|Scuba Steve's transformation
|May 5, 2010 - Meet Scuba Steve's gorgeous 2001 Miata.|
It's turbocharged and pretty nicely set up. But Steve's taking the big step. Out comes the turbo engine, in goes the V8.
Steve's been at our Open House in the past. We're hoping to have this car ready for him by then. Will he take it on the track?
Steve dropped the car off on Monday. It's going under the knife this week.
|May 6, 2010 - The car looked so good yesterday - but today it goes under the knife!|
The parts have started coming off in a hurry. Oh, and a bit of trivia: if you ever need to remember which way is up in your Miata, apparently Mazda put a handy arrow on the front bumper.
|May 6, 2010 - The interior is already pulled out of the car.|
|May 6, 2010 - All of the removed parts are loaded on pallets and stored on shelves.|
This keeps them safe, out of harm's way and easy to find again. That's Adam behind the wheel.
|May 7, 2010 - Parts continue to fall off the car.|
Including a pesky turbocharger that was in the way of removing the engine.
|May 7, 2010 - Getting closer to empty.|
|May 10, 2010 - Time for the big split!|
It's only a trial separation.
|May 10, 2010 - The car continues to come apart - time for the wiring!|
|May 11, 2010 - Adam has made the first cuts with our new plasma cutter.|
The roughly triangular shaped outline is a reinforcement that has to be removed to allow reshaping the tunnel, then it is re-installed.
|May 11, 2010 - Same cuts seen from the engine bay.|
Next is widening the tunnel.
|May 14, 2010 - The transmission tunnel has been widened and welded up.|
It's almost time for paint.
|May 14, 2010 - The last step in modifying the tunnel is a clearance check.|
We use this plastic engine mockup with a real bellhousing to ensure there won't be any problems once we maneuver the real (much heavier) parts into place. The plastic engine is bolted to the tubular subframe that is key to making this swap work.
|May 19, 2010 - Time for a bath.|
With the metal work done, the engine bay is steam-cleaned before getting sanded down and painted.
|May 21, 2010 - It's carpet time!|
The heatshielding goes in. You can see the seam sealer used to seal up, well, the seams. The bottle of brake cleaner is used to fully clean the car interior for maximum adhesion of the heatshield.
|May 25, 2010 - We've developed the A8 engine!|
|May 25, 2010 - Adam does the initial wiring on the engine.|
He's also installed the oil pan by this point.
|May 28, 2010 - It's welding time!|
The stock subframe is cleaned up and stripped to bare metal. There are two brackets like this one to hold the differential in place.
|May 28, 2010 - To reinforce the frame where it was modified, we have these laser-cut plates.|
They're a new addition to our builds, and we'll have them available for everyone building at home as well.
|June 2, 2010 - The reinforcements are welded in, the engine bay is painted and the wiring is starting to sneak into the car.|
|June 7, 2010 - The wiring is almost done - the dashboard is about to be installed.|
This is not glamorous work, but a poor wiring job can make a car a real pain to live with. Thankfully, the Mazda and GM wiring harnesses are almost completely separate so it's much easier than you might expect to do a quality job.
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