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Old 09-17-2018, 07:13 PM   #90
John V
No more BMWs
John V's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Carmudgeonly Ride: 987S, Ram, MS3, CX-5, RX-8
Location: Glenwood, MD
Posts: 12,564
Man, July? I need to get back into this. I've actually done a lot of stuff in the past couple months.

I got my bellhousing and transmission installed and realized quickly that I would have to stand the engine up rather than run it with the 10 degree tilt, like in a Miata. The reason for this is the bellhousing that adapts the transmission (3rd gen RX-7 twin turbo) to the engine (Mazda 6 / Ford Fusion) is designed to have the engine perfectly vertical. This actually helps me, because it solved a minor interference issue I had with the steering rack near the front of the motor. I test fitted the transmission and made a strap to hold the tail of it in the right place.

Kind of amazing that the shifter hole lines up just about perfectly. The transmission will move forward about a half an inch from where it is right now, and a stock FD RX-7 shifter should work well.

Like the new oil pan? It's from a Ford Ranger, which came with a version of this engine. Perfect clearance all around. And uses a stock Ranger pickup, dipstick and dipstick tube. Really simple. Only downside is it isn't internally baffled, but I can have some baffling done later on.

Oil Pan clearance to the steering rack is good.

I think I have everything in place to fab the engine mounts. The engine is about an inch from the firewall at the closest point. The engine is as low as it can go and still clear the steering rack and the subframe, though just barely. The oil pan is not hanging down below the subframe. The transmission is at roughly the right angle relative to the differential. A side note that makes all this challenging is that the transmission and differential need to be at the same but opposite angle. In other words, if the transmission is pointed five degrees down, the differential needs to point 5 degrees up. U-joints only operate at constant velocity if both angles are equal. CV joints (like in a car with independent suspension) don't have this requirement.

I made a couple of plates to bolt to the engine. I'll join the plates to the (stock Miata, for now) rubber engine mounts using some 1.5" OD, 3/16" thick steel DOM tubing.

I ordered an electric power steering pump from a Toyota MR-2 Spyder to power the steering rack. The factory Miata steering pump won't fit with the turbo plumbing, and the electric pump lets me move weight to the trunk to improve the weight distribution. I ordered it from a salvage yard and it should be here this week, so I can start making a mount for it.

Which brings me to my newest toy... a MIG welder! I haven't welded anything in a long time, so I'm way out of practice. Mostly I just need to tack stuff together so one of my talented friends can TIG it the rest of the way, but having a metal glue gun is essential for engine mounts and other brackets. Fun!!

Last edited by John V; 09-18-2018 at 07:02 AM.
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