Saturday, 20 July 2013

Track day taster session

I received a taster session voucher for my birthday and finally got round to booking a stint at Snetterton on the 18th of July.

Here are a few videos from the taster session. The first one is a bit shaky but I uploaded it anyway as I like the engine noise!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Bonnet vents

I've gone ahead and put some vents in the back of the bonnet to help with under bonnet temperatures. Whilst driving, the temperature hovers around 95°C but starts to climb in stop-start traffic. The radiator fan does cut in and bring the temps down fine but I figured some extra air flow wouldn't hurt

I decided I wanted the mesh to be flush with the top of the bonnet so I made a press from some polycarbonate offcuts to form the mesh.

With this made, a dremel was used to make the hole then some sikaflex to hold the mesh in place.

Job done!


Saturday, 6 April 2013


The Indy is now re-insured, taxed and MOT'd ready for the next year.

There are some modifications/upgrades I jotted down post IVA with a view to getting these done over the winter whilst the car was off the road. However, I've done none of these whatsoever!

Modification list*
  • Roll Cage
  • Rear disc conversion
  • Boot box
  • Multi plug connector for engine wiring loom
  • Bonnet vents to reduce under bonnet temps
  • Limited slip differential
  • Throttle pedal stop
  • Battery cut off switch
  • High level brake light
  • Radiator shroud
  • Supercharger :)
*one day....

I thought I'd give a quick summary of my first kit car building experience:

  • Was the build enjoyable - Yes
  • Was the challenge worth the time and effort - Yes
  • Did it cost more than planned - Yes
  • In hindsight, would this higher cost put me off - No
  • Part most like to do again - Starting engine for first time, pulling a Sierra to bits
  • Part least like to do again - getting the dashboard layout wrong, faffing about with LED indicators/flasher relays, bending front wing stays, cleaning up sierra parts.
  • Do it again/build another kit car- Yes
  • Build another seven style kit - Maybe. Tempted to try bike power
  • Build another MK Indy? Absolutely no way


1) Collection date for kit agreed with MK Sportscars. From my part, I took day off work and hired a van.
On arrival, it turned out the chassis and wishbones hadn't been powder coated.
Because of this it meant I had to wait around whilst the chassis was being powder coated which is not a quick process.
The result of which meant I loaded the chassis into the van whilst still too hot to touch and only just returned the hire van in time so as not to be charged another day's hire on the van bearing in mind its a three and a half hour drive each way to the MK factory.

2) I decided to purchase a fuel tank from MK. The covering letter I wrote clearly stated I was a new builder using fuel injection and didn't know all the options so to please point these out if I had missed anything before taking the order.
The tank arrived with no sump and no return inlet. The result of which meant an additional cost to me of sending tank back for sump fitment and for the extra cost of the rework to the tank.

3) As above but exhaust manifold this time. I order manifold from MK and again via a covering letter asked for lambda sensor boss to be fitted into the collector and that I was happy to pay extra for this to be done. The exhaust manifold arrived with no boss fitted. A friend of mine kindly did the job of fitting the lambda boss for me instead.

4) The interior transmission tunnel panels didn't fit as the seat web cut outs had been pre-cut in the wrong place. MK arranged with me to collect new panels at Stoneleigh kit car show. MK forgot them to bring the new panels to the show. This meant more on-cost to me in postage having to send the old ones back after the show.

5) Final point and the thing that annoyed about with MK Sportscars - The Manufacturers Plate. I paid £20 by cheque for the plate which MK cashed October 2011. One month went by and no sign of plate bearing in mind I ordered it in October 2011. Numerous called, emails, different response each time - "we already sent it, we'll send it today, it was sent yesterday, we've ordered another one, we've had postage problems, the other one is here on the desk, the guy who left never ordered it and he's always doing that"..... This one held my build completion date up by months waiting for the plate to arrive and I've still not received it (its now over a year since they cashed my cheque). In the end I got completely fed up with MK Sportscars and got a plate made up elsewhere. An extra thing that really wound me up is an email I received mid 2012 from MK saying "please check out our latest website" which was actually a reply to one of my previous emails to them enquiring as to where the my manufacturers plate order had got to!

To clarify, I love the car I've built but feel my main frustrations with the overall build experience were due to MK Sportscars customer service.

Build another kit car - yes
Build another MK Indy - nope

Future build musings:
  • MNR - Reported excellent customer service with a fantastic product (I should've bought a Vortx kit in the first place, I really wish I had)
  • Mac #1 - from what I can gather, similiar kit to MK but with a far superior customer service.
  • MK Engineering -  I saw the Beam R at the Stoneleigh kit car show, a BMW donor based seven kit with very very nice looking build quality.
  • Roadrunner SR2 - This would be seriously considered should I decide to build another seven. V10 version - why not?!
  • Cobra Daytona - I would love to build one of these just so I can stare at it, skills and mainly finances permitting.
This will probably be one of my last posts on this blog unless I carry out one of the proposed mods I've mentioned above or if I decide to start a new build. The blog will left here for reference which will hopefully be useful for other builders of MK Indys or similar kit cars.

Cheers & happy building.


Friday, 15 June 2012

More on engine

Wednesday evening was spent chaufeurring Phil from ExtraEfi around the local roads with the laptop connected to the Megasquirt. After a good few hours driving at various speeds and loads with a few ECU tweaks along the way, the engine now sounds and revs miles better and the car now pulls like a train. I feel like a kid with a new toy again!

One minor annoyance is the rear suspension which, reading up on the subject on the LCB forums, is a fairly common occurrence on Indys and comes from the polybushes. I've raised the rear of the car this evening and have removed, cleaned up and lubed the bushes on one side of the car. I originally used copper slip for the crush tube/bush fittings but have now changed this for some Castrol red rubber grease. I should have the other side finished tomorrow.

I've been in contact with Darren from Pistonheads East Anglia to be kept up to date with regional meet ups and run outs. I've also added some of the Pistonheads livery to the Indy :)

Currently keeping an eye on the weather reports for Newark in anticipation for taking the drive over to the kit car show this sunday....

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Engine issue solved

Some lambda sensor friendly sealant has been sandwiched either side of the exhaust manifold gasket to cure an air leak. However, this didn't improve the pops and bangs through the exhaust.
With the engine idling, I sprayed some WD40 along the inlet manifold gasket area and the rpms rose briefly. Suggesting an air leak on the inlet manifold, I used some more sealant to cure the leak. Unfortunately, this didn't solve the problem either!
A compression test was carried out on the engine with all cylinders giving a reading close to 200psi.

Using a vaccum balancer on the inlet trumpets, the throttle body on cylinder four was drawing in far too much air and any attempts to adjust made little difference. Looking at this particular TB more closely, the source of the issue finally revealed itself as a bent butterfly.

As shown in the image below, both bolts should be parallel. How it got bent, I've no idea! Fortunately, I had a spare TB and this was swapped over. With the spare fitted, the TB on cylinder four balanced up in line with the other three.

I've also started looking at the polybush and crush tubes to try and eliminate the creaking suspension. So far, I've had the near side front apart and lubed the faces with some red rubber grease. With the car raised and the shock removed, this seems to have cured this particular corner of the car. I'm planning to do the other three corners before the weekend.

Hoping for good weather over the weekend so I can take the car to the Newark Kit Car Show.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Finally road legal!

After what has felt like an eternity, the letter I'd been waiting for from the DVLA arrived today with my registration details and tax disc.

After a short run out this evening, it appears there a some things which need attention:
The suspension seems quite creaky so I plan to recheck the crush tubes and lubricate with some red rubber grease.

There are lots of pops and bangs coming from the exhaust. Mr Extra-Efi pointed out that there might be an exhaust leak around the manifold and some lamdba sensor friendly sealant should do the trick. Plus I need to check the stud bolts are torqued up correctly.
There also seems to be a rattle coming from the gearbox which goes away when the clutch pedal is pressed in. I'm wondering whether this is the clutch release arm vibrating and whether I actually have the right release bearing fitted...

Friday, 11 May 2012

DVLA inspection done

The Indy was trailered back to the VOSA test centre yesterday as its where Norwich DVLA carry out their inspections. After 30 minutes, the Indy was back at home and in the garage. All they checked was the chassis number and engine number. I should be receiving my tax and registration details in the post within a week. The wait is nearly over........