David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7
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Author:  dhempy [ September 11, 2009, 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7


Upon stripping my car for paint, I found a bad weld. This is right under the driver's butt. Looks like it had no penetration at all into the floor.



I also notice I was a bit stingy with the welding in that area, back when my metal was shiny:

At least it's an easy fix.

I posted this thread for further discussion, if you're interested: viewtopic.php?f=39&t=7043&start=15


Author:  chetcpo [ September 12, 2009, 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

I'd also shore up/inspect that seat belt anchor a bit while I was at it. Those welds look like they may be just laying on the surface as well.

Author:  dhempy [ September 24, 2009, 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Stripped!

I hemmed and hawed, and finally decided to pull the wiring harness, steering column, heater...absolutely everything that wasn't welded down. (Except the pedal assembly...the brake/clutch switch mounts prevent the assembly from coming out. I may cut them off yet, just for the zen-like satisfaction of nothing)

I dragged it outside (literally!) and hosed off the last of the mud. You can see the effluent on the black rubber mats on the ground...all that mud came from the tunnel!

There's a few minor fabrication tasks to be done (a bracket here, a brace there, firewalls, tunnel sides...) and maybe a couple of not-so-minor tasks (finish the roll cage, rear fenders, wipers...). Then, as soon as the weather and my work schedule allow, I'll etch the frame and brush it with POR-15, then start bolting it all back together, and then make the bodywork.

I'm inclined toward fitting all the bodywork temporarily, then pulling it off to paint. Any guidance there?

Still haven't decided on a color. A pale, bright yellow is my most frequent inclination although this week I'm considering duplicating the Honda medora green of my wife's Civic. Then again, aluminum is pretty enough on its own...


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Author:  dhempy [ September 24, 2009, 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Miata wiring harness weight

When I pulled it from the Miata, the harness weighed 36 pounds.

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After initial stripping and culling, it was 20 pounds.

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After installation, shortening, and final culling, it weights 10.5 pounds. (oh...plus maybe a pound for the ECU, to be fair.

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That seems like incentive enough to trim the harness to me. That, and retaining your sanity when you actually need to make the thing WORK!

-dave "add lightness" hempy

Author:  dhempy [ September 24, 2009, 1:41 am ]
Post subject:  Brake system weight

This is (I think) four calipers, brackets, AN3 brake lines and fittings, and two master cylinders. No pedals. At least, I think that's what's in the bucket. Could be some other crap in there, but I don't think so. No rotors or pads, I know.

19 pounds, omitting the Homer bucket.

-dave "don't fix it" hempy

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Author:  Wrxconedodger [ September 24, 2009, 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

That is quite a drop in copper. I wouldn't have thought you could lose that much weight through a harness. I also would have guessed the calipers would have weighed more. We have some calipers here at work that probably weigh 60lbs.

Author:  JonW [ September 24, 2009, 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

You'll be glad you completely stripped the frame. It saves time in the end. Make a punch list of all additional brackets required so you don't forget any.

I'm a proponent of fitting the aluminium around the unpainted frame. Most bends can be done by hammer forming around the tubes with a rubber mallet for a perfect, custom fit. You also get to fit and trim the panels (on and off multiple times) without scratching the paint. Panel the entire car, drill holes (optional, your paint might be too thick), and the carefully remove the panels by unfolding the bends enough to remove the panels. Paint the frame and loose pieces and final-install the panels on the painted, cured frame. The addition of the paint will snug-up the panel fit. Rivet and finish assembly.

On the At-om, I made the (impatient) mistake of not completely finishing the panels before frame painting. It took more time to fit/shape panels around a painted frame.

Author:  fb#1 [ September 25, 2009, 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

My apologies - that was in poor taste...

Enjoy following your build and adventures with your car.

Author:  dhempy [ September 25, 2009, 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

Dude, I don't know what you were Googling for, but I don't think you'll find it on this forum. ;-)

-dave "*censored*" hempy

Author:  dhempy [ September 28, 2009, 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

fb#1 wrote:
My apologies - that was in poor taste...

Enjoy following your build and adventures with your car.

Eh, don't sweat it...I laughed when I read it! :cheers:

-dave "now with richer taste" hempy

Author:  dhempy [ September 28, 2009, 1:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

I worked on the tunnel and firewall this weekend. Fitted six panels, and I'm pretty pleased with the result. On the driver's side, I put the fore-most tunnel panel on the inside of the tunnel, to allow for more precious width around the pedals. The next panel back is on the outside of the tunnel, to allow for more clearance for the tranny. In particular, the reverse-switch connector sticks out the most. I stretched a bump in the panel to accommodate that switch. I haven't installed the engine yet, so I'm only hoping it clears...we'll see.

File comment: Driver's footwell, viewed from the engine bay. (Oooh! I found that magnet! I was looking all over for that rascal.)
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On the passenger side, I considered doing the same trick to gain a bit of width in the footwell. Not so much for passenger comfort (HAH!) but for an inch more cargo capacity. However, this was one of the last panels of the weekend and I didn't want to fool with a slightly more complex fabrication. Especially after I broke my brake/shear! :evil:

The firewall on the passenger side is not welded in. It is screwed in place. Removing this panel is the only way to get the battery in or out once the engine is mounted and the bodywork is on.

File comment: Passenger footwell. Notice the weld-free firewall is screwed in place.
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I also started tinkering with the side bodywork. Scrabblegod will recognize the aluminum. (THANKS!!! ;-) ) I haven't figured out the best way to work it around the front roll bar, but it is coming together. Maybe I'll get that done this week. Again...we'll see. I'm in no hurry, but I am motivated to get it back on the road.

File comment: Believe it or not, our buddy Scrabblegod found these panels in a recycling bin, bent exactly as you see here. They are about 1/16" oversize for a 442 Locost! Guess I'll have to put a heavy coat of paint under them.
body.prototype.jpg [ 49.27 KiB | Viewed 3558 times ]

-dave "still censored" hempy

Author:  dhempy [ September 28, 2009, 1:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

Here's the bump I made to accommodate the reverse switch. I put the panel on a back of sidewalk salt and beat it with a ball peen hammer and a plastic mallet. After progress slowed, I tried to anneal it with a propane torch. I just barely got it to red, so I'm not sure if I actually did much good, but in the end I got the bump I wanted so I guess I'm OK. Let's just hope I put it in the right place! :roll:

-dave "has bumps" hempy

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Author:  davew [ September 28, 2009, 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7


I had the same issue relative to cleanance for my speedo Drive. I ended up cutting a Sq out of the trans tunnel side panel for clearance. I then used some aluminum stock hammer into a wooden form "easier to draw the loose stock into the form" and then trimmed and flaten it to fit over the Sq hole. A gasket and some rivnuts finished the job.

Dave W

Author:  dhempy [ October 19, 2009, 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

Just a quick note, so the world knows I'm still kicking.

I finished up my bodywork on the sides. It was a lot easier than I thought. Took about 2.5 days to make the first panel. Took 1.5 days to make the other three. (left & right cockpit and left & right engine sides). At this point, I've got all the "visibles" except for the fenders (which I'm skipping for now) and the rear bodywork (which I'm skipping permanently).

Took some pix, which I'll post here "real soon".


Author:  dhempy [ October 19, 2009, 1:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David Hempy's Miata +442 Locost 7

And as long as I'm alive and kicking, I'm painting, too.

I washed, etched, and started painting my frame. Got the bottom of the floor, rear subframe mounts, and bottoms of all the tubes painted with two coats of POR-15 via brush. I planned on turning the car right-side-up and finishing the job, but I went through most of a quart on the bottom of the car. :-(

I only ordered one quart, so there was no point in painting just part of the top. So, I just put another coat on the bottom and called it a night. Hopefully I can buy another quart in-town somewhere.

Still haven't decided on the top coat, but yellow is pretty likely at this point. Waffling between rolling it on and having a buddy with a paint rig shoot it. We'll see.

Pix to follow soon.

-dave "black finger" hempy

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