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Alan's OCD '03 SM buid


Final Entry

Posted by Adax , 09-05-2014 - - - - - - · 3,406 views

I'm sorry for the delay in wrapping up this build blog. There are a number of reasons for the delay but the main one is that I broke my right arm and ruptured a tendon in my thumb snowboarding. Recovery has been quite long and not having use of my right hand has impacted all aspects of personal and professional daily life. Fortunately I have a excellent s...


Engine, Powder coating, and more

Posted by Adax , 10-08-2013 - - - - - - · 2,988 views

As everyone who races one knows, a Spec Miata engine is important. Races are extremely close and an extra HP or two can mean the difference between podium and paddock. A good one is also quite expensive so realiablity must also be factored into the decision. You can buy running race cars for the price of a pro engine. Since the inception of this project I...



Posted by Adax , 09-22-2013 - - - - - - · 2,997 views

Sorry for the time since my last entry. Work has picked up over the summer and when I have a free evening I spend it on the car.After spending a few years under the OPM tent a several things become obvious. Most are best not shared here but one is that the crew spends more time trouble-shooting electrical problems than anything other than changing tires....


Carbon fiber is finished

Posted by Adax , 08-11-2013 - - - - - - · 2,487 views

As mentioned in a previous entry, I'm covering the interior plastics with carbon fiber. I had a bad batch of epoxy, I suspect, and many hours of work were lost. I had to put it away mentally for a while but got back at it a few weeks ago. There are several flaws but I'm happy with it in the end. No, I would not do it again, far too much time and the resul...


Small Stuff

Posted by Adax , 08-05-2013 - - - - - - · 2,854 views

There are lots, and lots of little things in this build that aren't really worth an entire blog entry but that take up a lot of time and are important. I'll document a few here now and may add more later.Some have argued that the OEM calipers are better than remanufactured ones. This donor had the large brakes but I sourced some regular (legal) ones from...


Pedal Box

Posted by Adax , 07-29-2013 - - - - - - · 2,444 views

I wanted some heat insulation for my feet and couldn't really find an off-the-shelf solution that met my standards. I'd seen some aluminum sheet work by my friend and fellow racer Trevor at Robinson Racing  so I let him cut and bend an aluminum pedal box for me. I've bought a lot of fab equipment for this build but a sheet metal brake was not in the budge...


Back from paint

Posted by Adax , 07-19-2013 - - - - - - · 2,379 views

Got the call (text) over the weekend that the car was done and I was able to get away from work early on Wed. to pick it up. I've very happy with everything: interior, quality, color, pattern etc. It now seems like a race car and I really, really want to get it done and on the track.First I much extend a huge thanks to the team behind it. Glen and his son...


In Paint

Posted by Adax , 07-15-2013 - - - - - - · 1,778 views

I haven't had much to report over the past few weeks. My CF work has come to a halt due to a bad batch of epoxy ruining most of the dash and wasting about 40 hours of hand sanding. I'm too pissed off to work on it for a while. The tub is at the painter and he occasionally sends me pics via text. The basic scheme is going to be very similar to last year's...


Carbon fiber work

Posted by Adax , 07-01-2013 - - - - - - · 2,541 views

As some may know, I spent way to much time a couple of years ago covering my 1.6's dash pieces with 3M Dinoc  and Alcantara .Forum Thread The Alcantara is great but the Dinoc, while looking better than 23 year old dash plastic, would never be mistaken for real carbon fiber. I wanted to go with the Alcantara covering again as it's pretty simple and helps w...


Final Welding

Posted by Adax , 06-23-2013 - - - - - - · 2,042 views

With the tray into place, the remaining cage can be tacked and welded into place an I can finally get the car off to paint. It's pretty straightforward as I had already cut and fit the pieces before the tray went in. Lets hope they still fit.Tacked into place:https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/25809706/IMG_1004.JPG Final welds:https://dl.dropboxuserconte...


Package Tray part II

Posted by Adax , 06-23-2013 - - - - - - · 1,964 views

I skipped some fitment steps here. As the kit consists of two main pieces, you need to be pretty certain of their fitment before committing to the cover position. This is where clecos  are a necessity (and yes you have to get the cleco pliers too). They allow you to hold the panels exactly where they would be when riveted, without actually riveting them.h...


Package Tray

Posted by Adax , 06-23-2013 - - - - - - · 1,919 views

Several vendors sell an aluminum package tray cover kit like this:http://www.miatacage.com/images/thumbs/0000145_300.jpeg To my knowledge, the only company making these is AWR , and even they sub out the laser cutting and bending. I mention this because depending upon when you decided to purchase one of these, you may be waiting several months for another...


Body in White

Posted by Adax , 06-15-2013 - - - - - - · 2,659 views

If you are fortunate enough to order a Porsche Cup car from the factory you have only one color option: White. It's called a body-in-white and there are good reasons for this. It allows more efficient servicing as everything else in the car is usually not white, it eliminates the need for flashlights when servicing unless you are racing at night, and it a...


Working the body

Posted by Adax , 06-15-2013 - - - - - - · 2,864 views

The underside of a 10 year old Miata is not pretty. Sure, most never see this unless you have a very unfortunate off, but I'll see it every time I'm under the car and there is no better time to do something about it than now. It is upside down after all.You can certainly be National Champion with the undercoating in place. The weight is negligible (maybe...


Miata Rotisserie

Posted by Adax , 06-09-2013 - - - - - - · 2,708 views

I cannot weld overhead. Welding tubing is hard enough for me but I can't figure out the upside-down thing. I couldn't find anyone who was willing to weld overhead for beer, or who I was willing to pay what they wanted, leaving me one option - flip the car over.I figured the shell didn't weigh more than 500# and with my two-post lift and a couple of furnit...


More cage, I've run out of cute titles

Posted by Adax , 06-08-2013 - - - - - - · 1,793 views

https://dl.dropboxus...06/IMG_0770.JPG Triangulation is the key to construct stiffness. You can see several triangles forming and there are more to come. A top-bar is not required but it provides a means of triangulating the main cage so I feel it is important. I went through a couple of iterations before deciding on this one. My only r...


Measure twice, cut five or six

Posted by Adax , 06-08-2013 - - - - - - · 2,114 views

Step one is always the main hoop; everything else is based off this piece. I used to make an ironic statement about how this first step in building a cage was also the most difficult but I've since learned that it's all difficult. I learned a bit while building the roll bar for the green car so it wasn't my first rodeo, but as mentioned previously, I got...


Cage ain't easy, but it's necessary

Posted by Adax , 06-07-2013 - - - - - - · 2,537 views

Building a cage is much more stressful than I anticipated. In retrospect, it's nice to step back at the end of the day and admire what you've created from a bunch of straight tubes, but I found I needed a mental break from the fabrication process every 2 hours or so. It's not all that difficult in concept, the math is straightforward but the three dimensi...


Chassis #2

Posted by Adax , 06-07-2013 - - - - - - · 1,942 views

Fowler again contacted me with a lead on an '03 in the area. I drove out to look at it and decided that this one had reached the point in its life that being a SM donor was doing it a favor.  A thorough inspection revealed no frame injuries and other than a very loud throw-out bearing, it ran well. There was nothing remarkable about the car other than the...


Car selection

Posted by Adax , 06-06-2013 - - - - - - · 2,403 views

After about 5 years of modest success racing a 1.6 on tracks around the SE, I decided it was time to build a new car. A '99 or '01 seemed the logical choice as they are arguably better suited to my home track, Road Atlanta. After discussing it with trusted friends, chiefly Tom Fowler at OPM , I decided to take a gamble on an '01 about a year ago. I kept a...

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