Hi All, I’ve been watching this forum for some time now as I have been keen to build a kit car. This model looks perfect. I’m was very jealous of what many of you have created. I was saddened to see that Stuart was passing on the design and just got in my order prior to him handing over. Mine must be one of his last.
So after waiting for 5 months for the kit to be constructed and shipping on a slow boat from the UK half way across the world, it finally arrived here to the Melbourne docklands. As luck would have it, I cut a nerve in my hand the day before it arrived. I picked the crate up on a flatbed anyway but had to wait a little while to unpack the crate. Now I’m just waiting on tooling up the garage, my hand recovering from surgery and then finally work may begin on the build.
My plan is to build a modern sports car in a classic chassis, so it may be a little different to the original but love seeing the variability that this kit allows. I will probably need to call on all of your previous experience though as this is my first project.
Welcome to the forum. It must be driving you mad having the kit and not being able to start building. Hope you come to the other builders for any advice you may need. I have found solutions on here frequently from other builders but I guess you won't be getting many offers of help in person. Keep the photos coming in as you progress, everyone loves a build.
Thank you. I’m planning to use an NB PPF, upgraded brakes and suspension and a rotary conversion. It will all depend on what I can manage and stay street legal.
Currently it is black but I’m thinking of getting it colored. Haven’t decided yet between British racing green (maybe the Jaguar f1 version) or maybe a cherry black candy. Yet to decide also whether to have the lipstick accent.
Hi Stu, Slow start so far (as I was expecting).... I have engaged a VACC engineer who thinks the project might be feasible. There is the option of registering as a 1959 replica which will require a different (lower) set of standards. If I plan for the rotary conversion though it will have to pass all the ADRs. My plan is to get the car road registered with a rotary if I can.
The chassis may be a little light to pass the torsion testing requirements. It’s not an insurmountable issue though. After I get the donor stripped I hope to borrow a torsion testing rig and check it and reinforce if needed.
Another issue will be where to place front indicators and remain compliant. I was hoping for LED but can’t find an ADR compliant solution and mounting location is a challenge too.
I have bought a 2001 NB series 2 donor MX5 and started stripping it down. I’ve also invested in some decent tools. So time is the limiting factor now.
I have arranged an engine builder to help with the conversion and am about to order suspension/brakes/ control arm upgrades from the US.
I hope to be ready to lift off the body off in the next month or two.
I’m expecting a slow build... probably 2-3 years total but it will be worth it in the end.
Finally some progress... it’s been a bit slow but today I managed to lift the body off the PPF with the help of some friends.
Now the fun starts to clean it all up.
I’ll probably mount the chassis temporarily to make an attempt at the beam and torsion test required here to meet ADRs. My engineer thinks the frame may require some reinforcement and at least this way we will know. I suspect I may have to test a second time but hopefully it is stiff enough.
After that I’ll start on the aluminium panels, but not much point if the frame needs to be modified.
Custom subframe and some other toys have arrived. A few are a still on order.
Then the tricky bit will be the engine conversion. I’m thinking at the moment of using the Renesis engine (modifies if it will meet emissions) with the Rx8 gearbox and simply adapt through a custom drive shaft to the diff.
Yes, I am a rotary fan. I figure in a self built car there is a chance of a rattle or two (hopefully not). The rotary is very smooth and shouldn’t shake it apart. They generate good power for a small engine. I have an RX8 and that is where this project actually started as I need to learn a bit more about it mechanically. It is a great car but a little underpowered.
I don’t think that power will be an issue in this car though. And the lack of torque from a rotary shouldn’t be an issue in something so light.
Not much has changed lately but finally I’ve had a chance to get back to the kit. The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are a little strict and the car needs to conform to beaming and torsion testing standards. I have signed up to a clubman builders group who have all the dial gauges and a rig for testing. I plan on using their rig because I will need to retest later to satisfy the engineer.
I have had some RHS welded up to eliminate the shocks and bolted it all up. Unfortunately the front sections didn’t quite fit and I’ll have to tweak the angle on the welds.
The rest of the rig seems to be quite solid. It bolts down at the back and then twists through the front drivers side by adding weight to a platform. Deflection is measured with a series of dial gauges.
So I just need to fit the steel shock eliminators at the front and then hopefully I’ll be able to see how stiff the chassis is. I am expecting that some reinforcement will be required but this way I can see exactly where to add more. (Realising that the panels will also stiffen it up a bit more).