Sunday, 28 November 2010

Rear lights - all finished

I finished connecting all the rear lights. I'd covered all the wires with self amalgamating tape but I decided it would be better to cover with plastic split tubing. Even with the plastic covering I was concerned about it going past the edge where the rear arches join the main tub. The solution was to use large P clips. The wire can then be tie wrapped to the P clip:

Tested all the lights: sidelight, indicators, brake (I had to do this by shorting out as I've not connected the brake connector at the front), fog and reversing all working. Here they are with the hazards and sidelights on (only took 3 attempts before I got the picture with the hazards illuminated):

Friday, 26 November 2010

More dashboard

More work fitting the dashboard. It's now starting to get close. I was able to put the dials in and get it all to roughly fit in place:

There's very little room between the indicator and the dash though so I might need to bend it forward:

This is the view I should get from driving. Good visibility of the dials with the bus driver's steering wheel that comes with the MX-5. Wonder how it will be if I put a smaller steering wheel on.

It isn't always the easiest to get a look under the dash:

Very elegant:

I still had the problem of holding the front edge down so I decided the fibreglass in tabs. 1st stage was to remove the steering column for access and use a bracket/string to hold in place:

Next stage was to fibreglass a tab in place. Here is my 1st attempt before I'd trimmed it:

With the 2nd one I was getting the hang of it. I stuck some plastic on the underside of the body. That way I could form the tab without it sticking to the body. Here it is with just the 1st layer:

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Getting a good fit for the dashboard proved (and continues to be) a challenge. The lower part of the dials area hits the steering column:

which meant it wouldn't go down:

After quite a lot of trimming and slightly lowering the steering column I was able to get it to fit around the majority of the scuttle:

Although I might have to put a couple of spacers on the steering column mounting as with it in the original location there isn't enough space for the dials to fit:

I still have a problem that there is a gap at the front where it's not sitting flush to the scuttle:

The "dome" where the dials go needs to be held down. By pressing it I can get a good flush fit:

So I'm considering fibre glassing some sort of catch or hook on the underside to hold it in place:

Monday, 1 November 2010

How it looks now

Front wheel arches are just placed on the brackets as they will need to come off to fit new IVA compliant side indicators.

Front wheel arches

Rather than drilling through the wheel arches I decided to the "bigheads". These are bolts with large flat heads that you can fibre glass in place. By doing this you have hidden mounting, no future problems with cracking around the holes and a very firm mounting.

The first step is to drill/file slots in the mounting brackets. The reason for slots was so that it would be possible to fit the arches without having to bend the brackets out. The bolts would be at almost 90 degrees apart.

And there are the big heads in place:

Next step was to remove the black coating from the underside of the arches. To do this I used a wire brush attachment on the drill:

Still needs a bit more to make completely clean:

I offered up the arches on the brackets to make sure I was cleaning off in the right place:

and finally I used the dremel to make sure the bigheads lay flat:

I put a layer of fiber glass down first then placed the bracket with the bigheads in place and held until the fibre glass was firm:

After the fibre glass was firm I could remove the bracket leaving the bigheads in place and apply a couple of layers of fibre glass over the top.
By applying a layer of cling film and washers I could ensure the fibre glass was held firm against the bigheads.

Exhaust - final fitting

Originally when I tried to fit the exhaust it didn't quite line up correctly at the rear mounting. As I put in the post last November, when I was at Westfield collecting the bodywork I got them to bend the exhaust connection pipe and it seems to be okay. Now with all the bodywork on it was time to put it on for the final (did I really say that!) time.

It all fitted fine:

No sideways pressure at the rear mounting:

And the front hole is still perfect:

Rear light connectors

Started to connect up the rear light clusters:

Rear fog light - working

Connected up the rear fog light:

Stone guard - RHS

I'd fitted the one on the LHS side earlier but hadn't done the RHS as it was against the garage wall. So this weekend I finally fitted the guard on the rear RHS. It should stops some stones and general road stuff from being kicked up between the body: