Autocross prep and run

This weekend I went to my first autocross in over 8 years. I did some prep on the car to make sure everything was in order. Front and rear suspension bolts got a once over to ensure everything was nice and tight. Brake and clutch fluids were checked, as was engine oil. Also while the front wheels were off I cleaned out the wheel well that had a nice collection of leaves in it. Finally I checked if my ’86 spare would fit over my ’87+ brakes, it just barely clears!

The Martin autocross went well, I ended up with 4th in the Novice class. It was super hot but I had a good time.

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Started a new project tonight, some might agree with it, some won’t 🙂

It’s Plastidip, I’ll take some better pictures tomorrow. If I end up not liking it, I’ll just peel it off 🙂

Tail Lights



It looks like only the turn signal needed the most attention. I used the 3M kit and it had my skip over half the steps for restoring tail lights.

Seatbelts and Prop Rod

Out with the old…

In with the new (to me)…

I also got the gas prop rod. I did a quick flat black paint job on the brackets and the install was a breeze. No more grabbing the prop rod from behind the driver’s seat!

C Pillar Trim

While puchasing a few parts via craigslist I also scored some c-pillar trim in pretty great shape. There are no cracks or breaks and most of the nuts are either intact or repaired already. I have a kbox trim kit on the way and then these bad boys are getting installed!

Old trim removed

New trim

I also got my side vents off without any breakage in preparation for my kbox trim kit due to show up tomorrow! 🙂

Tonight I got my kbox C-pillar trim kit via twosrus (always super fast shipping!) and got it installed on my new c-pillar pieces.

(can’t take the best of pictures in the garage)

Door Handles

Tonight I worked on my door handles. They have turned quite white over the years. I read online today about using peanut butter (or more specifically peanut oil) to help bring back the black. It sounded crazy but I tried it and here is the before and after:



After (with some Zaino tire gloss)

From further back

Overall I am pleased with the result, we’ll see how long it lasts before they turn white again.

Fog Lights

Over the past 3-4 days I have been working to install a new pair of fog lights on my MR2. I’ll be adding my final schematic (that went through 3-4 revisions) and some work in progress shots to help those in the future.

On to the pictures!

First up is a shot of the fogs mounted. Mounting was by far the easiest part. I removed a bolt holding the metal bar on the bottom side of the bumper and had to replace it with a slightly longer bolt due to the thickness of the fog light mount.

For the wiring I’ll be attaching a schematic but it consists of one relay and an OEM fog light switch from Paul Sims in the UK. I had several issues getting the circuit right. Part of the issues came from wanting the fog lights to only be able to be turned on when the headlights are on and also the little lamp in the fog light switch.

This is the switch off, and then on (there was just a blank there before)

These lights basically have two modes. When the running lights are on the Koito logo shines through the cover. When the headlights are turned on (and the Fog Light switch pressed) the covers open and the main fog lamps turn on

Here is a short video of them in operation:

I still need to add a fuse at the fog lights and there is one other issue to address.

The covers will only close when the headlights are off and running lights are on. This takes 5-10 seconds. Problem is when I turn off my lights I flip from ON straight to OFF (only passing by the running lights for a split second), this leaves the covers open. I’m working with an EE at work to create a simple time delay circuit that will allow voltage to stay on the lamps long enough for the covers to close. If it gets to be too big of a headache, I might just live with it the way it is 🙂

An electrical engineer at work was nice enough to design and build this little board. It allows a constant +12V to switch in for ~30 seconds after the running lights +12V goes away. This allows the headlight covers time to close when I turn off the lights.

A few more upgrades…

Today’s upgrade is new eyelids!

New clutch pedal!

Not many upgrades have been happening over the past few months. Just recently though I replaced the broken ring around the passenger side AC vent, made my best shift pattern to date, and worked on the radiator area by cleaning the top of the radiator, painting the mounting brackets, and trimming the cover a bit more.