A new home for the turbo engine

I didn’t get any joy selling the engine and turbo conversion kit complete, largely because I didn’t try. It’s tricky to sell something that isn’t advertised. Still, there was only one thing for it. If nobody wanted to give the setup a new home, I’d give a new home to it!

Cue a 1999 JDM MX5. Sorry, Eunos.

Isn’t it splendid! I particularly like the patina on the bootlid. It’s gone grey on top, something I appear to be doing at an alarming speed.

Really of course, I didn’t buy it for its middle aged bootlid. Nor because of a mid-life crisis, the Westfield still screams that the loudest. Instead it is an awesome collection of parts. Some it can keep, some I won’t need, and some will even make its way onto the Westfield. Let’s start running through them:

Slightly mismatched interior

That’s perhaps the tidiest aftermarket gauge install I’ve seen in an MX-5. It’s a bit of a shame the screws are showing (well, one of them isn’t because it’s in the glovebox), but otherwise it’s a neat way of fitting gauges that don’t need to be in line of sight. There’s three Defi gauges in there, water temp, oil temp and oil pressure. Unfortunately the plug is broken on the oil pressure gauge but should be an easy fix if I ever get around to it. They can stay in the MX-5 as they’re always useful.

Yep, those slightly dirty Rota wheels are the ones that I sold not so long ago. They’re not the only bit of Westfield history to be on that car either. I’m not sure on the make of the rollbar, but it’s a pretty tidy and sturdy looking effort. I’m not planning on testing it out though. Under the arches is a set of Tein coilovers which do a good job of improving the handling without ruining the ride. They’re firm, but not as firm as the OEM suspension on my R53 Mini. That’s ridiculous! The suspension has been well aligned too, giving a positive turn in which is what I prefer in a car.

At the back there’s a Cobalt exhaust which sounds great. Not a hint of raspiness, and also not particularly loud. I don’t know what diameter the pipework is but I’m hoping I can keep it.

And a bit of a dark photo but under the front wheels is the Wilwood 276mm kit that I sold after going down to standard 1.8 size on the Westfield.

Under the bonnet there’s some bracing (it’s on the rear too), a cold air fed induction kit and a Jasma 4-1 manifold. There’s still a catalytic converter under there to keep the MOT man happy. Given all those mods, the car makes pretty much exactly standard power. You’ll never gain much with induction and exhaust mods (throttle bodies aside), but I’m surprised those red pipes haven’t added power! It’s mated to a 6 speed box though I’ll probably still keep the torque low when I fit the turbo engine, much like I did with the Westfield.

The real reason I bought the car though is given away by the sticker in that top left hand corner. Someone has spent the money on fitting a Cusco LSD which is super rare. It’s also super anti social when manoeuvring, so much so that until I had a play with it I thought it might be welded! It belongs on a track, not on the road so I’ll be removing it and fitting it to the Westfield. In it’s place I’ll fit the 3.6 LSD I have in the garage that was destined for the Westfield, but would be far more suited to a road car.

So there we have it, with the Westfield being built from a green MX-5, its now donating some of its parts to another green MX-5. The automotive circle of life perhaps.

No progress on the Westfield by the way. I’m vowing to do this “properly” and for that I need to clear the garage of stuff, which means building more storage outside of the garage, which means groundwork to lay a patio and I’ve suddenly run out of motivation. To be fair, like most of my winter projects I probably won’t start either car until Spring.

In the meantime, I’m loving driving around in this MX-5, even if it is a bit of a roundabout hooligan. Actually, probably because it is a roundabout hooligan.

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