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gm's unhealthy obsession with mx5s - look who’s back


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it's one surprisingly well so far, that wishbone is still a problem that needs sorting but other than one sheared bolt, I'm pretty pleased with progress.

the injury list is surprisingly small too - a few scrapes and cuts on my hands, a scraped shin where I walked into a trolley jack handle sticking out and a lump on the back of my head where I banged it on the engine crane (bloody solid, that thing is)


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Not much of an update today, there's been a bit of cleaning going on


application of unleaded and elbow grease resulted in



I noticed one of the wee wheels on my trolley was broken


upgraded :)


and the gearbox dalek rolls again


wiring loom safely stashed away - that's going to be a fun job sorting all that out 


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correct, most imports came with an LSD of one sort or another - the one I'm breaking is a 1.6 s-special which has a viscous diff, my other one is a 1.8 v-spec that came with a torsen diff, I'm toying with the idea of swapping them over as the torsen is the better option but I've had enough of fighting with rusty nuts and bolts for now :) 

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2 hours ago, DVee8 said:

@gm,Did you have the MX5 out for a hoon around 7.30 last night?

We were walking up Chester Moor,when a black mx5 with red came round the roundabout and sht up towards the rspca.


err, that might have been me, I did go for a little drive “to the shops” around that time last night - was the roundabout negotiated in a calm and sensible manner ? :) 

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another day of not getting much done, i had a good poke around the engine and it appears to have had a recent timing belt - I'll replace it anyway as it's so easy to work on now - and started to draw up a shopping list


mx5parts has a 10% off deal this weekend so I'll get a decent order in


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meanwhile, back in garage gm :

I thought i'd try a nice easy job today - HA ! you can imagine how that went 

the last time we saw the steering rack, it looked a bit like this

i.e.. fucking manky


after some gentle* persuasion with all manner of inappropriate tools, it now looks a bit like this


the tie rods are re-useable but the locking washers (which had been mullered in the past) are now well beyond redemption. and it appears that you can't get them on their own, new tie rods need to go on the shopping list. mercifully, the previous owner had been planning to do the rod ends so I have a new pair of them ready to go on.

I'm de-powering the rack which involves stripping out a bunch of gubbins from inside and blocking the holes where the pipes were. in an ideal world, I would get the ferrules? welded up to make plugs but as a temporary measure (as they only need to keep dirt out) I've filled them with a dab of silicon sealant. I'll cut that flush once it's set and it will do for now.



the last job once fully disassembled is to get the pinion welded, not sure how to go about that, there's a couple of ads on facebook for local guys who do TIG, I can't imagine it will cost much for a two minute job.




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more work on the steering rack this afternoon


to de-power the rack, the centre piston needs to come off via some very careful angry grindering 


really annoyed that I scored the shaft :( 


and these valves need to come off the pinion, thankfully just a circlip to ping across the garage to shift them



got everything nicely cleaned up ready to put back together


I put everything back together so I don’t forget how it all fits, the pinion doesn’t seem to have any play in it but I’ll take it back out and get it welded up before the rack goes anywhere near re-use. the little silicon plugs seem to work well, I’m quite pleased with that idea 

the day did almost end in tears as I had the grinder all set up in the garage and was just about to start cutting when it occurred to me I had been using petrol to degrease the parts and I really should move outside first :) 

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Saw one of these in the flesh late last year. Picked up a brochure and I am quite tempted in the future.


Didn't know about the GBSZero either. I'd possibly go more that way myself as I like the Caterham shape, but can't afford a proper one. 

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4 hours ago, paulplom said:

Are you following a set of instructions or just making it up as you go along?

For the minute, there's quite a bit of making it up as I go along - in order to learn how something works, you must first take it bits :) I'm definitely learning a lot, the mx5 is so well designed there are regular "aah, I see" moments as I pull it all apart. The real challenge comes when it has to go back together again. Satisfyingly, I haven't had to destroy anything yet, it has all come apart as it should.

most jobs on the 5 are well covered online, there are a few Exocet build videos on YouTube (some better than others) and the Exocet forum has some good build diaries. Once I get properly started, I will do one myself and keep this up to date too. Can't wait to get stuck in 

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the long bolt fixing the rear offside lower arm is seized in the hub carrier - no amount of plusgas and abuse with the windy gun will shift it :( 


ideally, I'd like to save the lower arm and the long bolt (the bolt is over a tenner to replace :( )


but that's a mighty tighty space to get the grinder in


success :) shame I trashed the bolt but the wishbone is fine (apart from being rusty and having fecked bushes, obviously)

while i had the grinder out, I chopped up that dashboard I've been forever tripping over and chucked the bits in the bin :)   

I now have 'london snot' :( 


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6 hours ago, gm said:

Spare room is full again :( 






I think you've missed a trick.


You could have the doors on opposing walls, bumper ahead facing the wall, separate the lights and turn them round, centre console in the middle, hood behind the carpet set and with addition of a comfy chair you could turn your spare room into an actual MX5!

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