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AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/6/22 11:27 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Technically it's a "looks good to me" job, but I did talk to a few people beforehand who have done construction and similar projects before and they agreed that it would work fine.

That lower rafter tie is really just keeping the rafters from spreading and doing a split. The old ones were just 2x4s, and some of those weren't even a solid 2x4 for the whole length. You could also tell once I had the "attic" floor removed that they weren't under tension. Again when I cut them out, they didn't "pop" apart like there was tension there, which of course is very good since the raised rafter ties were in place before cutting out the old ones. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/4/22 9:59 a.m.

Well, it's been another long while since I've updated the thread here.


For the most part that's because much of my time in the beginning of the year was put towards doing a kitchen renovation. At this point it still needs trim and a backsplash, but the cast majority of the work is done, and the side by side comparison you see below I think really captures the improvement. I'm really happy with how it has turned out, and more importantly, so is my wife. 



Now that that was mostly done, the other outstanding project was fixing the leak going into my mudroom. This time last year I did a lot of work to the structure of the mudroom, but sadly it still had a very intermittent leak. Some rain storms it would leak pretty good, and then some rain storms wouldn't leak at all. Very frustrating, but we're pretty sure the culprit is the siding on the section of the house above the mud room. My brother in law offered his assistance, so part of the last two weekends we got to work. 

This is the stage where I had gotten all the old siding off. You can see it was done in sections, the rightmost being the oldest. The left is where it was leaking into the mud room, the big rot in the top right of that section was dry, so we're thinking that must have been from before the roof was replaced some time ago, hopefully. And that lovely middle section... had no sheeting on it at all, siding was put directly onto the studs. No house wrap under any of it. (Fortunately upstairs that is just a closed in laundry area, but still...)

So we added sheeting to the middle and house-wrapped all of it. The Lowe's bill hurt, but as long as it fixes the leak I'l be happy.

Most of it is done now, I should be able to finish it up this week in the evenings. 



In other news, I've also been helping Blair out as much as I can with getting his shop and vehicle situation situated. I helped him shuffle some cars around on Saturday and then brought one home with me...

I'm not a Honda guy, but this thing is too cool to pass up. No engine/trans at this point. I am going to get the title work sorted out before I go too much further. The general plan for it I think is:

  1. Title. 
  2. Engine/Trans/drivable.
  3. Finish fab work on the bed. 
  4. Spray bomb. 
  5. Enjoy. 

Now, when all that happens will probably take a while, but still. It's cool. I do want to get the "Motley Miata" on the road first. I have most of those parts already so once I have time for that it shouldn't take too long. 

ian sane
ian sane GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/4/22 10:31 a.m.

Utes rule!


Man, houserepair always feels good but there's just such a huge bill to tangible "fun thing in your hands" ratio.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/4/22 10:35 a.m.

In reply to ian sane :

I love your e30 ute! 

Honestly depending on how this one goes I could definitely see doing a BMW ute because I like RWD, but for now this one shouldn't take t00 t00 much to be functional. (Not necessarily pretty.)

ian sane
ian sane GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/4/22 11:45 a.m.

Haha, I drove my e30truck yesterday for the first time in many moons since it's really my girlfriend's daily and I was commenting that I don't like driving it because all I see is the things I HAVEN'T done to it yet to "finish" it off and she told me to shut up and it was exactly how she wanted it.

Would there still be room in that honda to throw the crv AWD stuff under it? Then it could be really rowdy!

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/4/22 3:42 p.m.
ian sane said:

Haha, I drove my e30truck yesterday for the first time in many moons since it's really my girlfriend's daily and I was commenting that I don't like driving it because all I see is the things I HAVEN'T done to it yet to "finish" it off and she told me to shut up and it was exactly how she wanted it.

Sounds like marriage material laugh

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/4/22 4:04 p.m.

In reply to ian sane :

I can relate!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/4/22 4:05 p.m.
ian sane said:

Would there still be room in that honda to throw the crv AWD stuff under it? Then it could be really rowdy!

Blair would love that idea, but my wallet isn't that deep. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/3/22 10:33 a.m.

Since I bought the truck the throw out bearing has been a little noisey, not too bad though. Until the last couple weeks the noise got loud and pretty much constant. 

Ordered parts last week, and then we dug into it over the weekend since we were all hanging out anyway, might as well do something too. 

I had to move a bucnh of stuff out of the way, but I was able to get the truck into the garage and close the door. Only because the barn door sits on the outside of the block instead of a standard garage door would sit inside of the block. It's that tight. But it fits, and working on concrete beats gravel by a long shot. 


This what the throw out bearing looked like...


As of now, the trans is back in place with the new clutch and flywheel and throw out bearing. Need to finish bolting it in, and put in the new clutch hydraulics this week and it should be good to go. 

Then I can prep the Miata for Carlisle IPN, and assist my brother with his RX7 before Carlisle as well. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/11/22 2:11 p.m.

Couple pictures from my prep for Carlisle Import & Performance / NICO Fest this weekend. 


As this picture says, different springs, welded diff, and alignment. 


New diff bushings were in oder as well. This is getting the old rubber off the washer holder things that hold the diff up. 


Off with the stock springs (taller ride height for rallyX, etc.), on with the FM springs. 


The internet hates spring compressors, so this should really fire some people up. Works fine though, especially with such tight springs. 

I don't get the hate on spring compressors, like any tool, respect it and you'll be fine. 

In reply to AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) :

I agree 100% on the spring compressors. Using your head a little and they are decently safe. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/18/22 10:57 a.m.

Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals (IPN) recap!

Got there in decent time Friday morning and got teched with no issue. Had my normal street tires on to start so I got a couple good runs in on autocross. It's a pretty small course, but still fun. NICO Club puts on the autoX/drift event and they run it pretty well. Lots of seat time as you just make a run and hop back in line, no course work. 

AutoX results aren't up yet, but I recall my best time was a 1:01, last I heard FTD was like a 55 or something. I'm happy though. (Timing was done by stopwatch due to rain, it's more of a fun event than super competitive, so this is fine by me.)


Friday Drifting I was having a heck of a time. Kinda frustrating as my 3rd event since my hydraulic handbrake install and I was still figuring out how to properly initiate. Fortunately there really weren't many drifters on Friday so I got a ton of seat time. By the end of the day I had the initiation down fairly well. I could consistently initiate the slide into the turn without immediately spinning out or going into the grass. Making it all the way through the turn was still in progress. 


Saturday I was repping my Dead Skunk t-shirt. Got there a bit later on Saturday, still had plenty of seat time. I progressed through the day, and was getting fairly consistent in drifting the course. At the end of the day I hopped in with a couple groups and was the last car chasing. I hung back mostly on the one run, but the next run was with a guy named Bon who drifts a Monte Carlo, at first I kept my distance, but he kept egging me on to get closer, and towards the end of our run I was drifting within 10 feet of him or so. It was a blast!

Mid day Saturday Carlisle does a "Drift Limbo" event. It's a little gimicky as far as competitive drifting goes, but still kinda fun. Basically they have two cones setup that you have to drift through and over time they keep moving them closer together. It's much simpler than a normal lead/chase drift competition, so I can't knock it. It's a little hard to give perspective of how it works, and why it's gimicky, but it works. 

I guess it gets a lot of spectators, so that's what Carlisle likes. As long as you're registered to drift, you can participate, so I did, and normally there are quite a few entries. I think last year there were probably ~20 cars competing. 

This year I took 5th place in Drift Limbo!!!

(There were only 5 entries...)


Anyway, here's some action shots. This batch is from the Carlisle Event staff:


Some from another photographer there: (@mkii.717 on instagram)


My other highlight from the show was getting to see this car in person and talk with the builder a bit. I've been following this build on Tik Tok for over a year, and it's been amazing to see the progress. I was so excited whenever I heard it was coming to Carlisle. 

996 wide body slantnose conversion form Crucible Coachworks in York. (Subsidiary of Translog) All of the fenders, quarter panels, rockers, duck bill, and diffuser were hand formed and built by Ryan. 

My pictures really don't do it justice.



All in all a very fun weekend, here's the results!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/18/22 11:01 a.m.

The high quality versions of these haven't come in yet, but here's some pictures from @m.inman_shotz on instagram. 



And Monday I grabbed some more wheels because there's never enough... (Especially 15"s right now. I have lots of 14"s.)

Came off some VW, should work on the Miatas fine. 

iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/18/22 11:14 a.m.

Looks like a blast! It's nice to feel progression in things like the drift initiation over the course of the weekend.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/18/22 1:21 p.m.

In reply to iansane :

It was! I forgot to mention it earlier, but besides progressing on the initiation I got a much better feel for clutch kicking through the turn. The main turns on the Carlisle track are basically a big 180*, and for me to keep the Miata in 2nd gear and not bog down I had to clutch kick 4-6 times through the turn... More power would be nice, but I know more seat time is also key. I'll work with what I got for now. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/23/22 9:19 a.m.

Been keeping an eye out for a donor car to put an engine/trans into the civic truck and get it on the road. Talked with Blair and Dave a bit and I ended up picking this up last night... Loaded it up at 10:30-11, got home by 1:30am. Just a casual Sunday. 


Kid said a shop diagnosed it as no fuel no start because of clogged fuel lines. Engine does crank, though at the time I picked it up it didn't have an ECU plugged in. Came with a stock ECU and a "chipped" ECU. Sounds sketchy, but it appears to be a Mugen chip, and possibly programmable, so it might bring some resale value. I'm not really trying to turbo this car or anything. 


Plan will be to get it running, drive it around enough to make sure the trans feels ok, and then stick the drivetrain into the civic truck and get it street legal. Still working on some house projects trying to finish up loose ends, but it's coming together. I also still have a Miata shell out back I want to get street legal too. Lots of work to do. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/29/22 2:10 p.m.

Lots has been happening and hopefully will continue to happen! 


The parts civic from the last post runs now. It took a combination of a main relay, a fuse, and a new dizzy and it seems to run ok. It does smoke a bit so that engine may get rebuilt down the line, but it's good for now. I have started parting out the rest of the car to offset the cost, but that's all the progress so far. The Civic Truck will be a bit yet till I can mess with it. 


The kitchen is done. (Well, are these things ever really done?) There's some touch-ups here and there to be done, but I don't feel bad spending time in the garage now, so work on the Motley Miata is started. 


If you recall I got this as a shell soon after the challenge. I made it a roller and stuck it outside. 

Now it is inside, and I have the rear end pretty much put together as far as suspension and diff. For now suspension will be some Tokico shocks and unknown springs that I got from someone on the forum for cheap. We'll see how they do to start with. I have Tokicos on my NB and I like them. 

Last night I pulled the 1.6L harness out of the car and got the engine bay and interior completely stripped. Pressure washed the whole thing, and today I just put some spray can white on. Nothing special, but I'm pretty sure it's better than nothing. 

I also got the front end suspension torn apart, waiting for extended lower ball joints to show up form Goodwin, I think they are due in Monday. 

I have 3 power steering racks I am going to merge into a single de-powered rack. I say merge just because one rack has no boots on it, and some of the other boots are torn and I don't feel like ordering new boots. I need to find my other steering column today because I am missing a U-joint. 

That's all the current progress so far, but hopefully I can get the 1.8L harness in place over the weekend, and prep the engine once gaskets arrive tomorrow. Might not be too long until it's drivable. 


1.6l harness.... It was hacked up and I have a 1.8l to go in the car anyway. 


Interior mostly stripped. 


Engine bay during pressure washing. Left side done, right side not so much. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/3/22 1:48 p.m.

Got a good bit done on the Motley Miata over the weekend! Hoping to get more time on it over the coming days as well. 


Main thing Saturday and Sunday was I stripped down a pair of power steering racks to de-power them. Honestly I only started the second one because I got stuck on the first one, but soon after found that it was no big deal and now I have 2 complete de-powered racks. There is a lot of good instructional information online about how to do it, but I also took some video and put it on my Tik Tok. (@goofballsracing)

Here's a picture of the inputs just because. (pre-welding)


I also started tearing into the engine. It's just getting new gaskets, timing belt & water pump and cleaned up. It did run before I pulled it from the donor car, but it was a little noisy. Hopefully fresh oil takes care of that... If not we can rebuild.


As part of the engine cleanup I painted the valve cover, because who doesn't like that? I think I am going to go ahead and cleanup and paint both the oil pan and intake too. It just seems like grime doesn't stick as much to painted surfaces compared to bare aluminum. 


Finally showing the current status, most of the suspension is in place, but needs tightened down. I was missing a couple bolts so I got those last night. Another couple minutes and she'll be a roller, and I should be able to bleed brakes shortly after that and have a rolling, steering, stopping car!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/14/22 12:01 p.m.

Work on the car got slowed down since the last update between my one apartment having a turnover that involved a good bit of repairs, and then some additional improvements to make it nicer in general, as well as an anniversary trip that then got cut short and turned into a 2 day hospital stay for my wife. Fortunately she's doing much better and things seem stable. 


I am going to Drift Evergreen's September event on the 24-25th, and have decided a while ago that I'll stick with the NB for this event. If I made a big push I think I could have had the Motley Miata running in time, but it would've been stressful and I don't know if the manual steering would be ideal for drifting. I do want to try it, but I suspect power steering will make a return. Only annoying thing is the welded diff is in the Motley Miata already so I will have to swap it over to the NB before the event. Not that big of a deal, but it does take a minute. 


That said, the engine for the Motley Miata is almost done being refreshed, new gaskets, water pump, timing belt, etc. I am hoping to have it in place this weekend. 

I also picked up a full stainless exhaust for it, but got home and saw that the cat doesn't actually line up with the header, so I'll have to fab a test pipe for now. No biggie. The header also has a crack, but I knew that ahead of time and got a good deal for that reason. :)

Since things are coming together I think I am also going to go get the title done on the car very soon. 


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/20/22 10:13 a.m.

Got the engine/trans installed in the Motley Miata ov er the weekend. Had a bit of a time because I misplaced my 1.8 engine brackets. I didn't realize 1.8 and 1.6 were different. Fortunately I found the passenger side 1.8 mount, but I have no idea where the driver's side one is. I had a 1.6 drivers side mount though and that was close enough to modify one mounting hole and be good. 



The rest of the weekend was a bit of musical cars. First I pulled the Welded diff out of the Motley Miata to be able to use in the NB for Drift Evergreen this weekend. Yesterday I was off work and was able to swap the welded diff into the NB, which also meant rolling the Motley Miata out of the garage and then back in. I also had to bring the civic truck to my house, it was at my in laws and the township has thrown a BS fit, but whatever. So it's at my place now. 


I also got some paperwork in the works. I am awaiting a title in the mail for the Civic Truck, fingers crossed I did that correctly. Once that is here I can ditch the parts civic. I still need to pull the engine/trans, but otherwise I just don't want to get rid of it until I know the title is sorted on the Civic Truck.

Then I also put through the title transfer for the Motley Miata, that's pretty standard, I just hadn't done it yet, though since I got a personalized antique plate so it'll take a while... Oh well. 


I'm really trying to get the Motley Miata and the Civic Truck running, driving, etc so they at least move under their own power ASAP, especially since the rust on the NB is getting pretty bad so I'm probably going to have to take some time and fix it properly this winter. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/20/22 10:17 a.m.

Side note, just because it's neat. There's a tree on my neighbor's property beside my garage that recently became home to some bees. At first we all thought they were just hanging out until they found a new home, but then we saw they were actually building in the tree so I contacted a local apiary on Facebook and they came and got them.


Pic from the day we realized there was honeycomb. You can just see a bit of it. 


I wasn't home when the apiary person came, but they sent me this picture:


I'm just glad they were able to come get them and give them a safe home. 

iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/20/22 11:55 a.m.

That enginebay is looking serious now!

Very cool that those bees could be relocated. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/20/22 1:07 p.m.

In reply to iansane :

Thanks! It's just a stock 1.8 for now, so really nothing special, but it is nice to have a fairly clean engine bay and all. All of the paint is not as nice as I would like, but it's not a show car, it's going to get driven plenty. 


AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/26/22 11:29 a.m.

Drift Evergreen - September 2022 Event


Friday I was off work and got packed up. One of the last minute things I did was hack up a hood. I got this hood in a pile of parts, and passenger front corner is slightly bent, but it still shuts. I meant to get this done sooner and take more time to make it look nicer, but overall its not horrible... It is more hacked than I'd like, but from a little distance it looks good. I just used a cutoff wheel, sawzall, and flap wheel to get what you see here. The most impressive part to me is the paint. It was a blue hood. I found a while back that Rustoleum Gloss Black Enamel or whatever is a pretty close match to the factory paint, so I just spray painted it quick. 2 coats, no prep besides a super quick wipe down. You can't even see any tiger striping. 

I did screw up my bumper going onto the trailer... oops. 


Camped out at the track Friday night with some buddies, and then got to drift Saturday and Sunday. It was chilly at night, but overall a great trip. 

Drifting is still harder than it looks, but I'm slowly improving. At one point I even had one of the guys running the event take my car for a couple runs to give me any pointers and he didn't really have anything for me since he's used to a higher powered car with extra steering angle. Miata's are kinda difficult to drift well because of the short wheelbase. It's all seat time too. 

Saturday was great weather all day and I got a good bit of time in. The track doesn't go cold till 10pm, and it's so cool running on the oval under the lights at night. 

Sunday was rainy in the morning, but by the time drifting actually started at 12:30 it was just a little bit here and there and then turned into a really nice day. It must have scared a lot of people off though. I got a TON of driving time on the "L Track" at some points there being no line at all and I could just immediately run again. 


Here's a couple random pictures form the event.

These guys in their "General Lee" & "Hazard County Sheriff" e46's chasing each other was great. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/26/22 11:39 a.m.

Thoughts on next steps:

1. Power. Previously I've been wishing the Miata had more power to drift better, but that's not my main takeaway this time. It would be nice, but running solo I am getting more used to how to push the car for all it's got with the little power it has. 

2. Steering. More steering angle would be nice. Like the power, it's something I've told myself that it is better to learn without it because that will make me a better driver. Without the power though, it's all about momentum and when EJ drove my car the angle is what seemed most lacking. I'll be investigating what I want to do for extra steering angle. 

3. Suspension. Lower, possibly stiffer, coilovers are probably a good idea. Also, replacing all suspension bushings. 


Now, I say all of that, but those are notes that I am planning to apply to the Motley Miata. The Motley Miata will be street legal, but bare bones and really meant for drifting. I knew having it ready for this event was not really feasible with the time I had, so I took the NB. The NB is great, but it's my daily and I am planning to have it sit a bit higher and have bigger tires for winter and also the occasional rallycross, etc. The NB has frame rail rust up front that I need to work on, and along with that I am planning to add some skid plates. 

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