Monday, November 28, 2011

new stickers

I got some stickers I designed back from the printer today. The hand drawn concept is on top. I like the letters I drew better. The others look too fonty. I think I'll scan the one I drew and have some more printed. ZM is the engine code and BJ is the chassis code for my car. Yeah, I designed it for my car. (surprise)

mazda protege instrument cluster dual gauge pod

A-pillar gauge pods are so ten years ago. They are an easy way to add one, two, even three gauges to your car with little modification. But there are much better looking ways to mount gauges in your car. I made this instrument cluster dual gauge pod to hold two 52mm gauges. The concept of mounting two gauges in the instrument cluster surround is not new. Autometer has been selling these for years. However, they do not make them for very many cars. I used two pieces of PVC pipe and molded them into a stock instrument cluster surround. Of course there's a lot more to it than that. Measuring, fitment, symmetry, skill, and execution are all important and necessary to make one that looks nice. It took me ten days to make. When I make stuff like this, I think of it as a piece of Artwork, rather than just the part it was designed to be. The lines, the form, the shape, everything about it is Art to me.

Original installation November 2011

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

mazda protege superflux led turn signals

Superflux LEDs come stock on high end cars such as BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes. They are certainly not cheap. A single LED can cost as much as $1.00, which can add up fast. I used 24 LEDs (each side) for the taillights and 4 (each side) for the sidemarkers. I handmade the circuitboards for both. The ones for the sidemarkers are so tiny! The circuitboards are much bigger than the hole meant for the bulb to go through. So to get the new LED circuitboards in, I had to cut out the turn signal area from the back of the taillights and sidemarkers, then put them back together.

Original installation June 2011

domos n stuff

I'm making some domos out of car interior plastic. The plastic has a nice texture to it. I drew the domos onto the plastic with a marker, then I cut out the shapes with the dremel and sanded the edges smooth. I am carving out the mouths just like I would a piece of wood with wood carving tools. When I get all that done, I'm going to paint the mouths. The domo on the end is going to be 3-dimensional with an arm and a foot coming out of the plastic.

mazda protege handmade shift boot and center console lid cover

My car came with a brown vinyl shift boot and a brown plastic shift knob. Bleh. When I installed my Mazdaspeed Protege short shifter and shift knob, I also changed the shift boot to a black vinyl one. While this looked much better than the stock shifter, there was still room for improvement. I wanted to make a shift boot and I wanted it to match the rest of the interior. I got some seat fabric and I made patterns for the shift boot, center console lid cover, and handle. I sewed everything by hand. They turned out nice and are a perfect match for the rest of the interior. The cover looks like it is just a bunch of squares sewn together. It's not. They all have a different shape to allow for the curves.

Original installation November 2010

mazdaspeed protege short shifter and shift knob

The Mazdaspeed Protege short shifter makes shifting gears faster and it looks better than the stock shifter. The 2003 and 2003.5 came with different shift knobs. The 2003 shift knob was made by Sparco. The 2003.5 was made by Mazdaspeed. I've had both and the 2003.5 shift knob is way better. I also installed some Kartboy shifter bushings.

Original installation December 2009