(Pic heavy) Rusty MX5 hairdresser driftcar MOT restoration

  1. Progress is slowly being made. Managed to get the last strengthener in at the front-
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    Also managed to do the rear arch enough to get the sill panel on next-
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    Tidyed up the inside the inside now to the point where I am pretty much ready to close it off. Still need one drainage channel through the front strengthener. Fairly happy with today's progress and am now gingerly cutting and flapwheeling sections off the prebought panel so that it marrys up as seamlessly as possible before I begin tacking it up!

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  2. Did a little more today and managed to get the outer sill panel seamed up! Feels like a massive milestone as it has just been lying around in the garage for 6 months.
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    Quite chuffed with how well it fitted in the end considering my pikey amateur garage techniques!
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    Just need to tackle the arch and reskin the quarterpanel and I am finished with the drivers side for now. Next thing might be to reconnect the ecu to see if it still starts after 6 months dormant then hopefully get the thing out the garage so I can have a bloody good sweep around!
     
  3. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Messages:
    7,083
    Location:
    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    That's a bit Professional!
     
  4. Aus-Fitter Member

    Looking good mate!

    Friends had one of these, soft top always slightly leaked. Turned out there was a cavity between the seats and boot that was filling up with water haha.
     
  5. Finished off sill, on to the next...

    Having spent yet another perfect sunny afternoon crawling around in a dimly lit garage I am actually beginning to have good feelings about this car again.
    The garden here looks amazing now inspite of months of rather hands off gardening on my part. Perhaps I will post pics if there are any fellow plant buffs out there.

    So I sit outside relaxing on a bench under the big philadelphus, drinking in the fragrance with whiffs of nightscented stocks and lager as I hamfistedly prod my touchscreen.

    Today has been quite productive with a certain amount of closure in more ways than one.
    This is how I left it before after more prep work-
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    I saw sense and caved in after a few fruitless hours scratching my head and bashing 0.9 mm sheet a around former etc. Ordered cheap repair panel from mx5city which arrived in record time for the princely sum of £80 delivered.

    Another small milestone was getting the bracing out of the door aperture (turns out I had overengineered that so it was not easy to remove) and getting the door back on. Remarkably the new sill panel preserves the door gap pretty well inspite of the poor measuring and overconfident, often evidently tipsy (a day off is a day off) workmanship.

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    Chopped and shaped the panel and really tried to aim for a closer and closer fit, shaving off tiny layers with a worn in flapwheel. Quite pleased with how this turned out. Drill a few holes for plug welds later on to tighten it up. Primered and ready to go

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    Tacking up gently working down the edge of the door. Even with argoshield light and 0.6 at 30 amps this stuff is still easy to make a mess if you start burning holes. Only way seems to be to really concentrate on the arc length and lift the trigger as soon as a weld pool forms being mindful of torch angle and shielding whilst each spot cools. Takes a while but you find a rhythm.

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    From there I worked across the top of the panel stretching it out towards the arch. I actually remembered to take pictures as I was working this time. Sorry if these get a bit boring! Using thin metal technique all the way with the occasional hammering to line up and straighten out I layer up the tacks until it be seamed up...

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    Bit of buffing and painting happened after this. Started applying tar goo to the arch ready for waxoyl to go in the sills and then arch liners!

    My dad spent half an hour cursing with a jack and a socket set to try to get the door hung just right and did a grand job! Door now shuts like the day it left the factory and I am very surprised to see this crusty old drifted taking on a new lease of life.

    Exciting things will happen soon with a bit of luck. Few more holes to patch here and there but I am eager to go back to a track. Might take it on a flatbed after I service it to somewhere like Santa pod for a proper shakedown!

    It's late and I am drinking beers. Luckily I work part time so I can do more welding tomorrow hopefully.

    Cheers if you made it thus far Haha. I am chuffed to bits with how this car feels now; really solid where i've been and hopefully good enough to outlive the car itself now. Almost getting too nice to drift so I need to be careful to remember that this thing's purpose is to be kicked and thrashed until something breaks or we run out of tyres.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  6. MOOOOOORE rot. Evidence of new welding technique 'silicon welding'...

    Diverting my attention to the passenger side sill having spun the car round (small garage so this happens frequently), looks like a similar story here i'm afraid.

    The previous attempts at 'fixing' the sill was obviously another shady attempt to pass the last MOT. I love this sort of automotive archeology! This is what I was left with after a bit of poking around.

    Believe it or not there is a 'repair panel' over the back of the sill which has been attached with SILICONE SEALANT! :o There were two other small sections either side where the holes are in the pics which haven't had any sort of corrosion protection and just crumbled as soon as I gave them a bit of fingering...:mad:

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    You guys might not approve, but the drifter in me is thinking quick and dirty patch just for the MOT then grind off the whole sill again next winter :whistle: . I don't think patching over is actually going to result in this getting any worse, for a few months at least. Need to drive this thing a few times this year before the weather turns!!!

    One slightly worrying feature of this side is I can already see through the hole that the floor of the cabin is more corroded than the driver's side. Nothing I can't handle, however as I have realised, doing this stuff at home on one's own takes massively longer than one would expect!
     
  7. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Messages:
    7,083
    Location:
    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    I'm not disapproving but I tend to take the "do it right, do it once" approach. This side should not take as long because you know what to expect even if there is more work involved.
     
  8. I
    Normally I am quite anal about doing the best job possible but I just couldn't face another chopping marathon so soon after doing the other side!

    I fully plan to do a similar resto on the passenger side, however this is the side which is most likely to get bashed about when I get it wrong. The track nearest to me is clockwise with a large concrete wall around it.

    Ahem, you may notice there are no pics this time! I managed to sort out all the holes in the passenger side yesterday afternoon but I am not exactly proud of the results. Bit of painting and I am now getting quite close to being Mot-able to the point where I can worry about things like brakes and road tyres! 6 months ago this seemed like an insurmountable challenge, most of the chaps on driftworks think I am mad and would have just scrapped this thing!

    Got insurance sorted now and booked a drift day for the end of August, just need that elusive ticket to get tax...
     
  9. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    Messages:
    10,370
    Location:
    CX Derbyshire
    What a bodge, everyone knows you should use No Nails :clapping:
     
  10. Haha, I wish I had known about these tricks of the trade about 6 months ago! Probably would have been back on the road by Feb!

    I am pleased with the amount of experience I have gotten from repairing this thing the right way, but as my friends keep so kindly pointing out 'once a junkyard s*****r, always a junkyard s*****r'. This car should hopefully start getting used again SOON though. No more expensive restos on cheap rusty jap cars though....unless I find an MOT fail S body, just don't tell the missus!
     
  11. Lazy update as I'm a bit tipsy (on holiday dog sitting would you believe!) This will be pretty much word for word identical to my driftworks update using the mad telekiwhatsit powers of my pasting fonger......


    Getting close to taking this thing for Mot now hopefully. Gonna take it to my mate's garage for the onceover on wed and if everything looks shipshape he might be able to squeeze in the Mot all being well.

    Finally got round to fixing the mashed up nosecone that came with the car. I like that its a bit different, never been too fond of stock looking mk1 mx. Fella on nuts reckoned its a fleaBay copy of garage vary kit.

    I should point out that I dislike the evil glass fibre horror goo resin immensely. It takes ages and its just so horrible to work with. Done a fair bit in the past so I knew vaguely how to attack it but as the splitter was completely smashed off, drilled and bound up with cableties a fair bit of prep was needed including a homemade wooden former to fill in the areas of the splitter that had obviously gone missing in action.

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    Got some new tyres which is always exciting for the clio speedlines. Pretty happy with the price of uniroyal rainsport2 at my local place. Also snagged a load of pretty new looking 14" from the scrap pile. Desperately need to shred some tyres soon as they are filling every orifice of garage and garden now.

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    Let this project be a warning to car buyers but, for those who find themselves in the position where they have a car they want to keep that is rotten as fook, I hope it goes to show that someone with little experience or cash can eventually sort out most of the worst problems on an old beater. Pod beckons.
     
  12. mahesket Member

    Messages:
    56
    Sheffield
    Good work mate, keep at it.

    Finally got mine finished mid June and back on the road at the start of July.

    looks a bit different now.

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  13. Aha! Jolly good work that man! Looks well, and a lot more shiny than mine will ever be now. Particularly like the ole parcel tape door catch on the silver pic. The drift kids might adopt that as a mod "stops mah doorz flyin open when we goin proper sideways blad". Seriously good work though getting back on the road, must be quite a feeling! Most folk I have spoken to begin their response with "well I would have just scrapped it but..." Haha.

    Painted the bumper today. Looks abominable but I had some montana cans which vaguely matched the brown, albeit with a gloss finish and with horrible cock veins where my crap fibreglass shows through. Aesthetics aren't really high on the list of priorities. I am worried about getting caught up too much in the jdm fanboy extras so I think it's best if I just drive it as soon as possible, ratty as it is. I even found myself thinking a bit too hard about tire fitment but opted for just a gentle stretch in the end.

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    Edit: added some pics. The phone camera actually does wonders here at disguising the veins of shame underneath!

    Probably a lot I have missed but my mechanic mate will be on the case. Only thing I am I bit worried about are the cheap coilovers with no helper springs. Never bothered me for drifting but on the road they might prove a little ropey as they are crashy as in either bouncing or on the bumpstops. It will be some time before I can swap for some meister r's and I had actually considered just sourcing some standard ones on fleabay. Other option is getting different springs plus helpers from demontweekz which would be quite cheap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  14. the snooper

    the snooper getting older by the day

    Messages:
    20,431
    Location:
    Hull UK
    did you also fibreglass the rear of the repairs ?
    the way to do it is, where 2 edges are to be repaired is to feather both out creating a concave surface, which also gives a bigger area for the repair to bond then sand it level to match the rest
     
  15. I certainly could have made a much better job of it with less haste but yes I did both sides. I drilled holes around cracks and plugged the holes with plenty of resin bonded to the fibre on each end of the hole. Stonechip paint as primer hid the worst imperfections in the surface but if I had thought about it and feathered joints it would have been easy to sand it down to a good finish. I got bored of sanding huge mounds of fibreglass after an hour or so and stopped way before perfection was achieved. If it survives a few speed bumps it should be good enough hopefully.
     
  16. mahesket Member

    Messages:
    56
    Sheffield
    Pictures always make them look better. I painted it with a roller and matte military vehicle enamal paint. cost less than £50 and i still have half the paint and thinners left :D
     
  17. Done a little bit more today but progress has been slow. Fingers crossed the welding should be at a point now where I can leave it alone for a bit. Last section to address was the driver's front arch and a plate to reinforce around the jacking point to replace material I cut out to get to the sill...

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    I'm afraid my photography is as good as ever so you'll have to take my word for it that this is the inner arch!

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    Made up some little patchy patches and painted the back with weld thru primer.

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    Tacky, tacky, don't smoke the cracky...

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    Layers of tacks eventually become a solid join and I am ready to paint...paint, try not to faint...

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    Coat of stonechip over the etch primer and it's time to put the thing to bed again as i'm out of time AGAIN! Determined to get this thing to the garage this week!
     
  18. Mot time!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Another day off, another small milestone. Having stayed up into the whee hours last night doing bits and bobs of mechanicals and electricals I rang a friendly local MOT place today and they managed to fit me in tomorrow morning! Lucky I rang when I did as I had forgotten about the bank holiday and I am supposedly driving it to Pod next Wed!

    Still seems to drive quite nice so hopefully I haven't banana'd it! Fingers crossed for the reanimation of the zombie roadster...

    Many, MANY thanks to all on here who have done this sort of resto before me and kindly documented it and also for all the advice and encouragement without which this might have ended up as another forgotten dusty garage queen.

    Driving to the test centre with the top down and stretching it's legs for the first time in ages was a remarkable feeling. This thing is faster than I remember and pulls quite well for an NA8, not a patch on my mate's new GT86 obviously but satisfying nonetheless having driven only my hatchback for the past 6 months.
     
  19. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,345
    Location:
    south yorks
    but did it pass or not we need the goss ????
     
  20. Bipestuff Member

    Messages:
    7
    USA North Carolina
    I don't have any further welding advice to add, however I will say I don't consider my MX5 a "chick car" at all. I have an '04 Mazdaspeed version with the factory turbo and some custom exhaust and intake. It does quite well on the curvy roads and I've done an autocross as well. Very fun car and great handling...
     
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