I figured I should start one of these. I'll have to back update, since I started a few months ago. At the moment, the plan is to use a R1 engine, but I haven't bought an engine yet, so that could change. Again, at the moment, the differential will be from a MN12 Thunderbird, but since I haven't bought one of those yet either...5/30/09
I bought my donor car, which I wasn't actively looking for. I just saw the car for sale on Craigslist the previous week and thought that it would be a perfect donor. I hadn't quite planned on starting on the project just yet, so I didn't inquire right away. But then I thought about it for a couple days and said to hell with it and bought it for $500. It was too good of a deal to pass up. This should be a lesson to everyone about how Craigslist is the devil. You end up with crap you didn't plan on buying. Crap that makes your fiance shake her head. And wonder what the hell she's gotten herself into.
Towing it home:
Notice the driver's seat held in by gravity, the passenger seat held in with one bolt. and the entire contents of the driver's door (window, door card, power window motor) sitting in the passenger seat.
Not in bad shape, just not in particularly good shape. Pretty much every panel has dents in it, it had been lightly wrecked in the front, and left sitting in a parking lot for 6 months or so with no windows and a ripped top. So all that considered, it's in damn good condition. 5/31/09
Didn't waste any time, and ripped out the interior:
Not a bad haul for a $500 car. Must've been $5 in change under the carpet.6/13/09
Bought the steel last week. Iif you're in Houston and need a steel place, SSS Steel was awesome to deal with. 135 ft of 1x1x.065 square tube, 40 ft of .75x.75x.065 square tube, and 40 ft of .75ODX.065 round tube for $109.41.
Built a build table last week and cut and laid out the bottom rails this week:
Thanks to chet (who lifted it from someone else, who probably lifted it from someone else) for the clamping method. I recommend it to anyone, it really works well. I just chopped up some sheets of OSB the previous owners left in the garage.7/7/09
Got the the basic top rails and rear bulkhead tacked together:
Not a whole lot to say here, since pretty much everyone gets to this stage. The front compound angles took me a few tries, but having a compound miter saw really helped a whole lot. Even still, I had to do some grinding to make them fit.7/12/09
I was getting tired of seeing the ugly Miata in my driveway (and I suspect my neighbors were too), so I took the weekend to completely strip the car in order to cut it into pieces to haul to the scrap yard. I can report that it was freakin hot in Houston over the weekend. Not fit for man or beast out there. Not sure what that makes me, but whatever.
Before we (we meaning me and one of my good friends who inexplicably keeps helping me with this project despite the fact that a) it feels like 109 degrees outside, b) he has his own project CB750 he should be working on, and c) did I mention its 109 degrees outside??) tore the car apart, my buddy jerry rigged the car to run, just to prove that I bought a perfectly running car for $500. Then we drove it around the block with no interior and no muffler giggling like idiots.
These series of pictures do no justice for the amount of work it takes to completely strip a car like that. Sooooo many parts. But I figure if I can completely tear apart a car in a weekend, surely I can build a car in a few years, right?7/18/09
Cut the Miata into pieces.
It was ungodly hot outside that day. My car's temp gauge read 107, no joke. That is why I don't have any pictures of the final product. I also cut the front end off ahead of the windshield, but by the time I was done, I was so hot and tired I had no interest in taking pictures. I just wanted to get inside.
I should note that by this time, I had already easily sold enough of the parts off the Miata to break even. I still have lots of parts, so making profit on this thing will be a walk in the park.8/8/09
Since the fun with the reciprocating saw, I've just been working on the frame. The weather is unbelievably hot, so I work for an hour or so, then go sit in the A/C for awhile. I can't wait for fall. Which doesn't start until freakin November here.
I'm getting somewhat close to having a full book frame tacked together. I only need to find a way to make the trunk bends and make the triangulation bars on the sides of the engine bay and tack in the bulkhead.
That's where I'm at right now, so hopefully updates will follow. Always open to opinions and comments throughout the build. This message board rules. I've already learned so much just by using the search function.