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M2cupcar's 1990 Mazda Mx-5 Miata FE3 Turbo (35th) 
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LQFP112 - Up with the play
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:04 pm
Posts: 123
From Tallahassee I was headed to Tampa for a big Miata event. It was an awesome drive on two Florida highways with nary a car. At least up until I started hitting pockets of traffic lights north of Tampa. With each light synchros were failing. I was putting the car in first while rolling up to the light to get around that. But then the groaning and moaning was increasing too. About an hour north of Tampa the transmission gave up- couldn't shift to any gear and horrendous grinding in neutral. Steve (GRM FreeEMS challenge Miata owner) picked up a trailer and dragged me back to his shop in Tampa. On the way there we stopped by Miata salvage shop and picked up another Miata 5spd for $80. We'd planned on working with challenge car's tune on Friday, but my transmission called for a change in the plans. Unfortunately the transmission swap is more than a swap. The little Mazda transmissions are multiple sections and in my case have to be combined with the truck transmission front section to fit the FE3 engine. Time consuming because there's four sections, so six machined faces have to be cleaned and sealed on reassembly. That took most of the day, but in the end the car was back to running/driving.

Grassroots Motorsports Challenge car Tetanus keeping broken Miata company.
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Had to make a case splitter/puller/pusher to get the old trans apart.
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Old trans broken apart for disassembly.
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90 Miata | 302rwhp @ 6450rpm | 281rwftlbs @ 4800rpm | FE-dohc 2.0L turbo


Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:34 pm
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LQFP112 - Up with the play
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:04 pm
Posts: 123
Car made the trip back to Atlanta from Tampa trouble free. That was over 900 miles round trip on FreeEMS running on an A3 and no issues aside for the transmission. I need to work on my mechanical empathy for weak transmissions.
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While the transmission was fresh on my mind, I ran by our local Mazda salvage yard, Mazmart and picked up an FD transmission and R trans drive shaft.
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Overall size is very similar between Mazdas big/strong R transmission (left) and the small piece.
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I have a bell housing from a full size Mazda van that will allow me to bolt up the R transmission to the FE3. I'll need to get a driveshaft made and create an adapter for the power plant frame to connect to the tail shaft of the FD transmission similar to this below.
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90 Miata | 302rwhp @ 6450rpm | 281rwftlbs @ 4800rpm | FE-dohc 2.0L turbo


Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:39 pm
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LQFP112 - Up with the play
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:04 pm
Posts: 123
Got my idle sorted and adjusted. Turned out my Ford idle valve solenoid was completely seized up. Managed to salvage a valve off a spare Ford throttle body, get it swapped in and tuned. Idle control is nice.
Seized solenoid:
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Different valve had different connector, so I set it up with a pig tail for connecting.
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Installed
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Also did some tip-in tuning.
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90 Miata | 302rwhp @ 6450rpm | 281rwftlbs @ 4800rpm | FE-dohc 2.0L turbo


Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:45 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:31 pm
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Re mazda gearbox relative size being similar, there is an extra 5kg in the big box, or maybe more. I can't quite remember. But 40kg rings a bell for the big box?

Also, I *love* this photo:

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Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:29 pm
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