|December 23, 2010 - The car is now completely assembled and all the debris has been vacuumed out of the interior.|
It's certainly not done, but it does look respectable. Before I started, the crack on the top of the dash was barely noticeable with all the other problems. But now the interior looks good, the piece of black tape I just slapped over top is very obvious. Oh well, it's only a temporary fix. One nice touch is that I managed to fit the reset/programming button in where the old choke cable went.
So of course, I took it for a drive. The speedo is reading fast, so I don't have it calibrated correctly yet. A call to Jeremy at Flyin' Miata reveals that the T56 has a 17-tooth trigger wheel on the output shaft, so I'm seeing 17 pulses per driveshaft revolution. Okay, now I can calculate the correct pulses per mile. I had 40,000 in there as a rough guess, looks like it should be 52,209 with my current tire diameter.
The car's quieter. Not exactly a Lexus, but more manageable. As I lay more carpet down in the footwells, it will improve. I think I've also missed some spots under the rear deck, and I may try some rubber motor mounts eventually. But it's pretty good. The new wheel position is a step up, I'm happy with that.
The car is certainly not sorted out from a suspension standpoint yet, though. I'm not sure how much of what I'm feeling is a very high amount of unsprung weight in the rear with that live axle - a 2200 lb car with the rear end from a small truck is certainly hurting in that regard. I think I need a bit more rebound damping on the front shocks, and I should probably start looking at fitting some sway bars. I also have some Falken Azenis 215 tires on the car which have very, very stiff sidewalls on them. There's a set of 615s in the garage ready to go on, but it is really tempting to swap in some wider 15" wheels and a more compliant tire. That means spending a big chunk of change, though, so I'll probably put that off for a while.
While filling up the gas tank, I got in a conversation with a few other guys and ended up popping the hood. I suspect this will become a fairly common occurrence...