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Smile you're in Sharjah - Andy & Mandy's S2000 Build

Andy Bray

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“Smile – you’re in Sharjah!” Mmm, well that’s what the flowers spell out, next to Sharjah bus station.  Sharjah’s the third largest State in the UAE, after Abu Dhabi and Dubai - and Mandy and I live and work here. 



It’s car friendly; low tax – hence cheaper to buy - affordable insurance, a cheap flat-rate annual registration (road tax equivalent), cheap speeding fines :cool:  and extremely cheap fuel.  So, on a visit to the Newark show last summer I handed my credit card to Simon at Westfield and ordered a Mega S2000.  A colleague here who’s built a Cobra advised me to buy a kit where everything came together in a box, as he’d found it frustrating waiting for individual parts to come from the UK - so I ordered everything in one hit.  And since I’m planning on using it for the track days which are frequented by super-cars, I took the various race options.   With temperatures being what they are here, I’ve got various extra cooling measures, too


With the high-speeds that the supercars reach on the long straights here, I want to maximise top speed and thus need to minimise aerodynamic drag while also keeping the front end down.  Had a very interesting thread here a few months ago on that and will be trying a few things later.


For months we only had a picture of the car being gathered up in the factory:




But now, finally, our car has arrived!  The import was, let’s say, not plain sailing (though we could track the progress of the ship on the web!), but with goodwill from everyone from Westfield through the shippers and importers it got to our front gate in the end. If anyone reading this is thinking of importing to another country, I recommend to be fully involved early on in the shipment process.



Note the delivery driver's footware!  And the colour of the sky here - ho ho ho!




And after a couple of hours carefully taking apart boxes.  





The engine hoist in the picture came from Dragon Mart - along with various other items of garage equipment and tools.  Unbelievably cheap.  So cheap, it hadn't been assembled correctly so I had to shove the engine pallet into the garage!

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Well, 3 interesting days of trying to get the car registered.   Day 1.  Arrive at Tasjeel, the car registration centre.  Told they must have the Vehicle Customs Certificate (VCC).  Unfortunately, I

Arrived back in Sharjah late last night, clutching a bag of bits for the Westfield.     Got up this morning and after a relaxed breakfast in the garden, getting used to 35 deg again, set to work to

Fitted the mirrors - look quite good but not much help for reversing with those large rear arches, but then I guess it won't spend much time going backwards....       And the Union Jack....  

Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary

Great to see it's landed Andy, have fun and enjoy the build!


You asked a question about brake lines in another thread, (applies to fuel lines too, I suppose).


In a more track and in particular race orientated car, in general, I would probably look at making sure they had a little more protection as far as riding kerbs, trips in to the kitty litter were concerned.


Now, I'm not at a stage where I've been able to trial fit the engine and in particular gearbox. So I can't tell you how much clearance there is around them in the tunnel. Certainly on a car with the MT75 tunnel and smaller Type 9 gearbox, there is sufficient room to mount the lines entirely in the tunnel, with no risk of the engine/box moving about on their mounts and either crushing or fretting the lines. If this is possible and safe with the Honda set up, fine.


Otherwise, I would probably route the pipes much as I have done, but, add protection around them. A quick and "dirty" approach, would be to mount a piece of aluminium "L" section, on the underside of the car, running parallel to the pipes, for a little added protection.


I'd investigate tunnel mounting first though.


Do try and use as much hard line for brakes and fuel lines as possible, with flexible hose kept to the minimum.

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pickmaster Andy Lowe

Looking good

Getting all the bits together has to be the way to go it saves so much time and lost momentum

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Thanks for your encouragement!  Having all the bits would have saved a lot of time if I actually had them all!  Will explain later.  Yes, white really suits this car - but here it's practical as well as it hides the dust.  Had a black car here, and it looked great for the first hour after cleaning it!  Dave, thanks for your comments about brake lines - I'll check the photos I took at the factory of a car with the gearbox and tunnel just put in and see if it shows how much space there is left.


Actually, the car arrived just before Christmas, but the very next morning I had to leave on a 3 week business trip.  Been back a week now, so some progress to record.


First, though, another snippet on the UAE:




More and more of the desert is, surprisingly, being fenced off.  Presumably by the landowners, perhaps trying to protect their camel herds?  Camels are big business here.  Of course if you go far enough away from the cities there are still areas of desert that are largely untouched.  Great for exploring in 4WDs.  Lots of locals use quads.  Not too many of this sort of thing, but it was pretty impressive going up the huge dunes!


Got the frame up on trestles:




Have to think through the panels before starting to fit them as there are significant differences from earlier versions and the Manual hasn't yet been updated.  I proceeded with the tunnels side on the driver's side - the left in this case.  Only LHD cars are allowed out here, but the factory puts fixings on both sides, so it'll be okay to convert if I take it back to the UK.  I used Dave Eastwood's very effective techniques - try, trim (mine needed more cutting around welds than Dave's - maybe because mine was a very early S2000???), tape to prevent damage to powder coat, clamp, drill, remove panel, de-bur, spray Dinitrol cavity wax into frame, apply sealant (the factory supplied Genkem MS55 which they use, but I used Tremco PU540 that I'd bought months ago after doing some research - I doubt it makes much difference), re-position panel, rivet, clean excess sealant.  


However, initially I wasn't happy because some of the holes I drilled - carefully - weren't perfectly round.  I think this was due to the powder coating reducing the size of the factory pre-drilled holes in the panel, so that my 4.1 mm drill bit wasn't able to fit in and use them as accurate guides.  Hence, I started pre-drilling the panel holes to 4.1 mm with the panel on a bench and am now getting much more consistent results.




The 2 tunnel panels on each side overlap at the join.  I decided to have the front panel on the outside to keep any water entering the front of the tunnel from finding it's way into the car.  As shown here:




On RHD cars, the forward tunnel side panel is ABS and has a moulded footrest.  In fact, this still goes in the right side of a LHD car, but I think because of a discrepancy in the factory picking-list it hadn't been packed.  I didn't want to fit the right side panels without having it to hand to at least see how it goes, so a re-ordering of work was needed.  I thus fitted the left side bulkhead and started work on the pedals.  Actually, doing this gives better access to what is a tight area.  I'll need to protect the bearings etc from swarfe when I do fit the surrounding panels, though.


I encountered some issues with the pedals.


Clutch:  The unthreaded portion of the stud that secures the pedal was too long.  My only option out here was to fit another couple of washers as packing.  You can see the problem below.




The clutch master cylinder pushrod needed shortening by about 26 mm.  The 2 x 8mm locknuts provided to fit on the pushrod wouldn't fit.  I measured the thread - instead of the expected 1.25mm pitch of 8mm, my gauge indicated 24G.  I'm guessing it's a 3/8" thread rather than 8mm, but I have no nuts to check.  Off to find a nut and bolt supplier.....

Brake:  The pushrod on the master brake cylinder need 16mm of shortening.  The 60 mm bolt to secure the pedal was missing.  Ahhhh!  I tried a smaller bolt, but the unthreaded portion was too short.  Another one for the shopping list!

Accelerator:  Had to straighten one of the 2 arms, as it was bent.  The Manual calls for a 50mm bolt for securing the pedal, but I found the unthreaded portion too short and used a spare 55 mm bolt, having first cut some of the threaded end off to shorten its overall length.  Drilled a 6 mm hole in the bulkhead for the accelerator cable.  With the LHD, the pedal is probably going to be inches from the throttle body on the engine - the supplied cable is 1.7m!  Have to look at that one later. 


I'm not sure what the best positioning is for the clutch and brake pedals in relation to the accelerator.  As a starter, I'm setting the clutch and brake pedals about 15mm forward (ie closer to the driver) of the accelerator.  Any recommendations?


Am going to prepare the rear panel and the seat fitting over the next few days.  Seats are non-standard, so vital to pre-prepare while there's good access!

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Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary

I've overlapped my footwell panel the same way; although thoroughly sealed the engineer in me just won't sit comfortably with a forward facing overlap.


Have a word with Mark at the factory, they may be nearly ready to go on the S2000 supplements. I've got copies of some of the early versions, which have been handy - they're not "release versions" though, so I can't forward them on, unfortunately.

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Think we spoke at Donington Show last August? Looking forward to tracking your progress.

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Yes, I remember Ian.  Took some pics of bits on your car if I remember rightly!  Dave, any advice in those suplements on pedal alignment?

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Yes I think you did, seem to remember you were interested in my rear diffuser?

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Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary

Yes, I remember Ian.  Took some pics of bits on your car if I remember rightly!  Dave, any advice in those suplements on pedal alignment?


Don't recall the specifics on bolt sizes. There's nothing on cutting the MC pushrods down though, except where you have an AP master cylinder.


I'll have another look. In the mean time, the only "alignment" note, is actually not so relevant for you, as your left hand drive; and that was simply to line the clutch pedal up so that it's no higher than the clutch foot rest, and then to level the brake pedal to the clutch.


What O then did when I built my first car was carefully align the throttle pedal to the brake pedals reasonably firmly (but not emergency) pressed position, to help make heel and toeing as easy as possible.

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Dave Eastwood (Gadgetman) - Club Secretary

OK, checked the "supplement"  - the previous caveat applies - THIS IS A PRE-PUBLISHING REVIEW/PROOF COPY AND MAY STILL CONTAIN FACTUAL ERRORS.


The clutch uses a M8 x 70mm stud, the threaded length at either end is aprox 15mm, leaving a central 40mm unthreaded shank. The width across the outers of my clutch pedal bracket is 40mm. No additional packing washers are needed on mine.


The M8 x 60 mm brake pedal bolt isn't in my "misc" bag of clevices and other bits and bobs, it appears to be in the big box of graded, bagged up fasteners.


Throttle pedal bolt is listed as M8 x 50mm. the outer width of the throttle pedal bracket is 35mm.


The size of the clutch pushrod lock nuts isnt mentioned. But you're right, appears to be an imperial size. (5/16")

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Ta All - and yes, Ian - I was just looking at my pics of your diffuser a few days ago.  Aiming to fit one, but need to see the finished car to see if/how it will go on the S2000.


Dave, thanks for the info.  The width across my clutch pedal bracket is 38mm - which explains the 2 mm packing I had to use.  However, I have 1 mm lateral freeplay of the clutch pedal, so if nothing else has been changed you might end up with 3 mm.  Maybe Westfield have changed the size of the pedal.


Had to go to First Industrial Area of Sharjah to get the missing nuts and bolts today - always a tense experience due utter traffic mayhem.  Not many shopkeepers speak English, either.  When I showed them what I wanted, "no coming" was a common reply, but got the bits in the end! 




Progressed the pedals further and sprayed the outside of the brake master cylinder with another Dinitrol product.  I actually bought this to spray on the engine and gearbox, once cleaned up, so this was a trial run.  Looks promising so far....



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