Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide: Part 4 – Chassis Cleanup


The “ghettocet” project keeps growing. That’s not a bad thing but I have quickly realized that a project of this scale is going to take a bit more prep and cleanup than usual before I move on to the roll cage.

Chassis Cleanup

The chassis cleanup is what I consider the ‘not fun’ portion of the exo car build. It is also the portion that requires the most effort. At least to get to the finished product I am envisioning. As such, where the previous installments have encompassed a bit more than 3 hours of work. The following is 6 hours and about halfway complete. Although I did feel it appropriate to break the chassis cleanup into 2 parts as I plan on something a little unique for the next installment.

With the chassis now independent of the drivetrain, (Part 3) I have easy access to anything remaining on the car. I started by removing the windshield and a few miscellaneous items. This included a few random heatshields, the fuel tank and lines, master and slave cylinders, etc… Then I began removing the sound deadening in the trunk floor and around the rear strut mounts. Finally, I cleaned up the cuts around the rear end, rear quarters, and the front rails. They still aren’t prepped fully for finishing and welding, but they are cut to the final shapes.

Cleanup of the side quarters on the NA Miata Exo Car
In Part 2 I left quit a bit of material here when removing the rear quarter. Now it is shaped and ready for final prep before the roll cage install.
Cleanup of the rear wheel well on the NA Miata MX-5 Exo Car.
The rear wheel well of the NA Miata after the first pass. I am keeping the well intact to put some much-needed rear weight on the chassis. Mainly in the form of a fire suppression bottle for racing.
The front frame well cuts are cleaned up and almost ready for the reinforcement plates.
I squared the cuts on the front rails to make way for a reinforcement plate that will triangulate the area for added reinforcement.

Potential Issue

Throughout this process I discovered a couple areas of rust on the chassis. None of them scare me but they do need to be addressed. They look surface in nature, and I will be dealing with them after I finish the chassis cleaning.

Rust on the firewall of the NA Miata Exo Car.
A pretty significant patch of surface rust on the firewall.

Results and Next Steps

It is understandably hard to get weight measurements at the moment, but I did bag everything that came off the car. These are items such as heat shields, random bolts and clips, and sound deadening that won’t be going back on the car. The result so far is an additional 24 lbs weight loss. Taking the current weight from 1397 lbs. to 1373 lbs.

For next steps, this was the chassis cleanup, next up will be the literal chassis cleaning before the final chassis prep. Yeah that won’t get confusing.

By Chris Simmons

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