Mazda MX5 Conversion Blog


11 October 2007: Taking out the clutch, tidying the electrics and.. my motors are here!

I'll start with the most exciting news.. my motors are finally here! It's been three and a half months since I ordered them, so I am rather glad to have them sitting in the workshop now. (I'm hoping that I'll be able to save others from such a hideous wait for motors in future - now that ZEVA is an authorised distributor for the Netgain range of motors, I'll try to keep them in stock locally!)

These ones are Advanced DC L91s, which are 170mm diameter and about 450mm long. Note the size comparison next to the ICE and gearbox - so much more compact! I will actually be running two motors of course, but that allows me to replace BOTH engine and gearbox in favour of a direct drive system. Next step is design the subframe to connect the motors to the diff etc.

So what else has been going on with the conversion.. I took the clutch out the other day - won't be needing that pedal anymore. There are bolts on opposite sides of the firewall holding the clutch master cylinder (which is to the right of the brake master cylinder) and the pedal mechanism (inside the cabin) together, then both parts come off at once.

And the other thing which has been keeping my evenings busy lately is tidying up the electrical system - in particular, removing all the wiring associated with the ECU and engine management. I was somewhat hesitant to dive into this task because it starts to feel overwhelming pretty quickly! There are actually 35 wires coming out of the MX5's ECU, and almost all of them go through the firewall on the left or right to sensor harnesses etc which used to be attached to the engine. Check out the pile of wiring that's come out so far. Seriously, I'm sure there's more electrics coming out from the ICE than I'll be putting in for the electric drive!

It's not entirely necessary to do all this, you could quite happily just snip the ECU wires off where convenient and not take the whole lot apart. And if I were converting cars professionally, I'm sure I'd save myself the time & effort, but this being my first conversion and me being a bit of a perfectionist, I wanted to do it properly.


(1) Sitting in the box - glad to see they arrived without a scratch

(2) Closeup of the motor with nameplate

(3) One motor next to the old petrol burner and gearbox

(4) That's the clutch master cylinder in the middle

(5) A view under the dash of the clutch pedal mounts

(6) One clutch pedal mechanism

(7) Oh no, what have I got myself into..

(8) It's not so bad.. just take your time working out which wires can come out

(9) Here's the pile of ECU wiring and sensor harnesses so far

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--> Continue reading: Subframe prototyping - how to fit the motor and batteries!?


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