for all three conditions. This has driven the design of a harness that uses the original style of connectors at the ECU end, but also quite a few 'auxiliary' connectors in the cabin to cater for mods and the different installations. When I stated building the harness, it was pretty clear that I really, really needed to know where these connectors were going to be mounted. I contemplated just eyeballing it, but know I'd be annoyed later... So, needed to mount all this crap, for all the configurations! Obviously the stock ECU is easy, it just bolts in. Its mounts are actually a little hacked up, but as I'm not going to keep it in there long, eeeeehhhh, its fine. Having this is pretty crucial though, as it let me see how much space is under the passengers kick panel there for mounting all sort of crap. Pleasingly, and quite uncommonly IME, there is actually a heap of space! I scanned the OEM ECU, got a decent mesh out, aligned it in CAD and used it to get the mount point locations. This let me CAD up mounting plates for both the Power FC and the Link Fury. I went a little ham-spec on the Link Fury mount, as its the final one the car will end up with, so should be a nice piece of kit. The Power FC one is a little more 'thrown together', but still tidy enough. Low res version of the scan of the original ECU. Combined with a 2D scan of the power FC backing plate, and a sheet metal replacement modelled up. Quick and dirty. It *just* fit within the work area of the water jet at work (its a baby). Cut it out, folded it up, and screwed it in place of the original ECU cover. After a quick test fit, its a go-er. There is heaps of space on the other side of the new mount for other items too, like the datalogit, and wideband controller. Bit of jiggery-pokery to get everything lined up, drill a few holes... Waiting on the molex connectors for the wideband (14point7 SLC Free 2) to show up so I can finish the wiring. Not worried about the display on it being totally hidden as it'll send its linear output to the datalogit where I can view it on the laptop, and its simulated narrowband output back to the OEM ecu or Power FC via their main connectors. The trim even still fits! Score! ;-). 100% going to have to get/make a torch to go in the holder that looks like an original flare. Right.... One aftermarket ECU down, the other one to go! Little bit more thought involved for this, I wanted to integrate an OEM connector body onto the ECU mount, along with all the auxiliary connections for additional sensors, e throttle, accel pedal, CAN, and the rest. It's kind of a plug-in adaptor and mount all rolled in together. This is what I came up with. I bought an OEM connector housing, and have trimmed the pins (they're only available in a PCB mount version). Have designed and 3d-printed a backshell, and after the wires are soldered to the pins the whole thing will be potted with RT125 or similar. This one actually too two tries, ECU wasn't high enough to clear that plastic wiring channel the first time. Second time was a charm though, and the trim still fits! Have done the wiring design on this... Actually doing the physical wiring on it will be kind of a chore, there is quite a bit too it. Worth it for a nice solid solution though :-). Will start of the wiring of that tomorrow I think, atleast do all the power supply, CAN and any shielded stuff on it what requires annoying splices. Soooooo, I can get to building the actual harness... ummm, soon? Honestly, excited about it :-).
  4. The headlight mechanisms on my car are a bit of a mess. They work, they're straight, but they are caked in red and clear overspray, really bloody ugly. Picked up another set for pretty cheap, and well, you know the deal by now... strip, repair, clean, blast, plate, coat... The motors were kind of interesting to get back together... They were really tight on reassembly, like completely jammed. I'd paint stripped and powder coated the cases (didn't blast, as didn't want to deal with grit in there), so couldn't see why they'd be tight on reassembly. I'm thinking maybe baking the powder (215 degC) might have burned any residual oil in the bushings at the end of the case, and made some sort of hard film? Honestly, I'm at a little bit of a loss as to why. In any case, some time with rolled up 600grit sandpaper and the drill made the clearance needed to get them assembled cleanly again. All tested and working as they should. I'm a little worried they're going to work at different speeds, but can play with that later when they're fitted to the car. One of the connectors had a broken pin retention tine, so might just swap them out for DTMs. Will need to sort out the end stop adjustments also, but just put them back together as they came apart for now. Interior rebuild continues. It's dangerously close to being complete even! For reference, this is what I was starting with: I got another handbrake handle assembly and stripped it down, repaired some sloppy-ness (made new pivots) and got it all back together. Dropped that and the steering wheel to a local upholsterer, along with the old gear shift and handbrake boots to copy as well. Handbrake handle looks excellent. Need to turn up another button for the end, there is some black delrin at work that I can pinch an offcut off. Seams in the steering wheel are a little lumpier than I'd like, but overall its a massive improvement! Nice leather, and managed to find some perforated stuff too to match the original way it was done. I've got a boss-kit and am always looking out for nice steering wheels, so I'll likely run a few different aftermarket wheels on this from time to time, but its nice to have the original one all tidied up again. Lots of other balls up in the air with it, a little scatterbrained at the moment to be honest, need to just tick some jobs off the list and re-focus.
  5. Same answer unfortunately, a little too non-Starion for me alas, not in my wheel-house. Cool project, though.
  6. It's been a hot minute since I've done anything on this. Work has been pretty mental with preparing material for remote delivery due to..... reasons, and I've really not had a lot of garage time! Needed an easy win, and I have to get the rear bumper back on so I can reassemble the rest of the interior, figured it was a good box to tick off. In their infinite wisdom, Mazda have designed things such that you have to remove pretty much every piece of interior trim behind the FRONT seats to get the rear bumper off... So clearly the bumper needs to be back in place before it can go back together. I'll caveat all the following work by saying that it'll be coming apart again in a couple of years when the car gets painted, but I wanted to make sure that would be as easy as possible. Part of this is making it so I hopefully don't have to deal with rust fasteners again... ever. Pretty much every fastener on the rear bumper was a rusted mess. Weirdly, the body of the car itself is fine, but the metal brackets on the inside of the bumper were in many, many pieces... Many of the bolts below the tail lights holding the skin on there required hammer and chisel action to remove, and the speed-nuts / screws holding the rear valence on were pretty much unrecognisable as having ever been fasteners in the first place... It was just all a bit of a mess. I bought new bumper brackets from Mazda. These fuckers were NOT cheap, around $230 per side! But, the bumper skin itself is really really tidy, and people seem to want moonbeams for a good rear bumper, so I just went with it. They are originally riveted in place, and I was careful drilling those out to remove all the old rested pieces. I've secured the new ones with M3 stainless screws and nylocs. I've also omitted the clips for the moment, as they were a complete ball-ache to get popped loose when I removed the bumper so long ago... When It gets painted in a couple of years I'll re-fit them. The lower valence is not to shabby on this car, a little warped in one place, but I'll be able to make another couple of clips to hold it in place. Some time in CAD, and then the waterjet, and then the finger folder and I had some replacement speed-nuts (with separate nuts, so thus nullifying the 'speed' part, hah). All stainless to hopefully never give a problem in the future And some new fasteners for the top of the skin. I would have liked to find torx head ones for this, as they were originally, but these were easily available and I've convinced myself they're fine. Yeap, that spoiler is a completely different red... It it, however, not cracked, and in one piece, which is much better than the one which WAS on there when I got the car. Future problem, hah.
  7. Whoa, the throttle bodies on these things are a..... thing. I got the above jigsaw all back together. Turns out I'd lost one of the plastic spring bushes, and the flange on the other was cracking off, so I grabbed an off cut of acetal from work and turned up a couple of new ones. That let me get the thing reassembled. I took a heap of photos of how everything came apart, so getting it back together wasn't too much of an issue. Kinda fiddly in spots, but follow your nose and it goes back together reasonably easily. The throttle shaft seals still seemed pliable and plump, so I didn't replace them... Time will tell if that comes around to bite me in the ass. Ideally I'd like to go with some sort of e-throttle setup in the future. There wasn't actually a complete throttle body with the car when I got it, so I purchased this one secondhand, and it was pretty filthy: But, it was complete, and moved smoothly :-). After stripping, blasting everything (lots of careful masking involved), kind of a pain in the ass.... Much better. But holy crap, there are a lot of adjustments on these things! There are threads all over the internets of people having problems setting these up, so I thought I'd better develop a plan to follow. Not saying the plan is a 100% way to go, but I need something to follow so I can go through a process and collect data, and iterate from there. Going to write this plan out here so I can refer back to it later when I've forgotten all this again. The first screw I've set is screw A. This is the stop that the single butterfly stops against. This single butterfly feeds the primary intake ports. As it's in the name, these port are the primary ones, so they're used all the time, along with the primary injectors always delivering fuel. My initial setting for this is that the primary butterfly stops against this when it is fully closed. After aligning the throttle blade, and thread locking the screws in place, I let the throttle close as far as it can against the housing. I then advanced this screw till it was just in contact, then about 1/10th of a turn more. This should mean the throttle blade is never eating the throttle body housing, but closes as much as possible. Screws B and C adjust the cold start warmup system. You can see the two black pipes in this picture. Coolant flows through these, which warms up and extends the wax pellet push-rod screw B is pushing against. Unfortunately they're a little corroded on the outside, but there is still heaps of metal there. Will always run anticorrosive coolant in this, so should progress any further. This wax pellet rod extends as the coolant gets hotter, and retracts as when things cool down. This screw is threaded into a cammed bracket, which has three marks on the cam (one of them is obscured by the red oval I've drawn, but its there). The FSM has specs for the relative positions of the roller on the bracket screw C threads into (we'll get to this one in a minute) and the cam at different temperatures. The upper most (in my picture) mark should be central on the roller at -20degC, the next one down at 0degC, the next one down at 25degC, and finally off the lower edge of the cam at 60 degC. It's pretty hot in my office today, so I've adjusted screw B such that the roller is lined up with the third mark. Screw C adjusts how much effect this cam actually has on the throttle blade position. As you screw this in more and more, it opens the throttle blade more and more, as long as the roller is contacting the cam. I suspect the final setting for this will be such that the roller separates from the cam just as it is passing over the lower edge, with without a sudden jump in its movement. Currently, I've set it so the roller is only *just* touching the cam at this 25degC position, for reasons that will hopefully become clear :-). Cold start systems are important, but they're only ever going to work properly if the base idle speed with the engine at normal operating temp is setup correctly. The throttle obviously has adjustments for this as well. Screw D is called the Air Adjust Screw (AAS), and screw E is called the Throttle Adjust Screw (TAS). Screw D has a tapered end on it and fits into a matched tapered orifice. This orifice is connected across either side of the primary throttle blade, so as you back the screw out, it allows more and more air to bypass the throttle blade. Screw E is the stop for the the secondary throttle blades, and sets their closed position. In practice, these screws have the same effect on the idle, in that they will let more air into the engine. There is a slight difference though, as at idle the ECU wont be using the secondary injectors, so adjusting the idle with screw E will let more air into the engine via the secondary ports, but this wont have any fuel injected with it. This wont be an issue though, as at idle things are happening very slowly, and there is heaps of time for the charge to mix in the combustion chamber as it whizzes around to the other side of the motor to make brap brap noises. Reading the FSM, what I can parse out is that you use screw E to broadly set the normal operating temp idle speed, and then screw D to fine tune it. I've set screw E in the same way I set screw A, such that the secondary throttle blades fully close to within a bee's dick of the throttle body housing. I've wound screw D all the way in, so there should be no air bypassing the primary throttle. The last adjustment is the damper dashpot, F. This is a damper the throttle closes against. It's hard to push in, but extends with no effort. Lots of bump damping, no rebound damping. This needs to be set with the motor at normal operating temp, and such that the throttle breaks contact with the plunger at an engine speed of 2600 - 3000 rpm. Obviously this will need the engine running properly at N.O.T. To setup, so I've wound it out so it doesn't contact the throttle at all. Reading through that, there might seem like some odd decisions, as I've essentially set the throttle up in such a way to ensure the thing isn't going to idle. It's going to have almost no air bypassing the throttle, will starve and die. This is for a reason however, and comes back to how I like to tune a setup. First thing is to get the engine firing and running, probably with some throttle manually applied. Then I can get it up to temperature, check for leaks, fires, all those things. With the engine up to temp I can use screws D and E to set the normal operating temp idle. It's really important this is done without the cold start system having any effect whatsoever, as if it is, when you go to set the cold start up, your normal idle setting will also be effected, and you'll end up chasing your tail. Now, the FD also has an ECU control idle air solenoid which can allow varying amounts of air to bypass the throttle, but for all this initial mechanical setup, I'll keep this unplugged to eliminate it. AFAIK the ECU only uses it to idle up the motor when the A/C, power steering, or alternator are loading things up. There is also the TPS to think about. The FD TPS is a little odd in that it has two analogue output channels, narrow range and full range. Talking to Ray (arghx), it sounds like this is a throwback to the FC3S days, and probably something to do with Mazda re-using existing code in the FD ECUs. Total speculation, but having been an engineer on a few evolving projects, this is totally something that would happen. The FSM has specs on setting this up. With the throttle closed, adjust it so the narrow-range signal is between 0.75V and 1.25V, and the full range signal is between 0.1V - 0.7V. I powered up the TPS from my bench supply and set it thusly. Strats: Stock ECU initially, to get things running, proof the rest of the system, and ensure it doesn't burst into flames. It's a 'known quantity' as such. Make the thing run, will need the throttle manually opened to keep running. Get it up to normal operating temp Make sure everything is functioning like it should. No error codes from the ECU, so no limp modes or anything (exception to this is the idle control solenoid, but I can trick the ECU into thinking this is fine with a resistor in its place). Adjust the warm idle speed to just below target (~750RPM) with screw E Adjust the warm idle speed to the final target with screw D. Adjust dashpot F so the the throttle breaks away from the plunger at an engine speed of 2600RPM. Turn the thing off, go inside and have many whiskies. Recover from hangover. Remember: You're old now, this might take a couple of days. With the thing dead stone cold, try to start it with no throttle applied. Expectation is that it will not start. Advance screw C 1 turn, try again. Repeat this procedure till the engine starts with no manual throttle opening. Idle speed should be higher than warm idle target. Allow the engine to warm up, idle should reduce gradually as it does and the wax pellet rod extends. Iterate from here. The only screw that should need adjusting at this point is screw C. Hopefully I can pull that off. In other news, most of the supplies needed to build the EM (main engine) harness have shown up! Huzzah! I'm going full ham-spec on this. The car doesn't need it at all... But I've built lots of high-tier harnesses before for other people, and I really want something totally schmick for my own car for once. M22759/32 throughout, twisted, DR25 sheathed, booted, sealed.. All the good things. As much as can be with using OEM automotive connectors also. I've designed it with lots of extras in mind down the road, as I don't want to have to build another one for this car, ever. When I want to change out the ECU for something other than the stock one or a power FC I can just make adaptor harnesses at the ECU end, nice and easy. Just got through the design process for the layering, built a test section for the main core to make sure it was going to lay up nice, looks lovely :-). Progress is progress?
  8. Time for a quality Christmas jigsaw! Need to find the corner pieces... Actually I think I'd prefer they stay inside the motor ;-).
  9. I have been working on important engine things, honest! Part of that has been getting all the gaskets sorted, making emissions block off plates, re-kitting the injectors and manifolds... etc, etc. Will tidy all that up and post about it. Nothing like using a 6 figure bit of gear to make a $3 gasket though... Usually I just use a flat bed scanner, with a ruler in the frame as well for scale, but this wont lie flat on the scanner. Some CAD: And the laser cutter. I've cut all the other gaskets I need basically the same way so I don't have to nickel and dime around waiting for them to arrive. Plenty of ways to skin this cat, but I've got access to the gear, so may as well use it. The small win project was the rear boot trim. The piece at the very back of the boot space is broken on most FD's that I've seen. They've meant to have these clip pieces to help keep them from flapping about: (Image stolen from the nets). Both of those were snapped off on mine, and the one two I have also... I suspect you can see where I'm going with this. Obviously the fasteners stick out like dogs bollocks at the moment, but I've got something in the works for refinishing all those boot plastics back to as near as OEM as they could get, and I'll powdercoat the heads of those fasteners, and the clips themselves when its all apart again. It's..... terrifying when something works first time, but, well, hmmmm, here we are? I could cut them again, and do a better job of bending them in the brake, as opposed to bashing them in the vice with a hammer..... But really, they're fine as is.
  10. I'm going to technically claim that this counts as working on something the car critically needs to work, as headlights are pretty important, really. As should be pretty obvious, this thing has had a home-based re-spray at some point, and the person doing the job was not exactly clinical with their masking, so its dusty red and dirty clear overspray just.... everywhere. Including all over the headlights. I've sanded and polished a few lights in my time (including every other exterior light for this car...), so was anticipating a relatively smooth, if somewhat tedious job... Instead, I veered hard left (well, actually, I made that turn a long time ago, so I just stayed on the road I'm already on...) and decided to do a projector retrofit. I don't really have any defensible reason for this, other than I think they look cool :-)... Well, and I remember the headlights in my last FD being just terrible, even with replacement higher wattage bulbs. There are a couple of places that sell these ready made for FD's, but I'd be looking at around $1500 kiwi, and that's not money I'm willing to part with for something I can do myself (this is always flawless logic...). After researching a bit on the topic, It looks like the way to go is to use a pair of the available aftermarket headlight housings that shift the beam pattern generation onto the housing itself, and use a totally clear lense. There are a few places selling these, but they're all the same SONAR housing. I found a pair for sale cheap on ebay, so was around $180NZD into things. Getting them apart suuuuuuuuucked. Well, that's not strictly true, it wasn't particularly hard. Remove the spring clips, heat liberally with a heatgun, and pry slowly and gently... what sucked was dealing with the adhesive after the fact. This shit is sticky, and gets everywhere. It is reusable however, so if you can get them apart cleanly, you'd be able to re-heat the glue, reassemble and have them nicely sealed again... This is not what I did because.... reasons. Instead I decided to clean off all the glue, and will re-seal them myself using some butyl tape... I regret this decision. Prying all the old adhesive out with a screw driver took ages, and removed a lot of the chrome finish. Petrol was pretty decent at dissolving the residue left behind. I managed to slip with the screw driver and scratch one of the housings on the inside pretty decently. Guess I'm painting them then! The lenses are polycarbonate (I'm pretty sure, anyway), and solvents will mark them. The best way I found to get the glue off these was to freeze it. It would then chip off pretty cleanly, and the residue could be removed with some citrus goo-gone type stuff. Dispose of this shit while it is still frozen, because once it warms back up to room temperature, its fucking annoying to deal with. With the housings apart and cleaned, I started measuring things up, and settled on some 2.5" bi-LED projector units. These set me back around $80, and a two month wait. Lots of sellers of these on aliexpress, but they all look like they're made in the same factory: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002797444025.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.177c7147zgorov&algo_pvid=9558ac48-7b09-434a-802a-155a9e69b03d&algo_exp_id=9558ac48-7b09-434a-802a-155a9e69b03d-4&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id"%3A"12000022229395886"} If you're ordering any, make sure you get them with the correct beam pattern for the side of the road you drive on. Left in this case of course :-). From the measurements, I figured they'd fit inside with a few mm of clearance to the front lense. They come with an adaptor to mount where an H4 bulb originally went, so that's a score. Once they arrived I mocked them up, and immediately found that the adaptor mounts put the projects at totally the wrong angle, and the beam pattern was rotated along the axis of the car by around 20 deg. I 3dprinted some other adaptors and for them nice and level, and things were starting to look good. 3d printed adaptors aren't going to cut the mustard though, as they'd soften and melt with the heat of the projectors. Luckily we got a little waterjet cutter at work a while back, and its just bloody perfect for stuff like this :-). Cool. Now the rotation of the beam pattern was correct, I gave aiming them a go, and discovered that to get them level I was running out of adjustment on the bottom adjuster. Cue some more 3d-printing to make another insert. This bolts on using some existing holes so everything is totally reversible down the track. See all that dusty overspray? It's literally everywhere, that's the shit I'm dealing with. Phew, now I had enough adjustment I could get everything squared up. As I munched the housings pretty good cleaning them up and generally fucking around with them, they needed paint to look presentable again. cue some blasting to prep them... And some gun-metal touch up paint. Side note, seems repco isnt stock these little cans anymore. Shame, its really good paint, dries in like 5 mins with a heat gun, sprays out really well, and is just excellent to work with. It's more of a semi-gloss finish once it's dry, which looks really good in the housings. Time for final assembly and another test-fit! Hmmmmmm, frog eyes. I like them, but... honestly, it was a hell of a lot of work for maybe a questionable result? Hah. At least I had fun. Obviously haven't driven with them yet, but testing at night in the driveway shows a hell of a lot more light, in more distinctly correct places than the factory ones. That being said...... I also restored the factory housings. You know, because the projector ones are probably not even vaguely legal, and maybe these will actually work okay with some of the new-fangled LED replacement bulbs that are apparently not-shit?
  11. Okay, okay okay. These door handles. We're so far past the point of ricidulousness with them... But they are finally done! Well, almost... Early FD's, or maybe if they were optioned with it, I'm not sure on the determining factor, have a light in the drivers side keyhole that illuminates for 30 secs when you lift the handle with the door locked. Presumably this is so you can find the keyhole in the dark easily. My car has the wiring there for this, which means it must have had this at some stage. The light is long gone, and the door handle has been replaced at some stage... But, if it was there originally, I've got to make it work again, right... right? RIGHT!? I CAD'd and 3d printed up a wee housing for a wide angle high brightness white LED. It has a forward drop of 3.1V at its rated 20mA, so I put a ~470Ohm resistor in series with it to keep it happy at automotive voltages. Shrunk some shrink onto it to seal it up, and potted it into the housing. Should hopefully last a while :-). This is where it sits, it's held in place by the spring slip that keeps the key-barrel where it needs to be. I got a pair of replacement frosted plastic keyhole spring covers from a guy over in the states. Off vs on: These door handles have to be the most thoroughly 'touched' set in existence by this stage, and I know they're just handles, but fuck they're lovely to use. Smooth, super positive stops at the end of the travel... I've disassembled, blasted and cleaned all the lock barrels and tumblers. Re-lubed the tumblers with a dusting of graphite powder, and the detent ball with a smear of grease. They keys now have a nice crisp insertion sound and feel... Fuck, typing this out I'm really realising how much of a barry I am... But, honestly, so much fun in a project like this. Last part of the puzzle is to cut some foam buffer strips to replace the originals. I've got some closed cell foam here that should be good for this, or there might be some knocking around at work too I think. They're just straight strips that are glued into place on the backside of the housings, around the perimeter. Word has it that supply of these new is drying up, so I'll hang onto the original set from the car at the moment and maybe give them the same treatment at some stage. Keep them as spares or gouge the market when new ones are truly NLA, hah. In other news, some of the wiring harness build supplies finally showed up! Design is being fleshed out... it's setup as basically a stock replacement harness, but much better materials and fit. Plus plenty of things tidied up and added in to make running different ECUs in the car as easy as possible, and additional sensors not a pain to add down the line. I've got stock 8bit and 16bit ECUs here, a PowerFC + Datalogit, and a Link Fury. I suspect it'll run on the PowerFC for a while till I get another control system for the twins figured out and can transition over to the link. Fun (Fast) times in Tahoe.
  12. The motor has good compression, so it'll remain un-opened till tis running and I likely find out it leaks water, hah. The surrounding systems, turbos, alternator, manifolds etc will be receiving attention for sure however :-).
  13. Bloody hell, the saga of these door handles! Definitely could have just bought a new set... I've saved a bit of money this way, but invested a heap of time in its place... Still, every part has a story, its something you touch every time you use the car, and this set is even better than a new set now with the aluminium cast handles instead of the factory plastic pieces. I got a local company to powdercoat the handles, and they did a pretty average job TBH. They said they'd re-coat them, but after waiting a month without that happening, I gave up and just collected them. The coat was so thick in places I couldn't assemble them without cutting bits of it away, and the finish was pretty rubbish... I re-blasted them to get it all off and was back to where I started. After watching a couple of youtube videos (to become an expert in the subject, as we all know that's what youtube is for...) I purchased Eastwoods DIY powercoating setup and some semi-gloss black powder. Wow, this is one of those rare occasions where the reality was actually as easy as it looked on youtube, and the outcome surpassed what I was expecting. Easy process, nice and clean, and super durable finish in exactly the right colour / gloss level to match the factory parts. Handles there ready for final assembly, with some other bits I've got on the boil. I made some better rubber stoppers to set the handle height correctly when the doors are closed. These are 16mm diameter m4 threaded rubber equipment feet that I trimmed down, chucked up in a drill and linished to about 2mm thick, while spinning them in the drill to keep things even. Time will tell if they're up to the task, but this thing will never be a daily again, so I think they'll be okay. Then assembly is simply the reverse of disassembly, with the addition of an m4 flat washer as a shim. Just to the right of the 'B' clamp there. Kind of a pain to get into place, but it removes all the play in the system. All the moving parts got a smear of grease so keep things smooth. You can see the stopper bolts there, but they're not engaged when the handles are fully closed, so are doing nothing whatsoever. With the larger diameter stoppers, the handles close down onto them properly. The original ones seem to small to really do much. One of them was missing on this handle set, and the other was pretty thin. Voila! What a faff for a set of door handles.... But dayum, they do look fine :-). I've blasted all the lock housings, but I need to take the tumblers from the original set so the car is keyed the same all around. Future job, these can get wrapped up and put away in the wardrobe for now. Back onto things the car actually need to run... maybe... I'll probably get distracted by something shiny ;-).
  14. Oh my, what an epic read! Got a few posts in, then decided I'd need to go get some crackers, cheese and coffee, and really enjoy the rest of it! Love your work, bravo!
  15. Thanks mate :-). If you wrote it, I'd read it :-). One concern with extreme detail, is a lack of timely progress.... But as long as you're loving the journey, learning, and sharing, that's way more important. . . . Can't wait to rip a mean skid in it though ;-).
  16. Back to regularly scheduled programming, which is of course restoring things that aren't really necessary right now... But its about the journey right? Or some shit like that... What it is, is delightfully fun :-). If you're not interested in a stupid level of detail about FD3S door handles... uhhhh, you might want to look away. A pair of doorhandles appeared on FB marketplace pretty cheap, because they were really really rough... But they were complete :-). One of mine is missing the plastic trim insert that goes between the lock barrel and the main handle casting, which while not impeding the function, looks hella rough. It's on the drivers side too, so not even like I can ignore it as that's my side of the car! Although I'm not sure for how long, as my four year old (going on fourteen) has informed me that she wants to do a burnout in her red car... Not sure where she is learning these things, but it certainly bought a tear to the eye ;-). The door handles on these are notorious for snapping, as while the main body is cast aluminium, the handle itself is plastic, and after years of stressing and temp cycles... one day, snaparoo. Both of the ones on the car are okay, but the rough set I purchased was snapped on the drivers side. Did I mention they were cheap? Hah. Came with a key though, which is nice. I'll obviously swap my lock barrels into them as having different keys for the doors and ignition is a no-go. Those lock barrels will also undoubtedly get a tickly up, as a nice crisp 'snick, snick, snick' as you insert the key is one of life's pleasures... If you're a weirdo... Which I am. Now, FD3S handles have a known problem that develops over time. As you lift the handle up, they act on a sprung pivot arm which pushes down on the control rod that actuates the door latch. Over time, things wear, and the pivot arm returns further and further, until in its returned position puts the lever point almost in line with the pivot point... This makes the first bit of movement of the handle very, very stiff, and largely contributes to the broken plastic handles, as you really need to wrench on them to open the doors. You can see here a (completely stolen) picture of a new set of handles: vs a totally worn out set (pic also stolen): There is a documented mod to fix this, which on the surface seems to makes sense, and that is to carefully drill and tap the lever arm and install a small fastener that stops it returning too far. I went ahead and did this, and it 'sort of' fixes the problem, but its more of a band-aid, and doesn't really address the root cause. With the handles assembled, and everything held in place like it should be, I scribed a line on the pivot arm in the 'most returned' position it should sit in. Then I offset from this the radius of the head of an m4 cap screw, punched, drilled and tapped: Voila, problem solved, right!? Yes, but also no. As the pivot return spring now returns the pivot onto this installed stop, it no longer returns the handle onto its intended stop, which is this small push in rubber grommet that sits underneath the handle itself. So what the newly installed stop ends up doing is ensuring that the pivot doesn't over-return, but that the handle is no longer pulled down tight onto this stop. This means the handle, and attached pivot have an amount of free-play, so they rattle terribly. Can't have that. I think the over all root cause of the initial problem is this small rubber stop wearing out. This is compounded by a small amount of wear in the pivot arm linkages also. Both of these problems we can fix however :-). The following fixed should work with the original plastic handles too, but because one of mine was already broken, I bought a pair of the replacement cast aluminium ones. They look basically identical though. I drilled and tapped (M4) the small hole the push in rubber stopped goes into, and then modified some M4 rubber equipment feet, shortening them down to ~2.3mm. I figured this would give an amount of adjustability if needed, but TBH, I just put them in as tight as they would go, secured them with a nut on the back side, and they were spot on from the get-go. I've also sand, and then vapor blasted the handle bodies in these pics, that's why they look so shiny :-). Stupid me didn't take a photo of what it looks like installed from the front, but I'm sure you can imagine. I'll have one later when they're all assembled. The other part of this problem is that wear in the pivot arm itself. I think this is actually a pretty small contributor to the over all problem, but tuning it up a little can't hurt. I grabbed a couple of M4 washers, which were pretty terribly manufactured, resulting in different thicknesses from 0.7mm to 1.1mm... This was great though, as it meant I had options, as I was going to use one as a shim :-). Ended up on around 0.8mm being about right. You can see it installed between the rod-clamp, with 'B' on it, and the handle itself. Depending on which side you put a shim here, it will move the handle relative to the housing, so make sure you put it on the side that results in it looking right :-). Probably different for every combination. I suspect thinner plastic shims, installed on each side would be a better option. This limits the side to side play in the pivot, and just generally tunes everything up so its a bit nicer. With all that sorted, I fully assembled them with everything in place and damn, satisfying result! Lovely smooth action, no stiff point at the beginning of the travel, no rattle, nice and sorted. I left the over-return stop in place, the spring was returning the handles onto the new rubber stoppers, and it was only *just* touching the cap-head stop. This means that if those rubber stoppers don't live up to the task (a total possibility), the pivot will still work, but things will just start to rattle again, letting me know I need to find a better rubber stopper solution down the line... Cross that bridge if I come to it? With the mechanicals sorted, next up is the cosmetic restoration, which has turned in a slight cluster-fuck. Choose your powdercoaters wisely my friends!
  17. I FIXED SOMETHING THE CAR ACTUALLY NEEDS TO BE DRIVABLE! Okay, but its also an OCD wank-fest... Sooooo best of both worlds? The stopper that actuates the brake light switch on the pedals was missing, as it had crumbled into oblivion, this is really common apparently. I ordered a new one as they're only a few bucks, expecting to just chuck it in and call it job done. While I was under there, I checked the brake light switch itself though, and found it to be faulty too. These switches have two circuits in them, one normally open, one normally closed (although this terminology becomes confusing when you start thinking about the position of the brake pedal, as it actually releases the switch when the pedal is pressed...). The normally open circuit (smaller terminals), wasn't working. It occasionally closed its contacts if you pushed the plunger really hard, and squinted just right... But not reliably. I have no idea what this circuit is actually for in the car, but there are wires going to it, so I figure I should make it work. About this time a set of pedals popped up on FB marketplace local that were pretty cheap, so I thought, why not? Went and grabbed em. They had a good stopper for the brake light switch, and a good brake light switch itself, so I swapped them into the car, and hey presto, all fixed :-). Job done, right? Yeah, nah. The pedals are a really cool feature of these cars, as they're aluminium from the factory, which is a little uncommon. I now had a spare set of ragged, run down pedals, and, well, you know how much I love overboard restoring things.... First up was the stuffed switch. Getting it apart was pretty easy, just a couple of crimped tabs. Gave everything a really good clean, and sanded the contacts with 400 grit. Re-lubed with dielectric grease, assembled, and presto, all working perfectly again :-). The pedal bodies are bare-metal from factory, as they aren't really exposed to the elements. Still, they looked pretty grunge. I blasted everything, and had the bodies powder coated satin black. The pedals themselves are just awesome, I love the stiffener bracket in there, and the pedal faces just being raw, no rubber covers. Very sports car, much wow. That pedal isn't painted, that's just the vaporblasted finish, and it looks fookin lovely :-). I sent another batch of stuff through Christchurch Metal Refinishers for zinc and gold passivation, they're just bloody awesome guys in there. All the hardware for these was included in that lot. The springs in particular came out looking very very pretty :-). Assembly was the reverse of disassembly. I lubed with red rubber grease as I know it'll play nicely with the plastic bushings. Nothing complicated here, but a damn satisfying result. Obviously I did the clutch pedal as well, as they need to match! More parts to squirrel away in the wardrobe for the future when the car one day gets a major tear-down and rebuild, or when I finally admit to myself that is what I'm already doing....
  18. More waiting, more restoring parts that don't actually help the thing run.... A front wiper motor popped up for sale cheap, so I nabbed it. I'd done the rear motor, so figured I should do the front too. In the scheme of things, not terrible, but stuffed powder coat, a bit of rust setting in, and filthy. Atleast it actually ran at a decent speed though, so better than the rear one! Blew it apart, cleaned everything up, sanded the commutator and gave the brushes a tickle up, they have heaps of life left yet. Didn't go full-bore on this and get everything re-zinc plated, most of the bits were absolutely fine, just needed a good clean, aluminium housing blasted, and the motor casing painted. Reassembly time. Nothing complicated here. I was a little bit of an idiot and didnt mark the alignment of the pivot arm when I disassembled it. I'll be able to sort that when fitting it to the car though. Draws a little less current and sounds smoother than it did before the job, so that's got to be a score :-). Spent a few evenings sanding down, then back up through the grades, and polishing all the exterior lights. The fogs are ones I stripped and had the housings powdercoated when I had the white car, were still sitting in a box in the garage, so that's a score. Really early cars like mine have yellow lenses inside the fogs, but I prefer the clear ones, so was nice to have this set from a later model car. The yellow ones are still on my car, so maybe they'll get a resto at some point too, nice to have options :-). Everything has new LED bulbs. I'll need to put a load resistor in parallel in the indicator circuit somewhere to trick the flasher / body ecu thingee, but that should be all the lighting sorted and ready to fit. I've got a few balls up in the air restoring other parts, the door handles are an interesting one, waiting for them to come back from powdercoat. I'm also modding a set of aftermarket headlights to bring them into the 21st century, but I'm not a hundy on how that's going to work out, will be interesting. One day soon I'll stop procrastinating and dive into the engine bay again.
  19. Hah, Bryce bought those indicators off me 10+ years ago ;-). I nabbed them over from the states if I remember correctly.
  20. Just caught up on your latest progress, whoa, that's turned into a full resto, noice! Those seatbelts, front wiper cowl and seat adjuster bits are still sitting on my bench at work. Bloody hell I'm slack sorry!
  21. Have had a heap of work on over the last couple of months, so really haven't managed to get much done on the car. That contract winds up soon though, and I might take a break from the side hustle work for a bit and focus on making some progress on this thing. I have managed to find a little time this week to continue on with cleaning up the rear end though. I've also spent time researching and purchasing heaps of parts I know I'm going to need down the line. Had quite a bit of FOMO about stuff going out of stock and becoming NLA, so I've now got pretty much every single exterior rubber trim piece sitting in the closet for when it gets painted in a couple of years time. Wasn't cheap, the local Mazda dealer loves me, hah. I've got everything planned and ordered for the new EM harness, it's the last major piece missing that would make it a runner. I've been waiting 2 months for connector bodies and pins though, and the tracking is stalled in China, so I'm losing a bit of hope there, might have to reorder. I've never had anything not show up from Aliexpress, but a couple of times its taken 6+ months :-(. I'll eventually run an aftermarket ECU in this thing (Have a Link Fury sitting on the shelf gathering dust), but I'll build the harness to mostly factory spec (although much better materials) with a couple of additions for WB02 integration, and anything else I think of. Then I'll just make up adaptor headers if I want to change to another ECU down the track. I've got an original S6 ECU to get it up and running on, and a Power FC there also, so lots of options. Gotta say, I've never seen overspray like this thing has. It's everywhere and bloody ridiculous. The vapor blaster at work has been getting a work out this week! This is what it the rear looked like originally. A lot of the overspray is clearcoat that has dust and shit all through it. Terrible grainy texture and makes everything look permanently dirty. After some attention in the blaster though, looks much more betterer. I dismantled all the wiring too, cleaned, blaster and rewrapped it. Looks factory fresh now. Also the the impact foam, as it was basically black with a reddish tinge. Looking much tidier, you know for something you'll never see. In with my latest order from Mazda were the rear bumper brackets that had rusted into oblivion. One day soon I'll reassemble that and get the bumper skin back on there. I've been in contact with Racing Beat about their twin tip muffler, as it's the only muffler I want on this thing, and they're currently out of stock of the center section (which I also need). They said to check back later in the year. It'll be spendy to get it over here, but ultimately worth it I think as I'll never have to worry about an exhaust again. I sourced a replacement rear spoiler for this, another stock S6 one as I really like them. The one that was on there was cracked, and had been glued on with some terrible bathroom caulking like shit. I had to smash it to remove it, as it was the only way I could think of without risking lots of damage to the boot lid. As it is, the paint on the boot lid suffered, so will get a super dodgy touch up in the meantime. While I had the trunk trim off I chucked some power on the rear wiper motor. It drew lots of current, and was really slow. Popped it out and the was like a ball of rust inside, super gunked up. Blew it totally apart, gave everything in there the big clean, reassembled and now it's like a new one :-). Ready for refitting. While I was in the mood for a couple of little jobs this week, I grabbed some plastic trim pieces from the engine bay. The air guide pieces that go around the headlights were just awful. Red overspray and trapped dirt, with all the rubber pieces attached to them brittle and cracked. Disassembled, cleaned up the plastics and painted them with CRC Black Zinc, as I find it adheres really well to PP plastic as long as you do light coats, and gives a nice OEM looking finish. I scanned the remains of the rubber pieces, cad'd templates and laser cut some new ones out of some rubber sheet of a similar thickness, then put them all back together after tuning up the speed nuts a little so they would grip again. Also ready for refitting. While satisfying, none of these little jobs do anything to get the thing closer to running or driving! Really need that order of connectors to show up! Might have to bite the bullet and reorder from another supplier. If these ones show up later, I can always make another harness and sell it I suppose. Will be back into hiatus on this for the next couple of months while I 100% finish up this contract, then make some more progress over the Christmas break I hope.
  22. I got sick of waiting for the 'E' harness I bought off yahoo auctions to show up. This harness has all the starting, charging and power supply stuff in it, and not having one meant I couldn't power anything in the car up. I figured I was always going to end up rebuilding this harness, as the OEM ones are all pretty shot by now, but the one from japan was relatively cheap and I was hoping to use it to get things tested initially... I got busy and built the main supply and grounding wires. Everything is a bit larger than OEM (sorry Mazda lightweight engineers) as I wanted to use stuff I mostly already had. Still, nice beefy main battery cables wont hurt. I remember reading a Mazda TSB ages ago about moving the ground locations from the brackets they are originally bolted to, to the body and engine directly, so I built the new wiring to suit this. The positive battery terminal unit is the first power distribution point. There are a couple of connectors that go into the bottom of it that send power to various places via fusible links. There are three cables that bolt to it, one goes directly to the starter, and the others to the alternator output and second power distribution box via the main 120A fusible link. Now I could actually power up all the body stuff. Much to my surprise, most things worked pretty well! Power mirrors aren't giving any response, and the windows are a bit slow to go up and down, but probably just need some lubing. Most annoying was the passengers side headlight. It went up, but would not come down. Looking at the FSM to see how they work I suspected it was the wiper contact on the motor output. Got it out and on the bench and it didn't look too bad... But some attention with some 400grit, cleaning and re-greasing and I now have two pop up up and down headlights. I need to build a bit more of this harness section, as the alternator control wiring, starter signal, and a few other wires go through it. Not a major though. Then I need to build the main 'EM' harness, which is the actual engine control harness, and I should be able to start the thing! Waiting on parts for that, and freight times suck worldwide at the moment... But we're all struggling with that. No rush eh? ;-).
  23. Except that it would seem your inbox is full, reach out on the faeboes, or electronic mail, or something? Chur :-).
  24. Couldn't wait, needed to know! Chucked a battery on it and jumpered to the starter. Pressure sensor installed in a modified junk spark plug, power supply, oscilloscope... A good hours work for some numbers. Front is around 100 - 105 - 105 (psig) Rear is around 110 - 110 - 105 (psig) Those are cold numbers, so a bit higher than what a hot test will show, but I'm pretty confident off that the motor is fundamentally healthy. A few k's on it for sure, but evenish readings and decent numbers. At the least it means it's worth piecing together the rest of the bay and getting it running before yanking the engine to change the turbos. I can also confirm the oil pump is working, because there is now a not insubstantial amount of oil over the garage floor. Onwards and roundwards :-).
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