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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Marlin 5exi builds

Marlin 5exi builds Calling all you sexi builders....sorry 5exi builders, show us your progress.

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  #1  
Old 6th July 2005, 22:26
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Default New possible builder...?

Hi,

I'm presently in the market to buy a kit-car, and I'm very interested in a 5EXI. I've read through a number of the threads on this site, the WKC build guide, and scanned a few articles on the 'net. Generally it seems the 5EXI has been very well received, with a good logical build, and help readily on hand from Marlin should it be necessary.

I'm yet to visit the factory, which might well seal the deal if the demo cars are as good as I hope they'll be. In the meantime I'm trying to find info on the Civic Type-R builds, as it's pretty scarse on the 5EXI site. Is there anyone on this forum currently building a type-R powered car? I'm assuming the addition of the type-r engine is a fairly modular affair (engine, 'box, ecu - which is somehow tied into the R200 bits 'n' bobs), and would be grateful for some information on this. The reason I'd like to go the type-r route is I'd prefer an NA car for track work, though I concede the vetec transition is vaguely analogous to a turbo kicking in, thus not quite as driveable as a "pure" NA engine.

Out of curiousity, I'm in Wimborne, Dorset; am I near any 5EXI owners / builders? I've been given some local(ish) contact numbers by Terry Matthews, but I'm yet to get in touch - just wondering if the same people visit this forum...

As a final question, those of you with completed cars, which insurer are you using, and what sort of premium are you paying? I'm 26, which I'm guessing won't do me any favours premium wise.

I look forward to your replies.

Cheers,

John.
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  #2  
Old 7th July 2005, 09:41
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Hi John.

Welcome to the forum!!!

I don't know of anyone apart from Marlin that is doing the type-R
route at the moment. But looking at Marlin's web site the type-r will be exactly like the Turbo. You keep all the drivetrain (engine,gearbox, driveshafts engine electrics, etc). But you will still need Rover bits (unless Marlin have re manufacture for the Honda). Things like rear hubs, heater, gear lever and brakes.

Speak to you soon.

John
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  #3  
Old 7th July 2005, 11:14
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Default Re: New possible builder...?

I'm in a similar position to yourself - I've never built a kit car before and am very intrigued by the 5exi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
I'm yet to visit the factory, which might well seal the deal if the demo cars are as good as I hope they'll be.
If & when you do visit the factory, ask some probing questions about the "build manual". Marlin's 5exi website is extremely slick and the kit seems to be targeted towards folks building their first kits, but the marketing doesn't mention that the "build manual" is just a bunch of digital photos on CD-ROM and a 4 page Word document.

I don't think this significantly affects my own enthusiasm for a 5exi, but I'm sure one of the independent reviews you can download from the 5exi site raves about the quality of the manual - if I'd paid good money for the kit and was surprised to find such limp documentation I'd be fuming about it.

I'm surprised this hasn't had more comment in these forums, but the more prospective customers who raise the matter with Marlin the more incentive they have to improve things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
In the meantime I'm trying to find info on the Civic Type-R builds ...The reason I'd like to go the type-r route is I'd prefer an NA car for track work, though I concede the vetec transition is vaguely analogous to a turbo kicking in, thus not quite as driveable as a "pure" NA engine.
I'm n00b, so everybody else probably knows about this, but can you tell me a little more about why you might choose the Type-R engine? I take it it's larger or more powerful than the conventionally-aspirated Rover engines?

Cheers,

Stroller.
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  #4  
Old 7th July 2005, 11:31
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Hi guys.
I know what you mean about the manuals. It can seem lame before you get the kit. But trust me. It is ok once you have the kit & the piccies in front of you. Yoy will get to learn how a car works from start to finish doing it yourself and a little help. Like electrics!!

This is my first build and I'm in IT with basic car knowledge. So just an car nut!! My thoughts is it would be like a Mecharno set but it's not!!! It is a challenge for me. But there are many pepole on this forum that have helped my loads. Thanks everyone!!

Hope that helps.

Stroller - If your in the area your more than welcome to pop round and have a look.

John
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  #5  
Old 7th July 2005, 23:43
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Stroller,

There are several reasons why I prefer the Type-R engine:

It's 197BHP and normally aspirated, so it will have plenty of poke (more than any standard k-series engine offers), and throttle response is good (I've driven an S2000 on road & track, and a Civic on the road), which can only help adjustability.

The next thing for me is that I want reliability, and I'm not convinced by the Rover options. Everyone I've known with a car fitted with a k-series engine (214, elise, freelander, caterham) has had head gasket issues, and other niggling faults. The t-series could be a laugh because of the potential offered by a turbo, but from my brief scan of the market, getting a relatively fresh engine looks difficult, and although I've not read of many problems with this lump, I suspect the Honda engine / box combo, certainly the 'box, is a safer bet. Furthermore, getting hold of a newish (sub 20k) Type-R engine is pretty easy.

Finally, the sound of a vetec engine at 8000 rpm is great, and I believe would suit a 5EXI brilliantly.

I suspect there's a slight premium to pay for a type-r engine (~2k), but it's something I'm quite happy to absorb for the above.

Have you read the WKC build articles? Nothing in it has scared me off, and I'm just an office monkey with some car fettling experience - in the middle of an 1.8t transplant into a mk2 golf, clutch changes, helping mates with engine / gearbox changes, and soft rod modifications. The hardest parts to me looks to be the wiring and bodywork - I suspect there's scope for expensive errors when cutting holes in the GRP bodywork!

Good luck with your kit car decisions.

Limpabit - what tools have you bought during the build? Asides from the wiring, what aspects of the build have you found the most testing?

cheers

John.
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  #6  
Old 8th July 2005, 01:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
It's 197BHP and normally aspirated,... Finally, the sound of a vetec engine at 8000 rpm is great, and I believe would suit a 5EXI brilliantly
When you used the word "Vtec" it gave me something to Google for - I have to admit that I hadn't been aware of these variable valve-lift engines. Wikipaedia's use of the adjective "elegant" matches my own initial impressions.

I'd better explain that I'm not that much of a petrolhead - I've ridden motorcycles for over ten years and I can strip carbs & adjust tappets, but it's only in the last few months that I've discovered that I rather like herding these square four-wheeled metal boxes. I'm hideously under-qualified to be let loose on a mid-engined sports-car at present - I think I'd probably take some lessons before completing a 1600 k-series build!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
I suspect there's a slight premium to pay for a type-r engine (~2k), but it's something I'm quite happy to absorb for the above.
I can see how it would be appealing, although I would personally be reassured by using as much of the "standard" donor as possible (ie the k-series engine) should I go ahead with my first build. What configuration is the type-r? I see V6 mentioned in some of the articles I've turned up on Vtec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
Have you read the WKC build articles? Nothing in it has scared me off, and I'm just an office monkey with some car fettling experience
Nope, although one of the other lads from here mentioned when I phoned him that one of the magazines had done a build. I've just managed to search & find What Kit Car's webpage, so I'll probably phone & order some back issues. I hear they're using ABS, which I would find quite reassuring, were I to find a suitable donor car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
The hardest parts to me looks to be the wiring and bodywork - I suspect there's scope for expensive errors when cutting holes in the GRP bodywork!
Ha! I feel rather smug about the wiring, as my father was an electrical engineer - when I was a kid he had a sideline repairing televisions and I learned to solder sitting on his knee. I dropped out of an electronics apprenticeship having learned to read a circuit-diagram and after 3 months in the wiring-loom production department I was often given the more complex patterns to complete.

After such a c0cky statement I'd better mention that I'm now a different kind of IT geek by trade and I'm pretty rusty at that sort of thing. Wiring I've done on motorcycles in the last year or two has held up ok, tho', and again, this is an aspect of the build whereby I'd feel reassured by using the most "standard" donor car possible.

The GRP could be fun! Maybe one could pick up cheaply a knackered kayak second-hand to practice on? I'm not sure what's involved in putting the bodywork together, but maybe an old canoe could be used for cutting and binding practice?

Cheers for posting,

Stroller.
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  #7  
Old 8th July 2005, 09:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
Stroller,
Limpabit - what tools have you bought during the build? Asides from the wiring, what aspects of the build have you found the most testing?

cheers

John.
Hi mate.

Tools I have bought : rivineut, riveter, grinder and 4.8mm drills. I had a decent socket set.

Your right what your saying about the T series turbo no longer in production. But can be picked up for peanuts. Not drove a 5EXI with Turbo or Type r yet . But Dylan has recorded 0-60 in 5 secs from a 1.6!!. These can also be picked up for peanuts but can still be got new. And just drove round europe with no problems.

Cheers

John
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Old 17th July 2005, 21:58
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Default Re: New possible builder...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strolls
I'm in a similar position to yourself - I've never built a kit car before and am very intrigued by the 5exi.

If & when you do visit the factory, ask some probing questions about the "build manual". Marlin's 5exi website is extremely slick and the kit seems to be targeted towards folks building their first kits, but the marketing doesn't mention that the "build manual" is just a bunch of digital photos on CD-ROM and a 4 page Word document.

I don't think this significantly affects my own enthusiasm for a 5exi, but I'm sure one of the independent reviews you can download from the 5exi site raves about the quality of the manual - if I'd paid good money for the kit and was surprised to find such limp documentation I'd be fuming about it.

I'm surprised this hasn't had more comment in these forums, but the more prospective customers who raise the matter with Marlin the more incentive they have to improve things.

.
The build CD was described to me by Mark at Marlin, when I visited at the weekend. I was told there are many pictures, and step-by-step text. I suspect what you assertained is accurate.

As for the car.... well it looks like it would be a lot of fun, it looks refreshingly different to a 7-esk car, and the rear end is definitely improved by the rear diffuser option.

As far as the type-r engined one goes, there isn't one on the road yet. Apparently Mark is waiting for a little electronic box of tricks to be made to fool the type-r ecu's immobiliser and a few other issues, and he's also trying to get a decent price sorted for bespoke driveshafts to suit the type-r.
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Old 17th July 2005, 22:48
Strolls Strolls is offline
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Default Re: New possible builder...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
The build CD was described to me by Mark at Marlin, when I visited at the weekend. I was told there are many pictures, and step-by-step text. I suspect what you assertained is accurate.
I read that as a contradiction of my description of the build manual for a moment - accurate or inaccurate?

There are indeed very many pictures, but they are named as DSCF1234.JPG files in a handful of numbered (not labelled) folders. "Step-by-step text" makes the instructions sound quite comprehensive, but this isn't really the case. I did exaggerate a little in my previous post, to be honest, but not excessively IMHO - the written instructions (as supplied to a builder earlier this year) consist of a total of ten pages in two Word documents, but are not closely typed. I think a manufacturer of inkjet cartridges would consider the print density of the 5exi manual, if not its length, suitable for demonstrating the high page-count attainable by their product.

In any case, the build-manual is in wide circulation amongst others on this forum, so I'm sure you can get a look at it. There's also no doubt that this is a limited criticism of Marlin - they seem to have done a very good job indeed with this kit, and there are builders on this forum demonstrating that the instructions do not prevent completion of the 5exi. But I've spoken to two builders, both of whom have used the words "there is no build manual" and described the CD as a joke. With the use of a dictaphone and the hire of a typist Marlin could easily resolve this criticism within only a few days, so I would encourage them to do so.

In any case... how did you enjoy your visit? Did you have a fun test drive? Can we assume you're going to be proceeding with this project? Are you going be a guinea pig or wait until Marlin's completely resolved the type-r ignition issues &c?

Stroller.
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  #10  
Old 18th July 2005, 12:47
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Default Re: New possible builder...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strolls
Quote:
Originally Posted by alackofspeed
The build CD was described to me by Mark at Marlin, when I visited at the weekend. I was told there are many pictures, and step-by-step text. I suspect what you assertained is accurate.
I read that as a contradiction of my description of the build manual for a moment - accurate or inaccurate?
I meant accurate.
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Old 18th July 2005, 14:02
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Hi guys.

Just to add my two pence worth. I agree the "build manual" is a little short "step by step" wordings. But pictures do "believe me I know from experience" speak a thousand words. This is not an easy build for me at least. It gets you thinking. But that might be because I have not gone along the "recommended" donor route of bubble 216. Things not in the build manual are cooling system and electrics. Though speaking from a turbo builders point of view makes thinks a little more difficult but a challenge. And what a feeling when you can say "I've worked it out". But I know 216 builders have different problems like the 5AS connecting.

You will learn lots of new skills. And you have the support of all of us on here all willing to lend a hand!!!

The trouble if going down the type-R route, you will be a "test". As far as to say it's not been done yet so expect problems and a fare bit of head scratching. I would wait until Marlin have done it first. Because I would say that from when you pick up the chassis to the time of engine start would be something like 3 months. Depending on your time available.

Hope that helps.
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Old 31st July 2005, 22:40
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Quote:

Hi mate.

Tools I have bought : rivineut, riveter, grinder and 4.8mm drills. I had a decent socket set.
Hi, just a quick question about the rivnut tool: I need one for another project, but I'm having problems sourcing a tool and rivnuts. Could you suggest a supplier?

Many thanks.

John.
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Old 1st August 2005, 06:21
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Hi.

Any kit car show or http://www.nfauto.co.uk is your best bet.
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Old 1st August 2005, 09:51
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Cheers.

What is the largest size rivnut used on the 5EXI?
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Old 2nd August 2005, 10:09
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I've been using M6 Rivnuts. Bronze coloured ones when you need to attach alloy panels and silver coloured ones for anything else.
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Old 2nd August 2005, 12:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limpabit
Bronze coloured ones when you need to attach alloy panels and silver coloured ones for anything else.
I have to ask what the difference between the colours is?
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Old 2nd August 2005, 12:06
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Don't know what the differences are. But Mark at Marlin advised using the Bronze ones whenever attaching alloy, like the centre tunnels.
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Old 3rd August 2005, 13:05
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The difference will be that one will be Stainless Steel and the other Aluminium. Trouble is I don't know what the coluors are.

MikeN
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