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RichardKs ramblings: Time to optimise - one sporty unusual coupe, one auto convertible + "the project"


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Not reassembled as the radio has to be swapped yet, but...






Next: retrim an armrest in...


I am not sure how best to achieve this but I want to bring in an element from modern Mazdas that recalls a bit of Mazda's history and origin as a cork manufacturer... MX-30s and CX-60s have little bits of cork detail on the consoles and dashboard, it's sealed in a kind of resin.

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9 hours ago, RichardK said:

Next: retrim an armrest in...


This would be an interesting one.

I'm guessing you must be able to buy cork in thin sheets which could be cut to shape and bonded down to the carrier... but how on earth do you stop it breaking up around the corners of the trim?

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9 hours ago, Crackers said:

This would be an interesting one.

I'm guessing you must be able to buy cork in thin sheets which could be cut to shape and bonded down to the carrier... but how on earth do you stop it breaking up around the corners of the trim?

Well, that's what I wondered when Mazda announced cork as a trim on the MX-30. What they've done is made it into a sealed and bonded lacquered veneer, it doesn't have the same texture as unfinished cork. Assuming you can get lacquers that remain flexible that's my first port of call.

I'm also thinking I can simplify this by sticking to say, a stripe on the armrest rather than a full armrest...

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Ever wondered if those Android head units are any good?


It seems alright so far but one speaker on the car is duff and there was no adaptor for the antenna, so I had to order one and wait to reassemble the dash.


Wireless CarPlay! And it worked first time.


I've yet to investigate fitting a reverse camera, but the hookup is CANbus and the first thing it did was tell me the door was open...

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Not gonna lie, the facelifted PT Cruiser's interior doesn't look nearly as bad as people make it out to be

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Radio went back - it crashed and powered off whenever reverse was selected, coming back on with a thump - that, and the lack of hardware/physical volume buttons spoiled the otherwise impressive first impressions 😕

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The state of it. I think hammering the rust and crap off the caliper has helped but this isn't pretty.

And what is it with people not jacking cars up properly, and then doing nothing to remedy the damage?! I hate the state of the motor trade in this country.








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PT Cruisers are really grim:

Ignition switch. I actually did this quickly once I'd sussed out the dash panel. The wheel adjustment lever blocks the switch, the attempt to fit the new one with the ridiculous access snapped the extension stick which activates the key-in chime.

Upside. No more relentless chime when door is open, it still chimes if ignition is on.


This panel is a bastard.

To remove the lower driver's side dash panel on a Mk 2 PT Cruiser...


Pull forward at the top to disengage these four metal clips below the instruments and either side of the column.


Reach through the steering column space and push the three plastic tabs in the middle down to disengage the panel.


Then remove the column shroud and you have clearance for a T2.0 security bit and some means of turning it...


Then pull the switch away. The stick poking out of the actuator is the key in lock chime pokey-bit. It snaps off easily.


Old and new switches but you can't see the worn old one.


Trim removal tools are useful.


Window rattle: worn guides, worn weatherseal. Nowt I can do. But the speaker's bust on this side.


Washed, brushed, jenolited, Hammerite undersealed over the bit where some asshat jacked the wrong part.

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardKs ramblings: PT Cruising into the unknown (code)...

Android head unit returned, blown speaker discovered (actually rusted solid). Tried some £29 Kenwood 16.5cm (6 3/4") components, sounded /awful/... so got creative on the eBay searches based on adaptor ring compatibility lists.

A replacement from a Jeep Cherokee rear door!


But look!


Cor! Infinity! Bought the matching side for the passenger door. Bass is better but I think the crossover for the dash tweeter is the wrong spec so I'll probably end up replacing the dash speakers with infinity ones as well.

Then discover the rears can be upgraded with Jeep front 6x9s or similar hilarity, but they're a pig to get to.

While searching - Cruisers didn't have many radio options. You got this:


Or a shitty satnav.


Jeeps use that shape of radio.


Small hitch. But it'll be worth it!

The CD changer made many noises when I powered it up. Wonder if the previous owner of the donor car left any music in it...


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20 hours ago, RichardK said:

Tried some £29 Kenwood 16.5" components, sounded /awful/...

Not surprised - you'd need a amplifier to drive those.  😁

Seriously, check they are in phase i.e. all + going to + side of speakers etc.


and have a look round here http://www.bcae1.com/spkrimp.htm

Check impedances on speakers aren't wrong for output on head unit. You can get an .mp3 or similar to play and check the phase is OK. I think the first on this list will be one https://www.focal.com/en/focal-teach/cd-focal-tools

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18 minutes ago, RichardK said:

Hah! Christ. 16.5 CM, should be 6 3/4"

All the specs right, they were just grim. 

Same size as front Fabia speakers too. I used Pioneers in mine, can shoogle the car when you turn the D-Bass up on the Sony.

Who needs a subwoofer?!

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Swap around:


Now. How good /is/ my MX-5?








That's a fair bit of dirt gone before the bike chain wax on the suspension treatment.

Stupid surgery. But I need it so, actually, hopeful I've less pain and will still be able to enjoy the RX-8.


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Since I'm playing with ramps, let's clean under the Cruiser.


It's not THAT bad, though I am pretty sure it's had a trip into a verge. Cracked bumper visible now the black wax has worn off, alignment out, damage to NS sill (shallow), damage to OS floor (bad jacking).

My instinct is the shitty garage repairs to free the sticking brake (smear copper grease ON THE BRAKE DISC) caused the car to pull violently to one side and that spooked the owner for the final time.


Same age as the MX-5. Definitely not the same condition.


The other speaker showed up. Door trim off, 2 minutes.


Okay, not just a metal basket, there are A FEW differences. Look at the size of the magnet!


It's not dynamatted or owt and the rear speakers are now comedically bad, but actually a pretty worthwhile upgrade.

Also checked the MX-5's MP3-capable CD player works with an MP3 CD. It does!

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11 minutes ago, Six-cylinder said:

I do love you collection, unknown, obtuse, brave and easy.

The Cruiser isn't that brave...

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2 minutes ago, Six-cylinder said:

My view PT obtuse, the RX-8 is brave!

Unknown, Tavria
Obtuse, Cruiser
Brave, RX-8
Easy, MX-5?

We're missing a resident there, and it does get occasional poking. The Tavria's going to go, as will the MX-5, but the RX-8 remains in the hope that I do make a proper recovery from surgery. RX-8 now = Capri when I was 27. Ford should always have made a new Capri based on the RX-8 platform with MX-5 engine.

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1 minute ago, RichardK said:

Unknown, Tavria
Obtuse, Cruiser
Brave, RX-8
Easy, MX-5?

We're missing a resident there, and it does get occasional poking. The Tavria's going to go, as will the MX-5, but the RX-8 remains in the hope that I do make a proper recovery from surgery. RX-8 now = Capri when I was 27. Ford should always have made a new Capri based on the RX-8 platform with MX-5 engine.

Yes that is the list as I see it.

Spitfires to me are traditional.

It is good for a car guy to have an unknown, obtuse, brave, easy and traditional in his garage.


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Last weekend enjoying this, so spent the afternoon messing about with it after investigating the state of the rear knuckle/hub carrier.


It's weird seeing springs/dampers - original Bilstein as this is a Sport - looking like this after 104,700 miles.

I seem to remember the brakes being a recent job in the history.


Cleaned the back of the wheel with the Bilt Hamber purple smelly spray and wheel back on, trusty torque wrench and a new 21mm wheel nut socket 'cause it turns out I only had 17 and 19 and I don't like incomplete sets (plus it was on sale).




I seem to have got comfortable with ramps and jacks, so I'm getting a set of axle stands and changing the diff oil. Probably cheaper to pay for it to be done, but I have oil, and an oil dispensing can. I shall dispense oil. From a can. It needs 0.7 litres +/- 0.1 so shouldn't be too unpleasant.

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardKs ramblings: Time to optimise - one sporty unusual coupe, one auto convertible + "the project"

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