MX5… Which Rocker’s Which?

Not that you’d need to know, but incase you’d like to for extra scene points or whatevs…  But there are some fairly obvious difference between NA and NB cam covers.

Which is which? 

Fresh back from Chemical Strip, three of these covers fit the NB/ MK2 mx5 models. But how can you tell?

Firstly, the NA/ MK1 covers are simple to identify by the lack of crankshaft position sensor or CPS, found on the front, only on the NB onwards. Mounted on the nose of the crankshaft, it was introduced for the detection of misfire in the ODBII engines.

Telling the NA 1600 and 1800 covers apart from eachother is most noticable by the lettering… The NA6 has recessed letters whereas the NA8 has raised letters. (This is only The case with N.A. engines…. NB engines are ALL recessed.) The NA8 is also slightly longer.

NA6

NA8

The NB models however, arent that simple. On both the 1600 and the 1800 MK2 covers, the lettering is recessed. If you put them side by side, there are some notable differences to tell them apart…

NB6 vs NB8 

Firstly the most obvious difference here is the length. Just like the MK1 models, the 1600 is shorter than the 1800. You’ll also notice the difference in the positioning of some holes…

But the most obvious way to tell them apart – especially if you dont just cssually happen to have one to compare with – is the cut out on the back of the cover for the CAS. The NB6 is on the Inlet side on the left, and the NB8 is on the right for exhaust.

They will both have the sensor in the front in the same place.

So. Going back to the original pic… In order from left to right are….

NB8 NB8 NA6 NB6

So now you know. 

MFN: Miles from Nowhere May 2017

If you’re wondering, as I was… MFN stands for Miles From Nowhere… 😉


An alternative venue offering bike nights, classic meets and a MFN All Welcome Car Night (on the first and last Sunday throughout summer months). Boasting a bar, cafe, hard standing and grass parking, surrounded by 8 acres of private land.. Its the ideal place for a car meet, with relaxed marshals, entrance and exit separate, food and drink available, a growing number of traders and something for everyone….

Contrary to the name, its actually fairly central of the midlands, easily accessible from the M1, in Amber Valley, Nottingham.

The Meet really does have something for everyone, from pristine classics, to american imports, bikes, green lane toys, budget-bodge-bring-alongs, expensive JDM import builds, kit cars and more… Trade isn’t bad and growing, offering stalls of cleaning products, clothing, decals and sweets 😀 Guaranteed to be a photo of your ride from the evening… Lots of budding photographers and media guys going around! Bar is open, there’s a food stall/ burger van and entrance is just £2.

May 21st, for the first time, Combustionpunks are taking a 10 Car stand to MFN… If you want in, get your name on the forum list NOW! More details to come including convoys and times… Stay tuned!
Combustionpunks @ MFN 21st May

MFN WEBSITE

Side Project #137

​I think it’s fairly obvious by now that I love to mess and always have a side project, either on the go or on my mind… I have a Things to make for my mx5″ list longer than a trip round the Evo Triangle. Lols. Some of you guys will have seen me pop up with wrinkle finished Cam covers for sale.

Wrinkle Finish Rocker Covers

I collect covers, if you have one you’re looking to get rid of, trade in or have refurbished, get intouch 😄 I drop them off with Clive at Autotronix Developments and he send them onto his guy who chemically strips them. Within a week, I’ve got them back fresh to mask up and spray…  I get to play with guns… It keeps me quite for a couple hours 😉

Chasing the Wrinkle, a Little Video

Im currently stood in the garage waiting for filler to set… I was asked if I could “fill in the letters”  on a NB6 Cam cover. So I was like, I’ll find out! Went into work (bodyshop suppliers!) And asked for the best alternative to filling with weld that they had. And they suggested this… Looks legit.

With a sanding time of 20 minutes, I shouldn’t be waiting much longer… Ive attempted to”pack” the letters with the ally filler, then planning to sand back and re-apply, to this time properly smooth over the letters.

Look… Shiny 😍 This stuff is the same as any other body filler to mix and use. The metallic look is because of the alluminium particals. 

20 Minutes later and it really is ready to sand. Impressive.. Sheet of 80grit and it’s done in no time at all. It’s super high dust but that’s the price for such quick setting filler I guess!

There are one or two places showing on the DOHC that have a little indent, overall it’s pretty smooth… But I’m not sure what finish it’s going to get yet, or what I’m doing with it at all, so it needs to be perfect… 

Another layer of filler, another 20 minutes waiting time… A top tip that’s kinda fairly obvious but if you keep in mind, it helps keep sanding time down – “The more you put on, the more you have to take off.” – I’m a bit of a fiddler,  I have to mess even if it’s perfect… #keepittidy 

Bankruptcy Over Fenders, The Fastback & Fiberglassing.. Whats New

Because I love to learn new things and because I love to mess and get involved.. Yetidragon and I finally made some time for me to learn how to Fiberglass. If you’ve ever wanted or looked at the options for wider arches from your NA mx5 over the past few years, then you’re sure to have come across Yetidragon’s “Project Bankruptcy.”

Way back in summer, between day jobs, track days, a new project car, organising and hosting events, attending shows, festivals and more, we some how managed to get some time in production mode and made a full set of “Bankruptcy Fenders & Wings” just in time to bolt onto a car for RetroRides.

The first full set I made landed on the Combustionpunks’ Fastback for its debut show in Worcester in August this year (Updated post coming asap!) and are currently looking good just “bolted on”as the car stands unfinished and in daily use.

Set up stats:
Wheels – XXR 002
15×8 et-0
34mm hubcentric spacers rears
TMI… Nankang NS2R 195/50/15 Hard
Suspension – HKS

The rear Fenders have been shaped to suit the Fastback lines with a grinder.
Here’s some smoothed in, bonded, bolted, and painted variants.

Photo credits where due, owners are tagged, thanks for the support guys!

The Bankruptcy Fenders and Wings are currently on Sale in the Combustionpunks shop, as well as shiny stickers and neat merch 😄

Yetidragon is working on MK2 prototypes at the minute, should see production early next year, as well as alternative MK1 wide arches… There is also the Fastback to to modify and produce. 2017, the year of fiber-glassing awesomeness…

BANKRUPTCY FENDERS AND WINGS
Since the successful full set for the Fastback, I’ve made another set of rear over fenders, and now working on a front set of front wings. The wings are bit more technical in the fact they’re a 5 piece mold, with lips and tabs replicating the OEM wings for a direct, bolt on replacement, with a wider clearance area. (Currently tested up to et-35 on the rear and et-10 front.)  So more bends, curves, lips and edges as well as the additional prep work for extra parts. Since Yetidragon has done all the hard work in making the original prototypes and molds, I had it pretty easy, but its still a super long process. From start to finish, a front pair of Wings has taken me 8 hours. (Parts in the house and parts in the garage… Its cold work in December!)

After cleaning and waxing all of the mold pieces, they get bolted together and before the fiber-glassing, the wing gets Gel coated and left to set. (The white, smooth layer you see on the outside.) In this time I tend to have a coffee, instagram some pics, check my facebook and prep a work space. I’m a bit OCD when I work…. I find it useful to have an easy access bin nearby, like a box on the floor I can throw stuff at, liquids measured out in cups and catalyst measured ready to go, fresh brushes, pots, scissors and other tools to hand, PPE and gloves, as well as good lighting and enough room to fight 😉

I cut out pieces of fiberglass against some templates to make sure they’re an ideal fit for the mold, the right shape, and make relief cuts. It makes it quicker, easier, creates less waste and less mess when it comes to laying the fiberglass. I make sure I have off cuts to hand to strengthen particular areas like the fitting tabs and layer up edges for strength too.  Here’s a super quick time lapse of the first layer of fiberglass… I like to “fit” them to the mold before applying the first coat of resin..

After all of the meticulous planning, prep and once the gel coat has set, the fun part finally begins and the fiberglass gets laid.. Giggedy. Its a little fiddly, very sticky and uber messy, so patience is essential. It takes quite a while to make sure each layer is adequately covered in resin, with no bubbles, lifts or droops, making sure the mix isn’t setting too fast and you’re not working too slow. It also smells pretty bad… The Gel coat is definitely something you should do in the garage and not in your kitchen… Once optimal layers have been applied, the wing gets left to set, then sit and harden in the mold. When its finally ready to be popped out, its trimmed back with the grinder and edges smoothed off, ready for fitting.

I’m really lucky and eternally grateful to have learned this new skill, and its pretty damn awesome driving a car that you’ve made panels on… So a HUGE shout out to TopPunk Yetidragon for the patience and time invested in me, sharing his awesomeness and skill <3 More to come #STAYTUNED

Credits to RED ELEVEN MEDIA

Follow me on Instagram @ the.garage.girl @ Combustionpunks
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Worksop Motor Club Grass Autosolo Event

Worksop Motor Club Grass Autosolo

Yesterday evening I was invited to attend a small gathering of members from Worksop Motor Club… In a field… With some cones, to do some skids… Well actually, that’s not quite accurate. I was invited along to compete in their – non competitive – driving test. I first attended one of the WMC events last month, tipped off by Clive, local business owner at Autotronix Developments, so it seemed apt to head over to Autotronix and go from there in mini convoy…

The club hold their grass driving test on various dates across the calendar. Their next grass event is Tuesday 26th July, but there are many other events before and after, including Scatter Rallies, Treasure hunts, Indoor/outdoor Go-Karting, socials, pub quiz’s, Marshaling and actual rallying too. For more info, you can email Jon at jonleckenby@aol.com for a copy of their calendar, or visit their website or facebook page 🙂

If you’ve never been to a grass Autosolo before, it is the same as a regular Autosolo, only on grass… An obstacle course comprising of cones is laid out with a set route to take between them. This particular club are committed enough that they have invested in fancy running gear in shape of computer and beam set up. Two sensors (laser beams) are used, the first will start the timer and the second will end when the beam is broken.  The idea is to get round the cones from start to finish in the shortest time possible, using driver skills and throttle/ braking techniques… Or so I’ve heard. Penalties in form of 10 seconds are administered for any cone contact, and the penalty for going the wrong way at any point throughout the course is the slowest lap as your time… So try not to set a bad one!
(They have 4 different layouts, including some kind of Maltese Cross type layout.. I participated in T1 and T2, the seemingly easiest of the two…)

After facing long, fast and twisty country roads, the odd tractor, lumpy paths, and what I presume was horse manure used to created a makeshift crossing where the two fields joined, we arrived in a mass convoy of 5, ready to tackle, I mean, skillfully maneuver around some strategically placed cones. Having aided one of the Mini drivers in forms of counter balance and traction at my previous attendance, I had picked up some tips and was armed with some great knowledge of an experienced autosoloer… The first being, not to go out until I was confident of the route. So I let the boys play first whilst I tried to memorize the layout…

Joe in the Chilli Orange NB8 was dubious of the uneven ground at first (his MX is impeccably tidy), but found he wasn’t quite “Stance Queen” low and made it round just fine, doing some impressive long and smooth slides. Clive claims to be terrified by cones, his excuse to always taking them out on track days, so he sat this one out. Dave decided his MK1 was just too cool for skids and Nick, his Dad and Yeti had no problems in getting down and dirty… 180’s, 360’s and dead cones kinda dirty. Yeti even lost his number plate at one point. Not quite sure if cone… or nose dive into the grass…

All in all, a great evening was had. Alongside banter, the scorching heat, good company and good fun, there were also some interesting rides to enjoy, both participating drivers and just observers. The Austin was most enjoyable to watch, bringing in some of the best times with their ‘passenger produced gravity’ and traction. The RWD Transit van also put out some impressive times for what it was and was also quite comical to watch, if not impressive at some points. From Pumas to Supras, there was a bit of everything as well as some of the bits in-between.

Before I leave you with this video compilation from the short time I was out of the drivers seat, I must say a huge thank you to Jon and all the guys at Worksop Motor Club, for having us, welcoming us and encouraging us with their wealth of knowledge and expertise. For anyone looking to join an active Rally, Test and Marshaling club, get in touch with these welcoming and laid back guys, they have a Facebook group as well as a Facebook page, links to follow.

Thank you for reading, over and out.

>>VIDEO COMING SOON<<

With Thanks:

Autotronix Developments Website

Autotronix Developments Facebook

Worksop Motor Club Website

Worksop Motor Club Facebook

Worksop Motor Club Facebook Group

A #Combustionpunksblog

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 🙂
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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.

IMG_7418
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!)
IMG_7416

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…
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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 😉

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