Custard Tart - MR2 hand-me-down

Started by The Arch Bishop, May 23, 2021, 16:35

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Chilli Girl

Do hope it isn't gearbox related but Sapphire was really noisy, turned out a knackered crown wheel!  :(
Ex owners of Chilli red facelift 52 reg called Chilli, silver 55 reg called Foxy and blue pfl W reg MR-S called Sapphire. Now 2 less!

The Arch Bishop

Quote from: Topdownman on August  1, 2022, 16:49I have some carpet tiles on the inside of the bin doors on one of my cars and I think they help.

Starting to sound like it could be a fault in the box though.

Any exhaust builders near you that you could visit to get their opinion?

It doesn't feel/sound like a gearbox issue - just reverb from the exhaust booming through the cabin. It's always sounded rather unusual at tick-over with a slightly off-beat wuffle (which is actually really nice). I think it's just a cheapo manifold and TTE backbox combo.

If it is the gearbox, well so be it - not a mega expensive issue to fix just a pain to do!


Quote from: The Arch Bishop on August  1, 2022, 22:52It's always sounded rather unusual at tick-over with a slightly off-beat wuffle (which is actually really nice).
That is a good description. Off beat wuffle. Like that.
Lovely sound.
The box if original  will have remus stamped/pressed on it. And weigh a lot.
It could be an issue in the box. Not unknown. But never had an after market manifold to compare sounds.

The Arch Bishop

Once again, it's been far too long between updates, but then the Tart has been unused for a good few months. With the house undergoing extensions and the various painting and DIY that ensued, there's been no time for joy riding and I seem to find that all my driving involves more than one passenger.

When we left it last, I was trying to make the car more usable for touring by reducing the mind-scrambling exhaust note in the cabin. The first round of sound-deadening certainly reduced the resonances running riot, but there was still a background buzz that would be good to rid the cockpit of. Out came the rear storage lockers again and I went to work applying the sound deadening to those as well. Not thrilling work, but worth it if it helped.

Embarrassingly, that was on the 4 August and I finally got around to testing it out...a few days ago.

Yes, the Tart hadn't moved from the drive since then. Amazingly, it still started on the key - that replacement battery doing its thing (albeit sluggishly). It got a slow charge over the next day anyway.

Anyway, with the battery brimmed and having replaced only 0.5 of a PSI to one tyre, it was ready to do a swift trip over to work and do you know what? The final bit of sound squashing had worked a treat! Now, while it's still obviously rorty, a 60mph on-throttle doesn't produce the constant BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRAAAAAAAARRRRRAAAAAA anymore. Just a nice constrained bellow. It's far more comfortable and usable. So, result on that!

Having had a pleasant drive, it was also time to install her royal yellowness into her Winter abode. The garage has basically been a dumping ground for the contents of our loft now we no longer have one, but a concerted effort and many trips to the tip cleared the garage for its actual main purpose, to house a car. It's bizarre how many people are genuinely surprised when we say we use the garage to house a vehicle in.

So, garage clear, car goes in. Well yes, but a summer sat out doing nothing on the drive meant that it was basically a home for brake-dust and yellow-loving spiders. It was grim. So a quick wash down with a bucket and a watering can (we've still got a hosepipe ban for the foreseeable) got the worst of the mank off. It was a little difficult to admire when in the back-ground is another yellow Toyota that I'd really not mind a go in;

I know that the purists say that the new Supra is just a BMW in a frock, but I'll happily admit that I really like that frock. It always looks so much better in the flesh than in photos. Basically, fwoooar.

Anyway, a quick dry off and it was into the garage;

I had about 20 mins free to have a tinker and noticed that the high level brake light had gone cloudy and I had stumbled across a almost empty bottle of Meguires Scratch-X, so thought I'd give it a go with a couple of passes;

Worked a treat! I did the other half and gave it a coat of wax.

Today, I unexpectedly had a short afternoon free, and with it being quite a while since the Tart had enjoyed a proper bit of love and attention, I set to with a clay bar, super resin polish and the Collinite double coat. I managed to get two coats of wax down on the bonnet, front wings, bumper and windscreen surround and also managed to resurrect the faded wing mirrors. It was a thorough job and something I'll be continuing in the next week. Due to the tight confines of the garage, I'll need to do ¾ of the car and then turn it around to do the rest.

After that, I'm going to turn my attention to the interior as the door pockets have both fallen off - the result of what looks like a ham-fisted speaker install back in the mists of time. Where the pockets clip in to the door cards, there's a lot of snapped plastic and glue-gun residue that needs sorting. Usually, I'd look to buy better door cards, but these have the yellow vinyl inserts on them, so finding replacements is basically impossible. So I'll need to look at possibly plastic welding and drilling which is never easy.

Just to add insult to injury, the speakers have started rotting out, so they'll need replacing (they sound truly terrible and buzz at anything approaching audible levels), but I'll head on over to the ICE threads for advice on that!


 :) good to here that you are putting the love back in 8)  8)
great pictures and wording.

as for the garage quote What you are useing it for a car 8)
when i was looking for a house before lockdown i was only looking for 1s with garages.
i told every estate  agent that the garage is more important  than the house  they laughed.
until i told them i was serious and if the garage was not easy to get car in i did not want to about the house.

lest just say i did not find a house and how limited you are when looking.

so enjoy your 2 now with its winter bedroom don't forget to wake it and use it mind :))  :))


Hi - any idea how much sound insulation material you used? I'd like to try the same - thanks

The Arch Bishop

Quote from: barchetta_ms on November  7, 2022, 09:38Hi - any idea how much sound insulation material you used? I'd like to try the same - thanks
Not entirely sure. If you search on Amazon for 'Noico 80 mil (2 mm) 18 sqft' that's what I had. It comes in square sheets that are nice and easy to cut with some decent scissors.

I've still got a sheet or two left and I did mess up a few shapes so there was a bit of wastage. Seems to be good stuff  but it's gone up in price since I bought it in everything I guess.


Excellent - thanks for that

The Arch Bishop

November! The last time I updated this thread was November! Bad Arch Bishop!

To be fair, I've had a number of medical issues that laid me low for most of the Winter, but as Spring rolled around, things started to improve and I've been back on the Tart (so as to speak).

I did eventually finish my garage-bound bodywork detail back in April and rolled her out of the garage about a month ago. As ever, started first time yada yada...

I've done a few trips pootling about but last weekend, decided that it was time to knock all of the pollen and whatnot off with a wash down. But that was just the start. It's been years since the roof has been given some love, and having been given an Autoglym roof restoration pack, I set to it. It was looking decidedly grey and green around the gills;

The Autoglym kit did a decent job (although the cleaner smells suspiciously like Astonish carpet shampoo) and half an hour had it looking more presentable;

Next I decided to give the rubber seals a going over with some rubber and vinyl care and then moved to the exhaust trims with autosolve;

Before (not too bad to be fair);

After (small improvement);

I moved on to the interior which again wasn't too bad to start with, but the floor mats had never been cleaned properly. Armed with some APC, a drill brush and a Vax, I gave them a thorough scrubbing and shampoo. I was actually surprised how much gunk came out of them!



Boyd by this, I moved on to something that had been bothering me. It's a small detail but one that stands out quite badly and that's the windscreen scuttle and the wiper arms. With mine, the scuttle was looking faded and the wiper arms looked worse.


Didn't get a before of the scuttle - soz!

Anyway, I removed the scuttle to find the decades of gunk underneath;

I cleaned it out a bit - I didn't go full detail, I'm not a mad man...

Then I set to rubbing down the wipers with some 400 grit. Took about 5 mins and they were ready for painting. Trusty can of Hamerite satin black and hang them from the garage door;

Also did the scuttle screws and the wiper nut for OCD points;

In between coats, I dug out an impulse purchase from Goodwood Festival of Speed last year, namely the teeny tiny super-expensive bottle of Gtechniq C4 trim restorer. This was the first time I'd used this and I will say that I was actually really impressed. Rather than giving the scuttle a super-shiny and greasy appearance, it brought up the trim in a really natural way;

While the bottle was small, you need so little of it, I can see it lasting for years. We'll see how well the trim holds up!

Scuttle refitted;

The next morning, the wipers were dry and ready to be refitted. All together it looks much improved;

So that's where I finished for the weekend, with a ever-smarter tart ready for the Summer;

Still to do;
- Paint the rear caliper that was replaced last year to match the leery yellow of the others
- Leather all needs treating
- Speaker upgrade!

The last one is on the go at the moment (I've been getting good advice in the ICE sub-forum) after stripping the door down and finding a small number of horrors with the current install. I'll get to that in another post once all the bits have turned up.

Ta-ra all!

Alex Knight

This is a fantastic update.

I *really* love the attention to detail.


 :) what a way to bring back the love at this  rate it could be my twin sister  :))  :))

good work and hopefully you are well pleased with the result you time and effort has paid off 8)
more important from that is how mentally improvement you are feeling now after the winter months  :)  :)   

The Arch Bishop

Thank you both! It's been great to have the interest back to get on with this stuff to be honest!

I'm really looking forward to the various bits and bobs arriving this week so I can finally upgrade the broken/badly fitted speakers and fix the various broken door trim pieces (Mr. Sloan to the rescue on those).

Regarding the speakers, I've been quite lucky with having a lot of the expensive stuff already. I was overjoyed to find a set of 6.5" JBLs in the garage and I still have plenty of the sound-deadening left from doing the rear storage bins, so it's not been an expensive exercise so far.

The Arch Bishop

On to the speaker install, or at least the start of it!

The stereo, despite having a fairly decent head unit has always sounded dreadful. Quite possibly the worst sounding I've ever had in a car. It's tinny, rattly and shrill. Mrs. Arch Bishop has been moved to comment on its dreadfulness on a number of occasions, its ability to make even the sweetest music sound like an assault on the old ear drums.

Routing through the garage, I was thrilled to find an old set of JBLs that we'd had from a speaker upgrade we did on a SEAT Altea we had about 12 years ago. When we sold it, I grabbed the JBLs back out and reinstalled the standard ones. These are they;

I seem to remember that these were great and also have the tweeter built in, so they'd make a fine replacement for the existing squeak cones in the tart.

Now due to the speaker covers/door bins constantly falling off, I could see the set up already in there - a set of old Vibe Slick 5C's with crossover. However, I could also see that the speakers were not in the best of shape. So after removing the door cards, this is what I found;

Note the wire that has been squished between the speaker and the adaptor which has cracked the speaker and the rubber.

Also note the adaptor which, because it was the wrong size, they'd created a little bracket for;

And finally, the push-fit tweeters rammed through the door card;


After all of these findings, I started creating a shopping list;

- Some adaptors that fit the bolt pattern and will take a 6.5" speaker
- Some speaker wire
- A set of standard tweeter covers (I'm not putting tweeters back in, so I'll need to think of something to fit behind them)
- A door handle surround that wasn't snapped in half and hastily glued back together (not me guv)

As mentioned, I already have the speakers and a load of the sound deadening from doing the rear fire wall and storage bins.

While waiting for the adaptors and the trim bits to arrive, I decided to start putting some work into the door cards.

First job was to reattach the speaker covers. It looks like the previous installer broke these off trying to do the install without removing the door cards, so the plastic welds were long gone.

I decided to do a bit of plastic welding myself using a soldering iron and some cable ties. It wasn't pretty, but it did the job and it means we can put things in the door pockets without them falling out onto the road every time we open the door!

Next I tackled the rattling trim clips. I've seen some like to dab some silicone around them, but because I'm lazy, I've used a trick that was oft-used on Ford Pumas - basically put some masking tape over the holes and then ram the clip in over the top - works a treat!

Then I set to with the sound deadening on the reverse of the cards. I find this really satisfying which is a bit sad, but hey, it is OK?

Finally, I gave both of the door cards a good scrub down with APC and then used some leather feed on the yellow inserts. I thought that these were vinyl, but they soaked up the feed so shows what I know!

And done!

So I'm hoping for some deliveries tomorrow so I can crack on. I still need to sound-deaden the doors themselves and also repair the wiring, but that's for another day.

The Arch Bishop

Today is the 'another day', but with no parts deliveries, it was a good evening to crack on with the doors themselves.

I haven't gone too mad with deadening here, but have been talking with @Dev about strategic placements. I hope I've got it somewhat correct!

This is what I've ended up with;

Hopefully it'll do the job.

I also went through the door skins looking for rattles and found a couple on the electrical connectors that sit in there. There's three in total and all of them were pretty loose in their clips, so I used some gaffer tape to affix the clips to the inside of the panel and strapped the two in close proximity together. I'm hoping that will get rid of any lingering noises.

Fingers crossed I get some deliveries tomorrow so I can polish off this install.

I did also spend 30 mins giving the seats, steering wheel and anything else leather a clean and feed as it was all looking pretty dry. Much better now!

The Arch Bishop

Well, this is a long-winded speaker install isn't it? Unfortunately, the speaker adaptors (due Thursday/Friday) have still not turned up. I noticed that the courier is Hermes, so the chances of it turning up at all are 50/50...

Regardless, my box of trim had turned up, so I excitedly fitted the OEM tweeter covers to the door card. But there was a problem with that;

Due to the last tweeters being fitted with what I can only presume was a mallet, it had distorted the plastic around the fitting;

As plastic has a memory of sorts (probably better than mine in my advancing years), I dug out a hot air gun and heated up the opening then, using the end of a mallet (ironic) I pushed it out from the back. It took a couple of goes per-panel, but in the end;

Success! Not perfect, but much better.

I realised that as it won't have a tweeter sat behind it, the inner panel is going to grin through the little grills, so I'll need to come up with something to cover that.

With that done, I decided I may as well get the wiring tidied up and ready for the new speakers to go in.

I cut off the bullet connectors that the Vibe speakers and crossover had been fitted with and then soldered a length of new speaker wire in. I then used some shrink wraps to insulate and tidy up;

So just need the flipping adaptors!  >:(

It's been too hot to do much today, but in an effort to keep moving forwards, I dug out the caliper paint that came with the car and sorted out the replacement one that was put on last year. Wheel removed;

Cleaned up the caliper and set to it;


Three coats did the job;

Wheel back on and looking much better with four matching calipers;

Anyway, too hot to do anything else much, so I'm going to follow the lead of this lass;

The Arch Bishop

What a palaver it's been just getting the speaker adaptors! The first pair duly didn't turn up via Hermes. By Tuesday, I was resigned to them having been lost, something that was confirmed by the seller who also had no more stock. To their credit, they refunded within 10 mins, and another order was placed elsewhere. These turned up today via good old Royal Mail. Finally I can finish this!

This evening, it was the satisfying job of installation, testing and putting the door cards back on.

First, I set the orientation of the speakers in the adaptors which only fit in one orientation. The speakers themselves have a directional swivel on the tweeters, so it's important to get them so they can point somewhat up towards your ears. Little bit of test fitting and in they went;

Like a glove.

The adaptors are both sturdy and a decent design. I liked the cable pass through;

Only needed to trim the cables to length - the pass through falls at the top on the driver's door and at the bottom on the passenger door so I was glad to have left a good amount to work with. Crimped the spade connectors and mounted;

Really pleased with such a clean install! I did stick the new wire to the door sheet just to stop anything flapping around.

Tested to make sure they worked as they should and then remounted the door cards;

And the verdict? Somewhat unsurprisingly, it's transformed the sound. Don't get me wrong, 2 6.5" speakers are not going to rattle the neighbour's windows, but they give deep bass a really good go and I finally hear why people take time to add sound deadening - everything sounds so clean. You can turn the volume up a decent amount and there's no buzzing, rattling or distortion. Absolutely chuffed and well worth the time taken!

At some point when money is somewhat...ahem...freer, I'll look at investing in a small powered sub for under the seat, but more than happy for now.

So that's the tart pretty much ready for some driving!

On to another non-car related project - the abandoned bike found rusting behind the local Guide hut!

The Arch Bishop

It's been an unusually busy couple of weeks for the Tart!

First off was the yearly half hour of dread that is the MOT. I realised that it was due pretty darn soon and, as I had plans for using the car a fair bit, I panicked and chucked it in for an MOT that very morning and did exactly no preparatory work.

Off we went and parked up outside to wait for my slot. When the tester came out, he started the car, looked over to me and grinned at the snorty MR2 burbled away! A good start!

While I waited, I remembered that GT4Play is just over the road from the test centre - never been there before so strolled over for a look and also to see if they had a cam-cover gasket. They did indeed and had a good chat to the owner. Can't believe that they carry stock for the MR2, they're only 10 mins from my house and I'd never been there!

Anyway, part bought and removed myself to the MOT testing station to wait for the verdict;

Drumity roll.....a nice clean pass! Woot!

Comment was "yeah absolutely nothing wrong with that. Good stuff."

So once again, I've been trundling around in the Tart enjoying the extra 79bhp it has over my daily car. Hasn't skipped a beat etc...

ANyway, fast forward to this past Friday and it was time to head off to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I've not managed to take the MR2 during my custodianship for various reasons (last year was because the MOT had run out...), so I was thrilled to be able to chunter over there this year in the car of yellow.

A soggy but enjoyable day was had, other than being thrown out of the Roger Durbois area by security for having the audacity to eat a sandwich (not bitter at all but they could have let me finish the sandwich at least). Oh and trying to gate-crash the GRRC Pitstop area was a bust as well...

Anyway, a great day looking at various automotive legends such as this;

And this; was time to head home. Obligatory picture of the Tart in a damp field in Sussex;

The Saturday morning was spent hastily cleaning the Goodwood mud from the MR2 flanks in 40mph winds ready for the following day where we were booked on to the MR2 Driver's stand at the National Cat Centre Family Fun day in the Ashdown Forest.

This had a surprisingly good car show attached to it with some pretty exotic metal in attendance and a really good number of MR2s!

Some of the other cars on display;

Munich Legends is at the top of the drive!

Love this 300zx - my dad had one identical back in 1989 and this was in beautiful condition. Owner was a lovely guy as well and also has a Celica ST160 as his daily chariot (which is identical to my second ever car).

A great time was had - a chance to catch up with Matt and Jo Geering and also meet some other MR2'ers. Hopefully I'll be able to do some more this year!


Glad that got through the MOT with a clean sheet. She's absolutely stunning. I love my Chili Red but yellow on it is just on another level.

Need to get mine in shape for next year's Le Mans and take her on a little Eurotour. The Festival of Speed is tempting as well though...


Lovely E3! Had one years ago.


 :) glad to see the yellow is out for some good summer runs out :)  :)
well done on the mot 1 less worry now hay 8)  8)

The Arch Bishop

So....uh.....this happened today...

I'll start a Reader's other rides thread.