The Finishing Touch

Today was one of those lazy days, Where I didn’t really have anything to do. So I sat around for some of it then thought to myself “Why not paint the A pillar ?”, So I got off my ass and headed out to the garage to get to work.

I masked up everything surrounding the A pillar, And started wet sanding. I used half a sheet of 600 grit, and finished it off with 800 grit.

I then removed all of the masking paper and reapplyed it. Masking took FOREVER! but better to be safe then sorry, Heck I still had some overspray on the car, Here’s a snap of the A pillar turning white.

Painting was the easiest and quickest part to do (As usual), There are a few little things I’ll need to touch up later but all in all, I think it came up pretty damn well. I only used half a can of paint too! Anyway, Enough blabber here are the finished pictures.

Tomorrow I should hopefully have the hardtop mounted, And my Barchetta shorty console isn’t too far away either. Stick around!

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How To Paint A Hardtop – DIY Style

Yesterday, John and I got cracking on my hardtop. So it went a little like this, This hardtop started off in a glossy red.

We got to work masking the seals and window before wet sanding with 800 grit paper.

After we were happy with the finish, We cleaned the hard top with wax and grease remover thoroughly and stripped the masking tape. We then re-applied some fresh masking tape.

This is halfway through painting the hardtop, You can see John getting all the little dust particles off the wet paint with a toothpick.

A few coats later, This is the finished result.

Here’s what it looks like on the car.

It took us about 4 hours from start to finish, We used only one sheet of wet/dry 800 grit sand paper, And four cans of Dulux flat white exterior paint. We used other things like tarps and masks to avoid overspray and inhaling toxic fumes from the paint. I’m going to let the paint harden then  I’ll wax it to seal the paint. Take your time with masking and sanding, The finish is all in the prep work!

I’m still waiting on my hardtop bolts before I can rock it permanently. Once they arrive ( Or I find some locally) I’ll strip the soft top.

Getting There

 

Well, What a day I’ve had! I got up at 7am this morning to head to my mates studio, And I got back at 10pm! We spend a whopping 12 hours making a track.  Anyway, As soon as I got home, I really wanted to get the sideskirts painted so they could be fitted tomorrow. So I did just that, And they came out great ! They are a very similar colour to the car which is a good thing. I don’t know if it’s my tired eyes, But I think the bumper needs a few more coats of paint. I’ll need to buy another can tomorrow.

On It’s Way


So today I started painting the sideskirts, But I ran into a few issues. The spray can started to leak and caused a lot of drip marks on the sideskirts, Shortly after that, the paint started to fog up and was looking rather frosty. I was pretty pissed off to say the least. So I dropped everything, Cooled down for a little and headed over to Peps to get some more paint. Turns out the supplier had labeled the cans wrong, So with my acrylic paint, I had enamel thinners matched with it. Peps were more than happy to supply me with 2 new cans for free, And I bought another can for good measure.


So anyway, I managed to get the front bumper painted and cleared, And the skirts have been sanded back, Ready for a repaint. Hopefully I’ll have time to finish off the skirts this weekend.

In other news, I scored a free set of Bridgestone tyres … Awesome!

Prep Work


Well today I decided to get some paintwork on my body kit. So off I went to the local Peps auto parts to get some paint made up. I then headed off to Repco to get some other goodies.

So I spent the night prepping the skirts and bumper for paint tomorrow. I started off with a 400 grit, then worked up to a 800 grit, Finishing it off with a 1200 grit wet and dry sand paper.

I then gave the bits a wipe over with some wax & grease remover and hit it with the primer. Tomorrow I should be able to lay a few layers of paint on the kit.

Rear Tow Hook Install

Well this weekend, Adan and I got to work on the rear tow hook. If for whatever reason I need a tow from the rear end, the Mazdaspeed rear lip would be in grief due to hanging lower than the tow hook points.

So, We decided to create an external tow hook. I left the whole mounting thing to Adan, And he came up with a great, easily reversible mounting point.

Anyway, The tow hook needed to repainted, so what colour should I paint it ?


And installed. That’s all to report, I have to clean up the cut on the MS rear lip a little more and get some pictures up. Stay tuned.

Wire Tuck, How Do You Do It?

So many people (myself included) are always fascinated by a clean engine bay and most ask, how do you do it?

The best place would be to check out clubroadster.net as there are many guys that have successfully hidden a lot of gear and made their engine bay look dope. NA guys check this thread out. NB guys will find some use to that, but I figured I’d post my own rough (Really rough!) guide to how to clean your Roadsters bay up.

Once upon a time, My Roadster started off like below (this isn’t actually my car, this is HKS_Kansei’s NB8A)


I’ve always wanted a clean engine bay in my MX-5. Over the years things would slowly find themselves out of the bay, For instance, the Air-con stopped working so instead of fixing it, I got rid of it. I tried to get rid of as many things as I could, without taking the car off the road (As it’s my DD). I attempted to polish things here and there too for a nice shiny finish. It looked like this up until January this year.

Anyway, the car was off the road for quite a while, I was doing other things to it at the time and it was a snap decision to finally do a much-needed wire tuck. The Miata’s are pretty easy when it comes to tucking. For instance, the looms on the guards can, and will go through the holes that lead to inside the guard quite easily.

Anyway, after a lot of effort, the engine bay looks like this, and I am finally happy with it.

What was moved, hidden, or deleted?

-Ok, now all NB’s have air-con and power steering from factory, well they have been both removed.

-Theres a few relays where the PS resivour used to be, they have now been relocated under the passenger headlight.

-HID ballast’s are mounted under headlights.

-Emissions canister has been deleted, there was a breather line that the canister sat on, it runs all the way to the fuel filter, I removed it.

-Wiring looms on the guards have been relocated to inside the guard ( you can see this faintly on the passenger side).

-Washer bottle has been ditched for a NOPRO washer bottle, that sits in the cowl.

-Coolant overflow bottle has been deleted.

-A lot of solenoids that were connected to the emissions canister have been either deleted, or plugged and hidden.

-The wiring harness running over the intake plenum was relocated to run under the plenum, we took the plenum off to do this.

-The clutch line was redesigned, It is now a braided piece, and is hidden.

-The fuel lines were moved out of sights, and I fitted braided lines at the end of them.

-I used black vacuum hoses around the intake plenum, so they blend into the plenum and are harder to see.

-A lot of misc. things were painted black to help hide them, like brackets, the thermostat housing etc.

-Heaps of wires needed to be extended, but that is all, just mark the wires, measure the length that they now need to go, and extend with a soldering iron.

-Plan your attack before carrying it out, And take your time with it, Rushing things like extending the wiring will only lead to problems later on.

I did not run anything into the cabin, you can achieve clean look without needing to do this.

It all depends on how far you want to go though and long you are prepared to have your Roadster off the road. I am happy with my setup, Some might want to hide the fuse box and other things, which will require a stack of concentration and wire extending, I did not want to go through all this.

To get an idea, I’ve taken the liberty to find all the useful posts I made earlier in the year, whilst doing the wire tuck.

Stripping It Down
Not Much To It
Still Painting

Painting Continues
Back On Track
The Hard Yards
It’s Alive

I hope this little post inspires someone to “give it a go”, It’s not as hard as you think, It just takes a bit of time.

Have fun, and good luck!