|Miata on the lift...First report!
||[Apr. 18th, 2004|12:28 am]
Today I got my first detailed look at the Miata, which is something I should have done before buying it. In any case, after cracking the hood with intentions to try and run the car before yanking the motor, I noticed something awry. The upper radiator rubber hose attaches to a metal tube coming out from the block. This was broken off by the impact. Snap! It didn't look like a hard welding job to fix, but no water is getting through the motor with this off. I later noticed that this piece (thermostat housing, apparently) snapped off past a flange, which was bolted to the block. In other words, I can take the part off from Lu's motor and not worry about this. The pully that looks to drive the alternator is also off, and it looks sort of like it may just be a press-fit anyway. This is a bit strange, but the truth will come out when I get the shop manual.|
We put the Miata on the lift and looked for other issues, and couldn't find any (so far!). However, with the "hole in the block" as well as an empty fusebox and unplugged connectors everywhere, we won't be able to run it. This makes me highly skeptical that Colin (the seller) ever had it running after the accident. Either that or he ran it without water. Neither makes me feel very good, but oh well. We took the valve cover off and things looked pretty clean inside (as you might expect for a 40k mile motor). That's a bright spot in the otherwise somewhat disturbing investigation. The rear end looks decent (besides being an open diff, I'll have to source a nice clutch-type before putting it into my 7). The brakes are rusted as you might expect for a car that's been sitting for 3 years.
Speaking of sitting, there looked like rust in the sparkplug holes on cylinders 1 & 2...ugh.
So, at the current time, I'm a little worried but optimistic for the success of the swap into Lu's car. If the motor has issues internally, I honestly don't know what I'll do. I won't really know until I get the motor out of the car and into Lu's. Today I bought a 1000 lb. engine stand at Harbor Freight ($50 by the way) which will soon serve as the temporary home for this motor as I do the timing belt, and whatever easy gaskets and seals I can get at.
Just as a recap of the plan for this car: It will serve as the first donor for the S7 project (Super Seven? Slonie Seven?) but the motor is NOT going to be used for that. Instead, the motor is going into Lu's 1994 Miata with a blown motor. The rest of the salvagable parts will be stripped after Lu's car runs, and saved for my future usage. I have two competing plans in my mind for the 7's powerplant.
1) 12A on carbs or 13B (perhaps Sam Hsu's $300 1988 GTU motor on EFI). It would be nice to get my feet wet in the strange world of rotaries, and the power-to-weight ratio of the rotary powerplant is about as good as it gets outside of bike motors.
2) 20V 4A-GE. With my silvertop in the AE86 leaking like a mofo, I might want to pull it out. I'll pick up another 20V, do the seals on that one, then drop it into my AE86. Meanwhile, my current motor can come out and undergo an overhaul. When the 7 is ready, I'd drop the motor right in.