Slow Progress

Slow Progress

Finally got some primer on the car, definitely make it alot easier to look at!

Roadster Collective @ Le Mons 2012?

It’s definitely been quite sometime since our last post! With school, work, startups, and life, we are all busy with what seems to be everything leaving little or no time for this blog. I hope to change that in the coming months with a new goal. 

Barney the Project Miata is still sitting at the shop waiting for a roll cage, driveline, and all the goodies. My new goal for both Roadster Collective and Barney is to have us ready and racing at the Chuckwalla 24 Hours of Le Mons event December 8. Watch this space for more updates, photos, and video in the coming months!

Valentines shop update

Wow, two weeks can fly by so quick you feel like you’re watching the drag races at the 1/8 mile mark. Weird analogy..? Yup. I’m gonna roll with it though! So the white car is at the paint shop, I got the local paint guy to do it for a decent price, after all the time I spent on feathering the edges I hope it was worth the effort. I pulled all the lights, most of the weatherstripping and trim off to help the guys down at the paint out a little bit.

I got fired up about getting ready for a track event I will be attending at Buttonwillow on the 25th this month, and I would prefer to take ‘Beater’ over the other cars. Unfortunately, Beater is the car that spat it’s number 1 connecting rod out the side of the block.. It also needs new wheel bearings all around from me foolishly running flat-spotted tires for several thousand miles.  Then there is the bent front subframe from an accident before my time with it. The front right wheel had around 7 degrees negative camber, and would increase everytime I would take it out for a lively drive. My solution? Swap everything!!!

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I have always dreamed of pulling the entire drivetrain as they would have assembled it at the factory, so here is my chance!

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After getting the body up in the air, I discovered this random chunk of aluminum sitting on the trailer that must have dislodged itself from the rear bumper. It was quickly determined to be a piece of a piston skirt. Oh my.

By 9:00 PM, I determined the front subframe was too rusty from sitting outside for two years, it’s only surface rust, I love living in California ^_^ but it did require a little attention. So I quickly sanded the rust down, and  figured blue wouldn’t be too obnoxious. I may have been wrong. Hopefully no one gets a chance to see the underside of the car and if they do, I won’t really care what they think seeing I’ll be in underneath it all.

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I ran back to the Revolution Racing shop the next day with my friend’s trailer, I discovered that my trailer was missing some crucial parts from the last time I lent it out and was very unsafe to tow. I am very thankful no one got hurt…. Oh and no, I did not tow it down the road like this, I took two pallets out, I had to get it that high to get the lift’s arms out from underneath it.

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From the Revolution shop I towed it over to the Tidwell excavating shop, one of my best clients. They have a badass steam cleaning pressure washer that cleans 10x better than a normal pressure washer. They are pretty cool about letting me use their equipment.

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So I guess the subframe matches the springs, and the Konis just add even more splash of color in there..

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I am keeping the brakes from the old setup, so instead of spending a bunch of time disassembling the whole caliper, I opted to just unbolt the the bracket from the spindle and transfer the whole think as a unit. Worked quite well, only took about 5 min to transfer both front brakes. We’re making lightning progress!!!

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Apparently the chassis had two of the subframe mounting locations stripped out, so a previous owner just welded the subframe in. Lame. It took about an hour and half with my 90 degree air die grinder and a $35 carbide burr to grind this weld out. It is up behind the rear mount of the front driver’s lower control arm. (if you can follow that sentence, I give you major props..)

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So thankfully I did not do as my landlord wished, and I have not taken this front half of a wrecked Miata to the scrap yard yet. It is so convenient having access to these random parts at any given moment. I even had it up on its side already and everything, just run and extension cord and a grinder with a skinny wheel, and 5 min later I have the whole chunk in my hand!

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Ruben diligently helping out…

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I just cut out a little bit where the captive nuts go, and slapped the new piece right over the rest, wire brushed it all clean, and welded it in. It may not be 100% perfectly in the exact place it was, it is in fact going to be about 1/8 inch lower than perfect, and were it any other car in the universe I would have cut everything out and put it exactly perfect, but this is Beater. I want it back on the road like now. The old subframe was bent so bad I had like 7 degrees of negative camber on the front passenger, and that was with the lower control arm pushed all the way out. This will be better than that. The whole car is twisted so bad, it’s not even worth the effort to get this small piece perfect.

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Well I have blown off enough of my morning typing all this up. I have a car to go build!!

Epic Drives: Audi R8 in Norway

Found this video on my daily Youtube browsing and this roadtrip video caught my. Excellent footage and photography of a beautiful Audi R8 Spyder in some of the best roads of Norway. We hope to have a roadtrip video for you guys soon! Enjoy!

Shop Update!

Times have been busy. Very Very busy.

This is my first official post here, Ruben has posted for me in the past, but I figured I would take the leap and go at it myself.

Thankfully my day job has been keeping me busy for all of January, so I have been able to take this week off to get some progress made on the multitude of projects I have accumulated.

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My primary focus is to get the peeling white ’90 out to paint, but I want to have the majority of the work it needs done before I send it out so I don’t chance hurting fresh paint.  

The list consisted of:
Swap suspension for stock parts
Swap Wheels for stock Daisys
Replace cracked heater core
Pull the cryo treated rotors and hawk pads in favor of stock parts.

I’m sure you are wondering why I am going backwards here, usually people take the lame stock stuff off and replace with nice parts. Well this car is destined to be sold soon, and I want to keep the good stuff for Barney, of course!

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This heater core is done for. Thankfully I have piles of parts out back, Finding a replacement core only means braving the deep dark caverns of the Miata Crypts. I did make an attempt at soldering this back together after finding the replacement, just to see if it would hold. I was actually successful, it held 15 lbs of air pressure for 20 min no problem, I wouldn’t put this in any car but my own though, I’ll just keep it around for an emergency spare.

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It’s not often I tear the dash out of a car with intentions of actually putting it back in.. I did accidentally destroy the clock spring yanking the steering wheel off. Kinda stupid, I know… I do have a steering wheel puller kit. Also, now that I think of it, if I had left the nut on the column with just a couple threads engaged I could yank the steering wheel and not go too far, which is what broke the clock spring. Live and learn I guess, and another quest to the Crypts produced a couple good clocksprings.

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All back together! Put some water in it, and took it for my first drive ever in it.. It’s super dirty with paint dust all over it from all the sanding I’ve been doing. Everything works as it should, which is very nice after such an intrusive repair. I think I spent about 5 or 6 hours working on replacing the heater core, and that incudes talking with some people who decided to show up and bug me, and playing around with soldering up that huge crack in the old core, and a bunch of other misc. messing around, lunch…

I think it was a productive day at the shop. I’m kinda thinking I should go to real work at some point this week though.

I am eventually going to post some video of the autoX school I attended in Fresno a couple weeks ago, but that is going to have to wait.

Video: Love for Life by Antti Kalhola

This short video by Antti Kalhola helps remind us why we do what we are most passionate about in life whether it is racing or something else. Check out his other motorsport videos at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/antti2phoenixbird

2012: A Fresh Start

With 2012 a mere five hours away, its nice to be able to look back at this past year and notice the progress that we’ve made with the Roadster Collective project. Early this fall we solidified our business plan and started towards launching our website. We’ve been working on design layouts, logos, and the overall function of the site. I’m very excited with the amount of potential the new year brings.

The holidays have left us with little time to work on Barney [our project car] lately but the body is nearly ready for paint. To keep things simple, we’ll be going with a white paint job. I’ve been working on livery ideas and I would definitely love to have R2 Limited’s rocker stripes integrated into the over livery of our car.

Pictures and more updates soon to come. Happy New Year everyone!

Barney’s Engine

Hope everyone had a great holiday! Yesterday we checked the endplay and bearings on the 1.6 we tore down last week and things look pretty good. Not much else to do here, so we will be moving on to the head with port polishing and servicing the valves.

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