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, 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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