My Old Volvo at Salvage Auction My car has already turned up at the salvage auto auction. It’s at the IAAI Culpepper, VA location. I really loved this car and had plans to keep it forever. In fact, I had just done the Volvo recommended 97,500 mile service on the car and had just filled the gas tank with super unleaded! However, I have no plans to buy my old car back. ¬†Actual Cash Value is $11,308 and the Estimated Repair Cost is $9,462. Modern Volvos aren’t cheap to repair. If circumstances were different, maybe I would try to repair it myself. But I needed […]

Volvo No More

A few weeks ago I was in a fender bender on my way to work. It was one of those crappy situations where it was 100% my fault, because it is my duty not to hit other vehicles in front of me, but also a tough situation to avoid. A group of 4 or 5 vehicles, mine included, were stopped on a highway ramp waiting for traffic to clear so that we could merge from the interchange onto a 4-lane divided highway. There was no merge lane, just a yield sign at the end of the ramp. When there was […]

Parts you need to modify to convert your Mikuni TM24 to cable actuated starter enrichment (choke)

In the beginning… When I first got the Aprilia, starting the bike with a cold engine would go something like this: Kickstand up. Ignition key on. Shift gearbox to neutral. Kill switch set to Run. Snake right hand between plastic bodywork and aluminum frame. Fumble around blindly as I awkwardly reach for the Mikuni TM24 carburetor plunger mechanism and pull up to activate the starter enrichment circuit (choke). Press starter button. Gently rev engine for a minute or so while stationary. Put on helmet and gloves. Set off down the road gently, upshifting before 7,000 rpm, keeping an eye on […]

Up on jack stands

Project Miata Update

One of the main benefits to ITBs is their very small throttled volume (that is the volume between the throttle plate and the back of the intake valves), which bestows them with excellent throttle response. Another benefit is that that they have a very large throttle area, which means they can flow a lot more air, without the negative consequences of a single throttle of similar area. You see, throttles must be sized appropriately for the engine. Like the fairy tale of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, you don’t want a throttle that is too big nor too small. Throttles […]

MS Labs CAN Wideband Module V2.1 PCB Front

Project Miata Update

Well that was quick! My new MS Labs CAN Wideband Module with optional OBD-II port has arrived. UPS 3 Day Select all the way across the country arrived in just 2 days! Big thanks to Trackspeed Engineering for the quick order processing. Some observations: The new hardware enclosure is anodized black instead of silver/clear. The case screws are now T10 Torx instead of Phillips head. There is a second serial connector for the OBD-II harness. The PCB is v2.1. Obviously a completely different design to accommodate the OBD-II. No more jumper wires on the back side of the PCB. Sorry […]

Project Miata Update

Trying to troubleshoot random sync loss errors. In this video you can hear the engine stumble momentarily due to a sync loss error at 1:34 and again at 2:44. Data logs show the sync loss for reason #2 (missing tooth at wrong time). This only seems to happen when the CAN module is plugged in. When unplugged, I don’t get the random sync loss errors. I also ran the high speed Composite Logger and the cam and crank signals patterns appear to be normal during the sync loss events. Disappointingly, Reverant has not responded to my last two email inquiries […]

Project Miata Update

So let’s start with the good news. I insulated my coolant return hard pipe and it appears to have done the trick. While I haven’t tested it under load, I did a cold start and let it idle until engine was warm. CLT went from 66F to 180F and MAT went from 62F to 66F. Much better than before! The bad news is I still haven’t figured out the cause of my random sync loss errors. I captured a data log of the warm up cycle and it showed 3 sync losses for reason #2 (missing tooth at wrong time). […]

Project Miata Update

I installed Heatshield Products Fire Shield Sleeve p/n 210048 (1.25″ ID x 3′) on the aluminum coolant return hard pipe. So while it’s meant primarily to protect fuel lines and such, insulation works in both directions (think of your cooler or thermos), so I’m hoping this insulation helps keep my intake air temps down when coolant temps go up. If not, I’ll have to ditch the open element air filter and go to a custom carbon fiber cold air box sooner rather than later. I secured the insulation to the hard pipe with the supplied heat shrink at the forward […]