Monday, August 31, 2020

Project-Zero: Steering column hole.

Pre-fitment test of the steering column grommet and bushing show a clearance issue with the pre-cut hole in the firewall. I'm going to have to elongate the hole some 10mm to make sure that the column won't foul on the firewall.

To hid this particular build crime I'll fab up a cover plate with a centered hole, then rivet that into place once I have the steering column mount in it's final location.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Project-Zero: Nominal Torque Values for my GBS Zero.

The torque values referenced in the linked document are gleaned from Mazda MX-5 factory service manuals, Ford Sierra Service manuals, and from Fastenal's Tension Reference Guide

WARNING: UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, ALWAYS USE THE MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATION FOR TORQUE VALUES. The values provided in the linked document are a guide that I am using to help keep my cheese form hanging in the wind.  In the absence of OEM torque specifications, I use the general torque specs from Fastenal's Tension Reference guide.  I make no claim as to their absolute accuracy nor do I recommend that you blindly use them in your own project.

This document is a work in progress and will change / expand as the build progresses.

LINK: Sean's GBS Zero Fastener Torque Spreadsheet for Ford/Mazda Mixed Running Gear.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Project-Zero: Build VLog 8.24.2020


Since Saturday I've done three timeboxed build sessions on the GBS Zero. One 90 minute timebox on Sunday morning, two 60 minute timeboxes on Monday after and evening.  Only have timelapse of one of the Monday timeboxes.

  • Front hubs have been installed.
  • Front brakes have been assembled and installed.
  • Front shocks have been installed.
  • Steering rack has been installed.
  • Tie-rods have been installed.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Project-Zero: Build Vlog 8.22.2020

Starting to build some momentum. Current focus is to get the front end assembled. (Control arms, uprights, brakes, steering rack, etc.) Ran into a small question that required a email to the GBS Workshops.

In the video I make the statement that the shock I'm holding is for the wrong car. This is not correct. This was my confusion about the way GBS manages their stock keeping. GBS have two stock keeping units for the ATR Shocks, one for Ford and one for Mazda; each SKU is a set of four shocks.  Between the two SKUs, the front shocks are identical while the rears have different stroke length. Nowhere on their site could I find information conferring this information about the two SKUs but it was confirmed for me by GBS via email. (As of the morning of 8/24/2020.)

My concern was whether or not there might be a difference in front shock stroke length the two SKUs since my car is running Mazda gear up front and Ford gear out back.  Would have been nice if GBS used three SKUs instead of two. (i.e individual Front Ford/Mazda, Rear Ford, and Rear Mazda SKUs would have been a little less confusing)

Anyway, that's sorted. Shock installment in the next Vlog.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Project-Zero: Engine VIN

YEAR: 2014
Model: Duratec, 2.5L
Donor: Ford Fusion SE
Leaving this here for future personal reference.

Project-Zero: Build Timebox 8.18.2020

Another day, another timebox VLOG thing.

Not a whole lot, managed to get the front right control arm set installed and shimmed up. That was kind of a fight but it's done now.  I need to revisit the other side and re-shim the arms on that side.

The M14 bolts on the upper rose joints require a 12mm hex key. The largest that I had in my tool set was an 10mm hex key. Harbor freight to the rescue.

The next set of tasks will involve installing the hubs, brakes, and shocks on the front and making sure that everything is torqued snug.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Project-Zero: Control Arms and Uprights: Which one goes on what side?!

NOTE: GBS's definition of "right side" is the right side of the car viewing it from rear. This blog defaults to "left side" and "right side" [when viewed from the rear] instead of "driver's side" or "passenger's side" for parts that are specifically handed relative to the chassis. 
  • Front Suspension Arms
    • The MX-5 Miata front upper and lower control arms are not handed.
    • The MX-5 Miata front wing mounts are handed, the higher side going toward the front of the car. (The wing mount that goes on the right side of the car does have a small notch.)
  • Rear Suspension Arms
    • The Sierra rear lower control arms are not handed.
    • The Sierra rear upper control arms are handed. The control arm with the notch goes on the right side of the car.
  • Rear Uprights/Brake Brackets
    • The Sierra rear hub carriers are handed. The hub carrier with the notch goes to on the right side of the car.
    • The Sierra rear brake brackets are handed. The brake bracket with the notch goes on the right side of the car.
    • The Sierra spacer kit is not required to keep the axles from binding, the brake brackets fill that role.
The information presented here is confirmed by GBS as accurate to my car which has MX-5 front and Ford Sierra rear suspension components.

Project-Zero: Time boxing work on weekdays.

Working from the hypothesis that an hour is enough time to do a useful unit of work, I've decided to give timeboxing the build on weekdays. I believe this help me keep a task oriented approach that should help me from, at times, feeling overwhelmed by the totality of the build or burning up all of my time in the garage letting chores linger.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Project-Zero: Rear wheel studs for Ford Sierra hubs


I want to install extended wheel studs on my Zero's rear hubs that match the length and style of the ARP studs I just installed on the front hubs.

  • Front Hubs: Mazda NA/NB MX-5 Miata
  • Rear Hubs: Ford Sierra


I grabbed some measurements from the Sierra hubs I have, then started to Google.

Everything Ford related that I type after this is based on this post from the UK Locost Builder's Forum. Everything I write about MX-5 bits is taken directly from ARP's published product materials.

I'm also about to mix a lot of Imperial and Metric units, you've been warned.

Ford Sierra rear hubs come in 0.518" (13.15mm) knurl diameter.

Mazda Miata rear hubs come in two flavors, 0.507" (~12.9mm) or 0.579" (~14.7mm) knurl diameter


My take away is that I can use ARP '94+ MX-5 studs in the Ford Sierra if I bore the stud holes to 9/16th. ( That's about a 0.002" interference fit, well within the capability of a hydraulic press. )

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Project-Zero: Front Driver's Control Arm...ish.


This is me, installing at least one set of front control arms on the Zero. Front driver’s side is mounted and loosely bolted into place with the upright. Pretty straight forward but there were a couple of small issues worth noting.

  • The powder coating on the chassis is thick and needs to be cleaned out of the bracket through holes for the bolts to slide through cleanly. I used a 25/64” drill bit. I’m sure there are other ways.
  • The lower ball joint did not want to slip into its new lower control arm home without a fight,
  • A hole drilled in the lower arm for one of the ball-joint’s bolts is 10mm while the bolt is actually M12. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Project-Zero: Shop clean-up and hardware sorting

Taking care of the needfuls. Cleaned up all of the chips from drilling out the uprights, put away tools, sorted bags of hardware supplied with the kit into an organized (and labeled) storage case, and unmasked the the upright spindles and brake calipers. It's all of the not-sexy car build work compressed in a time lapse. (1 frame every 2 seconds, played back at 48 frames per second.)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Project-Zero: Brakes, Clean-up and Painting 2 (And drilling out ball-joint tapers.)

Cleaned, primed, painted, and cleared the rear brakes. Unlike the front brakes (NB MX-5 calipers), the rears are from Ford Sierra.

The front uprights are NB MX-5 Miata parts.  Along with clean up and paint, the tapers for upper ball-joint and tie-rod end need to be drilled out. The Zero Roadster uses 14mm rose joints and hardware instead of tapered ball-joints. Drilling through iron with a hand drill tends to snap drill bits, it's good to buy a few and know you're going to sacrifice one or two in the process.

The holes don't need to be precision fit, you can use fairly inexpensive jobber bits, no need for a reamer. (Because the bits are cheap, buy two.)

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Project-Zero: Brakes, Clean-up and Painting 2

Finished cleaning the front calipers, masked them up, then shot them with some primer, paint and clear. Tons of in-depth how-to paint calipers vids on YouTube, use them. (This one's pretty good, ignore the comments section.)

For those playing along at home, the color chosen for this project is Grabber Green.

Project-Zero: Brakes, Clean-up and Painting 1

NB front stoppies arrived, they were in pretty good shape. Just needed a bit of scrubbing and brake clean to prep them for high-temp primer, paint, and clear-coat.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Project-Locost: Side Project: Rollbar

DHL dropped off some parts for the Side Project today. They are going into storage tomorrow.

Project-Zero: Front Brakes, Nothing Exotic

After weighing many of the potential brake options for my GBS Zero build, I've decided to go with standard NB MX-5 Miata front brake calipers, pads, and rotors. Sure, they're cast iron single piston stoppies but they've got the distinct advantage of being inexpensive ($50 on ebay of a good set) and proven.  Pads and rotors should be available anywhere.

Rears are a different story...

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Project-Locost: SideProject: Rack Adapters

From time to time I may reference “The SideProject.” Like today.

Just received these sweet Escort to MX-5 steering rack adapter from The Latheman in the IK. 

Kind of a shame they’re going straight into storage while The SideProject is in storage for a while.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Project-Zero: PCV/Vacuum Manifold, Part 1

The ATR throttle bodies relocate the injectors. I made up vacuum nipple that plugs into the original injector ports in the head. This will let me make a vacuum manifold into which I can plumb the PCV.

In California, the PCV has to plumb back into the intake after the throttle bodie(s), for cars registered through SB100.

I printed test pieces in PETG (FDM process) before kicking the design up to Xometry to print in Nylon-12. (SLS process) SLS nylon should be durable/heat resistant enough.  The price per piece is shockingly reasonable.

The .STL for these injector plug vacuum nipples is available from my feed at Thingiverse. (Offered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.)

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Project-Zero: Documentation Gripe

No sugar coating it, GBS' documentation utterly sucks.  In the kit you get NOTHING. Not even the Manufacturers Certificate of Origin. They have an PDF that's kind of a disjointed collection of other PDFs that don't really go into much detail on build/order of operations.  All of the "good" documentation is written by people who have built up GBS kits--those are also kind of slap-dash and terrible in their own ways incomprehensible ways. (I'm looking at you, build guide from the North American GBS Owners/Builder's Group.)

It'd be pretty keen if GBS would spend the dosh to hire a tech writer, even if only part time.