Category Archives: engine work

Forgot to mention… engine start!

One final thing I forgot to share, the engine starts!

A few vids here, including checking the oil pressure with the coil disconnected


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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Engine work, engine in and one other thing…

10 + 185hrs = 195 hrs

Lots has happened since my last post, again I’ve not got lost or given up, on July 1st I became a dad 🙂 Photo below in amongst the on topic car photos. So I’m now the proud owner of Joshua Oliver Mann, born at Oxford Hospital on July 1st at 8lbs 8 – I am now a very proud happy chap. And the wife is doing well, as am I, albeit less sleep.

For the time being I’m going to keep the car, I keep toying with whether it’s the right thing to do for many reasons, mainly time. However while it doesn’t deteriorate to much while dry in the garage under a cover I’m going to keep plugging away when I get time when Joshua is sleeping, and I’m not…

Besides progress wasn’t exactly fast before, why change now?


A bit of a braindump of photos below, engine has had a lot of serviceables, mostly thanks to mx5parts and littewick green mazda who are now detesting me as I order single bolts and single gaskets as I come to realise I need them.


To give the gist: new clutch kit, plugs, (overkill, too expensive) HT leads, thermostat, gaskets, waterpump, camlebelt and associated tensioners etc. The general stuff that makes sense to get done when the engine is not in the car.

Everything is pretty much back on the engine now, gearbox mated and with a nice orange cambox cover that was beautifully blasted locally for £15, why I ever mess about with brushes and wet and dry I don’t know, the finish was amazing.

Last weekend we were able to get the engine in the car, which considering I roped my wife in to help and Joshua was having a snooze wasn’t a mammoth job, front wheels on some wood for a little height, some tilting, grunting etc and it was in the general direction.

Needless to say the LH engine mount holes are in the wrong place, a bit of a remeasure and lineup, drilling and hole filing and we’re back to a better place. I just need to drill the holes for the gearbox mounts in the chassis, as I’ve seen elsewhere, masking tape to try and get relatively accurate is the knack I suspect.

next jobs will be a bit random I suspect, as i’m hoping not to go for the full completion kit (whether I will choose to regret this?) – there are a few bits I could focus on:

steering rack – then column etc

radiator and fan

fuel tank


needless to say these all need doing, but when these are sorted then I’d like to think I can go down the plumbing route and potentially use the tried and tested mazda coolant reroute plan, as I know a few WSCC pecam sprockets cambox cover cambox cover2 crank sprocket dolly engine front engine no cover engine sans waterpump engine work engine engine2 engine3 inlet manifold joshua baby locking flywheel silverstone stoneleigh under gearbox waterpumpeps have done with success.

Honestly, I’d like to have the engine run before getting much more in, especially given how long the engine has been standing, turning it over by hand is one thing I guess, but just to keep it moving would make me a bit happier. In which case I can use the exact existing wiring just to get to this stage, then look at replacing the original mx5 cluster etc when I have that level of progress.

That’s all for now, tiredly. Andy


Engine stripping and a bit of painting

20hrs + 165hrs = 185hrs

Call off the search, I’ve not got lost again and I’ve not lost all internet access. A few things have happened though, I am now married, and my wife is now pregnant 🙂 hence the radio silence. all in all, wonderful news. 17 weeks and counting.

current plan… keep the car, but we’ll see. also a new daily driver in the form of a ’58 320d touring, nice car, not an inspirational engine.

Below are a lot of pics, bit by bit engine removal, painting etc

not quite at the stage of putting bits back on, but getting there

a few bit of note… managed to snap one bolt holding on the outlet pipe so the water pump – annoying, especially as attempts to remove the snapped were in vain, makes my replacement water pump decision easy…

another bit of note is the new sump, looks good doesn’t it! I will share the details of where I had it done when I dig them out, tony someone near reading. so not only is the sump shortened but capacity is increased through an extension to the length of the lowest part, new baffles, new sump plug – not tested for being oil proof at pressure, but all in all looking great.

getting the sump back on was a complete pain in the ass, not helped by me performing the task with the engine the right way up, most sensible people do this block faced up – I don’t have a engine mount to do this sadly.

the complication here was the sealant went off pretty fast, but was vicious enough it goes onto the seals and the block and sump. the final bugger up was the lone sump bolt that didn’t want to thread into the block. after a bit of advice from the wscc folks I’ve nut and bolted the remaining sump mount, thankfully was able to torque up the nut an bolt to the block – time will tell if the whole thing holds oil – I have no reason to think not, but still means fingers crossed.