Well we got the chassis back from the powder coaters this morning so the next couple of hours enabled us to fit the fuel/brake pipe clips and fit the floor. First we laid the alloy sheet on to mark it then cut it to shape with a jig saw.
Then we fitted the pipe clips and ran a bead of PU around the floor contact points.
Then we drilled and riveted the floor on with rivets at around 100mm spacings including the seat rails.
Then we lifted the chassis on and lined it up ready to fit the 12 holding down bolts that are supplied in the kit.
Well another couple of hours were spent today. Firstly I used a jack to line the bolt holes up to bolt the chassis on to the MX5 subframes. Note I have checked the bushes with a crow bar and they are good so that makes it real easy and quick to build. Actually I have built 9 MX5 based cars so far and not replaced a single bush yet.
I had to use a G clamp to get one of them lined up properly as the powder coating made the bolts a tight fit.
Next I fitted the 4 bolts to hold the front anti roll bar in place. The rear anti roll bar is mounted on the subframe so does not need any attention.
Then I fitted the handbrake and cables. The MX5 cables even have a perfectly placed clamp bracket that I used on both sides.
The clutch pedal goes in next complete with the master cylinder from the MX5.
Then I cut the spacers off the back of the pedal assembly and used them on the brake servo studs.
The pre drilled holes in the steel bulkhead are perfectly placed to make it easy to insert the pedal assembly and master cylinder/servo.
Then the steering column just slides into place without modification and slots back into the rack U/J. Eagle eyed amongst you will notice slots in the steering wheel which will not pass IVA, I will use the original MX5 one.
Next I turn to the in tank petrol pump and fuel gauge sender. To fit in the alloy tank it needs to have the float turned around 90 degrees. I did this with a small square of alloy.
This is now shown attached and ready for fitting.
It then inserts into the tank and is secured by self tap screws or you could tap threads in to the alloy rim.
I then trial fit the tank into the chassis and it is ready for the feed and return pipes to be connected.
Turning to the radiator I was even able to use the original coolant pipes which fit perfectly.
I then fitted the two top wishbone bridge plates in to the holes that are conveniently already in the bones.
Only had an hour spare today so I decided to fit the front wing stays. Quite easy, took the calipers and discs off then knocked off the grease caps and un did the hub nuts and pulled off the hubs (no bearing puller needed). I then removed the 3 bolts holding on the dust guards and fitted the wing stays to the same 3 bolt holes with slightly longer 8mm bolts (wings stay plate is thicker than the dust guards). I will mount the rear ones next week.
Rear stays have been modified now and so the picture is showing an un painted set taken from a jig I made this morning. Production ones as shown are bolted to the top caliper bolt and then a hole is drilled as shown for a second bolt. We suggest thread lock fluid is used.
I am now going to look at positioning the header tank and air flow meter in the engine bay.
Nice quick job, I drilled for the header tank and the washer bottle and air flow meter. I made a short alloy bracket to support the header tank and used a spacer to mount it at the top as it is a weird shape. I will add a short length of pipe to the air flow meter to get the intake away from the hot exhaust manifold.
Did the wiring this morning, first I mounted the fuse box's and the ecu, then I connected the main cable to the starter and alternator in the engine bay. It looks untidy but a few cable ties will sort it out.
Just a matter of plugging everything back in the same sockets you removed them from. Careful labelling is very important here although it is difficult to mix the sockets up as most only fit in one plug so you have trouble getting it wrong.
Note there are 7 important earth connections. One is from the engine block to the chassis, 2 are multiple small wire blocks as shown on top (1 is on the ecu screw and the other above the clutch). 1 bolts to the alloy PPF (power plant frame) near the diff which is where I am going to fit the battery. 1 more near the battery on the main earth cable to be bolted to the chassis. 1 near the petrol pump with small wires to be grounded to the tank. There is also a thickish black wire near the ecu. This can be attached to the same ecu screw as the multi earth block as will be shown further down the page. Just off to get a battery.
above you can see the earth bolted to the ppf, there is also an earth for the petrol pump which I have screwed to the tank. Also I will bolt the earth eyelet to the chassis near the battery on the main earth cable.
Today I connected the fuel filler pipe from the MX5 and put a gallon in the 5 gallon tank. Not a large tank but it will run for over 100 miles between fill up's. The option here is to fit a pair of tanks behind the seats if long range is a must. I prefer to stop and answer questions on the forecourts.
As you can see I have connected the feed and return pipes from the fuel pump. I didn't label these though so I have a 50% chance of it being correct! I connected a battery, tried the start key and after 10 seconds of turning it over there was no life. I came to the conclusion that as the pump sounded a little noisy that it probably was not pressurising due to the feed and return pipes being the wrong way round. Swapping them over is a hazardous job as one is under high pressure and can blow petrol in your face! I swapped them over, turned the key..... It burst straight in to life! Good oil pressure on low revs as seen in the picture.
Two minor issues were encountered. The first being that although the light units are not connected it is clear that an earth is missing as the oil pressure meter moves when the engine is off and the light switch is turned on. Turns out I left earth wire number 7 off. The 2 plugs next to it are not labelled as they were not connected on the donor car. Presumably these are for an option not fitted but either way are nothing to worry about. You can see the thick black wire though that I have now added to the ecu screw. That sorted out the minor issue.
The other minor issue is that the 2 wires to the brake master cylinder switch were not long enough. These are now extended in the picture and when the handbrake is applied the light on the dash lights up. However as there is no fluid in the brake reservoir it remains lit when the handbrake is off. I then slide a piece of convoluted tube over the extended cable to protect it. You can also see how I have mounted the fuse box's in this picture.
You can see the 2 red crimp terminals above the module which is now mounted known as the ignition amplifier. Please also note that the vacuum pipe from the servo to the inlet plenum has a one way valve in it so it must be fitted with the arrow on it pointing towards the engine, or brakes will be poor!
I am going to fit the brake pipes this morning, I did make a sketch of which pipe to connect to which port on the proportional valve and the master cylinder prior to stripping the MX5. Get this wrong and the brake balance will not be how it was intended.
Now that is interesting, I filled it with water and left it running until it warmed up. I then felt it ran a little lumpy on tick over. Almost like the mixture was too weak. Then I spotted the cause. If you look carefully at the picture above with the brake pipe sketch you can see at the bottom right hand corner of the paper that there is a small pipe with nothing connected to it. It is letting air in! This was previously connected to the carbon canister pipe which I find bulky and not necessary so I blanked it off with a self tap screw and now she runs sweet.
Well today I decided to offer the body panels up as I could not wait to see it looking like a car again. To be honest when I did I did not get quite the buzz I was looking for. That white is just too bland for me. The car has such sharp clean lines that white just does not do it justice. We talked about colour for half the day and searched for cars images in various colours. It is clear that certain cars look better in certain colours personal preference to one side we have now decided..... Burnt orange metalic/pearlescent!! Trouble is metalic's do not work well in grp gel coat so instead of making another set of panels in a different colour I took them over the road to the paint shop. I will now have to concentrate on other parts of the build to keep me from going mad with excitement. I have to say I am a little nervous regarding the colour choice but i will know on Friday if it was a mistake! Tune in tomorrow for further build up dates