First up, a new paint job. Looks are everything, if its going to look incomplete (albeit valid), it can at least sport the new colour scheme. I fully intend to keep the orange (closest OEM colour to this I can find is VW Brilliant Orange) so required something to compliment it nicely. The bare aluminium was tatty and required far too much upkeep. I decided black was over done, silver wasn't much of a change and carbon fibre vinyl wrap was a bad idea. So, a dark grey maybe? Step up BMW Sparkling Graphite. Colour coding the body to the cam covers. Whilst the picture do not do it justice, it is quite spectacular when the sun hits it.
Other than tarting the car up, I also needed to address the best way to get the car running. As with the MX5, I felt this could be achieved from essentially lifting everything from the MX6 to the Zero. Engine, intake, alternator, wiring, the lot.
Even the intake gets a lick of paint! Although once fitted, a problem makes itself clear. The intake manifold isn't going to fit with the bonnet on.
The bonnet is not a problem though. I felt the short drive without a bonnet would be ok, any issues and its just been nicked by some pikeys this morning, officer. However, that was the least of my worries. The original alternator would not fit. The mounting point on the engine meant that it would need to sit with a chassis rail running through the middle of it. So that won't work. New DIY bracket and smaller alternator (Desno 40A unit) and that is that ticked off. So far so go right? Problem - Solution. Things are looking likely for Stoneleigh. Even the oil filter having it's place stolen by one of the new engine mounts wasn't going to stop me. A relocation kit ant and some fancy stainless braiding and happy days again!
Next up is the exhaust. I wanted to keep the up and over look of the original design, however this was not going to be possible without some major bends and fabrication.
Here is the basic mockup. I've opted to use bike silencers for the sole reason of being so much cheaper! Plus I can have the exhaust run short. I quite like it.
Manifolds all welded up. Plan is to get the car running with mild steel, then with the car running, I can whip them off and take them somewhere to be copied in stainless. Easier than sacrificing the car for however long. Plus the fact I was originally quoted £1200 for a full custom system! At least this route saves money and takes out the design costs!
So comparing new to old, I'm still unsure. I like the old system but also like the stubby nature of the new design. Only time will tell when the car is on the road and sound tested will I know if it's any good (the plan is to track the car a lot more so will need to ensure it falls below the 95-105db ratings for specific tracks)
The last major item needed to look at getting the car running was the fuel tank. Unfortunately I was having serious issues with my fuel sender leaking and splashing fuel all over the place. I'd tried a number of fixes, even resorting to chemical metal to just seal the thing in! Alas, even that failed to stop the leak.
I was caught in two minds how to proceed with this. Did I purchase a new tank from GBS and try again? I felt the numerous "repairs" had in fact damaged it beyond repair and maybe my new found confidence and abilities since the first build had increased, I could suitably solve the problem. My second option was a brand new tank from elsewhere. I contacted GBS and enquired about possibly changing the sender mounting boss as my new digidash wouldn't read the original MX5 sender without a £40 "corrector" for the resistance. Unfortunately GBS were more than happy to manufacture me a new boss and began running off numbers of £200+.....just to get the square mounting boss onto a machine before it had even started cutting. Who was I kidding? Should have guessed they'd claim all these added costs for changing a circular flat boss to a square boss. Hardly £200 worth of work. My opinion was material, waterjet and tapping could still give you change from £20. Anyway, I found JAF Fabrications. I gave him my rough drawing and dimensions (not quite a square tank but not as many angles as the GBS version) and within 2 weeks the fuel tank had arrived! My design, mounting boss for my needs, very quick turnaround and delivery, plus internal baffling (something GBS didn't have) and still had change from that original £200!
Overall, very happy with the tank and once made up, no leaks! Into the car it goes! Time to run some fuel lines...........
Now, to the crunch time. All this effort was in a mad dash to try get the car running to drive to Stoneleigh Kit Car Show. Using the original donor set up and wiring, with some help we got the car cranking....then coughing....but unfortunately it would not run. We think it came down to a faulty crank sensor in the end however a new one ordered.....but still no luck. Looks like Stoneleigh will have to be made in the tintop. Best go order that new loom and microsquirt.....back to Plan A.