Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide: Part 1 – Disassembly


In part 1 of the exo car build guide, I disassemble anything that bolts to the Miata. This would be the interior, dash, seats, doors, soft top, and trunk along with anything else that removes semi easily. And where last time I said, ‘this is going to be a lot of fun.’ This time I realized, ‘this is going to be a lot of work!’

Starting Measurements

First, I wanted to document the starting weight of the car during the exo car conversion. As mentioned in the introduction, the 1991 Mazda Miata chassis was already down on weight. The previous owner hacked the front end off before the strut towers due to a front-end collision. He was going to weld a new front but lost interest. As a result, this car started an estimated 100-150lbs down already.

I used my new Speedway Motors digital scales to capture the starting weight. An already exceptionally light 1966 lbs. Another fun little exercise is to track the power-to-weight during the build. Assuming the factory engine produces 116hp, the car started at 16.9 lbs per horsepower.

Starting weight of the 1991 Mazda Miata documented on a set of Speedway Motors digital scales.
Starting weight of 1966 lbs. Those cross weights aren’t too bad either.


This is the easy part of the project. Removing anything that is bolted down. No need to be overly gentle as most of these items won’t be reused. To document this process, I shot a time lapse over 3 hours. The things I did take care to remove were the engine harness, gauge cluster, and the doors. I plan to use the doors as replacements for the Super Touring 6 racecar. (projects / competition)

The end result was a mountain of stuff. Seats, doors, carpet, top, dash, heater cores and blowers, etc… Most of which are unnecessary for an exo car.

Pile of parts removed from the NA Miata.
This is an impressive pile of parts for 3 hours of work. It helped that I wasn’t too concerned with being careful.

Part 1 Results

There are still quite a few items that need to be unbolted from the car. I plan to bring the car to a bare chassis for extensive cleaning and modification. With that said, the weight after part 1 is 1579. Or 13.6 lbs per horsepower. Not too bad.

Part 1 ending weight of the 1991 Mazda Miata Exo Car Build Guide documented on a set of Speedway Motors digital scales.
Part 1 finishing weight of 1579 lbs. Once again look at that cross weight.
Exo Car Build Guide Part 1 before picture of the interior of the 1991 Mazda Miata MX5
Before of the 1991 Mazda Miata interior.
Image of the 1991 Mazda Miata Exo Car Build Guide Part 1 aftermath.
The aftermath of part 1. And yes, this car is exceptionally dirty.


In part 2 I will drain the fuel tank and get to cutting.

By Chris Simmons

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