what is the Seven?

build diary
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build diary

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December 6, 2003:
Front subframe, rear subframe, dashboard, wiring - pretty much everything in front of the doors is now gone from the car.
entry 11
There's not much in the back of a Miata when you remove the gas tank and subframe!
entry 12
Disassembly is complete.
The shell will be cut up and scrapped. There's not a single useable part left. This is one day's work. I've taken apart a few Miatas in the past!
entry 13
CMC sent me this photo of my frame.
I should have it in the next couple of weeks.
entry 14

December 7, 2003:
Now that I'm done with the carcass of the donor, it's time to take it to the dump.
entry 15
An interesting cross-section of the Miata frame and bodywork.
entry 16
The front frame arms come off.
entry 17
The donor's in six pieces now.
RIP Miata. But it will live again, faster and stronger!
entry 18

December 12, 2003:
Yes, another photo of the carcass.
It's going off to the dump - almost all of it in one load! Meanwhile, I've asked CMC not to ship my frame until the new year so that I'll be able to go get it from the depot in Denver. My vacation over Christmas would make it difficult to arrange before then.
entry 19

December 15, 2003:
I was supposed to take delivery of the frame today, but a problem with the CNC plasma cutter that is used to cut the aluminum panels raised some questions as to whether it would ship in time or not.
I've asked CMC to hang on to the kit and ship it to me on January 5th, after I get back from holidays. This way, there's no chance of the frame sitting around a shipping depot in Denver for three weeks. It turns out the cutter was fixed in time and I could have taken delivery, but that's the way it goes.
entry 20

The garage is getting into shape for the build.
No, really it is! Consider that besides the Miata parts, there are also 4 extra Cadillac heads, a Land Rover head, differentials, steering boxes, random other parts and even a Cadillac 429 stashed around (or in the middle of the floor). Doesn't everyone have spare engines all over?
entry 21
The spring/shock assembly for the kit.
It's a 9" spring, and I'm thinking that a shorter spring could easily do the trick while saving some weight.
entry 22
The rear end for the Seven is ready.
It's a viscous LSD - not held in high regard by much of the Miata community, but it's what was in my donor. It's also 13 lbs lighter than the favoured Torsen setup and this one appears to be working nicely. I had a spare rear housing for the diff to replace the broken one off the donor.
entry 23
A trick for a little more stiffness in the diff bushings.
Shoe goo!
entry 24

January 6, 2004:
Well, the frame didn't ship yesterday.
Grassroots Motorsports has descended upon the CMC shop and is trying to put one of these kits together in a week. Somehow, this has prevented my finished kit from shipping out. I thought it was already boxed and ready to go given the reports I had received earlier, but I guess not. That's a little disappointing beause I was all charged up to get started as soon as I got back from holidays. It was bad enough that I'd decided to wait. The original quote for shipping time was the first week of December.

In the meantime, I have been given a cool Mountney steering wheel by my friend Eric. It should suit the car nicely! I can also do some refinishing on the suspension parts that I do have from the donor.
entry 25

January 8, 2004:
Madness at the CMC shop.
Here's why my kit didn't ship. I'm impressed - I had originally heard the GRM guys were going to do the build in a week. Instead, they took two days. Ouch.
entry 26

The new wheel for the Seven.
All I need is something to attach it to...
entry 27

January 9, 2004:
I had a good talk with Steve at CMC today.
The GRM build helped to work out a number of kinks in the kit and mine will be better for it. Thanks, GRM! But more importantly, my car will be in Denver at 8 am on the 15th. Wooohooo! The GRM built took two days with an average of 5-6 guys working on the car. Steve figures mine will take about 60 man-hours. He's not taking into account the fact that I'm using a different steering rack and will be wiring the car from scratch, of course, but that's a nice number to hear.
entry 28

January 10, 2004:
After a drive with the local Miata club (in the snow, with no heater in my stripped-out Miata), I took apart the suspension uprights and brakes to clean them up.
They're in pretty good shape, even down to some rusty but salvageable rotors. I'll need new pads and I'll probably throw on some stainless steel brake lines. I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

By the way, I just discovered that the photos page stopped working correctly in the last day or two. It's fixed now, so you can see more than the last 10 photos. Sorry!
entry 29

Crusty old brakes.
entry 30
Anyone who's disassembled a car knows this - keep everything well labelled and organised.
You will thank yourself down the road. The baggies make it easy to see what's inside and move things around without getting slimy.
entry 31
The various suspension parts get a coat of paint.
I'm wondering if black would look better - Krylon and I have different ideas of what aluminum looks like! A tip for those using Miata parts - a spray can cap is the perfect size to mask off the rear hub.
entry 32
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