(Pic heavy) Rusty MX5 hairdresser driftcar MOT restoration

  1. Not all good news i'm afraid, failed on 3 points but should be easily doable. Time however is against me what with the bank holiday. Supposed to be going to Santa Pod on Wed so I may have to forego the free retest and just hope a different test centre doesn't find anything else wrong!

    Reasons for refusal-

    001 Offside front Brake pipe excessively corroded

    002 Nearside front Headlamp aim too low

    003 Nearside (inner sill) Body or chassis has an inadequate repair, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings.

    The first 2 points, well, my bad I probably should have changed the hose but it looked borderline OK to me, light is easy enough but a little confused about the last one...Tried to get him to explain exactly what he means but I haven't really done much to the nearside sill other than a few patches and fillin some 'oles. MOT fella said something about patches that weren't seamed all the way round. Time to get the thing up again and investigate...

    ahem...Good advice that.

    So now I will go and re-examine the underside and try to work out what he meant! May try to phone the garage again later on when the guy isn't as busy to see if I get any more sense.

    Just to clarify the nearside is indeed the passenger's side no? always confused me that.

    Funnily enough the things I was most worried about like passing emissions and complaints about the welded diff and bumpers held together with cableties didn't turn out to be as much of a problem. Apparently the handbrake wouldn't give a reading on the decelerometer test as it's a bit on the floppy side even after I adjusted it but he managed to get just enough force reading both sides at once on the rollers.

    Back to the mancave...
     
  2. Many people do poke fun at these cars, especially on the more macho forums like Driftworks; Hairdresser's car, gay pride mobile, girl's car etc.

    If I refer to it as a hairdresser car etc rest assured I do so out of love and I think most folk who knock them either haven't driven one before and do it out of ignorance or also do so out of love having gotten hooked on these little monsters. Not really sure what the source of the reputation is, and I have to admit I used to think of the styling as a bit effeminate, but I really can't think of a car that could be bought for MX5 money that would be an equal amount of fun to drive

    Factory turbo eh? Blimey that is like the holy grail on somewhere like MX5nutz! I bet that thing is a true pocket rocket! The only time I would want a turbo one of these is if it was the Mazdaspeed. Some of the turbo conversions I have seen look a little worrying and it seems like a quick way to kill reliability in an otherwise fairly bulletproof engine!
     
  3. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,345
    Location:
    south yorks
    Just to clarify the nearside is indeed the passenger's side no? always confused me that.

    that is correct nearside as in near the side of the road think of it like that :clapping:
     
  4. Ah marvellous. For some reason I always think of the side nearest to the dangerous metal objects travelling int opposite direction! Good to know he didn't fault the side I chopped off. Right off to get dirty before the missus gets back! If I am already in the middle of something when she gets back she can't prevent me from getting on hopefully, although there are certain ways she could distract me...
     
  5. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,345
    Location:
    south yorks
  6. Haha I wish! Probably more likely to poke me with a spanner until I pay more attention.
     
  7. Dropped the thing off again at the MOT centre for the free retest! Spent the last week tinkering, fitting new brake hoses, seaming up a couple of little bits the tester wasn't happy with and cursing the handbrake repeatedly :mad:..:fighting:....:flame:....:dontknow:.

    The fact that it still required welding was a bit of a blow, however I was trying to follow the original construction on the bit that plates over the inner sill coming down from the front wheel arch. I had to pay a visit to the test centre yesterday for clarification about the welding. Turns out that by 'nearside' he actually meant 'offside' which apparently should have been obvious! I think (mine was a bit rusty to be able to tell) the original pieces were spot welded and pressed tightly together on the lateral seam where the plate meets the sill originally and I had tried to recreate that with little plug welds. Lesson learned (I love the smell of dripping stonechip and waxoyl napalm in afternoon!), seam everything!

    I have to admit I have been confounded by the pesky handbrake on this car. No matter how I adjust the little setscrews on the caliper pistons or how much I tighten the cable tension adjuster it JUST WON'T bite down enough!! :ashamed: Might be the pads being contaminated or something, or just the fact that they aren't drums. I may end up taking it to my mate's garage if it struggles through the MOT. Luckily the guy tested it last time before I made it worse! He did complain about not enough effort to even register on the decelererometer thingy last time.

    The car feels good to drive, although there is a rather disconcerting clonking noise from the back end on tight slow corners. Not sure if it's from the diff/shafts or the suspension but it is bugging me so I may need to have my mate take a look at that too. I would've liked to take the thing to him for the MOT too but his words on seeing photos of it last year were along the lines of 'don't be bringin that ***kin' thing ere mate' so I think he is waiting for the magic certificate too to prove it is fit for something other than banger racing!

    At work this morning trying to take mind off car which clearly is working well! :D
     
  8. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    4,998
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    Hi S.Smoker,
    You have something wrong there, the MX5 handbrake should be quite good, both my wife's & my sons never have given MOT problems. I would look at the callipers & make sure they work when you operate the lever directly, the may be seized inside.

    Lovely little car, my sons has a turbo conversion fitted & we are fitting the later spec VVT engine & the six speed box at the moment. One of these jobs that we thought would be straight forward, but never are.

    Cobbler
     
  9. It would seem so. Driving me a bit mad now! I have had all of the calipers apart, cleaned up the slider pins (and orifices as best I can) and relubed with red rubber grease on the pins and piston seals. Admittedly I did have to reach for the emery paper for a couple of the pins so perhaps I need to replace those and rebuild the pistons :o Not really much else I can try without spending money so hoping my mate can sprinkle some hairy arsed mechanic fairy dust on it tomorrow...(fingers crossed I won't need the trade plates!)
     
  10. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    4,998
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    Just a thought, have you tried disconnecting the cables from the callipers & checking that when the lever is pulled you have sufficient movement to operate the brake? Is the mechanism not allowing the full travel so it feels as the brake is on but not actually working
     
  11. Actually I didn't no. Probably should have tried that in retrospect. Any idea what sort of range of motion we are talking about on a healthy 5 handbrake as thinking about it there was only a very slight movement on the cable. I will try that later and hope I get away with an advisory for now! Got some other bits to do anyway later, think I need to rebleed everything anyway as even though the pedal felt rock hard yesterday a couple of miles down the road it was feeling a bit wooley so not sure if I still have air pockets somewhere.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to feed me some ideas!
     
  12. Cobbler

    Cobbler Codger bodger

    Messages:
    4,998
    Location:
    Gloucestershire UK
    Hi S.S,
    From memory I think the handbrake should be full on at about 5 to 8 clicks, but have to check in the book to confirm. With the cables off at the caliipers I seem to remember the lever coming right up almost vertical. With the adjusters in the callipers they should be screwed in until the brake binds then back about half a turn until free, not critical though. This is only an initial setup, from then on they are self adjusting.

    I expect you know this already, so if I am going over 'old ground' I'm sorry

    Good luck with it, it should be fairly simple to sort out

    Cobbler
     
  13. IT PASSED! Now has magic certificate and shiny tax disc! Got to wait until Sunday until I can drive it though now! Also need to begin the process of making this thing look half decent with some sort of paint job!
     
  14. Turns out I might have had the cable too tight, restricting the lever motion. Seems happy enough now but I still have to park it in gear everywhere except on the flat. Will get it sorted, just happy not to have to think about the damn car now!
     
  15. Championship White Member

    Messages:
    180
    UK
    MX5 MK1 handbrakes are rubbish, mine has had a new caliper and didn't solve the problem, constant adjustment is the only thing which seems to solve it.
     
  16. Managed to tweak the handbrake a little so that it no longer poses a threat to pedestrians! Just a few pics to prove this thing is now free to roam once more!

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    Shall need to think about tackling the passenger side properly when the weather begins to turn but I am having immense fun pootling around for now. Drift day hopefully at the end of this month at skidrisk!
     
  17. So yesterday I did a grand old hooning through neighboring counties. I actually drove to the point where I am now thoroughly sick of driving! This brings back to improving the car for it's drift day purpose; I love the MX5 but it needs a bigger boot.

    Another harebrained pie in the sky idea which I may not go ahead with but actually it wouldn't need to be vastly bigger. I envision a fairly large ugly hump in the boot lid and a slight unsightly overhang between the rear lights with a number plate stuck to it until it will accommodate at least 2 wheels with tyres. I am going underneath later to have a look how much the boot floor could be modded ideally to the depth of the spare wheel well but off the top of my head I think the well sits down between two fairly substantial and structural looking chassis sections behind the subframe.

    Car modding peeps: Is there anything (legal an' that) stopping me from attempting chopping and welding the boot floor and rear panel/reshaping the lid (modifying from original dimensions/visibility and so forth). I haven't been able to find a definitive answer online yet.

    My car is already chopped and welded to the point where it has little value to others so there isn't really any moral dilemma here. Might as well think about practical mods whilst it still looks scrappy as hell!

    Arrgh sorry, crossposting between here and the nutz forum...

    Err, any thoughts?
     
  18. Hello all! I thought I would make do with strapping wheels to the bootlid for now so I never attempted any horrendous boot modifications! Not really welding related but I thought I would carry on with the picture heavy theme and indulge you folks with some pics from the last Drift What Ya Brung (DWYB) at Santa Pod just to give an idea of what goes on.

    There are usually some very cool cars at these events, most of which are way out of my price range. In the last few years there has been a significant upsurge of people turning up in £500 MX5s!

    Folks on the MX5 forum were debating at what point these NA MX5s will become classics. Previously I would have said they are way too numerous to ever be considered classics, but if the drift kids continue welding diffs and squashing rear quarters for a bit longer, and folks continue scrapping perfectly good cars with slightly rusty sills, I daresay good examples of these cars will start to become more and more difficult to find. Finding a completely rust free shell is already pretty difficult now and showcar quality never-been-welded examples are harder to find still. That said, prices are still fairly low in the UK even though folks abroad can easily pay double or triple what you would expect to pay here. If you have ever thought about owning a mk1 MX5 now is probably the time to start looking whilst there are still plenty around!

    These pictures were taken in November last year. The little brown beasty has managed some fairly long drives to drift days, thrashed all day and then back again without missing a beat. My old man is with me in the pics. It was his Birthday and he had never been to Santa Pod before so he decided to follow me down in my RAV4 full of tyres and tools to spend the day being bashed around inside my stripped out beater of a roadster...

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    Yes I know the car needs painting. It looks ****.
     
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