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Thread: Better late than never

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  1. #1
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Better late than never

    I've been working on and customizing my 2003 LS for about 5 years now. I had a build thread over on another forum, but Photobucket's extortion scheme pretty well killed my old thread. So, I'm going to start at my current project and I'll backfill the previous projects as I can.

    So, today I received the CCP Fab widebody kit I ordered.



    I had it shipped to my store, then made a run to work to pick it up this evening. With this big box sitting in the driveway, I felt just like a kid at Christmas time!



    And I showed just about as much self control before tearing in!



    Paul at CCP did a great job wrapping everything up for shipping. Tons of bubble wrap and cushioning! every part arrived safe and sound.

    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  3. #2
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    New front bumper!



    I'm so excited about this! My Miata has had a messed up front bumper the whole time I've owned it. I'll finally have a bumper that doesn't bother me every time I look at it!

    I'm not an expert on judging fiberglass, but CCP's work seems really good. No major voids or sloppy looking lamination. The gel coat is reasonably smooth and I'll only need to do basic prep before painting the parts.



    How much wider is a "widebody"? A pretty fair bit.



    The new nose is also longer the the old one. It has a sharper, more aggressive look. It's also taller, so that the one piece bumper is about the same height as the original bumper with the large tupperware. The bottom is a large flat surface that extends farther forward and back than OEM, essentially adding a built in front splitter.

    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:31 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  5. #3
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    And now the fender flares. The small ones are for the front and the larger flares are for the rear.



    That extra little piece in the middle is the front bumper support. It makes sure the top center of the bumper stays in place with the correct gap/alignment to the front edge of the hood. I'll have to glue that to the front bumper with some Panel Bond.

    Last, but not least, the side skirts:



    Once I get everything fitted up to the car, I intend to open up the front and rear vent areas on the side skirts.
    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:32 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  7. #4
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    I don't plan on working on this in earnest until tomorrow, but I thought it would be fun to just do a quick fitting today. And thus I ran into my first issue:



    Hmm... It looks like the only way to fit this into place would be to remove the black plastic bumper pad under the bumper cover. A quick call to Paul at CCP confirmed that I did indeed need to remove the bumper. I have mixed feelings about this. I'm already committed to installing this kit, but I wish I could keep the OEM bumper pad. After I get everything installed, I may see if I can trim the pad to fit inside the new bumper shell. Although, I don't know it that would compromise the bumper pad's integrity to the point that the whole exercise would be superfluous. :dunno:

    Oh, well... In for a penny, in for a pound!



    While I was down there, I finally yanked the baby teeth.



    I also cut off the light sockets and pigtails for the original front side markers. My plan was to use them for the new clear rear side markers, but it turns out one of the sockets is hopelessly corroded and will not work. Tomorrow, I'll make a run to the auto parts store and pick up 4 new sockets; two for the new rear repeaters and two for the round side repeaters I have inbound from the UK.
    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:33 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  9. #5
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    And so the pile of take-off parts begins to grow!



    With the bumper pad out of the way, the new shell slides right into place.



    In a happy coincidence, the new flares and bumper will cover up a dent on the front left fender that was caused by the previous owner's ham-handed attempt at fender rolling and pulling.

    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:33 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  11. #6
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Here are the two pieces of the bumper that I need to bond together tomorrow.



    Since this will determine how well the bumper and hood fit together, I really want to get that part right! The panel bond epoxy is super strong, so it's definitely a one-shot sort of thing.

    A couple of shots to show the extra width of the new bumper:





    It's going to look kind of funny until I get some new wheels and tires on the car!
    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:34 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  13. #7
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Mocked up with painter's tape to hold everything together:

    r



    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:35 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  15. #8
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    These shots give an idea of how much of the original fenders I'm going to end up cutting away.

    Front


    Rear


    That's probably the most daunting part of this project. Of course, by the time I get to that part, I will have already drilled about 30 holes in the car and installed rivnuts in them, so I guess the cutting might not seem like such a big deal by then.
    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:36 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  17. #9
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    The first step it the slowest part. First, fitting the bumper and the bumper retainer to figure out where I want to bond them.



    Next, squeezing on a few beads of panel bond and clamping the two parts together. The 18V calking gun was a big help here. The epoxy has a mixing nozzle, and it's REALLY hard to squeeze the adhesive out. So hard that I've seen pictures of cheaper caulking guns that broke in half from this stuff!



    Now, I have 3.5 hour wait for the panel bond to cure. Then I'll have to fit the top edge of the bumper to the leading edge of the hood. After that is done, the rest of the fitting should move more quickly.
    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:37 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  19. #10
    Super Moderator tsingson's Avatar
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    That's seriously awesome! I am so jealous. Never seen a caulking gun like that. Nice Red Chucks too!

  20. #11
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    While I'm waiting for the panel bond to cure, here's a pic of the under side of the bumper. No additional splitter needed!

    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:37 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  22. #12
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsingson View Post
    That's seriously awesome! I am so jealous. Never seen a caulking gun like that. Nice Red Chucks too!
    Lol! Good eye on the Chucks!

    There's a Ryobi store at the San Marcos Outlet Mall, just down the road from me. I got the caulk gun for $25, while a heavy duty, hand operated gun costs $15 at Home Depot. Totally worth the extra $10, imo. I already have a whole slew of Ryobi 18V tools and a 6-port battery charger, so it's a welcome addition to the arsenal. I almost WANT to recaulk my shower now! Getting a smooth, consistent bead with this thing is ridiculously easy and your hand doesn't want to fall off after a few minutes of using it.
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    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  24. #13
    Admin / Pit Boss / Miataholic Phatmiata's Avatar
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    Lots of great photos for this install!! Nice job!

  25. #14
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    I got the Miata up in the air to make it easier to work on.







    The hood overlaps the top of the bumper, so some trimming to fit is in order.



    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:38 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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  27. #15
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    After a bit of grinding the hood will now close.



    Apparently, I was a little off when I bonded on the bumper support. The front to back alignment is just right, but it's just a bit too high.



    Here, you can see how the bumper edge is higher than the hood.



    After a bit of thought and looking at the problem, I think I need to use a BFH to massage the mounting points on the car just a bit. Of course, I'll have to pull the bumper off to do this, then reinstall it to test the fit, then do it all again until it looks just right.

    It's gona look cool when it's all done!

    Last edited by Warhammer; 06-20-2018 at 05:39 PM.
    - Rex

    2003 LS Widebody, Pure White, Too many mods to list in a signature

    My build thread

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