72ITB

Where to BegIn? Need Advice

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Just put a 76 in the garage and need advice on where to begin to get the project started. Starting with a rough shell, no interior at all, motor starts and runs on starter fluid, shifter needs rebuild, rust is unknown, the rockers, shock towers and floors have some repairs but questionable at best. My goal is a mechanically sound fun car for track days, I am not interested in taking it back to stock. 

 

I am contemplating where to begin--

pull the engine and tranny and set them aside for now

strip the body down to see whats under the spay can paint job to see what's there

drop the front and rear sub frames to replace and rebuild

or clean it up, new brakes, get in running and try driving it

or D all of the above, in what order???

HELP!

time is not an issue within reason

 

thanks tim

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(edited)

It really depends on your level of expertise, budget, patience, and current and future intentions for the car. The path to a full-on competitive track car and a fun couple times a year HPDE car are very different.

 

You'll get opinions here ranging from get it going and restore it as you drive to doing a complete strip, dip, and full rebuild. No matter what the intention, safety is obviously first (brakes, steering, decent suspension, structural integrity, seat belts, seat mounting, etc.)

 

A good assessment of the car is where to start--probe for structural rust everywhere, check all the bushings and joints for wear, assess the bearings, check the CV boots for tears, etc. Assume everything is broken until you are convinced it is not.

 

Over the course of many years I went from a great-handling street car to a dual-purpose street/track car to a full-on track car. I've gone through  at least 3 iterations of suspensions and am beginning to go further now. If you are an experienced track driver, you may want to bite the bullet and do it once and do it right. Then again, there is a lot of learning to do, and a phased approach can be good as well.

 

BTW, you should be able to run 225's with those turbo flares.

 

--Fred

Edited by FB73tii

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Thanks Fred

 

I have owned a few 02's and have done engine swaps, front stub frames, a complete IE coil over suspension etc so I'm pretty familiar, the only thing I have not done is dropped a rear sub-frame which seems a little daunting until I get in there. I will start by cleaning as much as I can, I'd like to get it running before I pull the motor so I know where the engine is at. Tomorrow I will get it on stands and start to assess and document everything. If only I had kept that rust free Arizona ITB, or the DE day dual side draft runner or any of the other half dozen 02's I foolishly gave up. Starting with this rat is going to be a project. In the mean time I have a spec miata to drive.

 

The flares and rear lip are already off the car, not sure if they will go back on, I like the cleaner look.

 

I'm pretty sure I will be asking a bunch of questions. TIA for your patience.

 

tim

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Go over the car in detail and make a list of everything it needs. I would tend to say get it stopping, turning and starting before driving it for a while. This should help inform what else it needs. 

 

That said, if your list is quite long then cut to the chase, drop the au frames and dig in. 

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(edited)

Get it safe for driving and test it out...make small loops of course.  Get a feel for what is wrong with it or not.  

 

I lke the miata...I miss my miata.

 

Anyway, nice 2002!

Edited by BeMyWay

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Step one, create a budget

Step two add 30%

 

i am almost finished with my car and have $35k and 800 hours of my time in it.  I have $9k in the motor and all the fun handling and braking goodies.

 

OEM, front and rear spoiler, OEM flares.

 

interior with period recaros, early Petri steering wheel, etc.

 

goint to be killer but double what I thought I was going to spend

image.jpeg

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From the pic it looks like th flares were not installed properly anyway so they would need to come off to cut the stock arches to allow for the wider and more aggressive wheels and tires.  A wise 02 guy once told me..."When in doubt, flare it out!".  I'd say get it safely running.  Make sure the motor reliably starts and runs without cooling issues.  Then make sure it stops safely and turns safely.  Now start addressing your needs.  For me it was suspension, engine, interior and last paint.  I was daily driving mine so thats what made sense to me.  If I do another I might start with paint, then do all the other things just so it looks pretty while it just sits...lol.  Do plenty of research.  I have so many "extra" parts from various upgrades and then upgrades to those upgrades that I can almost build another 02...lol.  Good luck and enjoy!

 

 

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Then get it running, drive it and get the bugs out.  And see what you think then.

 

That's always worked better for me.

 

then you can make a budget... and chuck it out the window!

 

 

heh

 

t

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(edited)

Hey Tim,

 

Nice ITB car you had there. Looking to recreate or go beyond? There is something satisfying about starting with a neglected 2002 and turning it into something you are proud of. That shell looks pretty good compared to others out there. Since you have the Miata to drive you can take your time on this project.

 

Given your experience, dropping the rear subframe is easy. I suggest welding in the IE tabs for adjustable rear toe and camber for track use. When I have time I’ll post a few pics of my project. Started with a shell, took it to bare metal, spent over 3,000 hours completing the build. After several years on track it has undergone additional improvements.  

 

16 hours ago, cbesing said:

Step one, create a budget

Step two add 30%

I'd say double or triple your budget and time estimate

 

goint to be killer but double what I thought I was going to spend

Ah, that's more like it :)

 

 

Best, Fred

Edited by FB73tii

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Thanks all, over my morning coffee I figured to drive it I would need to go through everything, the car is just too much of an unknown and there where a lot of sketchy signs, mostly a lot of cheap hardware store bolts where there should not have been, the seat mounts, the hood hinges, radiator mounts. Anyway, I'll let the body be for now and learn whats there as I go, I pulled the hood, grill and fenders and couldn't stop myself til the front sub-frame, motor and tranny were on the ground. Pretty cool how easy that is to drop the motor out the bottom.  Now I can pull that apart and attend to each component.  Next big step will be the rear and setting the shell on some sort of dolly.

 

All afternoon I was thinking I must be crazy, BUT I love it!!!

 

tim

 

pics here

 

 

 

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Before doing anything else...make sure the tinworm hasn't gotten out of hand in the body's structural areas.  You've owned 02s before, so you know where to look.  If the body isn't sound, you'll save a lot of time and headaches (not to mention $$$) on even getting it running.  Once the body checks out, then have at it.

 

mike

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Oh, I dunno, Mike, I drove a '6 month' rotbox for, sheesh, 15 years, and had lots of fun with it.  On the track, especially.  Admittedly, once the springs got to

a certain stiffness, the chassis did most of the work- but it never split in half!

 

heh

 

t

 

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