New Stainless headers arrived so I tossed the engine in for a final check on how it was all going to fit.
Looks like there is plenty of room side to side and front to back. Even room for the EFI manifold and front accessory drives. Getting the AC condenser , Radiator and puller fan in front of the engine should not be an issue.
Feels good to finally start seeing stuff come together rather than cutting stuff apart.
always thought it was one of the most beautiful body designs from the '60s
Is it fairly easy to re-register the finished vehicle according to state regs in your country?
Thank you all for the kind words.
Hot rods are not hard to register in Canada. I have to do a safety test that is common to all vehicles when they are first registered to a new owner.
The car will be registered as a P1800 Volvo even though is will have more Miata DNA than anything else. This allows me to skip over the emissions testing that is mandatory for cars built after 1988.
I can't imagine trying to pull this off in Australia where an engineer would need to sign off on the finished project.
You guys are missing the joke here...The reason I am taking this road is because there is no fabrication (well less fabrication) than in say a tube frame chassis. I have let Mazda and Ford do the bulk of the engineering work cause they have more tools and engineers than I have at my disposal. If I pull this off, it should end up looking like it was built this way in the first place.
It will also make for easy maintenance since it is based on two classic cars and a classic drivetrain that will have parts available on the shelf for many years to come.
Since the engine is moved back 7" needed a new cross-member on the V8 conversion K member. For clearance reasons it needed to be under-slung and strong since the engine is going to be literally hanging off the brackets.
New engine mounts fabricated. The mounting to the crossmember allows for some adjustment side to side while still keeping the engine safely located fore and aft. Will get fully welded once the transmission mount is done and the K member comes out for final welding.
Did some tinwork for a change of pace. Needed to blend the Miata and Volvo firewalls. This will need to form the front wall of the airbox that feeds the Miata HVAC. It also needs to seal against the Volvo bonnet when closed.
Bit of a pain to make because both the top and bottom horizontal flanges describe an arc. This would entail stretching the bottom of the vertical face while shrinking the top.
I cheated and made it out of two pieces. Will scribe and weld the two so the seam is invisible. You can see the shrinker stretcher marks on the vertical face.
Note the welding method: A series of dots made with a one second pull on the MIG trigger and joined with a small overlap. What you are looking at is the backside of the weld showing good penetration. Panels were butted up with zero gap. The front looks almost identical. This is the idiots way to weld sheet-metal and not make a bunch of holes. Takes me about half an hour to teach a new welder how to do this tric. Wont make you a welder, but it will get your panels on.
Doing some work on tying the sill structure, A-post and front frame together. The challenge is to avoid having a floppy tub when this is all done.
So with that in mind, the plan is to use 1.5" roll bar tube to tie everything together as shown in the picture. Note that the front bend is just a place-holder at this point. The task today was to get the sill bars in place. The horizontal bar will eventually be bent into place.
The challenge was to get the scalloped hole cut in to the sloping sill structure. How best to project that pattern? The marker shows a first guess that I was not confident with.
Key word turned out to be "project" as what worked was to put the tube in place, and shine a flashlight down the inside and project the cut on to the Miata sill. Simple matter to mark the center and cut out with a hole saw from there. Funny how the first side took two hours and the second side was a 20 minute job.
Close enough for the girls I go with!
Actually a big step forward as this tube will form the foundation for joining the Volvo and Miata sill structures. Maybe a bit of overkill, but better safe than sorry.
On a separate note, I actually had a chance to drive a Miata with a ford 302 conversion, and have to say that it was amazing. Great inspiration to stay stuck-in to this project.
Impressive, should be a very quick ride when finished... What are the plans for the brake department? Engine specs? What's the expected weight distribution?
So many questions.... Hahahahahaaa!!!
Well, it is just a V8 Miata with a body kit, so I am expecting it to have performance similar to the one I took for a drive last week. When you stomped the pedal on that thing it kind of did the Star Treck thing where the stars blur. The reasuring bit is that the rear wheels actually hook-up even with the 195-60-14s that were on that car.
Since the car is not going to see the track or any repeated hard stopping, I am going to leave the brakes stock for now. The goal is to have a car that can still be serviced with the Miata owners manual as far as chassis is concerned. The finished result might be as much as 300 lbs over a Miata, but I don't see that as a problem. If it is, there are big brake kits from Flying Miata that will fit the bill.
Similar deal with the engine. It will be a stock rebuild with a set of alloy heads. Will have to bump the compression a tad to so I don't actually lose power from the heads. The goal is reliability and good manners in traffic while cruising at 75 mph with the AC on .
Wont really know weight distribution until I get more parts on and weight it. The engine being behind the front axle centerline works in my favour. Worse case scenario I will put a big beer cooler in the back to balance it out.
Thanks for the interest. I don't get a lot of comments on this project and wondered if anyone was following along?