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Thread: Better late than never

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  1. #106
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    I took a drive yesterday morning and used the wiper to clear the dust and pollen front the windshield. This sparked a few thoughts and considerations.
    • I haven't decided where I will ultimately park the wiper at rest. Straight up the middle is an appealing option. That's simply a matter of adjusting the position of the wiper motor arm.
    • I want as much sweep as possible, but 180 really isn't necessary. From my driving position, the bottom few inches of windshield on each side only offers a view of the car's hood. So, if I can't get the wiper to sweep that far, it won't be limiting my view of the road.
    • Adjustable wiper arm:
      • I need the wiper to reach higher. The stock wiper arm and 18" blade leaves too much untouched glass in the upper left corner of the windshield. It doesn't obscure my view enough to be dangerous, but it is annoying. I could simply go with a longer blade (20-22"), but that might extend too far down. So, I'm looking at adjustable length wiper arms that would allow me to extend the coverage at the tip of the wiper without needing to have too much wiper blade at the bottom.
      • The adjustable arms also allow for adjusting the angle of wiper blade to the rest of the arm. That would be handy for fine tuning the fit.
      • Several of the adjustable arms I'm looking at come with a "wet kit." The would be a hose and squirt nozzle that attaches to the arm itself. This might be a nice supplement to the hood mounted squirts and get more water exactly where it is needed.
    • I'm trying really hard to ignore that fact that the "center" wiper arm is not actually centered, but is offset to one side a bit. To "fix" that issue is probably more work than I'm willing to put into this project. :bang:
    - Rex

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

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  3. #107
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    However... The project took a turn when I came across this today:

    AFI 33090 Premier Stainless Steel Pantographic Adjustable Marine Wiper Arm (12" to 17", Silver)


    It's just such a nice looking piece of kit that I couldn't resist trying to add it to my Miata. It calls for 80 degrees of sweep, so I'm going to hold off on further modifications to the wiper transmission until I receive the new wiper arm on Monday.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  5. #108
    Individual-1 ☚ ☻ ☛ Agent☣Orange's Avatar
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    Eighty degrees is a pretty limited arc plus added resistance. I like where you’re going with this though.


    "No bueno..." Mrs. Phatmiata

  6. #109
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not sure if I can make it work, but I'm going to give it a try anyway. We'll see what happens...
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  8. #110
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Well, the pantographic wiper arm was a no-go. I would need the pivot point to be much lower in order for the sweep to work with the Miata windshield. Also, the marine wiper blade I bought is designed for a much larger diameter pivot shaft. So, I'm back to the OEM wiper arm for now. I'm looking at adjustable length singl arms now, to fine tune the reach and sweep of my mono wiper.

    Since that project is on hold for a few days, I decided to work on a few other things. With Cars & Coffee at COTA coming this Saturday, I put the wiper and cowl back together and then worked on this:





    And this:




    It took me about 2 hours and half of a bottle of Rapid-Tac to get the stripes done to my liking. I feel like these turned out better than the old offset double stripes I put on a few years ago.

    The "EUNOS" lettering is 1/8" thick matte black acrylic that was laser cut in "911 Porsha" font. I had to apply the 3M tape to the back myself, but these things are NOT going to fall off! They cost me about $35 from Woodland Manufacturing. They were a great bunch of folks to work with and the price was pretty reasonable for custom work, imo. If anyone else wants a set, PM me and I'll give you their contact info and my order number so they can duplicate it for you. (they can do just about any color you want.)

    Now I need to decide what I'm going to do with the 2 badge locations on either side of the license plate. I'm thinking about "Roadster" on one side and "GT" on the other.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  10. #111
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    A couple of small things today: I got tired if the worn finish on my wiper, so I shot it with some black paint. I also replaced the 18' blade with a new 22" blade.



    I'm still planning on getting a new wiper arm and working on increasing the sweep. Just waiting until after Cars & Coffee on Saturday. I want an arm without the right hand offset of the OEM arm. I'm also thinking about adding a wiper arm mounted washer jet.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  12. #112
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Been pretty busy for a while. Work, life, etc... keeping me away from the Miata. I finally got he parts I need to finish the AC work. (Except a new belt, which I'm waiting for right now. The shop said it should be in with the hour.) So, by the end of the day, I'll have the AC all buttoned up and I'll drop it at my mechanic's shop, so they can refill the system tomorrow.

    In the mean time, I ordered a wheel coating kit from Superwrap.com, which just arrived today. Superwrap is similar to Plastidip, but is a spray-on vinyl rather than rubber. It is glossy, right out of the can. I currently have Plastidip on my mirrors, but I've never really been happy with the look. It just looks like... Plastidip. I'm hoping that the Superwrap will look more smooth and glossy, similar to powder coating.



    The kit I ordered is for 18"-19" wheels. It comes with a bottle of prep spray, 3 cans of Arctic White for a base coat, 3 cans of Maranello Red and a can of clear top coat. I only need 2 cans of white and 2 of red, but I wanted the extra cans so that I can paint my mirrors to match the wheels. I'll start working on the mirrors and wheels next week.

    This whole thing stems from my desire to have red wheels. When Konig came out with the Helix in red, I loved them! But I dragged my feet and, before I knew it, they were out of production and you couldn't find them anymore. So, I settled on my silver Advanti Storms, but I kept wishing they were red. I looked into having them powder coated, but the cost to have all 4 wheels done was as much as the wheel cost in the first place! Then I found some red wheels I liked on eBay, but they were considerably heavier, came from a no-name vendor AND I would have lost a bunch of money switching my tires over reselling my brand new Advanti Storms. By chance, I came across Superwrap.com, and figured it was worth a try. If I don't like the result, I can peel it off and try something else, and I'm only out $80 for the attempt.


    Other modifications in the near future (parts are ordered!) are a new spoiler, hood vents and new tail lights.

    The spoiler is going to be the SARD style adjustable spoiler made for the BRZ/FR-S. I saw this wing adapted to a ND and loved the look! After taking some measurements, I decided doing the same for an NB shouldn't be too hard. After I get it mounted, I plan to have it painted white to match my car.



    The hood vents are Focus RS vents, painted matte black. I'll figure out exactly where on the hood they will be mounted after I get them in hand.



    Finally, the tail lights will be clear tails that I will modify a bit.



    I'm still undecided what exactly I'll be doing to them.

    What I know I will do is:
    • Fill them with LED bulbs
    • Reverse the location of the brake and signal lights (signals on the outside, brakes in the middle)

    On the maybe list:
    • Tint - either red or smoke
    • Bake them open and ad LED rings
    • Add sequential LED rings to the turn signals
    • Completely gut them and design my own tail lights from scratch


    So, that ought to keep me busy for a while! After all that, I still need to get the body kit (and the new wing) to paint so that it all matches.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  14. #113
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Had some parts arrive much faster than I expect! All the way from China in less than a week!

    Hood vents:



    I just have to figure put exactly where I want to mount them. Then take a deep breath and cut two big holes in my hood!

    And my SARD wing:





    This one is going to take quite a bit of modding. The mounts are angled for the BRZ trunk, which angles down at the sides. The Miata trunk is flat. So, I'll have to either modify the existing mounts or fabricate new ones.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  16. #114
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! lucmor444's Avatar
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    That SARD wing looks the business.

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  18. #115
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucmor444 View Post
    That SARD wing looks the business.
    Yeah, I'm really excited about it! I thinks it's going to look awesome once I either modify the existing brackets or make new ones.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

  19. #116
    MODIFY EVERYTHING MiataQuest's Avatar
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    Do you have plans to fill-up the wheel wells with wider wheels & tires along with some offsetting? I love everything else.

  20. #117
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    I'm going to be installing some height-adjustable coilovers soon. I wan t to get that done before I change anything else with the wheels. I'm pretty satisfied with the width/offset of my current wheels. After the coilovers lower the car a bit, I can fine tune with different spacers, if I decide I need to.

    I think 17" wheels would look really good with this widebody kit, but I don't want to add that much unsprung weight.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  22. #118
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    Alrighty! Been a while since any updates, so... My foot has healed up enough that I can get back out in the garage and do some work (play) on the car.

    This week I worked on the spoiler, but it turned out to be a flop. I was going to machine some new mounting blocks out of aluminum stock using my drill press and some end mills, buuuuut it turns out that all the guys who said you really can't get good results using a drill press as a mill were right. So I ordered some pre-made spoiler supports that will bolt to the trunk lid, rather than clamp on the edge of the trunk. As soon as those arrive, setting up the spoiler should go quickly.

    The next projects are:
    - Hood vents: I already have the vents. I just need to (work up the nerve to) cut the holes in the hood and mount them. I might get that project done tomorrow.

    - LED fog lights: I just read a really complete test that was done by "crashnburn80" on TacomaWorld. He tested multiple SAE J583 fog lights and posted his findings. SAE J583 is the standard that tells you the lights are approved for use on the road in conjunction with low beams. That means they shoot a low, wide "fog" beam that will not blind oncoming traffic. Anything marketed is a "driving" beam is usually intend to be used as a high beam and should not be used when around other traffic. I decided to get the OffRoadTown lights from Amazon for about $120.

    - LED rebuild of the tail lights: I ordered a new set of tail lights from the UK, but they shipped me the wrong lights (after a 2 month wait!). Then they screwed me on return shipping, so I lost $80 on the deal. Anyway, lesson learned. So, rather than install new, aftermarket tail lights, I'm going to do a complete custom rebuild of the OEM lights. I just placed a $90 order from Superbrightleds. 120mm COB rings, LED turn and reverse bulbs, and some 17 LED tail lights that I'm going to try to integrate into the lights, inside the LED rings. I also ordered some bulb bases with pig tails attached, so I don't have to butcher the OEM wiring harness. After the LEDs are installed, I plan to tint the entire tail lights, either red or smoke, to give them a seamless, single-piece look. The new LEDs should be more than bright enough to compensate for the tint.

    So, that's what's in store over the next few weeks. I'll post pics as I work on each project.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  24. #119
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    I've been fiddling around with the LED fog lights for a few hours. Think I have a mounting solution figured out. Since I no longer have a stick bumper, I really don't have fog light mounting holes. So I'm making some brackets to affix the lights to the subframe and, hopefully, locate them centrally in lower the openings in the front bumper. I'm trying not to overcomplicate it. (I'm quite talented at overcomplicating things!) I'll post pics when I'm done.

    Now, for the other end of the car...

    I got a box o' happiness in the mail from Superbrightleds.com.



    2ea 120mm COB rings in red
    2ea 4", 17 LED red running/brake lights
    2ea straight and 90 degree plugs for the brake lights
    2ea 7440 cool white LED reverse bulbs
    2ea 7440 red LED turn signal bulbs

    I already swapped out the reverse and turn signal bulbs, and they're a great improvement. I'm really looking forward to getting the last few things I need to get started on my complete tail light rebuild. Being the patient guy that I am, I immediately installed the LED bulbs to see the difference.

    Here are the standard reverse bulb on the right and the LED reverse on the right:


    Huge difference in color and brightness! I really like these! The turn signal bulbs are harder to show in a picture. First, I'm changing from yellow to red, so comparing is hard. Second, red LEDs tend to look pink and washed out in pictures, which they are not when seen in person. Third, since these are the turn signals, it's difficult to catch them "on" with a still picture. Anyway, here's what I was able to capture:

    This is a pic of both bulbs "on". Yellow incandescent on the left, red LED on the right.


    This next two shots are interesting. LEDs turn on and off much quicker than incandescent bulbs. I don't mean that I have hyperflash with the LEDs; I already fixed that issue with an electronic flasher relay. I mean the time they take to go from full off to full on, and vice versa, is much shorter. In comparison, incandescent bulbs kind of fade on and fade off slowly. The cleaner cutoff of the LEDs makes for a much more noticeable, attention grabbing flash.

    Here, you can see that the LED bulb is already on, while the incandescent is still warming up:


    And here the LED is already off while the incandescent is fading off:


    It's quite noticeable in person, but I thought the pics that showed it were kind of cool. That's all academic anyway, because I wont be using the stock locations a turn signals anyway. My plan is to move the turn signals to the far outside of the lights, which is currently the running/brake lights. Then I'm going to mount the 120mm rings in the round reflectors as running lights and the 4" lights behind the clear lenses as brake lights, something like this:


    I'm hoping the round lights will fit inside the housings pretty easily, but I have a strong feeling that I'll have to do some cutting to reduce their OD to make them fit. Oh well, figuring out how to make reality match your vision is half the fun of doing custom work!

    Also, I debating on whether I want to set up the lights as:
    1. Rings only as running lights, with the centers illuminating on bright for brakes.
    2. Rings on, and centers on dim for running lights, then the centers switch to bright for brakes.

    The only thing holding me up right now is waiting for a second one of these to arrive:

    It's a wedge base bulb adapter. This way, I can do all the conversion work to my lights without having to cut into the original wiring harness on the car. Just wire up the adapters and plug into the original sockets. Unfortunately, only half of my order got shipped, so I won't get the other adapter until after Christmas.

    So tomorrow, I'll do the hood vents or the LED fog lights (or both) since I'm not waiting for parts to arrive for either of those projects.
    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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  26. #120
    2,000 rpm - light wheelspin, no bog here! Warhammer's Avatar
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    The dash and carpet was a week long project:

    I started with installing a single din stereo and moving the AC controls up in the center stack.


    Then the demolition began:













    - Rex

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

    My build thread

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