Cutoff Switch Remote Pull


My birthday was a week ago, but the family just managed to get together this last weekend.  The two big shop presents?  A new shop stool, and a pair of 18V Lithium Ion batteries and a charger!  Sweet.

P1010094 P1010090


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More Race prep


Crazy birds!  I go out to the shop this morning, and look what I found in my toolbox!  Obviously, its been there for a while: there’s an egg in it.  But, it’s the first time I noticed it.


Well, since I need the flywheel, rear main seal, and transmission oil seals before I can finish the tranny/clutch job…I spend the day working on the other odds and ends: starting with the ECU cover.  The original plan was to scrub off the rust, metal-prep, and paint it.  However, I found in several places all that was left was rust—no steel left.  So, this quicky job turned into a full morning job.  Cutting sheet metal patches, welding them into place, grinding the bead down…repeat.   I didn’t need it to look PERFECT…but, I did want it to look decent—like I care about the quality of the job.  The painted and installed photos are down below.

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Data: G2X Install

A while back I bought a gently used Racepak G2X.  These seems like a simple task to install: connect power, ground, and an RPM wire…done.  Well, I suppose it could be done that way.  But, I want to be able to turn it on and off without starting the car.  That requires a switch, and an unswitched wire.  In addition, while I was in the dash wiring things up, I figured I might as well pre-wire for the other bits I plan to add to the car: Camera, and cool shirt.  I plan on making the cool shirt flow adjustable, so I need an on/off plus an adjust.  Finally, in order to synchronize data and video you need to have a signal in both.  I plan on hooking up steering/throttle/brake sensors to the G2X, so I’m going to hook up a light to the brake switch and put it in view of the camera.  I don’t need or want this light flashing all the time.  Once I’ve provided a good sync to the video and data, the light can be switched off.  So, one more switch.  That makes 5 switches.

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Reassembly, part I

This is mostly a pictorial, its all pretty self explanatory.

Unveiling the Cage

It takes time unwrap a cage after being masked.  Lots of tape, and still sticky paint.  It took a couple hours to get it all off.  But, I think it was worth the wait.


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Priming the roll cage, and odds and ends


One major task for this weekend, and several small ones.  I’d planned on trying to get the interior completely painted, but the weather on Sunday didn’t cooperate.  while Saturday was 75+, Sunday barely made it to 55.  Sure, you “can” paint when the temp is above 50…but, should you really?  Anyway, Saturday spent the day prepping and then priming the interior and cage.  So, I’d wanted to get “self etching primer”, many people recommended the NAPA brand primer, but none of the local stores had it in stock.  I called a Sherwin Williams and they had their “prep & primer”.  This stuff wasn’t exactly what I’d expected from talking to the guy on the phone.  Its called “prep & primer”, but from what I can tell its more like “prep”.  For bare metal with minimal rust, the recommended application method is to mix 1:3 with water, and brush or spray on with a squirt bottle.

So, that’s what I did.  I mixed it a little stronger than recommended…and then sprayed it onto all the bare metal.  I let it sit for 30 minutes, and then washed it off with water.  It left the metal very dull with a slightly whitish hue.  The surface was quite “rough”, not smooth and slick like bare metal.


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Roll Cage: Welded, window net, Dash, ductwork, and Fire patching

The thing missing from this post is “reinstalled exhaust”.  That’s because it won’t fit.  The catalytic converter is incompatible with my transmission tunnel notch.  Not sure what I’m going to do about that.  I’d really hoped to be able to install the cat for street use.  I guess I’ll have to find out if I have to pass an emissions test, or if I can pass it without the cat.

This is a long post-everything listed in the title is completed and chronicled in this post..  Bear with me.  I guess I could split it into multiple parts…but, it was one long weekend (3 days, by the way); might as well have a post to mirror the way it went down…..

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Roll Cage: Cleaning and Prep work

Ah….a day of my own.  I’ve been working non-stop since coming back from the holidays.  I’ve had a few hours here and there, but no real time to get anything substantive done.  As I posted earlier, I got the roll cage last week.  Today I spent the day doing a little preparation before getting started on installing the cage.  Mostly this involved lots of cleaning.  A 20 year old car collects lots of dirt, grime, and I don’t know what else.  Lots of low-odor turpentine, rags, detailing wire-brush, and elbow grease. There’s not a lot to tell about this process.  Soak, scrub, wipe…repeat until clean(ish).

Starting in the trunk.  Most of the grime is in here.  Between the jack storage well, the gas tank filler hoses, and the battery…thre are lots of reasons for grime and other buildup.  It took several hours to get it as clean as I did.  I’m sure I could spend another full day just cleaning the trunk area.  As long as the paint “sticks”, mostly.


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Seat, and harness Test fit

Two weeks ago, I bought two seats, both Ultrashield.  For the driver (me), a 16”/20* Road Race VS Halo.  For the passenger, a 17”/20* Spec Miata seat.  The SM seat doesn’t have shoulder wings, or a halo.  But, its small enough to fit next to the VS Halo.  I bought it a little larger to accommodate a wider variety of passengers.  Track days are less risky than wheel-2-wheel racin’…so this seemed like a good compromise.  However, it means that I have two seats and harnesses to mount.  I also bought a Crown 5-pt latch-link harness for the passenger vs. the Crow 6pt F1 style harness for the driver (more on this later).

After test fitting the seat last week and some discussion on, I decided to mount the seat on rails mounted to the stock humps.  The idea being to keep the seats off the floor while still maintaining some clearance between my helmet and the roof.  So, I bought 2 sets of 3/16” x 1” x 48” long mild steel to use to make the rails.

But, before I could make the rails I had to mount my bench vise.  I haven’t used my bench vise since I moved from Colorado….7 years ago!  I’ve been doing mostly woodworking and my wood vises mounted to my workbench are the right tool for that job.  Anyway, I made a plywood plate and screwed and glued it to a length of 2×4.  This allows me to clamp the bench vise into my woodworking vise.


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Race Seat

Well, its been a while since I had a chance to work on the car.  I’ve been doing drywall in the house, disassembling a broken lawnmower, several work related tasks, and various holiday season activities.  But, last Friday I took the day off (actually the rest of the year) and Maria and I drove down to Flint, Tx to the UltraShield factory and showroom.  I tried on several different seats of various sizes and finally settled on a 16” / 20o VS RoadRace Halo seat.  I eventually intent to make a custom foam insert using two part foam from pegasus auto racing.  Particularly, after I get rid of some of the ballast around my midsection Open-mouthed smile.

Anyway, here’s the seat:


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Point of no Return

Once you start removing real metal, it’s a real racecar.  There’s no going back from these kinds of modifications!  Today we remove the windows, and all interior door niceties, including almost all of the sheet metal.

I bought an angle grinder just for this.  Plus, it should come in handy for installing the cage, and other misc fabrication chores.  The saws-all, I already had. 


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