Basil the Mini

Prep for Miata’s at the Gap 2011

It has been a busy year of up and downs and it is a rainy Saturday and all is quiet.  Finally clearing the workbench to work on the Tater an d it has been a long time.  Thankfully it is just some minimal bodywork that needs to be gapped and filled.  Previously on The Blue Potato, I decided to make an important decision and take off the TRAP spoiler I had hand-carried back from Japan.  It was a wonderful gift from the Nostalgic Roadster’s Club, but over the years – it simply was lost on my car.  Possibly looking correct or ‘fitting in’ on some angles of the car – and simply looking out of place on others.  Was really tough call – but my vision on my car has always been about the complete look and to be simplistic.  Sometimes one can get too caught up with add on’s that simply dilutes the look and feel of a car.  This was no exception – if there is doubt, loose it asap.  That is the rule I have always went by over the years.

So with the spoiler removed, the car regained its balance and I now had about 7 small holes to fill with putty and paint.  At some point a few months ago I barely adverted disaster when doing a home oil change…with the spoiler removed (and new shocks/springs installed), I went up my trusty Rhine ramps only to have them slip and in the same moment, literally push the Pitcrew front end up and almost dislodged from the car.  It really could have been worse – and so I thought.  When coming around to inspect the damage, my cargo shorts caught the end-ear of the fiberglass front end and tore it off the car.  Now laying on the ground was a small 1″ piece of the Pitcrew front end in Laguna Blue.  I just sat there and felt like I had just ripped my heart out.

So after a few fingers of Macallan single malt, I went back to inspect the damage.  What I finally figured out was that when the ramps got pushed out, the front end moved up about 2mm or so – but by doing this, it popped that small edge out a bit and was waiting to be pulled off.  So I collected my thoughts and pit the piece back in place and started to work.  Fast forward to today, I waited to have everything ready to go and on with painting.  At the same time, I have been having some slight rubbing problems with the new RE-11’s…they are 195/50’s, but have a really HARD side wall and tend to be very brutal to the inner fenders under hard and heavy compressions.  It may also have to do with the new Koni shocks and GC springs (decided to drop the prototypes I was testing for more comfort like previously).  A quick investigation in the inner driver side fender well revealed that 1) one of the small supports for the front nose was slightly bent (and now fixed) and 2) some trimming was required on the fiberglass mounting points (easy job to do).  A few minutes with Dremmel and all was good.

I am in a break now with a tall glass of Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer and stay tuned for the final results.  I also have some new AWD gauge faces to install soon as my originals are bubbling up a bit on the tach side.