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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:30 PM
Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:33 AM
And on the 7th day
Warning - big update with lots of photo's - grab a brew, we could be here a while.
Having pretty much de-rusted every single nut, bolt and suspension component that didn't go for powder coating, it was time to attack the body.
Assessing the body, it was clear that whilst there was a considerable amount of rust, 90% of the panels in question are fairly thick steel and the rust was superficial. Therefore I broke out the grinder, attached the wire wheel, got PPE'd up (I hate tiny shards of wire sticking in your hands - Gauntlets = Win) and started to attack the areas of concern. This cleared off the surface rust and 19 year old underseal but still left pitting with corrosion and contaminants in. This is where the Deox-C Gel comes into play. The gel can be painted on, left to do it's magic and washed off, leaving (in theory) a clinically clean surface. Ultimately some areas of rust needed treating a few times, which I had neither the time nor patience for so the Kurust rust converter also made another appearance to ensure any last traces were treated before applying a zinc rich primer.
The result after grinding:-
Spot welds looking healthy...
A thorough wash with hot soapy water and it's time to apply the Deox-C gel. Thick paint brush, liberally applied and then cling film'd to stop it drying out whilst working.
An hour or so later and the gel turns a yellowy colour as it pulls the rust away from the surface.
Another thorough wash to clear the gel and the contaminants it held and it left quite a shiny surface behind, with the exception of the more corroded areas which could have done with another treatment.
Rear tie down hooks definitely needed another treatment
Kurust was then applied everywhere with exposed steel and overlapping joints for a 'belt and braces' approach.
You get the idea. There were a few other areas I treated but didn't take photo's off, such as the rear end of the frame rails and the overlap joint at the rear of the floor pan where it meets the rear bulkhead.
Let the Kurust dry and it's time for the zinc primer.
With the zinc primer drying off I gave everywhere that was to be re-undersealed a cleaning with a wire brush and brake cleaner. The wheel arches were covered in road grime and over-spray and were also to be undersealed, even though they were done last year.
The front end was in fairly decent condition and only required minimal work. It did receive some Kurust under the sub-frame mounting points and another underseal on the arches and front longits. Unfortunately I didn't take any photo's but it wasn't that interesting.
With the body taken care of it was on to rebuilding the suspension.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:34 AM
The front upper wishbones were the first to receive their polybushes, a relatively easy job, which fooled me into thinking the other bushes would be just as easy. Unfortunately it took both Sam and I, a threaded rod, a lot of patience, and sacrificing any feeling in my finger tips to do the majority of the other bushes.
Due to the amount of grease on my hands, and everything I touched, I didn't take any photo's of this. All bushes in, bearings inserted I had something that looked like this:-
So with the wishbones and hubs ready, I grabbed the rear sub-frame off the pallet and started building it up.
The first job was the rear brake line and distribution block. The old one had to be cut to get it off and I had a new distribution block with the braided brake hoses I ordered last year. A 25ft reel of kunifer brake pipe and some fittings ordered off ebay and it finally felt like the car was actually being re-built and going back together.
Sam cleaned up and painted the rear of the diff casing with the Hammerite black used on the front hubs and then we continued with the rear sub-frame build.
All new camber bolts.
Polybush diff void fillers, up-rated rear anti roll bar, semi-cleaned up drive shafts, and hubs fitted and it was ready to be transferred onto the jack and bolted up to the car.
The front sub-frame was fitted in a rush the same night in order to get the engine crane I had borrowed back to its owner, hence no photo's.
With both sub-frames back in the car I continued with rebuilding the back end up. Final touches to the Meister's, including re-doing the pre-load (12mm rear, 2mm front), before putting them on.
I'd also ordered many new bright zinc finished M8 bolts in varying sizes to replace the old non-critical bolts such as the ABS bracket and harness.
It wasn't long before I had an issue. Firstly, I had misplaced one of the bolts that goes through the bottom of the rear shocks into the captive nut in the wishbone. One order with MX5Parts later and I had a brand new one in hand. I went to fit it, torqued it up and.... it kept spinning. It completely strippedthe nut and bolt in-fact and lead me to have to cut up my freshly powder coated wishbones to get it out. The other side with its 19 year old bolt torqued up fine, what was going on!? To say I was a bit pissed would be an understatement.
After I had calmed down, I cleaned up the wishbone, touched up with some hammerite and recycled the captive nut's out of my old wishbones (with cracked bush housings). A warranty claim with MX5Parts and yet another new genuine bolt was in hand. Carefully does it.
On to the next disaster - I had only ordered one front lower ball joint, as the other one was fine and with a re-grease and new boot would go back on the car. I had wanted the IL motorsport product but they were out of stock. As I refused to pay £80 for a single OEM part I opted for a 'quality' aftermarket part. The brand of ball joint received in the MX5Parts order was 'First Line' and quality was definitely not what it was. Basically, the hole they drill through the casting for the long bolt to go through (fore-aft) was not centrally positioned, meaning the ball joint wanted to sit at an angle. I sacrificed an old bolt and smashed it through to align it (replacing it with a brand new bolt afterwards) however, this resulted in the misalignment of the top bolt that sits under the shock.
First Line lower ball joint
OEM lower ball joint
After considering whether or not to send it back, I continued to work with it, got it fitted and torqued up, and convinced myself that it wasn't far enough out of position to cause an issue when it came to alignment.
I had however forgot to order a new boot for the other side so I ended up buying a 'Moog' aftermarket ball joint for the other side. This one fit perfectly like the OEM one. Note to self - avoid First Line.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:34 AM
Having built one side of the front end up I started to play around with the brake disc shields I mentioned in the last post, wasting pretty much an entire day - here's how things went.
I grabbed a cereal box out of the recycling bin and put it over the hub
Trying it on the car, bending in several different ways and deciding what needed protecting from heat & dust I drew around the circumference of the brake disc + 5mm and discarded the rest. I also found a position for a 2.5" hose to be fitted for cooling.
And as if by magic, here it is in sheet steel.
Having finalised the bends it was into the vice and a rubber mallet and some brute force made short work of it.
Test fitting on the car - Upper and lower ball joints protected as well as the track rod end. This was the maximum useful surface area I could protect without clashing with the brake caliper carrier.
It did clash with the brake disc however when fitted so needed tweaking slightly to avoid touching the ball joint boots or the disc.
Clearance checks good, I then cut off some left over 2.5" exhaust pipe at a small angle and test fitted.
I had to cut down the top section slightly to clear the brake caliper carrier and then produce the opposite handed part. This what I ended up with before running them down to Sam's work to get welded up.
Not the best welds in the world due to how thin the metal is but it's robustly attached and hidden out of sight.
Ready for some reinforced flexible hose fed from somewhere up-front when the car gets to that stage.
Happy with the result it was time to chose whether to fire some lacquer at them and run them in a brushed steel look, or to paint them black. Given the subtle-ish look I'm going for, I opted for black.
The final product.
Barely visible from the side.
In other news, roll bar number 2 received! Roll bar number 1 had some clearance issues with my glass rear screen and some cosmetic issues which, after several conversations with Grant @ GC fabs, he kindly agreed to resolve. Now fits great with no issues putting the roof up and down.
And with that:
Consisting of, polybushed everything, diff void fillers, zinc plated and powder coated everything, new rear bearings, new track rod ends, new lower ball joints, new to me MeisterR's, new camber bolts, a new ABS sensor to replace the one I killed, braided brake hoses all round, another brake fluid change, heat sleeving applied to the front left hand brake to protect from down-pipe heat, up-rated front and rear anti roll bars, new rear drop links, de-rusted and wax protected all bolts, and re-welded the boost pipes that had developed small cracks, and fitting roll bar number 2 -
the sub-frame / suspension overhaul is complete!!!
Or is it....
Remember that pesky power steering I decided to change, well the bracket I designed finally got sent off for 3D printing and came back...
This moves the power steering reservoir about 3 inches forward to mitigate the clash between the air filter and the reservoir.
Popping in some M6 nuts the freshly painted reservoir can be fitted after the bracket is bolted to the front longit.
With the reservoir removed and the pump union rotated, 3m of 10mm ID & 1m of 16mm ID fuel hose was ordered to replace the old system. The majority of the 3m of 10mm hose was ran from the return side of the rack, up in front of the radiator attached to the top of the intercooler, where the old cooling loop used to sit, back again and into the reservoir. For the feed side a short section of the 15mm hose was used to create link the reservoir and pump together with enough flex to stretch without breaking anything when then engine moves. In my opinion it looks much neater and fixes the issues of the air filter to reservoir clash / rattle.
After what has felt like an eternity, we dropped the car down and rolled it out of the garage, only to find it now sat even lower than before!
Whilst looking great, it was a tad impractical. Not only did it scrape on every speed hump on the way to the alignment place (another nightmare - got cancelled on the way there, so we went to PSI tuning in Newcastle instead, great place who aligned her with no issues for half the price the other place wanted), with the camber not set the wheels also rubbed on the arch liners and made some funky noises. I spent that afternoon jacking her up before heading over to PSI for the alignment. The car now runs about 310mm wheel centre to arch all round. With the old geo settings applied (WIM Fast Road Evo) the car now handles excellently and glides over bumps and composes itself really well in the corners.
I am really impressed with the results, although I am thankful its over. It was killing me having the car off the road again and working on it every weekend. Time to drive and enjoy it now! Speaking of which, the Nurburgring is booked for the end of April!
Cheap summer fun? Yeah right.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:19 AM
My 1.6 S Special Import Build Thread.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:28 AM
fantastic job on those brake disc shields. The car is looking great.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:21 AM
What polybushes did you opt for?
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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:25 AM
Mk1 Black Eunos 1.8 S-Special - First MX5 (Aug '15)
Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:18 AM
The polybushes are super pro's finest. They were in the Moss sale a few months ago and I'd rather fit and forget than have some horrible plastic off eBay that could squeak/or stick in a 100 miles.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:17 PM
Mk1 Black Eunos 1.8 S-Special - First MX5 (Aug '15)
Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:21 PM
Superpro bushes are now even cheaper at moss!!! I must have picked mine up when you got yours just before Xmas?
Yes mate, I got mine just before Christmas on the last day of the sale. I noticed they were cheaper in their new sale :-/ balls. Oh well, they're paid for now haha.
I've just taken her out for a drive, what a machine - think I'm going to use her as a daily next week too. Although the aftermarket gear knob is now rattling inside when accelerating (a worrying noise that sounds like death rattle) so I'm going have to reverse engineer the adaptor and get a new one made.
Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:58 PM
The engine now doesn't make a strange whine at 2000RPM and has quietened down quite a bit (the old oil was rather filthy and contaminated as to be expected circa 600miles after a quick rebuild) it does however still have a tapping noise when cold from the top end.
Next on the list before Nurburg is radiator ducting and finally re-fitteing the undertray (its been in the corner of the garage for 18 months)
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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:26 AM
Good effort with the work on the underside. I couldn't bring myself to do the subframes too - I figured they were bulky enough that some surface rust wasn't going to suddenly cause the car to collapse haha. Maybe I'll do a bit of tidying up on them at some point...
Good job with the DIY brake shields too.
Posted 04 April 2017 - 12:19 PM
Cheers NibNob, I figured I'd chuck everything in for piece of mind, some of the interior baffles have rusted through but it doesn't appear to be any detriment to how the car handles.
Thanks Jack, bit nervous this time as I've actually got a quick-ish car rather than a stocker I can happily tootle around in haha.
I've put some more miles on the car and turned the boost back up to how it was mapped (and over-boost up slightly for the odd occasion it gets within 0.5psi of it), it is rather fast! Flat shift is now also working a treat, something I wanted to use at Santa Pod this weekend but unfortunately I turned up 5 minutes too late and the queue had already been closed - annoyed!
Having said that, it was probably a good job I didn't go on the strip. On the way home some spirited driving shows that I am still using oil (unsure if acceleration/deceleration or just a temporary symptom of the rebuild - I suspect valve seals) and yet another power steering belt came off!!!
I need to sort the pulley alignment issue before the 'Ring, when it goes the steering is incredibly heavy. The only thing I can think of is that pump itself has somehow become misaligned (I've had it off twice & the alternator belt has never fallen off). I shall attempt to re-seat the mount and shim it if necessary to get the correct alignment.
Posted 11 May 2017 - 04:52 PM
Posted 27 September 2017 - 09:09 PM
Willkommen in Deutschland
A very belated update - the Nurburgring trip seems like a life time ago. Nevertheless, here's a quick-ish lap from the Sunday for your viewing pleasure. The lap was a 9:03 BTG. The car has so much more potential than this, but cheap summer tyres and a relative lack of seat time up until this point meant this was all that could be gained (could have been sub 9 minute if it wasn't for the accident and clipping the kerb - oops). Sorry for the sound, my mic is clearly not up to the job so had to resort to the Go Pro Audio.
On a more serious note, I span it on the Monday morning in very wet conditions and knocked the tracking out. That was a fun drive back to the shuttle afterwards.
On top of that, whilst the car performed well, it did drink oil. A lot of oil.
Therefore, sometime in April I bought a spare engine - more like I bought a spare cylinder head for £200 and got a free block, all ancillaries and 5 speed box to boot. The intention was to take the cylinder head off of the spare engine, refurbish it and fitting it to my bottom end, due to the stem seals on my head being shot and it making a very strange tapping noise. This rolling disaster of epic proportion has taken up the better part of the last 4 months, which has consisted of new cylinder head, changing the cylinder head again, fitting an oil cooler, fitting a new turbo, bigger injectors and eventually a complete engine rebuild.
All this and more will be discussed in a separate post.
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NB, 1.8, Turbo, Gold, Evolution Orange, Racing Bronze, Rot
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