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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Ha, I bet that made you sit up straight. No need to worry though, unless you were reading the UPOC thread last October, you wouldn't even be aware this happened. I felt like making a thread about it since I'm bored, and also to introduce my new car. The accident happened on Saturday, October 18th. I had wanted to go on a little drive up the canyon and take some pictures since it was a nice day...



First, I'll say this was completely my own fault. I decided to pass a slower moving van going up a long, straight hill where passing was allowed, but I simply got going way too fast and didn't see a sign that showed a sharp curve was coming up. In addition, the curve was right at the peak of the hill:



I could feel the car float as the ground suddenly dropped away, and I simply couldn't stop fast enough. Thankfully no other cars were coming around the bend, or else things would have been MUCH worse.



I hit the barriers and pushed them at least 2 feet. The front bumper tore off when I backed the car up away from the barrier. Luckily I hit the joint and not the flat face of one barrier, which I think saved me and my car from more damage.



Still, it pushed the front passenger corner a good 4-6 inches in. Where there was about 3-4 inches between the radiator and the turbo, there became none. The passenger side cross member was shoved upwards and bent the power-steering pulley, jamming it completely. That's what initially caused the engine to die in the impact, though it started up again obviously.



The hood was undamaged, so this should give you an idea of how far the passenger corner was pushed in. In the end, the officer that showed up gave me a $150 ticket for 'needless collision' or something retarded like that... I couldn't really argue against that one since the skid marks showed I had obviously been going too fast. A flatbed truck showed up and took my car home for an additional $100.

I was devastated by this to say the least. It happened barely a month after getting my new turbo installed after I had waited and planned and put so much into making it just right. I seriously considered selling what I could and just giving it all up for a geo or a civic.

The day after, I started looking for another MX-6. Not a probe, not a 626, an MX-6. It had to be an MX-6. I did entertain thoughts of shoehorning my engine into an MX-3, but really I just wanted to get my engine into another car and make sure it was okay. Visually it was hard to be sure without removing the engine, but since it ran I could be fairly sure it was okay.

Unfortunately, there weren't any for sale in Utah. I looked on craigslist, Autotrader, dealer websites; I called dealers and went to car lots, looking for one good MX-6. There simply weren't any good ones in Utah. I saw ones in California, New Jersey, New York. Even our own MX6.com didn't have anyone selling one close enough to me. I did find a black GT in Las Vegas, but the seller never called me back.

Sure, it'd only been 2 days since the accident, but I was feeling like I would be totally out of luck. Who knew how long it would be until someone with a good MX-6 put it up for sale?

As I was scouring Autotrader, I saw one for sale in Phoenix, AZ. The seller wanted $3000 for it, and it was an automatic. But it only had 118,000 miles, and being in the desert it was almost guaranteed to have very little rust. The problem was getting there to check it out. When I told Ryan about it, he said it would be better to wait and see if one would pop up for sale closer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have no heels to rest on.



I bought my plane ticket on Wednesday (~$200) after talking to the seller extensively and getting the VIN for the car. I ran a Carfax report the day before ($40) to check it out, and the mileage seemed to be accurate, and also that it had been in Arizona it's whole life.

The seller was a really nice guy, he picked me up at the airport on Friday morning and took me to his house to see the car. I only had myself, a backpack with some tools and a change of clothes, and a wad of cash for the car. At this point I was more nervous than ever; if the car wasn't what he claimed, if I couldn't justify the money, I would have to go back to the airport, buy a new ticket and hang out until I could fly home, $400 poorer. I had jumped in hoping that it was as good as my sweat glands were telling me it would be.
It was.



I was too excited to take more pictures at his house, and looking back I know my excitement and eagerness to have the car made me overlook all the small flaws, but then and now I don't care.



The body isn't flawless; it has 5-6 dents that look like the result of flying rocks. I've come to notice the driver's side fender has subtle creases like it was hit at one point, but has since been repaired. There are a few very minor rust spots on the roof, but the underside is almost immaculate.



I really couldn't believe it.



$2800 for the car and $200 for new rear tires later, and I was on my way in a white 1990 MX-6 GT. It's the perfect replacement for my car, and mechanically it was almost perfect. The engine was quiet, the turbo pulled well and felt smooth, and I even liked the automatic pretty well.

Unfortunately there was no power steering, the signal stalk was broken and so was the speedometer. It only made a horrible, clicking, grinding sound that got worse and worse. In the end I had to just disconnect the speedometer cable, but not before I got pulled over for speeding. Apparently, 3K RPM in an auto is about 90 mph, and not 70 like I was used to. Additionally, the temporary registration I got didn't allow for state-to-state travel. This ended up costing me a total of ~$550.

Regardless, ~6 hours later I made it to a friend's house in Las Vegas and spent the night, since it's literally halfway between Salt Lake City and Phoenix. In the morning, I left early and drove another 6 hours to reach Salt Lake City. Now, the funny part to this is I hadn't told anyone I was going to Phoenix, except my aunt who dropped me off at the airport. I had sworn the friends to secrecy as well. So, you can imagine my brother's surprise when I rolled up to his shop, exactly one week after the accident. Actually you don't have to imagine it, you can watch it:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
How hard can it be?




I now had a new car, and I had my built engine which was (hopefully) still in one piece. Unfortunately the new car was an automatic, and the dash was cracking from being in the Arizona sun. (Also the antenna didn't retract/extend but that's to be expected)

Since the cars are the same year, and probably even made at the same time, the swap shouldn't be too difficult. I had never dealt with an automatic MX-6 before though, so it was sure to be interesting. First thing was to get my built engine out and see how it looked:





The power-steering pump is the main victim and would need to be replaced. The new car supposedly had a new pump, but for some reason the power steering just didn't work. I'd have to sort that out later.



Otherwise the engine looked fine; thank you Mazda for those tough iron blocks! I think it also helps that the impact wasn't on the tranny side of the engine. Next the stock engine has to come out of the new car:




The stock engine is dirty on the trans, but otherwise came out pretty easily and is in good shape. I'll hang onto it for awhile since I know it's good. The engine bay ain't bad either:



Of course once I had the engine out, I could see under the battery tray, and removed it to find this:




Bugger. I set about scrubbing with steel wool and PB-Blaster to remove the rust as well as possible. It came off pretty easily to my surprise, and once I had mostly bare metal showing I put on a few layers of Zinc Spray, then more layers of white to help protect the metal. I gave the battery tray the same treatment since it was almost completely covered in rust, though I didn't get any pictures of it.



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Final Steps or "Why I'll never do this again"

While that was drying, I pulled the bumper off to remove the trans cooler and the AC radiator. Hello stock intercooler; now I know why it has that weird bracket on the side.



At this point the engine bay was as clean as I could make it, and it was time to take care of the wiring and the linkages for the manual box. This meant pulling the whole dash out, which was good since I was going to put the non-cracked dash from the old car in anyway. I also swapped the steering columns to fix the broken signal stalk, and installed the instrument cluster from the old car to get a working speedometer again:





I took advantage of my built engine being out to make some needed improvements. I purchased an ACT clutch (~$360) and installed it; it's only the heavy-duty plate and their modified street clutch, but it's rated for 330 ft-lbs and should be plenty for me even with the 16G. It's more grabby but very easy to operate.



Also, since I now had an automatic engine... why not try the auto throttle body with the built engine? For those that don't know, the difference is the auto TB swaps the flappers so the large one is on top, and it opens first with the second one opening sooner as well.



With all that done, it was finally, FINALLY time to install. Thankfully, we got no snow through early December and I was able to finish up and get the built engine installed before the weather could turn nasty.





I have to give credit to those on MX6.com that have done this before, and provided details on how to wire up the clutch switch properly among other tips. Without them I would have been lost. It's not terribly difficult, but there was a moment where I tried to start the car and there didn't seem to be any power going to the ignition. I discovered the problem though; a slight difference in the wiring between the battery cables of the manual and automatic cars. Once I made the proper connection, everything worked fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it summer yet?

Depending on how you look at it, I was fortunate to finish in time, but then winter hit. There was no way I could subject my new car to the snow and salt, so I covered it up and drove other cars. This meant I had to wait, and wait, and wait some more to start driving it and really make sure the engine wasn't damaged. I also had to figure out why the power steering wasn't working still, though the new pump seemed to be fine and so did the wiring. It turns out the valve that controls the fluid flow was seized up, and I had to do some intricate finger exercises to swap it out for the one in the old car.

I also discovered that my new car brought half of Arizona back with it. Especially in the trim and moulding around the rear windows, there was dirt, seeds and who knows what else jammed underneath.




I cleaned it all out as well as I could, and now when I wash the car there aren't long streaks of mud running down the rear panels. I know it's not all gone, but it's better than it was at least. Once I got my favorite wheels put on, I had to take a beauty shot:



By the time April 5th rolled around, my clutch was broken in and I was ready to play:




I had a ton of fun, despite the almost comical body roll the stock suspension has. I still managed to drop from an initial 59 sec run to a low of 51.3. When I was about to go home though, the trans went into first and refused to budge. I had to pull and wiggle it until it finally gave me neutral again, but it felt like rowing through gravel to change gears. Thinking my trans was borked, I carefully went home and drove another car for a week. When the weekend came again, I tentatively drove the car for a few hours to see if the trans would seize up. As of today, it still hasn't seized and seems to be normal, though I won't fool myself into thinking every thing's okay.

As long as it holds out until I get my new LSD (H type helical LSD(Mfactory) GI** - Club Protege) then I'll be happy. I also intend to replace the brake booster, as the stock one has whistled at me a few times and acted like it's leaking.

In all, that one accident has cost me over $4500. Some of it I was going to spend anyway, but most of it happened because I didn't respect what I had enough to be more careful. Some would call me crazy too; for that much money, I could have gotten a newer car. But it just wouldn't have been the same.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Damn Dude!! Great job!!:cool::tup: Fate has a funny way of showing you things. Ever look at the VIN #'s to see how close they were off the assembly line?:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
According to Carfax, my old car was made on April 10th, 1990. The new car was made on April 24th, 1990. So it actually is younger in addition to having fewer miles. It also means my new car's birthday is this Friday. This just makes me think Fate is an ass :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, I would say wash&wax this weekend, but it's supposed to rain all weekend. Other than that I'm trying to save money for the future LSD and transmission rebuild.

For those interested, I finally uploaded video of my fastest (official) run from when I went to the Utah Fairpark at the beginning of this month:


At the time it didn't feel like there was that much body roll, but that stock suspension was working hard. The best part was how I beat my Ryan's time in the car by at least 1.5 seconds, which is why I'm so happy.
 

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For those interested, I finally uploaded video of my fastest (official) run from when I went to the Utah Fairpark at the beginning of this month:
Couple observances...

-HLA tic tic tic tic. :)
-Addco 1" front swaybarbarian, git some. (unless you are going full hog on the struts, then you can up the spring rate and keep the stocker)
-Your car is either really tall, my car is really low or my memory is fading and I cant remember just what a stock GT sits like (maybe its the wheels).

Gavin (yeah, I remember autocrossing my red GT on stock shocks....wheeeeee)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Couple observances...

-HLA tic tic tic tic. :)
-Addco 1" front swaybarbarian, git some. (unless you are going full hog on the struts, then you can up the spring rate and keep the stocker)
-Your car is either really tall, my car is really low or my memory is fading and I cant remember just what a stock GT sits like (maybe its the wheels).

Gavin (yeah, I remember autocrossing my red GT on stock shocks....wheeeeee)
Thanks Gavin, and it had to be white just like my old one ;)

-Yeah, me and Ryan were planning on replacing the HLA's (about $170) before I went to the Pro Solo event this weekend (another $170 or so), but when I realized how much I'd be spending total I decided to just wait for now and not race for awhile if needed. They were dead quiet this morning though :p
-I definitely plan on getting better struts, but again, it's something I have to save up for.
-As far as I know, that's just how high they sit stock :shrug:

Believe me, I haven't even begun yet but money is just tight right now.

The Auto TB would be a headache with the stock turbo, but with the 16G it's made a big difference. The throttle feels smoother, there's less of a step, and it's much easier to build boost at partial throttle. In fact, I would even say it's easier to control how much boost I'm getting.
 

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Hey, sad to hear you crashed your old MX-6. But it looks like the new 6 is coming along nicely.

I'm running the automatic TB on my white/blue MX-6. IMO it feels faster than my other MX-6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's impossible for me to say if the car is faster with the auto TB or not since I don't have hard numbers, but I know that the turbo is more eager to spool at partial throttle. Also, just having a smoother throttle response is well worth it.
 

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The reason it is more eager to spool at partial throttle is due to the slippage that the ATX (MX6 GT especially) usually has at the torque converter. The change in butterfly's was made purpously to try and alleviate that unavoidable symptom that the ATX has. In other words- the No 1 throttle valve was made larger to increase RPM on the fly when the gas peddle is stepped on low rpm- because the Tq converter starts slipping the same as a clutch would but worse at higher RPM.


PS- This video is GREAT!!!
 

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you stupid crazy son of a bitch..
 
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