03 Silver Pullet - weekend fun machine

Started by steveash, May 14, 2017, 22:01

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As some may have noticed in my introduction post, I got carried away and bought my 2 before the car it replaces was even on the market. As a result, it is sitting in my garage waiting for the summer and in the meantime being generally cleaned and tinkered with.

I took my luck with an auction and bought a facelift Roadster in Silver. I was attracted to it as the MOT record was good and miles low at 56k. It also had leather and a hardtop. It turned out to be completely stock (including precats), well maintained but rather grubby. It had also become home to rather a lot of spiders. A bit of investigation on Street Maps with the V5 address showed the previous owner kept it on a drive under a big oak tree and as a result all the panel gaps and vents were full of debris. A lot of hoovering and baby wipes (my car cleaning secret weapon) later and it is looking much better with thankfully no rust lurking beneath. Paintwork isn't perfect though so will need some work. Before it went into hibernation, I had it checked over and serviced and a few issues inevitably cropped up.

Jobs done so far:

  • Damn good wash and vacuum
  • Service - oil, filters and plugs
  • New front number plate
  • New wipers
  • Cleaned engine bay
  • Cleaned frunk, greased UJ, replaced broken plastic lid support clip, replaced nasty black nuts and bolts with stainless
  • Polished headlamps
  • Took apart rear lamps, cleaned out condensation and water marks

In order to get through an MOT it is going to need dampers, disks, pads and a caliper refurb so this is a great excuse to fit coilovers (plus alignment) and some uprated brake pads and smart coated disks. It needs new tyres too and a wheel refurb, and for my peace of mind a pre-cat-free manifold. That should get me started! I've now realised that I would have been financially much better off buying a sorted car from a club member with all the jobs done but that isn't as rewarding as going through the process yourself is it? First things first though, I have an Audi S4 to sell to provide budget for all of the above.

Pictures will follow eventually but for now you all know what a bog standard roadster looks like.


Picture please


Here the Pullet in an auction preview photo before I got my hands on it.


A few more jobs done:

- Fitted Ultimate gearshift cable bushings
- Went to town cleaning and feeding the leather
- Clayed the bodywork and started work filling chips and scratches. I have come to the conclusion that the peeled paint at the corner of the bonnet is best left to an expert.

The next job is to take off the front bumper, change the fog lamps and give the headlamps a proper refurb.

My Audi is up for sale and had its first viewing today, another one tomorrow. Hopefully get it sold to a happy buyer and then poor the cash into the 2! The major jobs this will fund are a new manifiold (I'm wondering if the Zero one is worth the cash on an otherwise standard engine??), some shiney coilovers (MeisterR sound a popular choice) and some new tyres (AD08s all round). In the classic "while I'm at it" line of thinking, I considering a Fox exhaust to go with the manifold...


Zero is big expense and with stock ecu probably wont gain you much at all.
Meister R i have had on 2 different 2s and really like them but they are much stiffer than stock.
AD08Rs are my preferred road tyre.
Fox exhausts are gaining in popularity although if going for a Zero perhaps something custom with a sports cat.
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Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

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Probably the Toyosports would be plenty for my needs but they seem to be out of stock for now. I'l have to give them a ring and find out how long before their next batch arrives.

Made some progeress anyway. Audi is sold for a sensible price so the major jobs on the MR2 can start. I have taken apart the front end, cleaned up the bumper and replaced the fog lamps. I repaired a few stone chips and scratches successfully and with my new-found confidence have moved on to the bonnet. The paint on the front passenger-side corner was peeling off. After some rubbing down and closer inspection of the paintwork I can see that this side of the bonnet has been resprayed at some point. There are no signs of damage but I can see that there must have been scratches under the paint and these weren't perfectly flattened before the spray job. With a bit of primer on the corner things are already looking better but the next step is more challenging. I am flattening the right third of the bonnet down and aim to spray the repair corner with base coat and up to the crease line with lacquer.

The lacquer is the scary bit. I've never painted such a large area. I just keep telling myself, if it goes wrong it can all just be stripped off and done properly by a professional. I'm no stranger to the spray booth having worked years ago at a model-makers in my Uni vacation time. I have bought the best lacquer I could find which is 2-pack so will need lots of ventilation and a facemask. I'm still wondering if I should do it properly and lacquer the whole bonnet but thats a bit daunting.


Painting now complete and I am proud to say I did a pretty good job, all things considered. There are a few dimples in the lacquer as my garage is not cleanroom dust-free, but they should polish out. I blended the basecoat successfully, the colour match is perfect and any small imperfections I think I can live with. The lacquer finish is excellent. In fact so good that I'm going to have to polish out some of the orange-peel from the original paint so that it all matches up!

The only downside is that everything in my garage now has a rough texture from the paint particles in the air. I'm going to have to wash everything and probably clay the back end of the car that wasn't masked off.

I now have a JDM screaming pullet badge for the nose and MeisterR coilovers arrived from the group buy. I've also ordered an ebay manifold and a full set of refurbed calipers. The rear ones are seized and need replacing and seeing as though the disks, pads and hoses are all being replaced, I decided to do a thorough job and renew the lot. It also gives me the opportunity to paint the calipers properly before they go on the car. Once this is all done and the manifold is on then it's off to the garage for fitting of brakes and coilovers, an MOT and finally the Silver Pullet will be on the road again.


It's going to be an interesting week. I finally got everything ready and will send the car in to have all the bits I have collected fitted tomorrow. I had hoped to do some of it myself but a lack of both tools and time made me realise if I am ever going to drive this car I better just send it in. Jobs to be done are:

    Front and rear brake disks, pads and hoses
    Rear brake calipers
    4 new tyres
    4 wheel alignment

Once that's all done it will also be put in for an MOT so fingers crossed I got everything.

If that isn't enough, the drive home once it is all complete will be a day of reconning. The garage owner will be lending me his S2000 which is a car I closely considered (even bid on at auction) before getting the MR2. So I will drive them back-to-back and see if I made the right decision! I have driven both cars a couple of times but months apart so we will see...


Fingers crossed for mot  s:) :) s:)   Enjoy S2000 - had a shot once - dealer near scared me half to death with his driving trying to impress me, sweet engine.
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Sorry. Posted on the wrong thread.
Previously - \'03 Roadster in Island Green "Baby"
Now - \'53 Roadster in Black "BabyTwo"


MR2 under the surgeon's knife so time to play in the loaned S2000. The seating position is very high in comparison, with no height adjustment. You really do feel like you are sitting on the car rather than in it. On the move and the gearbox and engine are clearly the stars, they really do feel like they were made for a track car. The ride is firm but the handling is less agile than the the stock MR2 and there is less feedback from the steering. The clutch is bitey, adding to the track-car feel but making it easy to stall or kangaroo. The brakes were good but felt over servoed to me. The S2000 is a faster, more serious car, but I'd say the MR2 is more fun. It will be interesting how different the MR2 will feel when properly set up and with matching tyres. Hopefully will get it back tomorrow.


Very interesting, looking forward to tomorrow's update.
Silver 2004 MR2 -  Unmodified but very shiny.


Picked up the 2 from the garage this afternoon with everything done. It is looking great with a small drop in ride height - about half an inch. I'll get some photos in some daylight soon I'm very pleased with all the work. The engine bay looks great with the wrapped manifold and little racing battery I fitted last week. The old one died so I decided to opt for a lightweight one. I've been told in no uncertain terms this is it for spending on cars for quite some time! Thankfully I'm pretty happy with the car as it is and just want to get some driving time in now.

The drive home was a lot of fun despite being in rush-hour traffic. The suspension felt particularly firm so I pulled over and found that all the dampers were set to 26 clicks. Clocked them back to 4 at the front and 8 at the back and it was quite a bit more forgiving. In comparison with the S2000 which I think is on stock suspension, the stock MR2 was softer but the Meister R equipped car is a little firmer. I'd say the MR2 now feels more confidence inspiring than it did before (could be in my head after reading mix-match tyre horror stories). I have spent a similar amount of time behind the wheel of both cars and they have more in common than I thought. The Honda has a nicer build quality and is really impressive in the high rev range, it also has the best rifle-bolt-like gearbox I have ever used. I have a short shift kit to fit to the 2 and using the S2000 makes me want to get on and do it. The interior is also cleverly designed with every button or switch reachable without taking a hand off the wheel.

The MR2 feels better balanced and more agile than the Honda, probably due to the lower weight. It also feels more special when cruising along in traffic where the S2000 can start to feel a bit normal. As I say though, they are much more alike than they are different and the things I have pointed out are details from having driven them back-to-back. I'd be very happy owning either one, but the lower driving position and slightly sweeter handling of the now sorted MR2 wins for me.


Forgot to mention, MOT passed with no advisories. Hooray!


Quote from: "steveash"MOT passed with no advisories. Hooray!
Nice one, congrats  s:) :) s:)
Hate pointy animals


 s:bounce: :bounce: s:bounce:  Wohooo
A years worth of driving   s:D :D s:D
Water cooled T25 turbo
Air to air intercooler
440cc injectors
ECU and electronic boost control
2.5" sports exhaust with twin tail pipes


Time for an update. Not a huge amount to report, I have been using the Two quite a lot thanks to the good weather we've been having.

I took off the hardtop and cleaned up the roof which thankfully is in good condition. It had 'ears' of course, but these were soon dealt with thanks to the reference on here. It has also benefited from some new Toyota mats and I finally got round to fitting my short shift kit. I'd read good and bad about them so was ready to refit the old one. No need though, I'm absolutely thrilled with the results. It may have been helped by a recent gearbox oil change but the shift is spot on now. At least on par with my friends S2000 mentioned above. I can understand that it might be a bit tiring for daily driving but otherwise it's a real treat. I also fitted a new leather shifter boot and had another go at cleaning and feeding the seats while I was at it.

On the downside, the new gearshift is so direct it makes any slack in the driving experience now more obvious. I wasn't sensitive to it before but now I'm keen to add fit a brace or two and renew some of the bushes and joints in the steering and suspension.

Other jobs done this year include fitting black mesh Zunsport grills to the engine cover and intakes. I expect I'll get the other ones at some point.

Visually, my car still looks stock bar the above grills and slightly lowered ride hieght. I've been mulling whether to continue like this or to do something more drastic. I've never been keen on the modified look but rather like the classic road-racer style. I'm not sure if I could pull it off but I'd love to add some retro 'cafe-racer' styling cues but worry it would look a horrid mess...


Covered my door armrests with black suede trimmed white from the eBay seller who does various things like this. Fitting was tricky. YouTube a great help here. I lined them with synthetic chamois which was the first thing that came to hand ( half price in Sainsbury's) but did a perfect job. All done with lots of impact adhesive. I rather wish it didn't have the stitching. Even the sellers pictures looked a bit wonky. I ended up with the hand-finished look!


You could always go over the stitching with a black permanent marker pen if you want to make it less obvious.
"Racing" tax disc holder (binned), Poundland air freshener, (ran out), Annoying cylinder deficiency,  (sorted),
Winner of the Numb bum award 2017
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Opened my headlights and painted the chrome part black. Pearlescent black with mat lacquer to be precise, inspired by a run in with a Lamborghini Reventon. It just looks black to be honest.

Back on the car it looks fantastic. I'm feeling very pleased with myself. Once I've had chance to give it a wash I'll take some photos.


This year's update. The car spent several months off the road while we moved home. I finally got it out os storage and in for a service and MOT (flew through again). While there I had a new aux belt fitted. No idea how old the previous one was but it seemed like a good idea. I also had them put on the Carolyn under brace which matches the strut brace I put on a last year. The two combined have made quite a transformation. My Two now feels more stable over rough ground and more planted and confidence inspiring in the twisties.

Finally, I had managed to pick up a nail in the shoulder of one of my rear tyres. When I looked into replacing it I found that has Yokohama changed their rubber formula so I decided to replace both rear tyres despite them having only covered about 1k miles. I got a long overdue full refurb of all the wheels for good measure. It was pricey but they look better than new now and despite it costing close to the price of new wheels my car has kept looking stock at least to a non-enthusiast. 


For the last few years I have mostly left well enough alone and just enjoyed my car but this summer my in-laws are staying with us and with this comes an urge to busy myself outside. There are a number of jobs I've been thinking about, quite a few of them aesthetic and easy enough to tackle but there's also some more challenging that I'll probably pass on to someone better skilled and equipped.

So far I have added new headlamp lenses. Mine had some crazing within the plastic that no amount of polishing will remove. The new ones look amazing and I have protected them with a UV filtering ceramic coat. I'm thinking of adding some clear film too if I can find a good source; most seem to be trade only.

I also swapped out the fog lamps that I fitted when I first got the car. They had melted inside which is surprising as I've never driven in fog. Either way, they've been replaced with much better made LED ones from Einparts which include DRLs.

Further beautification included JDM wheel centre caps to match my bonnet badge too and completing my set of Zunsport black stainless mesh grills.

I have started to look at the interior too. I trimmed the inside of the glove box and damped it with a cube of foam. I also trimmed inside the doors of the dash and rear cubbies. I have more plans for tidying the interior but first there are some more practical jobs to be done.

The power steering fluid looks black and is likely as old as the car so I have ordered a couple of litres to flush and replace it.

I've also ordered a replacement 'hybrid C's/TRD short shifter from America to replace my generic one. I've never been quite satisfied with the previous one and like the headlamps, I am aware that certain parts will not be available forever.

Alex Knight

Quote from: steveash on August  2, 2023, 19:05I've also ordered a replacement 'hybrid C's/TRD short shifter from America to replace my generic one. I've never been quite satisfied with the previous one and like the headlamps, I am aware that certain parts will not be available forever.

Would you be so kind as to provide some more details on this?

I had a C's short shifter on my ST205 GT-Four, and it was bloomin' brilliant. And I know how good TRD parts are, so I'm interested in doing the same.


Quote from: Alex Knight on August  3, 2023, 11:28Would you be so kind as to provide some more details on this?

I had a C's short shifter on my ST205 GT-Four, and it was bloomin' brilliant. And I know how good TRD parts are, so I'm interested in doing the same.

It's this one: https://super-klasse.com/collections/all/products/cs-trd-hybrid-short-stroke-shifter-spyder-zzw30

The site requires a spiderchat username which I have although I've never posted there. Some reviews say delivery can take a while as parts are made to order. We'll see. I'll give an update when it arrives.

Every reference to it suggests it is the best of the short shifts made. With a short travel but square in the centre of the gate and with smooth shifts. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Alex Knight