Entry Number 5 -
1) In Michigan, you should keep the title of the donor vehicle when registering your Locost to prove from where the major components came. I’m told a facsimile of the title should work but I know how that goes so I am not taking any chances and am keeping the title. BUT, to scrap out the body parts from the donor to a local scrap yard, they require the title to prove to the state from where the body parts came. SO, how to get rid of the body parts? I put an ad on Craig’s list for free scrap metal for the taking and the body parts were gone in four hours.
2) The driveshaft needed to be shortened and the universals needed to be replaced (of course!), so I took it to the only driveshaft repair facility in our three-city area. Because the universals are staked into the yoke rather than c-clipped, they said they cannot repair it, shorten it, or balance it. I did find a set of universals on e-Bay that are specifically designed to replace the universals in the Miata driveshaft (item number 190814006846) but it was cheaper and better to just buy a new custom driveshaft from Driveshaft Specialist out of Texas for $300.
3) I took Dave W’s suggestions and added a mount to the front of the differential and to the end of the transmission rather than use the girder the donor used to tie the engine/transmission to the differential.
4) I also used Dave W’s suggestion to add a pan shield to the underneath of the frame.
5) I designed and built boxes made of quarter inch plate which mounted to the frame and captured the ends of the wishbone of the differential. The nice aspect of the boxes is they also suffice as the mounting surface for the rear upper control arms (see picture). The bad aspect is they had to be welded in place with the differential in-situ, which means the differential cannot be removed. All potential repairs of the axles and differential, therefore, will have to be done with the differential in the vehicle. This did not bother me since how often does one break into a pumpkin?
6) The input to the differential on the Miata is offset toward the starboard side. To maintain as narrow a driveshaft tunnel as possible in order to maintain cockpit room, the tunnel angled slightly into the passenger seat area as it went back into the rear bulkhead. To make the seat fit, therefore, I had to narrow the last section of the driveshaft tunnel.
7) I removed the power steering components from the steering rack and the power brake system from the master cylinder.
I plan on using the donor master brake cylinder, clutch master cylinder, and gas, brake, and clutch pedals so I spent considerable time bringing the donor pedal mounting systems from about an 18 inch width to a nine inch width to fit into the foot well (see picture).
9) Rear control arms were made using the salvaged bushing ends from the donor and one inch seamless 11 gauge tubing (see picture). Overkill for the uppers but just right for the lowers. Now waiting on bungs and rod ends from Kinetic as well as front control arm assemblies.
10) Purchased special order 135 degree aluminum front fenders from Fenders N’ More. I’m thinking of using the same type fenders for the rear wheels instead of the body mounted steamroller fenders. They would wrap around the tires 180 degrees and would have to be mounted to the rear wheel assemblies (similar to the front) to move with the wheels as they suspend.
11) Purchased Kirkey racing seats, headlights, ignition barrel, and seat belts from Speedway, all at garage sale prices. The LED taillights I got from Harbor Freight, designed for inset into the sheet metal of an enclosed trailer. I will inset them into the aluminum sheeting wrapped around the rear of the vehicle.
12) Found out I cannot get into vehicle without removing steering wheel, so installed a steering wheel quick change system on steering shaft much like they have on race cars.
13) Major purchases and fabrications still to be made: body sheet aluminum, fuel cell (Kinetic), windshield assembly (Kinetic), windshield wipers and washer system, shock absorbers (Gaz), dash switches (toggles), gas and brake lines, radiator. If anyone has a used radiator of the proper size, in good or bad shape, they would part with, please let me know.