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CollinMB's RestoMod 521


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I bet if you cut that bumper down from the like 5-6 inches deep it is currenty, to more like 1.5-2 inches deep and tucked it up real close to the body it would look really nice.  Not quite the bumperettes look that many 521 guys really like, but it might make a silk purse out of a sows ear.  Maybe even leave the outer ears longer and shape them nicely so they wrap around the edges of the body some?


Maybe it's just me though.  I am a huge fan of making stuff out of what I have or others reject as garbage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

...and stock mounts are out:






I cleaned off as much of the surface paint and pitting as I could. hit it with a scotchbrite pad, cleaned with acetone and threw a couple of coats of weld through primer on each side for good measure. 

Going to start taking measurements and marking up the Miata subframe to be notched this week. Depending how smooth things go, I may have the subframe welded in by the end of the week.

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So I've made the decision to adjust plans slightly. For a lot of my design reference I've been basing my design along the same lines of Bob3's Project MX520. In his build he coped the truck frame and Miata subframe in order for the two to mate up. I'm sure it's plenty strong enough, but as opposed to his build that was oriented around road racing, I'm planning to build my truck into more of an off-road adventure vehicle. So instead of attaching the subframe to the truck frame, I'm planning to attach the Miata strut towers to the frame and keep the subframe as a bolt on affair. This will also allow me to more easily swap to a tubular subframe in the future if I wish to do a different powerplant.

I did a quick mock up of how I plan to attach the strut towers:


This should give me plenty of strength to beat on.

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So walking back my last statement and taking even further measurements, research, big brain activity, I decided to cut the subframe after all. Part of the reason being it was going to be more complicated to attach the strut mounts to the chassis. Also, it will be easier to lift the cab off in the future. More on that in a bit.

So, down to work:


I took copious measurements, notched the subframes in the appropriate locations, offered it up to the frame, did more trimming, and finally got it mounted, level, and straight.

Welded in:


And just like that, it's in. I did have to go back and fix one spot that was too far out of tolerance for my liking. Back to the point of lifting off the cab; whereas the welds are very strong (I did some stress testing just to make sure) I would like to go back and add reinforcement plates, but in the future. Why in the future? Because I would like to MIG the rest as opposed to using the flux I did for this. I'm doing all of this work in a carport that's open on both sides, which means the air blows right through. I threw a couple coats of black on the frame and moved forward for now.

Current situation:


I got most of the front suspension back together. For now the plan is to get it to a roller and I'll get back to doing finish work once I have actual garage space (hopefully in the not too distant future). Pretty soon I can work on getting the engine mounted and get the truck turned around and start working on the rear subframe.

At this point I have accumulated quite the mess of stock parts that came off the truck, so I am going to switch some concentration to getting stuff cleaned up and sold.


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