CategoryProjects

NOCO NLP30: The Budget, Lightweight Lithium-ion Racecar Battery

NOCO NLP9 lithium-ion battery next to the factory spec lead-acid miata battery.

The old adage goes something like this: You can build your car fast, cheap, and reliable. Now, pick two. This principle seems to hold true with racecars and most things in life. But occasionally, a product comes along that seems to laugh in the face of this principle. I actually got excited when I found an affordable lithium-ion battery for the racecar.

Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide Part 7 – Roll Cage Considerations

Lincoln Electric Power MIG 180c

The roll cage is a pivotal moment in the exo car build, and I am taking a super small step back to ensure the cage is executed properly. After all, it has been 10 years since I fabricated, installed, and welded a roll cage. Although I am still confident in my abilities, there are a few decisions and other considerations that need to be planned before the first tube is cut.

NA Miata MX-5 Front Wheel Bearing / Hub Assembly Replacement

The new front hub assembly was installed on the NA Miata MX-5.

In the previous Failure Points segment, I discussed a recent front wheel bearing failure on the Super Touring 6 Miata. This failure was abrupt, and there was no indication of issues before the session. And as promised, here are the steps to replace the front wheel bearings on the Miata. A surprisingly simple process.

Failure Points: NA Miata Front Wheel Bearing

Crushed ball bearings from the NA Miata racecar wheel bearing.

The harsh environment of the racetrack pushes a car right to its limit and beyond. As such, racecar failures are bound to happen in many different ways. Failure Points is a new series that dissects these moments and what to do when things go wrong. This time it is the front wheel bearing of the Super Touring 6 NA Miata.

Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide Part 6 – Addressing the Surface Rust

Surface rust present on the firewall of the NA Mazda Miata exo car.

The 1991 Mazda Miata from which I am building the exo car has led a rough life. This was especially evident when I finished the chassis cleaning in part 5; quite a bit of surface rust was exposed. Usually, I would wait to address the rust during the fabrication process while fitting the roll cage. But I am building this car in a unique environment exposed to the elements. As a result, I addressed...

Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide Part 5 – Chassis Cleaning

Pressure washed car chassis suspended in the air by tow straps for the exo car build. Lots of dirt and particulate on the floor.

Didn’t I mention this may get a little confusing? In part 4, I cleaned up the chassis, removing any remnants attached to the car, cleaning up the cuts, and grinding a few miscellaneous brackets off. Now, I am physically cleaning the chassis to prepare for the final prep and welding. Taking the quick and easy route to get it done.

Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide: Part 3 – Separation Anxiety

The subframe and drivetrain removed as a single piece from the 1991 NA Mazda Miata.

I decided to go ahead and remove the subframe from the chassis. This is a pretty straight forward process in the Miata and will give me easier access to everything when I finish the chassis prep and install the roll cage. However, due to my limited work area, I did have to get a little creative.

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

Pile of parts removed from the NA Miata during the Exo Car 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!’

Exo Car “Ghettocet” Build Guide: Introduction

Example of a well build exo car aka ghettocet

I love junkyard builds and I have always subscribed to the do more with less methodology. So building an exo car is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. It’s also an excuse for me to brush up on some old skills and hone some new ones.

Running a Rear View Camera in the Racecar

Streamlined crop of the rearview camera monitor for the feature image.

One of the things I have enjoyed about my foray into Super Touring racing with NASA is the open rule book. Building a car to a power to weight instead of the strict rules that go along with Spec racing. This has opened up many engineering possibilities and things I would like to try. One of those is replacing the rearview mirror with a rearview camera.

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