Gearstick finished, which selects all gears which is a bonus.
I've come up with a plan for the engine mounts which I feel will be more suitable for road use, I've welded captive nuts for the rubbers, the rest of the engine mount will be made from steel tube. I can't see an issue with this, plus if I decide I want the engine mounts any firmer it'll be easier to play around with different mounts.
I've also taken an old Escort gearbox tunnel, cut it up to suit the bulkhead of the van, which it fits perfectly. I used this as an opportunity to raise the engine & box into the van from underneath, the gearstick fits nicely in front of the handbrake which is ideal, next i'll fit the front crossmember, make sure there is enough clearance on the sump for the steering rack etc. then finish the engine and gearbox mounts!!
just wondering in the mx5 front subframe is close to fitting, great geometry and parts availability....
That did cross my mind, I've seen a few people who've fitted an older car shell onto an Mx5 chassis, like Urchfabs 100e. I wouldn't be able to do the rear as they're too tall which would defeat the object of having a van. And the front, I might have to look into it. I don't really feel confident in suspension side of things, especially a job like that, as if it was wrong, it'd cause big issues! I do have both subframes from the MX5 I broke so I'll defiantly have a look.
If not I'll have a look at setting up the HA front suspension to get it as good as you can!
Should do the job nicely, then made a quick gearbox mount out of some scrap I had laying around.. although it'll probably end up staying. Ill strengthen the floor where the bracket mounts and probably strengthen the bracket in that area too.
So now the engine and box is mounted! Should be a nice drive as I haven't used rubber mounts which are too firm, although as I said before I could easily change this in the future if I decide I want to stiffen it up! The engine/box are central in the car with a 3 degrees tilt backwards. Should be perfect!
Next I decided to start welding in the tunnel, I'll finish off the bulkhead/upper section when the engine is out and once I work out where the bulkhead needs to be to clear everything round the back of the head.
Area cleaned up;
Weld through primed;
Tacked in place so I can go around with the cutting disc cutting the floor perfectly to where the tunnel is and weld as I go.
That'll do for now!
And now I face the task of working out what does what on the MX5 Loom. And massively regret not marking plugs up as I removed them I want to cut the loom down to be a basic engine loom to run the engine, and have the rest of the electrics like the lights etc on the Vans original loom. I roughly got this wired up with the mx5 starter working on the vans key and the alternator light showing on the dash with the MX5 alternator wired in so I was happy!
That's where I am at the moment, starting to look into ECUs and will make a decision soon and get one bought! Exciting times
Most the time since the last update has been spent working my way through the wiring, which has been great fun... As soon as I can get the engine running I'll start removing the sections of the loom I don't need, which will hopefully leave me with an engine only loom.
That's the Ford English Axle mounted, for now anyway. Its a 105e Anglia axle so will be short enough to get fit some nice banded steels I will do all the axle locations mods later on, including anti tramp bars and a panhard rod which should help locate the axle and keep it exactly where I want it!!!
I've made up a gearstick using the leftover 14mm rod from the gear selector I shortened, feels/looks a bit more old school than the mx5 gearstick so I'm happy with that!
Got an ECU sorted too.
Although I thought the sump would fit, it didn't Not without pushing the engine back, which would have been well too far. The only option then was to cut a notch from it to clear the front crossmember. Thankfully the oil pickup still fits, sump sealed back on with new half moon seals front/back. The engine and box are ready to go back in now, I'm aiming for a first start up, without cooling system so it'll just be quick any time now.
I've now got the engine back in the van with the new sump fitted, filled with oil. Seems to be leaking from where the turbo oil return goes into the sump, which the seal was probably damaged during the welding process due to the heat or whatever. Oh well, I'll deal with that another time!!!
Got myself a TD04 turbo from a Subaru being broken, did the basic checks as you do on turbos and all seems well! Some photos are bad quality for some reason, not sure why I got straight on with rotating the cold side of the turbo so it doesn't hit the inner wing, I couldn't test it on the engine/van at the time so was all guesswork, unfortunately I didn't quite rotate it enough, although soon sorted this when I had a chance to try on the engine
I made an oil feed from AN3 line, not sure if it'll cause an issue where I've routed it. It'll do for now for initial start up, but is in the same area as the exhaust downpipe, also resting on the inner wing. I'm sure heat wrapping the downpipe will help keep the heat down enough to not cause an issue, potentially P clipping the line to the body may help?
I had a exhaust downpipe included when I first got the engine, made for the MX5 the engine was taken from. Which was a bonus. It actually fitted fairly well in the van but still needed a bit of adjustment, I did this by cutting notches from the pipe then rewelding. Fits really nicely now, nice and tight up against the floor underneath, ready to make the rest of the exhaust.
I've run two 8mm copper lines, P clipped under the van, one for fuel to the engine and a return. Got a swirlpot in the back all plumbed in (roughly for now) with a low pressure and high pressure in-line injection pump pre filtered. I forgot to get photos of this but I'll add them next time I update the thread.
Plugged all the important connections on the MX5 loom to the engine, connected the MAP sensor vacuum hose to the ME221 ECU, also got the starter and alternator wired into the vans loom which meant I could build oil pressure using the starter with the sparkplugs removed. All good there, so hopefully, no reason it wont run with a basemap loaded on the ECU.
I haven't had much time to play with the wiring on the van, been flat out busy with other things but I really want to work on getting it running, hopefully by the end of December but that may be a bit optimistic! Especially with the wiring causing so many headaches. Everything I've done so far looks ultra messy, but what I've done makes sense in my head so hopefully it'll work out!! Once the engine runs I'll put the ECU inside the car where it'll live, hole saw a hole in the bulkhead, and with an appropriate grommet run all the engine wiring through, cut and solder it the perfect length and wrap it all so should look pretty good! Well that's the plan anyway!!
Things like this really confuse me as I don't have an MX5 to compare to, although I think its right, it must be as the plug only goes 1 way
Few more photos, test fitting my 7x13 steelies off the escort I'm planning to use on the van. Should look good with some chunkier tyres, and probably a spacer as they sit quite far in!
I have great respect for these; a mate had a Bedford Beagle (HA estate car) during the 1970s Using it for his employer's business, he covered thousands of miles each month without problems. Because it cost sfa to run, he made almost as much out of car and fuel allowance expenses as he did from salary.
It is far easier to con people, than it is to persuade them to admit that they have been conned.
If you want anything checked I have a late 1.8 NA mx5 I can check it against for you.
Thank you, I'll bear that in mind if I get stuck again, appreciate the offer though! I've got the engine running since thankfully!! Turns out some 1995 models (my loom is from a 1996 car) need two of the wires from the Cam Angle Sensor swapping over, I did this praying it would work, and straight away I had a spark, connected the ECU to the laptop and its showing all the right signs Connected the fuel pump up and it fired straight up without any hesitation!!! Still a long list of things to sort though, next will be exhaust and cooling system I think!!