24 days into driving this thing almost on a daily basis.
The VLSD decided to go pop.
Albeit it is a pain, I must admit I knew that this was a weak link. It was only a matter of time before spinning 9J wheels took it's turn on the 28 year old diff.
8. Time to get to work...
What with winter rolling around fast, i must admit i've been putting this off. But it was time for me to pull my finger out if i was ever to get this thing back on the road for the summer. My target is Spring Action Day at Castle Coombe.
Work started with removal of the driveline, and then removal of the suspension and sub frame. This was done in half a day with a few helping hands.
During removal there were some casualties, the NS stud that mounts the diff to the subframe snapped upon removal, so a newer MK2 rear subframe was ordered.
I was actually impressed with how the underside looked, i was expecting far worse. Problem is; I'm a "while i was in there" kinda guy. Whilst all this work is being done i figured why not take the time to underseal all these bits I've missed and replace some worn bushes etc... This is where it started to get laboursome and expensive.
Diagnosed the failure of the old VLSD to the teeth of the ring gear breaking. This in turn ruined some of the teeth on the input shaft gear. Sad times, but as mentioned above it was only a matter of time.
I started freshening up the old hubs first - removed the old bushes with fire and then once i managed to extract a stubborn lower arm bolt i wire brushed and sanded them down and gave them a lick of hammerite.
I've opted to not change the wheel bearings this time around, I'm hoping that they'll be fine as they don't have excessive play. Something to add to the list down the line though.
The MK2 rear subframe arrived; and came with included brake hard-line and rear ARB - both in much better condition than my current. Result! I spent several hours wire brushing this down and coated it in a spray on "zinc galvanising" rust prevention spray. Once this dried I hit it with some hammerite and gave the internal skin a douse of waxoyl. Overkill?
I managed to get a good deal on a Type 2 Torsen from a Mk2 1.8 with shafts and prop. This again got the wire brush and hammerite treatment.
I posted up on a local MX5 page about needing a MK1 rear lower arm - And some absolute legend offered me a full set of upper and lower rear arms recently refurbished in red; for free! Needless to say I collected them that night and gave him a bottle of wine in return. What a legend.
At this point I decided to just pull the trigger and go full polybush. The kit arrived shortly after and I got to work burning/pressing all the old bushes and getting the new ones in! not many photos of me doing this as it was a stressful time
And here we are almost up to date. I've had a load more bits turn up ready for the re-installation, and the other half has been busy with the under-sealing and waxoyling of the underside.
I've also taken this time to replace my handbrake cables as they weren't the best. Hopefully this solves the handbrake issue I've been having on the OS.
I've been busy with the small detail stuff such as painting everything with hammerite and cleaning off bolts ready for the *hopefully* smooth reconstruction.
I was almost at the point of dropping of off the stands. I bolted the rear wheels up and found lots of play, I double checked all bolts and found everything was to spec:
Two new wheel bearings pressed into the hubs, and she was dropped on the floor. I bled the brakes through, fitted the bumper, plate, lights & fitted some raydot mirrors with Jass adapter plates.
That weekend I covered off almost 150 miles
She was ready for coombe! I was driving it again for the first time in months, the mods since last time really transformed the feel of the car. All was good,
I had a viscous blow out caused by a crack wheel. This essentially ripped half the wheel off the car and pulled the caliper off the hub.
All this only 7 days into the rebuild! Safe to say coombe was off the cards.
I've ordered a new hub and new bearing, and have had a friend press it in for me over the weekend to save me the heartache of doing it all again ha ha. The poly bosh has also been transferred, and i've got myself some MK2.5 Sport calipers and a full rebuild kit to replace my NA6 ones. Well, I might as well upgrade while i can ay?
Needless to say I'm pleased that the only damage was the caliper, wheel and hub. It could of gone a lot worse and i'm lucky that it happened at a moderately low speed so i was able to save it and glide it to a halt.
I'll be rebuilding the calipers soon so I'll keep y'all up to date.
Its been almost three months - The build has been progressing but at a slow pace due to life.
10. The rebuild, third time over.
The first step was to replace the wheel - I found a full set of 15x9 ET0 Rota BM8's for a steal so took a trip up to Birmingham and back.
Only one of the wheels was any good - But I got all four for less than the price of a new one. So that was fine for me as I only needed one
New hub then had the new bearing pressed in, and the good wheel of the 4 had a new tyre fitted as all four were showing chords.
It was around here that my clutch pedal went to the floor and a pool of clutch fluid appeared on the floor. The 'to do' list was never ending.
The slave cylinder was diagnosed and replaced, and a HEL braided line was installed to justify it as an upgrade
I then set about rebuilding the MK2.5 sport brakes ready for installation -
The old ones all had torn rubbers and the pistons were junk.
Old vs New
(The new ones pictured turned out to be the wrong size, but the lovely guys at Frentech sent out the correct ones straight away)
New sliding pins were also ordered and installed onto the refurbished caliper carriers. I had a hard job to find the bigger static pins for the Sport brakes, but found that MK3 ones were a direct replacement.
This weekend the fitting started, at current i have completed the NS. A friend of mine had some discs and pads laying around as he upgraded to EBC. I nabbed them off him to get me back on the road for the time being. I will be renewing them after the summer.
Some pics of Old vs New and Installed:
The size difference is very noticeable. So much so in fact that now my Rota BM8's don't fit over the calipers.
One step forward - Two steps back.
I fitted some hubcentric 15mm spacers front and back to push the wheel away from the calipers, the rears were solved by this but stick out way too far, the front fits perfectly but still rubs. The problem is how the BM8's face curves into the barrel. It catches on this curve, no change in ET will solve this as it is the wheel design itself. An easy fix would be to run 25mm spacers on my 8J front and 15mm spacers on my 9J rear, but that would involve a lot of poke and I do not want to run over-fenders in fear of cutting or drilling holes in my arches. I think the only option i have is to change wheel design.
I've been looking at some Japan Racing JR19's for a while, and i think now i may have to set the goal and start saving.
They offer a 8J ET0 front and a 9J ET -13 for the rear. More importantly the outward concave design looks to me as it will have far more clearance for the brakes. If anyone has any experience with these wheels, a little confirmation or advice would be much appreciated. - I will be posting for some advice on the main forum section soon once I've weighed up my options.
So I've been quiet - just putting some miles on the car and doing a bit of a shakedown. As i said in the end of the last update, i've found a wheel combo that will work until i get new wheels next season.
11. Sept' Shakedown
Speaking of wheels:
The keen eye'd will spot a gearbox: a 6 speed ready to be fitted when i get a new clutch and fly.
Currently running 15" Rota BM8 9J ET0 rears (With +25mm spacers) & some pretty rare 15" OZ F1 Plus 7J ET? fronts (again with +25mm spacers)
I've done a few small aesthetic things, such as LED dash lights, something so small really makes the interior a nicer place:
Also got around to doing the LED ring mod.
And also a bumper cut!
The rear coilovers were absolutely shot, so a friend donated some used rear coilovers to keep me on the road until I can get some decent ones.
I've been able to get around 1000 miles on the old' girl. So far only minor issues.
Who said 5's aren't practical when you need to get some new tyres on your dailies 19"s
So where from here? Well - MOT runs out next month! I need to replace the engine mounts, and i would like to polybush the front. Whilst i'm there i'll probably drop the front sub frame and give that the same treatment as the rear. So look forward to that!
Shout, shout. Let it all out. MX5's is what we're all about.
wannabe: Hmmm... That's an interesting idea... no wheel wobble on the missus' car, which I would have thought was a strong indicator of being out-of-round, but I guess they could be bent side-to-side..??
Jan 15, 2020 14:34:13 GMT
wannabe: Ooooh, interesting - thanks, Howard. I'll have to get the tyres swapped round to see if it makes a difference! I will be most annoyed if it is tyres, seeing as they are only a few months old...
Jan 17, 2020 1:08:22 GMT
howardb66: If it is the tyres, don’t chuck them away, try getting them shaved.
Jan 17, 2020 12:04:28 GMT
wannabe: That sounds pervy haha.
Jan 18, 2020 18:27:11 GMT
fizbne: More build thread updating wow.
Jan 22, 2020 14:24:03 GMT
V6: I had an education in dampers today. I like expensive ones. Floaty, not bouncy for the win.
Feb 1, 2020 22:03:45 GMT
Zed.: that all depends on what you call 'expensive'
Feb 2, 2020 19:42:58 GMT