We opted for a Mk 1 1.8 as the donor and found this one in January 2013. As this was the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin it seemed an appropriate time to start our first ever kit car. We weren't that bothered about age but we were looking for relatively low mileage. We were happy to find this quite locally with 67k verifiable miles on the clock and plenty of history. Drove brilliantly back to Lancaster from Leeds. We rang Stuart at MEV and put the order in. We were amongst the very first after seeing a preview in Kit Car mag. It wasn't officially released yet but we simply had to do it. It seemed affordable, do-able and it was the right car - a British icon to die for.
Doors off, roof off, interior stripped and plenty of cardboard boxes. Masking tape and pens always to hand. We reasoned that over-labeling is better than wondering later on. Somebody on the blogs already described the MX5 as '99% wiring looms'. We were forewarned!
Once you get the hang of the fact that there are several looms all growing out of each other it's not so daunting. Be prepared to spend some time easing them through the front bulkhead. We would have struggled if Larry hadn't been on one side pulling and pushing while I eased each individual block connector through one at a time.
The forklift struggled to separate the shell from the sub-frames until we found the two bolts we hadn't seen underneath! If any one else is a first-timer we strongly recommend buying the longest breaker bar for your socket set as possible. Some of those bolts are stubborn! Then it was plain sailing, a real landmark for us as we can only get to the workshop for one short session a week.
Now we're getting somewhere. Before the body shell was disposed of we took a few photos of the chassis number and then used the grinder to cut it out for safe keeping.
Now was a great opportunity to get the power washer in action - followed by penetrating oil on everything we could see (probably more psycological than anything else - the threads are always bone dry when you finally get them off).
Had to replace the brake dust shields at the front - again, not expensive. Big day next week ....
Bodyshell arrives! We had a great day going down to Wakefield to meet Stuart with a borrowed trailer. The GRP is superb. Like glass with smooth curves. It seems bigger in the flesh - really impressive. We chose a colour to use as a base for a spray. We're aiming for the original Aston metallic green when everything has been fitted and tested.
We take delivery of four original Mazda 14" wires with good tyres we got off the net for £220. It remains to be seen whether they'll look good enough (obviously the Aston had 16" rims) but at that price, we had to give them a go. First problem will be fitting them as they were supplied with some 1600 cc models and the size of the brake assemblies on the 1.8 are too big. We would need some spacers to stop the spokes hitting the callipers.
The chassis comes back from being painted. A quick flick over with the blaster (it got wet on the way back from Stuart's and had a slight bloom of new rust on some sections), primed and powder coated in a mid grey similar the original DBR's interior. The best £170 we have spent so far. Lovely job and it will be a pleasure to work with.
A bit more work on the front suspension to finish and we can offer up the chassis to the sub-frames. Once we're happy with the fit we'll take it off again to install the floor panels before starting the build proper.
At last another Replicar builder and not a million miles away (I am in the Derbyshire Peaks near the Blue John Mines).
I too have ordered (expected 2nd week in Oct) the same base colour and plan to paint in metallic as per the original trouble is there are lots of variations and pictures can look a different colour. I'd be interested in the colour code if you have it, i'm planning the yellow grill surround and an aluminium egg crate grill. By the way i've also ordered the chassis in grey powder coat and am considering clear lacquer for the ally panels (I plan to use the car whatever the weather, and we get lots of rain in the peaks). I was going to hammerite the sub frames in smooth grey, or even the hammered light green, but recognise that powder coating may be a better option.
I've gone the easy route on the wheels and ordered the wires from MEV.
I havent started stripping the MX5 (1.8 mk2 5 speed) yet as i haven't yet received the V5, will start as soon as.
I propose to fill in the wheel arches to protect the body, would like to do in ally but may end up using the MX5 plastic liners cut to fit, also planning to use the space saver wheel over petrol tank accessed via back of seats (i want to use the car for trips to Le Mans, next years classic is the first target). Planning to open up the vents on the wings but recognise this will need some changes to the passenger compartment and considering running the exhaust in the sill with outlet just in front of rear wheel.
It's interesting being something of 'pioneers' on this kit. We too are considering a spare wheel and have been thinking of using the 'boot space' (access from underneath) as a position. Would get filthy I suppose but at least it would be there. I recon the side exhaust is possible post IVA. A modified system could come out on the passenger side (wrong side) much more easily. We're going to try for this. Actually, I have seen a later DBR 3 with the exhaust on the near side. Good luck with the kit. I'll let you know about paint colours when we get anything definite. The colour's almost mythical but we have got feelers out. Our Mk1 had separate front side lights so we're currently sorting that out.
Really interested in how your getting along , im sure every one else on the forum is as well.
If you hit snags with the donor ask the question on here , or the exocet page , there are so many Mx5 gurus on there you will get a text book answer and save yourselves a wallet full in the swear jar !
keep on trucking, you will have a lot of help available on here if you need it.
Was Exocet no 56 , Red 5s white flash , now just a jag xkr
It's interesting being something of 'pioneers' on this kit. We too are considering a spare wheel and have been thinking of using the 'boot space' (access from underneath) as a position. Would get filthy I suppose but at least it would be there.
It looks like there is room for the spare in the rear body support bracket: Of course if you do have to use the space saver you have to find somewhere to put the full size flat Also this location adds mass outside the wheelbase, not good, at least in theory.
Current build - US AZ 'Old' Sonic 7 kit - 2003 Focus SVT donor. Other recent builds - Furore F1, Arizona Replicar, UK Exocet, UK Sonic 7
Red 5 Thanks and no doubt the queries will come thick and fast when i start dismantling.
Snowbird1 I was thinking of placing spare above tank(looking to have my filler under a flip cover where it was on the original) but unable to confirm dimensions until i take delivery. I suspect this area will be big enough to stow the flat 'full size' wheel and tyre the issue might be the position of the seats (I propose to access the tyre from the cockpit via access through rear bulkhead).
Cars in the Workshop Replicar - 1998 Mk2 1.8 donor Honda Civic Coupe SR Discovery TD5
Thanks for your support chaps and the comments. I'll keep posting stuff on this blog as we progress (relatively slowly compared to you guys I suspect). We'll definitely take you up on some advice as and when we come across probs. Especially as we come towards IVA - quite daunting for beginners!!!!
A couple of hours or so with the grinder, files, emery and a big all-over with the wire buffer wheel takes all raised Mazda lettering off the cam cover. The alloy comes up fab with a wipe over with a clean oily rag - just right for the period. Anyone know where we can get an oil filler cap with raised 'AM' or 'DB' letters on it? !
Intakes also respond well to the wire buffer wheel treatment and the oily rag. It's not a straight six but at least it won't shout 'WRONG!' too loudly when the bonnet comes off.
We're ready to work with the space-frame now. Looking at the work so far it's fair to say that we haven't achieved a 'New Car' look at all - we have achieved something much better altogether. It looks like an old car that has been constantly maintained, painted and greased up underneath. Perfect for a tribute to a classic racing car. Dead chuffed - and enjoying every minute so far.