IN THE PURSUIT OF TIDINESS AND MINIMAL WEIGHT LOSS, PROJECT 5 HAS UNDERGONE A LITTLE INTERNAL SURGERY...
Bare necessities, the simple bare necessities. If it's good enough for Baloo the bear, then it's definitely got to be good enough for my Project 5, and now that every luxury known to man has been removed from the lightweight 5, that's exactly what we're left with. Removing heavyweight items like the air con unit and dash is always the best place to start if you're planning on building a dedicated track car, but with all the plugs and switches still floating around in the cockpit it makes perfect sense to get into the loom and remove any of the associated wires that are no longer needed, too. Stripping parts from the loom is not a job for the faint hearted, though, and as I've found out in the past to my peril, its best to trace each wire back methodically before chopping it out. Testing your electrics as you go is always a good idea as the earth and live connections are usually shared by several of the components throughout the cockpit, and snipping the wrong one inevitably ends in tears. In the end, though, the result is well worth all the panic and not only does the surgery tidy everything up from an aesthetic point of view, but with more wire stripped out of the car comes a little more weight shaved off the total figure (okay, maybe I'm pushing it now).
While concentrating on the interior, I also fitted my newly flocked dash binnacle that had made its way back from Ron Fox at The Flock Shop. I've been using Ron for years to cover parts in the fuzzy felt and, as usual, the quality of finish was spot on. When I went to fit the binnacle back in, though, I
came across a couple of problems I hadn't envisaged. The main problem was that there was now nothing to hold the damn thing in place. As the dash was no longer where it should be, the clips that secure the binnacle and the speedo unit together were no longer there to help. So, with a bit of head scratching and a check in my parts bin, I decided the best option was to drill a couple of holes through the binnacle and bolt the two parts together at the bottom. I then used Tiger Seal to fix a couple of pieces of wood to the back to act as a new bracket and they now hold everything together perfectly. It may seem a little ghetto at first sight, but it does the job perfectly and everything is hidden out of sight.
One thing that did make my heart sink this month, though, was the sight of a clump of rusty metal sitting next to my car when I entered the garage. On further inspection, it turned out to be due to something that no MX-5 owner wants to hear... rusty sills. I started prodding about and from what I thought was a solid, well repaired sill fell a huge lump of rust and filler that had obviously been bodged in place a couple of years ago. To say I was a little peeved is the understatement of the century and it just adds yet another job to the ever growing list of 'to dos'. These things are sent to test us though and I suppose at the very least it means that I can now have both sills repaired properly once and for all and I won't have to worry about them again in the future!
Here’s hoping that the red rot stops here! – Matt
The Flock Shop www.theflockshop.co.uk Tel: 07951 241555
WITH NO DASHBOARD TO HIDE THEM, WIRES NEED TO BE NEAT AND MINIMAL. THIS WAS THE SPAGHETTI-LIKE OEM LOOM BEFORE REMOVING UNNEEDED WIRES
A FEW HOURS OF TAPING LATER AND THE STREAMLINED LOOM LOOKS MUCH BETTER, AS DOES THE FLOCKED INSTRUMENT BINNACLE BY THE FLOCK SHOP
THE BINNACLE AND LOOM IS NOW BACK IN THE CAR. UNFORTUNATELY, THE DREADED RED ROT HAS RISEN ITS HEAD AND THE MX-5’S SILLS ARE TOAST