Words and Photography: Daniel Allard.
With Covid-19 postponing the 2020 show season, we've actually managed to get back some time to get the garage/workshop finished and work on one of our most neglected projects, Emkayone. As of 2021, the car will have been with us for 10 years, so it only seems right we get it back and on the road for the anniversary.
We are going to be doing something slightly with this article, instead of publishing different articles with updates we are will be posting the updates in here with a link below taking you to the new content. So for those interested, bookmark this page and look out on our social media outlets for updates.
In The Beginning.
For those who are too young for the glory days of the Edition38 and StanceWorks forums here's a little back story.
In early 2011, we acquired an honest little MK1 that had been sat in a shed for a number of years. A 1983, 1.5GL with 2 past owners and 73k miles on the clock, oh, and buckets full of character!
Once we got it into our hands it wasn't long till we had a play, a quick mechanical check-over, with some minor work needed and then onto the fun stuff; a set of FK coil overs and some BBS RM's to freshen it up.
As time went on we lowered the car and the following work was carried out:
- Engine raise
- Gear linkage extended
- Flipped tie rod
- Lower balljoint extenders
- Chassis notch
At the end of the 2012 season, the decision was made to "spice it up a little". Before we knew it the front end was stripped and the engine was out. Being into Honda's at the time and owning an S2000 the decision was made to go for a B16a2. Light, powerful and will fit neatly into the MK1's bay, which would make for a nice well-balanced package, perfect for some A and B road blasts.
Work slowly progressed and then in 2014, a project called Bricky (our Volvo 245) came along. Grown-up life and buying a property paused the process for a few years, but that didn't stop me planning and gathering the occasional part.
So when things quietened down early 2015, finally the MK1's B16a2 was ordered and progress resumed, engine mounts and driveshafts fabricated, floor-mounted pedal box fitted, gear linkage arranged and an incredible custom cat-back exhaust fabricated by the guys at Walton Motorsport. We will be getting some up-close shots of the exhaust when we remove it.
Then yup you guessed it, after that burst of productivity the MK1 got pushed back down to the bottom of the pile. 2017 bought another house move and then becoming a dad to a little girl and 18 months later daughter number 2 arrived. Then focusing my time on pushing RH, a full-time job, and dad life, the next three years flew. With the little spare time I did have, I focused on making the garage into my dream workshop. With the workshop nearing completion it was time to finally wake the mice and unwrap the MK1. Woken from its outside slumber and moved from the storage facility, I had it trailered home.
So now to the present day, with the garage nearly finished and in more of a settled position, we get to work. First up, clear the car out of boxes of parts and give it a Meguair's birthday, its first proper wash since we took ownership! With most of the mouse poop, cobwebs, and grime removed it was pushed in.
Pushing the car into the garage was a huge personal achievement for me. The last few years have been family-focused so to have my own space to work on personal projects feels amazing, something I've been dreaming of since I lifted a spanner.
Now to get back to the point I started 6 years ago!.
The car has been stripped back down, wings off, bonnet off, wheels off and for the first time jacked up and on axle stands. Most of the work that had been completed on the car has been carried out at my place of work. I appreciate having all the equipment and ramp to hand however it meant it had to be pushed out of the workshop and tidied up ready for work the next day. Something that easily added another hour or more.
With the car up and stripped, it was time for the dreaded check over, and with the car being sat wrapped up outside for 6 years there was bound to be some additional rust to when I first parked it up. Rolling around on my back I was super pleased to find all the key areas I knew about were ok and the only parts that have been affected are the rear arches, something I was planning on repairing anyway.
With the check over completed the next and only real big task left is to sort through the mountain of wires.
When I last left this car all of them years ago, I just about started the last large task of sorting the wiring for the B16A2. Now with a set of fresh eyes, I can see what I was trying to achieve was all wrong, so back to square one. With all the wiring pulled from the car and put into a big heap, the homework started and then the realisation kicked in on just how long this job would take to get it right and neat. On all of my previous cars, all of the work had been carried out by myself or friends but now as I don't have as many spare evenings and weekends, as I used to, it was time to call in for some help.
Whilst browsing a VTEC Mini FB group, a name kept on coming up for being recommended to carry out the wiring on Honda Mini conversions. After a short chat, the looms needed were sorted out, boxed up, and posted out to David at VDM Motorsport.
With the wiring away for a few weeks being sorted, it was finally time to start a job I've always want to do on a car.
It might not be at the top of everyone's wish list but this is something I have always wanted to do with a car, A complete refurbishment of the underside. With the car previously being stored at my work, it could never be left in the workshop for a long period of time but now in my garage done and no set date to finish the car I can finally carry out the work. The plan is to strip, paint and then rebuild, but whilst we are down there all new poly bushes, brake lines, and larger front disc/calipers fitted.
Being that the AP coilovers are the early type (slightly better made) they have held up really well so these will be kept, cleaned, and refitted to the car.
Then there is the age-old argument drums vs discs, I have done tons of reading and spoken to a few people who have done the conversion and for now, the drums are staying. Whilst I do take people's opinions into consideration when it comes to parts and alterations but I like to make my own mind up. New shoes and bearings will be fitted to the drums and after a good few miles if I feel it is needed the disc conversion will be carried out.
So next up now the suspension is stripped and ready for cleaning and blasting its time to get the engine ready for the all-important fire up once the wiring loom returns, but as always it's not always plain sailing.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter, coming soon.