Exocet Part 14: Tunnel Mod for Tall & Big Guys & Radiator Install

Posted: May 11, 2014 in Racing

I apologize in advance in keeping this build log up. We are in the process of a cross country move and getting a house ready to sell is a major time commitment. So sob story behind me back to the Build Log. As most Miata racers find out fitting a proper race seat 16″ or bigger in a Miata can be a task. Often the transmission tunnel kinks over at an angle causing the seat to have to be mounted at an angle pointing away from the steering wheel. Often this leads to difficulty in getting in / out of the car as the bolsters are metal. In addition the taller you are the farther back you have to be so that the seat gets pushed further outboard (towards the cage) making your shoulders much closer to cage making you more uncomfortable. For Miatas it’s an easy fix with a premade tunnel notch out panel you can then have the tunnel cut and have this welded in allowing the seat to move 2″ further inboard. This is good in several ways: much more comfortable as you have more room for shoulders; easier fit a seat; allows more room for “big guys” or “tall guys” or “big, tall guys”; it pushes the driver more inboard to give better center of gravity; and it centers the seat on the steering wheel. Some pics (please note that is not me but a much shorter and thinner professional male model named Derek Zoolander).

As you can tell above, the Exocet being very closely based on the Miata has this same issue with 16″ or wider raceseats. I’m also running a 16″ Kirkey 71 Series Halo seat (I can fit a 15″ with room to spare but I wanted a wider seat for Enduros in case the other driver had wider hips) and after the installation, the seat would have been at the Miata angle and the left side shoulder and head bolsters would actually be outside the cage.  To fix this issue I had a custom notch out panel made for the seat allowing easier fitment and get me further inside the car. And damn the Kirkey 71 Series is a badass seat (go to OGRacing to check it out).

Also the radiator needs a support built. There is also a difference in the 90-93 rad, 94-97 rad and the ’99+ rads. Flyin’ Miata will soon have a radiator support kit for earlier NA6 / NA8 radiators but not yet for 99 cars. So I had a custom rad mount created.

The next stage is wiring in the Megasquirt MS3 Pro and getting it tuned. I also am still waiting on bodywork so not sure fitment with radiator support etc. Also need bodywork and fenders to pass race inspection. This car will be coming to NASA NorthEast region sometime in 2014. Will also get a power upgrade with a 1.8 liter motor with a new supercharger package coming for the Miata (later in 2014).

  1. linuxd00d says:

    Dang, that’s not just a radiator mount, it’s a whole new front-end!
    Now that your fabricator has built one, could you or the fabricator sell more of them? Would the price be comparable to the FM unit, or a lot higher?

  2. FM’s unit is a bolt on style which will be cheaper and easier to install. The one that I had made is a custom fab work so not something that they can sell. As i don’t have any body panels yet I can’t confirm fit with them as well.

  3. You’ve got 7″ from the bottom of the (original) frame before you hit bodywork, sir. That particular bit of bodywork can be cut out if you go further with your radiator mount. It’s on the underside of the car and would be quite hard to spot.

  4. Pierre says:

    Hi, I really hope you read this. I’m 6’4″, not exactly small, I’ve been trying to hunt down measurements of an exocet, for “broom test” reasons obviously at the track.

    I’d really appreciate if you could post or email me the following:
    -Floor to top or rollbar
    -floor width of the cockpit
    -overall length of cockpit on the floor or to the pedals?

    Thank alot, I’be been looking at your build, pretty awesome.


    • Hi Pierre,
      I can do the measurements in early August as I’m over 1k miles away from it for the next 2 weeks. I’m 6’4″ as well and even without measurements with the seat installed and helmet on it passes the broomstick test easily (especially with mine as I have the race version with the cage acting as a pillars.

      • Pierre says:

        Of course it can wait, very happy to hear you are as tall as I am, gives me some hope over that kind of project. I had 2 miatas in the past and i’ve been “lucky” for the broomstick or with a hardtop(tight fit), I now want to move to a dedicated/trailer Solo 1 and Solo2 car, exocet just makes sense from what I have seen so far.


    • Not even close at least for me – they are close to having several test cars done soon (it’s not a JR unit). I’m just settling in from the big move and trying to get an area to start working on the car (been unpacking boxes / buying furniture / working on the house). These things just keep getting in the way!

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