[Nightmare ] Porsche Boxster Convertible Top from Auto Top Factory LLC

17 06 2014

First, before I begin this sad tale, let me say that installing a new convertible top on a Porsche Boxster is not as scary a task as it sounds. Pelican Parts quotes it as a 16 hour job I think, in their online tutorials. It’s not. Maybe 8 hours worst case scenario, and probably closer to 3 or 4 if you’re familiar at all with how it all fits together.

Now, when selecting a top to buy DO NOT USE Auto Top Factory LLC out of Van Nuys, California. While the quality of the top may be average the owner is a pathelogical liar and if you run into any defects or problems with your top they WILL NOT back you up but will rather lie to you continually, make promises they don’t keep, and eventually stop answering your emails and avoiding your phone calls entirely.

This gem of a guy goes by the eBay user ID of autotopfactoryllc  and while their feedback rating may not look too bad, there’s a reason for that: he’s a sneaky little bastard that knows the eBay timelines for refunds and feedback, and carefully makes sure that he’s your best friend by promising you the world until those dates have gone by. Then, good luck getting a phone call answered. And, if you’re lucky enough to get him on the phone after that expect to have him pretend he can’t hear you and hang up.

If you’re interested in the gory details, here they are:

April 14th, 2014
I purchased a replacement convertible top for my 1999 Porsche Boxster from Auto Top factory LLC on eBay. paid $319.00 via PayPal. The company offers a six (6) year warranty against manufacturer defects.

18 April 2014
I received the top and installed it that same weekend.

20 April 2014
I discovered that, due to incorrect manufacturing, the guide straps that guide the top into the roof channels during closing had torn away from the top (the guide straps were sewn the wrong way around with the rubberized side facing inwards which would not allow the straps to slide along the roof frame bars as intended)) and thus my top would not close without having two people outside the car during closing (to manually guide the top into the roof channels).

23 April 2014
I contacted the company and they were very apologetic and offered to send me a replacement top right away or to help me fix the issue. I agreed to try and fix it first rather than spending another day or more removing the old and re-installing a new top (again).

29 April 2014
The company sent me replacement guide straps and a needle and thread, which used – per their instructions – to sew the new straps onto the roof fabric.

Unfortunately this solution did not work as my sewing skills are far from factory-precise and the new straps caused the roof fabric to be too fat to fit into the channel and thus still required two people outside the car during closing to manually guide the roof fabric into the channels, plus when closed it now has bulges along the roof line due to the fat new straps having being sewn in by hand.

6 May 2014
I emailed the company again and told them that I would like to accept their offer of a replacement top.  I received no email reply.

8 May 2014
I called the company and spoke to Liza Dekirmendjian. Liza then told me that they would replace the top only after I removed it and shipped the old, defective one back to them. I became upset due to the fact that I had spent the last two weeks screwing around with this top trying to correct the defects and that I could not remove the top from my car that is parked outdoors and wait two weeks for a new one to arrive, especially as we were entering the rainy season. The owner, Hutch Dekirmendjian, then came to the phone and apologized to me. He told me that customer satisfaction is their prime concern and that he would send me a new top right away, along with a pre-paid shipping label to return the old one in the same box once I do the new install. In order to compensate me for the hassle he also offered to upgrade the top to a glass-window version. I accepted his offer and he promised to ship the new top no later than Monday, May 12th.

13 May 2014
One day after I was promised it would ship, I received an email from Liza saying:
“Hello Grant.
Per your conversation with Hutch, we will be sending you a new top for your Boxster. The tops are in production and should ship out no later than Monday. We will probably expedite the shipping to be sure you receive it quickly.
Thank you.
Liza”.

This was the very last email I ever received from the company, even though I emailed them six times since asking about the status of my shipment.

Note: This was day 30 since purchase, and also the final day that I would be eligible to file an eBay claim against them for a misrepresented item. At the time I did not realize it but I am now sure this delay was very calculated from the start, as you shall see below.

13 May 2014
I replied to Liza’s email asking why it had been delayed when Hutch had promised me it would ship on the 12th. I received no reply.

19 May 2014
I emailed asking for a status update on the shipment. I received no reply.

20 May 2014
After numerous attempts, I finally reached Hutch by telephone. He was very friendly and said they’d been out of stock on the glass windows, but he had them now and would be shipping my top right away. He also offered to throw in some double-sided tape and a defroster cable to make up for the delay.

2 June 2014
After still having received no shipment, I emailed asking for a status update on the shipment. I received no reply.

3 June 2014
I emailed asking for a status update on the shipment. I received no reply.

I placed at least one dozen phone calls (likely more) during this same time period but the phone was never answered (and no voicemail or answering machine picked up).

5 June 2014
I finally reached hutch by telephone. Again, he was super friendly and apologized for the delay saying that he went to Vegas this time as a reason for not having sent the package (huh?). He promised he would go right now and package it up and send it to me. He also offered to throw in a headliner as an added bonus to make up for the delays. I, being skeptical, asked him to clarify that he would send the shipment that very day. He replied that yes he would. I asked him to call me back or email me with the package tracking number. He promised that he would post the tracking number to eBay that night and would also email it to me.

Needless to say I never received a tracking number, nor any email from him.

9 June 2014
I emailed both hutch & Liza asking for the tracking number. I received no reply.

10 June 2014
I began calling by phone every day, and many days as many as 5-10 times a day. The phone would just ring and ring.

11 June 2014
I called from a friend’s phone (with an out of state number) and Hutch answered. I said hello and verified that it was him. He said yes. Then I told him who was calling and he suddenly said he couldn’t hear me and hung up. I called back and, of course, the phone simply rang and rang. I called about 6 or 7 times until I gave up.

13 June 2014
I called from another friend’s phone with an entirely different area code, and Liza answered. I asked to please speak to Hutch. She asked who was calling and I said “Grant”. Hutch came to the phone and said “Robert?”. I said “No, this is Grant Boshoff”. He then did the same routine as before, saying “Hello? Hello? I can’t hear you?” and hung up. Again I called back numerous times but it rang and rang as usual.

14 June 2014
I open a case with eBay, but because it is over 30 days from purchase all they will do is facilitate communication between us but will not enforce any action whatsoever. In my communication I stated a very brief description of the above and stated that all i wanted was simply a working top as promised numerous times. Hutch replied back saying that I was demanding a refund without being willing to return the top first and that they refused to speak to me any further about it.

So, I figured I’m not getting the replacement and to just cut my losses, post negative feedback on eBay, and move on. Well, guess what, the 60 days had just elapsed so I was unable to post negative feedback. Annoyed yet?

 

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SCCA ITA Rookie Race Season

9 11 2010

As my blog is sorely out of date I figured I should at least post of few snippets about my on-track adventures and current cars. Much more detailed info, news and videos can be found on our team website at www.ThrustMotorsports.com

#81 ITA Neon at Roebling Road Double Drivers School - Feb 14, 2010

After selling the Mazda RX-7 last year I bought a race-prepped Dodge Neon car to race in SCCA ITA class club racing. I attended SCCA drivers school at Roebling Road in Feb 2010, earned my Novice Permit, and immediately launched into my first wheel-to-wheel race the very next weekend on the Sebring Long Course. The 2010 season went by quickly.  I ran at least one event every month throughout the year.

Mid year my buddy Doug came on board as a co-driver. Doug is the one who helped me with the RX-7 13B rebuild. He had years of circle track experience so I offered him the use of my Neon in order for him to attend Drivers School and get licensed. We then ran a couple 90-minute Enduro races in my car.

Doug got bitten hard by the bug, and within a month he had his own ITA Neon in the garage.

Right behind him came Matt who purchased a nicely prepped ITA VW GTi. They rented out the space connected to my shop and we instantly had a race team.

We ran mid-pack for most of the season with our best finish 3rd at the Homestead Enduro in July (with me and Doug driving).

I felt like I was pushing the Neon about as far as I could and decided that it was time to take it to the next level. After doing a bit of searching I found a very well developed2nd Gen Acura Integra in Georgia. The car was extremely well built and had a pedigree (2nd in the 2009 American Road Race of Champions and many, many poles & podiums during the last three years). So, I shelled out the dough and bought her, trailer and all!  What a good decision that was. I loved the Neon but the Integra is a whole different league of machine.

The previous owner was nice enough to offer to deliver her to me at Roebling Road (I had been invited to race the SARRC Invitiational Challenge there). So, we showed up, took delivery of the Teg and promptly hit the track. It drove VERY differently from the Neon. Lots of skinny peddle and it sticks like crazy. By the end of the weekend I still was not comfortable in it, but finished a respectable 6th in the SIC.

Two weeks later I took her out to our “home track” at Sebring for the first of the 2011 SARRC points races and a regional. Being more familiar with the track I was able to get more comfortable in the car fairly quickly.  My best lap time on the short course with the Neon was a 1:27. In the Teg I turned a 1:25 during the practice session, then a 1:24 for qualifying, putting me 6 on the grid for the SARRC race. I ended up winning the race with my best lap at a 1:21.9

That same weekend Doug sold his Neon right at the track. He searched around for a few weeks and just recently came home with a very nice 1st Gen Mazda Miata which he can run in both Spec Miata and ITA classes. He affectionately named her “Goose”. Don’t ask why 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s the brief update. As I mentioned before, you can get many more details about my racing exploits, team news, photos and videos at the Thrust Motorsports website.





[SOLD] 1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE (13B Streetport) SCCA E-Production Race Car For Sale

23 11 2009

After all the hard work of the rebuild I finally came to the difficult decision that the RX7 is just not the right car for me at this point. There were many factors that came into the decision and I will not bore you with all the gory details; The salient points were the lack of local resources for tech help and the higher cost of being competitive in the flexible production classes as opposed to the more restrictive stock classes. I will be racing my 97 Dodge Neon in ITA for the 2010 season due to the lower cost & easy availability of parts, and the lack of need to invest in a ton of performance upgrades in order to be competitive.

This car is logbooked for SCCA E-Production class club racing. Zero hours on freshly rebuilt 13-B Streetport engine. Rebuilt with Atkins Rotary seal kit, including Atkins patented solid corner seals.

Car has Koni coilovers, disc brakes all round, racing clutch, LSD, Victory racing wheels, Kirky seat, fuel cell, steel braided fuel and oil lines, oil cooler, roll cage with NASCAR style driver’s door, fire system etc. etc.  Ready to race. Just needs some new brake pads, a few cosmetic items, tuning and setup. Hasn’t been raced since October 2006.

Trailer available for an extra $1,000 if you need it.

Spares include: distributor cap & wires, brake rotors, front quarter panel, full exhaust, transmission, extra set of wheels, and a dozen racing tires (mostly Hoosiers).

CAR IS SOLD!





The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 11 :: Leak Correction

29 03 2009

Early in the week I called Mazdaspeed Motorsports and ordered two oil pan gaskets (one for between the oil pan and the baffle and another for between the baffle and the engine block).  While I was at it I decided to get new motor mounts as the threads on mine were pretty much trashed.  The stock mounts were $20 for one side and $30 for the other, but for $40 each they had the competition mounts which are 40% stiffer. Guess which ones I ordered?

I also took my alternator up to a local starter & alternator shop and had them rebuild it. For $90 I got a new rotor, brushes, bearing, and pulley. A little cheaper than buying a whole new reman, but these guys stand behind their work and they got it done quick. None of our local auto parts shops had the alternator in stock and they were all about $150 anyway.

So, Saturday arrived and Doug and I hit the ground running at around 8:30 AM.  Well, not so much running as worming around on our backs. We literally spent most of the day on our backs under the car amidst oil, grease and cat litter. It was a long, dirty, and tiring day to be honest.

First, we moved the jack stands to the rear of the front wheel wheels so that we had free access to the front of the car. Then we removed the front wheels to create more elbow room, and removed the skid plate from underneath.  Next we jacked up the engine from underneath the transmission, about 4 inches up.  It was not enough to be able to remove the oil pan around the steering linkage though.

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So, we then unbolted the steering linkage on each side. The driver’s side was easy (a 19mm nut) while the passenger side needed the cotter pin removed which was no easy task. We had to make a run to AutoZone to buy a ball joint removal fork (not sure of the technical term) and then popped the joints out and dropped the linkage down to provide easy access to the oil pan. While doing the AutoZone run we had also grabbed Doug’s air ratchet from his house so removing the oil pan bolts was quick work.

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After we had pried the oil pan off, we spent a good hour or so removing the dried RTV from the pan and baffle. I worked the baffle over with a chisel to get the bulk of the RTV off and then a wire brush air tool to buff it back to pristine shape.  Doug did a similar action on the oil pan but also spent some time straightening out the pan and grinding some rough spots down. When he was done the darn thing looked almost new.

Then, after another Autozone run (forgot to get more RTV on the last trip), we built ourselves a gasket sandwich with lots of black RTV. Oil pan, RTV, gasket, RTV, baffle, RTV, gasket, RTV. Used an entire tube of the stuff!

We then got back on the floor (again) and installed the oil pan (again) and gently bolted it down all the way around. It looks good, and I am confident that we will not have any leaks this time around.

Before we dropped the engine back down onto the motor mounts we removed the existing mounts and installed the new Mazdaspeed competition mounts. We reused the underneath nuts but had to use new nuts for above (10 x 1.25 if anyone needs to know).  After that we bolted the skid plate back into place and were basically back to where we were a week ago.

I am certainly no expert, but if anyone else is doing their first rebuild my advice is this: use an oil pan gasket no matter what the guy on  the rebuild DVD says!  By the time we got done I was covered in grime, had oily cat litter in my hair, and muscle aches from lying on a cold concrete floor all day. Thankless work.

Next step: buy new or rebuild the existing rear brake caliper…or maybe not. We put the front wheels back on, removed the jackstands, jacked up the rear driver’s side, removed the wheel, and pulled the caliper.  Upon inspection we found that the caliper was not ceased. It was dry and greaseless but still operational. We pulled it apart, regreased all of the seals and plungers, and made sure everything was moving smoothly.  Later this week I will grab some new brake pads and reinstall the caliper with pads. I will also check all the calipers all the way around, grease them as needed, and install new pads.

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Then we’ll pop her on the trailer and be ready for the Thursday night shakedown run at Desoto Speedway.





The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 10 :: The Moment of Truth

21 03 2009

Well, it is Saturday, March 21st, and rather than boring you with an essay on today’s adventure I am going to let you see it – albeit an abridged version – for yourself…

As you can see and hear above we got her running quite well today. The initial starter trouble that I had encountered last week was easily fixed when we realized that the sending cable (from the starter button) was not attached to the starter-mounted solenoid. Doug figured this out within about 10 minutes using his trusty test light.

When we first fired her up she sounded quite rough and was stalling consistently while also producing tons of smoke. The engine was flooding continually. I had to turn the engine over with the fuel pump off and then flip it on the moment the engine caught. The timing was obviously off but she wouldn’t idle long enough for us to use the timing light effectively. We messed around for a while trying to adjust the idle but it would not smooth out. After almost an hour I suddenly realized that we had not hooked up the Mass Airflow Sensor. Doh! That explains the flooding!  The poor ECU…trying desperately to meter air & fuel ratios without knowing how much air was flowing.

Once that was connected things got better quickly. The engine turned over and caught without having to turn the fuel pump on and off, but it would not run for more than a second or two.  Okay, now we’re getting somewhere though.

Next we pulled out the crank angle sensor (the thing on which the distributor is mounted) and reinserted it with the rotor pointing at the 1st spark plug in the firing order (front leading plug) and the engine at what we figured to be 15 degrees before TDC (top dead center). My pulley has numerous notches in it (rather than the normal two) and we had been using the first (TDC) notch up until now. But from my research I knew that we should ideally be somewhere around 16-26 degrees ahead of TDC. So we decided to use the furtherest (clockwise) notch which looked to be 15 degrees before top dead center (BTDC).

So, using a wrench we turned the engine over until the timing mark on the front housing was lined up to the 15 BTDC notch on the pulley, and then re-inserted the crank angle sensor back into the front housing so it meshed back in with the gear (ensuring that the distributor rotor was still pointed squarely at the 1st Leading plug), put the distributor cap back on, and fired her up again. She fired up with one short push of the starter, no gas pedal needed, and idled beautifully at around 2,000 RPM. Doug tuned the idle down to around 1,200 RPM and she sounded GOOD. The last two video clips above are after we made this change. In the last video you will hear us revving her up to around 5K and she sounds smooth and sweet…like a gigantic mosquito right?

Next we decided to reinforce the radiator and the front airbox. We did this with some sheet aluminum, rivets, and self-tapping screws. Here’s a couple pics of that work:

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Now for the bad news. While doing this we had the car jacked up on the front to work on the radiator reinforcements and noticed oil on the floor. Actually two puddles. One was from the oil temp sensor. Some thread tape took care of that quickly. But the second puddle was significantly more ominous. Turns out that the oil pan is not holding the seal. I almost screamed out loud when we discovered this.  I do NOT want to take the engine out and put it back in again.  What we’ll do is remove the steering linkage from below the oilpan, and hopefully that will give us enough access to remove the oil pan and reinstall it with new gaskets from below. Keep your fingers crossed on that one for us please.

Also found that we have a warped alternator pulley and/or shaft. It is wobbling slightly and creating metal shavings on the pulley bolt when the engine runs. No big deal. We removed the alternator before shutting down for the day. $55 and a quick trip to AutoZone will handle that. *(Correction: discovered later that this was a misquote, actual price is around $15o but none in stock).

I will call Mazda Motorsports on Monday to order the oilpan gaskets and hopefully next weekend we’ll get the oilpan sorted.  Then we’ll do an all around brake job, check suspension, bushings etc. and hopefully take her out to Desoto Speedway test & tune night the following Thursday evening for a shakedown run.

Can’t wait!  And my best friend, Kimbo, will be back from Australia next week too, so I’ll get to share the fun with him.  Like Xmas in March it is!





The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 9 :: Engine Install, Part 3

17 03 2009

This Saturday was a short day due to commitments in the afternoon, so I planned on starting early but didn’t get going until after 9AM. Both Matt and Doug had commitments also, so I was alone.  My plan was to fabricate a brace for the radiator, but being that I have absolutely no metal working experience I was a bit lost without help.  So instead I just decided to find my original skid plate. I started at the back wall, next to the tire stack, and what do you know…hiding behind my spare quarter panel was a piece of aluminum in a very specific shape that suspiciously resembled the cavity below the engine bay.  Wow, sometimes things just happen the way they’re supposed to.

So, I bolted it up to the frame, then dropped the radiator in and bolted that onto the skid plate. Perfect fit!  It needs some additional reinforcement as the aluminum seems a bit weak to really hold the radiator safely, but for the moment it is in. Here’s a picture of it from below (not very exciting, but for the purposes of a complete photographic record).

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Then I hooked up the radiator hoses, screwed in the water temperature sensor and tightened down all clamps. Finally, I bolted up the air intake to the manifold. So, except for bolting up the airbox and inserting the air filter, we’re done! Well, for the moment at least.

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Next, I drained the fuel cell by disconnecting the fuel line and pumping the fuel over the edge of the engine bay into a fuel can.  As you can probably tell from the photo below it took me a couple of attempts to disconnect the correct fuel line. Between the time it took me to get from the engine bay to the cockpit to flip the fuel pump on and off I ended up with a nice pool of gas under the car. Never fear, we’ll be cleaning that up before shooting any flaming arrows around the shop.

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I drained it fully and then walked across the street to the brand new 7/11 to get some fresh fuel. I got 5.5 gallons of 93 octane and mixed about 7 ounces of Valvoline two cycle oil in with it. This is about a 100:1 ratio, which is what seems to be the more prevalent ratio recommendation that I could find online AND the one listed on the back of my Valvoline bottle. To be safe though I called Pineapple Racing to find out their recommendation. Rob at Pineapple said to use only 4oz of oil per 5 gallons of gas, which is a 160:1 ration. Just because I am super paranoid I also called Dan at Atkins Rotary and asked him the same question. His answer was: “read the bottle”.  He said that because each brand of oil is slightly different he recommends following the oil manufacturer’s mixture ratio as listed on the bottle. That did seem to make sense – and validated my supreme intelligence at the same time – hence it has been adjudicated as the official “right answer”.

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Not my best side I know, but I took the bloody photo with one hand while pouring gas with the other, so I don’t want to hear any wisecracks.

So, everything is now done as far as the engine goes except for starting the darn thing. Again I turned everything on but when pushing the started button nothing happened. Just a soft click and that’s all.  I climbed under the car and scoped out the starter. Everything looked fine. Ground and main attached properly. I wanted to test to see if power was getting to the starter by using a screwdriver to jump the terminals but, even after adding the floor jack in addition to the jack stands under the car, I just could not sum up the courage to turn then engine over while lying underneath 2500 lbs of steel without anyone else around. Safety first, right?

So, that wrapped it up. Another weekend down without hearing her purr 😦  It will definitely happen next weekend though, so be prepared to hear it. I plan to take a video clip on my iPhone and post it next week so that you can all enjoy the sound! Strange the pleasures we find in life.

Until then,

Grant Boshoff
Thrust Motorsports





The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 8 :: Engine Install, Part 2

12 03 2009

Sunday came and I could not stay away. After brunch with the family I spent some time online researching the oil injector issue, then snuck out to the man-cave with my son (got to get him initiated sometime).

What I found is that the stock 13B’s have an oil metering pump (OMP) mounted to the front cover, just beneath the water pump, which feeds oil directly into the rotor housings via the oil injectors. This is for the purpose of lubricating the metal on metal contact between the seals and the housing. The oil injectors have been known to clog up from time to time, so some enthusiasts jettison the OMP in favor of running premix (two stroke oil mixed in with the gasoline). This made sense to me for a race application as it removes the possibility of engine damage due to a faulty OMP or clogged oil injectors.

So, upon my arrival at the cave I inspected the engine to see what the story was. If you recall, the oil lines to the injectors were missing. I compared pictures I had found online to my oil injectors and found that the harnesses of the oil lines were intact on the injectors but the lines had actually been cut…very strange. Then I inspected the OMP…oh, hold on, I don’t have an OMP. The OMP mounting area on the front cover had been covered up with a cover plate (standard issue when doing the OMP removal modification).

Now, some of you (who have read this blog from the first chapter) might be smelling a rat at this point…I certainly was. The guy who sold me the car had removed the OMP. Which means that he was running premix. Which means that I should have been running premix. Uh, information I could REALLY have used BEFORE I ran my car at Daytona with straight gasoline! $3.99 worth of Valvoline two-cycle oil could have saved me over a thousand dollars worth of rebuild parts, and 18 months of no racing. But then I would never have started this blog, so I suppose everything works out.

Truthfully, this experience has been worth it to me, as I have learned so much about my car by doing this rebuild that it is worth it. By the time I get her back on the track I will know the car and engine inside & out…literally.

Anyway, so the other thing this dork of a previous owner did was to just snip off the oil injector lines without capping them. Not sure how much of an effect this vacuum leak would actually have on the engine, but it would certainly not help.

So, to business. I removed the oil injectors from both the rotor housings and the lower intake manifold, and plugged all four holes with 10mm bolts. Sorry, forgot to take pics of this.

Then I climbed underneath and installed the new exhaust manifold gasket and bolted up the exhaust headers. Below photo taken from underneath the engine. That was all for Sunday.

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Then Tuesday afternoon Doug and I ditched work a little early and met up at the cave to try and finish things up.  We installed the distributor, spark plugs and wires. Luckily Mazda had the good sense to mark the top of the distributor cap with the spark plug positions. What a simple yet profound concept…how come all auto makers don’t afford us this simple convenience?

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Then the new oil filter went in, the fuel rail and fuel injectors, the alternator & belt, and finally the upper intake manifold. Not much to tell about all that…pretty straightforward. I had all my nuts & bolts in clearly marked zip lock baggies from disassembly so it was just a matter of bolting parts on.

The tricky part was connecting up the electrical harness, as I had marked those with magic marker on duct tape (stuck to each plug/connector etc.) and many had worn off or faded so as to be ineligible.  After quite a while of trial and error and assessing wire and vacuum line shape, length etc. we finally got everything hooked up correctly (we hope).

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We flipped on the power, ignition lights came on, fuel pump fired up, everything seemed to work fine.  Even though we had not put in fluids yet we just wanted to hear her turn over once or twice, so I hit the started button…and…nothing happened!  Oh bugger!  We’ll have to check the starter wiring and do a little troubleshooting on that but I doubt it will present a problem to our enormous brain power.

Next we went to install the radiator but found that I have apparently lost a vital piece from below the engine. There is nothing down there for the radiator to rest on or bolt on to.  I vaguely recall removing a skid plate type setup from below, but we scoured the shop and it is nowhere to be found. I’ll have to go back to the old house and hope that it is leaning up against the wall in a dark corner of the garage or fabricate something new to secure the radiator. Luckily we have all the tools available in the shop to cut, shape and weld metal.

So, the final punchlist grows shorter:

1. Install radiator.
2. Install airbox and hoses.
3. Troubleshoot starter.
4. Flush fuel cell and replace with fresh (premixed) gas.
5. Top off all fluids.
6. Fire her up!

We should be able to easily take care of all those items this Saturday.  After that we’ll turn our attention to an all-around brake job, suspension & alignment check (camber/caster), replacing a dented quarterpanel, and of course the very important new paint job (blue & white Mazda colors)!

So, until Saturday then,

Grant Boshoff
Thrust Motorsports