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Want to learn about cars? Build one!


gparker
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Six weeks ago, my lifetime experience with car repair was watching a friend change an oil filter once. 

 

Now I have a Westfield kit arriving in a week or so, and my garage looks like this:

 

pulled.jpg

 

Until recently that was a battered '94 M Edition. Towed it home, fixed the broken timing belt, and drove it for all of 30 miles before taking it apart again. Much of that driving time was practicing hill starts with a manual transmission. That's right: I also have next to no experience driving stick.

 

The engine is completely covered in oil and has at least one leak left. I can fix that.

 

The tach goes bonkers above 4000 RPM. The internet says it's probably a bad ground. I can fix that. 

 

It's raining, which is spoiling my plan to roll the car out of the garage before removing the wheels for the last time ever. I can, er, wait for it to stop raining, I guess.

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My word, you're really getting the authentic British car experiance, aren't you! I didn't know the factory could supply rain too.  :laugh: 

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My word, you're really getting the authentic British car experiance, aren't you! I didn't know the factory could supply rain too.  :laugh:

 

It should have been raining all winter, but no, we had nothing until this week. I expect we'll soon be back to drought conditions until shortly before my first test drive. 

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Another MX5 SDV'er, welcome along.

There are few of us that have built one now, so there is plenty of experience on here to help you out.

Run a build thread with plenty of photos, and we will help you avoid the mistakes that we made!

1.6 or 1.8 engine?

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Ah splendid :) another one to add to the mazda/miata ranks :cool: welcome aboard :t-up:

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Welcome fellow mx5 sdv builder! Great to see another join the fold

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I shall watch with interest. Welcome to the forum!

Nice to see another Mazda SDV taking shape. It's all part of the plan...today, Smokey and Gary's garages, tomorrow...THE WORLD!

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Welcome and Good luck, all I can say is, never say that ul do, make sure it's as spot on as it can be.

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Donor is 1994 M Edition with all of the upgrades. 

 

Bad: Cruise control and A/C. More wiring to throw away.

 

Good: 1.8L engine and LSD. I'll try fitting the ABS too since I haven't driven a car without it in twenty years.

 

Awesome: "M Edition" badges will look good on the Westfield.

m-edition.jpg

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Today the diff fell without a fight, but both driveshafts are stuck in their hubs. I only slightly damaged the hub puller in the attempt. Do the driveshafts need to be removed from the hubs, or can the whole axle/hub/upright assembly be installed into the Westfield in one piece?

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You may be able to fit the hub assembly complete with the shafts, but they will definitely need to be removed at the diff end.

I undone my hub nuts with a breaker bar and a scaffold tube. They are torqued to 250N/m

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Are these the push fit shafts? Mine required incredible persistence to remove... this was from the diff end as I'd already dismantled a lot of the car without undoing the hub nuts. Doh!

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Ah, one oft he great lessons in life! When dismantling cars, the sequence and forward planning is everything...

 

It's so much easier slackening things off when you have the option of either the handbrake to stop parts turning. Or for really high torque things like hub nuts, slacken them slightly with the car sat on its wheels and the handbrake on. That way you've got the weight of the car helping.

 

You only have to get nuts/bolts started. You can finish undoing them later, with the car on stands etc.

 

Of course, this doesn't help when you've got stubborn joints to separate and all the bolts are out...

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My Pit Crew Bob learned all about how cars fit together by working in car scrap yard, he dismantled so many cars and knew what bits were interchangeable.  So I would say "If you want to know how to build a car, work at a scrappies for a few weeks"  

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