Monthly Archives: April 2012

Diff prep

5 (MB) + 113 = 118hrs

Now the diff is back it’s back up with the Westfield – I’ve seen a few people paint their diffs, some not. I liked the look of it being painted, so have done. Conscious that the diff will get hot, but hopefully not so hot that a coat of paint is going to cause issue, feeling the diff on my bmw daily driver the other day instilled me with some confidence.

So after a wire brush, drill sanding and some prep the diff was painted, Initially I wasnt sure, the hammerite certainly doesnt stick to the aluminuim bits the same as the corroded steel – but after a second coat looks pretty good, I suppose let’s not forget, noone is ever going to see the diff…

I’ve also been doing a bit of work on the diff mount, I noted when I first inspected the mount the welded on washer extension bit, the holes didnt line up perfectly, and indeed an M12 bolt doesnt fit through, I assumed a little dremeling and filing would sort this, and it did, but required a fair bit of refiling to ensure the mount lined up with the metalistic bushes in the chassis.

Fits pretty well now though, so should be okay when it’s attached to the diff and offered up.

Another thing…. The diff bracket needed a tiny bit of filing to not clash with the bit of metal holding the rear 3 way brake pipe union – only a tiny bit of trimming, chassis variation I guess.

Also worth pointing out the bit fo the diff you don’t need, near the mount.

Engine out of Mazda…

6(MB) + 107 = 113hrs

So I was at home for easter, last weekend and spent some time doing a few more jobs on the car – the main aim was diff out, anything else ideally engine was a bonus – glad to say engine (+gearbox), diff and propshaft, and steering column all came back – excellent. As ever, some jobs go easier than you’d think

Diff removal wasn’t too bad, found that two nuts in the mounting were fine, turned great, the other two on the other side were rounded bits of metal, so quite a while was spent with them ultimately being drilled out – this is where the time goes, incase anyone wondered…. oh to work with new, clean parts…

Apart from that the diff came down pretty easily, used a trolley jack to take the weight and it sort of stepped it’s way down.

Avid readers will know the propshaft and power plant frame of the mx5 were still in situ – this was pretty straight forward too – as per the book, lower the diff, ensure you can pull it back (i.e. the axel stands arent in teh way, and teh car is high enough – obviously?) and the propshaft slid out the gearbox, the ppf came with without too much hassle.

With the whole lot off came the job of separating things. The PPF first, afer much levering and banging I was annoyed it it – in a moment of inspiration I recalled it was aluminium, so got the hacksaw out and it was off in 5 minutes – I’m sure there is a knack to removing PPFs from diffs, but all the info I read talks about sliding it off the same as you do at the gearbox end, not the case on my car, whether this changed over the years? This is fitted with some bushes. with aid of a hammer these were off anyway.

The propshaft was the only ancillaryto the diff now. this wasn’t too difficult, the propshaft bolts aren’t easy to get to, but with a bit of leverage then came off. victory, a free diff.

I did want to do some work on the rear hubs, but as ever, i didnt take soemthing down to devon – in this case the locking wheel nut adapter – damn, so no wheel removal :S

Next onto the enginer and gearbox – I was pretty confident everything was undone, a final few checks left me one clip holding a bit of wiring loom, not too much pain.

Thankfully the very helpful Jed and my cousin Adam were around, and required very little persuasion to help out. The only extra step was to undo the LH engine mount, it may have been done without, but it made life a bit easier – anything for that…

With the help of the engine hoise -another, quite dull story, but a story nonetheless, Jed and Adam we lifted, pulled and I propped the gearbox under the car, and out it came, careful of the coils at the rear of the engine, and any extra wires etc. Quite easy, I suppose getting to that stage wasnt…

Anyway, out it came, and is now sat on a pallete on the engine hoist, a lovely clean engine and gearbox – looks a raelly solid base, quite pleased…

There are a few jobs I want to do before it goes back in, namely:

cambelt – already overdue :S, oil, oil filter, thermostat, etc

also Jed and Adam think a new clutch, given the milege and how easy it should be… famous last words – but does seem a valid point.

So yes, the car gets lighter…