|The Pi Car
|January 4, 2010 - Here's a close-up of the modified brackets.|
This covers both the radiator and the condenser.
|January 6, 2010 - The engine bay is painted.|
The color is the one used on desert HMMWVs - not a typical Miata color! The rest of the car will be painted later after the conversion is done.
|January 6, 2010 - With the chassis finished, it's time to start unpacking drivetrain parts.|
Everything is brand new and shiny, of course. It's so nice working with new parts.
Sorry, it's difficult to take a cool picture of a transmission.
|January 6, 2010 - We use this plastic LS engine for test-fitting.|
It's a lot easier to move around than an engine that's all filled up with horsepower. We can bolt transmissions, intakes and accessories to it.
Here, we're about to do a final test fit in the body before we put the real think on the subframe.
|January 8, 2010 - The engine is in!|
Okay, it's still on the engine stand and we just dropped the car over top. But it looks good. We're doing this so we can run the wiring before the engine install.
|January 8, 2010 - On the NA Miata, we need to cut a new hole for the GM wiring harness.|
There's a big hole we can use on the NB. Inside the car, Jon has to extend the harness so the fusebox can go in the trunk.
|January 11, 2010 - The crate engine we're using comes with the flex plate for an automatic application.|
Here's a peek at the big clutch and flywheel we use instead. We're actually using a standard GM clutch because we find the engagement nicer than many aftermarket parts.
|January 20, 2010 - After a brief break to build a cute little Miata engine, Jon's back at work on the car.|
He's just installed some nice and shiny new carpet.
|January 25, 2010 - The engine computer is mounted to the Miata firewall.|
There's a reason we strip the cars down so far, it's a challenge to run all this wiring on a car that's still half-assembled. All the wiring in the picture is for the V8.
|January 25, 2010 - The fusebox is mounted in the trunk.|
It's a challenge finding a place to put it. This way, it's just beside the battery for a nice clean power supply.
Jon claims this is not the final mount design.
|January 25, 2010 - With the ECU under the dash and the fusebox in the trunk, the harness has to be extended.|
It's painstaking work to do correctly.
|January 25, 2010 - While all this work is taking place on the body, Tyler has been working on the suspension.|
All of the control arms have been stripped down, re-coated and given a fresh set of Energy Suspension bushings.
|January 26, 2010 - The rear subframe is nearing completion.|
The new differential mount is welded on - Tyler can really lay down a bead - and the diff is installed. It's such a nice installation that it's hard to believe it isn't factory, actually. You can see the new uprated hubs installed in the uprights here as well.
|January 26, 2010 - The bouncy part of the suspension is a set of FM springs on Koni shocks.|
|January 26, 2010 - The engine, transmission, flywheel and clutch are all assembled and mounted on the subframe.|
Since we have access to a lift, we find it easiest to simply lower the car onto the drivetrain instead of wiggling it in from the top.
|January 29, 2010 - Since the LS3 runs on drive-by-wire, we have to alter the stock pedal box for the new pedal.|
It's surprisingly easy to do. The pedal comes with the new ECU.
|January 29, 2010 - Tyler puts the finishing touches on the rear subframe assembly.|
Next step is to simply bolt the whole thing in.
|January 29, 2010 - Naturally, the car is receiving a set of FM big brakes to make sure the whoa matches the go.|
In the rear, the stock caliper is used so we can keep the parking brake. It might be hard to believe, but those are just used calipers after a good cleaning.
|February 3, 2010 - The engine is in!|
Now it's time to start hooking things up for real.
|February 3, 2010 - It doesn't look so big from down here.|
The tubular subframe really opens up a lot of room.
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