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#21 clocker

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 07:55 AM

The modded heater core was installed and is leak free, so my interior punchlist is down to three items.

-Still need a hatch release lever/handle/knob/whatever.

-Find a timed relay for the rear window defrost. Most of the wiring is in place (the Miata heater control panel has a switch for defrost), I just need the relay.

-Get the turn signals to self cancel.

 

For no particular reason, I started with #3.

 ts1.jpg

 

ts3.jpg

 

This will be the fifth attempt at the steering wheel>switchgear interface, which has proven to be far more finicky than expected.

The problem is the geometry of the stock steering column...our shaft does not extend as far out of the column tube as the Lexus switchgear would like. It's difficult to explain but those two cancel pins must spin perfectly concentric to the steering column with only about 1.5mm clearance and the same tight confines in the switch cavity. If everything doesn't align properly, those pins either drag on the column or bind in the switch holder.

The horn is easy and has always been functional.

 

As Sigfrid resumes a normal work/family schedule, time for the car has become scarcer and we probably won't meet again till next weekend.

Sad for the Z (which continues to run well in daily use) but good for me as my daily driver engine (1990 RX7 w/ 300k miles) finally decided to die. I have a backup engine about 60% ready to go, just need some more parts...and money.



#22 clocker

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 05:41 PM

Work has continued, albeit slowly.

Installed a revamped gauge cluster- water and oil are VDOs  under Miata dials and needles and to heighten the Christmassy effect, the small gauges got red needles...

end3.jpg

 

Fitted a BMW ebrake handle cover and snood...now the button needs attention:

end5.jpg

 

Finally fitted the Kia hatch release mechanism:

end4.jpg

 

And the headlight covers:

end1.jpg

 

She is functionally complete and runs beautifully.

I'm in love.



#23 JGREEZY

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 11:28 PM

The wiper motor and steering column switchgear is from a 1999 ES300.

The switches are made by Niles and used by other manufacturers, in fact, Mazda uses slightly less "deluxe" versions (they typically lack a fog light switch or have less fancy wiper delay options) that look identical. I actually had switches from a Protege but when I saw how perfect the Lexus wiper motor was, I decided the wiper circuit got simpler if I used the motor and switches from the same car.

Do you think this motor can be intergrated into original 240Z wiring like the more popular Honda motor. I Iike the idea of a Lexus motor



#24 Greeko

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:05 PM

what wheels are those?



#25 clocker

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 08:46 AM

Do you think this motor can be intergrated into original 240Z wiring like the more popular Honda motor. I Iike the idea of a Lexus motor

Sorry, no idea.

I never intended to use ANY of the stock wiring or devices, so I am unfamiliar with how the wiper is supposed to work originally.

IIRC, a lot of the delay circuitry is actually in the Lexus switch and without it, I don't see how the Datsun switch could make it fully functional.

 

@Greeko...not sure.

I do know they're heavy and I've never cottoned to them much.

I think Sigfrid got them from Tire Rack, but it's been so long I can't remember.

 

Most of my car energy has been lavished on the RX7 this summer, but the Z has been running so well our neglect hasn't been an issue. We've spent a few weekends making minor tweaks and adjustments but haven't undertaken anything major until a few weeks ago when we decided to make doorpanels.

Naturally, neither of us can sew and we have no real experience...so we made it up as we went along.

We finally got the driver side finished enough to install (sorta):

Door3.jpg

 

Door4.jpg

 

The overall look/feel is just what we wanted but we're still debating the final covering choices.

We'll live with this for a while as the passenger side gets worked on (our process involved expandable insulating foam, fiberglass and spot putty) and see what we think.

 

For the last year (basically, since the car became really usable) we've debated our drivetrain options and still can't decide.

If nothing else, we need a five speed transmission...Sigfrid spends a lot of commute time on the highway and the overdrive would be less frenetic and better for fuel consumption.

We sorta see the acquisition of a trans as a commitment to the stock engine and we're just not there yet.

 

The decision will rest mostly with S. (because it's his money), so I've been tinkering with the idea of an electrical system revamp.

Everything works but having done it once, I can see better ways to do it again and might make that a winter project.

 

She's turning into a pretty sweet car though, I always look forward to seat time because it's so different from the Mazda.



#26 Leon

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 08:54 AM

Great vision and execution!



#27 clocker

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 10:11 PM

Final part of the "Going Keyless" project complete. 

Almost...

popper.jpg

 

External lock cylinder was replaced with a Bulgin momentary switch which operates a popper solenoid to unlock the car.

The battery has been fitted with a wireless cutoff switch, so a blip of the keyfob and the whole car is dead (except for the headunit which has a bypass so it doesn't lose settings all the time). Approach the locked car, hit the fob, car goes live- including the external buttons, which can now unlock the door.

There is no ignition barrel either, so no keys required at all anymore.

 

Why is it "almost" finished, you ask?

Well, we realized that a failure of the battery cutoff means there's no way to get into the car (assuming it was locked) and that would be kinda dire, so we need a secret/hidden, external manual rear hatch release as a last chance option. We already have an interior cable release for the hatch and I'd like to maintain it's functionality as well, so it could get tricky, we'll see.



#28 Trevor

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:30 PM

I heard about an electrical solution to (this on a '50s custom car).  They hid a 9V battery connector in the car's grille, wired in parallel to the driver's door solenoid. 

 

As long as the bad guys didn't know what it was for..... and you can get hands on a 9V battery, it was enough to open the door with a dead battery - or even no battery.

 

Still it would be a good idea to have a mechanical solution.

 

 


Why is it "almost" finished, you ask?

Well, we realized that a failure of the battery cutoff means there's no way to get into the car (assuming it was locked) and that would be kinda dire, so we need a secret/hidden, external manual rear hatch release as a last chance option. We already have an interior cable release for the hatch and I'd like to maintain it's functionality as well, so it could get tricky, we'll see.


Tuning by Sears

       Styling by Walmart


#29 clocker

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:57 AM

That's an interesting/clever solution, so thanks, Trevor.

I had kinda fixated on my original idea and this got me thinking more creatively, so even if I don't use the concept, at least it made me think about it differently.

 

I've spent time lately looking for seats to replace the Prelude units that Sigfrid just doesn't like.

Hoping to set up some meets on Sat. to look at some Miata black cloth chairs and maybe some black leather S2000 seats.

I've examined Miata parts before and they appear easy to mount- and most importantly, they'll fit  (and I prefer cloth to leather) so they are my clear favorite but we can consider the Honda if S. insists.

 

S. has been splitting commuting duties between the Z and his RX8. The 8 has snow tires, so it gets used when weather demands but the Z runs a few times a week at least. Mechanically, she's doing great, no real issues to address other than the increasing desire for a LSD. His only actionable complaint recently is the rear defrost grid either not working or (more likely) just broken and heating unevenly. Other than that, she's pretty adept at mimicking a "real" car. Mileage has been hovering in the 24mpg range, which I think is pretty good.

 

Of most surprise to me is how well the Plastidip is aging.

Originally planned as a stopgap before real paint, we didn't expect it to hold up as well as it has.

Pretty sure Sigfrid would still prefer a normal, gloss finish but I'm totally enamored with the dip and would use it again without reservation.

 

It's weird to realize that Ratchet is no longer a "project" as much as she's a car we're tinkering with.

No more shelves full of parts to install and problems to solve...we've climbed the mountain and the summit is kinda...boring.



#30 clocker

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:27 AM

Well, "the summit" may be boring but at least we can sit in comfort now...

Miata%20seat1.jpg

 

Miata seats and man, we got a screamin deal...$50 for the pair.

The black cloth is a much nicer and fits the interior design well and the slightly smaller size means we have full slider travel and better headroom.

 

The seat mount points in our 280 are 13" apart, the mount points on the seat are 13 3/8" apart and frankly, it would have been easier if the difference had been greater but about 4 hours of fettling got them installed. Sadly it was late when we finished and our all black interior photographs poorly in the dark, so final pics will have to wait.

 

Initial impressions are positive but a few commuting days will actually tell the tale.



#31 clocker

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 09:41 AM

miataseat3.jpg

 

miataseat2.jpg

 

Sigfrid spent some time yesterday changing the rake of the seatbase with spacers, we both felt the front was a little high and the rear too low.

We couldn't go lower up front, so he added spacers in the back...and here's a top tip (useful even with stock seats) to make your life easier-

Replace the rear mounting bolts with studs. Instead of fumbling around under the seat trying to fish bolts through the carpet, studs allow you to just drop the seat onto studs, install the front bolts (which are far more accessible) then run nuts down the studs and viola!-, Bob's your uncle.

Granted, seats are not a commonly removed part but when you gotta, this little hardware mod comes in handy.

 

Sadly, it snowed overnight, so the Z stayed home (his RX8 has new Blizzaks) and we still don't know how much-if at all- better these Miata chairs will be.


Edited by clocker, 16 January 2017 - 09:42 AM.





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