Cyberpunk Mx-5 Build

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by Doritofu, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Progress.

    After blocking the first layer of primer to smooth out any of the small ripples in the surface and fixing up some small imperfections I gave it a second coat of primer and hit it with some 400 grit on the sander. Got it all really smooth and luckily it didn't need any more body filler. This was way faster to do than the first side.

    RIxaX8I.

    After sanding it all flat I wiped the whole surface down and began waxing it for the moulds. 2 layers at a time up to 8 layers of wax over a whole day is the strategy I've been using. Then a light layer of PVA release film wiped over it just before the gelcoat goes on.

    FMkUrXR.

    XMKXbsd.

    After waxing the plugs I was finally able to head back into the city to get the supplies I needed. Ended up getting roped into buying another roll of 450 gsm mat and a fresh roll of tissue as well. The tissue goes on as your first layer before the glass mat. It just helps capture some of the details a little better and can get into the tighter corners better than the chopped strand.

    jL24OXc.

    The coilovers also arrived for the s13 so that's going to be fun once this is finished.

    With everything all waxed and the PVA applied I mixed up the tooling gelcoat and applied one thick layer. The tooling gelcoat is more forgiving than standard gelcoat so it can be a little thinner in spots. Since this was a quick temporary mould I didn't bother with 2 layers.

    alpv4eJ.

    I was able to get the gelcoat applied in the morning and then the first layer of tissue and 225 mat on later that afternoon. Was pretty exhausted so decided to do the final layer of 450 the next morning. With that all done the first moulds were finished.

    So6MHix.

    lBFS4Js.

    They are really thin as far as moulds go but I only need to make 1 part from them and I'll be modifying the result anyway. I got some advice on how to improve my moulds in future and so I'll be putting that into practice in a couple weeks once I make the final final moulds for these.

    Had a little time left over with the day to do some workshop mods. Since I keep getting more rolls of fiberglass I needed to make a storage area for them. I like having the rolls hanging up so I found the only bare wall left in the shop and made a quick little rack.

    bvzkXUi.

    Few offcuts of wood and a nailgun and they were up on the wall. No need to move the other roll over yet and they are fkn heavy so I wont move them if I don't have to.

    VjKNcHi.

    Tomorrow morning I can cut the moulds off the car and then after checking everything is good and waxing them up I can see about getting a first pull from them in a couple days and then we will have fiberglass on all four corners for the first time. Pretty exciting shit.
     
  2. CoolTiger

    CoolTiger New Member

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    been lurking for a while this build motivates me to work on my car
     
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  3. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Took the moulds off the car the other day. They came out pretty good, some chips in the gelcoat and a small crack around the front where I had to bend it pretty hard to remove it but overall a usable pair of moulds.

    Njdc6e2.

    Gave them both a quick clean and a sand with some 400 before wetsanding up to 1500. Here's a photo of them just after polishing the rear flare.

    hSY4lXU.

    After polishing them they both got the same wax and PVA treatment as the plugs. With all that dry they were ready to start making the pieces. Unfortunately I was really low on white gelcoat and when I went in to buy more I ended up going for a different type that wouldn't mix with it. I ended up doing a much thinner layer of gelcoat on the flares than I was comfortable with and it ended up with some defects.

    dDANORm.

    I also tested out using the 450 gsm mat in my first layer with the tissue, big mistake. The 450 was way to rigid and would not fit into the sharper corners of the moulds. (admitedly the moulds were pretty trash to begin with) but when I pulled them out I had a lot of air bubbles and spots where the gelcoat was too thin and the styrene from the resin attacked it and caused wrinkling.

    64nEePO.

    9bQux00.

    hSo0EVm.

    There's a lesson in here somewhere. I'll have to do a lot of work grinding out all the crap bits of this gelcoat and redoing them with body filler but I'd planned on doing that anyway. At least for the most part these are usable flares.

    After removing the flares from the moulds and trimming them to shape to confirm they were good enough, I got started removing the plugs from the car and then began marking out and test fitting the flares.

    HwKrJiY.

    HMqcBOT.

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    With the hardware spacing all matched to the other side and the flares bolted down to the car I was able to lower it all down and get a look at it all assembled.

    A21wThB.

    tXU2KWs.

    I'd like to be able to take it out of the barn to walk around and check it all a bit better but that will have to wait until the weather is less shitty.

    For now I've got 4 flares on the car and with a little more work they'll be finished. Bit gutted about the gelcoat and all the other little fuckups in these flares but they will do their job as plugs for my final moulds in a few weeks time.
     
  4. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Just took it out of the barn to swap it over with the Silvia and got these.

    c7KDUQA.

    EGhXcDP.

    pdOwRdf.

    I think it's looking really nice, needs a little more work making it perfectly symmetrical and then some canards for sure.
     
  5. jon07043278

    jon07043278 Well-Known Member

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    Looks absolutely badass. Well played sir :thumbs:
     
  6. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Cheers mate. The front is feeling pretty derpy with how the sides just come straight down. I've been toying about adding in an extra little moulding into the fiberglass to make it look like the lip continues along the flares as well to try and break it up a little and tie it in a bit better. It also means you could paint the whole lip black or other colour.

    Real shitty photoshop of what I mean,

    iN1uqad.
     
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  7. Supra Gaz

    Supra Gaz Member

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    That looks boss. I'm loving how this is coming together.
     
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  8. jon07043278

    jon07043278 Well-Known Member

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    That would look good but still looks perfectly fine without the front lip
     
  9. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Been a little while. Time for some updates.

    So over the past few weeks I've been splitting my time up between various projects as well as some house renovations. I've been able to get some work done on the mx5 starting with matching up the flares.

    First step was to make the new flares symmetric with the ones I had already finished. To do that I got the templates out again.

    Qg7oe6t.

    The template from the finished side showed me that the inner line was pretty far out on these new flares. My guess is that the expanding foam pushing against the panels while I was shaping, distorted them slightly and now that it's all removed the panels are back to their true shape and so the fit is slightly different.

    The new flare is also about 5mm higher over the tyre than the flare on the other side which I wanted to correct as well.

    33fdQfJ.

    After tracing out the new line onto the front of the flare it was easy to trim it back to that line so that I could begin building up the flare again with body filler to get the final shape.

    TLLaHrF.

    69uRHQV.

    With it trimmed I fit it back up and confirmed that the fronts were now symmetrical.

    8Jc0sV5.

    To fix the height difference I wasn't able to build it up with bog so instead I tried shifting the mounting position of each flare to make them match.

    I measured the gap over each wheel and then made a pair of blocks to give me the same clearance on each side.

    ifsCa1Z.

    BuCejk6.

    3WtG6ur.

    Luckily I didn't have to trim anything and I was able to pull the flares just enough to get them to match on both sides. The holes are now slightly off but it shouldn't be an issue when I glue the flares on to make the moulds.

    With the flares now sitting within 1mm of symmetry side to side I began to rebuild the lines with body filler and chip off all the shitty gelcoat which had air bubbles under it and slowly started smoothing out these flares again.

    jqhz6hS.

    The rears had quite a few air bubbles from me messing up the skin layer right under the gelcoat, only way to fix it was to grind the spots out and rebuild them.

    4N7vxGn.

    I was slowly getting all the shaping done when some cool stuff got delivered.

    PYJgUQU.

    Ordered a set of four 25mm bolt on spacers for some new wheels that just landed from the UK,

    jt9HIJ4.

    Full set of JR19 16x9 et-25 alloys shipped from Driftworks in Birmingham. Fitted with fresh 225/45R16 tyres.

    hZ6y2pW.

    They look amazing, but I'm still keeping my 15's on this one for the moment. The reason I bought these new wheels was actually for this:

    2KqfZM0.

    There was an alright deal on another mx5 and decided to go pick it up after lockdown dropped to level 2. Condition wasn't the greatest but was too long a drive to come back with nothing.

    My plan with the new car is to use it to check that the wheels and kit will get certified and to make sure that you can actually buy off the shelf setups that will work with the flares. I won't be happy selling the kit if it can't pass certification so I needed a less modified base vehicle for the inspection.

    frD2h3F.

    The added advantage of the new wheels was that I could check whether 16's would work, they clear the flares perfectly but there is a little bit of rubbing on the body up front which will require more sledgehammering and trimming. Turns out my measurements were correct and offset of the wheels with spacers looked pretty spot on.

    wskXFEs.

    So pretty stoked as always with how this is all going especially with the new car and new wheels. The new car isn't going to be anything special, just unmodify it from the previous owner and fix it up a bit. Will be selling it straight after the certification.
     
  10. Supra Gaz

    Supra Gaz Member

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    This is awesome, I love the new wheels. This makes me want a mx5...
     
  11. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Thanks man. Always loved Watanabes but this is the best I could afford for now haha. Get the mx5 bro, I'll sell you a kit, mates rates haha.

    So yeah, a little overdue for an update but this project is at the boring as hell stage where it's just the same thing every day and it never looks any different.

    To start out though, I had to take the car down to the only smooth and level floor we have down at the other garage so I could measure the front flares and make sure everything was 100% symmetric before committing to final moulds (for real this time, not like the other final moulds.)

    ijcp5pB.

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    After building up the thickness on the bottom of the flare I was able to get them both within 1mm of the same height off the ground. Pretty fucking not bad I reckon. :cool:

    LO5hd7m.

    IujAoiq.

    These flares really started playing tricks on me, the different colours kept making things look out of shape so to get the final flares all uniform I gave them a thick coat of filler primer that should also help getting it as smooth as possible.

    Tg9FYIs.

    Anyone else getting Deja vu? And not the good eurobeat kind, the "I've been building these flares for 6 months" kind.

    Ub8KW4f.

    Flanges were next. Since the flares were a really odd shape from behind thanks to the filler and repairs I had to make these flanges from glass again. A bit more time consuming but it gives you a cleaner finished product.

    eodyhOe.

    This time I remembered from last time and made sure to keep the flare in it's final shape when fiberglassing and made this block to keep it propped up off the table.

    h9xEcjz.

    Learning. :smash:

    ya7k3EO.

    Last thing to do was fill in the vent in the lip with some expanding foam and then smooth out all the flanges with filler.

    cwvjR7R.

    72vaPBt.

    Ran out of primer. Got some new stuff. Me likey.

    qb6fi4f.

    Now all that's left to do is sand it back to 400 grit and then start waxing it for moulds.

    I learnt last time that making 2 moulds at once is a good way to ruin both of them at the same time. This time I'm just focusing on getting the front finished, then shifting to the rear once that's done.
     
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  12. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    More progress. It's been super cold and I've been busy playing some Master Chief Collection so everything's happening a little slowly atm but finally at a good point to update.

    poifyoM.

    Got the front flare all sanded down to 400 grit and then polished and waxed. 7 coats applied over a couple of days then the same releasing agent on top. Tooling gelcoat brushed on in 2 passes same as normal.

    ap52bvs.

    This is where thing's start getting a little different. After my failure at making the moulds for the other side I took them down to my fiberglass supplier and got some tips on how to improve while picking up some new glass.

    The main advice was to make it thicker, so that's what I did. I gave it 1 layer of tissue covered with a layer of 225 gsm chopped strand for the skin coat, same as last time, being sure to get all the bubbles out. Then instead of building up a total of 8 layers of 225 like the first moulds, I added 7 more layers of 450 gsm chopped strand, making it about twice as thick as the previous moulds and significantly more rigid. With all the layers added I began planning out the bracing.

    uS3vzHg.

    The bracing is what screwed me up last time so I got some advice on that as well. One difference is that I cut and shaped the braces while the mould was still on the car, but waited until after it was removed to actually fit them.

    DByTgRt.

    NU15q3s.

    Doing it this way meant I wasn't fighting gravity while trying to put them on and it just made the whole thing much easier. Making the bracing fit while the mould is still attached to the car ensures that it's still the right shape when they all come together off the car.

    Also found that it looked kinda like a weird low mount spoiler when it was lying on the ground.

    uZ5b5RK.

    You'll also notice this time I'm using 18mm MDF instead of the plywood I used last time. This is because despite living in the best country in all of NZ, we have some really shit quality wood here. The plywood I bought for my last braces was pretty badly warped and I didn't want to fix bracing to the mould if it was going to continue to move.

    I ended up sealing the MDF in resin to make it waterproof and to ensure that it doesn't just soak up all the resin when trying to bond it to the mould.

    0UKez3M.

    It took days to cure due to the cold weather so in the end I had to set up a heater in our old van and make a booth to bake it in.

    vx3j1Wm.

    While I was waiting for that all to dry I got started on the rear flare. For this one I was able to use plastic sheeting for the flanges. I glued the flanges to the plug and the plug to the car and got started sanding it down.

    WlHb3wR.

    WPbvpTw.

    After mucking around with that for a while the resin had finally cured enough on the MDF so that I could fit the bracing to the front mould.

    4SaC30f.

    The bracing will be bonded to the mould with fiberglass like last time but this time I figured out what caused my problems and how to avoid it.

    In short, the wooden bracing must not contact the back of the mould at any point or else it will cause "hot spots" that can lead to deformations of the surface that you will not be able to remove. (I've tried)

    Luckily it's an easy fix, all you need to do is wedge some cardboard between the bracing and the mould and make sure that the braces aren't resting on the fiberglass at any point. Then remove the carboard when you're done.

    uGdqjR4.

    7N0PPCP.

    The final step was bonding the two together. To do this I used strips of 450 spaced out along the bracing. When I asked about how to bond them, this was what they recommended. The argument I guess being that having gaps allows a tiny bit of flex or movement and prevents any trapped moisture affecting the MDF. That slight movement is preferable to giving the wood nowhere to move but against the the back of the mould surface.

    XOC6u1H.

    I applied 2 layers of 450 on each strip as any thicker had the potential to introduce more heat into those areas and cause more issues.

    And that hopefully is the 1st actual production mould completed. Theoretically the ones for the other side will work for now but I'm not too happy with the barely visible lines in them.

    In other much more interesting news, I got some components for a little bit of interior work on the car so once the next mould is done I have something new to work on. I will be adding a bit more of the cyberpunk theme to the car finally which I am really looking forward to. It should start looking pretty damn cool.
     
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  13. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Finished up the rear flare the other day. Marked the bracing out with tape and then cut it all out of MDF again. There must be some form of chemical released that slows down the rate of cure of resin because they are taking forever to dry.

    hyAz1sq.

    With the moulds finished I could remove both the plugs from the car and start getting it ready for wrap.

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    First step was to remove the last of the existing wrap. It was pretty old and I'm guessing a cheap brand because it was removing like ass, but then I get to this one section down the bottom of the door that all lifts off super easily

    ltSlKQR.

    AMwJYyq.

    Turns out a previous repair on the door was done so poorly that they didn't even key the surface of the old paint before respraying. I was able to rip apart the paint layers easier than remove the wrap.

    Eventually though the entire wrap was removed and I could start finishing up all the panels.

    QuUaOVq.

    Unfortunately the wrap on the door pulled out a lot of old filler so I had to remove it and straighten it back out.

    NLaVzR8.

    With the door repaired along with all the small dents in both the front and rear guards from prying the moulds off, I swapped the car around started finishing off the other side as well.

    fpxTLgK.

    There were a few spots that needed some serious work but within only a couple days the whole car was straight again. Just got the hood and the boot left and then I'll throw a coat of primer over the whole thing.

    Since all I've been doing the past few months is body work, I've been really itching to get a start on the next part of this build, the cyberdeck.

    kJDcMQd.

    After scouring for parts online and waiting weeks for everything to arrive, I finally began assembling the cyberdeck, a scratch built, all in one PC contained within a rugged case.

    The base is a salvaged laptop with a replaced SSD and 15" monitor to replace the broken one. After installing a fresh copy of Linux the entire thing functioned perfectly.

    PrPa6Xe.

    My vision with this car was always to have a cyberdeck mounted in the passenger side of the vehicle. It's all part of the narrative or back story that I am piecing together about this car. Essentially, in the world that this vehicle is set in, there are times when you and your partner might need to work on the run. In these cases, what you need is a fast and fully capable car, equipped with everything you might need to get your job done while evading hostile adversaries.

    QEQMl64.

    aMxOmA9.

    This is where the fun begins. This is kind of the first taste of what the car is starting to turn into and am glad to finally get that first bit of cyberpunk narrative in there.
     
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  14. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    So I've been chipping away at a few things getting this car ready for primer. The wrap needs an epoxy primer to bond to which I didn't have, so I've got some on the way. In the mean time, a few fun little pieces arrived.

    Xz3IwDJ.

    The window net is inspired by the Kanjozoku of Japan who use them while street racing to help conceal their identity, which I figured it tied in nicely with the theme of this car. Quickly mocked it up inside the car to get a rough idea.

    9Nh9fsz.

    I also ordered some LED work lights, which are another part of this build that have been part of the plan since the beginning and I was really looking forward to mocking them up on the car.

    Qx7bT80.

    I was able to re-purpose the headrest from my garage creeper as a makeshift light bar and then offered up the oil cooler and tow hook as well to get an idea of how it would all work together. After testing a few different options this was the one I liked most so I started bolting it all up.

    UCH9tf0.

    The Aluminium bar had to be shaved and press fit into some steel collars that I could then weld onto some brackets to mount it to the front bumper support.

    With it all welded together I finalized the placement of the lights on the bar and drilled the holes and got them all mounted up.

    5zO7o1V.

    Happy with the placement I moved on to soldering them in, Initially I had them set up to the high beams but I decided I wanted all of them to come on at the same time so I crimped some connectors that let me run them with the headlights or separately as high beams only.

    vlbCJHO.

    One of the best improvements to the car so far and they really help sell the cyberpunk look. The have the added advantage of blinding anyone that looks at them, which would be very useful as a getaway car with people shooting at it. So that one gets a tick for the lore.

    There have been a few other small changes to the car. I mounted the mirrors on the fenders. These will at some stage be replaced with cameras but I like the idea of this car evolving through the years so that will be one of the bits I come back and change.

    I also realized that the bonnet has been closing on the valve cover this whole time so I had to take some material out of it. I ended up really liking the look of it, I think it fits the rest of the car.

    4G6oH5u.

    I haven't just been messing around with this front end though. After a few days in the hot box, the flares finally cured so I was able to bond the bracing to the mould, again being careful to space the wooden frame off the mould itself.

    SzrYALD.

    I've been chipping away on the cyberdeck as well, got the screen mounted to the case and some rough placements mocked up. Waiting for it to come together a little more and then I'll update on that as well.

    For now though, I am really happy with where this car is at. The front end is starting to look absolutely insane. These light bars might start taking off in the MX5 community given how badass it looks, what do you guys think haha.

    BgiZ2Hd.
     
  15. amplificus

    amplificus New Member

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    I just created an account to post here and give you mad props for the dedication to perfection and follow-through that you have. I had a 1990 mx-5 that I drove in college, sadly I gave it to a friend when i moved. I am now on the hunt for a mx-5, and I will be buying these flares from you. Awesome job and keep it up!
     
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  16. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    Cheers mate. Always appreciate feedback and awesome to here that there's some interest in the kit. I'm working on having it available for international sale as soon as possible.

    So following on with this. The epoxy primer arrived so I got the last of the panels stripped down and ready for primer.

    O1pGeba.

    gu9sAzb.

    It was getting really difficult to find all the remaining scratches and pinholes so I decided to throw 1 layer of primer on just to get it all a uniform colour so I could see what needed work a little better.

    ahcwHKu.

    xFT1WkL.

    The primer went down really nice, and with a good thick coat it ended up filling in most of the scratches anyway. The bonnet was the main panel I was worried about and sure enough there were some ripples in the layers of filler. Gave it an extra thick coat in those areas so that I could try and sand it all out.

    Let it cure up overnight and then came back in the morning and started blocking all the panels down.

    EuzEEfA.

    The repair on the door came out dead flat which was honestly a bit of a surprise.

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    The bonnet took a bit of work to get flat. Luckily the extra thick coat helped and I didn't need to add any filler other than some pinholes and chipping from the gelcoat.

    Blew all the dust off and wiped the panels down with prepsol and hit them with another coat of primer. This time I swapped from the 1.8 mm nozzle to the 1.4 mm and the finish off the gun was so flat I won't even need to wetsand them.

    CcwwCvQ.

    The bonnet came out really good. If it were a gloss black finish I were going for then I might do some more work to it but with a satin wrap this will do fine.

    Then a day or two to let the panels dry up and then loosely ziptied all the panels back onto the car to get a look.

    ISDrs1E.

    whp5KFW.

    This is one of the ugliest looking mx5's I've seen at the moment, but the finish of the primer is a similar gloss level to the wrap so it gives a good idea of how it will all look once it's done.

    The research I've been doing tells me that wraps can not be applied to fresh paint newer than 3-4 weeks or else it will rip the paint off when the wrap is removed. So I'll be moving this car out of the main barn now and storing it until it's good to go.

    There's still plenty to do in the mean time. I'll get some work done on those moulds, possibly make a mould of my front lip, some work on the cyberdeck and maybe the interior. I have to take the wheels back and try and get some leaks sorted as they don't seem to hold air, possibly the valve steams. I've also got some work to do on the Silvia as well so still heaps to do.

    In other news, about a week ago I finally went ahead and registered my business,

    It's a work in progress, but basically a vehicle customization shop building bespoke cars and offering custom composite work. I've even managed to possibly talk my way in to one of the larger shows here in NZ and could be presenting this 'Cyber MX' at this years Big Boys Toys expo. Definitely a super exciting time and lots of work ahead getting my welding qualifications and finding out what other trade / apprenticeships I have to do in order to do what I'm really into but I am stoked.
     
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  17. theholty

    theholty OH NOES

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    Nice cyberdeck, who makes it, Tessier-Ashpool? ;)
     
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  18. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    You could say it's a custom piece salvaged from parts off a broken Ono Sendai CS7. :cool:
     
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  19. Doritofu

    Doritofu Active Member

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    NZ
    I'm currently half way through the 30 days I need to leave this primer before I can wrap it, so I thought it was a good idea to start going through some colour schemes.

    Initially I was fully committed to keeping some red as an accent colour on the gunmetal as the car has been a mix of red and silver panels for a while and I quite like the combination. My first few possible schemes were heavily focused around the use of red.

    VaD9zj6.

    My main concern was that the car was becoming so dominantly red that any other colour like my RGB underglow would have a tough time fitting in, so I tested a couple other variations, trying to throw more colours in.

    puKXFYi.

    I was getting pretty happy with these schemes. The red with green looked like it would work pretty well with a number of the other colours. The blue and pink is just the classic cyberpunk scheme and it was a pretty close contest between it and the red.

    In the end though, I decided to test one of my favorite colours since I never get an opportunity to use it and safe to say ended up with by far my favorite of all the combinations.

    gG7zWCF.

    Neon yellow / fluro yellow / yellow green / lime green, this colour is the shit, go hard or go home. I was having a tough time finding the paint for it until I stumbled across it as a wrap. Ordered a few samples of it and the rose pink highlight colour so will see how it looks.


    While I've been doing all this, I also figured I would get some work done on the cyberdeck. As you might remember from before, all we had pretty much was a black case, a broken laptop, a monitor and some scrap PCBs.

    D8EQ2iI.

    The first step was to mount the screen to the case, to do this I took most of the trim off the monitor and screwed it to the case through its mounting holes. I threw together an MDF bezel for it and fitted some antennas as well as some useless red switches that I pulled out of the other mx5.

    qAh7dcq.

    QhO3THc.

    Honestly I thought the mdf looked kinda sick but it still needed some paint. Can of satin black and some drybrushing later I had this.

    1C5Dnjr.

    Finally putting my Warhammer skills to good use. Next was time to paint the case. Since I already had a good scheme in my head that I wasn't going to use, I decided to put it on the case instead.

    4gRpAH3.

    Fitted the latches, chucked on some stickers as a finishing touch and the case was done. I still plan on weathering it a little but I want the clear coat to fully dry before messing with washes.

    AKfFO8t.

    All that was left to do then was bolt it all back together and fucking pray that it still worked.

    73F6U35.

    w2x9Hkb.

    H*ck yeah!

    Cyberdeck!
     
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  20. mad.matt

    mad.matt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
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    Location:
    Alloa. Scotland
    You've made amazing progress on this! Will you be marketing the kit separately in the future?
    Redbubble is amazing for its sticker selection but has A LOT of ripped designs unfortunately :(
     

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