Category Archives: Automotive

Seat Heater

seat-pan-with-cablesThis is a write-up that I did for a local Miata club website back around ’99 or 2000. It includs the schematics but only a few photos, I didn’t take nearly as many back then as I’ve done for more recent projects. And, although the voice here is written as a set of instructions it has been a long time since I wrote this so use anything entirely at your own risk! Here’s the original write-up:

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Trunk Light

Wiring Schematic’99 Miata Trunk Light Modification

Back in 1999 I wrote up some instructions to help other Miata enthusiasts make a minor change to their cars, for less than $8 and about two hours of time, which I thought made a worthwhile improvement to the car design. I’ve included a copy of my instructions below if anyone is interested in how I made this modification.

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Datsun Roadster

I’ve always been a car guy, but unfortunately haven’t always thought to take photos of my cars. I don’t have any pictures of the little Honda Trail 70 motorcycle that I rode all over Glenrose Texas when I was 8, or of the bigger Suzuki 90 that I graduated to when I was 12. And I really wish I’d taken a few pictures of my first car, a Datsun Bluebird sedan, which I bought for $25 when I was 15. I had to rebuild the transmission which was a great lesson for a kid to learn.

While I was in college and working part-time in a machine shop I bought a beat-up, non-running car, this Datsun Roadster. I built it an engine with the help of my brother and dropped it in, painted and finished it myself, and drove it for several years. Wish I had some photos of the process, and a better picture of the end result!

Mini Baja 1982 Team

miniBaja-2The University of Texas at Arlington fielded two teams for the national Mini Baja design-build engineering competition in 1982. That’s me third from the right, on the 3-person team.

Our team captured first place in the national competition that year, which was held at Texas Tech in Lubbock. The girl on our team at the far right is Lisa, my future, current, and forever wife, so you can see that joining the team had far-reaching consequences!

miniBaja-4miniBaja-3Here are some photos from our 1982 competition. You can see the desert terrain in Lubbock, lots of dust, sand, and rocks. Mini Baja college team competitions are still held yearly.

SAE Race Team 1984

Our SAE TeamAfter being part of the Mini Baja Engineering Team competition in 1982 I jumped at the chance to join the Society of Automotive Engineers Competition Team at the University of Texas at Arlington for the 1984 competition, which was held at our school that year.

tomSAE-4Like the Mini Baja, this was a design, build, and race competition, and, need I say it, our team won first!

I even got the wheels off the ground in a few of the turns! Here are a couple of race pictures and a few close-ups of the car: