Steering, gas pedal, and dashboard/scuttle

I’ve worked on the locost for 4 days in a row.  That is some kind of record for me.  Yesterday I got up around 8am and was in the garage by 9, and worked all day.  Today I spent a lot of time just staring at it, coming inside and researching, and repeating.  Also I’ve been ordering a lot of parts lately.  It feels great to get to work on the car so much, and also knowing that I’ll get to continue working on it at this pace for the foreseeable is thrilling.  Anyway, on to the updates.

One exciting thing I completed last week was the steering.  Previously I had shortened the rack and extended the tie rods, but last week I lengthened the steering column and came up with a Keith Tanner-esque mid-steering column support using a teflon pillow block.  I then completed the final brackets for the steering column, and voila!  I can turn the wheels.  After that I decided it was finally time to mount the gas pedal as well.  I came up with a simple bracket for this and played around with the positioning a bit.. there’s not much room in my pedal box since the engine is positioned so far back.  I’m pretty happy with what I settled on, but I definitely won’t be driving this thing with boots on!

With the steering and gas pedal behind me, I decided to take all the parts out of the car and do some final welding on suspension related and other brackets, and also to spend some time figuring out what to work on next.  I spent quite a while revisiting whether or not I wanted to do a full roll cage, or just a roll bar.  At the moment I’ve settled on doing a roll bar with side impact bars, inspired by this stalker:

I think this will be a fair combination of enhanced crash protection and streetability.  I wound up ordering 50 feet of 1.5″ .095″ wall DOM tubing to make up the roll bar.  While I was at it, I ordered 5 sheets of 4′ x 8′ aluminum sheet.  Its 3003-H14, which I hear is fairly maleable but still strong, at 0.063″ (1/16″) thick.  This will be used on the floor, the body panels, and any other aluminum items I might need to build.  Oh and in case that sounds like a lot more metal than I need, it is!  I just like collecting steel of various types and sizes for future projects, this practice of mine has already come in handy a number of times.

Besides the body work and the roll bar, I hemmed and hawed a lot about the dashboard and the scuttle.  It was a little tempting to me at this point to give up on my caterham CSR style dash, due to the increased difficulty of construction over a fiberglass dash from Kinetic Vehicles, but in the end I decided to stick with it.  I decided to forgo using the miata gauge cluster, and use aftermarket ones instead.  Additionally, I chose to try out a GPS based speedometer to avoid dealing with mating the mechanical speedo cable from the transmission to an aftermarket gauge (based on my research this did not sound very easy with the miata transmission).  Other than a speedometer and a tachometer, I will have oil and water temp, oil pressure, and intake manifold pressure gauges.  I mocked up with cardboard what it will all look like and ordered all the mentioned gauges from .

I’ve decided that my next sub project will be to finish the scuttle.  I’m going to build a lightweight frame out of 16ga steel and have an aluminum skin rivited to it – this assembly will be removable for easy access to the area between the dash and the firewall.  I’m looking forward to getting that all built.

Without further ado, here are the pictures for this post.

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One Comment

  1. Sue Tougas
    Posted June 17, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Wow! Your car is pretty amazing, just like you are :)
    Love, Mom

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