J. Rallycross Miata Roll Bar Installation
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I had to start the day re-doing the exhaust manifold to down pipe connection. I had failed to install the gasket. That took about an hour of time. I sure hate having to do things twice!
I also replaced a bad front wheel stud on the passenger's side.
My son Matt came over today to help me install the Hard Dog roll bar. We started by printing out the instructions that are online. We used them to check off each task.
Here we measured and marked the shelf for cutting using one of the diagrams we printed for reference.
We used a grinding wheel to make the cuts since I had no blades for the air saw.
We should have used the hole saw first. It made a much more finished cut.
Once the holes were cut, the roll bar could be slid into position.
The instructions recommended removing the cover panels in the trunk for better access to where the holes had to be drilled.
We drilled the holes in the diagonal mounts with an angle drill. First drilling a 1/4" hole in two of the holes from above. Then we used a 3/8" drill from below, installed the backing plate with two bolts and drilled the last hole from underneath using the backing plate as a guide.
The passenger's side inner-most hole was very close to a vertical part, so we had to re-drill further into the slot and trim the backing plate about 1/8" to allow it to fit. We then ground off the edge on the nut on one flat to allow it to fit.
Even though I knew the vent was easy to break, I pulled too hard and it broke. We just tie-wrapped it in the fender well.
Drilling the holes in the front of the panel was a breeze compared to the ones in the deck.
I wish I had known to install the wiring harness on the driver's side behind the roll bar. The side panel was not going to fit until it had been moved. Our options were to cut and splice the wires since there is a large connector on one end that would not fit behind the roll bar, or to remove the roll bar and re-install it. I did not like either option.
I decided to make a small tool and slip each wire out of the connector. I took pictures of each wire as I removed it so I could get them all back in the right slot later.
I then passed the wires behind the roll bar and re-inserted them into the connector. I reviewed each picture for each wire as I installed them. I sure hope I got them right!
We cut out the plastic covers and re-installed them onto the door post.
This is how it looked after it was bolted in.
This is after we finished.
While I was working on the roll bar, Matt installed the Rallycross windshield decal. He did a great job! The decal had too much curve, so he made some small adjustments.
The decal looks great! We plan to get some vinyl and add a touch of orange to the car. Hopefully, we can find some that matches the wheels.
While Matt was under the car installing nuts on the mounting bolts he noticed a leaking brake cylinder on the rear driver's side. We will remove both sides and rebuild them before we drive the car.
I also have some rear axle seals coming, so they too will be installed once they arrive.
I think we are about done mechanically. At least I hope so!