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gm's unhealthy obsession with mx5s - holy sh!t, batman, an EXO update ! only been a fortnight


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Looking good.

If your still needing a little extra height simple spacers can be made to sit above the shocks,  I've used 5mm and 10mm plastic chopping boards and you can get up to 50mm thick. A bit over kill for your needs but easy to make,  Basicly your making what looks like a giant gasket that sits above the shock.

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Good idea, I’ll bear that in mind if I need a few extra mm, thanks. 

Now lockdown is easing, I’ll need to get that engine hoist back to you - not quite sure how I’ll do that in an mx5 - I may need to borrow something more practical from the family :) thanks again for the loan, it proved very useful.

which seems like a good excuse to post this pic again 

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10 hours ago, dome said:

Have you got the IVA booked yet? Must be pretty nerve racking!

Not yet, I’m thinking i might take a week off work and get it properly finished then book the test once I’m confident* 

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1 hour ago, gm said:

Good idea, I’ll bear that in mind if I need a few extra mm, thanks. 

Now lockdown is easing, I’ll need to get that engine hoist back to you - not quite sure how I’ll do that in an mx5 - I may need to borrow something more practical from the family :) thanks again for the loan, it proved very useful.

which seems like a good excuse to post this pic again 

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I've used that trick loads on 4x4s and works very well.

If your struggling with a vehicle I can pop down for it some time if you like unless anyone else wants to use it first.

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a post appeared on a local mx5 fb group with a member offering some parts before he took them to the tip

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I couldn't believe my eyes !

that is a mk1 manual steering rack - not very common at all - which would be perfect for the Exo. I currently have a de-powered steering rack fitted which is ok but the ratio on a manual rack is a much better option.

I sent a message straight away, attaching a pic of the exo to grab his attention and promising to bring a box of beers with me !

It worked and I arranged to nip down to Teeside yesterday afternoon and pick it up - One thing I hadn't counted on was it still having the hubs attached which made it rather awkward to bundle into the mx5. 

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As I was heading that direction, I made an offer on a set of steelies I'd been watching on marketplace. These were also squeezed into the mx5 and brought home safe.

Keen readers will know that I already own several (four actually) sets of Bini steelies, one set of which was due to go for powder coating to become the main set of Exo wheels - no need for expensive powder coating when I have this set of delivery mileage beauties ready for tyre fitting next week :) 

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there are a few tiny marks but I'm happy with that

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as for that steering rack, it might need a bit* of work before fitting

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a quick going over with a wire brush and it shows potential

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looks better already (excuse the accidental jazz hands) 

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I'll give it a proper clean up and paint during the week and order new tie rods & ends

so big thanks to Dan (steering rack) and Dean (steelies) down in the 'Boro

 

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when I got home last night, I plipped the fob to lock the mk1 and heard a not good noise from somewhere inside the door

a tentative pull on the handle revealed something was indeed buggered - no matter how many times I plipped the button or tried the key, the drivers door would not unlock :(  

going in from the passenger side didn't help either - only one thing for it - things need to come to bits 

dropping the window allowed me to see what is going on - right in the middle of the pic, you might just make out "that bloody spring"

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a common problem with mk1 mx5s, albeit one I've been lucky to avoid so far. 

a bit of poking around with a wire coat hanger I keep for such emergencies got the door open, it was then a case of taking out the window glass and runner to retrieve this little bugger

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and where exactly am I supposed to get one of these late on a Sunday afternoon ? 

and also, where is it supposed to go back ?

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I bent the end into a new hook, had a poke around and the job's a good 'un !

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a quick test and it's working perfectly. result.

I managed to get the glass and (freshly greased) runners in and the door back together just before it started thoroughly pissing it down :) 

And I saved £4.08 (didn't need to remove the lock either) 

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  • gm changed the title to gm's unhealthy obsession with mx5s - a Rusty Rack, some Shiney Wheels and "that bloody spring" !

 I've had a fairly productive couple of days

that manual steering rack that looked like it has spent a long time at the bottom of the sea

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is now much improved

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I got it fitted and roughly set up the alignment

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meanwhile, @DVee8 gave me a lift up to see his tame tyre fitter and we dropped off my shiney bini steelies and a fresh set of track tyres (nanking ns-2r 195 50 15)

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how smart does that look ?

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I had a sneaky drive up and down the road to test the new steering rack and it is much improved, I am so lucky to have saved that from being dumped as scrap

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yes, that is a little puddle under the radiator :( fortunately just a jubilee clip needing tightened

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Trackday time again this evening down at Teeside Autodrome

I set off from home in brilliant sunshine with the roof down, by I was half way there, the heavens had opened :( 

no longer having a roll bar fitted, I tried a new camera set up 

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with the mic stashed under the bonnet for induction roar*

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I'm not even going to bother uploading the results - heres a screen shot

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moar height needed next time :( 

instead, heres some pics of other peoples mazdas

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it was indeed pishing it down and the track seems to be getting more and more slippery, it turned out someone had been dropping oil all over the place. 

The organisers sent out some sort of road sweeper device to clean it up but it looked like it might take a while so I packed up and went for a maccyD's

Still, the little black mk1 did itself proud as always, even if there was feck all grip :) 

 

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  • gm changed the title to gm's unhealthy obsession with mx5s - trackday washout :(

nice looking wheels but they are 16"s so tyres tend to be a bit pricier - and I tend to use quite a few tyres :) 

and five spare sets of wheels is plenty for me to be tripping over in the garage already !

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so, what has been going on with the Exo recently ? 

some fancy new bolts turned up so I replaced the tank cover fixings

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much better

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then it was time to work on that dashboard cover again

a cornflake box template was made 

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and I got busy with the craft knife

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all this so the rear of the gauge cluster can be protected

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not the best pic but I'm happy with that

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the drivers door speaker on the mk2 stopped working a couple of weeks ago, with the car being collected by its new owner soon, I thought I'd better take a look

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I popped the speaker out and tested it - not a peep - so a replacement was sourced from the mazdadudes down in darlington

having booted it down the A1 to make it in time for closing, I had a nice relaxed drive home along the back roads

during which, the old speaker came back to life. very odd, must be a bad connection somewhere.

I changed it over anyway and took another test drive, this time in luxurious stereo :) 

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naughty speaker

this car has been washed more times in two months than the black one has in as many years

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mmm, shiney 

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  • 2 weeks later...

2. I spent THREE HOURS fitting a speedo cable to the Exo

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that 30mm hole in the bulkhead required total removal of the pedal box and brake booster diaphragm, lots of tedious disassembly which could have been avoided by a bit of forward planning :( 

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I had an NC for a while, which was a good car apart from the sheer amount of oil it could burn. On a hard drive or a track day it could do a litre in 100 miles! Turned out to be the PCV valve, which on an NC is under the inlet manifold and an absolute pain-in-the-arse to get to, although the part was IIRC £7 from my local Mazda dealership.

 

Your cars look much nicer than mine was. It was a great car to drive and gave me a serious addiction to two seater, convertible sports cars. I race a Ma7da Locost, which has the engine and gearbox from a 1.8 NB so I still have a connection to the MX-5 world. Big soft spot for them. I've actually never driven an NA or NB but would love to - they seem like the purest MX-5, more than my NC 2.0 was.

 

Overall, good work. I'm enjoying it!

 

Edit to add: my current daily driver is a Jaguar S-Type 3.0 and a Rocketeer conversion on an NA or NB has crossed my mind! Overall I think that my S-Type isn't the right donor since it's a nice one with a manual gearbox which is pretty rare. I'd rather kill a bad automatic one than a nice manual

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3. I started work on the side panels

lifting the car saved much backache 

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the kit includes two sheets of "foamex" which need cut to size, obviously a total fanny on

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a couple of hours and lots of measuring and trimming later

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looks ok

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there is a protective film on them, the true colour is much darker and will look better.

having spent so long on the passenger side, surely it's just a case of copying the shape for the drivers side ? I mean, both sides will be symmetrical, won't they ? 

will they bollocks :( 

close but not quite close enough - a job for another day 

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5 minutes ago, horriblemercedes said:

I had an NC for a while, which was a good car apart from the sheer amount of oil it could burn. On a hard drive or a track day it could do a litre in 100 miles! Turned out to be the PCV valve, which on an NC is under the inlet manifold and an absolute pain-in-the-arse to get to, although the part was IIRC £7 from my local Mazda dealership.

 

Your cars look much nicer than mine was. It was a great car to drive and gave me a serious addiction to two seater, convertible sports cars. I race a Ma7da Locost, which has the engine and gearbox from a 1.8 NB so I still have a connection to the MX-5 world. Big soft spot for them. I've actually never driven an NA or NB but would love to - they seem like the purest MX-5, more than my NC 2.0 was.

 

Overall, good work. I'm enjoying it!

I've only briefly driven an NC, felt so much more grown up compared to my mk1 - I couldn't give it the beans as the owner was sat next to me and had only just bought it the day before - it did feel like it had plenty of oomph though :) prices of those are becoming very tempting now

 

the ma7da locost sounds interesting, I bet it is an absolute hoot to fling round the track - I'm no stranger to trackdays but have never had the opportunity wealth cojones to give racing a go, I should seriously stick it on the bucket list 

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Just now, gm said:

I've only briefly driven an NC, felt so much more grown up compared to my mk1 - I couldn't give it the beans as the owner was sat next to me and had only just bought it the day before - it did feel like it had plenty of oomph though :) prices of those are becoming very tempting now

 

the ma7da locost sounds interesting, I bet it is an absolute hoot to fling round the track - I'm no stranger to trackdays but have never had the opportunity wealth cojones to give racing a go, I should seriously stick it on the bucket list 

I bought my NC in March 2019 for £1700 and did two Nueburgring trips in it and a few track days. It had some rust issues and that oil issue.

 

As you observe, it does feel more grown up than I imagine an NA or NB would. I have read that it was the first MX-5 that was designed for the West - ie it abandoned some of the principles that Mazda originally wanted in order to make it a more commercial product. Still a car with great handling, but I think an NA or NB would be more pure and thrilling.

 

Racing is an expensive game for sure. If you ever fancy a track day in the Ma7da, I'm sure that could be arranged. Let me know :) The old Locosts with their wheezy 1300 Ford crossflow engines and weak four speed gearboxes were ok, but the Mazda 1800 engine and five speed gearbox was a game changer for them. If you'd like to come as a guest to one of the race weekends, that would be fun too

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4. mother gm was tending to her garden last week when she had a bit of a surprise - she quite reasonably assumed that I had somehow got the Exo finished and had turned up for a surprise visit as she saw this chap pull up at the bottom of her driveway

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she went down to investigate and discovered he had randomly stopped outside her house to wait for his mate who was fueling up at the BP down the street ! 

[harryhill] what are the chaarnces ?/[harryhill]

a pair of MEV Rockets, out for a blast in the sunshine :) I'll need to stalk them on the forums and figure out who they are

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5 minutes ago, horriblemercedes said:

I bought my NC in March 2019 for £1700 and did two Nueburgring trips in it and a few track days. It had some rust issues and that oil issue.

 

As you observe, it does feel more grown up than I imagine an NA or NB would. I have read that it was the first MX-5 that was designed for the West - ie it abandoned some of the principles that Mazda originally wanted in order to make it a more commercial product. Still a car with great handling, but I think an NA or NB would be more pure and thrilling.

 

Racing is an expensive game for sure. If you ever fancy a track day in the Ma7da, I'm sure that could be arranged. Let me know :) The old Locosts with their wheezy 1300 Ford crossflow engines and weak four speed gearboxes were ok, but the Mazda 1800 engine and five speed gearbox was a game changer for them. If you'd like to come as a guest to one of the race weekends, that would be fun too

yes and yes ! what part of the world are you in ? please say up north (although it would be worth a road trip)

 

 

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Just now, gm said:

yes and yes ! what part of the world are you in ? please say up north (although it would be worth a road trip)

 

 

I'm in the West Midlands. I notice you're in Chester-Le-Street. At some point we are bound to be at Croft so I could let you know when?

I'd also love to see your Exocet. They're seriously cool things. I'd happily make a trip to see that or even offer help! My skills aren't great though

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Croft is only an hour away, i'd definitely be up for a trip down to see the racing. A few years back, I did an mx5nutz trackday there which was a lot of fun - they were battling with noise issues at the time so were very strict with sessions and dB levels but we still enjoyed ourselves. 

my 1989 mk1 eunos

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  • gm changed the title to gm's unhealthy obsession with mx5s - holy sh!t, batman, an EXO update ! only been a fortnight

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