Category Archives: Mazda Breaking

Removing Calipers, wiring loom and engine moving

15hrs (MB) + 127hrs = 142hrs

Several actions here, and not much of a blog update, so here we go…

I removed the first caliper off the car a few weeks back – and this was a case of just undoing the caliper from the mounts and banjo.

What I did read but didnt really take on was how hard gtting the piston out the caliper – this one did seemed a tad on the seized side. I tried pushing, pulling, not really expecting much joy there, as expected, didnt work.

I then tried to get some compressed air in the caliper, I did this with a foot pump first off, but getting into the caliper was the tough bit, getting a seal. I then tried to make up some form of gadget in a bike inner tube to seal into the caliper and get the air in – 60psi later the piston still didnt move…

Back with the car in Devon I took the caliper back, other options like putting grease into the caliper are meant to be reasonable, but using the master cylinder still on the car was the preferred option.

After a bit of rejigging where the brake lines went in and out of hte maser cylinder and splitter gadget I had all the brake fluid going to one line – so one by one I connected each caliper to this and pumped the pedal – low and behold, out came the pistons – amazing what force goes through the brake system…

Other jobs included taking the front hubs off, a bit of a pain as ever when the odd bolt didnt budge, came to sawing off and lots of work with pliers. Either way, the hubs came off.

Then had to clean these up and paint them – hammerite to the rescue again…

Wiring loom out too – this was a bigger job too. I Amazing how they get this stuff in there, there is so much of it!

I kind of expected the loom to break up into sections with connectors, but it didnt, most of it is in the one loom, can’t wait for stripping that down, labling that etc etc – much pain!

Engine moving, that was the next thing. Needed taking from Devon to up here in Marlow. Given my sister was coming down for the weekend she very kindly drove the engine down… in a horse box, which was ideal, pleanty of space and hooked up to her L200.

So now the garage here gets even more crampt, really struggling for space now, need to get hubs painted and ready and on to get them out the way. then need to get brakes sorted, engine prepped and in the chassis – curently space is really at a premium.

Mazda kindly fitted my new wheel bearing for one of the rear hubs – only took 4 weeks!

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…


Prepping and painting some parts

5hrs (MB) + 107  = 112hrs

Spent some time prepping and painting some of the bits I’ve got off the mx5

namely both caliper mounts, a rear hub and both driveshafts.

I started off with one caliper to see how it went, using Hammerite Satin Black, which can make any idiot with a paintbrush look quite reasonable! I am typically terrible at painting, this stuff is quite forgiving!

afer sanding down things with a wire brush and various different types of flappy wheel and wire wheel attachments I was fairly happy it was cleaned up.

What I did find was that the more I sanded there was more and more dust and crap coming off the metalwork – I guess my ideal of getting down to bare metal was a bit optomistic! It was find it seemed getting down to a good surface.


What I have found is that a couple of coats of hammerite were the way forward, one coat wasn’t quite giving good coverage.


here’s the latest.


More Mazda breaking

15 (MB) + 92 = 107hrs

A couple of weeks ago i set aside a long weekend to do some work on the mx5 – the intention was to get the engine out, but upon reflection there may have been a better order to do this.


engine + gearbox, dif, propshaft driveshafts are all of course very well linked so come out in a bit of an order.

I spent the first hour removing the remaining ancillaries to get the engine ready to lift out, this was only radiator some pipework, some clutch slave cylinder work, and finally some rather annoying wiring on top of the gearbox. this was a pain because they were secured with folded over clips, but you can;t see them and can just about feel them! pointing the camera up there helped quite a lot to get an idea what they looked like!

I then set on with getting the propshaft of, WD40ing the bolts diff side, and it should simply slide out 🙂 yes…

two of the prophshaft bolts were removable, the other two were not going to budge, after near rounding them and struggling to get a good grip with anything i decided maybe bringing the propshaft out and attached to the diff might be more painless.

Next I started to think diff, removing this should be fairly straight forwrd, hopefully! so getting the driveshafts off wsa the frist job.

Had a go with the PPF too, the bolts that hold this in place are very long, undid relatively easily. the issue was the PPF seems to recess into the top of the diff at that end, so doesnt simply slot off as the books indicate – thankfully this is the first instance of the book being incorrect ive found, noted it’s an older car i guess.

Also worth mentioning what the PPF actually is – powerplant frame sounds quite glamorous, referrred to a lot in the book, not once is it called out as a bit of corrigated metal that links the diff and the gearbox – that’s all it is. I’m sure it does a great job and helps drivability, but it is only a long chunk of metal that holds stuff straight.


to do that they had to be withdrawn from the hub. The book is to be believed the hub nut would be really tough, and mega tight, and everything else should just come of – as ever, this didnt happen.

The hub nut turned out to be fairly striaght forward, after sourcing a 29mm socket (nice one motormart newton abbot), then i enlisted my mother to sit in the car and press the brake pedal, with handbrake on. turned out mother was still awaiting the signal to press the brake pedal when I’d then undone the hub nuts, still, nice to have her have a sit in the car!

But yes, the hub nut came of with no complication with a decent size breaker bar – maybe 1m? no need for massive extension bars as I’d seem some have to use on the Internet. My immense strength? Hmm

Then moved to the drive side hub, caliper off, nice and straight forward. the bolts were protected behind plastic caps so were nice nice condition.

caliper off and out the way, noting how it all came off, losing some antirattle clips 😦

now, driveshaft removal…

with use of a rubber hammer the DS wasnt moving from the hub, tried some pry bars but nothing, a tab or two with a proper hammer and it started to move, excellent, with a bit more wiggling this then moved out the hub. then moving to the diff end after a lot of rotation and a lot of prying it came off the diff – 1.8 means it’s slotted, not bolted on.

excellent progress, driveshaft off, only too a little while.

to the other side… long story shot I spend several hours trying to get the driveshaft out the hub on the passenger side. smal hammers, big hammers, WD40, pry bars whereever they fitted, some heat from a paint stripper (it’s no blow torch!).


several hours later and no progress I resigned to removing he drivsshaft and hub together, for separation later.

Then moved onto diff removal, this should have been easy but I must fess up that i was rushing a bit at this stage, and of the 6 bolts (two big, 4 small) all came off bar the small ones on one side as i didnt allow the wd40 enough time. So they will have to be drilled out, annoying!

not a million miles from dif lowering though. the complication with this is that attached is the propshaft, attached is the PPF. so several things have to come off in one swoop.

the driveshaft is a bit of a pain, getting it off the car I’ve \tried bigger hammers still (mindful I don’t want to break it). also let it sit in wd40 to try and get it moving, also tried a gear puller, still no movemetn. crazy stuff.

I’ve now sent it over to my excellent BMW garage “Berkshire motor works” – really hoping that Steve from there can do something…

So that’s where we are, annoyingly lots of bits half off, hoping to get more separated when they get back here.

got a few bits off the car, caliper mounts etc, tried to get at these with a wire brush, but bouhgt a wire wheel for the drill to try and put more of a dent, then some wet and dry perhaps… a nice tin of hammerite to use too.

More breaking of donor over Chrismas

10 (MB) + 80 = 90hrs

While having a lovely time at home in Devon I found about 10 hours to do more breaking – quite how these people break an mx5 in 2 days i don’t know – kudos to you!

Taking me ages, equally I’m really enjoying learning. Great, great fun breaking the car, only the wiring loom to take back to Marlow home, but that will give me something to keep me amused.

lots of scraped knuckes and fun, after removing the roof and lots of interior trim it was onto the exhaust – to be honest that came off with relatively little protest. The only thing that was really well on was the 8 or so large bolts keeping the bracing under the car in. fiddly manifold downpipe bolts were okay, after some wd40 and goot extension bar selection.

Actually thinking about it the heated oxygen sensor in the exhaust downpipe was a git, especially due to its size, pretty large, ended up using an adjustable spanner and hitting that with a bit of wood and a hammer to shock it out.

photos speak a thousand words and all…

More mazda breaking, back end mainly…

76 + 4 (MB) = 80hrs

More breaking of the Mazda last weekend – with it being in Devon and me being in Marlow most of the time I only get to work on the Mazda now and again. and when I am in Devon the main lovely thing to do is spend time with family.

I did get to spend about 4 hrs over two days messing around with the car – and it was nice to see that it started first time and didnt turn over slow or long – lovely.

I gave it a little drive around the farm, not far but up and around the drive way – note not on public roads!

I was fearing removing the 8 bolts that hold on the rear bumper, they were wll corroded and showed now signs of moving lsat time. After about half and hour, and having some oil on them a few weeks back they came off okay – removing the bumper was then easy

next came number plate 😦 another poignant step!

number plate panel, the plastic bit

then came off the rear light clusters, with putting some tags on the wiring looms to them

then came to start on the roof removal, got 90% of this done but came to a halt when I hit the star pointed bits, didnt have any with me 😦 turns out hex allen keys might have done the job, hey ho – a little job for next time

removing the seats was interesting, they were bolted in uber tight, especially given the short ratchet and the awkward angle – satisfying to remove them though…

next comes light removeal, roof final removal and maybe some interior stuff – ideally i want to keep the car moving under its own steam,a nd starting it and stopping it etc as long as poss


More Mazda breaking

72 + 3(MB) = 75hrs



3 more hours of mazda breaking last weekend.

Took to the front bumper again, the final bolts were so well corroded they have gone from 10mm nuts to round balls of rust, good old 14year old car…

Eventually, after some drilling and snapping I could get the stuck 4 bolts, off and the bumper lifted away nice and easily.

next came taking the front fender/wings off, this was a series of bolts which were under the bonnet, these were lovely to remove, as if they went in the same day. There were of course two bolts on the underside of the fender and these were more corroded, a couple came off, a couple snapped, no great matter as I just wanted the panel off!

Also did some work to start on the rear bumper, most of the bolts were off but it took a little more time and time ran out.

that was it for the weekend, also started the car up to move it, turned over a little but ran fine still – as it should!?

A couple of things coming to mind around what next, need to depressurise the fuel system before considering removing the engine – i.e running the car and removing the fuel pump fuse, does the job i guess.

Also need to drain both the diff, gearbox and engine of oil when they are nice and warm, so I guess it will get another few miles up and down the farm drive yet – which will be odd with no bodywork…

picture as it becomes less like a car… bless it

to be honest, although the bodywork was good, and it was a good example I was really suprised upon inspection to see how many panels are corroded, so far nothing (apart from the bonnet) is uncorroded.

Starting breaking the Mazda!

Deliberating whether to add this time or not… But is part of the build, so I will.. (MB) = Mazda Breaking

68h + 4(MB)  = 72hrs

I was looking forward to this bit as it marked another big stage in the build – not really worried about all the people telling me I shouldnt break the poor little car! Admittedly I have loved every second of driving it for the past few months – I don’t know why everyone doesnt have one!

So yes, at this weekend I cracked on with the break, not sure 100% where to start I cracked on with the bodywork, if nothign else it would get in the way.

Taking off the bonnet was easy, four bolts

Taking off the rear boot lid was equally as easy, a couple of bolts

then removed the two doors, this was pretty easy, well oiled bolts remoted okay, I did find that wireing harness into the door from the body didnt have a handy join/clip which would have made life easier, hey ho. Just the speaker to disconnect – the benfits of having a basic MX5!

It then started on the front bumper, there were a number of bolts here, wheels off, liners out etc etc, most looks okay, there are two bolts either side, the ones that are seen when looking forward inside the wheel arches – these were very well corroded, allegedly 10mm bolts, but it’s hard to see they are bolts at all!

So after much oiling I will get back to these, horrible feeling it could be a angle grinder job – unless Jed (the farms resident helper/engineer/mechanic/gardener etc etc, general master of building stuff!) has any bright ideas

Next breaking session will be in two weeks – I’d love to get all bodywork off, not sure if ill get that far, we’ll see…