Alright, so here goes:
Saturday morning I loaded up my truck with a stack of car parts, tools, and supplies (like Doritos) and pointed it towards Auburn, Alabama (where the Salvagewon guys are) to go finish up this car. I arrived at Alan's house at 10am and got to see the car for the first time in 5 months. A ton of the heavy lifting had already been done over the past few weeks/months - the unibody was cut, cage installed, tub painted, and everything removed (engine, trans, wiring harness, brake and clutch masters, radiator, steering column, lighting, etc). But all of that stuff needed to go back in. Then there were things to be added like fabbing an exhaust, new coilovers, steering wheel/ quick release, seats, etc).
Here's a pic of our starting point - motor out, suspension swapped, sorting wire harness:
We got to work almost immediately. The first priority was to untangle and sort the wiring harness. Robert (Emoximuu on this forum, the other half of SalvageWon) took the lead on that. His knowledge of the Miata electrical systems is impressive. All of this was complicated by the fact that the previous owner of this car had added a lot of junk to the OEM harness (under car lighting, stereo equipment, alarm system). Here is a pic showing just some of what he removed:
Roger (fwman1 on this forum) wired up the taillights and did a very nice job. And they work! Thanks again for your help.
Day one progress included adding the engine/ trans/ driveshaft back, getting the harness 75% routed, installing the steering column, building the exhaust, swapping in the new coilovers, installing the steering wheel, wiring taillights, and partially installing the nose. We wrapped up around 11pm with using a torch to "blue" the nose piece.
Robert fabbing the exhaust Saturday night. No jig; he did it all custom and did a phenomenal job. There's not really a spot for a muffler in the back of the Eliminator so the muffler and resonator are tucked underneath the car. The clearances are really tight to the subframe, diff, and driveshaft but the fit is perfect.
End of day 1:
Day two included finishing up the wiring harness, installing dash panels, installing/ bleeding clutch and brake hydraulics, 5 point harnesses, finishing pads on seats and fitting seats to car, finishing nose piece, installing radiator, wiring headlights, gauge cluster, and a lot of little things that I'm forgetting right now. Oh yeah, and turning the key! Pretty much fired up on the first try.
Getting close to the end of day 2:
And just as we finished up the clouds parted and the rain cleared. A sign? I think so. So rather than leave the car and going back to pick it up later I was able to load it up in the trailer about 8pm and head back to Atlanta. Triumph! On the way home:
HUGE thanks to Alan and Robert for taking on this project and delivering a car that has far exceeded both my original goals and highest expectations. Yes, it took a little longer than we all expected. It was totally worth the wait. I am beyond delighted with the car .