Its getting colder, salt is appearing on the roads and its time to admit winter has arrived. Its a time to be joyous though, over the summer months and circa 3K miles one or two “improvement opportunities” have presented themselves. Here’s to many nights of tinkering in the garage.
Firstly though, lady Marilyn became a show car this past November. Along with two of her sisters she graced the Challenger stand at the NEC classic car show. I was very proud.
Its the first time I’ve manned a stand at a car show. To all the lovely people who visited, asked questions and shared their stories – it was a pleasure to meet you. To the odd one or two dickheads who visited to insult our cars – may you next turd be a headgehog.
It was a cold November day when I drove to the NEC, roof down of course, and, as always, the old girl ran like a dream. I did think when I got there that I could do with more comfortable seats and there started the list.
Seats are on the list for sure, as are a refresh of the half shafts. I elected not to do these during the rebuild and have regretted it ever since. So they’re on the list to. Also, there are bits of trim that have overly much patina for my taste, so a minor re trim is required. Then there the boot that needs sorting, the new fuel pump, throttle cable upgrade, the exhaust orientation at the rear. That little lot should keep me out of trouble for a while.
So, first job, get her in the garage in a work-on-able position and cue the A Team music…
It took some wiggling to get the right position but we got there and up on axle stands she went. First job, drop the half shafts and send them to D & F Prop shafts
Easy as that really. Wait a week and slot them back on.
Here they are, good as new…
Next, the seats. There’s a lot of classic car chatter about using the Mk1 MX5 seats in E Types (along with TR6’s and others) so I picked up a pair on ebay to get them a try.
The seats feel OK when just laid in place, but I wont know for sure if they’re OK until they are bolted down.
Bolted down… hmm first issue. The MX5 doesn’t have a flat floor pan and so the runners aren’t flat either.
At the front of the seat the runners turn down for the mounting position, at the rear they turn up. Neither works on my flat floor… Plus they have a peg arrangement that locates in the a special detail on the MX5. PS ignore the steel block, that was just me thinking of solutions….
The old seat runners could be made to fit, but they’re not in the best shape and the spacing between them is different to the originals so new holes in the floor would be required anyway…
So I set about modifying the MX 5 runners. Measure about 10 times before cutting anything.
Here’s the front mounting cut off and the peg un-riveted. Next was to tackle the other end and decide on mounting locations.
I put the old seats back in to get a datum position (mid adjustment)
took some measurements
and positioned the MX5 seat in the same spot.
Loads more comfort, recline adjustment and better hood clearance. Just the ticket.
I’m going to do some welding next, so no fixing positions just yet but making sure they did fit both the car and me was an important first step.