ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower
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Author:  ccrunner [ December 29, 2012, 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
The lca mods look a lot like the mods I do to miata lcas for the coilovers to clear the tbird outer cvs.
The uppers look almost as bent as an oem tbird uca.

Yeah, you V8 Miata guys have clearance issues back there too- my issue was up top (I'm retaining the small Miata outer CVs; it's my coil pass through that was an issue), but same procedure for both.. I was initially concerned with the 'new' funky upa shape, but as you point out, but while under my 17th TBird in the wrecking yard, I noticed that Ford had to solve the problem in the same way..

April 14, 2011

Looking more closely at fuel tank placement.. under the hood ('over' the firewall where there's a void) is simply not practical-- it's just too tight and I don't want the weight up that high.. also the tank would simply be too small.. also it makes me uncomfortable to have fuel right over my legs should there be a crash... SO, the tank has to squeeze into the void behind the rear subframe.. there might be room for a spun aluminum tank about 10" x 26".. most sites selling it show it as an 8.5 gal(?).. planning to weld on a 1/2 gal sump to get an even 9 gals... at an optimistic 32mpg, that gives a range of 288.. I can't imagine needing to go farther than that without the need to at least get out and stretch..

April 16-17 -- Cut out rear section of Miata subframe to clear for fuel tank.. this of course weakened the assembly- need to go back and reinforce to get back the rigidity- no worries- .. fabbed bolt on pumpkin mounts- need to rework a bit, not happy with how they turned out.. shaved off pass side diff front 'ear' to allow clearance.. 7.5 diff now has 2 rear mounts and one in front (reverse of OEM setup) due to space issues-- and on this car there are always space issues :wink:

n6 7 5 bolt on mounts.JPG
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Author:  ccrunner [ December 29, 2012, 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

April 17 through 27, 2011

Found a guy (Larry) in Pismo Beach that needs the N600 OEM fuel tank.. will take it to him Wed when we go camping.. // reworked Miata rear subframe to get strength back from recent trimming.. // Final trimming of N600 trunk floor area to fit a 10x26 fuel tank.. // UPS brought 5" round steel to fab coil pass-through barrels.. also got 1 1/16" DOM to sleeve axles.. // Bike just passed 34,000 miles and has now paid for itself in fuel savings alone (as opposed to driving the 9 mpg truck all this time).. I made a very big deal about this to Lisa (wife) about how smart it was to buy said bike in the first place, let alone have a master plan to have it pay for itself and then use it's bits in the N600 project... She was not impressed.

April 28 -- Getting more and more interest in the OEM N600 leftovers.. Larry #2 (not fuel tank Larry) wants the rear brake bits.. doing quite a bit of packing/shipping of all these little 40 year old parts- I hope I don't find I've made a mistake and need any of them back :shock: // VFR chain is needing adjusting about once a week now.. needs a new one..

Author:  ccrunner [ December 29, 2012, 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

Musings on Matt the Moron

I'm not into cars to make money- most of us lose money, just part of the deal, and that's ok.. I've torn apart this little odd-bird 40 year old 'car' knowing that somewhere there's a guy in the middle of his project that really needs such-and-so part that I don't need, and he can't afford to pay a million bucks for it.. I am that guy half the time, so I try to be very fair when someone needs/wants something I have.. Mr. Matt from Kansas hit me up very early in this build for my N600 OEM engine, and right off the bat showed signs of being less than honest.. I should have listened to my gut..

Long boring story short: Matt is one of those flaky Poo-Poo Head car guys that made me mad because he didn't do the right thing: his story changed at the shipping dock, the rate changed, and I had to trust that he would pay the difference... I'm maybe not too bright as I shipped the engine assuming he'd pay the difference.. Pretty obvious now that's not going to happen- I should never have sent the engine without full payment..

But this musing isn't really about Moron Matt, or even the engine/loss of money (it wasn't that much money anyway).. it's about how decided to 'get over it.'

I was surprised at how angry I got over being burned by this clown (I don't get angry easily).. It was taking up too much emotion and energy :BH: , so I made a decision. I sat down and instead of sending an email demanding payment blah blah blah; I told Matt exactly what I thought of him without using bad words like poo-poo head. I told him he must be in a desparate place to do such a thing, and I felt bad for him.. I told him one day the universe would allow him to either be a good person on his own, or it would teach him the lesson for him. Either way, I told him he'd get no more emails from me, and good luck with his project. I then decided that as of May 14, 2011, (just a random date I picked) I'd give no more thought or energy to Mr. Matt.

The really cool thing about this is it worked! Since then I've really never given a care about this guy (up until I found these notes in my journal).. Wow.. I just decided this guy wasn't worth my energy, and suddenly he wasn't..

It's been a while now since I wrote this guy off.. I'm hopeful that he's matured a bit, but really, I've found I've got better things to think about.

Author:  ccrunner [ January 17, 2013, 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

May 2, 2011

Have to pull off of project to R&R rear patio cover before the summer weather gets stupid hot (it's usually 95+ degrees in July and August here)..

-ordered small misc parts (seals/bearings/etc) while project is idle
-Picked up windshield from Mark who's been holding it for me.. it has a small crack near driver's A-pillar.. damn! These buggers are hard to come by.. I'll try 'fix a windshield stuff' and see if it can be saved..
-June 4 went to small local car show.. saw a rotary motor in a 510.. compact/nice.. could it fit in my engine bay? Cool engine, but research shows not good for my plans..
-June 9.. tried 'fix a windshield' crack filler stuff... worked 'ok', but can still see the crack- just not nearly as bad.. might be ok, but it bugs me that there's a crack there..
-June 11.. pulled rear glass (2 quarter glass and rear glass).. found all 3 are terribly pitted- from the inside!!? It's like someone welded right up against them for a month to get this odd, odd result. Found a fellow N600 owner on the forums that these 3 pieces and needs some of my stuff- love the internet!
-June 13.. Looking into the electrical limitations of the VFR stator/harness.. I'm in trouble if I want to run a stereo.. likely need to change all bulbs to LED (even headlights) or rewind stator.. need battery upgrade too.. details for later..
-June 18.. after much research, decided to put a T5 tranny 'inline' (tranny yolk u-joint mated directly to Miata diff).. this gives a .72 OD to help compensate for my 3.9 diff, and a reliable reverse.. I hate the weight penalty (aprox +70 lbs I didn't want), but it's a compromise I'll learn to live with.. I can gut the unneeded gears later to save weight if needed.. the car will have almost infinite gearing combo options between the VFR trans and the T5 for any application (track/DD/ whatever).. A challenge to effectively mate the driveshaft to the T5 input shaft (where it doesn't belong), but not insurmountable <<<actually it was exactly this issue that would be my T5's undoing, and would lead me on an expensive and time-consuming wild goose chase.. more details coming up on this..>>>
6-26.. after many weekends on the patio cover project, it's finally done! Back on the Honda after really ignoring it for almost 2 months..

Author:  ccrunner [ January 17, 2013, 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

June 26, 2011

<<<Forgot to explain the switch to the Miata differential.. In my tiny, math-challenged brain, I reasoned that since I'm putting a pig of a T5 tranny inline, I could shed weight somewhere else by abandoning the Ford 7.5 IRS diff (bulky/heavy), and switching to a Miata diff (small/light).. The reason this was the absolute wrong thing to do is in the ratio.. the Miata is a 3.9- even with the T5's .72 OD, on my 20" OD tires, this thing would be revving way too high for highway use.. lesson learned.. stay in school and pay attention in math class!! More later on how I addressed this problem I didn't at the time know I was creating>>>

-spent most of the day in mock-up, measuring for T5/rear diff fitment.. cut hole in floor of back seat for tranny (by the way, sourced a T5 out of a 94 Camaro on Pick a Part half-off day..
-July 4, 2011.. fabbed a rear crossmember to bolt T5 rear mount to.. also altered N600 floor between front seats to act as T5 front support.. T5 will be rubber mounted.. will be celebrating 20th anniversary on a cruise soon.. back to project in a few weeks..

t5 mounted closeup.jpg
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Author:  ccrunner [ January 17, 2013, 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

July 20-31, 2011

More trimming/fitting/fabbing T5 mounts.. so much time and effort to integrate this tranny!.. planned routing of exhaust and fabbed 'tunnel' to go behind driver's seat- I don't want anything hanging under the car, so routing stuff into this tiny Honda floorpan has proven to be a challenge.. You blink and a weekend is gone and really it seems there's nothing to show for it!

7-30-11.. I was inside the car, shifted my weight, and knocked it off of the jackstands.. not a big deal other than the windshield that was resting on top of the car fell to the floor and broke in a dozen places.. I honestly thought I was going to cry.. I'm at a point in the project where I have massive hours into it and not much to show- I need something to be easy for once.. something to go right.. what I do not need is to have a rare windshield crash to the ground because I was too lazy to store it somewhere safe.. I had to leave the garage for awhile at this point.

7-31-11.. I'm over myself now.. I've rationalized that at some point I would have replaced the windshield anyway (it had that small crack that bugged me), so, no problem in the big picture.. this episode did show me though that I need to be careful of burnout.. if broken glass can bring me to tears, I may be a bit fragile myself at this point.. Too many hours in the garage? ..went on to do more detail work in the trunk/fuel tank area..

--Basically started this 6 months ago and am a bit surprised at the slow pace of progress.. I'm putting in LOTS of hours, but I'm still not even started on the front area of the car (engine placement/ front suspension), a part of the project I regard as the most difficult.. I'd like for it to be running under it's own power by Summer of 2012 (one year from now), but that does not seem likely.. my last project (53 F100) took almost 17 years to build- I've promised myself that won't be the case with this project :lol:

T5 hole in the floor under back seat.jpg
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T5 mounted under back seat wideshot.jpg
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Author:  Acerguy [ January 17, 2013, 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

Nice updates. I'm rooting for ya, buddy! :cheers:

Author:  ccrunner [ April 23, 2013, 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

<<<back to posting/updating on this build-- still trying to catch up to 'real time' :roll: ...>>>

AUG 4-7, 2011

Shortened rear axles and 'sleeved' them to fit..// T5 mounted and need to change shifter over to one from an S-10 truck to have the actual stick shift as far forward as possible..
Aug 9-13, 2011

Fitting a 10"x26" spun aluminum tank into lower trunk area (gives about 8.0 gallons once a sump is modded in).. // cleaned up odds and ends in the trunk area (finished off frame rails, fitted new trunk floor, smoothed out fuel tank hole in trunk...) pics soon..

car wideshot on miata rear susp.jpg
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trunk area reskinned.jpg
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trunk seen through open lid.jpg
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Author:  ccrunner [ April 23, 2013, 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

8-22-2011 through 10-1-2011

Project slows considerably due to new school/teaching job... When I get back on it, the focus will shift to front suspension- will have several clearance issues to work out up there... tiny-tiny-tiny car!! / went to Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach on Sept 10th... never been to an 'all import' show before.. fun time, but no modded N600s (did see one mildly modded Z600 though.. guy did a nice, clean job on it). // put new chain and sprockets on the bike-- also new front tire and brake light strobe..... / It's never fun to be new at your job... I'm on a steep learning curve at work :?

Author:  ccrunner [ April 23, 2013, 3:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower


Sorting/modding the front Miata suspension to fit into this tiny car is no small task for me.. I had clearance issues with both the lower and upper control arms as I knew I would.. The real issue was keeping the Miata geometry- while moving the control arm pivot points out of the car's footbox area.. in hindsight I likely did more work than necessary, but jigging it as I did was the only 'foolproof' method I could think of... I've included my cartoon drawings so you can point and laugh at my mad computer skillz :lol: -but also to give a better visual of what all of the upcoming pics of the jigs/mods was trying to accomplish...

10-7-11 Went to pick a part and picked up a complete front Miata clip (1996) rotor to rotor...

After measuring over and over- trying to plan clearances for the engine/ rack/ footbox/ radiators/ exhaust manifolds/ master cylinder/ etc.... I decided the Miata bits needed to be 9.5" narrower than stock... long story short, I hacked 7.0" out of the subframe width, and 1.25 inches length (read width) out of each control arm... this should allow clearance for the motor to snug down into the yet-to-be-built frame rails, and allow for all of the other clearances to be met too... If I haven't stated it before, I'll do it again... this is one small car- clearances, or lack thereof, have been the biggest challenge with this build... No complaints- it's fun putting 10 lbs of flour in a 5 lbs sack :wink:

stock Miata arm configuration on the left, modded to fit on the right:

Miata front upper control arms clearance issues.jpg
Miata front upper control arms clearance issues.jpg [ 24.45 KiB | Viewed 8972 times ]
Miata front lower control arm clearance issues with footwell.jpg
Miata front lower control arm clearance issues with footwell.jpg [ 27 KiB | Viewed 8972 times ]

Author:  ccrunner [ April 23, 2013, 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

found a few more rear end/ T5 shots before I go forward..

trunk area with inner fender raised and tied in.jpg
trunk area with inner fender raised and tied in.jpg [ 153.21 KiB | Viewed 8967 times ]
T5 shot 2.jpg
T5 shot 2.jpg [ 184.41 KiB | Viewed 8967 times ]
T5 in place next to Polaris RZR seat.jpg
T5 in place next to Polaris RZR seat.jpg [ 181.11 KiB | Viewed 8967 times ]
rear fenderwell finished with shock pass through.jpg
rear fenderwell finished with shock pass through.jpg [ 187.83 KiB | Viewed 8967 times ]
random ws rear end droop no shocks.jpg
random ws rear end droop no shocks.jpg [ 176.61 KiB | Viewed 8967 times ]

Author:  a.moore [ April 23, 2013, 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

There is something so wrong yet so right about doing the transmission like that.

Well done! :cheers:

Nice fab work as well.

Author:  robbovius [ April 24, 2013, 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

CC, I dig your T-5 installation. I assume that the T-5 input connects to the VFR counter shaft output, and you've simply left the VFR in top gear, correct? I have actually considered doing a similar thing for my 3-wheeler so that I could get a reverse gear. (using a spitfire or spridget transmision, or something similar)

Author:  john hennessy [ April 24, 2013, 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

the trans looks interesting, just one thought though,

the input shaft of the t5, there is no pilot bush to support the front of the input shaft, do you think this will affect the bearings in the transmission?

Author:  ccrunner [ April 24, 2013, 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ccrunner's N600 VFR800 repower

Thanks for the feedback guys...

This T5 setup has been one of those "If I knew then what I know now" things... As Rob points out, I did it to get overdrive and more importantly, reverse. I had several challenges along the way that ultimately led to me taking this whole setup out of the car... John caught the 1st issue, which was supporting that shaft out where the pilot bearing would have held the end up/centered... In the pic below you can see the aluminum 'cone' I fabbed that has a sealed bearing pressed in the end... this actually worked, and likely would have been fine, if not for my bent input shaft (I learned it was bent only later.. truth be told I likely did it myself when I pulled the T5 in the wrecking yard).. Anyway, in order to secure the driveshaft/flange out where the clutch disc used to ride, I had to have the input shaft machined to match my flange splines (not cheap).. so when I learned the now custom input shaft was bent, giving me a wicked vibration I couldn't easily fix, I abandoned the T5 altogether... Truth be told I was in for a rework anyway, as I learned the car liked to be left in 4th or 5th at the T5, and I would use the paddle shifter to go through the bike's tranny... This proved to be pretty effective, but very harsh on the drivetrain for lack of a cush drive as was on the donor bike... The new solution is I've fabbed in a whole new driveline which includes a BMW guibo... it's now late April 2013 and I should have this new setup on the road within a few weeks (wish me luck!)

Robbovius-- for what it's worth, I would not go through the work/frustration involved in such an inline tranny design as this for your build... I'm so deep ($$) in machining/parts/fabbing/time that I really would have done well to just pony up for a dedicated inline reverse box (i.e. Quaife or similar).. yes, they're expensive, but I sit here today with no reverse and more money spent :roll: Just part of the fun, right?!!

**edit- found a better shot of the input shaft bearing w/ aluminum retainer..

T5 input shaft bearing closeup.jpg
T5 input shaft bearing closeup.jpg [ 174.94 KiB | Viewed 8864 times ]
T5 in place next to Polaris RZR seat.jpg
T5 in place next to Polaris RZR seat.jpg [ 181.11 KiB | Viewed 8878 times ]

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