Build Threads Building a motor? Post the progress here.

Tetanus: A Miata Rat Rod Pickup Truck

 
Old 12-14-2018, 10:58 AM
  #1  
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
m2cupcar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 7,453
Total Cats: 350
Default Tetanus: A Miata Rat Rod Pickup Truck

Grassroots Motorsports holds an event every year called the 2000 Challenge. The event is a competition composed of an autocross, drag race and concours for which competitors earn points for an overall score that decides finishing position. The event is primarily governed by two groups of rules: safety and the $2000 build budget. For some (me) it's a very relaxed event, while others are racer-serious and put an astounding amount of hours into their build. Our team sets some modest goals each year and usually don't achieve them. It has definitely taught us to be more realistic about what we're setting out to do, and to seriously consider the hours spent against the value of the results.

Three years ago my miata-racer-buddy bought a 95 Miata with a salvage title for the price of the go-fast parts on it which he wanted for his NA. He started a part-out and arrived at a running/driving 95 Miata (with 99 engine swap) for $0. We were already considering a GRM Challenge build, looking for something other than a Miata since we'd built several before. But this 95 was the undeniably simple answer, so we started throwing out ideas of what we could do to make it as non-Miata as possible. Ultimately we arrived at rat rod pickup truck. I put together some drawings to start the process after some discussion - including a decision to use a wagon for the radiator surround.



Next came stripping the Miata of everything body wise that identified it as a Miata. We’d planning to reskin the doors with something else, but later decided to leave them as the one original body part and work within their design on the rest of the panels we created.




I built an ecu for it to run FreeEMS (open source engine management). It was the 42nd car world-wide to start/run on FreeEMS.


I stuck in the stock Miata ecu case to use the stock wiring and connector.


We decided to use a pony keg as a fuel tank in the spirit of rat-rodiness. In hindsight that wasn’t time well spent since it would only gain some concours points and took a huge amount of time- including the build of a gravity fed fuel surge tank. In the end the car was quite ugly and dangerous. Since there were still a lot of sharp edges it earned it the name Tetanus.



How relaxed is this build? We showed up for the 2016 challenge and the car had yet to drive under its own power.
Fortunately no issues and at just over 1600lbs it was quick and fun.



m2cupcar is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 11:14 AM
  #2  
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
m2cupcar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 7,453
Total Cats: 350
Default

Our goal for 2017 was to build a proper NHRA roll bar per the rules, finish the quarter panels and pickup bed. We found a place in Clearwater that sells a Miata rollbar kit with extended legs on the main hoop. This allows a “cut to fit” Miata roll bar for $250. We also picked up a set of used drag slicks to better our quarter mile and a 5 gallon baffled fuel cell for $20.






Our autocross performance improved while our drag times worsened from 2016. Our drag slicks were just to large and rubbed on the big end of the track as they grew.
m2cupcar is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 11:40 AM
  #3  
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
m2cupcar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 7,453
Total Cats: 350
Default

2017 autocross


m2cupcar is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 11:52 AM
  #4  
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
m2cupcar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 7,453
Total Cats: 350
Default

The drags were canceled for 2018 due to repaving, so we focused on the presentation for this event. We cleaned up the interior, gave it some paint and built a center console.


Also built a dash.


Picked up some super cheap eBay gauges and added custom faces.



Designed and built a configurable tailgate that works as a normal gate flat/up, spoiler or is removable.



Created a Tetanus logo. Carved a block cut of the logo that was then stamped as a pattern on the diy denim scrap door cards. Added a shifter boot made from camo scraps.




We created a ficticious sponsor "Aunt Patty’s Opossum Parts" for our concours presentation. Played that out on tshirts, decals, temporary tattoos and a custom gauge housing for the tacho.




Painted up some free honda steelies and “whitewalled” street tires from a Ford Ranger pickup for concours.




Performance enhancements for 2018 included some semi-solid bolt-through motor mounts, no-name 15x8 wheels, a bed cover from renovation scrap and some old Hoosier take-offs.




The current shirt art is the last thing I’ve created. It will serve as our team shirt for 2019.


We’re under $1300 spent at this point. Filing cabinets have proved to be the best source of sheet metal and conduit for structural metal. A clothes dryer provided some excellent wire and the push button for our starter. And yes- I’ve been a dumpster for this car. We’ve managed some sensational deals on FB marketplace, CL and offerup. A lot of times people didn't realize what they had. Like our torsen diff was advertised as an RX7 rear- but the photo was good enough to identify it. Our Rx7 turbo injectors were in a "junk box" that we landed through “cold calling” local Mazda shops. We soaked them, cleaned them with pressure/volts and they worked.

Boost is next for 2019. I have a crate of stock exhaust manifolds to use for the the build. We have an eBay “evo” turbo sitting on the shelf and a proper set of drag slicks and wheels. Tetanus is already running and tuned on Rx7 turbo II injectors so we'll just be expanding the tune for the added pressure.
m2cupcar is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 12:20 PM
  #5  
Supporting Vendor
iTrader: (9)
 
nigelt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Carmel Valley, CA
Posts: 1,225
Total Cats: 216
Default

What a fun build! When you said you planned to use the front from a wagon, I thought you meant like one of these:


Not one of these:



Any plans for a livery featuring sponsor decals?
__________________
FlowForce 380 |640| 960 Injectors // LS Coil PNP harnesses and complete kits // goflowforce.com

nigelt is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 12:37 PM
  #6  
mkturbo.com
iTrader: (24)
 
shuiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 14,416
Total Cats: 1,334
Default

Originally Posted by m2cupcar View Post
Boost is next for 2019. I have a crate of stock exhaust manifolds to use for the the build. We have an eBay “evo” turbo sitting on the shelf and a proper set of drag slicks and wheels. Tetanus is already running and tuned on Rx7 turbo II injectors so we'll just be expanding the tune for the added pressure.
Shoot me an email. I have some random parts that may be able to help you out.
shuiend is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 12:42 PM
  #7  
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (5)
 
m2cupcar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 7,453
Total Cats: 350
Default

Not at the moment. We need to construct the front quarter panels mostly to cover up the underlying structure and work with the rear quarters and bed. The turbo setup is a priority. The shirt art is a good plan to follow. The idea is go with a top mount intercooler with sufficient height over the cam cover and then force feed it with a scoop. At that point we'll likely do some paint. Though we're also considering a mod to the cowl area to disguise or remove the area between the windscreen base and engine bay. New for 2019 will be testing both autocross and drag. Surely we can get some of the miataturbo Tampa crew out to the drag strip- and maybe the autocross?

thx Lars- will email
m2cupcar is offline  
 
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
780racer
Build Threads
1
06-13-2014 11:07 PM
biglady112
Dynos and timesheets
15
11-20-2013 03:31 PM
ScottyP3821
Insert BS here
14
09-30-2013 12:57 PM
Sean
Insert BS here
7
03-18-2011 09:48 AM
wes65
Engine Performance
3
06-20-2009 06:17 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Tetanus: A Miata Rat Rod Pickup Truck


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.