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GBS Zero Pinto to Duratec conversion


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Hi All, I hope everyone is staying safe in these crazy times!

I though it was about time i joined everyone into what i have been up to with my Zero.

I have been keeping a personal `diary' of my progress which has been anything but straight forward.  I will update every few days or so.  This will allow you to all catch up.

As a brief introduction the plan was a quick engine swap and have the kit back on the road within 6 months!  Oh how i misjudged that time scale!!

What i will say is that i have had a lot of help from club members.  My day job means i am sat at a laptop all day and have no engineering experience other than years of tinkering on with mini's in my early car years before building the kit.  All of the main delays have been work related for me.  Half way through the conversion i decided it was a good idea to take on a higher level of qualifications for my day job.  This meant 6 exams in 12 months to achieve a degree level qualification.  This was along side building up and running my business, which meant i knew the kit was going to be in trouble!

At the moment the kit is with RichyB.  For those that have not heard he is now running his own garage of awesomeness.  Check out his Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/GBC.Autos.Tamworth.  Now anyone who has ever met Richy or seen his beast of a V8 you will know that his quality is second to none.  This made it a very easy choice to get in a one of his first customers when he opened a few weeks ago.  All i can say is that if you have anything that needs doing, give him a shout as he has unlimited talent as you will see.

So... grab a coffee, take a seat and relax whilst i take you on a journey..........

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September 2018


The Pinto has been a faithful unit for me over the last 5 years and has a very reasonable power output with 160 bhp and 160 ft lb torque on the last rolling road setup.  It has a worked head, FR32 cam and Stock Car bottom end.

This has made for a great drive as it has both the low down grunt and good power output, so the choice of the next power unit needed to be a step forward.  I also wanted to do this on a budget and use OEM parts for the ease of availability and, hopefully, reliability.

The initial replacement list was either a Zetec or a vauxhall z20leh or let engine from the VXR range.

The engine also needed to be more modern than my Pinto, so an EFI of some sort rather than carbs was on the list along with a decent gearbox (was required too).  I love my type 9. It has a short shift, feels great and I never miss a gear with it.

The Zetec was ruled out as on ITB’s (Individual Throttle Bodies) the standard black top are only putting out around 170-180bhp. I have seen 3 like this rolling roaded with Jenveys and Emerald ecu’s. Not really the step forward in power I wanted, although the EFI set up is very nice.

The VXR was very interesting as the power output was just what I wanted.  The biggest issue is finding a gearbox that was easy to locate.  The few options I found were either very expensive or not readily available, meaning if I did find one and it needed replacing this would become more difficult over time.  A bit like finding a decent type 9 now.

So back on the hunt I looked at MX5 turbo engines and that lead me to the Duratec.  Now, if it's good enough for Caterham, it’s good enough for me.

The plan developed to follow the Caterham 420r route.  A 210-220bhp normally aspirated engine with easily sourced OEM parts.  The gearbox was then the next challenge as a Duratec is a Mazda/ Ford collaboration. The MX5 gearbox was the logical option, which again from `internet research’, which is always right (!)’, suggests that’s what Caterham do.  The rumours are they use the MX5 internals in a bespoke casing to compensate for the 10’ angle the engine has in the MX5. We will come to that later.

So, the first job was to pick a Duratec, but which one?  Do I go for a Ford Fiesta ST150, Mondeo/ Focus or MX5 mk3?

After a bit of research I decided to go for the Fiesta ST150 engine from a 2003-2008 car.  The engine code for this is the N4JB.  The reason for this choice is that the head has big ports and very large valves, giving a well-breathing/low emissions engine (not really worried about emissions, if the truth be told!).  

The `normal’ Duratec from a Mondeo or Focus (CJBA) would have been fine, but the ST150 has the benefit of a solid flywheel, whereas the CJBA has a dual mass jobby.  Plus the price of a ST150 engine is much more reasonable than a MX5 mk3.

Parts List:

N4JB engine


Clutch system


ITB’s (Individual Throttle Bodies)

Fuel system

Prop shaft


Engine mounts

About 1 millions things I forgot to think about!

So, the first part was to buy the Duratec. Got this sorted through the grapevine (thanks Stu, The Duck).  Sourced a Fiesta that had grenaded it’s gearbox, but only had 60k on the clock.

The lad cut the drive shafts, cut the main chassis earth and plucked the whole unit out of the Fiesta.  He delivered it to my garage including the whole wiring loom, body control modules, steering wheel and shaft, clocks and a few other bits on a pallet.

This was a great basis as I then knew how the engine went together in OEM set up.  First thing I did was start to strip the parts I am not going to be using.  First off was the gearbox.  This was a right mess and it was very obvious why is failed with lumps of aluminium floating around.  This was scrap so off to the rubbish tip that went.

Off came the inlet manifold.  It was in good condition but just not going to be used, so off for sale that went.  Next was the exhaust manifold.  Again, not using that, so that got sold too.  I was starting to make back some money towards the build from selling the spares.

Checked over the clutch and flywheel, all in good condition, but, not having seen the engine run, thought it would be a good time to check this.  Tied it down to the pallet, pulled the plugs and hooked up the compression tester.  At this stage the engine had been sat on the pallet for about 2 months and not been run.  I had left the oil in it in the vain hope of preserving something.  

I bench tested the starter and that worked perfectly.  Bolted the starter back to the engine and fired it to get a compression reading.  All 4 cylinders read 180 psi, which on dry cylinders and the fact they are all within a few psi of each other, I took as good news.  So I dropped the engine onto the engine stand and started to think about the other items.

I removed the ancillaries that I would not be using like the air con and power steering pumps.  Amazing how much space they take up and explains how Caterham get the supercharger fitted as it would fit in place of the air con unit very easily.  Maybe something for later?

Exhaust seems like an easy fix as the Duratec keeps the inlet and exhaust the same as the Pinto, meaning I can keep the cutouts in the same place.  The pinto exhaust is very close to the Duratec spacing, so this will be sorted with a replacement mounting flange.  I plan to buy this from DanST Engineering.

The engine mounts were next.  A good few companies sell engine mounts, but nothing that would be 100% right for a Zero.  The next best option is to buy some mounting plates and make my own, which is the plan, again buying them from DanST Engineering.

Another good reason to make my own is that I am planning on keeping the standard sump!  I know - shock horror!  Using a FWD sump on a RWD car.  The main reason is at this stage the car will be a road car.  The Fiesta sump is very well baffled and the oil pick up is very central to the engine, so as  I will not be running flat out all the time or running very long corners on a track, oil starvation/ surge, I  believe will not be an issue (time will tell).  Also height is something to consider.  My rough measurements at this stage show that my current pinto setup will be very similar to the new Duratec.  The Duratec is 660mm from top of the oil filler cap to the lowest point on the sump.  The Pinto with its short sump is 635mm.  Making my own mounts means  I  can get the engine sat exactly where I want it.

Gearbox was the next area to look at.  Now, having done some limited research on the internet,  I  believed that the MX5 Mk1/ Mk2 gearboxes would fit.  Again, Stu pointed me in the right direction of a bargain and  I  managed to pick up 2 boxes.  I also managed to pick up a MX5 Mk2 flywheel and pressure plate, again at a bargain price, for mocking up.

Offering them up it very quickly became evident that something was not right.  The mounting holes did not line up and the flywheel did not sit on the crank and again the bolt holes didn’t line up.

After faffing around for a few hours I made a template for the bellhousing as lifting a gearbox was starting to get heavy.  It was very obvious something was different and that the engine and gearbox would never fit.

After a lot more research it turns out that the Mk1/ Mk2 MX5 gearboxes will never fit as they are totally different.  What I needed was a Mk3(NC).  Bugger!  There is also a lot of conflicting information on if a Mk3 flywheel set would be needed or if the St would fit.  If the Mk3 was needed  it would mean a Mk3 starter would also be needed.

Still need to buy these parts and have a couple of salvage companies getting prices for a `package’ price.  Trying to get a gearbox, prop and flywheel in one go on 1 pallet to keep packaging costs down.  

It also meant  I would get the choice of a 5 or 6 speed gearbox.  I liked the idea of the 6 speed, but as the Mazda runs a diff with something like 4.1 ratio the gearing would be totally wrong.  The 5 speed is similar to the type 9, so easy choice.

I will leave the starter at this stage to see how it all fits together.

The next decision was what  I  would be doing with the inlet.  EFI was a must; but how?  Jenvey is a well trodden path, but where’s the fun in that!  I really did like the Omex direct to head throttle bodies as they offer a kit that includes everything that is needed, including the ECU.  The off-putting part is the cost.  The Omex kit is the best part of £2k, so this being a great bit of kit the cost just doesn’t fit my budget.

Obviously doing EFI meant that bike carbs are off the menu, but bike throttle bodies??  I have bike carbs on my Pinto and have never had any issue with them so, looking at what  I  was trying to achieve, the bike throttle bodies will do it again.  Once more DanST Engineering seems like the go-to person for a kit.  

The ITB’s (Individual Throttle Bodies) are from a ZX10R and have 44mm bodies.  The duratec inlets are an oval shape which are approx. 32mm high by 48mm wide.  The exhaust is approx. 36mm and circular.  The Omex kit has 45mm bodies. So close enough, I hope.

The next job is to run it all, so  I  need an ECU.  My first thought was the Emerald. After a bit of research and looking at different options  I  think Microsquirt is the route  I  will be going.

The items  I  need the ECU to control are; the Injectors, Crank sensor, Cam sensor, coolant and air temp sensors, Fuel pump, Lambda, Tacho and Throttle position.  The Microsquirt will run all of this and will also mean  I don’t have to use the dreaded EDIS.  It will also give me the ability to set rev limits and  have a launch control function too.  

Now, yes it will take some setting up, but there are enough base maps out there to get me going and in reality it will have to be rolling roaded anyway, so as long as the base map gets me the 10 miles to the tuner that will do.

Edited by richyb66
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35 minutes ago, Sparepart said:

Just wondering what happens with emission testing at the next MOT after a change of engine ?

The DVLA only need the V5c updating with the new engine number.  All they need is a receipt for the engine i purchased (which i have).  No change in CC so no issue in that side.  DVLA website is quite clear on what is needed, so i am not expecting any drama's.

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So what's next?

As we speak it is the end of September 2018. I need to buy the gearbox and flywheel and see what setup  I  am going to need.  I should have this done by the end of October 2018.

Within this time I  am hoping to buy the engine mount plates and have a bit of a mock up as  I  know the Zero engine back measurements and locations so can do some rough work before putting it in the car.

Come the end of October the road tax will run out and this is when the Pinto comes out.  This will be sold to fund the ITB (Individual Throttle Bodies) and ECU.

Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment.


October 2018

So far  I have purchased the gearbox, flywheel, clutch and prop from a car breakers.

I also purchased the MX5 starter motor.

The idea of buying the prop was to us this to either amend or adjust to my current prop as it will be MX5 one end and Ford the other.

Looking at the 2 different versions of the starters and flywheels it is obvious why they are not interchangeable.  The ST150 has a shorter throw and the MX5 flywheel sits further away from the block.  At this time I   have not tried to fit the gearbox, but I  am wondering why the ST150 setup does not fit the MX5 gearbox??  Time will tell.

MX5 flywheel, clutch set up

MX5 flywheel, clutch set up


MX5 flywheel with ST150 starter, clearly not going to work.  Starter gear in the wrong place and already engages with flywheel.

MX5 Starter with correct alignment


MX5 Starter with correct alignment


Mocked up the gearbox onto the engine.  All fits together nicely and as expected.  The 10` angle isn't that noticeable on the engine stand?!

The next area of investigate will be the alternator.  The ST150 has a 3 pin (type 4) connector.  It has a 12v switched live, Warning light and a battery sense.  The battery sense looks like it references the battery condition.  Some googling so far indicates this is controlled by the ECU, but I have yet to find a definitive answer on this.

So, with regards to the alternator I  have spoken to the electric guru that is Jez Morton (with some help from RHOCAR member Blue). It looks like  I will be able to run the standard alternator.

I can use my current 2 wires that work the Ignition switch 12v and the warning lamp and then the battery sense wire will then wire to the battery or starter (with a fuse).  Once the engine is in the car  I  will be able to check this works.

So the next bits to do will be to buy the engine mount plates and exhaust manifold plate.  This will give me a good idea on engine mount placement to ensure it is not likely to foul anything else.  After this it will be pull the Pinto engine out and get that sold to fund the ITB’s and ECU.

Edited by richyb66
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November 2018

So, 8 days into November and the Pinto has been sold and is going to a good home.  This will be funding the Throttle Bodies and the ECU, so was a critical part of the process.

The next steps will be, with the Pinto out, to trial fit the Duratec and fabricate the engine mounts.

I have bought the plates that fit to the engine block from DanST Engineering and will be using box section to make the arms.  This will then sit on Land Rover mounts that are 3” (76mm) diameter and 1.5” (38mm) height with an M10x21mm studs. This is nothing clever or new and is copying what others have done before.  I could have bought complete engine mounts for less than £100, but these are generally designed around different chassis’s and I  wanted the ability to be able to fit this engine exactly where I want and need, as the chassis mounting plates are already fitted.  It will also allow me to cant the engine over the 10’ needed to sit the gearbox level.  It is also likely I will need to move or design around the dipstick hole as this looks like the tube will be in the way.  The Plates are 6mm mild steel and the arms will be made from 40mm box section with 3mm wall thickness.

The gearbox mount will be a decision made when the engine and box are trial fitted.  Once the Pinto is out I will be able to measure more accurately and then make a mount accordingly.

This is all likely to be the most difficult part of the build because of the size and weight of the engine and my lack of skill!  The good news is I  have good friends from the club who will come to my rescue.

The Pinto is out and has been taken to its new home.

The to-do list started with stripping all the bits I don't need from the chassis.  This started with pulling out the old pedal box.  The pedals came out easy enough but the brackets for the box are welded in.  These came off easy enough with the angle grinder!  Next in the engine bay was to remove the footwell panels.  This was for 2 reasons, first, as the toe end will need bracing to take the new floor mounted pedal box and the side tunnel panel because it was a bit of a mess from cutting access holes to fit the old speedo cable and reverse light switch.  Second reason is that it will give me much greater access which will be needed for the pedal box fitting and the engine and box.

Also I removed the pedal box cover and scuttle panel  these are looking a bit rough and the pedal box cover is not needed.  

As I started to clean up the engine bay area I noticed the front brake pipes had started to corrode and go green.  I decided to remove these as I will be upgrading the front calipers so seemed like a good idea to replace and upgrade these whilst I am at it.

Next out the engine bay was the choke cable, the old fuel regulator and fuel feed pipe for the carbs.  This was just a single feed pipe from the tank originally as the carbs didn't need a return.  With the new throttle bodies I will need a feed and return so again, a good time to replace and upgrade.

With all this out the way the old rivets were dressed flat and I  moved to the back of the car.  The net result is an engine bay that looks like this before I vacuumed up the mess.




Next I fully drained the fuel tank and luckily was just under 5 litres left so filled a spare jerry can nicely.  I then removed the fuel pump and pipes.  I then pulled out the old float level, this gave me a little bit of access to check that the tank was empty.  Double check this will my endoscope that connects to my laptop.  Wanted to check the tank had no debris in it too.  It's a handy little toy and just a good excuse to use it.

The tank looked dry inside with no debris that I could see.  I will leave it all open for a week or so for the fumes to dry off and i will then blow in compressed air through the outlet to reverse fill the tank and then vacuum out any remaining fumes.  This will then allow me to enlarge the hole for the new pump setup.

The new pump is a land rover in tank sump and pump all in one unit.  The whole unit was delivered and stood at just under 300mm tall.  The issue I have is that the tank is only 150mm deep.  After some head scratching RichyB offered to take it away and make it fit.  This involves basically cutting down and removing the fuel level sender leaving just the top section, the sump part, including the pump and very little in between.  


Richy is then making a collar that will stand around 50mm proud of the top of the tank.  This will allow the unit to be clamped down as the lip is very small, only 2-3mm, using a big O ring.  I know this is going to work as Richy did it on his!  

This will fit in where the original fuel sender unit sat as the hole will need to be around 100 mm and keeping it over to the side makes sense and keeps the main area of the boot free.  

I will then have to see where the best place will be to refit the fuel sender, but again hoping to keep to the side

I will then have to see where the best place will be to refit the fuel sender, but again hoping to keep to the side.

Edited by richyb66
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Last Week of November and 2 very nice deliveries turned up.  The new pedal box and throttle bodies.

Very excited with both.  The pedals are from Compbrake and look awesome.  Look very well built and hope they make the pedals feel better than the GBS pedal box, which has never really been something  I was happy with as the clutch and brake pedals bind causing the clutch or brake to move when the other pedal is operated.

I also need to make the changes due to the hydraulic clutch, so it all seemed like a good idea.  This was the box when I  opened it and it also has the bias adjuster.  Pretty sure I  don't need it but is was big, red and shiny (insert your own adult joke!)


The throttle bodies were from DanST.  He gave me some very good tips on trumpet lengths and also supplied the manifold slightly modified to give the throttle position sensor clearance on the idle pulley that replaced the power steering pump.

Obviously  I  could not wait so build it all up and mock fitted to the engine.  Loving the way they look, but going to have to clean and paint the engine!






So, whilst Richy sorts the fuel pump out,  I have a whole weekend free and nothing planned (last one before Christmas!).  I bolted the engine and gearbox back together and set about trial fitting.

First thing is: doing this in a single garage on your own is not easy.  After a bit of organising to give myself a bit more space, it went in, sort of!



On the side of the gearbox is a mount with 2x M14 bolts and a lock washer and then 2x M14 bolts on the very bottom of the gearbox, again, it looks like a mounting position.  Also on the side is 2 tabs of ali that are just in the way.  So, angle grinder out and off comes the ali tabs and  I undid the side mounts and removed them.

Offered the engine back into the space and still not sitting forward enough.  It needs to do another 100mm in and then 60mm down.  So engine and box out for the second time, with a view to removing the bottom mounting bolts.  They looked like studs but were 14mm and the biggest stud extractor  I  have is 12mm, so that wasn't going to work.   On the very end was a flat area, just enough to get an 8mm C spanner on.  That was just not man enough to even look like loosening the studs.  Next step was to try getting 2 nuts on and then wind it out that was.  The issue was that, being M14, I had a limited supply and the ones I did have were a different thread.  So, cuppa tea and a double decker chocolate bar break and I started to get creative.  I took one of the M14 nuts I had and wound it on.  I then took my air impact gun and as it started to cross thread the bolt it broke the `seal` of corrosion etc.  Put the impact gun in reverse and out the first one came.  Second one did the same but took 2 goes as did not cross thread it enough!  Net result was 2 studs out but have 2 cross threaded nuts on them.  They are only fit for the bin, but I have the 2 from the side mount which as exactly the same so will use them for the gearbox mount.


This allowed the engine and box to sit much further forward and lower, but I was still hitting issues.  The first is that a part of the gear stick housing is hitting the tunnel upright.  There is not enough space to fit this through.  The second is that even with the bottom bolts out the gearbox is sitting too high and the third is that with the engine in the engine bay cross brace is in the way of the alternator.  This was the same on the pinto but with a bigger alternator on the Duratec, even switching side, it will not fit with the brace bar in the way.  The fourth issue is that the standard oil filter housing is fouling the bottom chassis rail

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So fixing issues one to three is easy with an angle grinder, just move and replace the bars.  Not something I ever wanted to do or expected to have to do, but needs must.  The oil filter housing is an easy fix but means buying a new housing that positions the filter horizontally rather than in the vertical position the factory has it.  The main issue is that I might lose the oil cooler that is part of the factory unit.  Need to investigate cooler sandwich plates.

So started by removing the tunnel upright and gearbox mount.  The upright is smaller than the rest of the main chassis rails at 20x20x2mm.  

This picture shows the chassis rail in place and the ruler is a rough idea of where the new bar will go.  The second is with the bar removed and gearbox mount removed.  Bit of a scary step!



Still need to tidy up the cuts and I can then trial fit the engine and box again.  This will allow me to finalise the position of the gearbox mount.  Very much hoping I will not have to cut the tunnel floor out as it is 2mm steel, so should be good enough to adapt as the mount.

The engine bay cross brace was easy enough to cut out.  Looking at adding back in strength I am planning on replacing the bar with a bar that runs diagonally down to the lower wishbone mount area, a bit like this.


Edited by richyb66
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With the spare days between Christmas and New Year, I got on with a bit more work to make the engine and box fit.

So, the first job was to find out why the gearbox would not select a gear.  The gearbox was stuck in gear the input and output shafts seemed locked.

First off I removed the neutral and reverse switches to see if this was causing the issue as after a bit of google research suggested this is a comment issue on mk2, so was an easy place to start.  This made no difference!  

The next step was to remove the turret top and side spring loaded plungers to see if this was the issue. Again, this made no difference.

At this stage, the only next step was the split the box.  I removed the 6 bolts and removed the selecter section from the gearbox.  Nothing seemed to be broken, which was good news, but did not answer what the problem was.  I manually moved the gear selectors and all the gears engaged without issue.  This meant the issue had to be with the selector mechanism, so I placed the box in neutral and bolted it all together.  It all worked and all gears selected perfectly?  No idea why but can only assume the selector rod had dislodged and was causing the issue.

The box has been temporarily reassembled as it will need to come out again for cleaning and painting before the final fitment. 

Offering up the box and getting it to sit right has meant that another chassis brace has had to be moved.  It has only been moved back around 100mm, but means I now have enough space to make a proper gearbox mount.



Next was to bolt the box back to the engine so I can get the final fitting place finalised and start on the engine mounts.

All in place with enough clearance for the water rail at the rear of the engine and with clearance for the clutch slave cylinder and starter motor.  It’s all a bit tight but has enough space all the way round.


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With Gaz’s help we got the drivers side sorted.  I used a range rover round rubber mount, mounted direct to the chassis plate.  The engine plate is then connected with a 40mm box section cut at the correct angles and then welded to a 3mm plate that then sits on the rubber mount.

This all sits nicely, but worn carbon brushes in my angle grinder stopped play and no further fettling could be done.  I tack welded the box section to the 3mm base plate and once the grinder is fixed I can get the other end of the box section tacked to the engine plate.


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Another message from Richy confirms that the fuel pump is coming along nicely.  He is doing an awesome job and it is looking very nice.


30-12-2018 - Missed the West Mids Christmas run out, as had to fix some fencing.  The good news is that one the way home I popped into Machine Mart and picked up a new/ spare angle grinder.  Only £30 but is a nice bit of kit.  The motor head is much smaller than my current grinder so will help get into some of the tight spaces.  Also, it comes with an adjustable guard and spare carbon brushes, which by pure luck, fit my old grinder.  That means I have 2 working grinders ready to go.  The next few days will be taken up with New Years celebrations but I will be back at it soon enough.


Jan 2019!

So the first week of the New Year and with a few quiet evenings I have set about finishing the engine mounts.  They have both come out well and I tacked them up ready for Gaz to get them welded at work as my little mig is not nearly man enough for the job only just getting penetration on the 3mm bottom plate.  The 10mm engine plate it didn't even get warm on the back side, but was enough to hold temporarily.

This is the end result with just the tacks holding



Dropped these off to Gaz and in less than 12 hours later got the following picture:


I was well impressed!  Made my amateur job look professional and decent.

Hoping to get these back for the weekend so i can test fit them, but that then means I can move onto the gearbox mount.

So, the engine mounts were hand delivery by Gaz with a few hours help.  First up was to check the engine mounts fitted and sat the engine correct!  Did I measure it all correctly?  The answer is Yes.  Fitted perfectly and trial fitted all the ancillaries and all sits nice.

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QIfm28zvovyMMWlQwx2PyhK0IYkS75Hql12hVOOtdNviMTjsiFwJ7W3fNZWLg8dP1CBVLtiu-Iq1fv6UVRyfvZaVDl7ghfcPAFz76StCnyBFJD5LKWOBuMkbl_jRD3Y_4D-qUY9X   67_rJHCA0zlaopxPN99Clj7A7XMAi4gbg2Hx5njZxGFrlnn44I7WR84UmC-E9XQsBrUXGg26w1UCKPOC7k-Aa7nCTBE3tVjnBYAi60JFE8-nMyQIOmgqOuRRcw1ab7b_itMYYIkF


Bonnet clearance will give me about 5mm which is enough so on to the next item which was to check the steering shaft.  Originally the clearance was not going to work as it was catching the bottom of the alternator, but with a little reduction of the collapsable steering shaft it cleared.  Again only about 10mm but it cleared and rocking the engine didn't cause any contact.

Next step was the gearbox mount.  The original MX5 box has two M14 bolts that solid mounts to the PPF (Power Plant Frame).  Using these and a plate that will then attach to a rubber mount this will then sit on a new gearbox mount plate.  Access is limited underneath at present so will finish this off when i can roll the car forward to get is high up on some axle standards.  Welding upside down will be fun.  Last time I did that was about 20 years ago on a classic mini and ended up with a weld splatter land on the inside of my ear  When they say welding sounds like bacon, they are right, it's the same sound as my ear burning, but in the panic I banged my head on the bottom of the mini, so hoping things go better this time around!

Next job on the list was the floor mounted pedal box.  The box is a Compbrake item,  They are a British company and have a proven history including Guy Martin's World Fastest Van.  The Kit i bought was this one:


It had everything I needed and the support on the phone has been awesome.

The box had 4 tabs that protruded from the sides what were designed to be used as mounting points but they stuck out a good 10mm each.  This stopped the box sitting back in the footwell, so chopped them of.  Even so the box will only go back so far and is about 60mm short of the very end of the footwell.  This is mainly due to the master cylinder for the clutch and the fact the tunnel narrows more than the box width.  I knew this was going to be an issue when i bought the box as when researching i discovered the bulk of kit car boxes are 240mm wide.  They are designed to be bolted to the floor with 6 M6 bolts.  I bolted them up with some 50x50x3mm square washers. Doing this placed the pedals nicely from the seating position but the biggest issue was the floor flex.  The GBS floor flexes a lot!  Even with the big washers the whole floor flexes along its whole length.  This has always been the case and when you get in the car the floor would `pop’ on occasions.  I guess this is because it is just a 2mm flat sheet welded to the bottom of the chassis.

So, I thought about making a bigger plate to see if that takes out the flex.  I made this plate, but it didn't take all the flex out.  


It is only a little but i didn't like the fact it had any, so, onto some more serious bracing.

The plan is to create a new footwell end out of 3mm steel.  This will weld to the chassis rails and match the back of the pedal box with cut outs to match the master cylinders.  Is started of with some measurements and a CAD (Cardboard Aided Design) template.  This was then transferred to a 3mm steel plate and this is the result so far.

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OypAshpgGh_EpKxBDwMnrNS39Xks4-8SvmhMdgjOe31-aEKqP6_eusyLZyGww4bJiMlaOVbocMWrBX3uldJkvb1DhX45hs6yPmVlHK6pvXfNesFiNFrCqF5XS3oVlFLtwsvw1r85  U_hqgejXS_k86iFIUlo5NVa1omUNWHYhXVCa2DLYfkhYIDB2OvobvOxaY7m-nnOqE3mcFFoAInuCK-C0Z35xzhHHf2QsJSeZ5MEYr-biWQpqLZ8pU2Q196febpdWlpXEUX7nFaYj

wx5DoUEBKkDpo2GWjNYDeUYjNWliiu-O8FlNyO47gSWyaDr4TBS2pM7JYFfCf6Pg2dcQ_fZWSyPwXwRWO5WdiBIHowR4-dLXOXRoNrOiWymE699nbK_pH0OW4t7J8IHZhADIup8X  KwtR0J2NwJwfQUCr__uv1oKP93ftxpQ1abEAPraSQpq7k-a0GRHOnf01x6xGxmf4U7jFoSRavHo1Q_GYC_jR3yHyrUST8nxgMaNp3wula_8sJ5GZLzdgcduVRep6x3TtdmL0lUm6

The next step will be to get the sides and bottom bent.  I tried a test piece in the vice, but it was not accurate enough or tight enough radius.  Need to find another solution, so might see what the local engineering firms are able to do.

Well, after speaking to a local engineering firm, the option to bend will never work with the radius i need.  If it is bent at the sharp angle I wanted and needed it is likely to crack or snap, so the only real option was to cut and weld.  Now my little mig is at its limit on 3mm plate, so decided to make use of friends in useful places and tack it together ready for Gaz to get it welded at his work.

This is what it looks like all tacked up with nice cuppa tea ready to celebrate an evening's work.



Test fitting with just a few clamps took all the flex out that it previously had so once welded to the chassis rails and the current floor i am more than confident this will have the desired effect.  The pedal box itself will still bolt in as originally designed, which will have 6 bolts into the floor with the 3mm plate underneath and then 6 bolts into the new brace.

I also had a message from Richy this afternoon saying that the fuel pump was finished.  As i have enough to be messing on with currently i will pick this up from him at the Christmas meal at the end of January, if I can wait that long.

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Finished off the pedal box today.  Gaz got the brace welded and back to me.


Next step was to check fit and after a bit of adjustment to fit the chassis rails it was welded in.  In theory this all sounds like a 5 minute job but had taken me the best part of 5 hours to do!  I had to bolt the pedal box to the brace to ensure the holes all still line up and not warped during welding.  Then it was trim and trial fit to the chassis rails which was in and out about 10 times taking a little off and try it.  Adjust it a little with the universal adjusting tool (hammer) and trial fit again.

Got there in the end and welded it up.  Space is very tight so had to do it in small stitch welders.  Not the prettiest but its in and the pedal box is now rock solid.

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Once it is cleaned up and painted it will look better, i am just pleased with how the pedals fit and that they have zero flex in them now.

Next bit of welding was the propshaft tunnel bar.  This needed replacing as the original was removed to allow the gearbox to fit.  Again, very tight space and rubbish angles but got it welded in after getting into some very strange positions.


Final bit of welding for today was to replace the engine diagonal bar.  This was again removed as it was in the way of the alternator, so welded in a new bar to replace this at a more convenient location.  A bit more space to work with but still had to get into some funny shapes.  



With the bar in this position I have enough space to get my hands in to the steering shaft and also gives enough clearance to get the manifold off.  The second picture shows my weld on the left and the original chassis weld in black on the right.  Not too bad for an ametuer.

Next steps will be to weld in a bar half way down the footwell tunnel.  This is not 100% needed as it never had one before, but it will give a little extra bracing.  The main reason is that the footwell panel will run down the outside of the chassis rail from the end of the footwell to the new bar.  It will then move to the inside up to the prop tunnel.  This will give an extra 25mm foot space.  It's not a lot but it all helps as I have size 10 feet.

After this it will be to weld in the gearbox mount.  This is what it looks like:


The 2 big `green’ bolts fix into the gearbox and the large plate on the right is what will be welded to the chassis.

This will be fitted to the bottom of the chassis rails and welded in a similar manner to the floor to the chassis and then welded from above to the chassis.  This is how the original gearbox mount was done, so should be fine

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This weekend has been getting the bulk of the fabrication finished.  The gearbox mount went in.  Again space was tight and getting access was not easy.  Had to weld it in sections.  Welding the bottom was the hardest as the weld wanted to `drip’ down, so ended up with some tall welds, that i had to flat down a bit.



The plate is probably a bit too big but the extra support won't hurt and will give me enough play when finally fitting of the gearbox.

Next up was the EGR transfer port cover.  The exhaust side is covered by the exhaust flange, but the inlet side is just left open.


Nothing is available to buy online, so the only option was to make one.  I made a CAD ( Cardboard Aided Design) by using a piece of cardboard and gently tapping round the edge to cut the shape.  The template was transferred to a piece of 3mm steel and cut out.  


I will tidy up the shape and paint but it will do the trick.

The next item on the list was the steering shaft bearing mount.  The original was made out of thin aluminium and riveted on.  It did the trick, but I wanted something stronger and that offered better support to the bearing.

I cut out the plate and hole sawed a 35mm hole.  This was a bit slow going but went through eventually with a bit of patience.  I then used some threaded bushes to space the bearing carrier to the plate and welded the plate to the original bracket.




This beefed up the whole section and is very rigid but the steering is still as smooth as ever.  The bearing is an old Robin Hood trick using a go kart wheel bearing.  Full instructions can be found here: http://nw.rhocar.org/supporting_the_steering_shaft.htm

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The next task will be to remake the radiator brackets.  The ones i made originally were out of 0.5mm aluminium and are weak and flex.  So, i will be making new ones of these out of 1.5mm steel.  This will be thin enough to bend but still strong enough to not flex.


I will copy the ones i made before as they are a from measurements taken from GBS before they made them a feature of the chassis.  The reason for directly copying them is that they place the radiator exactly in the nose cone.  No point reinventing what works perfectly well!


First job this week was to finish of the radiator brackets.  I made up some CAD (Cardboard Added Design) templates.  I took these to RapidMetals in Redditch, who cut and bent into the shape of the template and was all done the same day.



I then cut out the reliefs for the suspension bolts and drilled the holes in exactly the same position as the originals and bolted them up.

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ebXryNwC7tlmhX9U8C_7LWBngH8YFZ3qsx4J2d3ULBytA2qUkidjpLtjie8eIishLeAcDa4DPCJbxo4W7QyfDQ_8eJhKE9cKz9VdZ9DHucFqSbugMt0Pi-9jEaoNeca27GHMI2w-   iVj0v-utcTtkrvbsYv0J5qlAXdbR4czn0l0Lpa_QDRhv4ycWjDL5nowsbIV_4jVk9PC1aR-k8ZZQtiRM3G8G_yf8OebZmOmUaq22pTAhzyNlYMB2e41m8dlgAlh1Rsra_iRY1Qga

These are nice and rigid and with the radiator bolted on, the nose cone still fits.

It also stops the radiator moving as the previous mounts vibrated which rubbed the inside of the nose cone.  It was never enough to rub through, but this will not be an issue moving forward.

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The next job was to dry fit all the ancillaries.  This was to ensure that they all still fit and ensure i had enough clearances.

The good news is that everything was fine.  Everything fitted and no clearance issues.  The closest was the Alternator, but i already knew this.  Exhaust to the chassis rail top is about 5mm.  This is the same as the pinto so i know it will be fine.

Here are some pics of all the items that could contact.

UMPllh19E_BDejB7bAPDa5FLnkPFte9UUFropS0Ws_SuIFlCWtoT3Gak0cuWTDsy7YZWEIykxCcWlxHEss475f739paHoYV2mmaZsBLcRko107-EyAYkMLMf9Uh5eJs8NnDqCFYI  7ArCngF8mg-Puw6eKrTHZ6YifgkMIxrIo9lYP7JJ3noXRimKRblLdAGOATg1MqINqcgc4_IL9lDDN7M56PWd_vQRtDLKoNYp49DRHch_7Yy6YTwUQ609zYnB7Dl6mU2n3LRj2N5eobeSzVLOlh0KZ0nQ5w10ZXcVpnObuYwBlE2FoOCw2CuhL6Cp8fLEpQ35DFwSt3TL7kD5-fk-41R5MIpPQN-k1OheO0isxjudMh_-nhGMUPElMYRFs2sCM0FjEX2KsD-KZ9r1iy4q  lqDZgRhC6MUlXVxssvwJmE-UpcR1QdG7NeST312ei3rtnUErgS_Jc7Xhjr6H8GNw2FBYq8fjAu42NnG3dt8pYp18NDZPxKZXB2nr5ouURdQ3pIvZzT2tSWnwCPi4iGGXO9is43xa  Pt6WcVNzEgDhtpzs-AoCENG0TWdwPIWZk8XGsdoWsna9Pc6Y0PhQjzeG4pkjaF4h1HT-pGNRyeHG13tHusYjDXKxevufQxCjPuNBFSs5tFpaYoqvrwOG9_GUZiSa_bEGTlrSpNFQ  iXSGgTKNEHdZGSIIv9giEqOlzqw5eaVAuLVr8PoEeRMPBK2ywOo6N69FexFYX0xofHSShEPzOamayoKVVH4DEhONcHcsvenQ2SEEJufg7LTnED3jIIJeNWiR3imaV6ZzmuTBvLr4

U8DcyGqZM9WgjFPmvlTHQzT_ZoKJgulqaqGq0H5Jx4beaJWMzaOKvTNUxu9FPBd6fBMt0rzhuqBr52cOJhOcrREH-1UbUTRku4Mqi9sHdYhrOjMokRFcaaiBSXxhkOvW-GIn7ntk  t7CNghrPtmeMjzBEvlOTXxTMP7sYdprAUVreIsBLMUpiNRk7VkR7dRazBW9Uhg1UR7ZzLk2dH2M6mCbZTJLFw7mDwmx-dHcBbSCGIcdzD1ZcUyh-FppOT3l84QGk7CMFDVqOcGPl  7xodQNe2Ehbtzyb7bWT5fuSbhNGlbCe4hFu7-hkBNkFXqbp7ltCz9xB4ZTfreI0RlJszSEOXyLjDz-g_hKciDJPE74eumbxxzJafsEYinNQyHTBT_emAt-eQbWyU1BANjhx-hNgA  JdNhwLaJuTbtQ8yihCqewvRLoUTxMLBlXeHGLQqHKrnWsdQI35IhR0Viu71rLxYpO5WiSzJnGTz1Fc0YoNHzT4KBOtv7GAARLLr8FgbBK0nSNd9_UuKxbzRd3pmRjkOAzSa_ZKSl

Izxn9VjO1t5Pd1OhjtnnE-lzIP9T6Z1twsl4nMGSRwFhEGMEdK7lRgvgHAL0lTge7rD-3GeQYLh6StXi-Up9_CKd0TbAvAhxB9SqicFec93svCHJ5djgX6GXKpvcv-hwPQxntKCx  ZrybkiJmXzX5lNWw21IHIQ5gnjBoccnkDdmQ2-1unXPwfAAgG0wpvUmg9W3THBLpUkQf5z50r6wCgvMNczMfZFIM99gOLN8prrB_8rufO_ee6Dt2dev-OARFXrfkkd5_Z9jQbovo

The other bit of good news is that i am going to be able to keep the oil cooler in its original place, meaning no need for remote filter etc.  The only slight change will be to swap to a Caterham oil filter, made by FRAM.  The whole filter is on 50mm deep and means it will fit the 70mm gap i have.  The original filter is 75mm so it was close to fitting, but not close enough.  My big fear was being a Caterham part it would be horrendously expensive, but it is only £6.70pm, Bargain!

Next major job was to work out the hose runs.  I kept all the original hoses from the Fiesta ST, but nothing fits!  With the engine being swapped in orientation the chassis in the way for most of them or they are just not suitable.  The Coolant Outlet Block has 4 outlets.  I am not planning on having an expansion tank so will block this off and run the `suck/blow’ bottle like i did the Pinto.

The 2 main outlets are 19mm and 32mm.  The 32mm is the bottom radiator hose and the 19mm feeds to oil cooler.  From the other side of the oil cooler this pipes into the thermostat housing (the bypass connector).  The main Thermostat output is 32mm and feeds the top of the raditiator.  The main issue is that the 32mm to the bottom of the radiator on the Coolant Outlet Block is pointing towards the inlet side and the 19mm on the Coolant Outlet Block is pointing towards the exhaust side.  Guess what?  These are 180’ the wrong way!  This means i am going to have to get bends to point them in the right direction.  Bit of a pain but an easy fix as was hoping to use all the original hoses.

Next up was a few measurements.  I had to measure up for injector blanks and a new prop shaft.  Both of these are easy to get made.  I plan on using David Mac in Coventry for the prop shaft and the injector blanks are easy to purchase off Ebay.

Moving back to the front of the car I started measuring up for the front brake hoses.  The original copper hoses had started to corrode, so thi time round i am going to fit braided hoses.  A bit more expensive but should last longer and will look a bit trick.  Doing a bit of research it suggests that the front brake hoses should be the same length going from left to right.  This is to keep the same amount of fluid and therefore the same pressure in each hose.  The plan is to run a single line from the master cylinder to underneath the radiator and then split equally to the left and right.

Next was to work out the engine belt run.  With the power steering and air conditioning pumps removed i needed route the belt so everything still drives.  Replacing the power steering pump i use a tensioner from an older Ford Focus as the original tensioner that fits under the alternator now does not fit as the steering shaft runs in its place.

Not having a tensioner in this position means that the belt coming off the main crank pulley fouls the crank sensor.  The plan I am going with is to use a spare idle pulley that i have and fit this to the  upper bolt hole for the original tensioner.  The fixing bolt will need a spacer making but screwing it in and lining it up with the other pulleys gives me a clear route.


This is what the route looks like.  The belt will still have a tensioner in the system.

The next job will be to measure up and buy a new belt

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