Monthly Archives: May 2015

Everything from Dec 2014 to May 2015!!

50+327 = 357 hours!

Cancel the search party, I know it’s been 5 months but there has been some progress beyond where we were, as ever, limited by time, money and effort ๐Ÿ™‚ currently time is the limiting factor – not that the other two are infinite!

So quite a lot has happened, I will try and revert back to blogging a little more regularly to save big updates like this, but stuff has moved on a tad – even had the engine turn over (without coil pack plugged and no fuel). More on that in a min…

Lots of pics and a few words, here we go!

So early Jan I made my second ever trip to WF in Kingswinford, the van was rented and I tripped up there on my tod while Laura looked after our little boy. For what it’s worth it was a long wheel base transit, and very nice I must say, I won’t be chopping in my 3 series touring, but I did get quite attached after a couple of hundred miles, surprisingly easy to drive – I digress.

Great to have the bodywork with me, it’d been 4 years in the waiting and was lovely to see the orange in the flesh – more importantly my orange in the flesh ๐Ÿ™‚

Laura helped unload, some pics below, and quite a bit was squirelled in the house, only to move for inlaws.

So before the bodywork could be fitted there was some degree of process, a number of activities had to happen before I could proceed, this was my list:


Fit scuttle to fit locating blocks

Drill big grommet holes
Mark rivnut locations for drilling tub
Measure fuel fuller pipe length

Remove tub

Underseal front and rear arches (wait until brackets on for front)
Fit rear arches
Fit 2xsenders
fit coolant P clips

Fit wiring cable tie clips

Refit exhaust

Make exhaust template

Paint sanded bits with hammerite

Refit tub
Find location for expansion bottle, cut pipe

Find location for battery

Trial fit pedal cover panel/rivnuts

Re do angle of steering column with bracket etc

Re do air filter bracket

Refit scuttle

Fit nose cone




Ultimately… a lot of tasks depended on the bodywork being on, a lot needed to happen with no bodywork, and many fitted around this.

One key thing before getting the engine fired up is oil pressure, with no MX5 dash I couldn’t see if we had pressure, this has led to my VDO kit. So the gauges and senders are going to be the nice VDO set. An interesting(ish) nuance to this was the opinion of the IVA compliance for the gauges, ETB say no, Demon Tweeks say No, VDO say Yes – go figure, after a little thought I’m going to recess them into a padded dash (at the IVA stage), and perhaps go for a flatter dash in the future – cough.

So as part of testing the right sender and gauge – and testing my range of adapters you’ll see a squash bottle, kettle, Odyssey battery and some wire, just to test whether it all works with the required adapters.

Onto the senders…

one for oil pressure, one for water temperature, in my case both used in the same position in the MX5 implementation.

Both are 1/8-27 BSP thread, apparently an odd thread given a Japanese manufactured car, hey ho, it is what it is.

So for the oil pressure sender that means a 1/8-27 BSP to 1/8 NPT convertor – more on that ******** in a moment.

For the water temperature sender it was a bit more complex, same 1/8-27 BSP to 1/8 NPT convertor – however, the VDO sender is too long to fit in the convertor, and can you find a longer convertor? Can you hell. After much searching this came from the States… not for this purpose, but after some dremmeling internaly has done the trick – hence the kettle and squash bottle testing though.

At this point Laura would like to add she counted the threads “on that sodding bolt” – she’s not wrong, distinguishing the difference between 27 and 28 threads per inch is a PITA. It also took an age to source the relevant bits, I’m sure A it’s easier when you know where and B there may be a better way.

At this point I ought add the nightmare I had with the 27 thread to 28 thread adapter for the oil pressure sender. This sender sits in the induction side of the block, not a thread I want to screw up with the engine in… With no torque settings to work with I fitted this adapter, at 20nM it was fine, with a bit of sealant in place I wanted no oil to leak. Just a little tighter, and lo and behold – ping. Off snaps half the adapter ๐Ÿ˜ฆ flush with the block too. After staring in disbelief for a few moments I thought “okay, it just needs turning left and it’ll come back”. After trying pliars, mole grips etc it quickly became evident it wasn’t budging. To stop the story taking longer to tell than the 5 or so hours I spent removing the blighter the eventual solution was stud removers with extension bars, this was further complicated because the stud extractors had a square end as they expect a tap/die on the end, no chance of space for that with enginer in situ and intake manifold on. Anyway, eventually it came out, much to my relief, a new one is in place, this time 10nM – that best do.

After much diddling it was bodywork time.

I have to say the finsh of the bodywork is really good, in most places there is not a lot of work required, I’ll only call out the bits where there was.

For me the massive amount of time was the scuttle hitting the dash hoop, I’ve talked about this already, and from WSCC it’s not uncommon, but I suspect a chassis build 4 years prior to the bodywork hasn’t helped matters. The end result was a lot of fettling of both the roll hoop and scuttle, decent fit eventually I hope.

Shut lines look reasonable with again a bit of jiggling, around 3-4mm.

Arches were pressy straight forward, fettling the locator blocks and 10x plastic number plate bolts, a nice rewarding job, only info I’d share here is not to overtighten (do I not learn!!?) the plastic bolts, finger tight with a socket seems to do, or the nuts skip a thread on the bolt.

The final bit i’d call out was fitting the final hose P clips (rubber lined of course and the loom holding clips. Now, this is clearly not that difficult on paper, drill holes, a bit of paint, then rivetย – access is of course the issue. There are (thankfully) few things I’d do differently in the build – fitting these when I had no engine in would be 100 times easier.

Final, final bit was after all the bodywork on/off jobs the tub went on for the hopefully final time – thank you Laura, getting proficient at fitting the rear under the chassis! Nice to have it sat in place and a few rivets in.

There we are, that is what 2 – 3 hours a week for 5 months looks like at my pace!

Next up is some more main wiring, then shortly (asap) getting the engine firing. (Also hopefully getting a silencer (with CAT, need a CAT) from Lewis from WSCC tomorrow)

That’s all for now!


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