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DanM's Westfield Miata


DanM
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So, after a couple of days of checking and double checking I had identified a few kit deficiencies that needed to be discussed with Manik and relayed to Westfield. Now, my approach to deficiencies is fairly open minded, I have read enough build diaries from multiple car kit manufacturers to know that the tolerances and QC across the industry can sometime be a little weak, and we as builders are expected to use our engineering prowess to work around it.  So when identifying deficiencies, I mainly focus on order errors, missing parts or damaged parts that are clearly visible as I approach or sit in the car.  The stuff that makes your heart sink and wish you'd spent your hard earned cash on something else.

 

So, in no particular order here are the deficiencies that I felt were worthy enough to hit the charts! 

  • I was sent a black windscreen, posts and headlights, instead of the chrome package option that I ordered.
  • I was sent the black carbon fibre stone guards instead of aluminium stone guards
  • The dash panel had a very visible scrape (dime size) on the surface
  • The handbrake attachment point on the chassis welded back to front

....oh, and a bolt was missing! lol

 

To be honest, I only noticed the handbrake bracket because I had been reading some build threads that recommended installing the handbrake first. I'm sure there's other stuff that will pop up as I get to it!

IMG_3732a.thumb.jpg.9d0aced416f9c004d056523ae8611089.jpg

 

 

 

 

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That handbrake mount really sucks.  I would hate to lay into a new powder coated chassis to cut it out and re-weld it in the right direction or bodge weld a new piece to it to make it work.  The rest is disappointing but can be overcome.  

 

 

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Naa, just go for it. Powder coating is the worst possible corrosion protection for a frame, so that new handbrake mount will be the best spot on the frame when you are done! 
 

I don’t know how it is supposed to be, but looking at it I’d just cut it off and leave short tabs on both sides, to which I’d bolt a new piece I’d make out of flat bar or a nice machined alu part. No need to weld on the chassis.

Edited by Rosteri
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 So, after about 6 weeks of backwards and forwards between me, Manik and Westfield we arrived at a way forward for the kit deficiencies.

 

Apparently, the availability of the chrome package had been sporadic over the last year or so, and at the time my kit was ready for shipping there weren't any available.  This is why I was sent the black.  Unfortunately, as the chrome look is critical for my build, black isn't an option, especially as I have biscuit coloured seats and trim. Westfield have now put me on the waiting list and will send me the chrome items when they are next available.

 

The damaged dashboard will be replaced with a new one.

 

Unfortunately, the aluminium stone guards are no longer available from Westfield, and so I was sent the carbon ones as a replacement.  C'est la vie, if I really want some I'm sure I can get some made up locally.

 

Lastly, after a discussion regarding a potential bolt on solution for the handbrake bracket, Westfield have decided to send me a new bracket that I can have welded on.

 

I'm happy with the outcome and now I'm just playing a waiting game until the parts arrive.  My last correspondence with Manik (Westfield) was mid December and so I'm hopeful that I will receive the parts (Especially the handbrake bracket) early in the new year.

 

Right, enough for now, time for a few beers to see in the new year!!

 

Happy New Year Everyone! :cheers2:

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The waiting game....

 

So this is where I call upon the advice of all you seasoned Westfield Miata builders out there.....

 

Due to my soccer injury I am still out of commission and barely walking.  This means I'm not able to get out in my garage that much at the moment.  On top of that I have two tables covered with engine parts blocking access to the chassis.

IMG_4012a.thumb.JPG.a1eeb7e8f51fd1267d19f6206b2f122c.JPG

 

My plan was to assemble the engine before the holidays, clear space and then tinker with the car during my time off.  Unfortunately, because of COVID some of my engine parts were on back order and so I'm on a bit of a holding pattern.   (I was also working on a family bathroom reno that is now on hold too!...but that's another story! :918766748_biggrinjester(1):)

 

Anyway, back to the point of this post....experience recommends that the handbrake installation is the first part of the build to avoid bolts in the cockpit and ensure a cleaner finish. As this is not an option for me, nor is the bolting of tunnel panels until I have the new bracket installed what other items could I be getting on with (once mobile) while I wait? Can I do some of the other panels or are they reliant on the tunnel panels being in place?

 

While I have limited mobility I will probably start to unwrap the insulating tape from the miata wiring loom and see how far I get there..... 

IMG_3910a.thumb.jpg.8be7aaecf76089104f5c54192c951927.jpg

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The only things that will make the handbrake awkward are the panels on sides and top of the tunnel. You can get a lot done without doing those. All the other panels can go on, and the differential can go in. I think the fuel & brake lines are first though, aren't they?

 

The wiring harness was the most time consuming part for me. You won't be able to complete it until you get the scuttle in, but it is good to get started on it earlier. One thing on that is to see if you can find some "harness tape". It's less sticky than regular electrical tape.

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If warping a wiring harness, check out an industrail supply or electronic shop for spiral warp. It will go on much quicker then tape, and can be removed, it can expand if you need to add a wire or modify the harness.  You can also use it on your brake and fuel lines.  Next year when you add a air horn and have to take half the harness apart, you will be :) you did.

davew

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On 1/1/2022 at 5:54 PM, MPG said:

The only things that will make the handbrake awkward are the panels on sides and top of the tunnel. You can get a lot done without doing those. All the other panels can go on, and the differential can go in. I think the fuel & brake lines are first though, aren't they?

 

The wiring harness was the most time consuming part for me. You won't be able to complete it until you get the scuttle in, but it is good to get started on it earlier. One thing on that is to see if you can find some "harness tape". It's less sticky than regular electrical tape.

Thanks @MPG. That's good to know.  I think you're right the brake and fuel lines need to go in before the diff. Once I'm mobile again I will make a start on fitting and drilling the panels and securing the ones that I can to enable me to run these lines. 

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On 1/2/2022 at 8:47 AM, Dave W said:

If warping a wiring harness, check out an industrail supply or electronic shop for spiral warp. It will go on much quicker then tape, and can be removed, it can expand if you need to add a wire or modify the harness.  You can also use it on your brake and fuel lines.  Next year when you add a air horn and have to take half the harness apart, you will be :) you did.

davew

Thanks @Dave W. I will look into.  I'll also check the Ontario safety requirements for wire protection to see if I can get away with just the spiral warp.

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There are other options, if you need to meet Ontario requirements, i.e. your typical split plastic or braided cable covers. The only problem is you have to order them by wire bundle diameter. Then you end up trying to fit 10 lbs into a 5 lbs bag trick half the time.  Which ever way you go, I would advise that you only use tape on the short small bundle wire runs.  Dave W

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My last week on the build has been very chilled.  As my calf tear is still limiting my movement around the house and my garage heater is working overtime to keep up with the Canadian winter, I spent the time slowly working through the Miata wiring loom.

 IMG_4106.JPG.cd79e5a3b715f40a33502828f705a454.JPG

 

Task one; remove the sticky insulation tape with 30 years of grime baked on it.

 IMG_4036a.thumb.jpg.56126942996c75ca89c31992e75665a8.jpg

 

How many layers!!?

 IMG_4037a.thumb.jpg.96e2fd528d4c712b54c7b82109232312.jpg

 

Pile of gooey tape!

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Once the tape was off, I started familiarizing myself with the donor loom. With the SDV build manual, Miata Haynes Manual and Miata shop manual in hand, I slowly figured out what was staying and what was going.  

 

At this stage I wasn't too concerned with completely hacking wires and connectors off.  Instead, I just focused on identifying what I thought were redundant wires, cutting one end, coiling them and labelling them. I will remove them completely when I am able to lay the loom over the chassis and double check the connectivity.  I'm hoping that by spending a few days doing the monotonous stuff now while I cant progress with much else, it will make the build flow a bit better when the weather and my calf improves.

 

The first to be organized was the headlight motor loom followed by speakers, electric windows, power steering and heater wires.  To be honest, I found the heater connectors and wires the most confusing at first as I couldn't match up the wire colours with any of the manuals.......I then realized that although the connector was attached to the heater blower unit most of the wires were simply passing through the connector en-route to somewhere else. You can imagine the hours of fun I had figuring that one out! :banghead:

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 Not that one!!! 💥

 IMG_4047a.thumb.jpg.27883b07c39d82c3d887f15f7e55b3a3.jpg

 

Pull!!!

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The fruits of my labour.

IMG_4104a.thumb.jpg.2ed4e22ee3df2243f74b2da4dfa6372b.jpg

 

 

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So with the wiring taken as far as I'm going to take it for now, I thought I'd get creative and play around with potential dash layouts.  You may have noticed that the Westfield Miata dash is different to the standard Westfield dash as it utilizes the the gauge cluster from the Miata donor. I wasn't a huge fan of it at first, but now the look is growing on me.  I think it just needs a bit of definition to make it look more interesting.

 

Here are my initial thoughts on how I might incorporate some kind of back panel for the gauges and switches/buttons.

 

Rectangle panel with marine rocker switches.

IMG_4029a.thumb.jpg.676300869e3227049b22083d67ea2211.jpg

 

Shaped panel with round buttons

IMG_4031a.thumb.jpg.b27bbf14db4d8f044c6f6b7e504fa3a1.jpg

 

Number 2 is my current preference, but I still need to somehow make the centre console section less of an eye saw!  Do any of you Westfield Miata builders have pictures of your layouts?

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4 hours ago, DanM said:

Number 2 is my current preference, but I still need to somehow make the centre console section less of an eye saw!  Do any of you Westfield Miata builders have pictures of your layouts?

 

Agree with you on option 2.  Also just woke up and saw you have a boost gauge - I missed that enhancement in my earlier read :classic_biggrin:

 

An idea for the dash.  Your problem is that there is a lot of flat black plastic.  To give it some definition you could try to add a feature color to break up the black.  For the shaped panel and/or the scallop underneath, get an upholsterer to find some matching tan vinyl or leather (to match the seats), edge it for a nice finish and then glue to the dash.  The lighter color/different material might make it more interesting.  

 

Alternatively you could go for a brighter contrast in a silver vinyl and try the same idea.  Test the idea with some colored paper to see if it works.  

 

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1 hour ago, Croc said:

 

Agree with you on option 2.  Also just woke up and saw you have a boost gauge - I missed that enhancement in my earlier read :classic_biggrin:

 

An idea for the dash.  Your problem is that there is a lot of flat black plastic.  To give it some definition you could try to add a feature color to break up the black.  For the shaped panel and/or the scallop underneath, get an upholsterer to find some matching tan vinyl or leather (to match the seats), edge it for a nice finish and then glue to the dash.  The lighter color/different material might make it more interesting.  

 

Alternatively you could go for a brighter contrast in a silver vinyl and try the same idea.  Test the idea with some colored paper to see if it works.  

 

 

Thanks for the ideas, I like the thought of wrapping it in vinyl!  That way I could probably take some of the radius out of the curved section that joins the tunnel and make better use of the space! :cheers2:

 

W.R.T boost gauge thought I'd put it in there to dream a little and see if I could be tempted! Lol  I have already bought a Megasquirt a wideband O2 and am also freshening up the engine, so I might just approach the build with a turbo in mind incase I go for it after registration.

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I had a turbo NA Miata before the 7, controlled by a Megaquirt, it was a ton of fun. I like flyinmiata.com parts, super quality. You just need a simple log manifold and a Garret GT2560R eBay clone turbo and your in business. miataturbo.net is always a good resource, lots of Megasquirt information. Don't get sucked into the HP gains, the more HP you make the more difficult it will be to drive on/off boost. So stay at modest power gains and you will have a lot of fun. 

 

Graham 

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24 minutes ago, fastg said:

I had a turbo NA Miata before the 7, controlled by a Megaquirt, it was a ton of fun. I like flyinmiata.com parts, super quality. You just need a simple log manifold and a Garret GT2560R eBay clone turbo and your in business. miataturbo.net is always a good resource, lots of Megasquirt information. Don't get sucked into the HP gains, the more HP you make the more difficult it will be to drive on/off boost. So stay at modest power gains and you will have a lot of fun. 

 

Graham 

Hey Graham, your Miata sounds like great fun!  I have done a lot of reading and Youtube watching recently and am coming to a similar conclusion to what you suggested.  I definitely wouldn't be looking for big HP, for the reasons you suggested but just enough boost to improve low end torque and get more than the 100ish HP that was once in the NA6.  My main reason for looking into this now is to figure out what prep to do upfront so I can avoid taking the dash out etc. later down the line.

 

Looking forward to @scannon joining the conversation! :classic_biggrin:

Edited by DanM
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When I built my SV I had planned to go naturally aspirated first but as I got deeper into the build I decided it would be much easier to turbocharge it during the build.  I used an FM exhaust manifold and an intercooler from Fast Forward Superchargers as it had both inlet and outlet pointing up on the ends of it.  I fabricated the plumbing from exhaust tubing and some 90 degree elbows.  I powder coated all the blue metal you seen in the pictures below using an old electric oven and a Eastridge powder coating set.  I consulted with Corky Bell about the design of the exhaust system and had it fabricated by a local shop using all mandrel bends.

 

For the first iteration I used a Link ECU that I had on hand and the next winter I changed it out for a Hydra Nemesis ECU which netted a 60 RWHP gain over the Link.  Both were tuned by FM's Jeremy.  Wiring in the ECU was the biggest and hardest part of the build but it started on the first attempt.

 

I never had a problem with getting more HP than I wanted in an given moment.  The final tune gave 301 RWHP at 14psi boost,  I ran it at 12psi most of the time as the engine was bone stock 1.8 out of a 2002 Miata.  100 HP just isn't enough for me. :driving:

 

 

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"301 RWHP at 14psi boost" is an astronomical number. In a perfect world 14.7 pounds boost will double HP, but the turbo exhaust system is very inefficient so you don't get double the power. So a stock 1.8 Miata on 12 pounds boost would be around 200 rwbhp. 

 

Graham 

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