It's been a while since I've updated my blog, I've not been spending a lot of time working on the kit, just nipping out for an hour here and there. We had a little holiday and my daughters car needed fixing so the kit had to move out for a bit. Now things have started to open up I've even managed to get to a couple of car shows.
14 June 2021
Not a lot of work going on as I am preparing for a holiday. However I started looking at the rear part of the transmission and quickly decided that I would need to revisit the piece I just made. I have a trim ring for the handbrake lever and ideally that would sit level. That means the top of the tunnel needs to be wider than the original and the side needs to angled steeper. There is plenty of space within the footprint of the transmission tunnel so I won't loose any passenger space. The angles just need changing slightly. This will also ensure that it won't foul against the bracket that holds the brake cables. I mocked up another CAD for the rear transmission tunnel and made a start on modifying my previous template for the gearbox cover. The other thing I need to bear in mind is fixings, I will want to be able to remove them when they are fitted for maintenance on the gearbox and handbrake.
27 June 2021
Back from holiday and back in the garage working on the template for the transmission tunnel. Had to remake the template a couple ot times to get things to fit and still need to fine tune it some more but I think I'm nearly there. I need to trim the supplied tunnel to nearer it's final length because it is getting in the way of the templates. I am also planning on making a device to help me with the bending, I've seen a couple of ideas on YouTube for metal bending devices that I could make, I need to get my hands on some quite flat steel bar, there is a place nearby that I hope will have some I can buy otherwise I will have to order some online.
28 June 2021
Found some metal in B&Q – not exactly the dimensions I was looking for but hopefully it will do. Not planning on bending anything other than aluminium. Made a start on the metal brake, learnt a few things about the design and decided to start again now I have more idea what I am doing.
9 July 2021
Still making small steps forward which I think is the key – just keep it moving no matter how slow. I finished making my metal bender and while it's not the greatest tool in the world it seems to manage OK.
So where have I got to? The supplied cover was trimmed back so it ends before the gearlever turret. I had to adjust the cardboard templates again and I've cut out and bent the new section that the gear lever gaiter will fit to. I've partly fixed the front section in place with a minimum of rivnuts and bolts, I need some rivnuts that are better suited to the thickness of the chassis plate (on order). When they arrive I will replace the temporary ones. This helped me make the template for the next section. The centre section is nearly ready for securing in place so that I can finalise the last section that goes arounf the handbrake.
8 June 2021
New crank oil seal arrived today so got on with fitting that, I 3D printed a oil seal press tool that uses the crank bolt to correctly position the seal. It worked a treat. I got the engine back together again and running I nervously started it up, and no oil leak. I ran it up to temperature and revved it a bit and no massive leaks. After I had let it cool down I did find a couple of small leaks, a water leak from the gauge temperature sender which was resolved by tightening up, and an oil leak by the oil pressure sender which improved with being tightened but I think there is a small leak from somewhere else I will have to trace.
9 June 2021
Bored with chasing oil leaks from the engine I decided to start fitting the headlights to the body shell today. I lowered it down from the roof and onto saw horses with a couple of planks of wood to support it. I tried several slightly different positions for the headlights using the rubber gasket as a template. In the end I decided to position them slightly below the middle of the aperture, this would ensure I had room to adjust the headlight aim and give me a bit more space for fixing in the perspex covers. I marked it with a felt tip and cut out with my largest hole saw. That left an inch or so still to remove that I did with a flappy wheel sander in my drill. With much trial fitting of the bowl I eventually go a fit I was happy with. Then I drilled out the two holes to accommodate the adjusters so I could finally position the bowl, this showed up a couple of points that were still tight so a bit more sanding was needed. I used the bowl to mark the position of the 4 mounting holes and then did a pilot hole and rechecked. The bottom holes were too close to the body to get my drill in so I used a dremel to do a pilot hole and then drilled through from the back. I fixed the bowls in place with M5 nuts and bolts with a large washer at the back. I did think about using rivnuts but the fibre glass is quite thick so woul need extra long ones and there's no margin for error. With a nut and bolt you have a bit of leeway if you holes don't quite line up. I had to elongate some of my holes to get them to line up.
10 June 2021
Started work on the front bulkhead. I started with the passenger side which needed a bit of trimmin until I was happy with the fit. Then I trial fitted the central bulkhead panel, I had to withdraw all my wiring in to the engine bay for this. Once I was happy with the position and fit I cut a large hole in the middle to fit the donor bulkhead grommet. I had previously cut a slit in this to remove it from the old loom and this would allow me to fit it over the new loom. Then I carefully threaded the loom back through the hole and slipped the grommet over, once the loom is finalised I will seal it to the bulkhead. I tested how the gearbox cover was going to join the front bulkhead and while I was there marked up where the hole for the gear lever needs to be centred. I drilled all the holes for the pop rivets and then removed the protective plastic, applied some sealant to the chassis and pop riveted the centre bulkhead panel in place. The passenger bulkhead overlaps the centre panel so I decided to cut the panel to allow that part to be stepped over the centre panel so it would lay flat. Next I marked the hole positions and pilot drilled them. I removed all the protective film ready to position it and drill the holes for the pop rivets.
11 June 2021
Fitted the passenger front bulkhead with pop rivets and then started on the front transmission tunnel. I have already decided on the gear lever gaiter I want to use which is a circular Cobra style one. Unfortunately the size of it meant I could not get the rear of the gearbox tunnel to sit where it ineeded to and at the same time have my gearlever. The hole in the transmission tunnel has to be quite large to clear the turret and with that cut my gaiter and trim wouldn't fit. After much trimming and fitting I decided I would have to come up with something a bit different. To use my chosen gaiter and ring it would need to be set higher up and preferably level so it could clear the bolts on the turret. I had thoughts about a panel somehow bent and formed to create a platform that would sit on the top of the transmission but no real idea about how to make it. I retired for a beer and some thinking.
12 June 2021
After an overnight think and a walk with the dog this morning I had come up with a plan. Instead of trying to make a small platform to sit on top of the transmission tunnel and all the accompanying problems of trying to make it look neat and tidy; I would make a new rear section of the transmission tunnel that fitted how I wanted. I could cut off the supplied one and rivet the new one to it. With that plan in mind I started with some CAD work (Cardboard Aided Design). After lots of trimming and masking tape I had a cardboard pattern which fitted The great thing about using cardboard is that the thing I made could then be used as a pattern to cut and bend the aluminium sheet, I used my jigsaw to cut the shape out and then make where the bends needed to be again using the cardboard template. I used some scraps of metal bent to match the 3 angles on the template I would need. I used some pieces of angle iron, my workmate and lots of clamps to bend the sheet. I slipped the relevant pre-bent angle into the clamp and measured my bend against it. It went surprisingly well considering I've never really done anything like this before. The only mistake I made was trying to bend the section where the gear lever hole was rather than clamping it and bending the other side. The cut out made that part a bit weaker and it didn't bend as neatly but by reversing it and gently clamping it flat again I was able to get it back in shape. I've seen an online video about how to make a homemade brake which looks quite simple and would mean sharper bends, I think I might have a go at that, I have most of the bits needed already.
24 May 2021
Did some more terminating of wires, I'm still waiting for the relay and ring terminals to arrive so it's holding me up with really getting on with the wiring.
25 May 2021
I was able to close the loop on the cooling system thanks to one of the water pipes off my spare engine. Carried on with terminating wires in the fusebox and also wrapping the wires I've run to the engine. Just waiting for a couple of ring terminals and the earth bars to arrive and I will be ready to get the engine running. I will be adding coolant because I want to be able to start my engine and let it run for a bit before turning it off to give the new rings a chance to bed in. Before I get to starting the engine I will need to double check my wiring.
26 May 2021
Had to do a bit of work on the TVR sorting out an earth problem, but had a go at tightening up the crank pulley, but could not lock the engine up using the wheels on the ground so I will need to sort out the handbrake first. Also managed to pick up a set of MX5 seats with headrests for £50 which I was pleased with, the Euphonic ones are tombstones and don't fit with the style of the car, also one of them is badly torn so I might practice myupholstery skills on that one and hopefully be able to sell it.
27 May 2021
I got the handbrake cables fitted, I needed to enlarge the holes in the brackets so they sat squarely and so I could get the retaining clios in place. I attached them to the brake calipers and then the compensator to the handbrake. I bolted the handbrake to the tunnel without too much drama apart from drilling one of the mounting holes in the wrong place but got that resolved. I used riv-nuts again for the bolts again. Initially when I tried to adjust the handbrake I couldn't get the brakes to work properley, then I remembered I had not done the manual adjustment on the calipers, once that was done the handbrake worked great. I was able to finally tighten up the pulley bolt correctly. Still waiting for the ring terminals I need for the final connections in the fusebox and they are now 2 daya overdue. Delivery seems to be getting more unreliable from ebay sellers in general. Ordered some others from Amazon which should be here tomorrow.
29 May 2021
The replacement ring terminals arrived today! I tightened up the power steering pipes and filled the reservoir with fluid. Checked over the cooling hoses and started to fill the system with coolant. Had to stop when fluid started pouring off the clutch arm, at first I thought I had missed a hose but when I checked there was no fluid running down the engine it was coming directly out of the clutch arm hole in the gearbox. Given the amount of fluid coming out the problem was at the back of the engine and it had to be a problem with the core plug at the back of the engine. The only way to find out was to pull the engine again, so after disconnecting the minimum, the engine came out and the core plug at the back of the engine was missing! There was a fair bit of choice language in the garage at that point. I have no idea how I missed putting that core plug in, even when I refitted the flywheel I didn't notice a bloody great hole in the block! I left the garage at that point, there's fluid all over the floor and tools everywhere I'll deal with that tomorrow! Time for a glass of wine.
30 May 2021
Tidied up the mess on the floor and pulled the clutch and flywheel off so I could get to the core plug. Fixed the core plug in place and then refitted the flywheel and clutch after cleaning them all up to make sure there was no coolant left on them. Refitted the engine to the chassis and got most of the bellhousing bolts loosely in place as well as the engine mount nuts and bolts. I loosely rettached the power steering pump to the engine and refixed the fuel rail and injectors.
1 June 2021
Only a couple of hours in the garage today. Tightened up all the bellhousing bolts and engine mounts. Refitted the starter motor, and reattached the wiring loom to the engine and got the plenum top back in place.
2 June 2021
Got all the electrical connections back in place and also terminated the two last connections. Bolted the exhaust system and clutch slave cylinder back on. Refitted the radiator and refilled the cooling system, no leaks this time! Ran some basic continuity checks on my wiring to make sure the ignition switch was wired up correctly to the starter motor, and fuse box, once I put the fuses in it all seemed to work as expected. Tomorrow I think will be time to connect up the ECU and try getting the engine running.
3 June 2021
Hooked up the earths for the fuel pump and the cooling fan. Temporarily wired in the oil pressure gauge and light so I could check it when it ran. Couldn't find my ECU lead so had to make an emergency trip and borrow John's. Back home I hooked it up and pwered up the ECU, everything looked normal, inputs seemed good. Hooked up the fuel filler and poured a couple of litres of fuel in the tank. Turned the starter, the engine turned over nicely but wouldn't start. I could hear the pump running so that seemed good but disconnecting one of the fuel pipes revealed no fuel. Back to the pump and I disconnected both hoses and ran some temporary hose into a fuel can, turned on the ignition again, no fuel coming out of the pipes. I whipped the fuel pump unit off and saw that the fuel was sat at the back of the tank and not down in the well where the pickup was! Unbolted the tank and tilted it slightly to let the fuel drain down. Put everthing back together and turned the key again... the engine started after a bit of cranking! It settled into a nice idle, no nasty knocking and healthy oil pressure on the gauge (and oil light out). I let the engine warm up and waited until the fans came on. So pleased that all the work on the engine seems to have been worth it.
4 June 2021
Not so happy today, seems there is an oil leak from the front of the engine. Can't see anything leaking from the cam cover or sump so possibly the front crank seal. So I've stripped down the front of the engine and there is definitely oil around the lower oil seal area. Need to strip out the timing belt and remove the crank timing cog to get a proper look. I've ordered a spare oil seal anyway.
5 June 2021 Stripped off the timing belt and crankshaft sprocket and the oil seal was not sitting correctly on crankshaft, the inner lip was twisted out a bit, I've pulled it out and cleaned up the oil, I will fit the new one when it arrives this week
17 May 2021
Bolted the power steering fluid reservoir in place and connected up the remaining pipes, some of them needed trimming. Fitted the radiator pipes, just need to find a pipe for the rear of the engine where the heater used to be connected, and I can add coolant. Topped up the differential and gearbox with new oil.
18 May 2021
Ordered a pre-bent pipe and some silicon hose for the last of the coolant pipes. I started looking at the wiring and realised I had not ordered all the connectors I need for the fusebox so that was frustrating – placed the order for the missing bits. Pulled some more wiring runs out of the loom (brake and fog lights) which seemed to take a long time.
19 May 2021
Made up the earth straps and bolted them in place. I used 25mm cable and crimp rings. I used an anvil style crimper which worked really well in my vice. I put straps for the fuel tank to chassis, power plant frame to the chassis and engine to chassis. Tested that the earth connections are all good with a multimeter. Loosely laid in the looms I will need to get the engine started, cooling fan, alternator, starter main and solenoid feed, fuel pump. Buzzed out the wire for the fuel pump and fuel gauge sender as they share the same connector and labelled them.
20 May 2021
Terminated the wires for the alternator, ECU power, Cooling fan power, I'm really pleased with my label printer which prints heat shrink tubing. Still waiting for a suitable ring terminal to arrive for the main battery feed in to the fusebox. Annoyingly if I had looked closer at the original fusebox the wire is actually terminated with a ring but I didn't see that before I cut it out. Had a look at how to add earth points and have ordered some bolt on earth bars. I'll have one on the front chassis, one on the rear chassis and one under the dash I think.
21 May 2021
Tried fitting the cooling pipe, I think it will need a bit more fettling before I'm happy. I couldn't get one exactly the same diameter as the engine pipes so it needs to be bulked out a bit with some self-amalgamating tape. A bit more messing about with wires and figuring out how to arrange the fuse box. I;ve bought a modular fusebox so I have modules for relays, flasher units, large fuses and smaller fuses. My power distribution diagram tells me what needs to connect to what but I need to translate that into physical connections. Not been able to spend as much time in the garage this week as I've been on dog sitting duties, Honey had major surgery and is at home recovering.
10 May 2021
Finished painting the water pump pulley. Fitted the catalytic converter section of the exhaust which has the O2 sensor in it. I found the centre silencer section and bolted that up and then tried to figure out where the exhaust back box might go. It's not a standard back box but a centre exit Powerflex unit which I picked up last year cheap. It will need the centre pipe modifying to join up, but I'm not sure how the exhaust needs to sit in relationship to the rear bodywork. Posted up a question on the Facebook book to see how others have positioned their exhausts. Good news and bad news, got notified I was going to be made redundant from work (bad news) which means I will have more time to work on the kit (good news), at least in the short term until I find another position.
11 May 2021
Popped over to see John Ham and look at his Jetex exhaust box, it fits really well with the box held up nice and high in the boot space. I think the centre exhaust box I have will cause clearance problems. Will look out for a second hand one for now but will probably have to bite the bullet and buy new. Need to also take a close look at centre pipe, it's quite rusty so might need to look out for a better secondhand one. Also looked at the rear body mounts and how the dash and body sit in relation to the chassis which helped me understand a bit more. Back in the garage, the replacement clutch master and slave cylinders arrive so I set to mounting them, made up a bracket to support the pipe on one of the starter motor bolts, waiting for the paint to dry before I can fit it. I fitted the water pump pulley wheel, I applied thread lock to the bolts. Fitted and tensioned the belt. I put some paint on the power steering pump bracket, and cleaned up the pump and associated hardware. I primed the steering column support bracket ready to be painted the same colour as the chassis. Had a look at the power steering pipe to understand how it is going to join to the rack but need to study that some more.
12 May 2021
P-clips arrived today so I finished off securing the engine harness. I refitted the clutch pipe and added a clip to secure it to the gearbox. I fitted the radiator, which was a straightforward task once I had figured out where the radiator needed to sit and how the brackets would be attached to the chassis. I spent a long time with blocks of wood to get the radiator in the right spot, checking the position of the brackets. I used steel M6 steel rivinuts in the chassis rails to secure the brackets. I practised on a scrap bit of steel first, I drilled the hole in 3 stages, 4mm drill, 8mm drill and then out to the required 9mm with stepped drill. This worked really well and the brackets all lined up nicely. I had to slightly bend and twist the offside top bracket to make it sit correctly but I'm very happy with the result.
13 May 2021
My new air filter and pipes arrived today. It's a generic kit so I wasn't sure exactly how well it was going to fit. In the end I cut the throttle body end off the Mazda intake pipe off and joined that to the new tubing and the air filter. I want the filter to be down to the right side of the radiator to get cool air, hopefully there will be enough space behind the bodywork. I was able to drill a hole in the pipe to fit the intake air temperature sensor for the ECU, the rubber pipe holds the sensor nice and firm.
14 May 2021
Spent a lot of time reworking my wiring diagrams, comparing it to the wires I have pulled out of the loom, particularly around the ignition switch. Finalised the fusebox layout, fuse values against the bulbs and relays. Then I placed an order for the fusebox, fuses, relays, warning lights, and some other things I will need like body mounts and fuel filler cap. I've also been thinking a lot about steering wheels and seats, Theres a steering wheel on Car Builder that I like which is 17” in diameter, after playing around with the MX5 seats and steering wheel testing getting in and out I decided that 17” was just too big. I think I will go for a 15” steering wheel, there are plenty of options for that and I don't need to make a decision now. I had another look at the column light controls, and unscrewed the wiper stalk that won't be needed, I cut the wires where they go into the connector on the steering column. Decision made I am reusing the MX5 light and indicator stalk.
15 May 2021
I did some trial fitting of the power steering cooling loop that runs in front of the radiator. There are mount points already on the chassis that are designed to pick up the old brackets, I had taken mine off to paint the pipes and they were not looking great. I tried several different angles and eventually settled on a position that looked like it would work. I needed some new brackets to support the pipes, for the far end I could use a p-clip, for the middle and where the pipe goes round the radiator I drew up a design for a bracket in Fusion360 and printed it off on my 3D printer.
16 May 2021
Thinking about seats, all the aftermarket ones seem very expensive apart from the BB range but they only have a few with headrest and little choice of material. Had a chat with a friend of mine who is rebuilding an E-Type and he mentioned that he's putting some MK1 MX5 seats in his e-type as the originals don't have headrests. Got me thinking that maybe this is the route to go and I could recover them in the fabric I want rather than taking what is offered. Might have secured a pair of seats for £50 which I can strip and see how they are put together and try my hand at seat upholstery!
My 3D printed brackets worked great for the power steering pipes, and I was able to secure the pipes. I used a bolt through the lower radiator bracket and then epoxy glued and compressed riv-nuts into the pipe mounting points in front of the radiator for the others. The pipes needed a bit of bending so they didn't touch the anti roll bar, another job ticked off. I then had a look at the throttle cable, the old brackets bolted on to the intake manifold easily, I needed to make a square hole in the firewall to allow the bulkhead clip to fit. I drilled a 12mm hole and then filed it out to a rectangle with some needle files until the clip fitted.
3 May 2021
Stripping the wiring loom has made me think again about what components I want to reuse from the MX-5. The column stalks are OK but unless I can remove the wash wipe stalk somehow I will have an extra stalk that did nothing. It's also quite a bulky unit. I also don't want to use the Mazda steering wheel so I've been browsing the options – there is a nice looking one on CBS and they also have boss for the MX5 column that would work. Not sure how the horn connection works with the Mazda column so will need to give them a call to discuss. I'm leaning towards replacing the stalks with a single aftermarket one.
6 May 2021
Did a trial fitting of the inlet manifold, I think I will need to wire up the injectors before fitting the top of the inlet manifold to the car. That made me think about the other connectors for the ECU. Might be sensible to start looking at that soon. Put the EGR blanking plates on the inlet manifold. Started cleaning up the power steering cooling pipe. I put my new flexible clutch pipe and also the clutch slave cylinder in place, I will need to add a clip for the pipe probably using one of the bell-housing bolts.
7 May 2021
Stripped a bit more of the wiring loom, the ignition switch circuit/power distribution loom/starter took quite a bit on untangling and identifying all the links to circuits it connects to that I won't use (AC/ABS/Immobiliser/Windows/Wipers). Painted the power steering cooling pipe.
8 May 2021
Put the ECU loom in place checked where the wires need to route and what they are going to connect to. The loom from Canems is lovely to handle and the wores are spot on for length. I am thinking about running all the sensor wires with the injector wiring, I will need to find something better than the plastic conduit that Mazda used for that. Put the exhaust manifold on and torqued it up with the cooling pipe that runs down that side of the engine. Put the crank sensor in place and set the gap to the flywheel, ran the cable up the timing cover and secured it with a p-clip on one of the cover bolts. I put the lower half of the inlet manifold on the engine and torqued that up. I re-attached the throttle body to the plenum top as well as the throttle position sensor. I cut the end off the EGR pipe, so I can use the nut that bolts on the exhaust manifold to blank off the EGR on the exhaust.
9 May 2021
I crushed the EGR pipe in the vice and then filled it with some metal putty to seal it fully. I applied some exhaust sealant between the nut and pipe as well and screwed it to the manifold. I decided that the injector wiring was fine as it was and bolted some p-clips to secure it. Then I could fit the top of the plenum. With that in place I ran the wiring for the various sensors (crank position, intake air temperature, intake air control, throttle position sensor, VVT control). I wrapped the loom in some spiral wrap to protect it and roughly positioned it. I've got a selection of p-clips on order so I can secure the wiring to the cam cover. I put the spark plugs in and added the coil packs and connected those to the loom, secured with small p-clips to the cam cover. I connected the coolant temperature sensor, cam sensor and the earth connection at the back of the engine. I mounted the alternator, which meant taking the intake support out again! I connected up the alternator control lead which is part of the ECU loom. Then I ran the last piece of fuel hose from the damper to the fuel rail. I was not happy with the orientation of the damper as it meant the fuel lines were crossing each other. I removed it and re-orientated it which meant remaking the hose from the feed to the damper which took way longer than it should. I was going to fill and bleed the clutch but I could not get the master cylinder to pump any fluid even after taking it apart and checking it. I suspect the seals are gone so I've ordered a new master and slave cylinder which was less than £50. The water pump pulley has been primed, ready for coat of paint.
26 April 2021
Started to work on the rigid fuel line which I am doing with 8mm copper tube. Started by straightening it our from the coil and then feeding it into position from underneath. I had several goes at different routes but finally settled on something. At the rear I originally wanted the pipe to come out and around but I couldn't get the bend tight enough without it collapsing which would restrict the fuel flow. So I settled on finishing it under the rear transmission tunnel and I will run flexible hose from the up to the fuel filter and secure it with p-clips.
27 April 2021
Finalised the front end of the fuel pipe near the damper, I turned the damper the other way up and with a right angled connector foitted a short piece of flexible hose. The final pice is from the damper to the fuel rail and I test fitted a bit of hose which looks to be fine. I will get the inlet manifold fitted before finalising that. I cleaned up the starter motor and fitted that to the engine, finished torquing all the bell housing bolts. Got the alternator loosely fitted to the block and put some primer on the adjustment bracket to clean it up. I got the oil pressure sensor and coolant sensor for the gauges fitted along with the coolant sensor for the ECU.
30 April 2021
Finished off the remaining fuel hose at the back and added p-clips to support the hose. Refitted the petrol tank to the mounts. Had a look and a think about the inlet manifold, forgot the manifold support hadn't been cleaned so gave that a going over and a coat of etch primer. Checked where the power steering reservoir and cooler pipe need to go. Gave the reservoir a going over with a wire brush to get the worst of the rust off and then appied some rust treatment, it will be painted once that is dry. The cooling pipe that runs in front of the radiator needs cleaning up as well, but first need to let any remaining fluid drain out otherwise §1`z it drips everywhere.
1 May 20201
Painted the inlet manifold support and the alternator bracket. Then I spent a couple of hours stripping the tape and conduit off the wiring loom. I plan to find the plugs I will need (handbrake switch, fuel pump, ignotion switch etc) and cut them out with as much wire as possible. The rest of the loom I will cut out the wires and hopefuly reuse them. I am hoping to reuse the fuses and relays if they will fit into standard holders.
2 May 2021
Finished stripping the wrapping of the reminder of the loom. Started to race out the circuits using the wiring diagrams. Once I identified the wires for a particulat circuit I decided how to seperate it from the llom, either by cutting wires or extracting pins from connector. I labelled the wires I disconnected with a labeller, stating what they connected to. Each circuit was bundled up. So far I have extracted the front/rear side light, reverse switch, indicator, cooling fan circuits.
19 April 2021
Tidied up the garage a bit. Put the oil cooler and the rear coolant temperature sensor housing on the engine block. The last things left before fitting it into the car are the flywheel and clutch but I need to take it off the stand for that. Torqued and marked the brake pedal mount. Decided to finish off the steering column mounting, the bulkhead seal for the steering column needs modifying to fit the shape of the Replicar bulkhead. I Marked the positions of 2 of the 3 holes on the bulkhead seal. Dismantled the steering column (again). I had to remove the clutch pedal and master cylinder to get access to drill the holes. I bolted the seal in place with the two bolt holes and marked up the bulkhead seal where it needed to be bent to fit the shape of the bulkhead. I pulled the rubber bulkhead seal out of the metal carrier and then made some cuts in the edge where I wanted the folds to be. I folded the metal housing in my vice. Estimated where the second bend needed to be and bent it. Offered it up to the bulkhead and it was pretty close, bolted it in place and then adjusted the folds with a hammer. Drilled the last hole and then refitted the rubber seal and tested the fit again. All seemed good so I applied a thin layer of silicon to get the rubber to stick back to the metal carrier, bolted it up and tested the lower steering column fit, which was fine. Replaced the clutch pedal and master cylinder, torqued all the nuts and bolts up and marked them. On reflection it might have been better to make a cardboard template to figure out the folds and holes.
20 April 2021
Engine swap day! Undid the engine mounts at the subframe, and the few bolts holding the old engine to the gearbox. Attached the hoist and took the engine's weight, jacked up the gearbox and undid the bolts holding the mounts to the side of the engine, this made it easier to then lift the engine and get the mounting plates out of the way. Then I could get the engine completely out and down on the ground. Next I took the rebuilt engine off the engine stand, attached the engine plate before cleaning up and bolting the flywheel onto the crank with a new spigot bearing. Then I attached the clutch and pressure plate, using a clutch alignment tool to centre the clutch plate. I put the new clutch release bearing on the gearbox shaft. Then I lifted engine up and into the engine bay, aligned the engine with the gearbox and slid it into position. Then I loosely bolted the engine to gearbox and put the engine mounts into position on the subframe. I lowered the engine until I was able to bolt the engine mounts to the engine. Then I could fully release the engine from the hoist. I will need to finish tightening up the engine/gearbox bolts and the engine mounts but the engine is back in the car.
22 April 2021
Drilled the holes for mounting the fuel tank and bolted it in place, then looked at a suitable location for the fuel filter. I wanted it somewhere easy to access for maintenance so I decided to bolt in on the side of the fuel tank, utilising some of the old mounting holes. I needed to bend the old filter clamp so it sat the way I wanted but that was easy enough to do after cutting some slots in the bracket. I dropped it in the ultrasonic cleaner once it was bent, to start prepping for painting. I am going to reuse the Mazda quick connect fittings on the fuel tank, filter, fuel reail and fuel damper as that will simplify the connections to the hard fixings. I stripped the quick connectors off the old plastic fuel pipe so I can clamp them to my new rubber hose. I will use olives soldered on the end of the copper pipe to allow me to secure the rubber to the copper pipe that runs under the car. I dropped the pipe connectors in the ultrasonic cleaner as well. Really pleased with how well the ultrasonic cleaner works with the heater on using a mix of water and Bilt and Hamber Surfex HD.
23 April 2021
Torqued up the engine mounts, steering rack mounts, and front subframe brace. Dug out the fuel injectors and replaced the seals on them, inserted them into the block and added the fuel rail on top, torqued the securing bolts down. I painted the fuel filter bracket in black paint. I removed the fuel damper and the rubber bobbins from the brackets they are mounted to, and cleaned them all up. Looking at the brackets they seemed overly complex (and a bit corroded) so I decided to make a new simple bracket. I didn't have anything suitable in stock so popped out to the local hardware store to pick some steel angle up.
24 April 2021
Made up the bracket for the fuel damper from some steel angle. I cut the angle to the length I needed and drilled holes to match the fuel damper mounts and also holes to mount the bracket on to the chassis. Then I drilled the chassis by the suspension turret to mount he bracket on. With the position of the damper fixed, I also mounted the fuel filter on the fuel tank and cut the rubber hoses from the fuel pump to the filter to the correct length taking into account what additional supports will be needed to meet the IVA requirements. I inserted the Mazda connectors into the hose and clamped the rubber hose using screw clamps. Need some p-clips to clamp the flexi hose and also run the copper hardline from front to back.
13 April 2021
Finished off the rear brake pipe using the new union. I made up the two front pipes and tie wrapped them in position until I can drill and mount them permanently. I found a section of edge trim from the donor that fitted nicely on the petrol tank to stop it rubbing on the chassis at the back of the cockpit. Checked the engine coolant sensor thread (M12 x 1.5mm) which matches the ECU sender thread. Need to find a location to fit the sender for the temperature gauge nearby.
14 April 2021
Found a suitable location for the gauge sender. On the rear of the engine on the cover that the ECU sensor is located there was another tapped hole filled with a bolt, unscrewing that was another M12 x 1.5mm hole do I can screw the gauge sender in there. It will need an adaptor as the gauge sender is a 1/8 NPTF thread. Ordered an appropriate adaptor from ETB.
17 April 2021
Adaptor arrived and fits into the threaded hole so all ready to go. Put the rear water outlet cover in the ultrasonic cleaner to clean it up before fitting it to the engine. Disconnected all the hard lines and blew air down them from the airline to get any small bits of dirt out of them. Then I connected up some of the old pipes to the 3 outlets on the master cylinder and put some clean brake fluid in and let it run through into a suitable container just to clear out any bits of dirt. Then I completed securing the pipes to the body with pclips and self tappers. On the rear subframe I used a couple of the existing holes and fitted the p-clips using some suitable plastic rivets I had. Connected up all the hard lines. Dug out the old front pads ready to fit them.
18 April 2021
Stripped the front calipers off the car, cleaned up the discs and all the mounting bolts. Regreased the slider pins and fitted the brake pads and new clips. Torqued up the brake mountings and then did the same for the rear brakes. Went round all the unions and adjusted the flexi hoses so hopefully they won't rub on the wheels or suspension. Won't really know until the body and new wheels are on. Added some brake fluid and did and started bleeding the brakes. With all new pipes I suspect it will take a few bleeding sessions to expel all the air. I was in the garage about 6 hours today, not much to see in terms of progress (so not a lot of photos) but I just need to keep chipping away at the jobs.
7 April 2021
Cooked the crinkle paint on the cam cover and inlet manifold to cure it. The cam cover and lower inlet wouldn't fit in my mini oven, so utilised the two hobs on the top to heat them up. Applied some paint to the fuel tank to cover up some scratches and the treated rust.
10 April 2021
Out for a social drive with the GRRC in the TVR so no work on the Replicar this Saturday
11 April 2021
Fitted the thermostat housing and torqued it down. Fitted the front cover and cam sprockets. Fitted the timing belt and tensioned it, fitted the main crank pulley and all the remaining front covers. Did another trial fit of the petrol tank now the bobbins have arrived. Seems to fit nicely, I want to add a protection strip to the edge of the tank near the rear of the cockpit to stop it rubbing against the chassis.
12 April 2021
Reassembled the internal baffles, PSV grommet, PSV valve, and cam position sensor. Refitted the VVT actuator to the cam cover and then bolted the cam cover to the top of the engine with a new cam cover seal. Fitted the new thermostat and the lower radiator hose outlet. Fitted the VVT feed pipe with new copper sealing washers and torqued it down. Checked the new (bigger) oil pressure switch would not foul anything and it all looks OK, removed it until the engine is back in the car. My new alloy filler cap has also arrived and I think it sets the cam cover off nicely.