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Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/26/23 11:12 a.m.

Lakewood clears. Barely.  My engine support tool idea will work well with a little more tweaks 

Recon1342 SuperDork
8/26/23 3:04 p.m.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/26/23 4:52 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

Thanks. This was actually a pretty big mental hurdle. With aluminum pedastals secured with a single 3/8 bolt to a cantilevered 1/8 plate ledge, i couldn't figure out a way to safely and reliably service the engine and trans separately. I had visions of failure and engine falling when trans mount removed. Hence the steel and chain sling under the pan. It works, and is repeatable. 

The lakewood has far different dimensions than the aluminum bell, which was tight in many spots. So confirmation of it fitting is awesome. I need to mock up clutch arm and slave next. Figure out where they will love and make sure i can chop the mechanical linkage mount off before i do. 

Then, pull the drivetrain back out for firewall finishing. 


Also, im playing with colors some more....

759NRNG PowerDork
8/26/23 8:04 p.m.

Eye noe I'm such a butt....Sam Posey TA for me ....yur house .....do it.....what does Dad say?

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/29/23 6:43 p.m.

portwork has recommenced on the intake. Two ports roughed in, third started. Long way to go. This thing has a lot of core shift, flash, and general "eh" to take care of. Hopefully it results in more power and drivability, but without having anything to compare it to we'll never know for certain. 

Bellhousing has been clearanced for exhaust.  (Interference picture, not clearanced yet,cause i didn't take a picture)

Specialty tool designed for making engine and trans easier to r&r.


I'll leave you with another poor picture of technoviolet. 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/1/23 8:59 p.m.

the goal for the three day weekend is a rust tree 71 body.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/2/23 2:47 p.m.

i need a nap

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/3/23 11:22 a.m.

its starting to look like a race car

Recon1342 SuperDork
9/3/23 2:47 p.m.

Sent you a mini truck related PM.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/3/23 3:02 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

You have mail 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/4/23 6:22 p.m.

Previous budget was 6336.63 with 2019 recoup


new money:

aluminum angle: 12

fiberglass doors 100 facebook marketplace

fiberglass hood and bumper 650

aluminum shifter arms: 17

grille mesh 18

boom tubes 50

round coils, dodge 19lb injectors, spare sensors, extra tensioners, etc: 20

headlights: 184

fuel filler hose free

brake reservoirs: 14




None that I can remember


new total: 7401.63 with 2019 recoup



back with an actual update!


So, this summer has been crazy. Family obligations, career change, honey do list, other cars, etc have all conspired to keep me away from this project and the track. I must admit to going through withdrawals.


The last few weekends, I have gotten back to it though!


Earlier this summer, while in Maryland, I was able to score some fiberglass doors. These made impressive weight savings, and honestly ended up fitting way better than the hacked up steel doors.  

Steel door weight:

20230521_104740 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

Glass door

20230521_104533 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


To get the glass doors to fit, I had to cut them to clear the nascar door bars. I had to cut way more than I really wanted to, and I will have to figure out how to add some structure back in around the door bars, as well as design a latching system.

20230813_151626 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230812_163846 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


The hinges I’m proud of. I used some 3x3 aluminum angle, converted the factory hinge bolt locations to ¼-20 (the original 3/8 hardware was overkill, and heavier), then drilled and tapped the aluminum for bolts to make pivot pins. Works beautiful, and the doors come right off to be out of the way for service. I’m happy with it!

20230813_151604 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230904_134257 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


With that, we have nice doors that operate on the race car finally!

20230813_151912 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


Moving along, I decided that the next major order of business is closeout panels. Thought there is that once all the closeout panels are made, I can clean and paint everything and then start final assembly. Theres a list of things that need to be completed to make closeout panels though. First up was obviously hanging the front clip and doors. After that, I decided that the taillight panel needed to be done. I cleaned up the brown 70 panel, ground out all the bondo, drilled all the spot welds out to skin it down. then, drilled out the welds on the 74 panel.

20230901_192914 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230901_202134 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


I then proceeded to do a lot of welding

20230902_132454 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


And then rust repair on the taillight panel, quarter panels, and decklid. And a lot more welding.

20230902_092641 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230902_133351 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230902_143921 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230904_134242 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


While I’m talking about bodywork, I finally finished up the decklid hinges and props. Pretty happy with it. You’ll also see the body bracing, which I think I’ll be increasing, and the free chunk of fuel filler hose I scrounged up from a dumpster at work. Due to the gap between the taillight panel and chassis, I have concerns about any light impact back there scrapping the whole body. I’m kicking around ideas here, current one being to bend up a piece of cage tube into a hoop to weld up as a nerf bar, then bolt the steel back bumper over top of it. Open to ideas here too! The fuel cell vent will exit out of the trunk lock hole. I also need to figure out a latch system for the trunk lid as well. Again, all ears for suggestions. I’m in new territory for myself here.

20230904_115231 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230904_115237 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


Next lets talk about bellhousing. I mentioned a while back that I scored a lakewood bellhousing. It needed work to fit. I had to cut the mechanical clutch linkage mount off, the scabbed in stud, and notch for exhaust clearance. After that, the clutch fork hit the floor. So I have to order a HTOB setup from speedway.

20230826_102755 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230827_144251 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230827_142613 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


I have steve scheduled for next week to come teach me to make closeout panels and templates. I’m excited about this. The major ones that we plan to hit are the package tray, firewall, and a pillars. To get the firewall, I needed to pull the engine. I made a sling to support the engine without the trans, as I was worried about the single bolt through the aluminum stands by themselves. That sling, coupled with an amazon lift plate for an LS made the pull a simple nonevent. So nice now, even by myself.

20230904_135634 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


Ill leave off with some overall pictures. Im playing with colors some more. I’ve  come down to either area 51 blue, or a dark purple. I tried bmw technoviolet, but its too dark. It honestly looks black from almost all angles. So feel free to suggest other factory dark purples. Non pearl, standard base clear stuff. The f8 green was cool, same with the white, but not what I want. Dark purple is what’s really in my head right now….

20230904_142029 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230904_142045 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr

20230904_142058 by Michael Crawford, on Flickr


I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it feels good to be back. Until next time friends. say your prayers and love your families.

Michael, that car is so berkeleying sick it needs a doctor. The early tails, the wheel arches that almost touch the fender tops, the giant meats, every element looks right.

I agree re. TechnoViolet, and I'm one of the people who suggested it. IMO that car needs a lighter color. How do you feel about Lemon Twist?

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/4/23 9:51 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

With the fiberglass front bumper and carbon brake cooling bellmouths, black mesh grille, black/glowing orange x headlights, amd lack of other chrome trim elements, im worried a brighter color will look out of place. Im not sure though, honestly. I can see it working with the area 51 blue and panther pink, and orange probably,  but not sure about yellow.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/5/23 11:18 a.m.

This thing is looking so good! 

I'm digging the purple idea, but unfortunately I don't know a good suggestion on paint. I'll be following along though because I have a strange desire for a purple Miata... 


I will put this here though, I know you're leaning more towards paint instead of wrap, and I don't blame you there one bit, but this color from Cheetah Wrap looks sweet. They used to have more pictures from actual cars that were wrapped in it, and it really pops. 


Here's a picture I found. https://www.instagram.com/p/CqYJmSRN4Ty/?img_index=3


stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/5/23 11:37 a.m.

Michael, I will be ready this weekend. I have everything I think we need all set aside. You are going to want to invest in a BIG box of rivets: 1/8" body/~1/8" grip/aluminum body/aluminum stem. Close out panels become sacrificial to protect the bits that are welded to the chassis. Once the patterns are complete, they will get riveted to the chassis and seam sealed or RTV'd to the body. We may need to think about putting some bead rolls in a few panels to keep them from vibrating too much. I am bringing Clecos along so we can use those to help get the panels aligned to the existing parts.

On the rear crush zone, making a nerf bar out of 3/4" to 1" diameter tubing that fits the bumper profile and can be welded/bolted to the rear clip is the right way to go. it can be braced to protect the body and gives a spot to attach more closeout panels...

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/23 11:57 a.m.

In reply to stafford1500 :

Im seeing 1/4 and 3/8  length being the most common in 1/8 pop rivits, sir. Im guessing 1/4 will be the ones we need? Ive also got cardboard, aluminum, a sheetmetal brake, a 4x8 sheet of 20 or 22 gauge steel, sone clecos, and whatever your preference of beer is.

stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/5/23 1:16 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

In reply to stafford1500 :

Im guessing 1/4 will be the ones we need? Yes

and whatever your preference of beer is. Cold is the best kind

I think the best effort is to get as many templates cut as possible and make one or two actual panels, then you can tackle the panels as you have time. It will be an arts and crafts day (sharpies, tape and cardboard/posterboard), so make sure your scissors are sharp.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/23 4:47 p.m.

Im going to try to cash in on the lifetime warranty on my kobalt scissors just to have a fresh pair for Saturday. 

I also ordered a thousand 1/8 rivits. 

This is gonna be FUN!

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/8/23 8:32 p.m.

Got all my arts and crafts supplies loaded up tonight. 

Really looking forward to seeing Steve tomorrow. Just hanging out with him will be awesome. 

A test panel has been sprayed with gm bright purple metallic and is drying now. It didn't cover worth a crap though. 

Also have started hunting for a decent steel passenger fender. Glass Just doesn't make structural sense here.

AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/8/23 9:29 p.m.

This is going to be awesome.

Racingsnake Reader
9/9/23 3:13 p.m.

Love this build! Any idea what it will weigh when it's done?

Appleseed MegaDork
9/9/23 3:31 p.m.

Post a pic of that purple. I'd like to try something with it.

APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/9/23 6:52 p.m.

I wish you weren't so far away.  I'd love to hang with you guys and build crush panels.

How good are you planning on getting the body work?  That would drive the color choice for me.  The nicer the body the darker and shinier the color you can get away with.  My race car bodywork tends to require light colors and/or flat paint.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/23 8:53 p.m.

In reply to Racingsnake :

We're hoping 2800lb with driver. No real idea though. 

Appleseed: will do tomorrow. Its an odd color. You want the other frontrunner too?

APEowner: if you're ever in our neighborhood, dinner is on me. As far as bodywork goes, im hoping for straight enough that you don't get seasick when it drives by. Honestly, if you've seen my miata in person, its my target for quality. 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/23 8:54 p.m.

steve is AWESOME. we got everything i hoped to do today done, and i learned so much from the motorsports sherpa my brain hurts. Also, dinner was awesome. The buzzed viking makes a damn fine burger. 

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