Yes, this is the final episode. And I’m gonna spoil the ending. Sharka has boost!!!!!
But first, the final tasks to get us there.
This happened. This is not good. Somewhere between me pulling off the oil return to drop in the new engine and putting it back on, the oil line got bent. I blame my ham fists. I thought I treated it pretty gently, but… well. As you can see, I did not.
So FM shipped me a replacement. WOO!
Well. There’s my problem. Heh. Doh. It was pretty easy to see when I had a good one in my hands vs one that I mangled.
So. Could I have fixed the original? Probably. I’m handy with my vice. But even with things pointed the right direction, that flex section had become quite shrunken. And who knows what happened to the hose inside? Overall, I’ll sleep better with the replacement installed.
I think out of the whole install, this was the part I hated the most. This lower water line was a huge bitch to get correct. You have to pick your route through the power steering and a/c lines. Then you have to trim the water line so that it and the turbo output hose can live in the same space.
Some people complain about that turbo outlet hose. Not me. That thing fit perfectly. And WHY it fit perfectly is in the photo above. I got this lower water hose trimmed perfectly. That involved about 20 install and removal cycles and four trimmings.
This is how much I finally trimmed off the water line. About 2 inches. I was very very worried about this at first. After all, it’s a big, expensive silicon hose! But then I found some courage and decided that it was better to make things fit correctly than to pussyfoot around. Hack hack hack. Suddenly the water line fit great.
Seriously. I love this silicone intercooler hose stuff. Best thing ever.
My trick for getting it on the compressor outlet in 30 seconds: Shove that intercooler hose as far back as possible (aim for directly under the outlet) and as far to the left as possible so that it squishes the water pipe. Then, you just have to slide it to the right toward the frame. It pops right on. None of that business with the front edge going on and the back edge never fitting.
Seriously. It should be simple to get this hose on. If it’s not, you probably need to trim the water hose a bit more.
This little guy was also nice and easy to install. I mounted it nice and low on the firewall, yet still in a place where I could get to the electrical connections. And for the wideband O2 sensor, I ran the wire up over the transmission. That keeps it away from hot turbo downpipes. It is in zero danger of burning up with my wire routing. I’m pretty pleased with this.
This part was another that was a little more challenging to install. It didn’t take as much time as the water hose, but it did involve loosening every exhaust clamp and connection. And a bunch of grunting and straining. All while laying on my back.
But it supports the downpipe quite nicely. And maybe it’ll help to prevent studs from backing out. An hour’s work is cheap insurance.
This is the best fitting exhaust I’ve ever installed on a Miata. Or any car. It’s amazing. It has adjustment everywhere and can be twisted, expanded, and shrunk to fit perfectly. I’m seriously impressed by it. Well done, Flyin Miata!
I’m kinda proud of this. I found some of this lovely stick-on insulation online for cheap. I covered my driver’s side motor mount in some of it. I used the rest on my intake heat shield. I figure if it makes the car even 1% more efficient, it was worth my time. And the $3 I paid for the material.
And it looks really cool.
So. How did it go? Well. Would you believe me if I said it started on the first try? Because it did!
Over a month of work on odd evenings when work would let me. An engine swap. A turbo. A new map for my Link. Various broken shit. And it started right up on the first try. No leaky injectors. No badness. Nothing.
All total, here’s what I’ve done.
- Installed 99 engine
- Installed new injectors with FM pigtails
- Installed turbo manifold with turbo
- Refinished and installed Fidanza flywheel and MSM clutch
- Installed 97 transmission (it shifts nicer than the 95)
- New driveshaft with serviceable end links
- Installed hard water and oil lines
- New VDO oil pressure sensor to replace dummy sensor
- New boost gauge from Prosport
- Rewired my DIN gauge pack
- Rewired my headlights (just because)
- Installed FM intercooler
- Installed blowoff valve
- Installed Link temperature sensor in intercooler pipe
- New 37mm Koyo radiator
- New turbo exhaust
- Downpipe and exhaust brace installed
- New lower coolant hose
- Silicone intercooler hoses
- Trimmed mouth and splash pan for intercooler hose clearance
- New PCV valve. One that can stand up to boost.
- New spark plugs. Gapped tight.
- Swapped valve covers
- New shift boots for the transmission.
- New horn. Cause the stock one was done.
- EGR system experiment
- Relocated cruise control
- AEM wideband O2 sensor
- New narrowband O2 sensor (cause my Link can use both simultaneously)
- Filled transmission and diff with fresh redline fluid
- Had the A/C serviced by a real shop before starting this whole project
- New FM stainless braided clutch line
- Flushed clutch fluid
- Flushed power steering fluid
- New coolant
- Installed new 180* thermostat
- New oil and filter X2! Yes, I flushed the oil after burping the radiator.
- Covered the intake heat shield with insulation
- Insulated the heater core hoses
- Insulated the driver’s side motor mount
- Spent far too long tucking wires and hoses out of direct sight. It’s still a mess of hoses in there.
- Spent a week cleaning the engine bay.
- Spent a month wishing I could drive my car.
And here’s what I broke.
- Forward bolt that goes through the differential and PPF
- Hard oil return line
- One T-bolt hose clamp
- Incorrectly installed the oil dipstick tube
- Oil temp sensor snapped in half (by itself!)
- Ancient OEM water temp sensor on the back of the 95 engine
- My skin. Many times. I have had cut up hands for a month. I actually infected myself badly enough
to need to see the doctor once.
Was it worth it? Hell yes.
To all those who followed along and cheered me on, thank you. Very much. I’d get a little discouraged and there would be an email with well-wishes in my inbox instantly. It really meant a lot.