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2012 Sm Build

Posted by Jim Drago , 11-12-2011 · 8,419 views

I sold my 2011 cars To Jeff Rothstein and Pat McGinnis.. So that leaves me with no car for 2012 . So it is that time again.. I decided to blog the build of the new car... I will get some pictures together and post them all the way through..

My last two cars have been white donors that were not full tub up builds like all of my customer cars.. This time i decided to build my car as nice as all of my customers. We started with a white donor, however we took it all the way down, removed all undercoat and sealer, top and bottom. This should be our nicest build yet.

We just got the car back from the paint shop yesterday, looks really nice.. I will pick up pictures from here.



Here are some pictures of the car coming off the hauler after the paint shop

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We had the subframes and all suspension powder coated, new bushings, new ball joints, manual NB steering rack
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Well, We are moving along... We decided to powder coat all the suspension pieces in the new car black, they came out great.. They looked so good that we decided to paint the underside of the car as well. Looks great, but two full days of work , not sure it was time and money well spent?

Here are some pictures of the underside of the car, before and after painting. Also some shots with the Suspension mostly installed.

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This is the stage that goes fast and you feel like you are accomplishing something.. From here it gets slower, the car looks the same for days as you work away, it is a little depressing as you can't see much headway.



11/15


Well, as I said above.. now for the slow part...

We got the new east street calipers installed and brake lines run. We also have the freshly rebuilt East Street racing transmission in place. The power plant brace and lots of other small stuff that you barely notice.. Here are some pictures..



We also ran all the wires and put back the heater boxes etc. We try to cover as best we can to avoid scratching a car that will have plenty soon enough :)

Added 11/20


Well we are still moving forward.. Lots of cool stuff going into this car and the guys are really building with TLC and making this thing far to nice for me to drive :) I decided to make a different cluster for the car. I love the new Traqdash display. But I didnt like how I had it mounted. So we decided to fab up a hybrid cluster. Many sell block off plates etc, but I wanted to keep the functionality of the stock cluster, mostly the fuel gauge and Check engine light. In the process, we also kept the oil pressure gauge and the charging light, all have been a problem in 99's. the warning lights are from let to right.. charging, water temp, oil pressure, check engine. We also were able to run the traqdash cable through the cluster and hide the wires. We mount our base unit in the trunk and run the traqmate wire through the sheath of the original harnesses so it is not seen.

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The engine bay has a little more bling-bling than suits my personality.. but looking good ..

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11/22

We got the car fired up today, broke in the engine etc. The dash is mostly finished as well. We still have the wideban, the radio and the Pull handle on fire system
Here is a picture...
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Never leave a shifter without Mr Krebs to protect it! He is the guardian of missed 2-3 shifts.. he is also green :)


11/23

We got our radio in today from Sampson racing radios. We decided to mount it in the dash. We modified our radio block off plate. We also moved our air:fuel gauge into this panel as it was hard to see in the left eyeball vent. We also have the pull handle there as well. All located within easy reach of the driver. All the wiring for the radio is behind the dash and run back to the antenna and the driver encased in factory sheathing, none of the radio wires are visible except the push to talk and about 12-18 inches behind the back of the seat. Very clean install! Good job JB!
getting nervous... I am going to actually have to drive this thing soon enough and don't want to scratch it :)

Here is a picture...
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11/25

Trying to finish this thing off. So much left even when they look complete :( Just at a point where you want to be done already, but "finishing" takes longer than building by quite a bit. They guys are doing a great job, but I am anxious to be done. We are trying to Make Atlanta next weekend and run The NASA race there. We should be good baring nothing unforeseen pops up.

We are putting in the seat and belts today along with finishing what we can.. Here are some more pictures. As much as it killed me to do it, we put in brand new headlights in the car, adding another $300 to the build, but they sure look nice :0

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11/26

I went in this morning early, like 5:30 am as I had family in town. I wanted to paint the bottom of the car gray and make some fog like block off covers. II also painted two pairs of mirrors... Charcoal metallic an Kawasaki green, not sure what color will look best, white, green or charcoal metallic. I was home by 10 and all looks real good. I will likely do the same tomorrow morning and go in and install the graphics. That is the only fun part for me, that and good dyno numbers :)

I actually went in last night for a few hours and got the graphics on for the most part.we are missing several of them.
It is really starting to shape up. I like the new look a lot.


I'll put some pictures up tomorrow, :(

Well, getting close.. trying to leave to test at Atlanta this weekend. We should scale and align today, dyno and finish up tomorrow.
Here are a few more shots
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11/30
We are finishing up.. Well if you ever really finish a race car that is :( I am loading up tomorrow and heading to Atlanta and doing some testing. We scaled and aligned today and made some dyno pulls and tuned the car up. It should be ready to go. I'm sure we will generate a pretty good punch list when we get back. We were short some graphics, also had to run Toyo Graphics instead of Hoosier, so I will change them when we get back. I am waiting for carbon fiber Miatacage seat, hopefully we will have for Sebring in January. I am really happy with the way the car turned out, I really like the graphics.

I took it for a Ghetto 500 run( up and down and around my block) run this evening, car seems really nice and tight. I'm ready to get on the track and pray it comes home in one piece. It will be my first NASA race since 2008.
We spent lots of time tuning the exhaust to the new 38 mm RP with some pretty impressive results and the new exhaust has a really nice deep tone to it, best sounding Miata I have ever heard, it actually sounds like a race car now.

The graphics are the Mazdaspeed logo, of course I needed to add green or it just wouldn't be my car. the green graphic is maz2 green. the graphics were done by Sticky Fingers who does the Mazdaspeed graphics, that did a great job.

We had to have the Hard top repainted, we will pick it up tomorrow and install before we leave.
Thanks for following the blog. I will post a few more when I get the top and get it installed and get the rest of the graphics on.

Let me know what you think.. Here are some more pictures..

Here are a few more shots..
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12/5/11
Well we finished up last week and headed to Atlanta... Here are some pictures before we loaded up. When we get it back together and the rest of the graphics on, I will get a few more shots.

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1/2/12
Well, it's for real now. Car is done, all the checklists are completed, all the dyno testing and tuning done. All the scaling and setup is done. All that is left is the hard part :) The cars are loaded and heading to Sebring for the first two Nationals of the year. Sebring has 62 cars registered! Some of the fastest cars and drivers in the nation are registered, it will be one hell of a test. Hopefully we can compete for the win, after all, that is why we do this why we put in all the time, money and hard work!

Here are some last pictures

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1/31/12

Well Back from Sebring and Homestead not a bad maiden Voyage. Of 632 cars at Sebring we qualified 3rd, finished 5th and 3rd in SM , first and second in STL.. East street cars qualified and finished 1-4! Pretty cool. Homestead East street cars qualified 1-2-3, I finished 2nd and 3rd in both days. So I was happy, no finishes worse than 5th. We still have some issues to resolve, but the car was great!

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  • Mike Collins, Ron Alan, juliancates and 7 others like this



Awesome, can't wait to drive it! ;)
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@todd LOL!!!
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Looks great Jim!
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Mitch Reading
11-15-2011 11:03 AM
Good stuff Jim, thanks for sharring.
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Awesome, can't wait to drive it! ;)


Looks great Jim!

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Beautiful job Jim . That is a piece of art .
What did you use to get the factory undercoat off the underside of tub .
jguthrie / Guthrie Body Shop
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It's going to look great in my rear view mirror at the Sprints!
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Tom
The track is four miles long and usually a few cautions, I doubt I would lap you :)
Jim
    • john mueller, Blake Thompson, Tom Sager and 1 other like this
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Ok...your really pissing me off Jim! Because you've just sealed the deal I think on getting a few goodies from you :)) And to think this is all done on a amateur racers budget. Really nice work!! Hope all the 2400lb Gorillas are gone for next year when you put this baby on track!
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Jim
You stole our paint scheme! It Looks great.
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Nate are you crazy? I've had same paint since 2008? :) You were only 13 then :)
Jim

Doing like the Mazda speed MX5 you did the shootout in, but green where that car was red.
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Cool, I even made a comment there about how good that car looked. And come on I was in my late teens...
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Sampson Racing Radios
11-23-2011 05:57 PM
nice Job Jim :) Now... go eat some turkey!

Happy Turkey Day to all!

Cheers, Shawn
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Getting closer, posted a few more pictures in the original blog
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Jim looks sweet maybe throw that on my tab?
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Only problem for the NASA race at Atlanta is I am number 2 and so are you...
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Blake Thompson
11-30-2011 08:41 PM
It's legit to leave the AC box out? Mine is gutted but I could use the weight.
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Yes Blake, that is factory ac delete pipe

BPP.. whoever qualifies higher gets #2? loser gets 12? :)
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Jason J Ball
12-01-2011 11:38 AM
Very nice build Jim. Look forward to seeing it in person this weekend, I my rearview mirror! Although, that's not very likely :)
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