Thursday, 9 July 2009

Missing bits - 12mm fuel pipe & dome bolts

Realised there were another couple of items missing (not listed in the BOM):
- 12mm fuel pipe to connect the fuel tank to the fuel pump (I saw another build diary mentioning this as well)
- M8 x 25mm dome allen bolts for mounting the "P" bracket for the air filter

Here's my consolidated list (I've not listed items that were listed in the BOM which they didn't have in stock and were sent through later).

Missing parts:
- Front Suspension locknut for the ball joints (2 x M12 X 1.25 plain nuts)
- Spacers for locating in the cupped section of the metalastic buffers for the diff
- Rear upright/upper wishbone/lower shock absorber mounting (2 x M10 x 120mm bolts)
- Diff mounting bracket (2 x 7/16 x 4.5" bolts)
- Electrical connectors
- Steering Column fixing U bolts (2 sizes as MX-5 columns can vary in size)

Kit problems:
- steering mounting in wrong place
- rivnuts for fuel pump/filter missing
- steering rack bracket mounting off

Engine in

With the shorter propshaft I was ready to install and mount the engine. New holes were required for the LHS mounting:

My tip of the day is put masking tape down before trial fitting the engine/transmission. That way you can mark the tape and make the drilling easier. These are the holes that have to be drilled in the central tunnel for the transmission mounting:

Before fitting the propshaft I remembered to cut down the bolts for the handbrake mounting. They may look long but my the time nyloc nuts are fitted they shold be about right:

I also remembered to re-fit the clutch slave cylinder before the engine went in. Whi I took this off in the 1st place I can't remember. It was probably because I couldn't get the clutch pipe off when it was in the MX-5.

After slotting the engine in place I wasn't sure if the transmission mounting holes were in exactly the right place. By taking a picture from below (the joys of digital cameras!) I saw I was only a mm out and a slight wriggle of the transmission made the bolts slot in place. I was really chuffed as it saved having to remove the engine (again!) and elongate the holes:

The LHS mounting bolted in place:

and the RHS:

I arranged the transmission slightly to the drivers side so there was as much clearence for the handbrake as possible as well as straightening the propshaft (as the diff is offset to the right):

even then the propshaft only just clears the end of the handbrake mounting bolts:

and there's not much clearance for the clutch:

Propshaft Shortening (again)

Now I know the correct length, I had to get it shortened again.

The 1st time around I used a company in Feltham just outside London (Propshaft Services Ltd) which had been recommended. Although not local, Mike passed by the place on a regular basis and I was in no hurry.

This time around it wasn't convenient to get down to Feltham so I had a further look around and found Congleton Propshafts ( based about 10 miles down the road. They were very friendly and seemed to know what they were doing so 1 week later I had a shortned propshaft. Also, they only charged be £50 which was half the price of before (that's London priced for you!).

Propshaft length - the complete story

After some discussions with Westfield (who weren't very helpful) and some posting on the FM forum (which was very helpful - thanks Keith!) I now know enough about the MX-5 diff/engine combinations over the years to make me a real bore at parties.

Quoted from Keith:
"The diff was changed in 1994 when the 1.8 came out. We never got the 1994-97 1.6 in the US, but it makes sense that the larger 1.8 unit was used for ease of production. That looks like one to me.

The "stub axles" you've seen in other pictures simply slot in. They're half of a two-piece halfshaft - would that make them quarter shafts? In 1996, Mazda went to a one-piece halfshaft. There's no functional difference but the one-piece units offer a bit more clearance. Mazda never used a one-piece halfshaft with the smaller early diff, so that would support this being what is often referred to as a "1.8 diff" by US owners."

The result of this is I need to have the propshaft shortened from the current 555mm to the 505mm measurement the build manual states for a "1.8" diff. This also makes sense as the engine was 20mm off + you need ~20mm of play (so I've been told!).


No, this isn't some strange car part it's the medical condition (Chickenpox for grown ups).

If anyone out there is wondering my sudden lack of progress/posting the reason is I went down with shingles which has stopped me from doing anything for a while.

Now that I'm over the worst of it, I'm hoping to get more done on the car.