Hi all, thought I'd throw up a thread. This was my first car and gets used daily (swapped with the Acclaim depending on the type of thing I'm doing that day). I've also got a mk1 2000.
The poor little car isn't looking as good as she was thanks to the abuse it's had. It completed Club Triumph's Round Britain Reliabilty Run (2000 miles in 48 hours) in 2008 and CT's 10 Countries Run (10 countries over four days) in 2009. Since then it's been engine problem after engine problem so when it split its oil cooler and dumped all the oil on the M45 on the way to set up the club stand at Stoneleigh this year I decided to fit a Mazda lump - hence why I'm here!
Mods are fairly normal Dolomite 1500 engine solid mounts 500lb front springs 1" lowering block Maxtorq discs asbestos pads sprint wheels with 15mm spacers Ford studs cherry bomb battery in the boot etc, etc.
I'll spam some photos from the years I've owned it to get the ball rolling.
Excellent-Another MX5 Herald joins the fray. Great to see you getting plenty of fun for your buck. Looks alot lower than an 1" drop. I hope there a plenty of old mx's around in the UK to gut as they seem to be catching on as a simple repower option-Looking forward to seeing your progress-Keep posting loads of photos.
69 Herald 13/60 with Turbo 1600 MX5 engine, Lexus 5 link rear end, 17in wheels,300mm ventilated disc's and subaru 4 pot calipers
It'll be lower than 1" in the photo as the back was full of tools. It'd just completed the 10CR, doing about 2,600 miles over four days including compulsory Nürburgring adventure and eating all its engine oil on the autobahn. It had a rocker feed and Spitfire engine in it at the time so when we got to an over night stop and all 50 cars had parked up I set about ripping off the feed then walked around trying to find a way of blocking the hole up in the block.
Got a plug, fitted it and the sun slowly started to rise to reveal we were all parked in a carpark for a graveyard full of ornate tombs adorned with angels. Oh, the name of the place? Condom.
The year before I'd completed the RBRR and afterwards when stripping the back to replace all the parts I'd killed I noticed that the flexible hoses had been rubbing on the half shafts the whole time. No wonder the brakes were gash! So be warned, if lowered and fitting braided hoses.
I need to get on with replying to other threads but work has restricted me to about 30 minutes of internet use as I eat my breakfast. Not even fitted the new oil cooler to the Herald yet so I'm getting a nice green disco all to myself when stopped at lights and the oil pressure drops.
Yep. I'm just doing my bit to stop our nations roads from rusting! ;D
Gotta be the bracket. Still, it was entertaining when the AA van ended up with a flat battery and we had to use my jump leads on a spare and his battery pack to get it going again. I've never had to help recover the vehicle recovering me before.
Got a call from a mate which pretty much went "I'm after a new car, I want an MX5 again. Fancy coming along to a dealership Saturday?" "Well... it's funny you should say that as I've killed the Herald again and..."
Spoke to my insurance company and for just under £39 I can add anything built before 1994 so armed with that info I'll be helping him look at some cars and hoping they've got something a previous owner has just part exchanged. It does mean I'll have to use a 1.6lt rather than the 1.8lt I wanted, but oh well.
Also spoke to Don Trimmings about a new hood. I really want a vinyl one with stitched in windows but a mohair one is only £50ish more expensive so one with a zipped rear window is about to be ordered.
I'll be quick with this and as normal it'll be mostly photos.
On the Acclaim front, I repaired my repair to the wipers. After fixing them it had an odd fault with its electrics. When you put the lights on the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. So a while later I stripped all the steering and switches and found nothing wrong. So I took the fuse box out and tried to open it but couldn't. Whilst playing around I noticed that when you put the lights on with the ignition off the clock stopped and a few warning lights (fog, etc) dimly lit. When putting the fuse box back I repositioned the earthing wire and it cured it! Most odd.
Now the Herald. I've stripped the steering wheel and applied Danish oil. It's now lovely to use. When it's freezing it's nice and warm to touch! I've also made my own number plates, fitted a "work lamp" to the back, fitted fibreglass sills and fitted fibre glass rear valances. It looks nicer now. Next job is to attack the replacement bonnet again.
I've bought my replacement Herald engine. Without seeing it I bought a one-way ticket to Swansea and then drive it back 210 miles. 40mpg on the way back and it used no oil or water. However, when I started it this morning it smoked a bit. I suspect valve stem oil seals and over night it's letting oil seep through. When you start it up after standing for a few hours it's fine. It's also well due a service judging by its dipstick reading less than empty when I got in it in Wales and topping it up raised the oil pressure! So it'll be getting a change to cheap supermarket crap and then drained and refreshed with some good stuff about 80 miles later.
Did some work on the Herald today, which is looking rather Mazda shaped right now. The plan was to test fit the wheels to the Acclaim then remove the immobiliser. After getting one off and offering it up to the Acclaim I confirmed the PCD was correct but the locator was too big. Balls, they looked quite good!
Then my parcel from Euro Car Parts finally arrived so I attacked it with a service. First off the coolant was drained and flushed then refilled with a flushing agent. The job after that was to get the engine warm and add some engine flush. Oh, whilst I remember it. In 2009 I bought an oil filter for the Acclaim from Halfords but it turned into a month long saga with the filter being cancelled and re-ordered and then when it arrived it was far too small. Guess what I found out it fits today! Maybe Halfords was trying to tell me something all that time ago? So yeah, engine was left to run for 20 minutes and then it was time to drain the oil. By the way, I only flushed it because it was pretty clean inside. If it was full of gunk I'd have been too worried about dislodging something and just lived with it whilst doing frequent oil changes. Then it was under the car and off with the drain plug, or not. It took a three foot tube on my T-bar to get the bloody thing off in a plume of aluminium dust as it released. The oil was draining nicely as I was deciding the best way to clean the driveway after it had finished... As it was draining I thought about locating the clutch slave cylinder to see if I could bleed it. The clutch was so high when I got it that the car needed a back seat to allow you to use it, the fluid was below minimum and it was black. This was solved by adjusting it at the pedal but it was still soft. I'd already checked earlier and it's guestimated to be a 5/8 bore, same as the Herald - bonus! Should be nice and easy to plumb in then. It turns out you bleed to clutch from the engine bay as long as you have a motor factors entire stock of socket extensions. Luckily the nipple (giggle) wasn't seized so the fluid was flushed and the pedal appears to be a tad better.
Sump plug in, oil filter on, oil in engine. Jobbed. Then it was time to remove the flushing agent in the cooling system. I had to drain the system by removing the bottom hose though, as the clever Japanese people had put a cross head on the drain plug which turned into a lovely circle when I tried to remove it. I did manage not to get soaked the four times I had to take it off. Flushy flush flushy flush. Fill up with anti freeze and water then wonder if I can be arsed to replace the fuel filter. Nope. Instead I set to cleaning the K&N which is blacker than Coalie McCoal the coal miner. This is when I discover it isn't even attached to the car! Washy wash wash with degreaser and some very strong detergent. It's now drying and awaiting some thin oil to be applied. So I think feck it, I may as well do the fuel filter too. It isn't in the engine bay like I thought though but under the car behind a cover. Once the fuel had been de-pressurised and the hoses clamped the job was pretty straight forward. Afterwards you prime it by shorting two terminals in the diagnosis terminal under the bonnet and it was time to call it a day.
See, this is what happens with I don't include photos. Tomorrow I'll try and remove the immobiliser and factory fitted Mazda alarm.
I know, it's like Mazda grabbed a load of old British Leyland stuff and went "right, let's make all this properly". Great for us but leaves me confused as to why most people go to Ford when they change the engine.
So yesterday was fun...
I attacked the immobiliser. It's an Autowatch 239Ti and after a bit of investigation (there's no wiring diagram) it receives a permanent live from slicing into a wire, and breaks both the fuel circuit/ecu and coils. Pretty simple really then and it was just a case of rejoining the wires which had been broken. I guess to prevent hot wiring the vehicle the installer had removed large lengths of the original wire, possibly ingoing the existence of all the extra long thin ones he'd added? It had also left a few wires short meaning I had to use his existing soldering to attach my extension wires to and not being the best at soldering heavy wires under the a car I mad a very average job. Popped some insulation of the bare wire, fired the car up, heard a loud snap and it carried of turning over. Must be a fuse. Nope. There's a master fuse board under the bonnet and another in the footwell, all seemed fine. I decided that the wire going to the fuel system and ECU had shorted on the steering column. Despite not looking possible it was the only reasonable explanation. Feck, coil packs or ECU have burnt out. More wiring diagram reading, another pair of eyes, a long winded inspection of the Mazda dealership alarm and other tests proved useless. Feck, coil packs or ECU have burnt out. As there was no spark we took the coil packs out - what idiot put that long bolt at the back of the block - and tested them. All seemed fine. Feck, ECU has burnt out. Whilst checking the coil packs I fully disconnected the ECU to see if it cleared any fault codes. As the coil packs seemed fine adn the car still wouldn't fire the only choice now was to test all of its voltages on each of its twenty thousand pins to see if it was receiving and sending out what it should. All was going ok and we were onto the third or forth test which has a stated voltage for ign on, ign off and cranking. Got round to the cranking test and the car fired and has been fine since! Odd. Strange. Weird. Today I'm nipping out to buy some LED's and resistors to make a diagnostics tool! Some quick snaps of how the car looks right now!
Today's job will be to remove the factory alarm, the black box of wires in the last photo which is obscuring the other block box of wires, both of which need to come out. But I may have to tinker with someone else's Polo which isn't well either.
Other good news. I found out my Momo wheel isn't specific to Mazda and just has a Mazda and Momo branded cover and my speakers are good enough to be fitted to the Herald doors. I'm starting to suspect the seats are a Mk3 variety which apparently won't fit in a TR6 so are unlikely to fit in a convertible Herald. But then they're not meant to fit into a Mk1 MX5 either. Big hammer will solve all...
I can't wait to get this cheap oil out of the car as well. The pressure is incredible low but I'm putting that down to it being 5/30w and having some remnants of the oil flush still there.
After Fridays cock up and hassle yesterday was far easier. To be fair something I did went wrong when removing the immobiliser but it was odd it somehow fixed itself. Removing it was simple, except for the extra complications. So the next days task was to remove the Mazda branded alarm. I was a little worried about this as it should have been wired into everything, and it was! The interior lights, boot, petrol flap, glove box, doors, bonnet and the SS Marine Sulphur Queen were all attached to the black box of magic and sorcery. Sorry, boxes. In reality, it was a piece of curse word! The only awkward part was re-soldering where it split into the coil wire. Other than that it was just a case of carefully ripping wires out.
I also made myself a little diagnostic jobby. Well, it seemed like an essential tool after the last faff! I'll copy and paste and link back to where I found the info so you all can read it. Plus of course include my photos of it.
Today I'm going to remove the Herald bonnet and try to fix on the fibreglass one. It's not finished, has no lights etc. but it feels like I need to get it on to be motivated right now.
Written by Fletcher Blades. Note that this may not work for models newer than 1995 (OBD-II))
So, what’s up with your engine? Is your engine playing up? Want to know what’s wrong with it? Well now you can find out what’s wrong with your engine, or, at least what the Engine Control Unit (ECU) thinks is wrong with it, which should lead you a good way down the path to correct diagnosis...
The MX-5’s ECU continuously monitors many of the parameters related to engine performance such as fuel, spark, air, RPM, etc. It uses this information to get the most performance and fuel economy possible from the engine. A nice side effect is that it can detect many problems your engine may be experiencing and it even has a way to tell you about them. You may have read in Miata Magazine about reading off the error codes on the check engine light on the dash-board, but our MX-5’s and Eunos Roadsters don’t have this light. Due to a bit of detective work by Glenn Stephens in England, we can now report to you how to make an indicator so you can read these error codes yourself, without having to bother your friendly local Mazda technician with his expensive special service tools.
You will need a Light Emitting Diode (LED) and a resistor. These can be purchased at Dick Smith Electronics, Jaycar or any other similar electronic hobbyist supplier for spare change - less than $2. You’ll also need a separate short length of wire. (An unpainted paper clip will do) If you buy a red coloured LED, you will need a 2000 Ohm resistor, or any other colour will need a 500 Ohm resistor. (If you happen to already have a selection of resistors, any value within about +/ - 25% of these will do). Simply solder one lead of the resistor to one lead of the LED. It doesn’t matter which side of the diode you put the resistor on, but it will pay to take note of which is the longer of the two leads on the diode, as this will determine how you plug it into the car.
The finished product is shown in the picture - it's that simple! Now, locate the Diagnostic Connector in the engine bay. It’s a small black box about the size of a packet of matches, near the top of the passenger’s side (Right hand drive MX5s) shock absorber, also near the engine air inlet snorkel (and it has Diagnostic stamped on it!). After you unlatch the cover, there should be a label inside explaining what the different terminals are called. With the ignition off, use the short piece of wire (or paperclip) to connect the TEN terminal to one of the several GND terminals. Now, connect the indicator between terminals B+ and FEN, with whichever side of the diode had the long lead towards B+ (If you get it the wrong way around, no damage will be done, you’ll just get no light out of it)
Now turn on the ignition, but don’t start the engine. The LED will light up for about five seconds (assuming you got it the right way round) before it starts flashing out the error codes (if there are any). This will give you a chance to get around to where you can see the indicator. Count the number of flashes to indicate the malfunction code. If the code is a two-digit number, the tens digit will be displayed first with a long flash, then after a 1.6-second dark pause, the ones digit will be displayed with shorter flashes. If there are multiple codes, they will each be separated by a four-second pause and may include two-digit codes, so pay attention. (For example, one long flash followed by three short flashes would be a code of 13) The codes will repeat after four seconds so don’t worry if you miss them the first time. Take as long as you need to record the codes and then refer to the Fault Codes chart shown.
Keep in mind that the indicated device may not be faulty itself, but may have a bad electrical connection, or some other fault may be making it have an abnormal signal. The fault codes are stored by the ECU indefinitely, so after you’ve done something to cure the problem, you need to clear the codes by disconnecting the car battery for a minute or so. This will wipe the computer of its error codes. Now you can drive the car again for a while, and re-check to make sure the error code hasn’t come back. (If you didn’t clear the ECU’s memory, it will still have the old codes.) Hopefully, as several others and I have been able to, you’ll be able to use this information to find the cause of whatever’s wrong with your car. However, I do know one car that runs poorly, but has no fault codes, so its not a complete solution, but it should help the home mechanic (or any mechanic without Mazda’s diagnostic gear) get a better idea what any fault may or may-not be. I hope you’ll only need to use this info to satisfy your curiosity rather than from necessity.
Code Meaning 1 Ignition pulse 2 Ne signal 3 G signal 4 SGT signal (1.8L) 8 Airflow meter 9 Water thermistor 10 Intake air thermistor in airflow meter 12 Throttle position sensor 14 Atmospheric pressure sensor 15 Oxygen sensor (output too low) 16 EGR function sensor (1.8L) 17 Oxygen sensor (output not changing) 25 PRC solenoid valve (1.8L) 26 Solenoid valve (Evaporative canister purge) 27 EGR solenoid valve (vacuum)(1.8L) 28 EGR solenoid valve (vent)(1.8L) 34 34 Idle air control (1.8L) 36 Idle speed control valve
So there I am working in the garage when the postman walks up and calls me a traitor! When I ask why he jokes that I've defected by buying a Japanese car. Cue five minute conversation of my plans and him recalling when he owned a 948 as his first car.
Wen I bought the Mazda I wasn't given an old MOT but was told it had a short one and I haven't received the V5C yet so couldn't check when the MOT run out. The one before the current one expired 18/03/2013 so I thought it was going to end around now and seeing as I want to change a few things on the engine and prove its reliability to myself I booked it in to my normal station and made the half mile trip. By the way, don't these heat up quickly. Over 6lt of water in the system and it was already putting out warm air when I arrived. Give him my keys, he brings it into the workshop to warm up and logs into the MOT computer. Short story short, it's got over a months MOT left on it! He tells me to stop apologising and doesn't charge me as he gets 5-7 cars a years to test from us.
Ok, onto more useful progress. All of my other time yesterday was spent getting the fibreglass bonnet on. A bit of advice for anyone thinking of getting one - they fit like curse word and don't buy a used one. I have no idea who made the holes in this one for the hoop or catches but Stevie Wonder could have done a better job. It's too long in some places, too short in others, the material is too thick meaning it doesn't sit on the bulkhead properly and the catches don't sit correctly, the apertures for the headlight bowls are too small and... I'll stop whining. It's on and I just need to get the o/s lights fitted before a bit of de-rusting to some brackets and glassing in of others.
Yes, it fits like curse word. But at least it won't rust!
Yer, think that is why honey bourne wasn't in a hurry to replace the destroyed mould because it wasn't there finest hour!! Mine came with a fiberglass vitesse bonnet which l sold on and l now have a steel one with new wings, front panel and inner arches, but before you get jealious, the wings are curse word quality and too thin, they bend and buckle all over the place and l am going to have to put a reinforcement at the catch because the material is so thin the bolts are deforming the metal (
So last Wednesday the clutch slipped on the Mazda. I'd already ordered a replacement one ready for when the engine comes out but decided to do it now before the long drive this week. What a shitter of a job! Got it up in the air nicely Wednesday night and its oil draining (which was black!) then Thursday I attacked it. The book says to remove the PPF, exhaust, slave cylinder and remove. For those who don't know, there's a large girder underneath the car which bolts the differential and gearbox together - they call it the power plant frame (PPF). The bolts holding it together are tightened to 89lb, but these were a lot tighter, and seized! I didn't think any of the parts had been replaced before but maybe they had, or maybe using cadmium plated steel bolts in aluminium wasn't a good idea by them.
I'd also had another problem with the car since Monday night when I left the pub. It was odd, the charge light came on but the headlights stayed bright. I had two choices, stay in the unlit pub car park freezing and wait for recovery or see what happens on the way home. 20 miles later the charge light went out. This was the same Tuesday and Wednesday so I did a bit of meter reading and decided that it was coming on when the alternator was putting over 16 volts into the car, meaning the alternator must be duff. So whilst it was up in the air I did some Google searches to find it's over £200 for a new one! curse word to that, I found a "tested" one in Milton Keynes for £30, bargain. So as I left my dad to wrestle with a stuck bolt I shot off and collected it. He could be a good contact as he's an MX5 breaker, however, keep reading...
I supported the engine off a block and tackle on the RSJ in the garage rood. Out comes the propsaft, off comes the PPF, now for the gearbox. Or maybe not. These bolts which are meant to be around 40lb (from memory, could be 50lb) was just as tight as the PPF. This is why a suspect it may have been fiddled with before. And amazingly, one of the bolts was so buggered it damaged the thread in the engine as it was removed. The more I was working on this car the more I was realising how small Japanese people are. You need seven joints in each finger to reach a lot of these bolts. Something which necessitated the need to remove the coil pack, held in by a bolt in quite possibly the worst position ever conceived. With that eventually removed it was time to call it a day. I had to go into college in the evening and everyone was dying from exhaustion.
The next day whilst waiting for help to arrive I decided to replace the alternator. As it turns out this is an easy job, when the car isn't three feet in the air and when the under-tray is removed! After removing it, and cursing as I couldn't get the bolt back to put the new one in I removed the under-tray and it was a piece of curse word. Of course that's ignoring the bolts which broke when removing the tray... Help arrives, the remaining bolts get removed, the gearbox stays where it is. It's bloody heavy and it was getting caught on the exhaust I still refused to remove. No way was I touching exhaust bolts which may be been there for 23 years! It also didn't help that the clutch slave cylinder hadn't been removed... I didn't read that part in the manual until then! The exhaust had (note, had) some insulation on it in terms of fibreglass wrapped in metal and its lip was catching on the bell housing. With some effort and careful twisting the gearbox was eventually out. With it on the ground the slave was removed as when the car was up in the air it was noticed to be leaking and a replacement ordered. And the exhaust insulation was hacked off!
The clutch was fecked. Down to its rivets and burnt. I'm happy I replaced it now as between last Friday when it was put back on the road and next Wednesday when it'll be having its engine removed it will have clocked up near 700 miles. I get around... So now it was time to put the gearbox back, sans slave cylinder. Again, a rubbish job. It wouldn't go into the hole for it in the body work as it was still hitting the exhaust. A rest with the gearbox on my stomach and another assessment and I spotted how to get it up there. Funny how you can struggle for ages then get a clear thought which makes it all fall into place! Then as Haynes says, refit was the reverse of removal.
When all was said and done and after maybe 16 hours the clutch, slave and alternator had been replaced. Except it wasn't that simple. Now there was a new fault when the engine was hunting, hesitating when driven and generally crap. Saturday I got my multimeter out and checked over the O2 sensor, throttle position sensor, air flow meter and timing. All seemed fine and there were no error codes. I checked the charging circuit and it was putting in 17v, just the same as the older alternator... I also noticed that the charge light was dim with ignition on and with the engine running the light pulsed. Hmm... I wonder if it's the alternator. This is when I found out it was far easier to replace with the car on the ground. What do you know, it fixed it! And, the charge light fault seems to have been cured, for now. Bloody thing!
Oh, and amongst all this mayhem I found out my 2010 fuel hose on the Herald had perished and was curse word fuel everywhere.