This Week… Its an Oil Leak…

So I changed the rocker cover last week, reused the gasket thinking it would be OK. Swapped them over, torqued the bolts back in and away we go… Wasnt very long before the smell of oil was periodically passing through the car on trips. Quick look in the bay when checking oil levels, there was an obvious leak back left of the cover. Shouldnt have reused the gasket. Doh! Clive at Autotronix was sound enough to order me in a gasket, picked up a CAS (cam angle sensor) Seal as recommended to change at the same time, £1.50 and a 5 minute job whilst the rockers off.


Glad I picked up a CAS seal (from David Manner’s Group J2 M5 Birmingham, real helpful guys), on closer inspection it had also been leaking fairly bad. If you havent changed one before, its not really difficult.. Its a good idea to mark up the CAS before removing it, that way the marks can be re-aligned and timing is unaffected. Unplug a few plugs, undo the 12mm bolt on the back of the rocker, slot the CAS off, switch the seal, (I had an awesome picky tool and a spare set of hands to pass me the new seal)  line it up with little adjustments, a little firmer to push in with the new seal, push it on into place and line up your timing marks. Job done. I couldnt get it out from behind the head but there’s enough room to maneuver a simple O ring change, so it doesnt need to come fully out of the bay. 


There’s been a bit of a blow on the stock exhaust system, so whilst I was down at Reddicap Performance Garage today, Philip put it up on the ramps and had a look. One of the Cat gaskets had disintegrated so he let me loose with the sealant.. Oh dear… 


So that was another little fix off the list and half a tube of sealant gone. Lol. Whilst it was in the air, I took some brake cleaner to the leaked oil spots (had made its way down the back of the engine, round the sump and gearbox) and cleaned it all off. Its in the air frequent enough to notice any more oil leaks under there, be easier to spot on a clean slate. 

Anyway, all work and no play is no fun at all. So quick once over with the fairy liquid and off to a local gathering. No burning oil smell, no blowing zaust, just smiles per miles roof down 🙂


Till next week…

With thanks to Autotronix Developments, Sheffield and Reddicap Performance Garage, Sutton Coldfield

First Track Day @ Blyton

Chatting with the MX5OC at recent events, I was talked into (not much convincing required) joining them on one of their annual track days at Blyton Park. So I attended, camping gear and all… A cracking time was had. Well. That was it. Bye-bye non car related investments. I needed better tyres, brakes, wheels… ALLTHEPARTS. I was hooked. Blyton was my first track day, but I had already noticed a few upgrades were needed at my novice level. Nankang NS2 (Non R) held up well but against a couple of hours of abuse before they started to loose traction round Bunga Bunga and Bishops. I had recently purchased some EBC yellow pads, I was happy with their performance. The fluid boiled, but I had never given it a complete change. That was an opportunity to upgrade to ATE Super Blue. The Tein set up with pillowball TM was great, really held its own and handled well, but everything needed improvement. Future investments for the next track build consist of: a brake stopper, braided lines, new discs, geo set up and some new rubber . Had a cracking time on my first track day, another STHT feature and front cover, not bad for my second copy 🙂

Make-Over Time!

OK… so its now kinda spring time and the paintwork ​was​ getting me down. You cant polish a turd, I had tried all sorts, but with the budget sill repairs (where I had some practice at welding and bodywork), it was looking awfully tatty. Already having one immaculate show worthy paint job, I wasnt overly keen on a respray, roller painting seemed to be the in thing to do at the time, so we got the rollers out 🙂 Shout out to pals BamBam, Connor n Tish for the assistance!  This is kind of where “Winter Beater” became “Budget Build” as an excuse to do a £32 paint job.

Practical Classics and Restoration Show Demo Car

In March  2015 the “Winter Beater” popped up as the perfect candidate for demo car on MX5OC Stand at the Practical Classics and Restoration Show at the NEC. They wanted to show the typical repair/ maintenance work 20+ y/o mazdas often need.

One sill was cut away showing the rot on the inner and outer sills, (before the repairs) Suspension was swapped over (just for the show, nothing fancy nor permanent, from bilsteins to UK), brake discs and pads were done, little things like seals, sensors and rocker cover were changed over the show as part of the demonstration. Mazda Menders chucked a hand, was an interesting weekend and was STHT published. (My first issue as an OC member and my car was in there, many smiles!)

Keeping it Budget

Over the coming months, little mods started to happen. Bumper cut was one of the first, ghetto welded a Spoon N1 Honda rep backbox to the stock system, DIY’d the decat with a hammer and chisel, fitted a shiny new rocker cover, another service…
11873381_10207372710379810_939181151686717772_n (1)11018131_10206420889824891_1741523087855499509_n11011123_10206743091359728_6296279113419669471_n
Somehow, parts like the Driftworks alloy rad, D1 spec Snap off ​boss ​and engine bracing found their way off one car to another.. (After all, they wouldnt be going back in the flowery 5, she was destined for Honda power/ better parts :P) 

Ergh… Not all Mx5’s are the same.

‘Number 3’ was had from within the community last September, taken on in a near scrap condition, half stripped, half rotten mess, it was nicknamed my Winter Beater as it was intended literally as that. Marked up as an S Special edition without any of the special left, I was not impressed in comparison to my first, older 5 (Below) It was rattly, smelly, raw, clunky and I drove it like I hated it. Few months went by, (lots of moaning and fault picking) and I started to realize something quite wonderful… Without the fear of damaging something you have ​spent good money on,  I think its natural to push it a little harder, odd clutch kick out of junctions, less fear of the back skipping out in the wet… I was starting to enjoy this almost “0-fks given” approach and was ​faced with​ a very different experience of owning an mx5, an mx5 that is repairable, replaceable and mostly, one to actually use rather than pose in 😉


Budget Build, My First Ever Blog.

Both myself and the current 5 have come a long way in the past year, new paint jobs, new engine, track days and new achievements. Decided (totally off my own back, no one has been nagging me about it for months and months), instead of spamming facebook and instagram (@JDM_Sweetheart) with random build, progress and problem pics, to crack on with a build thread. seeing as something new is going on with it almost weekly recently, decided a blog is better suited… so… here we go! (My first ever blog, whoooppeeee!)