Exocet Part 7 – Delivery & Updates

Posted: February 16, 2014 in Racing

Origin of the Miata:

As Mazda celebrated its 25th anniversary of the beloved MX5 Miata (the world’s best selling sports car and most raced production car in history), R&T magazine delved into the original launch including the mid 80’s design competition. Seems the US lead team wanted a FWD version (ugh!), a Japanese lead team wanted a mid engine RWD version (expensive!) but they finally settled on front engine rear wheel drive platform. It debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show alongside Honda’s NSX (opposite ends of the spectrum). It’s competition was the Fiero & MR2. The price range was $8k – $20k but ended up with a base price of $13,800 with modest expectations to sell only 20k per year. Sales were almost double that reaching almost 40k annually in the US for its first several years on the market (shutting up naysayers about a FR lightweight convertible). In fact the Miata is on track to sell 1,000,000 units globally in the next few years.

Raiders of the Lost Exocet: The chassis shipped last Wednesday from Exomotive in between the Icemageddons and was to arrive on Friday. I’m originally from Chicago and had a 25 minute drive to high school in the winters during ice and snow storms. No updates on it leaving Atlanta so I called Monday to find out that they can’t find it. So they had to find some location specialists to check the Atlanta and KC docks. A funny moment was when the person asked the dimensions of the item and that small things can get misplaced and take a while to fine I noted the overall dimensions of 14x6x5 and they went quiet quickly. That was a big mixup to lose something that large. But it did arrive and I was able to pick it up the following day (was lost on the KC dock). Dock worker was a great guy and loaded it – I did note he used the short forks but the new 3G crate didn’t buckle so it worked. As I loaded it in the new trailer I found out it came on caster wheels so bring blocks of wood to secure it or tie downs (of which I didn’t have any tie down mounts to hook to). Some creative thinking of jamming the caster wheels with the ratchets from the straps and using my spare tire to sit the front on and it was secure enough that it couldn’t slide easily. A couple straps front and rear that I mounted to frame under the trailer running the lines outside the trailer through the doors did the job.

Old Motor Removed / Acquired ’99 1.8 for Build: I removed the old tire motor and checked out the motor mounts. One side was broken but not an issue as I’m installing new Mazda competition motor mounts. A lot of guys put in solid mounts but there needs to be some give in a mount or it might cause other items to fail over time (as they were designed in conjunction with a mount that absorbs some shock). Also picked up the NB motor and Torsen LSD rear end. Turns out the LSD was just what the seller was on as when popped out the axles there’s a nice pin through the diff meaning it’s an open diff. Never trust – always verify when buying used parts.

Detailed Pictures of an Exocet: I got some higher quality pics of the Exocet chassis and what I found interesting. Lot’s of pictures in this gallery so enjoy.

  1. linuxd00d says:

    Thanks, these are possibly the best pix of a race chassis in existence. How do you like the build/soldering quality? And what made you decide to paint yourself vs powercoating? I’m on the fence on that decision for mine.

    • The build and welding quality are excellent. The decision to paint myself versus powdercoating is twofold. I can save quite a bit of money on paint by doing it myself which frees up room in the budget for other items. The second reason is that this is a racecar so the possibility of contact or damage is higher than on a street or normal track car and I want the paint to be easy to remove (for repairs) and easy to reapply at the track. Powdercoating is a flexible paint so it can hide a crack in a joint and is much harder to remove.

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