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 Post subject: Miata-Based Chassis?
PostPosted: November 19, 2020, 1:02 pm 
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Joined: November 6, 2020, 6:29 pm
Posts: 18
Revising this after reading a bit more & narrowing focus.

Looking at going with a Miata-based Locost.

2 main questions:
NB1 (99-00) or NC donor?

Which chassis is best suited to the Miata/IRS setup?






Original Post:
All my leads on potential (free/cheap) donors have dried up.
Thought I might have a lead on an S10, but my dad got rid of that.
He has a dead 280Z (automatic), but from what I've read here, it's not a really viable donor.
Buddy of mine had a few Fox Mustangs (rollers, no engines), but talked to him last night & he'd sold all the rollers & just has his 347ci stroker motor on an engine stand.

Curious what the thoughts would be on building a multi donor Book chassis? Figure I could then get granular with running gear, rather than being limited to what's on a single donor? Bad idea?

Getting a solid (running) engine/trans would be a bit more work, possibly, but I'd think one could probably score a rear end & suspension/steering bits from salvage?
Being in Houston, we have a multitude of yards around town, and I have access to a truck & 2 trailers (open 12ft & enclosed).

Part of my line of thought, is having the room to build & store. I have a 3-car garage, but don't want to put my wife into the driveway if I can help it. I'm less concerned with my car being outside.
That would open up 1 bay to build the chassis & assemble, and the 3rd (which has shelves & tools) for storage & work space.

So, is this a crazy idea? Or something that could be a viable option?


Last edited by JAMADOR on November 20, 2020, 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2020, 7:28 pm 
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Joined: January 2, 2009, 1:45 pm
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Many people do it. There is a tendency, though, to buy new bits so the low cost side of things can go south. In my own stalled build the only donor pieces that made it are the front uprights, the steering column and the rear end. Got lots of donor bits in boxes that might never see light of day.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2020, 8:09 pm 
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Joined: April 26, 2008, 6:06 pm
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Location: Under the weather. (Seattle)
I've got an engine from a Focus, a transmission from a Ranger, front spindles/brakes and rack from a Mustang, and rear pumpkin/axles/uprights from a Mk. VIII.

Building 'a la carte' is absolutely doable, and allows for greater customization, but generally takes more time/effort/money than a single donor build.

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PostPosted: November 19, 2020, 9:19 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Most decisions come down to your goals. It sounds like low-cost is a primary goal based on your comments. As far a Miatae go, if you have access to the racing crowd, you can sell off unused bits to them to lower the cost of a possibly higher-cost Miata. There is a lot of experience here with that as a donor.

If cost is not a main driver, mix and match this engine with that transmission. different front/rear brakes, differential et. is doable. But generally less experienced help available to help you along with your build. We do have a lot of knowledge to help you out. But you may not have a specific build to follow. Do you like to solve challenges? Do you have previous automotive experience? Are you prepared to build and rebuild along the way?

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE


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PostPosted: November 20, 2020, 7:39 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 8:12 am
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
How these builds work out relative to cost, is that you spend a lot more on the components part budget then planned. So, in the long run spending an extra 200 or $300 for the engine/power train you want, does not have a big impact on the total cost. You'll spend a lot more time and money switching powertrains later. The 2nd option is if you get a really good price, you can always up-grade the engine over time, but if it is not a popular engine, you end up spending more $$$ down the road.
davew


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PostPosted: November 20, 2020, 11:17 am 
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Joined: November 6, 2020, 6:29 pm
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rx7locost wrote:
Most decisions come down to your goals. It sounds like low-cost is a primary goal based on your comments. As far a Miatae go, if you have access to the racing crowd, you can sell off unused bits to them to lower the cost of a possibly higher-cost Miata. There is a lot of experience here with that as a donor.

If cost is not a main driver, mix and match this engine with that transmission. different front/rear brakes, differential et. is doable. But generally less experienced help available to help you along with your build. We do have a lot of knowledge to help you out. But you may not have a specific build to follow. Do you like to solve challenges? Do you have previous automotive experience? Are you prepared to build and rebuild along the way?


The more I've thought about it, I think I'm going to try to stick with a Miata based build.
Started looking at Copart, there's a large yard about 2 miles from my office.

Like you say, I can likely sell some of the not needed parts & would then have a complete & compatible system.

Now to start hunting down a 99-00 donor. TX doesn't require licensing for individuals buying salvage cars on Copart, and most are 'pure sale', so I'll start hunting in the Houston/Dallas/Austin areas. Extra benefit there, is a solid aftermarket for the Miata.


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PostPosted: November 20, 2020, 1:25 pm 
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FYI, the MGB crowd will pay up to a couple hun for Miata seats.

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Miata-Based Chassis?
PostPosted: November 20, 2020, 3:29 pm 
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Joined: November 6, 2020, 6:29 pm
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Updated the title & OP to a more specific query.


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