Car Broke.

So if your car has 250k miles on the clock, expect to replace more than what you went in there for in the first place.

I drive the piss out of my Miata. I’m not an ass on the road, but I like to take the long way home, and pushing the little 1.6 out to 7,000 rpm just seems like it’s what you’re supposed to do. But a high-mileage motor can’t last forever when you demand so much from it. I developed a quart-a-week oil consumption problem, probably the rings and valve seals starting to go. I had picked up a 110k mile engine that looked clean enough intending to swap it in one of these days so at least I was prepared.

Car went in the garage Saturday night, spent the evening prepping and pulling the old motor. This is what was on the agenda:

– pull old motor

– pull steering rack

– convert steering rack to manual

– replace steering rack

– attach transmission and new clutch to “new” motor

– install

– drive to work Monday morning.

NOT SO MUCH. When the old engine came out I found both motor mounts to be toast, which is odd considering the car never indicated this was wrong. I had Mazda Comp mounts on order but they had been delayed and wouldn’t show up until sometime mid-week. Fuck.

Then I noticed the boots on the steering rack were bad. I ran down some replacements that I could pick up locally through a friend and set to work. I followed the excellent writeup at FlyinMiata.com, but failed to see from their procedure that the lock washers for the tie rods would need to be deformed for removal and replaced (NOTE: BUY A RACK REBUILD KIT BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT THIS!)

Got the rack replaced, decided to use the 2 est mounts I had as a temp solution to get around and drop the new motor in. I bolted down the Capri valve cover I bought off eBay for $30, installed the CAS o-ring I got from the Mazda dealer for $6 and change, hooked up the various subharnesses and connectors and the whole thing went in without a hitch. Until I replaced the slave cylinder that is. No sign of a leak but it would NOT bleed more than a sputtering fart no matter how I pumped it. Today I ordered a new clutch line from Moss and checked out this VERY helpful DIY pressure bleeder article at r3vlimited. I will be finding a speed bleeder for my slave cylinder and brakes very soon because i HATE this procedure more than anything else.

So it sits in my garage waiting for parts and I’m borrowing a car to get to work. I forgot how bad it sucks.

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