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Babalouie
14-03-07, 10:19 PM
Some of you guys might be familiar with my current project, which is a Luce Rotary turbo....basically it's a mid 80's 929 with a JDM luxo pack and a 13b Turbo drivetrain from an FC RX-7.

The idea eventually is to get it to be something like this, VIP-ish, circuit-ish, family car and daily driver.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/5232-1.jpg

The engine rebuild was chronicled here (http://forum.jdmstyletuning.com/showthread.php?t=111&page=3) and the car is very much a work in progress. It's at the point where it's a reliable daily, and I have been driving it everyday for the last 6mths, so now the focus is on making it pretty and giving it some attitude.

Progress on the Luce mods have slowed lately, because she is in for paint.

Day 1 of the rebuild, stripping in readiness for panelwork:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture001.jpg

Day 2, all trim and bumpers stripped and panel repairs can begin:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture005.jpg

You can see that the car was originally gold, before getting resprayed in charcoal in Japan and in typical JDM style the engine bay is left the old colour. Also visible is the jumbo transmission cooler I fitted not long ago
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture006.jpg

Window trims removed...you can see that the Japanese painters didn't bother removing the trims when they did the color change in Japan, the original gold paint is visible underneath
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture007.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture008.jpg

So far so good, no nasty surprises, except for little spots of rust behind the window trim (must be a water trap or something). No biggie
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture009.jpg

Remember that gash on the roof? I think they pulled the dent out with a slidehammer and you can see that they removed the rooflining so that it wouldn't get damaged.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture010.jpg

When the panelwork is done, the Luce will pretty much be driving straight to John Edwards Automotive to get the tranny beefed up. The FC auto tranny isn't really up to coping with both the 13B power and the weight of the Luce, and so it's beginning to slip on gearchanges, and sometimes at redline the revs will hang at 8000rpm while the gearbox internals do a big burnout, to the accompaniment of a burning smell in the cabin :D So the auto will be rebuilt with upgraded clutch packs, a shift kit and kevlar bands.

Buddy
14-03-07, 10:28 PM
sounds great.. hints on the colour??

Babalouie
14-03-07, 10:28 PM
The other aspect of the project that's happening right now are the custom G4 coilovers.

When I tried to fit a set of FC Teins to the car, she ended up waaaay too low. So low I couldn't get out of the driveway :)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Kids112.jpg

The Teins were also compromised because to get that ride height, the spring perches were wound all the way to the top, and so the spring was massively preloaded (so would have rode very harshly) and there wasn't much droop travel, so the shocks would be internally topping out in travel all the time. Not good.

The guys at G4 were super helpful and supplied enough parts for a custom set of longer coilovers. At the right are regular FC G4s, the green shocks are the FC Teins and the one on the right is the custom G4. The measuring tape is the oem shock length, so the custom G4s are 2inches shorter, so should be perfect for a 2in drop in ride height, while maintaining the right amount of travel:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0025_IMG_2.jpg

G4 supplied camber tops for the FC, but they won't fit the Luce. So at the moment, I'm having a pair of custom camber top plates laser cut to fit the Luce bolt pattern.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0028_IMG_2.jpg

Here's the same situation at the rear.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture002.jpg

At the rear, G4 use an alloy plate with a central rubber bush (very similar to Tein) but again this won't fit the Luce.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture003.jpg

But the stock Luce top mount is 2 piece, and can be dismantled. Discard the lower bumpstop portion and you are left with this. The plan is to adapt the G4s to the stock mounts, using a brass spacer and some modified G4 spring hats:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture004.jpg

Then there is the ARC top mount intercooler I bought:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys004.jpg

It's for FC and bolts right in, but is in rough condition. The previous owner painted the whole thing this dirty silver, and didn't even bother to remove the bugs stuck in the fins before painting!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys005.jpg

So the paint will have to be stripped (not 100% what's the best way to go....dipping or blasting) and then I'll straighten out the bent fins, polish up the alloy and paint the end tanks wrinkle black (which is going to be a theme in the engine bay).

LOTS of little projects for the near future! Watch this space :D

Babalouie
14-03-07, 10:31 PM
sounds great.. hints on the colour??

Same colour as now....charcoal black metallic.

Jing
15-03-07, 08:48 AM
mmmmmmmmmmmmmm nice mate, nice, i bet people say wtf is that all the time LOL

how much power do you esitmate you r pushing out now?

EGG80X
15-03-07, 08:57 AM
nice work Kev, pimping mate.... you'll need some phat flares and deep dish chrome...... plus lots of negative cmaber!!

Frogger
15-03-07, 09:18 AM
Wow... thats very cool. Never seen one of these before.

...or maybe never noticed one.

felixR
15-03-07, 09:32 AM
great work kev!

that thing is going to need a photoshoot after all this ;)

Babalouie
15-03-07, 10:08 AM
great work kev!

that thing is going to need a photoshoot after all this ;)

Mmm.....sounds like a plan :) I'll get to the venue beforehand and wind the coilovers all the way down :D


mmmmmmmmmmmmmm nice mate, nice, i bet people say wtf is that all the time LOL

how much power do you esitmate you r pushing out now?

She dynoed at 130rwkw @ 7psi, did a 15.8 at WSID, but that was with the wrong torque convertor and a slipping tranny. I'm hoping to get down to low 15s once the transmission is fixed.


Wow... thats very cool. Never seen one of these before.

...or maybe never noticed one.

There's only 2000 of the rotary Luces made, and only 5 in Australia so you'd be forgiven for not having seen one. Also of the 5 that are in Oz, only 2 are currently working :D

Trolls Royce
15-03-07, 10:14 AM
Pull the auto out and do a 5 speed swap.

If the car has the same type of suspension setup as an FC then I'm guessing it won't handle too badly with the coilovers in it and stuff??

Have you found the lack of castor adjustment yet? :)

Babalouie
15-03-07, 10:26 AM
Pull the auto out and do a 5 speed swap.

If the car has the same type of suspension setup as an FC then I'm guessing it won't handle too badly with the coilovers in it and stuff??

Have you found the lack of castor adjustment yet? :)

Suspension isn't quite the same as FC, but yeah at the front there is no castor adjustment :( which is why I'm having the camber tops made with an offset to lay the struts back a little for more castor :)

But no, the car suits an auto, and one of the reasons for me buying this car was so that I could get into modified autos. I will not be satisfied until it can launch on boost without brake-stalling and can chirp the tyres on the 1st to 2nd change :D Also the manual conversion is a real headfvck, you virtually have to remove the whole dash first, then the cross member is different, etc etc.

Besides...any car with this interior has got to be more of a cruiser than a racer:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/LuceBaskSeat.jpg

Sp33dY
15-03-07, 10:31 AM
The remind me of an old 929 :)

Ive always had a soft spot for Luce's .... keep us updated as always ;)

Manny
15-03-07, 10:46 AM
Here I was thinking it was a conversion...nice work mate...look forward to seeing the finished product...

That interior is pretty out there even if it is OEM...

Trolls Royce
15-03-07, 11:00 AM
I rate that interior.

Beats the hell out of the Ceffy, thats for sure.

[ekkY]
15-03-07, 11:17 AM
nice... i love how you build the car, a very rare car that is with pimpin interior

black200
15-03-07, 03:48 PM
When the panelwork is done, the Luce will pretty much be driving straight to John Edwards

what, is he going to connect up the Luce with some of its dead relatives?


Looks fantastic mate, i can't wait to see it finished - you must have a very understanding wife!
Were you happy with jack hillermans?

josh2.5
15-03-07, 03:54 PM
God thats a wicked project. Something totally out of left field and not something you see on the road all that often. Love your work!

BTW that interior is awesome!

phillb
15-03-07, 08:20 PM
Good to see the project coming along, are gonna change the rims to bigger dish?

Babalouie
15-03-07, 10:45 PM
Good to see the project coming along, are gonna change the rims to bigger dish?
Hey, you're also a member at ausvip.com, eh? :) But no, sadly on a Luce deeper dish isn't really feasible. The front rims are 17x8+33 and there is only juuust enough clearance to the strut, and the rims barely clear the guards as it is as you can see.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Kids106.jpg

So deep dish +20 offset type rims are not really feasible unless I flare the guards, which I am not really willing to do, since I don't want to mess with the originality of the car too much. When I get the camber tops done it might change things a little, but I reckon it might only free up a little space, not a lot. Wheels maketh the car, so we'll see, but at the moment I'm happy with the Advans, since they suit the shape of the car.


what, is he going to connect up the Luce with some of its dead relatives?
Not THAT John Edwards....although I guess I do want the transmission to come back from the dead :D


Looks fantastic mate, i can't wait to see it finished - you must have a very understanding wife!
Ahh....you see, here is the genius of the whole thing. Jack Hillermans is in Whiting St Artarmon, which is....500m down the road from the maternity hospital where my missus is at :D


Were you happy with jack hillermans?

I'll tell you when they're all done :D But so far quite impressed by the professionalism. Normally when you drop your car off for a big job (and it isn't an insurance job) the panel shop tends to just do a little work at a time, then take a few days off to work on other cars, etc. But since they started work on Monday, it's all go-go-go over there. Looks like it might be ready for primer on Monday.

BTW...Day 3 update:

You can see lots of work needed to be done on the front guard where a tyre shop who shall remain nameless rolled the guards with the aid of a hammer :( Also you can see the repair on the sills to get rid of the "forklift marks"
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture011.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture012.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture013.jpg

Didn't take any pics of the driver's side, since there was a guy working on it at the time :D

Sp33dY
16-03-07, 07:49 AM
It;s coming along nicely! I think the older tri-spoke ADVANs suit it really well! if u ever ditch them I reckon a set of meshed or snowflake/star style rims like in the first photo of this thread would be best.

Dori*mon
16-03-07, 10:00 AM
Thats really unique! Comming along nicely, good luck :)

phillb
16-03-07, 07:37 PM
Hey, you're also a member at ausvip.com, eh? :)


Yeah sure am :) It would be good to flare the guards, but if theres limited space inside those guards you probably wouldn't gain alot anyway :(

Are you also searching for a bodykit like in the first post?

4agte
16-03-07, 08:08 PM
the interior colour is really loud but the rear seats look cumfy ill keep an eye on this space looks like an interesting project

Babalouie
16-03-07, 10:18 PM
the interior colour is really loud but the rear seats look cumfy ill keep an eye on this space looks like an interesting project

In that case, you're gonna like the front :)

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/LuceDash.jpg


Yeah sure am :) It would be good to flare the guards, but if theres limited space inside those guards you probably wouldn't gain alot anyway :(

Are you also searching for a bodykit like in the first post?

The bodykit in the first post is no longer in production, it was a bodykit by rotary specialists ERC: http://www.erc-rotary.com/ but no longer available. There is one by Yours Sports, which is quite nice but is very expensive (you have to ignore the old school wheels in the second pic!):
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/toshis01.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/luce01s.jpg

Another option is the full-fat VIP kit from Insurance, but IMHO it's ghastly :D
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/ins_hg_luce_fb.jpg

D CUPS
18-03-07, 09:08 AM
Fwooar! Thats Pimped Babz. I learn something new from you nearly in every post! hehe......I swear, i didnt know they came with 13B T's....When you rock up next to someone at the lights the car next to you must be scared! real scared once that sound of the rotor comes on.

Digital dash and Velvet?? interior, new paint.....nice.....more pics!

D CUPS
18-03-07, 09:10 AM
oh and does that driver side rear seat slide forward as it reclines?

Babalouie
18-03-07, 10:00 AM
oh and does that driver side rear seat slide forward as it reclines?

Yeah, both sides of the rear seat recline electrically, basically it slides fwd like you can see. There was even an option where the front passenger seat headrest folds out of the way and the backrest folds flat to act as a footrest for the back seat passenger.

Babalouie
22-03-07, 06:46 PM
Update:

The right hand side is now panelbeaten and filled:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture015.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture014.jpg

And now the repaired panels have been primered:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture022.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture021.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture020.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture019.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture023.jpg

felixR
22-03-07, 07:20 PM
awesome! :)

so excited about this project.. your coverage makes it exciting :)

Babalouie
22-03-07, 07:26 PM
Yeah, I can't wait....next step (I assume) is to sand back all the panels in readiness for a shot of colour :D

Shouldn't be much longer before we're back in black, baby :D

Justin Fox
22-03-07, 09:22 PM
OMG you go hard Babs awesome! Feature car in the making! :)

jolt
23-03-07, 10:11 AM
Geez they are working quickly on it!

Are they going to remove the cladding/trim at the bottom of the doors and respray under there as well or just spray straight over the top?

So let's get a poll going for how much VIP pimpin' metallic flake Bab's should get them to mix in with the paint ... :lol:

Rod

Babalouie
23-03-07, 10:20 AM
Geez they are working quickly on it!

Are they going to remove the cladding/trim at the bottom of the doors and respray under there as well or just spray straight over the top?

So let's get a poll going for how much VIP pimpin' metallic flake Bab's should get them to mix in with the paint ... :lol:

Rod

If you look closely, they've primered a section of the lower cladding, so I would say that they'll spray right over the top.

jolt
23-03-07, 10:38 AM
Did they check that there isn't anything nasty that requires attention underneath there first?

Babalouie
23-03-07, 11:01 AM
Did they check that there isn't anything nasty that requires attention underneath there first?

Nah, that's all factory and the door bottoms are fine so leave it :D Ignorance is bliss :D

jolt
23-03-07, 11:14 AM
None of this under there? :neutral:

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture009.jpg

Babalouie
23-03-07, 11:27 AM
Nah, she'll be right :)

Frogger
23-03-07, 11:53 AM
Good to see your project is coming alone nicely!

Jing
23-03-07, 01:35 PM
its a wonder what a coat of new paint can do :thumbsup:

nath
23-03-07, 03:26 PM
Nice work Babs! Thanks for taking the time with the write-ups, it's alway enjoyable to read about your projects, current or past.

Keep us posted.

N

Babalouie
26-03-07, 03:55 PM
Update!

The car has been COMPLETELY sanded:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys006.jpg

You can see in the pics above that the primer has a litrle haze of black paint on it. This is a "guide coat" which is a light misting of black paint, which is then block-sanded away. If there is any black paint showing after the sanding, it'll show any low spots or unevenness in the panel....there is still the rear qtr left to sand, but so far, thankfully there is no black after sanding :D
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys009.jpg

The painter sprayed some water onto the car, and said that the way the water sheets off is a sign of how smooth the panels are, and how smooth the paint will be:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys008.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys007.jpg

Sanding will be all done today, and tomorrow Luce's got an appointment with the paintbooth!

jolt
26-03-07, 04:34 PM
Lucy's looking good Kev ... she's looking real good ... ;)

Rod

Levos1
26-03-07, 04:43 PM
OH Dam! Iam so excited Babs!!! hehe!
I remember when I first met you in Chatswood on the way out to the meet and the lucy was looking a bit tired! MAN Iam waiting for the next update! eheheh !

You should shave the handles off it whilst its in the shop......!
Shaved smooth! heheh! Just the way it should be!

chavo
26-03-07, 05:04 PM
God this is an awesome thread. This car is secks.
Make sure to keep updating!

Babalouie
26-03-07, 05:15 PM
OH Dam! Iam so excited Babs!!! hehe!
I remember when I first met you in Chatswood on the way out to the meet and the lucy was looking a bit tired! MAN Iam waiting for the next update! eheheh !

Oh gosh that was a long time ago...before the engine rebuild (it was kinda touch and go on that day as to whether it would start during the day). Back then it was a $5000 car....since then it's had new brakes, brake hoses, steering rack, engine, turbo, exhaust, injectors, coolant and fuel hoses, radiator...so now it's a $20,000 car :D


You should shave the handles off it whilst its in the shop......!
Shaved smooth! heheh! Just the way it should be!

Nah....doorhandles are chrome. Chrome = VIP :D

MissyK
27-03-07, 09:41 AM
What a beast!! :shock:

OK so my dad has had 2 929's, 1992 model and currently has 1997 model (last 1 made), but not beasty like this 1!!

OMG LOVE the rims.. i got a thing for tri-spokes. I wanted to get advan trispokes for the 8 but impatient.. maybe next time!

13b turbo goodliness *drooooooooooooooooooool*

cant wait to see the finished project!! :mrgreen:

Babalouie
27-03-07, 01:24 PM
Update! Car has been painted and as we speak is curing in the baking oven!

Obviously they didn't let me into the oven to take pics (I asked) :D

Jing
27-03-07, 01:52 PM
i saw you in chatswood on a sunny sunday morning with you in the mx-5. Maybe it was my short sightness or somthing else but i swear i saw a young punk in the car :p

Babalouie
27-03-07, 01:56 PM
i saw you in chatswood on a sunny sunday morning with you in the mx-5. Maybe it was my short sightness or somthing else but i swear i saw a young punk in the car :p

Can't have been me...I was home all day on Sunday. Maybe it was Justin's old car with its new owner?

Jing
27-03-07, 02:07 PM
oh that was awhile back. Not last sunday. It was definitly your car. Rollcage and those two round cute foglights :)

Babalouie
27-03-07, 02:09 PM
oh that was awhile back. Not last sunday. It was definitly your car. Rollcage and those two round cute foglights :)

Young punk...can't have been me, I'm an old fart :D

Jing
27-03-07, 02:15 PM
so thats what i thought too .... maybe its the image of the car :D

Babalouie
27-03-07, 02:16 PM
so thats what i thought too .... maybe its the image of the car :D

Maybe....too busy looking at the car to verify age of driver :D

mrkrooz
27-03-07, 02:32 PM
damn went through every page.....Big props!!! never seen n e thing like it... :)

Babalouie
27-03-07, 04:51 PM
Update!!

We're back in black, baby!!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys015.jpg

OMGOMG...so deep and smooth...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys012.jpg

So smooth...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys013.jpg

The colour isn't actually the same charcoal as before, it's a little darker, with a little gold flake.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys011.jpg

Arrow straight!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys010a.jpg
Reassembly begins this arvo, then the car will be cleaned, and it'll be ready for pickup tomorrow or Thurs :D

Jing
27-03-07, 04:58 PM
we are back in business

jolt
27-03-07, 06:38 PM
:shock: Looking F-I-N-E!! :-o

To be honest, I never thought that it could end up looking SOOOOO good, I was worried for you that it would always look a little bit rough. You must be stoked with the results and I can't wait to see it in person. Hmmmm ... gold flake ... tasty!! :cool:

Rod

phillb
27-03-07, 06:55 PM
Looking Good!! Got to love a dash of glitter for that unique VIP look :)

Babalouie
27-03-07, 07:24 PM
:shock: Looking F-I-N-E!! :-o

To be honest, I never thought that it could end up looking SOOOOO good, I was worried for you that it would always look a little bit rough. You must be stoked with the results and I can't wait to see it in person. Hmmmm ... gold flake ... tasty!! :cool:

Rod

Well...I got a bit of a shock too, when I saw the car, my first reaction was "that can't be my car....my car is all dented and beaten up!" :)

But yeah, it's come such a long, long way since I bought it looking like this:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/DSC00063.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/DSC00068.jpg

D CUPS
27-03-07, 07:29 PM
FWOOAARRRRR!

Love the paint job Babz! Well done...looking slick. Looking so much better

chavo
27-03-07, 07:53 PM
..

wow.

henrysan
27-03-07, 08:23 PM
simply awesome... *claps hands*

felixR
27-03-07, 09:44 PM
ohh my!

IcemaN
27-03-07, 10:31 PM
very very impressive and inspirational. it must be an awesome feeling for you:)
so whats next?

EGG80X
27-03-07, 10:38 PM
sexy Kev!!! I wonder if you're going to drift that?

Babalouie
27-03-07, 11:15 PM
sexy Kev!!! I wonder if you're going to drift that?

Hell no! I'm going to drive it into the garage and just rub it with a soft cloth.













Forever.












:D :D

Babalouie
28-03-07, 01:41 PM
Update!

Reassembly is coming along, but sadly at this stage it's only 50/50 as to whether the Luce will be ready before the EOM meet on Saturday :(

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys017.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys021.jpg

If you look closely you can see the gold flecks, but from far away the car pretty much looks black.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys019.jpg

josh2.5
28-03-07, 01:51 PM
Thats looking awesome man Id be absolutly over the moon with that finish!

Are the Advans what your gonna keep on the car or are the temporary thing? Some nice simple 5 spokers would look treat :p

Babalouie
28-03-07, 03:15 PM
Thats looking awesome man Id be absolutly over the moon with that finish!

Are the Advans what your gonna keep on the car or are the temporary thing? Some nice simple 5 spokers would look treat :p

The Advans were meant to be temporary, until I get some really big dish 18in rollers, but to be honest I really like them now (they suit the age of the car) and also they are about as big as you can go without serious rubbing issues (and yes the guards are rolled already). And rather than being an "extreme" car, it's actually going to just be a family car and daily driver, so it looks like the Advans will stay....at least for a while.

Jing
28-03-07, 04:15 PM
There is something odd about this picture which tickles my fancy ..... old car/old style photography *no offense to whoever took that photo LOL*

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/DSC00063.jpg

Babalouie
28-03-07, 04:28 PM
There is something odd about this picture which tickles my fancy ..... old car/old style photography *no offense to whoever took that photo LOL*


Yes, it's a special filter I sometimes use called...."Crappy Camera Phone" :D

Jing
28-03-07, 04:33 PM
Rofl

Dori*mon
28-03-07, 04:40 PM
Comming along nicely, i like the new black.

Buddy
28-03-07, 04:51 PM
is that pic at japerformance.. os ickbam.. one of those jap spares places.. it looks very familiar

Babalouie
28-03-07, 05:03 PM
is that pic at japerformance.. os ickbam.. one of those jap spares places.. it looks very familiar

JaPerformance at Moorebank, I bought the car off them.

Kikkoman
28-03-07, 08:06 PM
Awesome project!

nath
30-03-07, 06:32 PM
Is it finished now? Is it finished now?

N.

Babalouie
30-03-07, 06:47 PM
Is it finished now? Is it finished now?

N.

Nope :) Early next week they said.

nath
30-03-07, 06:56 PM
awwww. no fun.

shonen
31-03-07, 01:22 PM
Ohhhhh nice work babs !!!


BLACK is the only way to go :D


Back in BLACK yo !!!! I like it :)


Now all you need is limo tint for that Yakuza look hehehe

Babalouie
31-03-07, 03:14 PM
Ok, swung by the panelshop on my way back from Bunnings, and it looks like it's all assembled and whole again. They prolly just need to detail and buff it and we're back in business.

Shonen: Ya, dark tint is cool, but at the moment, it's got that JDM style VIP tint where it's really dark on the back doors and none on the front doors and on a certain level that's kinda cool....

Jazzle
01-04-07, 11:07 AM
VERYVERY NICE... omg!..

so are you going to do anything to the interior??

Babalouie
01-04-07, 01:01 PM
VERYVERY NICE... omg!..

so are you going to do anything to the interior??

Nah you can't make it any pimp-ier even if you tried :D

vtec-NA.th
01-04-07, 10:59 PM
oh wow. that's so amazing.

i'm new to all this car stuff but i really didn't think you could do that to a car like that. looks great!!!!

no limits is there? (sorta..) xD

Babalouie
02-04-07, 12:49 PM
oh wow. that's so amazing.

i'm new to all this car stuff but i really didn't think you could do that to a car like that. looks great!!!!

no limits is there? (sorta..) xD


The only limit is money :D

Update:

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys026.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys025.jpg

The car is all together, there are a couple of cars in the queue ahead of my to be detailed, and tomorrow it's all mine again :D

You'll also notice I've ditched the parking-flagpole that used to be mounted on the front bumper, and also the stainless weathershields on the tops of the side windows.

jolt
02-04-07, 12:51 PM
Good move on the parking pole, although I was a bit of a fan of the stainless steel weathershields, but you can always refit them if you want later on, right?

Rod

PS: It is looking damn sweet! Can't wait to see it detailed and lowered on the new custom coilovers ...

Babalouie
02-04-07, 12:51 PM
Good move on the parking pole, although I was a bit of a fan of the stainless steel weathershields, but you can always refit them if you want later on, right?

Rod

Yeah, they're in the boot.

FC3S
02-04-07, 12:59 PM
Nice project, coming along well..
ROTARY FTW!

Sp33dY
02-04-07, 01:31 PM
I was also a fan of the metal Weathershields ... would look tops rechromed/polised :)

I take it those G4's arent in yet?

Babalouie
02-04-07, 01:40 PM
I was also a fan of the metal Weathershields ... would look tops rechromed/polised :)

I take it those G4's arent in yet?

But the weathershields looked so clunky! But yeah they are stainless so can be uber-polished if desired...

G4 status is that all of the fabricated parts aren't ready yet. I have done the brake hose mount, but the laser cutting place haven't started on the camber top plates yet. Once the laser cutting place is done, then it's all ready to install, which I might do on the long weekend if it's ready and I am sufficiently motivated :D

G4 gives you this metal strap to use as a brake hose bracket (pic below), it bolts to the strut mount bolts and you bend it to fit. But the Luce hose sits much higher than that, so I modified some G4 SW20 sway bar mounts (the MR2s mount the swaybars right off the shock body, so G4 supply a height adjustable mount)
Before:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture024.jpg

After (I'll paint it with a black epoxy paint to prevent it from rusting after I test fit it):
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys024.jpg

I've also got the double-locking rings to fix the brake hose bracket in position. Actually, this might be the most over-engineered brake hose bracket in history: double-locked by billet alloy collars, machined steel, epoxy coated, height adjustable, angle adjustable :D

jolt
02-04-07, 02:38 PM
A lot more comprehensive than a few zip ties!!

Rod

Babalouie
02-04-07, 02:41 PM
A lot more comprehensive than a few zip ties!!

Rod

Zip ties = teh dodge :)

Nah, the brake hose bit that clips into the bracket is steel. The G4 shocks are aluminium bodied. So if I let the brake hose rub against the side of the shock, it'll eventually rub a hole in the G4 :D

4agte
02-04-07, 02:45 PM
dont underestimate the ability of the humble zip tie :D

Babalouie
03-04-07, 06:42 PM
Pics pics pics!

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0038_IMG_2.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0045_IMG_2.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0043_IMG_2.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0042_IMG_2.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0041_IMG_2.jpg

w00t...shiny :)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0040_IMG_2.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0039_IMG_2.jpg

Mad props to www.jackhillermans.com.au who did a fabulous job....I've been over and over the whole car and there is not a single run or drip in sight, just glassy smooth all over :D On my way home, I stopped to buy something and an older dude walked past and I overheard him mutter "...what an absolutely beautiful car..." :)

If the laser-cutting joint gets its act together this week, Saturday is coilover-slam-install day :)

Woohoo!

EGG80X
03-04-07, 07:11 PM
awesome Kev, so pimpin

shame you didn't keep those Teins...... would be SLAMING!!

felixR
03-04-07, 07:22 PM
i love it!

Luc
03-04-07, 08:50 PM
bring back the teins!

Babalouie
03-04-07, 08:56 PM
bring back the teins!

...just you wait and see :D

nath
03-04-07, 11:12 PM
So nice Babs!

phillb
03-04-07, 11:31 PM
Looking Good!! I still think you should be tempted by a new set of dished rims to help set off the new paint :)

Babalouie
03-04-07, 11:36 PM
Looking Good!! I still think you should be tempted by a new set of dished rims to help set off the new paint :)

Well, once we get the ride height sorted and have some camber cranked on, let's see how much room we have to spare :D

fueltank
04-04-07, 07:40 AM
Looking good. Can't wait until you get the G4s and some deep dish wheels on it ;)

jolt
04-04-07, 10:03 AM
That's a MASSIVE improvement!! Can't wait to see it lowered to get a good idea of whether the tri-spoke Advan's are the best option or not ...

Rod

Levos1
04-04-07, 03:27 PM
I liked it better before...........!?!?
Jokes!!! HAHAH! All youguys were like .."huh! he liked it better before!" Had you all!

I defenitely feel some serious dish chromes coming!!

Oh and Babs, when are we donning the purple suites and hats and rolling George st!?!?!

Babalouie
04-04-07, 04:59 PM
I liked it better before...........!?!?
Jokes!!! HAHAH! All youguys were like .."huh! he liked it better before!" Had you all!

I defenitely feel some serious dish chromes coming!!

Oh and Babs, when are we donning the purple suites and hats and rolling George st!?!?!

Purple suit, white hat? hmm...will have to check the wardrobe to confirm availability.

And no chromies....JDM brands all the way :)

Levos1
05-04-07, 04:27 PM
Yeah man! Same as the Veilside O'Fortuna RX7!

Dont forget the Feather in the hat too!

Babalouie
05-04-07, 04:46 PM
Dont forget the Feather in the hat too!

You sound like you actually may possess such clothes.

GIX88
06-04-07, 05:55 PM
hey babs, how much did panel shop set u back?

just trying to get an idea for my car.

cheers

awsome job btw

Babalouie
06-04-07, 06:19 PM
hey babs, how much did panel shop set u back?

just trying to get an idea for my car.

cheers

awsome job btw

$4k

Levos1
10-04-07, 12:01 PM
You sound like you actually may possess such clothes.

Nah dont have them man!! heheh!
Should invest in some tho! heeheh!!


Its a must have for any true playa!

Babalouie
18-04-07, 11:18 AM
Ok, no update about the coilovers yet (still waiting for the laser cutting place to finish the camber plates).

But the transmission came out yesterday and has been disassembled. That big plate with the egg-crate pattern is the valve body, and we're looking into modifying it with a shift kit for more line pressure and faster shifts:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys033.jpg

Overall it seems that the trans is in very good condition, if a little worn. Nothing seems to be broken at this stage. The blue thing in the background is the hi-stall convertor, which will be going back to the original vendor to be modified. We had originally asked for a 2800rpm stall, but it turned out to be more like a 2000rpm stall. I suspect what they did was give me an off the shelf convertor for a VL Turbo which would have more torque at low rpm than a rotary and hence be able to spool up the convertor a little harder. Anyway, they're going to re-do it.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys035.jpg

In the pic below is the clutch stack for one of the drums (that pile of serrated discs). On top is a thick spacer, which will be replaced with a thinner one from the older 3spd Jatco trans. This will allow 2 or 3 extra friction plates to be inserted into the stack, which will increase the power handling capabilty overall. The clutch plates are actually in a decent condition but they do show some heat spots, which is probably from insufficient line pressure, which is probably because of the....
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys034.jpg

....worn 2nd gear band! It's hard to see in this pic but normally there is supposed to be a friction lining on it, and in my case it's worn down to the backing metal and in fact the rivets on the band are slightly ground down too. This will be replaced by a kevlar band for more bite and wear resistance.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys036.jpg

The trans should hopefully go back together with the upgraded parts in the next couple of days....pics to follow :D

Babalouie
23-04-07, 10:25 PM
Trans is delayed a little cos the workshop is busy now. That's the problem with mechanics who are your friends, when they start to get busy and work late you have a tendency to say things like "aw, that's ok, just take your time on my car." Ooops...did I say that out loud? D'oh!!

But...I can give a coilover update....After six weeks the laser cutting place finally did the camber tops! I can't complain, one-off stuff must be a PITA for them and it's not like I'm ordering a run of 1,000 or anything :D

Anyway, here they are! (I know the custom top looks bigger in this pic but it's really exactly the same size)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture026.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture029.jpg

The front camber plates are 8mm steel plate (I think I might have over-engineered this a little), and as you can see, the camber slots are offset a little to lay the strut back towards the firewall for more castor. If you look closely at the stock rubber, the hole is offset too, but the coilovers will have a smidge more castor:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture031.jpg


There will be plenty of camber adjustment:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture028.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture027.jpg

At the back, the top plate is made using the stock bodygasket as a template (that's why it has that little round tab sticking out from one of the corners!). It's a little lighter than the front, 6mm steel plate tho.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture032.jpg

The shock mounts to the plate with rubber bushes (same as G4) and inside the bushes is a crushtube so that you can tighten the shock down properly.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture033.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture034.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture035.jpg

The final dimensions *should* be about half way between FC shocks and HC shocks, which is to say, 2inches shorter than HC stock shocks. Umm...and that's it for now....tomorrow I'll go get some bolts and get the plates tapped for them, then I'll paint the plates and when the transmission shop is done with the car (whenever that is!) we can think about putting them in :D

van
23-04-07, 10:32 PM
Not gonna keep those tri-spokes are ya? Please Babs, please get some classier rims!

Babalouie
23-04-07, 11:09 PM
I happen to LIKE the Advans :D

felixR
23-04-07, 11:09 PM
looking good there mate :)

jolt
24-04-07, 09:17 AM
Not gonna keep those tri-spokes are ya? Please Babs, please get some classier rims!

I reckon that with the car's new paint job and lowered with the coilovers, the Advan's will look awesome.


get some bolts and get the plates tapped for them

Do the plates need a thread in them for the bolts? Or am I just confused? :oops:

Rod

McCoey
24-04-07, 09:44 AM
Babs, I love your yakuzi inspired, velour trimmed, refriderated, rotary machine!

And the Advan's stay!

P.S. I'm glad to see you have a fitting use for an autotechinca seat ;) Turn it into a computer chair!

Babalouie
24-04-07, 10:11 AM
Do the plates need a thread in them for the bolts? Or am I just confused? :oops:

Rod
The front ones probably don't need it I suppose, since it's easy to fit the plate to the body and then the coilover to the plate later. But if I want to say loosen the nuts to fit a strut brace or something later, I'll have to remove the wheel (and maybe the shock too) to get a socket in there to hold the head of the bolt, so it's a convenience thing. And at the back it'll be fiddly to fit the plate first...

I don't have the car back yet anyway so there's plenty of time to do it properly :D

rupewrecht
24-04-07, 10:23 AM
Didn't think about making the rears camber adjustable as well?

I would have thought if they could supply the bits for the front, then the rear wouldn't have been a problem.

Or is there enough room to play with the factory adjustment?

Babalouie
24-04-07, 10:30 AM
Didn't think about making the rears camber adjustable as well?

I would have thought if they could supply the bits for the front, then the rear wouldn't have been a problem.

Or is there enough room to play with the factory adjustment?


Front suspension is strut, so the angle of the shock will directly affect the camber. But at the back it's a double wishbone setup, where the suspension arms control the camber and so changing the angle of the shock won't affect the wheel angle at all. So there wasn't any point building adjustment into the back...

rupewrecht
24-04-07, 10:41 AM
Ah, so it is - i didn't look at the shock in the pics , just the camber top. My bad!

hebe
26-04-07, 12:26 PM
$4k

Shop name?

Sorry I've tried to look around your thread but I can't seem to find the name :(

Babalouie
26-04-07, 12:33 PM
Shop name?

Sorry I've tried to look around your thread but I can't seem to find the name :(

www.jackhillermans.com.au

doofus
26-04-07, 01:28 PM
i like i like
time for them coils to go in and deck it!

hot stuff man!

Levos1
26-04-07, 04:00 PM
DO it!!
Do it!!
And you know the Advans gotta Go B!

Babalouie
10-05-07, 12:26 PM
Transmission update!

All the special parts have arrived, and the trans should go together today or tomorrow and be in the car on Saturday. Here are the bands we will be installing, the black ones are the upgraded kevlar ones and for reference, the brown ones are the stock replacement ones. The kevlar ones are more durable, and have more friction for a better bite on gearchanges:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys038.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys039.jpg

It's not that clear in this pic, but by subsituting the thinner clutch end plates from the older 3spd Jatco trans (on the left), we will be able to fit in an extra clutch friction plate into the 2nd gear stack, this should beef up the clutch stack for more power handling and a firmer shift.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys040.jpg

Oddly enough, one of the stock solenoids had a pinched o-ring. This would have allowed some hydraulic pressure to bleed off and cause a soft, slower shift. This was the solenoid that handles the 3-2 downshift, which used to flare quite a lot. So upon kickdown, the rpm would flare 500rpm or so before settling at the right rpm. So this is a factory manufacturing flaw from new.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys041.jpg

Fitting the shift kit from http://www.superior-transmission.com
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys042.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys043.jpg

Surprisingly, the entire kit is from a US vendor, Shift Technology Products, which have some cool stuff for the Luce transmissions (which is after all the same as an RX7 auto trans).

The shift kit is actually the same sort of thing as for an old school V8 trans. You get stronger springs, to be fitted behind the pressure accumulators (those cylindrical things in the tray above), then you get instructions to drill bigger holes in the valve bodies (those plates with all the little holes on the table in the top pic and those little pistons with the springs pointing up in the top pic). This increases the hydraulic line pressure, which makes the bands bite harder into the drums for a faster, firmer shift, and it also activates the clutch pack at a stronger clamping force for less slip and a more direct engagement. The Shift Technology Products rebuild kit is also optional with upgraded viton (which is a special heat resistant rubber) o-rings to replace the hard plastic nylon stock seals, which will prevent pressure loss under high temp competition conditions and maintain a harder shift (the stock type seals are like a plastic piston ring so it has a little gap in it). Cool stuff.

This is the first time I've ever seen an auto trans being taken apart and beefed up. As far as I can tell, inside the trans are gear drums (one for each gear) and inside each drum is a planetary gearset which normally freewheels with the drum and does nothing. To engage a gear, solenoid fire, which directs hydraulic pressure to press the band down into the right drum, stops it from rotating, which activates the gearset within. Hydraulic pressure then activates the clutch pack which then transmits the torque from the gearset. The theory seems to be to upgrade the friction elements of the transmission to prevent slip, and then raise the hydraulic pressure (which is like the heartbeat of the trans) and the higher pressure makes everything happen faster and stronger. Can't wait to see what the finished product will be like :D

McCoey
10-05-07, 12:33 PM
I always get exciited about updates on this thread. Is it wrong to get aroused by pieces of shiny metal?

Good work Babs!

chuingbeans
10-05-07, 05:20 PM
Wow, I have like don't really understand what is happening in those pictures, but hey this thread is like a education thread on cars to me now ;)

Babalouie
17-05-07, 04:02 PM
Trans update!

Here is a shot of one of the drums with the band in place, you can see the servo piston which snaps the band tight around the drum to engage gear:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys044.jpg

...and this is a better shot of the servo (the oil pan eventually goes over this big hole, so this is a shot from the eventual underside)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys045.jpg

Here is the rod linkage bush that disintegrates, causing the famous HC Luce gearshifter slop (I replaced mine last yr).
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys048.jpg

...and you should replace the other one at the other end of this rod, too. The stock pieces were originally rubber, which dries out. It sits over the exhaust and mine had disintegrated to nothing and the rod and lever were metal on metal. The latest factory replacement bushes are made of a much stronger, heat resistant nylon style plastic. Only a few bucks from Mazda and a good upgrade to take all the slack out of the shifter.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys049.jpg

The 4spd Jatco trans is really much the same as the older 3spd trans, except that it has a 4th gear added on. 4th gear lives in its own little self contained module with drum/band/servo etc.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys052.jpg

And you can see it here in the completed trans:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys054.jpg

Here is the pile of old clutches and seals etc that you throw out after the rebuild.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys053.jpg

Here is the torque convertor (stally), re-done to raise the stall to 2800rpm:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys055.jpg

And we're done!

To say that I'm happy with the result is an understatement. The new stally is the most noticeable change, when parking the car needs notiecably a little more throttle to get it moving, and when you tromp the pedal from a standstill, it flicks to about 2psi boost instantly and gets off the line really well. And when I stall it up on the brake, it revs to 3200rpm and 7psi quite quickly :D Release the brake and it wheelspins off the line :D

When driving normally there is a sense that there is some "slop" in the convertor, but touch the throttle and revs flare to 3000rpm and it pulls solidly. The shift kit is great too, instead of the typical luxury-car slurry, slow shift, it's now a positive, firm shift that feels like it takes half as long.

It should be interesting to see if the car's any quicker as a result of the transmission mods. It did 15.8 at WSID previously, so this should be interesting :)

Now to get the coilovers in :)

Nobbsy
17-05-07, 04:09 PM
Sweet work babs, look forward to seeing the Lce on the road again

black200
17-05-07, 04:11 PM
oh man i'd love to go for a ride in this thing.

i can't imagine what a modified auto feels like

Babalouie
17-05-07, 04:16 PM
oh man i'd love to go for a ride in this thing.

i can't imagine what a modified auto feels like

It's not that unusual feeling. In V8 terms (all the technology and knowhow on auto transmissions are from the oldschool V8 world) it's a "Stage 1" trans, and the most hardcore is "Stage 3".

Stage 3 will slam the shifts thru so hard it'll chirp the tyres on upchanges and some transmission shops call their Stage 3 kits "dashcracker" since your head will snap back and forth so much on gearshifts that you'll headbutt the dash :D :D

So mine is really just a mild upgrade, not a hardcore thing.

Sp33dY
17-05-07, 04:25 PM
So many of u really should try and get a ride in a car with a modified auto with hi-stall .... they can be extremely fun .... espeically with a trans brake and 260rwkw :P *mmmm VL turbos* . lol


Nice work Babs!!!!

chuingbeans
17-05-07, 06:14 PM
Wow, still learning stuff from this thread. Babs, you da man!!

This is looking really good btw :P

nath
17-05-07, 06:16 PM
any chance of you bringing this to the EOMM Babs?

Babalouie
17-05-07, 06:33 PM
any chance of you bringing this to the EOMM Babs?

Sure thing. The only mod I want to do this mth are the coilovers and I want to get that done this w/e.

StanTheMan
17-05-07, 08:01 PM
Babs


my place dodgy day this sat. there is a spot for you there if you need it.

Babalouie
17-05-07, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the offer Stefan, I'm just trying to juggle various things to see if I can be free on Sat :D

McCoey
17-05-07, 08:48 PM
Once again, lovin this thread.

/me votes this as thread of the year.

nath
17-05-07, 08:52 PM
Sure thing. The only mod I want to do this mth are the coilovers and I want to get that done this w/e.

Sweeeeeet.

Babalouie
20-05-07, 01:17 AM
Update!

G4 coilovers are IN :D Here's the story as it unfolded (sorry if it reads like a DIY article, I cut and pasted the following from a how-to thread on the Luce forum):

Okay, what G4 contributed to the car is this: a set of FC coilovers, with longer shocks and springs to my spec. No camber tops as the FC ones don't fit the Luce:
Front
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture037.jpg
Rear
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture043.jpg

To install into the Luce, I had custom top mounting plates laser cut. I then painted them satin black and loctited some hi tensile bolts into them
Front, which has camber adjustment
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture039.jpg
Rear, which does not.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture042.jpg

The front G4s then mount right up in the traditional pillow-ball/camber top way:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture041.jpg

The rear G4s mount to the top plate using rubber bushes (same as what Tein does on the Super Streets).
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture044.jpg

Tools and workspace all laid out...the fun is about to begin :)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture045.jpg

The guests of honour:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture046.jpg

Start at the front. Eeew....ugly old shocks
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture049.jpg

First step is to undress the stock struts, by removing the brake hose clip
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture047.jpg

Then remove the ABS sensor and unbolt the sway bar link (only have to do it on one side not both)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture050.jpg

This is necessary to get at the two huge bolts which hold on the bottom of the strut. They are uber tight so you need space to work with them
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture054.jpg

But in order to remove the lower strut bolt, you also have to remove the caliper.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture056.jpg

Heave away at those bolts and tap them out with a punch. And the strut will separate from the hub. Now all you have to do is remove the strut tower bolts and the strut will come right out.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture058.jpg

I initially set the G4s at 2inches shorter than the stock shocks, it's a best guess, since it's hard to say how much the G4s will "settle" once the car's weight is on them. The G4s are double-adjustable, so not only can you adjust the spring height, you can also tailor the shock length since the bottom mount (the blue bit) is adjustable. In terms of spec and design, it more like the Tein Mono Flex than the Super Street.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture060.jpg

Bolt them up! Set camber adjustment at max, just for shits and giggles
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture061.jpg

Doesn't that look better?
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture062.jpg

Installation is the reverse of disassembly....but um..it's exactly the same height as before, 36cm from wheel centre to wheelarch.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture067.jpg

The reason is that even though the G4s were set at 2inches shorter, the G4 springs are much stronger, and so the car doesn't "sink" down onto them as much. Well, at least it gives a baseline, and so I took it apart again and set the G4s at 3inches shorter than stock.

Much better! Ride height is now 33cm, a 3cm drop, which is what I wanted at the front.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture069.jpg


One initial concern was the brake hose bracket. G4 provides a metal strap, which you then shape by hand, and it bolts to the lower strut bolt. This is a lot lower than the position on the stock shock, so I was worried that the brake hose would be unduly stretched when the wheels droop. But since the G4s are 3inches shorter, it works out to being roughly in the same spot, by half an inch. Should be ok.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture064.jpg

The finished product...I also zip-tied the ABS sensor wire to the hose bracket
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture070.jpg

If you look at this pic, the bottom strut flange has a top hole which is slotted. So not only can you adjust camber from the top plate, but you can also adjust camber by adjusting the angle of the hub to the strut. This is also good if you have tyre to strut clearance issues....I set this adjustment at max camber, which left one finger's width clearance between tyre and shock, which should be plenty.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture068.jpg

So I've maxxed the camber adjustment but overall camber is only about 1.5 degrees. That's perfect for a roadcar but it's a little disappointing that the adjustment isn't there to crank on really stupid amounts of camber should circumstances require it. I think it's more a limitation of the Luce suspension, since the adjustment built into the whole setup is pretty generous.

Now onto the rear: yucky stock shock
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture071.jpg

The rear is much easier...just undo the bottom shock bolt and pop the shock off the lower mount.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture072.jpg

Remove the parcel shelf tray, and undo the 3 nuts that hold on the shock. However, leave one nut just loosely on.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture073.jpg

The reason is that the shock is extremely heavy. If you're doing it yourself, the shock could fall down, and either damage the brake hose or at worst, shear off the brake caliper nipple (you'll be screwed if that happens). So hold up the shock with one hand, and reach inside and undo that last nut. Then gently lower the shock down.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture075.jpg

Bolt up the shock, and you're done! My only gripe about the G4 kit was at this point, where the lower shock eye was a very tight fit onto the stock mount, and I had to tap it into place with a hammer. Its the right size, just a tight fit.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture078.jpg

Done!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture079.jpg

Initially, I set the rear G4s at 3inches shorter than stock..
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture076.jpg

But this time it ended up too low! I had to raise it 2cm and in the end ride height was 33cm, a 3cm drop, same as the front. But that's it for pictures at this point, since it's dark :D

As for how it drives, it is very firm, and a huge difference to the boaty soft stock setup. Overall I would say that so far it's quite impressive. Its firmer than say the Teins on the MX5 but it does ride bumps better than the MX5 Teins. It's not drift-car firm but definitely feels like it has track-spec coilovers in it.

Pics to come later :)

felixR
20-05-07, 01:57 AM
nice work and excellent writeup!

step by step..

EGG80X
20-05-07, 10:01 AM
Kev, this is going to be one hardcore Luce!!!

kula
20-05-07, 11:52 AM
awesome!

Babalouie
20-05-07, 12:42 PM
Pics! Pics! Pics!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture087.jpg

Now that I've had a chance to look at her in the daylight, I can't get over how much tougher the Luce looks!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture086.jpg

It's only a modest 30mm drop, so isn't drastic by any means, and the G4s are sitting at the right point of their travel, at static ride height, there is 6cm of droop travel and 11cm of bump travel, so it's almost the perfect 2:1 ratio, and 6cm is much more practical for Sydney roads than the short-legged 3-4cm that the FC Teins would have provided.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture085.jpg

Camber is quite noticeable but still reasonable. Looks like about 1.5 degrees negative (stock setting is 0.5~0.75 degrees POSITIVE camber!) and surprisingly, whereas it occasionally rubbed the wheelarch before, with more camber it's opened up quite a bit more room. I guess it's to be expected since there is essentially over two degrees more camber compared to before. The front rims are 17x8+33 and I think you could probably swing a deep-dish 17x8+22 now...hmmm.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture081.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture082.jpg
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture083.jpg


Ground clearance is 8cm to the bottom of the cat, which could be moved up another 2cm or so. I'll get the zorst redone, and if I can free up 10cm of total clearance, then there shouldn't be any speed humps we can't handle. Currently, it just gets over the metal speed humps at the Thornleigh MickeyDs.


Before:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys027.jpg

After:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture084.jpg


I think that at this moment, the Luce finally looks like the car I had in my mind's eye when I bought it over a year ago. *Sigh*....Very Happy!

Alfadog
20-05-07, 12:51 PM
YES!!!

Hotness!

Well done. Perfect height

Evan
20-05-07, 01:01 PM
sexy car!

Harves
20-05-07, 01:32 PM
That is a beautiful piece of automobile you have right there. Love your work!

nath
20-05-07, 03:47 PM
Go Babs!

chuingbeans
20-05-07, 04:16 PM
OGM!!! Hawt~!! It really is looking more VIP now.

McCoey
20-05-07, 06:10 PM
its secksi time now babs!

jolt
21-05-07, 08:00 AM
Looking good ... new paint job and lowered suspension makes it look like its serious now!!

Rod

Sp33dY
21-05-07, 08:31 AM
Great looking height from side-on ..... get some extra dark wet look tyre shine happening, and it'll look even better. Ive always been a fan of the wheels, but ive now decided it defintiely needs an upgrade as the wheels are letting the 'tough' stance down.... but, i know u want to keep what u have :)

Babalouie
21-05-07, 12:25 PM
Great looking height from side-on ..... get some extra dark wet look tyre shine happening, and it'll look even better. Ive always been a fan of the wheels, but ive now decided it defintiely needs an upgrade as the wheels are letting the 'tough' stance down.... but, i know u want to keep what u have :)

Yeah, well the Luce needs other things done so getting new wheels isn't a massive priority when the Advans look pretty good (and there's nothing wrong with a set of wheels that don't scrape!).

...and besides, I'm already buying another set of wheels this mth :D

Tazz
21-05-07, 12:33 PM
looks fantastic at the new ride height babs :D

trispokes look the goods aswell.. as you said. no scrubbage and they fill the guards nicely

IcemaN
21-05-07, 12:39 PM
wheeels look heaps better now aswell!
far out babs thats sooo coool:)

black200
21-05-07, 12:43 PM
looks fantastic

i can't get over now nice your car smells

Babalouie
21-05-07, 01:01 PM
looks fantastic

i can't get over now nice your car smells

That's the genuine JDM air freshener doing its thing :D

...it smells better.....'cos it's JDM :D

Babalouie
27-05-07, 12:24 AM
Lately my steering's been a little odd, not centering properly and when you're driving straight, sometimes the steering wheel is a little to the left, sometimes it's a little to the right. Basically the rack was sliding left and right within its bushes, and while it'll never fall out or anything, I didn't feel right pushing the car hard now to test the mettle of the new coilovers.

Here's what my old bushes looked like when I pulled them out:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold057.jpg

The one on the left is the passenger side, the one on the right is driver's side and it's toast...even before I removed it, most of the rubber was hanging free and not even touching the rack. But you can see that conceptually they're really just big versions of sway bar bushes and so shouldn't be that hard to replace....just unbolt the u-shaped rack brackets, slip off the old bushes, slip on the new ones and you're good to go. New bushes were $25ea from Mazda.

Well sadly this job is the typical Luce frustration where you can't reach anything and there is tons of stuff in front of the thing you need to take out. In the case of the rack, the hardlines for the powersteering fluid run right under the rack brackets, so you can't remove the brackets without removing all the hardlines.

What I did in the end, was leave the hardlines in place. You then have a little clearance to gently inch the new bushes into place with a screwdriver, rotating them into place around the rack, all the while squeezing it past the brackets. All in all about an hour's work, and it's not something you can screw up if you're patient. The only thing I would point out is that the bushes do have to point a certain way, and if you look carefully you can see that the new bushes have a flat section and where that should go....steering feel is now a lot better, and more direct, especially mid-corner. Well worth the 1hr and $50.

Babalouie
29-05-07, 10:56 AM
I've been driving around without the parcel shelf in place for yonks, and now that I've got the coilovers sorted I can put it back....but the G4s have an adjustment knob on top, and the parcel shelf will cover it (and I just know I'll want to adjust it after the shelf goes back in).

So I drilled an access hole....just marked out a circle and drilled little holes around the circumference, then pushed out the disc of material with my thumb:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys059.jpg

Cut the hole a little small, then use a sanding drum on my cheapy YumCha dremel to enlarge and clean up the hole.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys061.jpg

...for this little guy. It's a curtain trim ring, cost all of $1ea at a home furnishing shop, and because it's designed to bite into curtain fabric, the inside of it has these teeth which will lock into the parcel shelf.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys064.jpg

Snap it in, and it locks in place solid:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys066.jpg

Ta-da!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys068.jpg

I'm quite happy with how that turned out...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Toys069.jpg

The trim rings come in various sizes, and say if you have to drill a hole in a dashpanel to pass wires, or a boost gauge line thru, then a little one will be perfect for finishing up the hole.

Sp33dY
29-05-07, 11:08 AM
Nice lil mod there :) id be spraying it the same classy brown colour that the edge of the speaker grille is (i think its a speaker cover?)

Cheapo bunnings dremel FTW. :P

jolt
29-05-07, 11:13 AM
Sp33dY: Good call on the brown paint to match!

Babs: Did you do that in the kitchen?!?! :-O

Rod

Babalouie
29-05-07, 11:17 AM
Sp33dY: Good call on the brown paint to match!

Babs: Did you do that in the kitchen?!?! :-O

Rod

It's not brown, it's more like a dark burgundy.

And kitchen floor + Dustbusta (to remove evidence) FTW!

Sp33dY
29-05-07, 11:18 AM
Correction ... 80s browny-red-pimpvelour plastic colour.

Babalouie
18-06-07, 11:10 PM
Long time no post! Anyway, the Luce has been running sweetly on the G4 coilovers (which I have to say are quite impressive).

But the latest mod is this little fella.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold003-1.jpg

He's a 2-way Mazdaspeed LSD for FC RX7.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold005.jpg

For now he is sleeping though, but not for long :)

edusti
18-06-07, 11:27 PM
OHHH MAN! looking good!!!!!! congrats nice work!

IcemaN
18-06-07, 11:29 PM
gooo babz!

Babalouie
30-06-07, 05:49 PM
More mods time!

One of the side effects of the coilovers and all that extra neg camber it's got now means that the tyre has now tucked itself very meekly into the guards. The front wheels are 17x8 +38 with a 5mm spacer (so that's a +33 offset).

We're now adding a set of 15mm KICS bolt on spacers:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold001.jpg

They bolt onto the stock studs with these little flat nuts, which you do up with a special socket
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold003.jpg

As you can see, the stock studs poke out a bit (about 12mm)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold002.jpg

The Advans have these spaces between the stud holes, which were about 12mm deep, which can accomodate the stubs of the stock studs.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold005-1.jpg

However, it's important to measure to make sure that the stock studs aren't bottoming out on those wells in the back of the wheel, so I took some of my kids' Play Doh, popped a few blobs on the studs, and then torqued up the wheel to see if there was any metal to metal contact:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold004.jpg

Thankfuly none (but maybe by only one mil!) so the spacers do fit!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold008.jpg

The wheels now noticeably stick out more, and the camber is now more noticeable to the eye....hope they don't scrape too much :)

Before:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture081.jpg

After:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold006.jpg

Now the 5mm spacers can go on the back wheels, which I think might have 6-7mm clearance left :)

Gorilla
30-06-07, 06:09 PM
cool, i love the parcel shelf mod! Well done

Sp33dY
30-06-07, 06:30 PM
Nice hubcaps on the Starlet.

van
30-06-07, 07:13 PM
Huh, now I know how spacers work!

Babalouie
30-06-07, 10:50 PM
Nice hubcaps on the Starlet.

That's my Grandma's car. I tell her "let me get you a set of watanabes" and she says "ahh, why go to all that trouble when I can have these hubcaps for $20" :)

deez
01-07-07, 01:17 AM
That's my Grandma's car. I tell her "let me get you a set of watanabes" and she says "ahh, why go to all that trouble when I can have these hubcaps for $20" :)

Grandmas....80 years of wisdom and wit packed into one small package :)

I love my grandma, she da bomb.

Nice modding Babs....I dig your work :cool:

Jazzle
01-07-07, 02:01 AM
so when are you going to track it??:mrgreen:

Babalouie
01-07-07, 08:58 AM
so when are you going to track it??:mrgreen:

Nah...VIP cars are for rollin' low 'n slow :)

Justin Fox
01-07-07, 09:26 AM
Argh those evil spacers!!! I couldn't get those off the GT-R. We broke 4 tools trying to get the flush spacer bolts out and ended up having to grind them off!!! The design is just flawed. Beware Babs!

Babalouie
01-07-07, 09:33 AM
The kit comes with a spare socket, so hopefully we never have to use it :)

I am putting my faith in the quality of JDM parts :D

Edit: hmm...prolly wouldn't hurt to take the short nuts out and put a lick of anti seize on the surfaces

Babalouie
01-07-07, 01:08 PM
Grandmas....80 years of wisdom and wit packed into one small package :)

This is very true....however it would be cool to say that you're so JDM that your grandma rolls on watanabes :D

Tats
02-07-07, 11:49 AM
Looking good man! Genius work on that parcel shelf job, I suck at DIY :(

Babalouie
09-07-07, 11:57 PM
Update (in the spirit of the car-diary thing and all) :)

Now that the G4s are in, I've been itching to get the Mazdaspeed LSD installed. Unfortunately those self-same G4s mean that I don't have enough clearance to get up the steep driveway of my mechanic, John Edwards's shop :D

So today CastleHill Exhuast Centre rejigged the system for more clearance, relocating the cat and angling the pipes for more room. Ground clearance goes from 8cm to 10cm, so we are now speed-bump compatible :)

Sp33dY
10-07-07, 08:18 AM
lol ... Nice ;) So the G4s are living up to their expectations as great value for money?

Babalouie
10-07-07, 10:30 AM
lol ... Nice ;) So the G4s are living up to their expectations as great value for money?

Definitely. Probably the best feedback I've received on them is from an Accord Euro owner who rolls on Tein Flex and he reckoned that the G4s on the Luce were more comfortable. Even my Dad complimented the ride quality :lol:

The only real criticism is that you have to do up all the adjusters really tight if they are not to come loose. I think it's because the surfaces are all hardened aluminium. Tighten up the spring collars on a Tein to lock them in place and the material is soft, so they "grind" against each other for about a half turn and lock tight in place. The G4s are a lot harder, so when the collars touch, they just go "tink" and you can't tighten anymore. So you have to really hoe into it to get that last 1/4 turn to get everything tight.

Both myself and another Luce owner had the whole thing some loose a week after installation, and we had to take it apart and retighten everything. But 2mths later it's still all good.

But yeah, I am very impressed by the G4s, I reckon they are superior to the Super Streets in the MX5, and I would say at this point, my next project car is 75% likely to get a set of custom G4s. Mind you, the G4s in the Luce have a custom spring rate...the normal G4 spring rates are a lot harder.

Sp33dY
10-07-07, 10:42 AM
Exactly what i wanted to hear ...... my G4 fund has begun. :) I figure i need decent suspension over bigger wheels consider the amount of kms i do! A car can also look great on hubcaps slammed, but can look ridiulous on 18s with stock suspension!

Now hurry up and rip that diff apart :)

Babalouie
10-07-07, 10:47 AM
Exactly what i wanted to hear ...... my G4 fund has begun. :) I figure i need decent suspension over bigger wheels consider the amount of kms i do! A car can also look great on hubcaps slammed, but can look ridiulous on 18s with stock suspension!

Now hurry up and rip that diff apart :)

One thing I would advise is to check out what the offered spring rates are by G4. In many cases I reckon it's usually a few kg/mm stiffer than say a Tein Super Street. So I would research what the JDM aftermarket spring rates are, then ask G4 nicely if they can package your kit with softer springs.

Sp33dY
10-07-07, 10:51 AM
Like far out brussel sprout ..... the more i look at your car, the more i think,
"That Luce is undoubtedly bodacious and totally badass in every sense of the word, and possibly out of this world radical like hypercolour tshirts and slapbands"



+50points for me.

llama_au
10-07-07, 07:12 PM
Good to hear your G4's are doing well, I've heard of other D2/G4's seizing. That and they ship them (if you don't specify) with springs that are a bit too stiff for a street car.

Babalouie
10-07-07, 07:32 PM
Good to hear your G4's are doing well, I've heard of other D2/G4's seizing. That and they ship them (if you don't specify) with springs that are a bit too stiff for a street car.

Yeah, apparently the was an issue with the first batch of G4s a few yrs ago but they said it's all sorted now, and that they would immediately replace any of the old ones under w'ty if there was any issue.

Dave at East Coast Suspensions also told me that they took apart a G4 and modified the valving for a softer ride, and that was incorporated into the Mk-2 G4s on sale today.

llama_au
10-07-07, 07:50 PM
Ah fair enough, I guess for the price they're a good deal :)

Babalouie
30-07-07, 11:42 AM
Oil changed today, 138,000kms :)

5L of Penrite HPR30.

Mike.V?!
30-07-07, 12:23 PM
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold004.jpg

Play-doh! It's more than just a nutritious snack.

Babalouie
10-09-07, 06:08 PM
Luce update!

I've ordered a set of these KICS hubcentric adapters, and when they arrive I'll take off the spacers and refit them with a lick of anti seize compound. So hopefully what happened to Juz won't happen to me...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/kics002.jpg


Also recently I've noticed a small radiator leak. Coolant weeps out from the top tank and collects on the floor.

The radiator was reconditioned last yr (by a A Radiator Shop Who Shall Remain Nameless) when the engine was being rebuilt, and it seems that they did a poor job. The chocolate brown discolouration of the header tank is a sign that the plastic is aged and fatigued and is about to let go. Also the radiator had some corrosion and was repaired with epoxy, which is just a dodgy short term solution and is starting to leak.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/SSR001.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/SSR002.jpg

So the whole radiator has been trashed and a new custom one made up by Natrad Chatswood. You can't just get replacement 13B Luce radiators off the shelf so it had to me made up of a mix and match combination of core and end tanks but it looks great!

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/SSR004.jpg

The core is now copper too, so it shouldn't corrode like the old one did, and they did a great job of neatly adapting the stock thermoswitches etc to the new tank.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/SSR007.jpg

One compromise that had to be made was that the "uiniversal" header tank hose inlet was a bit smaller than the stock hose, so they added this filter, which has a step down in diameter from inlet to outlet. It also has a mesh screen inside to trap gunge. It's not such a big deal to clean gunge out of the radiator every few yrs but it is a big deal to do the same with the heater core (usually a dash-out job) So this is a great idea, I'm not sure why I haven't heard of it before.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/SSR006.jpg

At the same time, the a/c was reconditioned too. A couple of workshops have had a go at it before, but it's never been "ice" cold and the gas always leaks out after a few mths. They went thru the whole system and replaced every seal and o-ring, and all the flexible lines were replaced too.

Now it's really ice cold, and I can't wait to load up the fridge with drinks and see how cold they get :D

Jazzle
10-09-07, 11:19 PM
:mrgreen: im loving it!

Babalouie
11-09-07, 12:33 AM
Oh ya the LSD should go in later this week too if everything goes right.

doofus
11-09-07, 12:42 AM
hey babs, you know the spacers, if the stock studs pop out too much for the wheels, what would you have to do?

love the updates btw!

gimic
11-09-07, 08:52 AM
talking about a/c and making your drinks ice cold make me regret recenently ripping my system out :(

Babalouie
11-09-07, 11:24 AM
hey babs, you know the spacers, if the stock studs pop out too much for the wheels, what would you have to do?

love the updates btw!

Basically if that is the case you're farked :D

Nah if that were the case and it was me, I would go the German style of spacer that is like this (H&R, Eibach, etc):

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/MX5/Spacer.jpg

It's hub centric, so the spacer itself is supported by the hub, the spacer has its own hub to support the wheel, and you get extra long studs with the kit, and you replace the stock studs with them.

You should use a hubcentric ring to ensure that the wheel itself is snugly supported by the hub, and that offsets the inherent dodginess of using super long studs.

steve-b
11-09-07, 11:40 AM
hey babs,
meet you real quick at the eomm, was with ryan and the other colts. saw your car yesterday @ gordon, i was the lone white boi stair-rin @ your car. Very nice mate, but that exhaust has quite abit of resonation no ? it sounded very droney from where i was standing.

Babalouie
11-09-07, 11:52 AM
hey babs,
meet you real quick at the eomm, was with ryan and the other colts. saw your car yesterday @ gordon, i was the lone white boi stair-rin @ your car. Very nice mate, but that exhaust has quite abit of resonation no ? it sounded very droney from where i was standing.

Well it has a 3000rpm stall convertor, so when the car is accelerating with low throttle, the engine flares to 3000rpm and then then tranny just slips a little to keep the revs up. So when you're driving at low speed in traffic it tends to sound like the car is just always revving at one rpm, and hence you only hear one tone from the zorst.

From the inside you can hardly hear anything at all tho :)

Babalouie
22-09-07, 11:07 PM
Out with the old (stock open diff):
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter001.jpg

In with the new (Mazdaspeed LSD):
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Dangertomanifold005.jpg

Mazdaspeed (ok, well KAAZ on behalf of Mazdaspeed) make very good diffs. She pulls very nice drifts now and hooks up beautifully :)

Tats
24-09-07, 10:42 AM
Another trip to WSID now that you bought a box of traction for the pimpmobile? :D

Buddy
24-09-07, 11:21 AM
nice, babs is now ready for SUPERMEGAVIPFAIMLYFUNHAPPYDORIFTOTIME yay!!

felixR
24-09-07, 11:28 AM
nice, babs is now ready for SUPERMEGAVIPFAIMLYFUNHAPPYDORIFTOTIME yay!!
videoclipoftandemdriftwithbuddyorban

Babalouie
24-09-07, 02:23 PM
Another trip to WSID now that you bought a box of traction for the pimpmobile? :D

Sounds like a plan, but at the moment it's a LOT harder to light up a burnout of any description now that I have two tyres to turn :D

Babalouie
05-10-07, 11:15 PM
VIP spannertime!

Some of you may have seen the drinks fridge that the Luce's got. Well, it's a combination of a fridge and air purifier. The purifier is basically the air intake for the fridge and it's this huge drawer that slides out of the fridge unit in the boot:

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter033.jpg

The prob is, it's encrusted with 21ys of dirt (mind you it's JDM dirt yo, so would prolly fetch a good price on EBay)

I then noticed that the drawer can be taken apart and the filter paper removed You can see that in comparison to some pockets of the filter which are clean, in general it's pretty dirty!

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter031.jpg

Tried vacuuming it, but that didn't make any difference...so I went and bought a cabin pollen filter for an Audi A6, which was closest in dimensions

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter036.jpg

A little work with some hi-density foam...

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter038.jpg

Snap the drawer back together and voila!

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter040.jpg

You can see here the fridge unit that takes up 1/3 of the boot

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter041.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter042.jpg

Cool drinks are happy drinks!

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/filter044.jpg

van
05-10-07, 11:21 PM
Pretty much the best feature of any car ever.

EGG80X
05-10-07, 11:44 PM
pimpin kev!!

felixR
06-10-07, 02:06 AM
that is so cool

chuingbeans
06-10-07, 02:18 AM
Can;t get any more JDM, then chilled JDM cohii~

wngo
06-10-07, 02:20 AM
who needs a convertible or a/c when you have THIS!

whoever thought of this idea was a genius! how many cans can it hold?

Babalouie
06-10-07, 10:36 AM
It holds a 6pack of regular cans or about 9 of the slim JDM cans.

Harves
06-10-07, 11:39 AM
That is so cool.

Sp33dY
06-10-07, 12:56 PM
Very Cool ................... hehehe. Cool. .

Cappuccino
06-10-07, 01:59 PM
thats is awesome pimp all the way!!

llama_au
07-10-07, 08:00 PM
That's the coolest accessory ever!

CoffeeBoss
07-10-07, 09:31 PM
Awesome! Needs some Coffee Boss "original blend" and some Ramune in there though :D Actually.... spare the Ramune, no doubt someone will mess up the pop seal and it will end up all over that pimping velour!

jolt
12-10-07, 11:42 AM
You could just grab Ramune in the standard aluminium bottle with the screw top lid, or would they be too big to fit in the fridge Kev? Aluminium should cool down quite quickly too and stay cold ...

Rod

VTECMACHINE
12-10-07, 11:47 AM
That's soooo cool babs. man I love this car. hehe.

Babalouie
12-10-07, 11:56 AM
You could just grab Ramune in the standard aluminium bottle with the screw top lid, or would they be too big to fit in the fridge Kev? Aluminium should cool down quite quickly too and stay cold ...

Rod

I dunno. Buy me some Ramune and we'll see :D

Gorilla
12-10-07, 01:18 PM
awesome babs! I really want to get rid of my corona and get a Crown whish have similar features, especially the Ice box!

deez
12-10-07, 01:49 PM
Get some Calpis babs :)

dimi_108
12-10-07, 02:06 PM
i love your car man
awesome street presence and vip appeal

omg drink cooler box?! did you make that or did that come with the car?! :shock:

Babalouie
12-10-07, 03:25 PM
i love your car man
awesome street presence and vip appeal

omg drink cooler box?! did you make that or did that come with the car?! :shock:

How on earth would you make such a thing :) It came with the car :D

dimi_108
12-10-07, 03:51 PM
sam from fto club made one for his center console ;)

damn i want a drink cooler now
can you put ice creams in there?

Babalouie
12-10-07, 04:31 PM
sam from fto club made one for his center console ;)

damn i want a drink cooler now
can you put ice creams in there?

Dunno if it's cold enough to keep ice creams unmelted. It does get cans cold enough to get the condensation on them, etc.

Babalouie
13-10-07, 12:42 AM
awesome babs! I really want to get rid of my corona and get a Crown whish have similar features, especially the Ice box!

Nah man, get a Century. Massage seats!

Keven
15-10-07, 03:53 PM
Saw this first hand in its early stages...

How did those spherical bearings go by the way?

You need Pocari Sweat in there... though the super size bottles might have issues fitting...

Go ADM... get a wine cooler bag with a tube with 4 sucking points for the passengers

:P

Babalouie
15-10-07, 04:19 PM
Hi Kev :)

Yeah those brass spacers you sold me worked just fine. They worked perfect to adapt the coilovers to the stock strut hats. The brass spacer allowed the spring hat to sit inside the stock top mount, and rotate on the factory strut bearing
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0037_IMG.jpg

Looked pretty neat too.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/100-0038_IMG.jpg

But in the end I figured I wanted camber adjustment, so I junked the factory top hats and made some camber plates instead :D
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/Picture041.jpg

jolt
15-10-07, 04:54 PM
Cheeky bastard Kev!!

jolt
15-10-07, 05:16 PM
PS: Sambal Prawn from Jalan Alor is awesome ... ;-D

Babalouie
15-10-07, 05:34 PM
PS: Sambal Prawn from Jalan Alor is awesome ... ;-D

Excellent :) did you also get the deep fried crunchy noodles from Jalan Imbi :D

Babalouie
22-11-07, 11:32 PM
Just a little bit of maintenance tonite.

Since forever, water has leaked into the boot when I park it in a heavy rain. Luckily, Mazda undercoating is very good, so even though the carpet is soaked and water pools in the wells on either side of the boot, there is no rust. I mop out the water anyway but it's time to fix it for good.

When it comes to water ingress into the boot, most ppl think that maybe the rubber seal between the bootlid and the bodywork is to blame, but it almost never is.

The usual culprit is the gasket between the tail lights and the body
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor005.jpg

Tail lights get removed for repainting, etc, and often the seals are not put back, or they get damaged during removal and leak when refitted. New seals (above) are only $20 from Mazda so there's no excuse for not fixing it properly.

First, strip the boot
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor001.jpg

Water will drip from thru this gap between the tail light and the hole in the body...just unplug the light, and undo the bolts holding it in, and it pops out
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor002.jpg

Lo and behold, there's no gasket there at all!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor004.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor003.jpg

Pop in the new gasket..
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor006.jpg

Since the taillights were out, I treated them to a clean and polish:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor008.jpg

Before
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor007.jpg

After...hmm...maybe a tiny improvement
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor009.jpg

The other side did have a gasket but it was a bit old and cracked, so I replaced it with a new one
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor010.jpg

Pop everything back together and voila!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor011.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor012.jpg

No more leaks (hopefully)!

Alfadog
23-11-07, 08:21 AM
Wow, gasket for $20... lucky!!! I'm amazed you could still get them.

Where did you buy the plastic polish from?

Gorilla
23-11-07, 08:31 AM
wow!! I wish i knew this earlier..My corona had a little swimming pool in the wells, and I never knew till the guy came and bought it...hahaha..

Gotta check the Cressidas!

Babalouie
23-11-07, 10:17 AM
The gasket is moulded, so its thicker and thinner here and there but I reckon if you cut one out of 5mm thick foam rubber it would do the job.

The Meguiars stuff I just bought at a auto parts store, it's great also for keeping MX5 rear windows nice and crystal clear.

llama_au
23-11-07, 10:48 AM
Tail light gaskets?! Cool. There's no such thing as a gasket on my car, just that really annoying goo that never dries and is hard to remove from anything.

Babalouie
25-11-07, 01:19 AM
Bit of an unusual job tonight.

Since I got the car, the seat belts have always been a little slack. They still lock when you need them to, but the return spring is a bit weak so when you say lean fwd, the belt doesn't quite spring back and stays slack across your chest. So when I'm driving, I'm constantly tugging the belt tight.

So I bought a replacement ADR-approved kit from Klippan, I ordered it in a maroon colour to match the Luce interior.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor013.jpg

First, strip the trim from the centre pillar (in the Luce it's held on by clips so you just gently prise it off)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor016.jpg

Unbolt the stock belt mechanism...lay out the Klippan one and mock up the universal Klippan bracket
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor017.jpg

Bit of love with the hacksaw later...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor019.jpg

Drill holes and bolt up to the Klippan reel...give the bracket a little bend to match the stock angle
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor022.jpg

Bolt it in place...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor023.jpg

Now you need to do the buckle, so unbolt the seat...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor024.jpg

Which weighs about 50kg because of all this underneath
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor025.jpg

This is the only thing about the Klippan Luce kit that wasn't quite right...the buckle is too long...
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor026.jpg

So when it's installed, it sticks out too much, and when the belt is on, it rests on the side of your belly which is a little uncomfortable.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor029.jpg

But 2hrs later....all done, and we have a proper safe seat belt again, with nice soft fabric!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/Luce/sensor028.jpg

Overall, very happy with the kit, it was quite easy to fit...I will contact Klippan about exchanging the buckle for a shorter one though....and then at some point do the other 3 seat belts :rolleyes:

Dominik
25-11-07, 03:27 AM
Why not thread the original Luce belt clip onto the Klippan seatbelt. That way you can keep the original Luce buckle, with the new belt mechanism

I did this with my Soarer; used the OEM buckles/clips with the Klippan belts...

You need to completely unwind the belt, then hold the centre shaft deadstill while you remove the belt, then put a screwdriver in it to stop it unwinding. Thread the new clip on, put the belt back in and thats it!

jolt
25-11-07, 08:34 AM
Looks like a good colour match too! How does it look in person?

Rod

Babalouie
25-11-07, 08:44 AM
Why not thread the original Luce belt clip onto the Klippan seatbelt. That way you can keep the original Luce buckle, with the new belt mechanism

I did this with my Soarer; used the OEM buckles/clips with the Klippan belts...

You need to completely unwind the belt, then hold the centre shaft deadstill while you remove the belt, then put a screwdriver in it to stop it unwinding. Thread the new clip on, put the belt back in and thats it!

The Luce "male" part of the buckle has a broken plastic bit. The metal bit is still good so it's safe but doesn't look very nice. No drama, I just got to swap out the Klippan female buckle for a shorter one and it'll be sweet.


Looks like a good colour match too! How does it look in person?

Rod

It's a lighter shade of maroon, but matches quite well. Once I change all the other belts it'll be quite seamless looking.

Dominik
25-11-07, 08:47 AM
Ah, thats understandable... I just thought the long skinny klippan stalk looked kinda... oldschool (more oldschool than a velour maroon interior :))

Will probably look better when its a proper length

Babalouie
25-11-07, 08:51 AM
Ah, thats understandable... I just thought the long skinny klippan stalk looked kinda... oldschool (more oldschool than a velour maroon interior :))

Will probably look better when its a proper length

Agree! It's definitely more povvo-spec than VIP-spec! But when it's the right length, you shouldn't be able to see the thin stalk so it'll see less obvious.

It's got a nice, new feeling crisp mechanism so I'm loathe to recycle the old stuff..

eug4emi
25-11-07, 09:16 AM
is that a digital speedo? stock for the car? cool!

Babalouie
25-11-07, 09:43 AM
Yup, the Royal Classic version of the Luce has digital dash....well....it was the 80s :)

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/LuceDash.jpg

eug4emi
25-11-07, 09:46 AM
ffs so advanced those mazda guys, i thought honda started it...*dies*

Babalouie
25-11-07, 10:12 AM
ffs so advanced those mazda guys, i thought honda started it...*dies*

Nah mate in Japan even the AE86 had digital dash :)

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/DSC_6583.jpg

eug4emi
25-11-07, 11:24 AM
rofl i got owned :P

Dominik
25-11-07, 03:02 PM
I think even Holden Camira's had digital dash back in the 80s/early 90s... I think Honda was slow on the uptake :D

I have noticed that the new Civics tend to read 5% faster than both my car and my gf's echo... Pretty funny how its placed so that everyone else can see how fast you are going...

.::F[L]Y::.
25-11-07, 03:28 PM
Nah mate in Japan even the AE86 had digital dash :)

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/MX5_Dorifto/DSC_6583.jpg



whoa! looks like the s2000 dash. guess honda got their idea from there

llama_au
25-11-07, 05:28 PM
XF Falcon's had a digital dash.

eug4emi
25-11-07, 09:44 PM
it's bad because your passengers can see your speed clearly :P