MK2 MX5 restoration

  1. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    Hi everyone!

    Firstly just wanna say haven't been welding for long at all but this forum has been great for tips and tricks and getting information about equipment etc. Spent many an evening going through lots of peoples' project threads!

    So I've started a project of my own! It's a mk2 Mazda MX-5 that I bought nearly a year ago now knowing that it would need some bodywork repairs (the usual rear sill/arches and front chassis rails!). I'm pretty confident doing mechanical bits on cars but I've never attempted to do any rust repairs before. So its now off the road in my garage and I've started attacking the O/S rear sill/quarter and it's far worse than I thought it would be:

    IMG_7176.jpg IMG_7220.jpg

    Removing the outer arch revealed a knackered inner arch and the inner lip of the arch was made up of filler and fiberglass so I've cut all of that out. I've ordered a new inner arch repair panel to go in along with a new outer arch and full sill from MX5 Heaven. I've also got a sheet of 1.5mm steel to make up any extra bits.

    IMG_7222.jpg IMG_7270.jpg

    I removed the outer sill which revealed a rusty under-sill section with a few holes, so I cut out any rust I could see and cleaned the rest back with a wire wheel to clean metal. My plan was to weld patches in where I've had to cut out areas due to rust so that I'd have a clean seam along the bottom that I could spot weld a new sill to.


    IMG_7269.jpg
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    Problem is, I've now found this hole:

    IMG_7495.jpg IMG_7493.jpg

    Any ideas how I could go about fixing that? The hole is probably about as big as a £1 coin so I could cut it out and weld a patch in there but it's in an awkward place to access. Would I cut a small section out of the inner sill to get to it, do the repair and then weld that section back in or would I be better off cutting out that section of the floor that I've ground back and trying to do the repair from the back, if that makes sense?

    It's a second car for me and it sits in my garage so it's not an urgent job but I thought it'd be good to check with people more experienced/knowledgeable than me before I go and start cutting further into the car!
     
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  2. Country Joe

    Country Joe Argoshield Dark

    Messages:
    1,673
    Location:
    Somerset - United Kingdom
    Welcome to the Forum, lucferrari_90 - Another from Somerset, then.
    You've jumped nicely in at the deep end, or at least it looks like it!

    I expect the original steel used on the car would be less than 1.5mm, maybe 1mm or slightly less, which might make it slighly more tricky to form bodywork curves, etc.

    Having said that, it's partly "swings & roundabouts", as thicker steel is easier to weld than thin!
    And looking at the preparation you've already done, I'm guessing you've probably welded before.

    Keep the project photos coming, though, and If you get stuck, or need a hand with anything, I'm just a couple of miles up the A37.

    All the Best,
    CJ
     
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  3. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    Cheers Joe!

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking :laughing:

    Yeah the outer arch panel looks to be around 1mm and sill panels between 1mm and 1.5mm. I might get myself some 1mm sheet steel too just in case I need to make up some thinner bits.

    And thanks! I've had a bit of practice but this would actually be my first time welding on a car. Trying to take my time to drill out each spot weld and pry panels apart to hopefully make life easier when putting it all back together! It's a slow project as I'm very busy with work these days unfortunately so keeping it to weekends (or every other weekend as it seems to be at the moment!) but it'll get there eventually I hope. It wouldn't have passed an MOT in it's current state anyway so it's not like I would have been driving it.

    And thanks for the offer mate, I may just take you up on that! :thumbup:
     
  4. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Messages:
    4,945
    Location:
    Northamptonhire
    Looks similar to the one I did :laughing:

    I would cut the outer bit to give better access & weld back in afterwards
     
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  5. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,715
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    I was going to say you've got your work cut out for you but you've still a way to go :D
     
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  6. 500e

    500e Always buy fire insurance a flood is hard to start

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    4,974
    Location:
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    Enough of us from Somerset to start our own chapter
     
  7. Country Joe

    Country Joe Argoshield Dark

    Messages:
    1,673
    Location:
    Somerset - United Kingdom
    If I was thnking of doing a long-term restoration on all those low-down areas, I'd be thinking of somehow getting hold of or even making a rotisserie - but then I'm getting on a bit.

    Not just from an access point of view either, it also means you'd be welding from above, which makes life easier.

    Quite so!...:drunk:

    All the Best,
    CJ
     
  8. 500e

    500e Always buy fire insurance a flood is hard to start

    Messages:
    4,974
    Location:
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    Are you the real CJ of Glasto ?
    :offtopic: sorry
     
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  9. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Messages:
    4,945
    Location:
    Northamptonhire
    @Country Joe You say that, But I got the one I did jacked up great on one side & the work was at a great height to sit on a stool & weld away
     
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  10. Country Joe

    Country Joe Argoshield Dark

    Messages:
    1,673
    Location:
    Somerset - United Kingdom
    Well, I'm less than ten minutes from there - but not exactly famous, so not sure I can claim that title.
    Im definitely not imaginary, though - or, at least I'm fairly sure I exist!

    All the Best,
    CJ
     
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  11. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    I was surprised at how far the rust had spread down the sill to be honest! Ok yeah that's what I was thinking to do, doesn't look like it'd be too bad if I can get good access to it.

    Yeah I was thinking that today actually, not looking forward to trying to weld that under sill strip from below! Might have to just raise the O/S as high as I can for now and see how I get on!
     
    Country Joe likes this.
  12. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    Good to know there's a few of us down this way! :thumbup:
     
  13. rtcosic

    rtcosic Member

    As it's an NB have you checked the front 'chassis legs'? They added reinforcement to the NB and they rot badly between the multiple layers. Repair panels are now available.

    When No 1 son did his he found it was ultimately quicker to drop the front subframe, engine, gearbox, rear subframe and backbone to the floor and 4 of us lifted the body off it.
    Didn't have a rotisserie but rolled the bodyshell on the sill so about 60 deg and supported it with supports lashed up from various SHS stock and ratchet straps.

    He uploaded zillions of photographs to one of the MX-5 forums. I'll check if he recalls which one if you like.
     
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  14. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    Oh yeah they’re both shot on mine, that’ll be the next job on the list!

    882D1D74-259A-4435-AC5B-03B3F6E374E6.jpeg E81AA620-4B6F-4891-9BE7-AB8AEFE35815.jpeg
    Yeah that’s not a bad idea actually, there’s so many bits that need doing it might actually be worth doing that, most of the bushes are shot too so could do that at the same time!
     
  15. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    And yes please mate be interesting to see how he did it!
     
  16. rtcosic

    rtcosic Member

    It was MX5Nutz, but I can't find the thread!

    You will now disappear down the rabbit hole of building baths to electrolytically derust subframes and suspension components!
     
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  17. lucferrari_90 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Shepton Mallet, England
    Cheers for that mate I'll have a look for it! :thumbup: And that's fine, I'm already half way down it anyway :laughing:
     
  18. Country Joe

    Country Joe Argoshield Dark

    Messages:
    1,673
    Location:
    Somerset - United Kingdom
    I'm feeling really ignorant - I didn't realise I'd missed a PM from you recently!

    My brother moved into a new house a year ago, (hence he already has a new kitchen), but somehow wants to chop & change most of it, and the job somehow defaulted to me!

    We're hoping to finish today, but I'm an early starter, and he's not (which is why I'm still here at home, now - after 0800 hrs!), so this has taken four weekends, as opposed to the one it should have been.

    When I got there yesterday, they'd decided to paint the kitchen during the night for some reason, plus it's still "in use" as we're (very) slowly working there!

    Anyway, I've PM'd you a number, so if you ring it, and it sounds as if someone really wants to "end it all", just talk me down!

    Anyway, I'd better stop, before too many of the details start flooding back to me - and this is already a very long excuse for not having replied!

    At least you're working indoors - I had this picture of us grappling to get it done before the weather changed!

    All the Best,
    CJ
     
  19. bricol Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    N.Yorks, UK
    Having bought a 2004 Mx5 recently, removed the drivetrain and scrapped the shell yesterday (36 quid :) ). . . if anyone mentions Lancia and rust, they need to go prod an MX5 - I lost my jack up each cill, the front near enough fell off, rust up inside inaccessible areas around the rear, inner wings gone . . . None of my Lancias had that much hidden multi-layered, festering rust inside.
     
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  20. Tigman

    Tigman Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    Location:
    Watford UK
    Well known rust buckets ! I wasas!we to do one, I declined too much for me !
     
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