I. Rallycross Miata Roll Bar Preparation
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I started the day by working on installing the clutch cylinder correctly. Somehow, I had gotten it out of place when the engine was lowered into the car. It took me an hour just to figure it out and get it re-installed.
Then I started preparing for the arrival of the roll bar. It was scheduled for delivery today based on the tracking data. I removed the seats, door pillar covers, rear deck carpet and rear panel carpet.
I had found water in the trunk of the Rallycross Miata last week. Water leaks need immediate attention. I had already cleaned out the drain holes so the drains were working. So, I suspected the rain rail was leaking. Also, having the soft top off while installing roll bar seemed like a good idea to me.
All the 10 mm nuts holding metal rail supporting the rain rail had to be removed.
Then the three bolts on both sides of the frame have to be removed.
This cap had to be removed from the top of the door frame. It was held in by a pop in fastener and keeps the rain rail in place too.
This cover had to be removed also. The center pop rivet held it in.
Once the top was out I found some rust and dampness where the fuel pump cover is attached.
I will take a picture of the rain rail tomorrow. It does appear to have been leaking. The soft top will be re-installed once a new rain rail is ordered.
My son came over to assist me today so we began to focus on getting the engine running. All that was left was to install the exhaust system and intake tube and air cleaner. I decided to abandon the stock air box in favor of the aftermarket system pictured below. It apparently is acceptable for Rallycross Stock Rear wheel drive.
I had been trying to sell the Borla Muffler, but no one bought it so it got installed on the Rallycross Miata. I can accept the louder sound since the car will not be used on the road. I made a template from cardboard for the bumper cutout and marked the bumper. I then used a Dremmel tool to cut out the opening for the dual exhaust tip.
While under the car, my son noticed that I had not properly installed the bolts attaching the drive shaft to the diff. The bolts were in backwards and the lock washers were not seated properly. So he re-installed the bolts correctly.
When I was installing the coolant, I heard coolant running onto the floor. it turns out a small screw in plug was not installed at the back of the head. I pulled one from another head in the shop and installed it. I lost about a quart of new coolant before it was fixed.
We connected the battery, primed the fuel system and started the car. It started immediately and ran perfectly! The oil pressure came up quickly and there was no indication of engine distress.
Some smoke came off the manifold and exhaust and moisture from the muffler until the engine got fully up to temperature. This is a picture of the engine running about 20 minutes after it was started. No smoke, or other issues so far.
We also bled the brakes and installed some mud flaps on the rear wheel wells.
Then the FedEx truck arrived with the Hard Dog roll bar. So, we stopped to unwrap it.
We plan to install it tomorrow! It was quitting time.