Category Archives: The Build


After a week of the garage being empty, the car is back! They had it for a week down at Fortes Parts Connection, dealing with the oil leak. Late yesterday I got a call from Mike that the car was back together and everything seemed okay on it, so I headed down after dinner to drive the car home before the rain this weekend.

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An Empty Garage

For the first time in three years, I have an empty garage. Its been a few weeks since I posted anything on here because its been a few weeks since I worked on the car. Last week I spent a good part of Sunday cleaning the garage, and briefly had the car moved out during that time, but there is very little I want to do on the car at this point before the oil leak is fixed.

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Installing the Center Console

The unusually nice weather this spring has continued with several more days in the 70’s. Yesterday after work, I took a few hours to enjoy the weather and work on the car with the garage open. After all the work I did over the weekend, I was in a good spot to just get a bunch of various bits re-assembled in the car. I was hoping I’d be able to drive it to work this week. After a couple hours, I had gotten the interior re-installed in the car. There’s not a lot to discuss about it, since it was just a matter of putting parts I’ve already fabricated and described in previous posts into the car, but I wanted to get an update on here with photos of it.

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More Interior Work

It was an unusually gorgeous day in New England today. While a beautiful sunny spring day can’t be beat, today was really more of a summer day. 80 degrees, bright sun. It was a great day to open the garage up and work on the car. (And, in case anyone thinks I missed out on getting outside today, I also had a big basket of fried seafood for lunch, out in the sun on a picnic table!)

I continued doing more of the interior work, now that the parts I ordered last weekend from McMaster showed up.

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Interior Work

As I sat down to write a post for this site today, which I haven’t done in a few weeks, I realized that it’s now been over three years that I’ve been working on this car. Thinking back over the other events in my life that have happened during that time, its just drives home how long of a period of time that really is. In a few months I’m going to be driving the car for the first time down to my fourth Open House at Factory Five.

And, of course, its still not done. At least its legal and drivable now. The last few weeks have been more about driving the car than about working on the car. With the unusually nice streak of weather in mid-March, I decided to permanently take the Miata out of the garage for the season, and get the Cobra set up to be able to drive. After getting it moved, and off the wheel dollies, I looked it over and took it for a couple drives. I’m up to about 90 miles on it now!

The weather has shifted back to more seasonable coolness, and the rain seems to be never-ending, so I decided to take advantage of a period of a couple weeks of both lots of predicted rain and other plans and take the interior of the car back apart to take care of some loose ends.

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The Never-ending Center Console

It was really a spectacular weekend, in the weather department, so finding some time to work on the car wasn’t all that easy, but I did manage to spend a few more hours working on the center console. Both yesterday and today I also debated moving the car back to the “active” side of the garage so I could take it for a drive, but its still really early in March and I know I’d just be jinxing myself if I moved the car and could no longer park the Miata in the garage. We’d probably get three feet of snow.

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Center Console – Day 3

Another lucky miss in the weather department this week meant I could get the Miata back out of the garage again yesterday. I took advantage of that today to spend another part day working on the center console. The devil is in the details with this project, and its definitely a bigger job than I was expecting it to be.

I picked up some parts and got some work done on the switch panel. I expect to get a bit more work done tomorrow, as well.

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More Center Console Work

This turned out to be another good weekend to work on the car. We went another week without any snow, so I was able to leave the Miata out of the garage and didn’t have to put everything away that I’d been using last weekend with the work on the emergency brake.

I wanted to continue the work on the center console, hopefully actually getting something fabricated this weekend. This is definitely a task that can easily chew up massive amounts of time in planning. Its easy enough to cut more parts, so I figured it was best to just start cutting.

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Reworking the Emergency Brake

Today was definitely a car day — I started off going up to Pat McMahon’s shop where we had a mid-winter “Cobra” get-together (although it was too cold for anyone to actually drive their car there). Coffee, donuts, good conversation and free parts. You can’t go wrong with that. I actually came back with a few items I will find useful — a bus bar I can use for a better set of grounds behind the dash, some battery cable boots (which I needed, as I had none on my battery or alternator lines), and best yet another set of the decals I had bought to use as icons for my dash and console switches. I needed an extra set, but balked at paying another $20 for the one extra sticker I needed.

After returning home, I got to work on the car — I was planning on playing with some emergency brake arrangements, and starting to build the center console.

Continue reading Reworking the Emergency Brake