Vlog #3 – It’s (almost) Alive!

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So this Saturday I had the Miata almost put together and a shop with nothing really to do. I decided it was time to get it running. 


I put the car on the lift, installed the lower radiator hose, put the mid pipe on the exhaust so I could install and plug in the catalytic converter, tightened a few accessories up that I couldn’t easily get to from above, and plugged in the oil pressure sending unit (when I finally figured out what the hell that weird little connector went to). 

TIME TO FIRE IT UP, RIGHT? Well yes, but unfortunately no. I connected a booster box to it, since the battery is dead flat. It spun over, but it wouldn’t crank. This isn’t that big of a deal because honestly most cars don’t crank on the first try after a motor install. There’s usually something that’s not connected or SOMETHING that you overlooked. I got out and started checking things. I noticed my crank sensor bracket had slipped behind the crank pulley, but I sorted that out and it still didn’t crank. I went into diagnosis mode. I pulled a spark plug out laid it up on the valve cover and had someone turn it over while I watched. Yep, it’s sparking. I sprayed some starting fluid into the airbox and turned it over. It ran while burning off the starting fluid, then died. 


Well, at least I have it narrowed down to a fuel issue. I swapped the EFI fuse with a known good one (one of the benefits of owning multiples of the same car). No change. Finally I pulled the carpet off the package shelf to get at the fuel pump. I pulled the fuel line off that goes to the rail and turned the key on. No fuel at all in the line. I pulled the fuel pump connector off and I’m getting 12v+ at the connector, so it’s not a relay or fuse or wire or anything like that for the fuel pump. The ECU is asking for fuel pump and sending voltage to it, it’s just not doing anything. That pretty clearly points to a bad fuel pump, so I called it a day and went inside and ordered a Walbro 255 fuel pump with install kit and a new fuel filter. 

I also noticed my slave cylinder had seen better days, like most Miata slave cylinders, so I went ahead and ordered a new one. I have to bleed it and install the braided clutch line anyway. Might as well just take it off and replace it now and avoid being stuck on the side of the road when it inevitably fails. 

Also the brand new radiator I bought when my stock one cracked like a fortune cookie is leaking at the seam, so I had to do a warranty replacement through rock auto for that. With any luck, everything will show up in time for next weekend.

Anyway, I’m getting pretty excited. The fuel pump should make the car run and then I can do slave cylinder and adjust the clutch and actually DRIVE the damn car. ​​