RX-7: Painting, cleaning, and not a whole lot of free time

So I’ve spent a lot of time recently cleaning, and preparing parts to go back into the car. Dave and I fitted the dashboard, and made a few necessary adjustments so that it would fit around the roll cage.

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Originally the car had grey vinyl interior parts, I bought some VHT Vinyl Dye which I’ve used in the past on one of my Bimmers, and it works wonders.

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You can see how nicely the dye penetrates the vinyl and becomes part of the surface, versus being a coating over top.

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I also cleaned up some of the steel suspension parts and painted those with a semi-gloss black paint to help keep the car clean underneath, and prevent any surface rusting. These are ready for the new bushing installs now.

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The sides of the dash needed to be cut completely off to accomodate the forward bars of the roll cage. I will fabricate some aluminum or other lightweight brackets to keep the dash secure.

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Spent a fair amount of time cleaning up the JDM TII transmission I plan on using initially in the car as well. Once that was cleaned up, I rebuilt the shifting mechanism when I installed the Mazdatrix short shifter.

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The Mazdatrix short shifter is quite notchy from the get-go, and in a race car you want to be able to shift as quickly as possible so I came up with my own hack-tackular solution.

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An aluminum extension on the shifter rod brings the length of the shift throws back to stock, but brings the shift knob to the same height as my hands will be on the steering wheel. This allows me to reach over to the shift knob quicker than I could if it were in the stock position. The round plastic shift knob is courtesy of my old FFR Cobra.

- Carl

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