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AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/16/21 8:43 a.m.

I am really bad about posting on here. 


There's been plenty since I last updated, but fornow I'll just go over the current stuff. 

Planning to go to Drift Evergreen in Drums, PA next weekend for a 2 day drift event, taking the NB miata. In prepartation for that I've been installing some stuff that I've been meaning to for a while. 

-Hard Dog Roll Bar, from AnthonyGS, installed. Install went smoothly, and a 12" long drill bit helps a lot!

-Kirkey Seat from Facebook marketplace, installed. I'm not as small as I used to be, so it's a big seat and was... fun to make it fit. Old seat mounts got cut out, new ones welded in. I need to build a harnessbar and back brace to go along with it, but for now it's in. 

-Extended Lower Ball Joints. Currently sitting at -3* camber, hopefully to have some better grip up front when drifting, but we'll see. I drove the car to work today and it has a terrible vibration, I have to imagine something in the alignment. Guess I'll see what I find when I look at it more in depth at home, might end up going with less camber. 


Still need to do some fluids before the event, Transmission & Diff fluid, and an oil change. I also want to swap in a welded diff just for the drift even if I can. We'll see if I have time. 


Couple pictures for you since build threads suck without them...


Rollbar install: Cut just a little extra here and you can drill right down from the top with the extra long drill bit. 


Roll bar installed!


Seat from FB marketplace:


And installed. It is a snug fit for sure...


And because why not, a picture of tweaking the alignment after the ball joints. You might also notice an exciting thing in the picture that is new to the garage. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/16/21 8:54 a.m.

In other news, also in preparation for the even next weekend I put a water pump in the truck. It was more difficult than I anticipated, I'm not sure if that's just because it was hot out and I was not in the mood or what, but it is in. 


Also in recent events I spent quite some time working on the garage itself. I made some room in the ceiling so to speak, and got a lift. Also got a tire machine and rewired electrical for most of the garage so I have outlets everywhere I need them now. The lift really makes things get rearranged, still figuring out the best fit for everything, but I'm so happy to have it now. 

Some pitures of the process:


Engine hoists are so useful. Me and my brother in law had no issues setting the lift up and transproting it using the engine hoist strategically to assist. 


Ceiling modifications took out a lot of the existing electrical since it ran through the boards, so it was a bit dark till I got everything re-wired. 

First car on the lift!


Redid the loft area over top of the "non lift side" of the garage and organized my wheels a bit. Can you have too many wheels?


Some mostly cleaned up garage pictures:

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/16/21 9:02 a.m.

I've been needing new garage doors for a long time, but now that the lift was installed, I noticed it even more because with a car up on the lift I couldn't open the garage door or it would run into the car. I looked into the roll-up/coil-up style garage doors, but they were a minimum of $1000. A standard garage door would've been $400, but wouldn't have fixed the lift interference issue. My wife's grandfather gave me the great idea of a sliding barn door, which worked out great! 

I got the track, hardware, and sheet metal from a metal roofing supply place. That is definitely the way to go! A pair of the trollies (the rollers in the track) from them was ~$33, the same pair of trollies from Tractor Supply would've been $100. Total cost for the barn door is just under $400. It rolls so smooth, and doesn't interfere with the lift. I'm very happy with hose it turned out. When open, it does block the other garage door, but that's fine because I rarely had them both open anyway. 


Cut out my eave to mount the track. I do still need to close it up, but I've been a bit lazy there.


Build the door frame. The metal supply place recommended the end caps that you see which were well worth the money. Keeps the endgrain of the wood protected and makes it a lot simpler to build!


Put sheet metal on on the frame and hang the door!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/16/21 9:10 a.m.

Final update for today, I got another Miata last weekend. I had seen it on FB marketplace for a while, the guy originally wanted $2000 for it, but its automatic, with a bad transmission, and the car itself isn't in the greatest shape. When he dropped the price online to $500, I had to jump on it, Miata prices are nuts these days, so I had to get it. Ended up getting it for $400. I may or may not try and bring it to the challenge. That's kind of a big task to take on in a month, so I doubt it'll happen, but you never know I guess. 


The tops side of the car really isn't bad, a couple dents and some clear coat issues, but overall not bad. 


The underside on the other hand is a different story...

Rocker rust doesn't bother me on these. It's cosmetic. This is worse than most, but fixable. 

Interior really isn't terrible overall. 


We'll see what I do with the car. I'd like to have it street legal, and obviously manual swapped. I got most of the manual swap parts already from a friend. The suspension is so rusty though, I may see about replacing the subframes with the ones from the "free miata" I got earlier this year. Time will tell. For now though I'm forcused on my NB and Drift Evergreen. (Though I will have to get this one off the trailer so I can tow the NB up to evergreen...)

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/30/21 11:09 a.m.

Well, last weekend was Drift Evergreen at Evergreen Raceway in Drums, PA. 

In preparing the car last week I put in a welded diff in place of the limited slip. I ran into a hiccup though with the rear subframe brace. The factory brace utilizes a threaded hole in the chassis on each side. One had previously been stripped out, and the other one stripped out this week... So I had to improvise, adapt, and overcome, by building a new brace. 


Here you can see the hole on the right the threads are just gone. Fortunately, there is another threaded hole right next to it on each side that I could use. (Left)


So I grabbed some angle iron. 1.5"x1/8" thick. Drilled some holes, made some cuts and bends, and then welded some bracing back into it. I also made it in 3 pieces so I can only take apart some of it if needed. 


And there it is in place on the car. It is not bolted in tight in this picture as I had to run out the next morning to get some fine thread hardware, but you get the idea. 


So far it seems to have held up just fine, so I'm happy. And can I just say, it was so nice having the lift for this instead of crawling under a car for each test fit. So glad I broke down and spent the money. 



Off to Evergreen!


While there I got form free rally tires from a very nice guy from the Susquehanna region I believe. Used, but plenty of tread. I got 2 sets, so that should be nice for rallycross, and last a good while since I don't make it to more than a handful per year. 


I haven't seen any pictures of my car on track from the event, but too be fair I was not doing very well... This was my first purely drift event, and man it was a learning experience. I definitely progressed as the weekend went on, but it was a bit frustrating at times. I know that more power would help, especially in certain spots, but I also know that if I could get the technique down better, I could make do without extra power. 

That said, I'd definitely go back again, and hopefully I can soon. This was a 2 day event, and 3 of my buddies came up with me early Saturday morning and we camped out there Saturday night. Fun times! This event is about 2.5 hours away from me, so I wouldn't be making every event by a long shot, but I would like to do some more next year. 


Here's a couple pictures from the event:

In grid on track, at night under the lights is a pretty cool feeling. 


Me in grid:


This is what happens when you slide into the dirt... It's fine.


And here's a picture from Reflections of Drift, a great photographer who was there. This car was sending it super hard, and super well. Love it!

The tail lights are LEDs in some plastic tupperware or similar containers! The ingenuity. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/30/21 11:12 a.m.

Next up:

Saturday is Autocross at Harrisburg with SCCA. My friend invited me to codrive his Supercharged Miata on Hoosiers, can't turn that down! 

Been working in the garage a lot recently, so I need to do some house projects I've been putting off a while. Most importantly, some fencing in the yard for our new dog, and some siding on the house before it gets too cold to work with. 

Still plenty of garage projects too...

iansane HalfDork
9/30/21 11:45 a.m.

Is that a merc? What the hell is powering it?! Awesome.


The sliding garage door is cool. It strikes me as very industrial.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/30/21 12:28 p.m.
iansane said:

Is that a merc? What the hell is powering it?! Awesome.


The sliding garage door is cool. It strikes me as very industrial.

Yeah, old mercedes, he said it was a mercedes v8 in it. I'm not too familiar with Mercedes, so I'm not sure, but it might be a factory engine. 


Thanks! I'm loving the usefulness of the sliding door. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/4/21 8:56 a.m.

Saturday I got up bark and early and met my friend Mark in Harrisburg for a Susquehanna SCCA AutoX. Mark offered me a co-drive in his Fast Forward Super Charged Miata on Hoosiers. Man that car is fun to drive. 


Very foggy at the start of the day and for the course walk. Firtunately it cleared up before cars started running. 


This thing was pretty cool.


Of course a picture of Mark's car...


This was a 2 points events day with morning and afternoon sessions, 4 runs each. The morning 4 sessions went well, though we noticed some voltage issues on Mark's car. It seems that the alternator went out, so eventually we were running on just the battery, and halfway through our afternoon sessions the battery was too low to run the car. Unfortunate, but it happens. 

I'm certainly not a fantastic driver, but I was happy to be able to be within a second of Mark for the morning runs. I know there's plenty of room for improvement, but considering the seat time he has in the car compared to me, I'm quite happy with how I was running. 


I also got to chat with Furious_E who was there with his LS swapped FC RX7. Heck of a car there, and always nice to see him. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/10/21 11:02 a.m.

Finally made a rolling workbench/work table for the garage. I got a big plate of 1/4" steel from a friend a while back and I've been planning to build a work table and use it for the top for a while, just finally got around to it. 


Some plate to bolt on casters.


Casters on, and toolbox mounted. 


And a spot for the TIG welder. 


Started tacking the top on. Top was also very dirty, I cleaned it up with a flap wheel. Made quite the mess. 


And this is it's final state until I add something else to it. It'll almost definitely get a welding gas bottle mount, and the plasma cutter may find its home underneath there too. 

The vice, bench grinder, and disk sander all bolt on and off easily which comes in handy if you need the full table free....



I told my brother I'd help him do head gaskets on this subaru, so I deceided we'd drop the subframe and work off the table. It worked really well. The working height was a little tall, but still nicer than the ground...

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/10/21 11:16 a.m.

In other car news I've run into a lot of car troubles recently, but also have made a lot of progress. 


The cheap Civic I got as a beater really pissed me off the other week because I drove it to work and then noticed that my backpack was wet. It was sitting in the passenger foot well, and smelled like coolant. Lovely. So it probably has a leak in the heater core. Then I went to drive home and somehow my brake lights were on without me pressing the pedal so that killed the battery and I had to get a jump. Then it went into limp mode on the way home. 

Fortunately after I let it sit in time out for 2 weeks I took a look at it. The brake light issue was something fairly simple with a switch, something must have gone missing that made it so the switch wasn't engaging. Also fixed the limp mode by adding oil... like 3 quarts. Oops! So it's back to beater duty with a leaky heater core for now. Might try a cooling system sealer, I dunno. 


My e46 daily driver I drove to work last week and when I started it up in the morning my hand slipped while it was cranking which made it hesitate and then make a terrible sound, but it started, so I dove to work anyway. Went to move the car later and the started just spins freely, so I'm pretty sure I shredded the gear or something. I'll have to pull the trans to make sure my flywheel is ok. Got towed home, (Yay AAA!) and I'll deal with that car later. 


My NB miata I got the LSD back in it, so I can drive it on the street again. It seems ok otherwise, though has had some long cranks when starting it today. (Yes I could drive it with the welded diff, but I didn't feel like it, plus that would be bad when snow comes.)


The $400 rusty Miata is in the garage right now. I decided to part this one out... Making quick work of it, the shell should be gone by then end of the week. Unless I keep the shell to make a miata trailer... But I don't think I will with this one. 

Not sure how this happens then it was an automatic car...


Finally, why am I parting out the $400 rusty miata? Well for one thing, rust. I hate it. For another thing, rust. And also I found a better shell to put the engine in!

Picked this shell up for dirt cheap. With title. And It is very clean. It was a 4.5 hour drive each way and so I didn't feel like taking the trailer so I took the toolbox off the truck and brought my engine hoist. Loading it up was a bit fun, but wasn't too hard at all. 

My general plan is a super basic street legal miata. Definitely no A/C or power steering. (Electronic power steering may be an option later.) This chassis is a 92 I believe so the wiring is different than Rusty being a 1.8 and 95. I am considering a standalone ECU so I can turbo it later, but I mostly just want it as simple as possible. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/16/21 8:34 a.m.

Couple more updates. 

I got a hard top for the shell that's on the back of the truck. 

Paid next to nothing for it because it was previously in a rollover. The previous car was caged, so the top isn't totally crushed, just cracked. I mostly paid for the latches, hardware, and lexan rear window kit that came with it. I'll have to figure out how to repair it, sounds like they aren't actually made from fiberglass exactly, but that you can repair them with fiberglass. Guess we'll see. Eventually. I hope to at least end up with a water tight hard top for cheap because this shell might not have anything more than that for a top otherwise. TBD. 


I also got the shell off the truck and the rusty 95 miata is gone to scrap. 

Back the truck in....


Lift the car up!


Once the car was up I found this underneath. Very interesting, but not a terrible idea I guess. I'll probably do something similar, though maybe slightly lighter. 


And I tossed the hood and fenders on that I kept from the rusty 95. It already looks 10 times more like a car. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/16/21 8:41 a.m.

I got the hard top from a friend named Mark, he's great. Nicest guy in the world, and loves Miatas. Always my first stop for Miata parts. Plus he sometimes lets me co-drive his supercharged Miata at autocross!

While I was there I was talking to him about when I was shuffling diffs in the NB. I got a diff cover/housing from dusterbd13 recently so that the LSD and welded diff could each have their own housing. Since the welded diff was on the car in the LSD's original housing I went ahead and put the LSD in the new housing, but when I went to put it in the car I noticed that the bushings were different. The holes were too big and the sleeve went down too far. I thought about modifying and shimming it, but ultimately decided to swap cases again and get new bushings for that case before the next time I need the welded diff. 

Well! I told Mark about this and he got curious so I showed him a video I took. He then informed me that I had an RX7 diff cover on my hands! Wow. That's actually really awesome because they are stronger. Plus I got it from a great deal already. Well worth the bushing frustrations, and you learn something new every day!

iansane HalfDork
11/16/21 9:32 a.m.

Nice score! I never have that luck. Usually the opposite. "Oh hai, this diff is actually from a little tikes cozy coupe."

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/16/21 10:34 a.m.

In reply to iansane :

Hahaha. Well... Before that I went 2.5 hours each way down into VA to pickup an open diff, axles, and hubs for $100. A steal, even though the diff casing was broken. Now first thing I asked was if he had the broken piece, and he said he did, but when I got there it could not be found. Still a good deal, but quite disappointing. Was hoping to have both pieces so I could weld it. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/5/22 8:58 a.m.

Couple updates. 


Luna, my e46 blew up a starter sometime in November. Since then I haven't felt like fixing it, but I just pulled her into the garage so hopefully I can get to that this week. It sounds terrible, so I am hoping it's just the starter and didn't actually damage the flywheel or anything. 

Early December I parted out another e46, still working on selling off parts from that to get some cash back into savings, but the shell is gone. I've made my money back on the originally purchase of that one, but honestly haven't sold as much as I had hoped so far. 


Over New Year's my buddy Caleb was in town and often when that is the case my brother in law Jacob joins and we tinker in the garage till all hours of the night. This time Jacob said we should have a "build-off" and make some drift trikes. That was fun. 

Me and Jacob started Thursday night, just a couple hours, not a late night and this is what we got:


Friday night we stopped working at 3am. Both working as rollers. Jacob's in the back was all but ready to ride. Mine is the closer one, needed some tweaks still, but only took 1.5-2 hours the next day to get it to a ridable point. 


Rode them a bit Saturday night, but it got dark quickly, so we more got to ride on Sunday afternoon. 


You can also see on the right here the "kmart kart" mobility scooter that Jacob gas powered a while back. He put PCV/drift wheels on it too. 


Here's their current state. 

Both still need finished. Both need work on the brakes, and need foot pegs for comfort. Mine needs a proper throttle setup as I was just reaching behind with one hand to run the throttle directly on the engine. Mine will also be getting a passenger seat....


If you're on the tok of tiks, here's a clip we got. https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdMRwBTS/

engiekev HalfDork
1/5/22 11:04 a.m.

This thread is amazing, and way too enabling!  I need a rallycross NB in my life, NA is fun but NB just looks so happy.

I have a nearly identical garage that I'm thinking about modifying the ceiling to fit a lift, can you provide some specs (distance of ridge board relative to the new rafter ties, height of the rafter ties from floor, total width of modified rafter tie section)?  I'm torn between adding a ridge beam, and moving the rafter ties up.  

Distance from lift post to wall?

Are you thinking of finishing the garage ever with drywall or similar?  Drywall is so damn cheap now compared to OSB, just a pain in the butt for ceilings. I plan to do drywall for walls, mud and paint with cheap white paint, then do the ceilings in metal roofing panels. They're relatively cheap, can get in long sections, light enough to lift up there easily, and screw in (use furring strips to mount easy on joists/rafter ties) so easy to remove in the future if needed.  And you can get them in white so it will reflect a lot of light.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/5/22 1:06 p.m.

In reply to engiekev :

Thanks for the kind words! I like to have fun. :) The NB amazes me, it's nothing special really, but somehow I've been dailying it for over 3 years now I believe. Still do a rallycross here and there, and 1-2 drift events a year, and it's still kicking. I love it. 


The lift, I can get more detailed measurements for you later in the week, I'm not sure if I'll have time tonight. 

I was also torn between ridge beam and moving the rafter tie section. I think moving the rafter ties ended up being easier, especially since I did all of that myself besides removing the half of the I beam. It also gives me a bit of storage up there still too. Nothing too heavy, but extra siding panels from the house, etc fits up there nicely. 


Between that lift post and the wall is maybe two feet, it's not much. It's enough that you can walk through there if needed, but honestly there's so much stuff in the garage that ends up along that wall anyway that I just kinda gave up on trying to leave that open to be able to walk through. So there is a bit more walking when working on the lift since I have to walk around the far side, but honestly it's a minor annoyance. 

The lift does take up more space than you'd think, but I still say it's 100% worth the cost. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
1/5/22 1:12 p.m.

Good stuff in here!  Garage is lookin great!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/5/22 1:31 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/6/22 8:42 a.m.

In reply to engiekev :

So I did get a couple measurements last night. 

From the lift post to the wall is about 18". Like I said, enough to get through, but not ideal. It works though. 

Total height of the lift is I think 13'. The measurement from the floor to the bottom of my rafter ties is 10'8" or so. With the miata on the lift it's a short enough car that I can max out the lift height without hitting anything. I think the e46 can do the same, but it's a little closer. 


I have no plans for drywall or insulation on the walls. The cinderblock is fine, and I can't really afford the sapce that insulating would take up. Paint could be nice to brighten it up, but it's already quite bright with the LEDs. 

Now, the ceiling I am interesting in insulating and putting drywall or something up. Less for heat in the winter and more to keep the summer heat out. I'd have to look into it a bit more before I commit to that. I'm not in a rush though, as nice as it would be to keep more heat out in the summer I don't really want to do it.

iansane HalfDork
1/6/22 10:45 a.m.

What about some of those foam panels people put on garage doors (on the cinderblock) 2" or so may not be TOO detrimental? but the extra heat retention is amazing. It is pretty bright in there but some white/light gray paint would really make the place pop.


Those trikes are fan-berkeleying-tastic.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/6/22 11:13 a.m.

In reply to iansane :

Not a bad idea, I'm just not too worried about it on the cinder block. When I build as shop someday I'll probably try and insulate it really well, but in that case I may try to maintain a constant temperature. As it is, when it's cold I just kick on my big torpedo heater and the garage is comfortable within 15-20 minutes. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/6/22 11:14 a.m.
iansane said:

Those trikes are fan-berkeleying-tastic.

Yeah, I've wanted to build one for a long time because they look like a ton of fun. They live up to the hype! Can't wait to get mine finished with the second seat, lights, etc. 

dculberson MegaDork
1/6/22 11:22 a.m.

I missed the ceiling lofting project the first time through.. I have a similar garage area to my workshop and seriously considered doing the same thing but wrote it off as too complex. But what you did looks super simple. Did you get any engineering done or was it a "looks good to me" type job? (No judgement either way!)

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