I haven’t done much work on the car since I added the storage bag last week. There’s some stuff I need to do — Mike Forte tells me he thinks the transmission leak wasn’t fixed by what I did, although I haven’t pulled anything to look for more leaks. I think I have a header leak, and my passenger valve cover is leaking oil still. That said, the car is driving just fine. I’ve got almost 400 miles on it now.
A couple times, while out driving, I’ve gotten “the question”: Is that a kit? In none of those cases was the question asked with any sort of negative connotation, and certainly I didn’t take anything negative from it (although, from reading some of the forums online, a lot of people do…). It does beg the question, though, of what is a Factory Five car, and what is the right answer to that question.
Continue reading On Research and Development
Having too many vacation days at work is never a bad thing, especially when you have a deadline to use a good number of them by. I’m in that position right now, and as a result I’m pretty much taking every Friday off for the next six weeks. While I have been using that time for lots of things, I spent a few hours yesterday working on the car.
A few days ago a neighbor stopped by with his hot rod, and when I was looking over his car, I noticed he had a storage bag mounted on the rear of his cockpit in the car. I talked to him about it, and how he’d done it, and decided it would be handy on my car as well.
Continue reading Console Bag and Climate Control
After the short drive last Friday, we took the car for a good long drive last Sunday. It was a beautiful day, and I decided it was time to actually take it for a real cruise — not a long drive to get a leak fixed, and not a loop around the area to test it out. We hoped in the car and drove a loop over a hundred miles through the New England countryside out to the coast, where we stopped and got lobster rolls. It was a fantastic drive, and a hint of many things to come.
As with all the other longer drives, I jacked the car up and gave it a once over during the week. The oil leak is definitely fixed on the oil pan, but there was a bit of a leak still on one of the valve covers. I tightened the bolts again on it, and hopefully that’ll stop that leak. It wasn’t messy like the oil pan leak, it just dripped a bit onto the passenger header, and made a lot of smoke yesterday when I fired the car up. I also noticed a drop or two of oil on the garage floor again, and figured out it was transmission fluid dropping from the transmission mount.
Continue reading Transmission Leak
Its been a bit lousy on the weather front for the last week, but today ended up being a gorgeous mid-70’s spring day, and it was time to see how the work I did last weekend on the “leak” worked. I didn’t do a particularly long drive, only about 25 miles, but it was a great day to take the car out for a spin.
The short-short of it: the leak appears to be fixed. The raised ride height also really helped with the tire rubbing — the poorly paved New Hampshire roads weren’t causing the car to scrub tire going over every bump.
Continue reading A Spring Day
Although Mothers Day was a really busy day, I found some time in the morning to get some work done on the car. I spent a couple hours jacking the car up, and going over the engine to determine what the problem might be, and if there was a problem. While I was at it, I gave the whole car a quick once over and looked at the rear ride height.
Continue reading Oil Leaks
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.
Continue reading Homecoming
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.
Continue reading An Empty Garage
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.
Continue reading Installing the Center Console
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.
Continue reading More 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.
Continue reading Interior Work