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Author: Subject: Mick's MNR Mazda: Build Log
micksalt

posted on 16/6/15 at 07:32 PM Reply With Quote
Mick's MNR Mazda: Build Log

Firstly, thank you to all of you for your advice so far, I've finally made a start on this project, the plan being to strip the donor over July, recondition some parts over August and then things will go a little quiet until I pick up the kit sometime in November, just as soon as I get back from my honeymoon.

Chose my donor vehicle last Friday, it's a 1997 MX-5 with the 1.8 engine and 138 BHP. The car wasn't MOT'd, missing some interior and had a missing backbox, none of which was a concern to me, and it's a runner.

Donor Found
Donor Found


Big thanks to James (I think that was his name anyway) at Easily Fixed for going out of his usual delivery radius to drop my car off, it was safely tucked away in the garage by 09:00 the next morning, much to the dismay of the daily driver Focus.

Donor Home
Donor Home


I've given it a more detailed look in the comfort of my garage, and all the bits I need seem serviceable. I paid a lot less than I was planning to, so if there are any nasty surprises, I've got the spare cash and time to rectify them before the kit arrives. Busy this upcoming weekend with handing out the wedding invites, but the weekend after, I'll have my 1 1/8" impact socket and my 14 year old brother available to help out. Should make some good progress then

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Digimon

posted on 16/6/15 at 08:57 PM Reply With Quote
Good luck with your build Mick, looking forward to seeing progress.

I looked into building a MX-5 kit before my current car came up for sale

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sdh2903

posted on 16/6/15 at 09:13 PM Reply With Quote
Nice to see another blog. My kit will be ready end of September. I've just started stripping my 95 1.8 mk1 donor this week. It's not been pretty so far. All I will say is thank god I had a 450lb ft impact gun and a decent compressor

The rear upright lower bolts and one driveshaft have yet to give up their fight and separate!!

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micksalt

posted on 17/6/15 at 09:53 AM Reply With Quote
I've got an impact gun and a grinder at the ready for my tear-down. Thankfully I've got some experience of dealing with seized fasteners from working on 100 year old restoration projects at the heritage railway I volunteer at.
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sdh2903

posted on 17/6/15 at 10:59 AM Reply With Quote
They're probably in better nick than the MX5 bolts
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micksalt

posted on 17/6/15 at 11:55 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
They're probably in better nick than the MX5 bolts


'Tis probably true, can't beat an old-school Whitworth thread

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micksalt

posted on 17/6/15 at 12:03 PM Reply With Quote
SaltysLittleHelper
SaltysLittleHelper


My brother popped round to take a look at the car last night. The only bits I've done so far is remove the parts of interior left scattered around the car by the previous owner and stripped the number plates and old tax disks off so I don't forget to remove these before sending the shell off. I've found 2 VIN numbers so far that will need cutting off when the time comes to scrap the shell, are there any more hiding?

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micksalt

posted on 19/6/15 at 05:18 PM Reply With Quote
Got an afternoon on the car today, and the Destruction Manual had arrived, so I got to work.
DestructionManual
DestructionManual

Wasn't too long before my 2-door car became zero-door without bonnet and boot too.
ZeroDoor
ZeroDoor

Getting topless
NoTop
NoTop

Wiring everything, even circuits I won't be using just so I know they're safe to remove.
WiringLabels
WiringLabels

Bloody good job it's a big garage, the junk piles keep growing. Thankfully I have a backup shed behind the garage to act as a holding area.
JunkPile1
JunkPile1

JunkPile2
JunkPile2

Feels so good to have got started properly

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micksalt

posted on 24/6/15 at 06:20 PM Reply With Quote
Had an MX-5 fanatic helping me yesterday with the strip down of the interior. That's Adrian with his head in the dash. It's surprising how many folk want to help out, I almost feel like I haven't got enough MX-5 stripping to go around. Still, I can use all those offers of help on the build I suppose.

AdeHelping
AdeHelping


And Adrian's handiwork:

MoreLuxuryThanA7
MoreLuxuryThanA7


Still more luxurious than a kit car in there. My first new part arrived today, courtesy of the bonus at work but shh, this doesn't count to the budget Ok?

RapfixR
RapfixR


And today, scored a big victory. I've been fearing the rear hub nuts for ages with stories of split sockets, bent breaker bars and jumping on scaffolding poles for leverage. My 1 1/8" impact socket arrived today, so I bit the bullet and gave it a go with my battery-powered impact wrench. Was rather disappointed that it only took 5 seconds a side, I expected more of a fight. I've temporarily refitted the hub nuts so I can roll the car about still, but at least I can make a start on the brakes now I don't need them to counter-hold against the hub nut.

More to follow Friday

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sdh2903

posted on 24/6/15 at 06:34 PM Reply With Quote
Haha getting the hub nuts loose is the easy bit, wait til you try and get the shafts out and the wishbone bolts out, they really are fun

Looks like the strip down is going well, what spec did you go for with the MNR? Any plans for engine upgraditis?

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micksalt

posted on 24/6/15 at 08:58 PM Reply With Quote
I had heard that part was fun, stories of cracked carriers when using a hydraulic press. At least that should provide some interest.

Spec? I'm just going for the 'just add donor' MX5 package with full roll cage and side impact bars. Nothing on the engine for now, but fitting a Canems ECU (again, shh about the budget) so I've got the supercharger open to me in a few years' time.

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kingster996

posted on 24/6/15 at 10:04 PM Reply With Quote
Check out this thread ref supercharging, great read!

http://forum.wscc.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic/114587-breaking-the-magic-barrier-mx5-sdv-power-upgrade-project/






I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure

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micksalt

posted on 25/6/15 at 07:34 AM Reply With Quote
That is a good read, and may be the way to go as a future upgrade. Wheels (13" if possible), 4-pot brakes and an LSD will come first on the upgrade list though. The plan was to do a budget build, then upgrade later. However, things like the ECU and removable steering wheel make sense to do now.
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sdh2903

posted on 25/6/15 at 10:28 AM Reply With Quote
Does your donor have an LSD or were you planning an upgrade?

Ashcroft transmissions do an aftermarket ATB that fits in the 1.8 diff. They are knocking them out on ebay cheap

http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/321785023125?nav=SEARCH

They get very good reviews on the mx5nutz forum.

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micksalt

posted on 25/6/15 at 10:43 AM Reply With Quote
Nothing in the spec suggests mine has an LSD, although I won't know for sure until I pop the driveshafts out. I planned on fitting the Ashcroft unit as a future upgrade if it didn't have an LSD, seemed good value compared to some of the more famous brands, and I'm all the more reassured that you've said it's been well reviewed.

[Edited on 25/6/2015 by micksalt]

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micksalt

posted on 25/6/15 at 03:15 PM Reply With Quote
Presumably it's not just a case of draining the diff, cracking it open and swapping in the Ashcroft LSD. There's some very precise shimming to be done isn't there?
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micksalt

posted on 26/6/15 at 07:36 PM Reply With Quote
It had to happen, had a bloody awful day on the donor today, with the steering of all things. Stripping the bits that were in the car, not problem at all:

NoHands
NoHands


As for the other end of the rack: chaos:

NoRack
NoRack


The clamping bolt that holds the lower universal joint to the rack was both seized, and heavily corroded on its head. Thankfully at the other end of the joint the lower part of the shaft came away pretty easily, so I was able to remove the whole rack then. However, drilling out that lower bolt, I wasn't quite in the middle of the bolt and nicked the threads on the universal joint. Two questions I have to the community, one is if I actually need the lower joint for the Mazda build, the second is if so, where could I get one from?

Cheers

[Edited on 26/6/2015 by micksalt]

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sdh2903

posted on 26/6/15 at 08:21 PM Reply With Quote
I may well be wrong but I'm sure that Chris said the link from the mx5 column to the escort rack was included in the kit.
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micksalt

posted on 26/6/15 at 10:12 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
I may well be wrong but I'm sure that Chris said the link from the mx5 column to the escort rack was included in the kit.


I'll fire off an email to Chris to check. That's great news if that is the case because neither the shaft nor rack ( on eBay) were damaged.

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micksalt

posted on 30/6/15 at 12:12 PM Reply With Quote
I've got a reply from Chris, and I don't think I need the damaged joint from the donor. The reason I say 'think' is because I wasn't very clear with my request.

Whilst asking about welding the Works Bell boss onto the steering shaft, Chris made me realise that I've dropped the ball a bit. I purchased a S.P.A. 270mm suade steering wheel. However, I need a padded steering wheel of course. Just deciding whether to add padding to the centre of the wheel I have or temporarily fit a different fully-padded formula wheel for IVA. Ooops

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sdh2903

posted on 30/6/15 at 12:34 PM Reply With Quote
Could you not just use the donor wheel set up until iva is out the way? My donor is a non airbag wheel if you need it come iva your more than welcome to borrow it.
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micksalt

posted on 30/6/15 at 12:58 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
Could you not just use the donor wheel set up until iva is out the way? My donor is a non airbag wheel if you need it come iva your more than welcome to borrow it.


I'm thinking this may be the way to go. I thought I might as well get the boss welded on whilst the steering column was with MNR, however, it looks like both the removable part and the chosen wheel could create IVA headaches for me. Might be best left until after the time, even though it will be a little inconvient to have the column back off again to weld on the boss. My donor has the right sort of steering wheel for the job, but thank you anyway for the offer of a loan of yours

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sdh2903

posted on 30/6/15 at 01:46 PM Reply With Quote
How come the column needs to go to MNR?
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micksalt

posted on 30/6/15 at 02:00 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
How come the column needs to go to MNR?


Actually, I might be wrong there, it may just be the lower shaft that needs to go to them for lengthening since you're pretty much sat at the back of the car.

I think I may have solved the steering wheel problem. It turns out you can buy self-adhesive 3mm thick neoprene foam. Got some on order so I can have a play with it. Will be just the job if so, and probably neat enough to just leave on permanently.

[Edited on 30/6/2015 by micksalt]

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jim87

posted on 2/7/15 at 02:15 PM Reply With Quote
Mick, I think we spoke at Stoneleigh a month or two ago. Glad you hear you're on your way.
I've just about finished my Mazda Vortx.

Anyway, on mine the upper column had two short tubes welded onto it by MNR for mounting it to the scuttle. Also the lower shaft has the Mazda spline at the top end, and an appropriate Escort spline at the other end for connecting to the rack via a couple of UJs.

Jim

quote:
Originally posted by micksalt
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
How come the column needs to go to MNR?


Actually, I might be wrong there, it may just be the lower shaft that needs to go to them for lengthening since you're pretty much sat at the back of the car.

I think I may have solved the steering wheel problem. It turns out you can buy self-adhesive 3mm thick neoprene foam. Got some on order so I can have a play with it. Will be just the job if so, and probably neat enough to just leave on permanently.

[Edited on 30/6/2015 by micksalt]


[Edited on 2/7/15 by jim87]

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