hhaase HalfDork
7/4/18 7:37 p.m.


No worries on the tire discussion.   I think right now, I'm happy with the tires I chose.  Seem to be doing well for me, and it's not like tires are going to make or break my run for 1st place, so I'm not going fret over them any further.   I just need to get the car dialed in with these and go with it.  Either way the Falkens are right in the range of what I want.

So I'm going to move on to other stuff.

First is some dash changes.   I really need better gauges for upcoming things.  So I need room for gauges.   Tore my center console out today to figure out how to move the HVAC controls to the lower spot.  More work than I had hoped but it's progressing nicely.  Currently running some brackets on the 3D printer to get them moved into place.     The change in gauges will also make my cruise control useless, unfortunately,  as it has a wonky system.   The speedometer in the dash creates a speed signal that gets sent back to the cruise control computer.   Change the speedo eventually, and I lose that signal.    Eventually I'll put in an aftermarket cruise control,  but for now I took all the actuators and control boxes out of the car.  Hey, 5lbs is 5lbs.  These things add up.

Radio also won't be going back in.  Pyle makes a nifty bluetooth car amplifier that I'll be using instead.  It's smaller and lighter than the head unit I removed, and can get tucked completely inside the console, clearing out more space for gauges.

Other thing I've started is the more permanent megasquirt install.   For now I'm going to have both the factory ECU mounted as well as the MS unit,  and I have an adapter harness to swap between the two until I feel the MS is ready to operate on its own.   Lots of work yet to do before I feel the MS is going to be the primary fuel/ignition controller.  But it is time to get working on this, and getting all my input signals straightened out.



John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/4/18 7:58 p.m.

Side note...

Do you still have the decorative, padded trim that goes around the radio and hvac controls?   I ask because back in around 2004 is sold a couple of these. The first one I asked $45 and it sold almost instantly.  The second I put on eBay and the auction brought $110....yeah! 

I see you still have the ash tray. That will bring more than $25 too. 

hhaase HalfDork
7/4/18 8:02 p.m.

I still have it, but previous owner had previously butchered it during a really bad radio install job.   I'm going to see if I can make it work for what I'm doing but the chances don't look great. 

Also, my 3D printer is currently being a douche.   I ran out of the filament I was using, and grabbed another roll of PLA that I have.  Must have some moisture in it as it's printing terrible.  

hhaase HalfDork
7/5/18 8:12 p.m.

Good news is the 3D printer is working fine again after unclogging the nozzle.   So I was able to get the little bracket blocks finished.

But I think I also created myself a very un-necessary distraction at this point trying to relocate the heater controls.  The previous owners created a lot of damage in the center stack that I'm still uncovering, and I didn't help the situation with my own attempted modifications.   I found why my heater controls are always all sticky,  the little nubs that hold the lever in place are long-broken off, so the back half of the lever basically falls off and does what it wants.   The radio had been holding it in place (Sigh).

I think I'm going to source a few parts and just put it back where it was.

apexanimal New Reader
7/7/18 2:08 p.m.

just to wrapup the tire discussion...

i'm that miata sleepyhead was talking about.


the conti's were good, and we did have some outside wear concerns towards the end of the week. however:

1. we had only what stock suspension could give us, which was only about -1.2 camber up front

2. the wheels (6.5" wide) aren't wide enough for the tires (205/45) so they were rolling under causing more uneven wear

3. considering the heat we encountered, the tires held up remarkably well


with talk of the next trip being in the northeast, i'd keep the conti ecs' in the discussion. with a bit more camber, and properly matched wheel to tire width, they'll be pretty formidable in cooler and/or wet conditions

hhaase HalfDork
7/7/18 10:09 p.m.

Apex - that all sounds good to me.  Either way, getting adapted to a 200TW tire at this point is a good thing.   Currently I'm also running 6.5" wheels,   and 205/50R15's.   Don't know if I'll have budget for another set of wheels, my list of needed and wanted things is pretty long at the moment.   

Some lessons from the autocross today  (day 1 of 2 this weekend).

-I'm still having issues with my swaybar mounts being twisted on me after a few sessions.   Might be the whole coilover body turning.   So I'm going to do some paint marks to see what really is moving.  I really need to solve this one.  When one of them gets out of whack it sure affects handling, and steering, which contributed to the next point......

- I finally found the AW11 snap-oversteer today.   The course this weekend has you coming hot into a sharp and tightening 180, with a pointer cone to make sure you have to take the turn tight.  This gave me no choice but to downshift back into 1st,  spin the arse around,  and then accellerate into a straight.   Just like 'the internets' say,  the snap comes on fast.   I found the oversteer wasn't too terrible actually, but once the car regained grip it's easy to over-compensate on the recovery.  I was able to save the run but would have been nice not to lose the half second as it was still my fastest of the day.  I could feel the clunking of the swaybar being out of whack,  so I went home and fixed it promptly.    Which allowed........

-Having the front wheels off today I was able to see the wear pattern is definitely focused on the outside edge, and since I'm running basically zero toe on the car I assume it's the limited camber adjustment range causing that.   I never did install the replacement strut mounts from Ceika onto the coilovers,  so I did that on the front today after the autocross finished.  The revised parts hit everything right on the nose, exactly what I was hoping for.  Where I used to only be able to get 1.5 degrees or so negative camber on the fronts,  I can now get to -4.    Means I'll have to work a bit at getting that camber dialed in.   Going to go with the full -4 tomorrow just to see what the extreme will get me,   then scale back from there to probably a -2.5 at halftime.  I was definitely understeering though so, no doubt about it, so the change will be interesting tomorrow.  I also took the opportunity to lower the front end about a half inch.   I had been right at stock height previously.    I'll also lower the back end too in the near future.  Just didn't have time today.

- Holy crap are people enamoured by the old MR2's.   I'm not used to this much attention when I go places. 

hhaase HalfDork
7/8/18 8:51 p.m.

Sunday report.

-  Camber:   Like I expected,  4 degrees is too much.   2.5 was much nicer for the front end.    Over a full second different between the two. 

-  Toe:  I completely forgot to check it last night.  Realized that when I pulled out of the driveway and the steering was realllllly odd.    So I threw the longacre plates into the car real quick, and did a fresh alignment in the parking lot before the drivers meeting.   

Otherwise I'm currently running about 3 seconds behind the front runners in my class.   This gap is shrinking month by month.   I'm at the point I need a better way to determine my progress as I near "middle of the pack".   So I'm going to rank myself like in standardized tests, by percentile.   Through 2016 I spent most of the season in the 90th-94th percentile.   Start of 2018 I  was in the 85th percentile.   New tires put me into the mid 70's.   Currently sitting at the 71st both days this week.    Makes me happy that I now have a somewhat consistent unit of measure to gauge my improvements, and there is noticeable improvement to measure.   Also a good morale boost when some of the better local guys are coming up to me and complementing me on the times I'm putting in.  

Now it's time to decompress for a couple days, then start prepping for next event in two weeks.  

Shopping list

1:  Lightweight Jack.  I don't have one that's travel friendly.   I really need one.

2:   Steering wheel tape/wrap.   If my hands get slightly greasy I have issues with grip.   Temp solution is keeping some rags to wipe things off before a run.

3:   Driving shoes.   Sneakers are getting in the way in the narrow footbox.

4:   Baby wipes.   For myself.   Great for keeping clean 'in the field'.   

sleepyhead Dork
7/10/18 9:20 p.m.

re: Lightweight Jack

dunno what jack stands you're running, but the Aluminum Harbor Freight jack stands are ~half the weight of "generic steel ones" at most part stores, and cost the same amount.  Picking up 4 of those made a pretty big difference in my packing weight

re:Driving Shoes

are you thinking fire-proof, or other?
if other, I'd recommend looking for something with a thin sole, and that is water-resistent.  Wet feet for any extended period of time is no-fun.  I walked gleedfully through a number of puddles in my merrells (sadly dead, and unreplaceable) while others at OneLap were trying to jump over them without success.

hhaase HalfDork
7/11/18 11:41 a.m.

I’m probably still going to stick with fireproof.   I’ll need at some point so might as well just get it over with.   

Also,  good news!   Just sold my fancy Kayak I never use.   Money from that should cover a good chunk of the new engine build.   Anybody have OST’s email address?  

hhaase HalfDork
7/15/18 2:59 p.m.

One small thing for a thing.  One giant thing for a thingy thing.

Tore down the small-port today to get it ready for the machine shop.   I so much prefer working at my own pace and not being rushed by circumstances.   Couple things I didn't like on the bearing faces, but the crank journals all looked to be buttery smooth with no scoring.  Cylinder walls look to be in great shape. Going to talk to a few guys this week/weekend about a recommended machine shop for the block that's local,  head will likely be going off to OST for some work.  It's so weird being able to easily lift an engine block by myself.   I could get to like these small displacement import things.

Selling the pistons on e-bay right now, no rods or wrist pins, in case anybody might be interested.  Also have a few HO scale locomotives that I scored at a thrift shop for sale too there.

hhaase HalfDork
7/24/18 11:00 a.m.

Block is at the machine shop,  will probably be another month till done.  Check is on the way to OST for the head work.   

Lots of good stuff in the works right now and it makes me happy.

hhaase HalfDork
7/30/18 4:32 p.m.

Stuck on the ragged edge of "busy doing things" and "no time to update on the things I'm doing".     Thankfully all good news this time around.

Heard back from machinist, block checks out ok so far and only needs the bores to lightly honed to check for scoring.   Life has taught me to wait until I measure the damn thing before buying pistons.  

Managed to sell the old head and pistons,  so more funding for the project.

Started building an iracing cockpit,   wife said to stop being coy and just get on with it already.   She also said the triple monitor version looks a lot more impressive, plus other people can spectate easier, so not going to do the VR route.   Phoenix is a pain in the ass track to learn,  and I've been super busy this week, so stuck at SR of 2.99.    Just one good race and I'm out of rookie!   

Way too much video to edit,  autocross was only 2 weeks apart this time.  

oldeskewltoy UltraDork
7/31/18 4:26 p.m.
hhaase said:

 Check is on the way to OST for the head work.   

Lots of good stuff in the works right now and it makes me happy.

Check received!





hhaase HalfDork
7/31/18 5:12 p.m.

Next session of filming, I'll try and make as dramatic of a logo application onto the B-Pillar as I can.   Any color preference?


hhaase HalfDork
8/5/18 3:12 p.m.

Latest chapter of the video series is now live.

Mostly older footage from a few weeks ago.   Going to do the big OST decal reveal as part of the next video opening.



hhaase HalfDork
8/20/18 4:33 p.m.

Surprisingly large amount of things to report after the autocross this weekend.

Saturday was going well, pretty much on par with my normal performance, but at the end of the day I could tell the damn swaybar mounts were twisted on me again.  This problem has driven me nuts long enough and I was thinking through solutions.   Weather called for thunder and rain all day Sunday, so I parked the car, nursed a headache, and went to bed early.   Lo and behold,  Sunday morning forcast ended up pushing the rain back far enough that autocross was again a possibility.    

So I did what any intelligent person would do,  I made a rash and completley unsupportable decision to remove the front swaybar completely!  It was the quickest and easiest fix to get me to an event I hadn't planned on going to,  and I figured what's the worst that can happen?  It's an autocross.  If my times were slower it's another datapoint to point me in the right direction.

One run in and I knew I made the right call.  Well, to be honest, I knew it would likely increase oversteer and I felt the car was understeering previously.  Since the front is so heavily sprung, I didn't expect it to be such a dramatic change though.  I don't think I could have dealt with handling like this two year ago,  but with the Falken's and some experience, I'm in heaven now.  Just a hint of oversteer in a few spots but otherwise it turns in very nice on smaller radius turns, but it never kicked the back end out to the point I got concerned.  It just felt SOOOOOO much better.  The proof is in the math though.   Between Saturday and Sunday it gave me a great chance to do a like-to-like comparison.   Same people, same cars, they didn't make any significant changes, and the course was the same just run in reverse.  

Against car #31, I was 0.7 seconds slower, now I am 0.7 seconds faster.  Against car #361 I was 1.6 seconds slower, now I am 0.4 seconds faster.  Against car #117 I was 0.5 seconds slower, now I'm 0.9 seconds faster.  Against car #411, I went from about 4 seconds behind to only 2 seconds behind, and that's an Evo X.  Lots of similar data points in the field say the same thing. 

So, yeah, I picked up about 1.5 to 2 seconds against the local field.   Huge difference!  On my little chart it put me about 5 percentage points higher than my best previous finish.  Here's the kicker..... I only had 3 clean runs on dry pavement so far since the change.   The skies opened up and the 2nd half of Sunday was all in the rain.  Once I get some time with the new handling style, I'm guessing another 0.5-1 second is possible.   Then, to cap it all off,  I pulled out 2nd in class for the day.   Best ever finish in class. 

And, yeah, finally some wet weather practice.    Definitely slower, but I was also playing conservative.  Was a good rain, not a huge deluge, but enough to have some standing puddles and hydroplane potential.   No surprises at all.   Braking was a bit less,  laterally it slipped a bit more, but never made me think I was in any danger.   Unless something changes in a big way, I think I'll be sticking with the Falkens through to OneLap.





mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/20/18 6:07 p.m.

Wow. That's a significant chunk of time. We've been considering pulling the sway bar on the Civic with the new springs and you've just given me a good data point to give it a try. 

hhaase HalfDork
8/20/18 8:05 p.m.

Worst case, if it doesn't work, just put it back on.   I knew I was understeering, but didn't really know how much.  With non-power steering it was also a big difference in the required forearm to make the turns too.


singleslammer PowerDork
8/20/18 8:22 p.m.

I am about to get an 88 S/C MR2 and want to post so I can come back and peruse your thread later.

hhaase HalfDork
8/26/18 9:05 a.m.

Time to add a new thing on the list of offseason refresh things to take care of,  which is going to have a big effect on my ability to make it to one-lap for 2019.

I need to get my coilovers revalved.  

I'm getting a vertical oscillation in both the front and rear ends at times,   most pronounced in the front when I'm at highway speed on a concrete road with a lot of expansion joints.  Enough that I'm concerned about track duty for the car.  This isn't a 'you hit a hard bump with stiff springs' situation,  it's more of a sine wave being generated causing inches of vertical movement.   Picture a loaded trailer with low tire pressure and no shocks.  

I hadn't really given it much attention until I drove the car to work a couple times this week just at sunrise,  where I had to have the headlights on.   Watching the light beams bouncing up and down put the severity into perspective for me.   I know the coilovers aren't broken though  because the situation has always been there.   It's just that until I moved and started driving the car a lot around the new neighborhood,  it wasn't regularly exposed to the conditions that bring it out so badly.    I also got a new video camera this year, so my Wife has been filming me from an outside viewpoint, and I can see the front end bouncing.  

The Ceika coilovers were advertised as fully rebuildable with custom valving available,  so it's just a matter of getting parts.  The thing is I'll probably be doing a lot more research again to make sure I'm making the correct change.   I'm very happy with the spring rates at the moment, just that I don't have enough dampening.    


Well, dammit, somewhere I lost all my emails between myself and Ceika when I bought these coilovers.   Was trying to go back and confirm which adjustment was which on these things. Now I can't remember between the body and the remote, which is compression and which is rebound.   Whoops.

klodkrawler05 Reader
8/27/18 1:02 a.m.

I'm not sure you'll know the answer to this question since you don't have the paperwork saying which adjustment is which, but MCS directs us to turn rebound up whenever the car is too bouncy, you turn that up until it's not bouncy, too high and you'll start to lose grip but you need it high enough to control the spring rate you've got.

Once we hit a setting that works with our springs we never touch rebound again and make all of our handling adjustments via the compression knob.

If you still have rebound range left you may not need to revalve the shocks. I know with rebound turned too low on the M3 it's extremely bouncy but with rebound set right it's smooth as can be.

hhaase HalfDork
8/27/18 6:09 a.m.

I’m actually about 85% sure I know which is which.   But either way I ran out of adjustment range before I ran out of bounce.  

hhaase HalfDork
8/30/18 10:06 p.m.

Oh Happy Day!   

First thing is that OST let me know the serial number on my new head, and sent me a teaser photo.   I'm not going to rush him at all, as this isn't a rush build, and I'm going to take my time appropriately here.   Car can drive and compete as it sits right now,  locally anyway, so there's no time crunch right now. 

The other good news is the local shop called and said the block and crank are done!   And under-budget by a significant percentage.   He said the crank mic'd out to factory-new specs,  and I quote "you couldn't have talked me into grinding it, this thing is just perfect already".    Cylinder bores only needed a cosmetic polish,  again they all measured out to factory-new spec up and down the bore.   I'm not terribly surprised, there was effectively no sludge in the pan,  it was a seriously low-mileage engine to begin with.  Never seen an oil pickup that clean on a used engine.

Photos tomorrow of the bottom end parts when they get back.  And a bit of a surprise I've been working on.



oldeskewltoy UltraDork
8/31/18 9:31 a.m.



the beginning on the intake side.....




and on the exhaust side....





oldeskewltoy UltraDork
9/2/18 1:05 p.m.

a bit further.....


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