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TheLaughingCow 9th November 2013 10:20

New Mx250 Build

A quick introduction

I am TheLaughingCow (my friends call me martyn)

Im in Essex, ive been into the classic mini scene my whole life.

A regular poster on online mini forums and my daily drive is a 1978 mini clubman saloon.

For years ive been trying to find a mint reasonably priced Triumph GT6,
(not everyones cup of tea i know!)

i must be a sucker for poorly built british rustboxes

then i stumbled across the MX250 kit..... WOW imediately i knew i have to make one of these. I've had two mx5s eunos imports before and i love the way they handle (almost as good as a mini!) the last 2 months relentless rain has caused an abundance of viable donor cars, so what better time!!

This week i took the plunge and ordered the Mx250 kit.

I have already sourced the donor car, a Manual eunos v spec with LSD, aircon power steering, tan leathers. came with plenty of sellable extras, a new tan roof fitted(with heated glass screen) 2 sets of original mazda wheels, tan torneau, a full car cover
even had full tank of petrol, MOT and 8 months Tax
all for 600
only needs some minor sill repairs, (my job for next week)

my build notes are as follows

* Im not building a ferrari replica, just a classic looking fastback coupe
* want it ready for spring 2014
* as many mod-cons as possible
* once assembled and prepped, vehicle will be vinyl wrapped
as a demonstrator for (colour undecided)
* Must be FAST
* Must be LOUD

i will add some donor car pics

Danny_HUFC 9th November 2013 10:33

Welcome to the group. by the sounds of it after selling all your extra parts your donor car may stand you at 0!

with regards to vinyl wrapping, what are the advantages of it?

My mate had his 911 wrapped in white and its less than a year old and its F*ckd. bubbling and peeling all over, and he got charged 2k for it and I could of had it sprayed to a A class job for that.

I've seen a few 'matt' wraps recently and it looks to be 'the future' but just wondering what the advantages of it is to getting your motor sprayed?

TheLaughingCow 9th November 2013 11:52

Main advantages of vinyl over paint.

you can have a perfect finish in gloss /matt , chrome, textured, candy colours, pearlescents, irridecents and sparkle

which otherwise would take a lifetime of spraying and weeks of coats of paint to achieve in just 2 days

it protects the paintwork underneath,

doesn't get stone chips,

but most of all i can change the colour of my car every year

main disadvantages are:

limited life (normally 5-7 years)

lots of cowboys out there not prepping vehicles properly or not sealing edges resulting in poor life of the vinyl!

if i paid 2K for a wrap i would be back as soon as vinyl started peeling and be getting all affected panels rewrapped for free!

Tribute Automotive 9th November 2013 16:53

Welcome Martyn.

Thanks again for your order.

We vinyl wrapped our B*ntl*y GT replica for it's launch ( ) because we had no time to paint it. We hadn't done wrapping before and with only 2 days before the Stoneleigh Show we had to learn fast! It looked OK from a distance but was peeling off a little on the journey home, due to no prep and a dirty workshop.

I will give you a call in a few weeks reference collection date for your kit.

landmannnn 9th November 2013 19:46

Yeah, if you look at some of the wrapped cars around they look a bit shabby, I think 5 years is a bit optimistic.

Drummajor 10th November 2013 07:35

Welcome to MX250 ownership .
You will enjoy it. Your donor car sounds great , and there is loads of mods you can do to the mx5 to make it even better .

TheLaughingCow 10th November 2013 09:29

I guess like with anything, practice, experience and the right tools for the job, will determine the outcome.

I know how much a quality paint job will cost, that is the no 1 reason why I'm wrapping it.(free)
The mx250 will be quite difficult to wrap mainly because of the curves, and the lack of panel edges.I guess the proof is in the pudding,

The vinyl available now is so much more advanced than what we used 5 years ago, especially the adhesive. I guess we will find out in 5 years time whether it lives up to its word!
Until then I should probably get on with stripping the donor,

My sill repair panel has arrived from flea bay, looking at everyone else's builds I believe all of my welding will be under the kit, still will try to get it as tidy as possible.

The donor car seems in pretty good shape mechanically, one lady owner since import

The paint is really poor, covered in tree sap but who cares, the engine is sweet, nice to drive a rwd car without traction control,

TheLaughingCow 11th November 2013 08:43

donor car pics

TheLaughingCow 11th November 2013 08:44

TheLaughingCow 11th November 2013 08:45

Danny_HUFC 11th November 2013 10:40

just took some pics of my pals 911 to show the wrap he had done...

Viatron 11th November 2013 12:13

Just popped over from the Ribble Forum,
That's shocking Danny, I wouldn't have even taken delivery of that, Vinyl wrap gets a bit of a bum wrap as a lot of folk who are doing them have had no training and don't really know what they are doing.

TheLaughingCow 11th November 2013 15:57

Viatron, hit the nail on the head there!

I'd be ashamed if I'd wrapped that!

Don't forget that's a walking advertisement for whoever wrapped it!

WorldClassAccident 11th November 2013 18:10

I have seen a few bad wraps but that is truly shocking!!

Are you sure your mate didn't do it himself when he was really pissed and then forgot about it in the morning?

2K would just about cover the bar bill to get that messy...

Danny_HUFC 11th November 2013 20:31

He has the receipt to show for it with its 12 month warranty. however the cars over in Germany where we work and wont be coming back to the UK until this jobs done n about 3 years! I'd personally peal it off but hey, it looks good from a distance...

fatbloke 11th November 2013 21:34

Nice looking base car Martyn - good luck. Are you making the hard top or convertible?

TheLaughingCow 12th November 2013 12:01

I have ordered the hard top version

which is a shame as the donor cars roof is in great shape,

unless someone is building a soft top version and wants a great tan hood? with frame and torneau cover ready to bolt on???

puma931 12th November 2013 16:59

I wrapped the back of my locost using 3m glossblack. It was quite easy as no difficult curves. I would love to watch someone wrap a MX250, especially the rear panel

Before panels.JPG
After wrap.jpg

landmannnn 12th November 2013 21:12

I sold my soft top for 100. Quite a lot of demand since they split on folds if left down for long periods.

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 01:22

OK, time for an update,

Been cutting up the sills, i had to remove a load of previous repairs and patches. Im far from a world class welder but since the kit will be hiding much of my "handywork" i figured in was a no brainer for keeping the cost down! ive had plenty of practice on mini sills in a lot worse condition!

Since im going to be putting the best part of 2K of fibreglass on the MX5 to save a few quid i fabricated my own replacement panels for the inner sill and inner arch repairs, i fitted a replacement outer sil from ebay (door back) on the N/S, as this was shot

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 01:24

N/S outer sill removed ( not for the faint hearted)

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 01:27
floor / inner sill repair in place

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 01:29
inner sill repair

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 01:29

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 01:32
new out sill on

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 02:05

other side, not as bad more rot further up the wing than the n/s

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 02:06

[IMG]<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo DSC_0224_zps602570c9.jpg"/></a>[/IMG]

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 02:06

TheLaughingCow 21st November 2013 02:09

so.... off for MOT in the morning, thought i'd get a fresh test done before i strip the donor just in case it expires before i finish the build, will make test driving a lot more legit!

I have a buyer for the roof, i also won a auction for some 16" alloys that i'm pretty sure will fit and look spot on.

will report back later with MOT status and some wheel pics

TheLaughingCow 22nd November 2013 04:17

Collected my wheels today

TheLaughingCow 22nd November 2013 04:20

Car failed MOT on corrosion near the front subframe/ chassis rail, I'll be cutting it out / welding it up this morning then back to mr MOT for a retest.

happy days

Drummajor 22nd November 2013 07:20

I like the wheels, good luck with the mot.

seanick 22nd November 2013 18:37

Well at least he didn't spot the welding on the sills :eusa_eh:

Wheely nice wheels though:smile:

Tribute Automotive 22nd November 2013 19:23

Fingers crossed for the MOT. Those wheels look great. Bargain?

TheLaughingCow 27th November 2013 09:39

YES, car went straight through the MOT, i did find a tiny more rot at the front chassis rails that i sorted just before the MOT, the mot guy found it hilarious that it was still warm when he had it on the ramp! i managed to not burn any interior bits which i think is a first for me!

other than drooling over the wheels

i've been rolling the rear arches out, scraping off underseal in preparation for waxoyling the chassis inside and out at the weekend.

TheLaughingCow 27th November 2013 09:41

i do however need some wheel advice as i'm not 100% these wheels will work

the wheels set me back 220, new in the box! they are 16" 8" wide offset is ET20, multifit 4x100 and 4x114 (i think).

I know the rears will probably need spacers to get the stance right, i'm worried that the offset may cause problems at the front, will they stick out further than the kit? if they need to be spaced to clear the suspension how much?

going to test fit a wheel (without tyre) this morning to try and establish if they'll be ok

has any one used this wheel size? if so what tyres to put on them?

ive seen mx5's with 16's running low profile tyres, i want a bigger tyre wall and will happilly suffer the speedo inaccuracy that may bring but i don't want to ruin the cars handling, which the 16's may have already compromised.

so many questions!

TheLaughingCow 28th November 2013 07:54

front wheels look like they have clearance for the spring, they do stick out a good 2" from the mx-5 wing, i guess i won't know for sure until i have the kit.

i've listed both original sets of wheels on ebay, they could be potential sold by the weekend. so i need to get these wheels sorted sooner - just to allow me to move the car about!

landmannnn 29th November 2013 10:14

ET20 for 8" rims is about right with 50mm spacers on the rear and none on the front. You can always add some thin spacers at a later date if you want a wider stance, 5mm spacers are only 7 for a pair so fairly easy by trial and error to get what you like.

As for tyre sizes about 24" diameter seems right, you will have to play with a tyre calculator online to find the appropriate tyre size for your wheels.

If you have a search through the threads like this one you will see what others have done

TheLaughingCow 29th November 2013 10:59


very helpful thread

Tribute Automotive 30th November 2013 21:28

Your kit is the next in line, I will be in contactl this week to arrange a collection date.

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