Category Archives: brakes

Engine mounts, gearbox mounts, clutch slave, handbrake, propshaft, steering rack, radiator, fan

25hrs + 195 = 220hrs

If you read all the things done really fast you might get the impression I work fast – then you’d see this is the first update for 3 months :S Car work has gone on, just a bit more sporadically. After several bouts of ‘I’ll just sell it’ the lovely wife has made me make a couple of hours a week to progress things. That said my lovely little 4 month old (today) is rarely giving me a spare second – but that’s more than fantastic in itself 🙂 look forward to giving him a drive, (or him handing me spanners?) Happy 4 months Joshua…

I will defer to a lot of pictures to show progress, some key things to call out though, in roughly time order…

Engine in, getting this sat in the car was’t too hard with wifes help and an engine hoist, not too much scraping :S

As ever the engine mounts weren’t in the right place, par for the course, and everything takes longer than expected when it comes to drill holes in awkward places.

Nice to get it bolted to the chassis though

Gearbox mounts were okay, stupid thing #1 was not getting the gearbox mount mounting plate on the gearbox while it was out the car, instead I struggled to get the right bolts, threads and location, nothing like making a job for yourself…

either way, not too difficult… the tip from someone around taking a picture from beneath to align holes was a good one, included is a comedy photo I too of myself, I think I had the phone around the wrong way, obviously tired – I look it.

A nice picture of a problem several have had, clutch slave banjos not mating to clutch slaves, this I found was because the after marked clutch slaves are crap. I had two from MX5 parts, one from Autolink, all had the female thread on the cylinder way off parallel to the outer circumstance. After being annoyed at this, I did come around to the though on the MX5 application the hydraulics don’t match with the same type of banjo bolt (straight not off at 90deg). hey ho, a genuine mazda one was the way forward. look after the pennies, suffer major inconvenience.

Once on quite satisfying to have another functional pedal though…

Handbrake was pretty straight forward, it went on and off 20 times to get as little scraping on the chassis rail as poss, some nice captive rivnuts to make it removable. The one PITA was getting a drill and rivnut tool into the chassis tunnel, with the side panels on. In the end I went with cutting a hole in the ali panel to get at it, not nice, and painful to do, but it was the only way, I will patch this after, it did at least mean I could get two riv nuts in the chassis though.#

Prop went off and came back, very good service, I will recall who it was, but ultra efficient, painted, re balanced, the right size with minimal measurement, a great example of service.

gearbox has oil and as does gearstick turret, the gearbox fill bolt was a pain, a square bolt, can be removed with a 16mm socket (imperial equiv). stupid thing #2 was not loosening this with the gearbox out, access is minimal.

Steering rack on, no pain here, quite satisfying again

Currently working on the fan and rad, a little fiddly, but looking positive…











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Final bit of caliper work and brake fitting

15hrs (mb) + 150 = 165hrs

another load of work on the calipers here. starting with the rears, again these were pretty corroded but seemed perfectly servicable. They seemed to work nicely on the donor car and the pistons that came out looked to be in reasonable condition.

The rear calipers are needless to say a little more complex than the fronts, with the handbrake mechanism – but after taking them to bits the mysteries were solved – they’re not that complicated.

Along with the Rons mx5 build book there is this excellent link that helped a lot

with all the bits out and cleaned, re greased and new seals the kit went back together

next onto painting them, what I found with the front calipers and was very useful is taht the pads have to slide in the carriers – not just scrape or get wedged, slide.

with the corrosion on the carriers I needed to do quite a bit of filing on the carriers to get the pads to sit nicely – also far easier to fit the pads and retaining clips when this is fitted to the hub!

another note was the front calipers needed a bit of a scrape of the paint off on the contact point with the brake pad due to the 5 coats of paint – with this I decided to only paint the visible bits of the rear calipers – still looks like though 🙂

another 5 coats of paint!

Excellent help from laura by the way when rebuilding the rear calipers, refitting the circlips that hold in the adjuster is a git, my pliars for these were too fat so we spent about an hour getting these in – excellent job laura!

with these in place it was then to get fluid into the system, I used an ezebleed system which has done a wonderful job of 9 tenths of this, with some manual bleeding to get a bit more air out – again laura donig an epic job.

what I did find was the rears weren’t biting, hadn’t adjusted the adjuster into the pad – doh

now have a reasonably solid pedal – may need redoing over time – but so far happy with that.


Caliper work…

8 hrs (MB) + 142hrs = 150 hours

Hard to call this as MB (Mazda breaking) however it’s time Id not have spent if the parts were new.

For some reason, one I don’t recall I’ve taken it upon myself to service each caliper, the front ones are pretty straight forward, the rear a little more complicated, with the handbrake mechanisms.

So… I sourced the seals from MX5 parts and the mazda dealer – with hindsight I probably should have sourced new/refurbed calipers, the caliper bores and the pistons are in reasonable condition, nothing a little clean wouldn;t fix.

So, front caliper cleaned up, wire brushed down, bores cleaned with some brake fluid and gunk – came up pretty well, far, far better than when I took them off the car, and tehy worked pretty well then. To be clear I am servicing them for a reasonalble reasonable reason, when the brake were on the MX5 they were binding a tad, likely not all 4, but at this point, and with my marathon not spring attitude to this I thought I’d have a go – plus I like learning how things work 🙂

So front calipers were brushed up, new seals fitted – and this was very easy thanks for some info on the net – no rocket science, lube seal, fit, put seal on piston, push it to the edge of the piston, seat it in the caliper – not what the Ron manual says, but felt a better way of doing it (thanks Internet).

Next comes the slightly arduous task of painting the caliper, hammerite red, I know this wasn’t going to be a one coat job, however after 4 coats it looks liek another 2 or 3 could be needed for complete coverage!! Not sure if this is due to changes in paint ingredients, that’s what reviews etc seem to referr to – either way, the paint it quite watery and takes a load of coats.

a couple of pics after coat 2 and 4. honestly, they probably look better in the pics than in the reality – I know they’re never going to look perfect – I think I have to be mindful of that.

Next job is doing the rear seals and putting the bits and bobs back in.

A slight pain is that I thought it’d be fun to bolt a few bits on and see how a wheel looked on – it looked good, a nice visual bit of motivation – mindful there was no caliper so couldnt’ just drive down the road – amongst other reasons…

I digress… the brake disc seemed to not be running what visually appeared a tad uneven in the caliper mount (no caliper remember) – so after much head scratching managed to set up the dial gauge – it was showing about 0.8mm movement – which if I believe the Ron book is a hell of a lot – urgh, especially as this is the side with the new whel bearing…?

So, am I seeing things, is the (new, Minex) disk warped? is the hub off? Something isn’t quite right, everythign seemed done up pretty tight too.

In two minds about that though, need to look at it again, maybe with everythign torqued up it will be better – here’s hoping…

I did dial gague the hub only, and there was about 0.3mm variation in that, but mindful that it was a tad corroded and probably did need a rub down.

I would investigate but the calipers and mounts are hanging on string just above that corner of the car – and I keep banging my head on them, which results in me standing still, seeing stars then carring on, annoyed.

some pics below

Special call out to laura who helped remove one of the caliper bolt rubbers – great job!



Final brake pipe

54hrs + 2 hrs = 56hrs

Final brake pipe fitting time (long 2m pipe front front T to back T), I looked around for the many ways to do this, the manual routes the pipe diagonally accross the front floor panel, however it looks possible to route along the edge.

Taking tips from my usual selection of blogs of similar builds i saw this solution here..

Running the brake pipe along the edge, and the fuel pipes along the side of the lowered floor – at least i’d have a go!

This wen’t quite well really, a fair bit of trial bits of copper brake pipe to test the bends required, and being a 2m pipe it’s quite difficult to handle, that said routing as i have it seems to have fitted asi hoped.

I did find i had a selection of P clips from WF who kindly sent them over, i found the right size eventually, just ended up having enough after bending a couple of rivets.

Hopefully the fuel pipes will route around and about the newly fitted brake pipe!

Another couple of notes, none of the builds show or mention pedal stop bolts for the MX5 SDV build, however it made sense to fit one, and the chassis has a nut to screw one into. speaking to Mark from WF he says they should be fitted, and adjusted according to what seems to be required. no guide lengths given 😦

Another note is I am getting to “source a mazda” part – I always planned to use MX5 heaven for this and their donor kit offer. however the more I speak to them the less confidence then instill me with. Also they didnt sound like they could get me one any time within the next few months!

So I have my eyes open for a donor, may look to strip one back in Devon where I have space.

Brake pipe work

48hrs +6 hrs = 54hrs

I thought I updated last week… seems I ddint. Spent two weekends with a couple of hours here and there fitting the brake pipes, all are done now bar the one that goes under the chassis (pending some voulenteers to help flip it!)

The very front pipes were pretty straight forward, I opted to use both the underneath and the side of the chassis rail to take the pipes (as you will see), hopefully this dhould be okay and we will not have to ues that for anything else!

The diagonal was a little pain, needed to give a good tap to get a mark for a hole, drill it and use the brake clips, using a test bit of copper scrap pipe was really key to getting this right – also when bending tight turns using a spanner on the pipe union seemed to work okay, don’t kink it though!

Two pipes at the front were a pain, the long one was just a little awkward – mainly the routing it under the master cylinder was a little tricky, doable though.

The one which was a tad intricate was the pipe fron secondary port to T piece, it needs to bend in three axis over a short distance! This wsa al going well, until i managed to start the cross thread into the T piece – DAMN!

A tip I did read somewhere was removing the T piece for fitting this – in my wisdom i didnt do this 🙂 When I did remove the T piece I as able to get a decent thread and it “refound” itself. Panic over.

Working on the back of the brake setup now I started forming the rear pipes, the sorter one was easy, a few interesting bends, but doable.

The LH pipe was more difficlt, it;s just that bit longer and has to avoid the reel seatbelt mounts, and needed to avoid a stud on the LH side (the mirror of the one used for the rear T piece).

From some help from WSCC (thank you!) I’ve found the spare stud isnt needed, so it got the chop thus removing one obstacle.

I did have a bit of a drama when I drilled a hole for the pipe clip in the tube that hosts the reel seatbelt mounts. As i was drilling this the bit went through the tube, then hit another bit of tube what it is welded with. The result was a fast drill bit came to an abrubt stop due to the angle of the tube – and it snapped 😦 When it snapped it missed my eye by mmm, I wear goggles for such things when I feel like it – going forward it will be for anything like this, lesson learnt – WEAR GOGGLES.

Here are a load of pics, hopefuly they can be deduced.

Another note i found was that in the biger chassis build manual there is talk of a pedal stop bolt, no mention of this in the MX5 book though, nor have i seen any builds with it.

starting brakes

46hrs + 2hrs = 48hrs

I wast – and arent really looking forward to this  bit, maybe as there is an element of skill required 🙂

I started of as per the manual by fitting the brake pressure switch to the 3 way with the 10mm copper washer – as ever not always simple. This threaded fine for a few threads then became very tight, hopefully this is expected. The only reason i question this is that i subseqently read on WSCC that there ar edifferent threads for these components – I can only hope i have the right ones!

I;ve mailed WF to ask about this – no reply thus far, they don;t seem so good with email.

I also cleaned up the studs that hold the front and rear 3 ways, finally a use for my tap (or is it a die?). nice clean thread anyway, no powdercoating.

Stuck a nut and washer on there, a nice and easy bit…

Now is/was the time for pipes, this seems requires a little thought. WF talk about routing pipes under the floor pan, however owners question this and if it’s a risk. that said all WF factory build cars apparently do it this way. The alternativebeing down the trans tunnel, this seems likely ideally the best route, albeig very fiddly looking. I suspect I may have another route – down the side of the lowered floor.

I did a trial fit of the front pipes, using some donated copper pipe.

Tonight i did get the front LH pipe in place – very clever pipe clips too, just knock in with a rubber mallet.