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85 Posts
Discussion Starter #82
Intercoolers are cooler with proper tubing

Sorry for the delay between updates... I've got no excuse this time, just been otherwise occupied. But I've managed to do some things on the car...

Although I had already 'finished' the intercooler tubing, I wasn't happy with it.
The previous setup for the pipework from the Turbo to the Intercooler was 3 aluminium lengths joined by silicone 45deg bends.
This would result it too many potential failure points and too many heavy hose clamps.

Thankfully the solution was simple, replace the silicone 45's with aluminium 45's. And now that I had the TIG welder, I could put this all together myself without too much trouble. (and any excuse for welding practice is good)
This is all 2" tube, to match the outlet from the turbo. The silicone joiner into the intercooler is a 2.5" to 2" reducer 90deg bend.

While I was at it, the intake INTO the turbo needed to be sorted out also as nothing had been done for that yet.
The tube work here is 2.5" to match the inlet to the turbo. Working backwards from the turbo to the pod filter there is a 90deg bend out and up from the turbo, and then another 90 to bring the tube parallel with the ground again and over the top of the frame rail. Then, a 3" to 2.5" reducer to adapt from the pod filter.

I decided to go with the pod filter mounted just behind the left hand headlight. (well, if I actually ran headlights) Theres plenty of room there for the pod, and any sort of intake ductwork or whatever I end up with here.... I do not have an exact plan for that yet.

Any thoughts on what I should do here exctly?
Box in the pod filter?
Naca duct in the headlight?
Or run some duct for some cold air intake into the pod perhaps?

85 Posts
Discussion Starter #83
Did you forget about the Fastback?

Last time with the roof I had finished painting but it still needs a few finishing touches. Windows for the side and back, some foam rubber seals to get the roof sitting nicely on the body of the car and some fixings to bolt it down.

Here's the style shot of the couple of layers of carbon cloth drenched in resin. This is hand laid and squeegeed to try get the resin out. Not the lightest or strongest way to do carbon... it's mostly just for looks, and to keep the wind out.

I have an old bathroom mirror that's handy for doing nice smooth flat sheet like this. PVA release is brushed on the glass first to ensure this stuff comes away easily when it's set. The masking tape is good for keeping the mess contained and aids cleanup.

Once cured, the window shape was cut with an angle grinder and sanded smooth before being glued (sikaflexed) in place.

For the rear window, I'd tossed up the idea of running no back window, or a louvered window Lambo Huracan style. But, ended up going for a plain clear lexan window for best visibility.

A black border is painted around the permiter of the window to hide the glue, and the window is glued and clamped down.

So to make sure the rear window really stuck down properly and followed the slight curve of the rear section of the fastbacnk, it needed to be weighed down.
You can see here how ugly and yellow the doors look now. The rattle can 'appliance white' paint has not worn well. I've decided they really need to be sanded back and painted properly. But that will be a future update...

85 Posts
Discussion Starter #84
Another exciting thing to happen in the BEAVIS world of MX-5's recently:

Coolant Hose Fail on the VVT Supercharged NA

So the story on this one goes... I was driving the car to work and thankfully I had the Torque app running on the headunit which is hooked into the car via an OBD2 bluetooth dongle. It kicks up an alert as the coolant temp hits 100degC (212degF)
Immediately I'm perplexed as its never hit that before. At first I suspected it was a result of the weather as it gets toasty here in Melbourne around December/January. When moving, the temp would return to ~95deg, but when stationary it would return to as high as 105deg
So, there is little I can do as I need to get to work, after work i start the car and begin the drive home, thankfully there isn't too much traffic but the symptoms eventually return as the car warms up. I cruise home cautiously trying to keep the temp under 100ish as best I can.

As soon as I pull into the driveway and kill the motor I can hear a hiss and fear the worst. Busted Rad? Boiled Coolant? Head Gasket? ???
I pop the bonnet and the hissing is coming from around the intake manifold, I suspect perhaps one of those smaller coolant hoses that runs to the throttle body and oil filter may have failed?
I poke around and I can see coolant, but cant find a source.

Then, I squeeze the top radiator hose, no pressure at all and a splooge of coolant comes out the side of it. Well there's my problem. And the cause is immediately obvious.
The hose has been ever so slightly rubbing on the supercharger drive belt. The belt has carved a hole out of the hose, only tiny, but enough for the coolant to spray out at a high level of force.

So, a quick hose swap and some length adjustment and the issue is gone :D Phew

Here's a video of that endeavor:

85 Posts
Discussion Starter #85
So lots of work has been happening lately, and I've neglected to keep the forum up to scratch, but in summary....
  • I've worked on getting the doors painted so now they almost match and are much more sturdy than the old rattle can paint.
  • The brake duct mockup has translated into version 1 of aluminium brake ducts. Liken them to home made singular motorsport items.
  • The oil cooler has been moved to a better spot - although not yet plumbed in.
  • The front duct work from the bumper to the radiator has been completed.
  • The front bumper has been cleaned up and painted.
But, more excitingly, the engine has been started!
Yep, I finally got around to nipping up the last of the bolts and giving everything a quick once over to start it and fire it all up. After some delays due to a swap around of the LS coil firing order, it started right up. A brief video to summarise where things are at with the car:

And, the other exciting news is that I was able to get the car out to Sandown Raceway for the MX-5 Fan Fest.
With the 1,000,000th MX-5 on show, Mad Mike in attendance, and some 670 or so fellow MX-5's... we and had a great day in the hot Aussie sun.

The car loaded on the trailer for the first time in 18 months....

Really happy to see the car out again and fully dressed. It's been a long time since it's had all it's body panels mostly installed.
That's it for now, I'll post some individual updates of all of the little changes that have been happening to the car in the coming days with pics detailing what I've done.
Next step is to properly tune the car and then, aero/bodywork upgrade is in order.


85 Posts
Discussion Starter #93
Painting Doors
The doors on this car were hand me downers, very rough and I'd previously painted them with rattle cans in a mismatched white.
Since I'd gone to the effort of painting the roof, it didn't seem like much more work to get the doors painted too.
Well, that was until I got a little closer to them.

One door in particular was really battered up, dents and wrinkles and layers of paint that just made me cry. I sanded away the old flaked and poorly adhered paint and prepped them for a fresh coat.

My el-cheapo paint gun I bought for under $100. Actually worked alright for a super budget job. (and ghetto paint booth behind)

After filling the bad bits, the doors got a couple of coats of primer and the odd bit of filler again to neaten up the areas that needed more attention.... then, some paint went down.

The colour came out nicer than it did on the fastback, I think I've gotten better with the painting method and working with the settings on the paint gun.

This is a bit of a 'money shot'. I think this shot perhaps flatters my success with the paint more I deserve. But it does look nice and shiny here. Oooooohhh
You can see the beginnings of a run in the corner of the door handle.

85 Posts
Discussion Starter #96 (Edited)
Oh I should mention, I took some video of a friends car recently. A turbo NA6 with a collection of both interesting and unusual mods.
First time I've done a more artsy video like this really... so apologies in advance for my lack of video making skill, I tried to polish a turd (the turd being my poor recording skills) by doing the best I could via post processing in Adobe Premiere.


85 Posts
Discussion Starter #100
Soo... onto some of the other things that I had managed to finish (or in some cases, half finish) before the MX-5 Fan Fest event I mentioned a few posts ago.....

Oil Cooler
First up, the oil cooler has been moved to a better spot, plenty of airflow here - although it's clearly not yet plumbed in.
On the pondering list is, exactly what sort of lines I will run, and where/how I till run them. Need to prepare the wallet first, hose fittings aren't cheap.

Rad Duct
And with the oil cooler in place, I needed to work out the front duct work between the bumper and the radiator(s).
This is a reasonably simple aluminium box which bolts to the front of the car and is almost a perfect seal around the radiator, and also seals on the bumper opening.

This angle kinda helps to visualize the airflow.... in the front, through the heat exchangers, out the vented hood.

Brake Duct
Aluminium brake duct mockup version 1. I'm not sure if these will stay as is, and whether I will leave them as aluminium. Still pondering that one.
I guess you can liken them to home made singular motorsport items. On the to do list is to run a hose of some form to them, and make an inlet in the front ductwork.

Front bumper
Lastly, the front bumper has been cleaned up and painted... The difference between the before and after is quite satisfying.
Here it is looking very sad for itself after I separated it away from the old splitter.

It got a good share of body filler and sanding around the front.

And after a good clean, removing a lot of old glue and some fresh paint, this was the much less crap bumper. Ah and I 3Dprinted myself a new front badge.
This angle also shows how critical some front wheel spats/canards are to clear air from the front wheels.
81 - 100 of 133 Posts