Exocet Part 10 – Chassis Installation

Posted: March 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Mating the Exocet to the Miataskate: I was under the weather for about a week with some nasty cold / flu thing that I blame on getting it from work (4 very stressful weeks of constant project deadlines). Please note before you do this to make sure the stick lever is removed on your Miataskate or install the chassis without the tranny tunnel bulkhead (what I did). This is absolutely the best part of the entire process, even better than removal of the old Miata tub. I mean look at it! There is nothing so satisfying and easy than laying the Exocet on a level Miataskate. The race chassis is so light (wonder how little the base or sport weighs) it only needed myself and another guy lift it and walk it over. I had a couple extra helpers but one is a 100 lb girl and the other was holding a baby in his arms. So easy – it’s done… Well, walk away and have that preferred beverage! After 1 or 2 beverages I realized the car can’t be driven yet. Damn – head back out into the garage and then get awestruck again as the footprint is so small now compared to that humongous land barge called a Miata. I’m now worried this might get sucked up into the exhaust of some of the American Iron Mustangs that I’ll be on track with.

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Miataskate and Exocet are now one!

Bolting it Down: This step seems easy enough but when you start with the chassis I did you might run into issues. Yep the upper front subframe bolts did not line up (looks like they bowed out from that hit with the tree). It is not a huge margin but it’s off by 1/2″ but the good thing is all other bolts lined up perfectly. This should be a caution to those who buy wrecked chassis to possibly expect this step.

Hmmm – the brain gets thinking and after two “beverages” I say let’s try a 1″ ratchet strap – doh! So a trip to Home Depot (tool / hardware stores) to get a 1 ton come along (will keep it in the trailer as maybe needed at some point as I’ve seen a Miata rear end get pulled back out with one, a standard car scissor jack and a an F350 – that’s a story for another time). Also got a nice link of chain for the other side. Hook it up around the uprights and pull it together (make sure to put a towel over the rope section for any whip control if the line breaks. It took 6 clicks and BAM! – it lined up perfectly. Leave the come along on and do the install sequence of all bolts and torque them down so it does not try to flex back.

Test Fitting the Transmission Tunnel Bulkhead: This is the next step as you need room to drill out the holes for screws or rivets (pedals will get in the way). You would normally do this in the previous step but I had the engine removed so will need to install the engine and want this super awesome easy access to the upper tranny bolts. How easy of access will this be! Also note you will need to trim the shifter mounting hole as mine almost lines up if the car is put into 3rd gear (bu need to cut out about a 2″ diameter hole). Will trim this out and install a new rubber shift boot then put on a nomex cover for added fire protection.

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Jeez – want ease of access?

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Another pic with bulkhead off.

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Need to trim out entire section for the shifter. Will also have to add brake bias valve.

Reinstall the Engine: I’ve got to put in the engine now that I have a chassis that is squared away. Did not want to try to install it earlier as was worried about the subframe having issues mating it to the transmission. The chassis gives me the stability I need. Rent from local auto parts store and plug away.

Start Reinstallating all that Crap you Took Off: This is the part that you need to take your time and not half-ass anything.

  • Clutch Pedal & Cylinder: I went with a whole new clutch kit – SS line, new slave cylinder and new clutch master cylinder. I’m keeping the extras as known good spares and boxing them up for just in case.
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New clutch master cylinder.

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From above.

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From the side.

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