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MX5 Speedster; Track car build.
Topic Started: Feb 10 2013, 23:02 (947 Views)
megabertha

This wee car started out as an insurance write off. It suffered a cabin fire and was badly burnt inside seats,dash ,hood windscreen and wiring loom all destroyed. It lay in the yard for maybe 2yrs before we decided to do anything with it. In that time a lot of mechanical stuff had been sold off it and the shell almost entirely stripped ,it was on the brink of the trip to Clearways when we thought the shell was good and straight and apart from where it had suffered scorch damage fairly free from rust.
So the decision was taken and work commenced....Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

As per usual money was and still is at a premium, so in order to be able to keep up with wallet based horsepower we had to lose weight . Weight loss is free horsepower. so boot floor got the chop as did a lot of unnecessary metal from around the front of the car. I had in stock fibreglass front guards which were not going to sell , so we employed those and a busted up fibreglass aftermarket front , which we glassed up and repaired.

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As the windscreen had been destroyed in the fire , 5 minutes with the angle grinder saved £150. The speedster was born.
We looked around for what wheels we could use,breaking MX's meant I had loads of unwanted 14s,so much so that i didn't want them either. Almost 15 yrs ago I had been in a breakers yard and spotted an oul Manta hatch with 4 steel chromed 8 spoke Wellars on it,though it wasn't the wellars but the 4 brand new BF Goodrich tyres still with the mould hairs on that really caught my eye. 215/50/13 is the perfect size for the front of an HSR Chevette . So from a distance of about 75feet I asked the proprietor how much he want for "Them oul wheels on the scrap manta in the corner?" "A tenner each " said he so I paid him and laughed all the way done the lane. I sold the tyres for good money,and hadn't the heart to throw the wheels out, they'll come in useful for something someday. I tried them on the MX5 and they fitted the hubs but the offset meant the addition of wider arches....a plan formed...Posted Image

I have the moulds for wide arches for a Rover SD1...(previous madness) and held them up to side of the MX, with a wee bit of fettling we could make them work. As it turned out I used 2 pairs of front arches and reversed the ones for the rear of the car to make look balanced.Posted Image
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Spink

Love it! Nice one
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megabertha

So at this stage we felt we had something that might turn out alright. We forged ahead and I put in a 1.8 mk2.5 engine and gearbox and the final drive is a 4:3-1 MX5 LSD .We managed to salvage a set of Tein coilovers and fitted them. All this stuff came from crashed or damaged cars so again costs were kept to an absolute minimum.
The car needed a little attention in the usual MX5 rot spots ie the rear sill infront of the rear wheels,this happens because people don't check and clear the drains for the soft top with the result that the water flows over into the sill and it rots from the inside out.....Posted Image
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With the rot cut out and replaced we got on with making the arches fit and then blended them into the wings and quarter panels. Once in their final position they were glassed on permanently and the isopon came out and the rubbing down started
(a lot of rubbing down)Posted Image
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minitravellerman

Gonna be epic.

Always liked this speedster too;

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By the way - how would you fancy fitting a 3 litre v6 Jaguar engine and 5 speed manual box to this - would be even more awesome!! ;) I happen to know of one for sale! lol
Edited by minitravellerman, Feb 11 2013, 13:58.
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megabertha

Hi MTM , Jag engine sounds like a good option, this car is for my son and I want him to start at the bottom. I do have another shell waiting in the wings as well as a 5.3 V12 Jag engine with 42k on it which I have considered combining....we'll see how this one turns out first though. How much is on the 3ltrV6 ? That orange speedster does look smart, though I think it could do without all the lights up front.....hard to please everyone I suppose.. Please remember this car of ours is built on a very tight budget and the standard of finish is commensurate with that , plus it is only ever going to be a track car and my boys first one so expect breakages.
We added a splitter to the front spoiler and arches as it helps to add a bit of strength to the body work and also serves as the first part of the flat bottom undertray which will help the car aerodynamics .(the something for nothing culture).We also cut the wings behind the front wheel to give the air an easy path out from under the arches.
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The next item for attention was some sort of rollbar/chassis stiffening thing. We fabricated a rollhoop and diagonal legs
down onto the rear chassis next the shock/spring mounts.
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ivan dinsmore

I'll see your 3.0 V6 and raise you a 5.3 V12!! Lovely build!
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Desperado
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Class, looking forward to see how this turns out.
Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world.
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megabertha

We made up a square tube frame across and around the rollbar and then cut some aluminium (salvaged from my bro' in laws sign making firm) to cover over where the hood would normally sit behind the seats.
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The doorbars (painted red) run from the rollbar through the front bulkhead via a nice little factory stiffening panel which was just the right size to allow the tubing to go through,and from there a slight bend down onto the top of the front strut mountings.
We cut away the door internals which allowed the door bar to go out into the what would've been the inside of the door which gives my fat ass a bit more room..
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megabertha

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this pic gives you an idea that it's no off roader.....the blue car is slightly lower than standard ride height..
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megabertha

Working on quite a few MX's I saw a chassis stiffening kit on the web and thought I could make that here so I did the measurements and the plans, had them manufactured and have sold and fitted quite a few kits over the last 4 years.
It helps chassis stiffness ,important in a soft top car as there is no lid/roof on the the top of the "box" and this allows the
chassis to flex and vibrate more than a car with a roof. It also helps when you for eg drive over a pothole and the windscreen
frame will vibrate (scuttle rattle). This kit helps to increase stiffness and reduce rattle.
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So we put a kit on the speedster,though the pictures are of another car we fitted them to.


Having no wiring loom at all meant that we had to go back to basics as far as making the engine work. I toyed with different things and decided to give it the bike carb treatment...simple and cheap £50 for a set of ZX9R carbs. The ignition we decide on the Megajolt kit which is fairly basic and programmable .
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I made the manifold myself from 10mm steel plate and exhaust tubing, I did it this way because materials were cheap, and I could do the welding myself. I want to make sure it will all work the way I hope it will before we go all fancy with aluminium and stuff.
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megabertha

So days more rubbing down re-poning rubbing down and poning again...off to the painters with a tin of commercial white
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and that is the story so far, so over the next few weeks we'll attempt to have it firing on all four and hopefully a place on the NR stand at the Dubshed.........
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GAVIN
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Lovely jubbly DC, team sticker too ;)
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minitravellerman

megabertha
Feb 11 2013, 15:00
How much is on the 3ltrV6 ?
Motor looks awesome now!

We're looking £450 for the Jag unit - from a 2000 S-Type.
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puggernaut
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Oh, now this is an interesting bit of kit! Hopefully see it at Dubshed!
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megabertha

Engine now runs and sounds pretty good..
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